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Exodus 4 1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)

3 Moses’ rod is turned into a serpent. 6 His hand is leprous. 9 The water of the river is turned into blood. 14 Aaron is given to help Moses. 21 God hardeneth Pharaoh. 25 Moses’ wife circumciseth her son.

Then Moses answered, and said, [a]But lo, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee.

And the Lord said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he answered, A rod.

Then said he, Cast it on the ground. So he cast it on the ground, and it was turned into a serpent: and Moses fled from it.

Again the Lord said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. Then he put forth his hand and caught it, and it was turned into a rod in his hand.

Do this [b]that they may believe, that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob hath appeared unto thee.

¶ And the Lord said furthermore unto him, Thrust now thine hand into thy bosom. And he thrust his hand into his bosom, and when he took it out again, behold his hand was [c]leprous as snow.

Moreover he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. So he put his hand into his bosom again, and plucked it out of his bosom, and behold, it was turned again as his other flesh.

So shall it be, if they will not believe thee, neither obey [d]the voice of the first sign, yet shall they believe for the voice of the second sign.

But if they will not yet believe these two signs, neither obey unto thy voice, then shalt thou take of the [e]water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land: so the water which thou shalt take out of the river, shall be turned to blood upon the dry land.

10 ¶ But Moses said unto the Lord, Oh my Lord, I am not eloquent, [f]neither at any time have been, nor yet since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am [g]slow of speech and slow of tongue.

11 Then the Lord said unto him, Who hath given the mouth to man? or who hath made the dumb, or the deaf, or him that seeth, or the blind? have not I the Lord?

12 Therefore go now, and I will be with thy mouth, and will teach thee what thou shalt say.

13 But he said, Oh my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the [h]hand of him, whom thou [i]shouldest send.

14 Then the Lord was [j]very angry with Moses, and said, Do not I know Aaron thy brother the Levite, that he himself shall speak? for lo, he cometh also forth to meet thee, and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart.

15 Therefore thou shalt speak unto him, and [k]put the words in his mouth, and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye ought to do.

16 And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be as thy mouth, and thou shalt be to him as [l]God.

17 Moreover thou shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do miracles.

18 ¶ Therefore Moses went and returned to Jethro his father-in-law, and said unto him, I pray thee, let me go, and return to my [m]brethren, which are in Egypt, and see whether they be yet alive. Then Jethro said to Moses, Go in peace.

19 (For the Lord had said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return to Egypt: for they are all dead which [n]went about to kill thee.)

20 Then Moses took his wife and his sons, and [o]put them on an ass, and returned toward the land of Egypt, and Moses took the [p]rod of God in his hand.

21 And the Lord said unto Moses, When thou art entered and come into Egypt again, see that thou do all the wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will [q]harden his heart, and he shall not let the people go.

22 Then thou shalt say to Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my [r]firstborn.

23 Wherefore I say to thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.

24 ¶ And as he was by the way in the Inn, the Lord met him, and [s]would have killed him.

25 Then Zipporah took a sharp knife, and [t]cut away the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Thou art indeed a bloody husband unto me.

26 So [u]he departed from him. Then she said, O bloody husband (because of the circumcision).

27 ¶ Then the Lord said unto Aaron, Go meet Moses in the wilderness. And he went and met him in the [v]Mount of God, and kissed him.

28 Then Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord, who had sent him, and all the signs wherewith he had charged him.

29 ¶ So went Moses and Aaron, and gathered all the elders of the children of Israel.

30 And Aaron told all the words, which the Lord had spoken unto Moses, and he did the miracles in the sight of the people.

31 And the [w]people believed, and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel, and had looked upon their tribulation, they bowed down, and worshipped.


  1. Exodus 4:1 God beareth with Moses’ doubting, because he was not altogether without faith.
  2. Exodus 4:5 This power to work miracles was to confirm his doctrine, and to assure him of his vocation.
  3. Exodus 4:6 Or, white as snow.
  4. Exodus 4:8 Or, the words confirmed by the first sign.
  5. Exodus 4:9 Because these three signs should be sufficient witnesses to prove that Moses should deliver God’s people.
  6. Exodus 4:10 Hebrew, from yesterday, and ere yesterday.
  7. Exodus 4:10 Hebrew, heavy of mouth.
  8. Exodus 4:13 Or, ministry.
  9. Exodus 4:13 That is, the Messiah: or some other, that is more meet than I.
  10. Exodus 4:14 Though we provoke God justly to anger, yet he will never reject his.
  11. Exodus 4:15 Thou shalt instruct him what to say.
  12. Exodus 4:16 Meaning, as a wise counselor and full of God’s spirit.
  13. Exodus 4:18 Or, kinsfolk, and lineage.
  14. Exodus 4:19 Hebrew, sought thy soul.
  15. Exodus 4:20 Hebrew, caused them to ride.
  16. Exodus 4:20 Whereby he wrought the miracles.
  17. Exodus 4:21 By receiving my spirit and delivering him unto Satan to increase his malice.
  18. Exodus 4:22 Meaning, most dear unto him.
  19. Exodus 4:24 God punished him with sickness for neglecting his Sacrament.
  20. Exodus 4:25 This act was extraordinary: for Moses was sore sick, and God even then required it.
  21. Exodus 4:26 Or, the Angel.
  22. Exodus 4:27 Or, Horeb.
  23. Exodus 4:31 So that Moses had now experience of God’s promise that he should have good success.
1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)

Geneva Bible, 1599 Edition. Published by Tolle Lege Press. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations in articles, reviews, and broadcasts.

Exodus 4 New International Version (NIV)

Signs for Moses

Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?”

Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?”

“A staff,” he replied.

The Lord said, “Throw it on the ground.”

Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. Then the Lord said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. “This,” said the Lord, “is so that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you.”

Then the Lord said, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, the skin was leprous[a]—it had become as white as snow.

“Now put it back into your cloak,” he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh.

Then the Lord said, “If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first sign, they may believe the second. But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground.”

10 Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”

11 The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

13 But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”

14 Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you. 15 You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. 16 He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. 17 But take this staff in your hand so you can perform the signs with it.”

Moses Returns to Egypt

18 Then Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, “Let me return to my own people in Egypt to see if any of them are still alive.”

Jethro said, “Go, and I wish you well.”

19 Now the Lord had said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for all those who wanted to kill you are dead. 20 So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey and started back to Egypt. And he took the staff of God in his hand.

21 The Lord said to Moses, “When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go. 22 Then say to Pharaoh, ‘This is what the Lord says: Israel is my firstborn son, 23 and I told you, “Let my son go, so he may worship me.” But you refused to let him go; so I will kill your firstborn son.’”

24 At a lodging place on the way, the Lord met Moses[b] and was about to kill him. 25 But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it.[c] “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me,” she said. 26 So the Lord let him alone. (At that time she said “bridegroom of blood,” referring to circumcision.)

27 The Lord said to Aaron, “Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.” So he met Moses at the mountain of God and kissed him. 28 Then Moses told Aaron everything the Lord had sent him to say, and also about all the signs he had commanded him to perform.

29 Moses and Aaron brought together all the elders of the Israelites, 30 and Aaron told them everything the Lord had said to Moses. He also performed the signs before the people, 31 and they believed. And when they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.


  1. Exodus 4:6 The Hebrew word for leprous was used for various diseases affecting the skin.
  2. Exodus 4:24 Hebrew him
  3. Exodus 4:25 The meaning of the Hebrew for this clause is uncertain.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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