The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Exodus
But Moses still had his answer; What if they will not believe me, he said, or give a hearing? What if they tell me to my face that I never had any vision of the Lord?
What is that in thy hand? the Lord asked him. A staff, he said.
So the Lord bade him cast it on the ground, and when he did so, it turned into a serpent, and Moses shrank away.
Now put out thy hand, the Lord said, and catch it by the tail. He did so, and it turned to a staff in his hand.
And the word came to him, Will they still doubt that the Lord God of their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has appeared to thee?
And now the Lord had a fresh command for him, Put thy hand into thy bosom; and, doing so, he found that it came out a leper’s hand, white as snow.
Now, said he, put it back in thy bosom again; so he put it back, and this time, when he brought it out, the skin on it was no different from the rest of his skin.
And the Lord said, If credence and hearing thou canst not gain, with the first sign for thy warrant, the evidence of this second sign will make them believe thee.
And if even two signs are not enough to convince them and make them listen to thee, thou hast but to take water from the river and pour it out on the ground; the water thou hast drawn out of the river will turn into blood.
Then Moses said, Lord, have patience with me; but all my life I have been a man of little eloquence, and now that thou, my Master, hast spoken to me, I am more faltering, more tongue-tied than ever.
Why, the Lord said to him, who was it that fashioned man’s mouth? Who is it that makes a man dumb or deaf, clear-sighted or blind, if not I?
Go as thou art bidden; I will speak with thy mouth, telling thee what words to utter.
But still he said, Lord have patience with me; wilt thou not choose some fitting emissary?✻
And now the Lord was angry with Moses; What of thy brother Aaron (the Levite)? he asked.✻ I know him to be a man of ready speech. He is even now on his way to meet thee, and will give thee a joyful welcome when he finds thee.
To him thou shalt repeat my message, entrusting it to his lips; through his lips I will speak, and through thine, telling you what I would have you do.
He shall be thy spokesman, giving out thy message to the people, and thou shalt be his representative with God.✻
And take this staff of thine with thee; thou hast portents to bring about by means of it.
Then Moses made his way back to his father-in-law, Jethro; Give me leave, he said, to return to Egypt, and see whether my brethren there are still living. And Jethro said, Go in peace.
From Madian, then, the Lord bade Moses return to Egypt; all those who had threatened his life were dead.
So Moses took his wife and children, with his ass to carry them, and returned to Egypt, with the staff, divinely appointed, in his hand.
And as he went back to Egypt, the Lord said to him, Thy part is to do all the wonders I put it in thy power to do, in Pharao’s presence. But I mean to harden his heart, so that he refuses to let my people go;
and then thou shalt give him this message: Israel, says the Lord, is my first-born son,
and when I bade thee give this son of mine leave to go and worship me, that leave was refused; I come to claim the life of thy first-born in return.
On this journey, at one of his halting-places, the Lord came in his path and threatened him with death,
until Sephora took a sharp stone, and circumcised her son with it; then, touching her husband’s feet with the flesh, she said, Now we are betrothed in blood.
And as she said the words, Betrothed in blood, after the circumcision, the Lord consented to spare him.✻
Meanwhile the Lord had told Aaron to go out and meet Moses in the desert; so he set out and met him at God’s mountain, and greeted him with a kiss.
And Moses told Aaron all the message the Lord had entrusted to him, and the wonders he had commissioned him to perform.
So together they went and summoned all the elders of the Israelite race to meet them;
and when Aaron told them all the Lord had said to Moses, and shewed the people the appointed signs,
the people were convinced. At last the Lord had come to enquire after the sons of Israel, and had witnessed their affliction; they would bow down and worship.
The Holy Bible