1Then Moses answered the LORD, “But suppose the Israelites do not believe me and will not listen to what I say. What shall I do if they say that you did not appear to me?”
2So the LORD asked him, “What are you holding?”
“A stick,” he answered.
3The LORD said, “Throw it on the ground.” When Moses threw it down, it turned into a snake, and he ran away from it. 4Then the LORD said to Moses, “Bend down and pick it up by the tail.” So Moses bent down and caught it, and it became a stick again. 5The LORD said, “Do this to prove to the Israelites that the LORD, the God of their ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, has appeared to you.”
6The LORD spoke to Moses again, “Put your hand inside your robe.” Moses obeyed; and when he took his hand out, it was diseased, covered with white spots, like snow. 7Then the LORD said, “Put your hand inside your robe again.” He did so, and when he took it out this time, it was healthy, just like the rest of his body. 8The LORD said, “If they will not believe you or be convinced by the first miracle, then this one will convince them. 9If in spite of these two miracles they still will not believe you, and if they refuse to listen to what you say, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the ground. The water will turn into blood.”
10But Moses said, “No, LORD, don't send me. I have never been a good speaker, and I haven't become one since you began to speak to me. I am a poor speaker, slow and hesitant.”
11The LORD said to him, “Who gives man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or dumb? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? It is I, the LORD. 12Now, go! I will help you to speak, and I will tell you what to say.”
14At this the LORD became angry with Moses and said, “What about your brother Aaron, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. In fact, he is now coming to meet you and will be glad to see you. 15You can speak to him and tell him what to say. I will help both of you to speak, and I will tell you both what to do. 16He will be your spokesman and speak to the people for you. Then you will be like God, telling him what to say. 17Take this stick with you; for with it you will perform miracles.”
Moses Returns to Egypt
18Then Moses went back to Jethro, his father-in-law, and said to him, “Please let me go back to my relatives in Egypt to see if they are still alive.” Jethro agreed and said goodbye to him.
19While Moses was still in Midian, the LORD said to him, “Go back to Egypt, for all those who wanted to kill you are dead.” 20So Moses took his wife and his sons, put them on a donkey, and set out with them for Egypt, carrying the stick that God had told him to take.
21Again the LORD said to Moses, “Now that you are going back to Egypt, be sure to perform before the king all the miracles which I have given you the power to do. But I will make the king stubborn, and he will not let the people go. 22Then you must tell him that I, the LORD, say, ‘Israel is my firstborn son. 23I told you to let my son go, so that he might worship me, but you refused. Now I am going to kill your firstborn son.’ ”
24At a camping place on the way to Egypt, the LORD met Moses and tried to kill him. 25-26Then Zipporah, his wife, took a sharp stone, cut off the foreskin of her son, and touched Moses' feet with it. Because of the rite of circumcision she said to Moses, “You are a husband of blood to me.” And so the LORD spared Moses' life.
27Meanwhile the LORD had said to Aaron, “Go into the desert to meet Moses.” So he went to meet him at the holy mountain; and when he met him, he kissed him. 28Then Moses told Aaron everything that the LORD had said when he told him to return to Egypt; he also told him about the miracles which the LORD had ordered him to perform. 29So Moses and Aaron went to Egypt and gathered all the Israelite leaders together. 30Aaron told them everything that the LORD had said to Moses, and then Moses performed all the miracles in front of the people. 31They believed, and when they heard that the LORD had come to them and had seen how they were being treated cruelly, they bowed down and worshipped.