Exodus, CHAPTER 3
Meanwhile Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian. Leading the flock beyond the wilderness, he came to the mountain of God, Horeb.
There the angel of the LORD appeared to him as fire flaming out of a bush. When he looked, although the bush was on fire, it was not being consumed.
So Moses decided, “I must turn aside to look at this remarkable sight. Why does the bush not burn up?”
When the LORD saw that he had turned aside to look, God called out to him from the bush: Moses! Moses! He answered, “Here I am.”
God said: Do not come near! Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.
I am the God of your father, he continued, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
The Call and Commission of Moses.
But the LORD said: I have witnessed the affliction of my people in Egypt and have heard their cry against their taskmasters, so I know well what they are suffering.
Therefore I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them up from that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey, the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Girgashites, the Hivites and the Jebusites.
Now indeed the outcry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen how the Egyptians are oppressing them.
Now, go! I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.
But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
God answered: I will be with you; and this will be your sign that I have sent you. When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will serve God at this mountain.
“But,” said Moses to God, “if I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what do I tell them?”
God replied to Moses: I am who I am. Then he added: This is what you will tell the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.
God spoke further to Moses: This is what you will say to the Israelites: The LORD, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.
This is my name forever;
this is my title for all generations.
Go and gather the elders of the Israelites, and tell them, The LORD, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, has appeared to me and said: I have observed you and what is being done to you in Egypt;
so I have decided to lead you up out of your affliction in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Girgashites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey.
They will listen to you. Then you and the elders of Israel will go to the king of Egypt and say to him:f The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has come to meet us. So now, let us go a three days’ journey in the wilderness to offer sacrifice to the LORD, our God.
Yet I know that the king of Egypt will not allow you to go unless his hand is forced.
So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all the wondrous deeds I will do in its midst. After that he will let you go.
I will even make the Egyptians so well-disposed toward this people that, when you go, you will not go empty-handed.
Every woman will ask her neighbor and the resident alien in her house for silver and gold articles and for clothing, and you will put them on your sons and daughters. So you will plunder the Egyptians.