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Day 29 – Moses Returns to Egypt


Exodus 4

1 Moses replied as follows, ‘But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my words, and say to me, “Yahweh has not appeared to you”?’

2 Yahweh then said, ‘What is that in your hand?’ ‘A staff,’ he said.

3 ‘Throw it on the ground,’ said Yahweh. Moses threw it on the ground; the staff turned into a snake and Mosesrecoiled from it.

4 Yahweh then said to Moses, ‘Reach out your hand and catch it by the tail.’ He reached out his hand, caught it, and in his hand it turned back into a staff.

5 ‘Thus they may believe that Yahweh, the God of their ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the Godof Jacob, has appeared to you.’

6 Next, Yahweh said to him, ‘Put your hand inside your tunic.’ He put his hand inside his tunic, then drew it out again: and his hand was diseased, white as snow.

7 Yahweh then said, ‘Put your hand back inside your tunic.’ He put his hand back inside his tunic and when he drew it out, there it was restored, just like the rest of his flesh.

8 ‘Even so: should they not believe you nor be convinced by the first sign, the second sign will convince them;

9 but should they not be convinced by either of these two signs and refuse to listen to what you say, you are to take some water from the River and pour it on the ground, and the water you have taken from the River will turn to blood on the dry land.’

10 Moses said to Yahweh, ‘Please, my Lord, I have never been eloquent, even since you have spoken to your servant, for I am slow and hesitant of speech.’

11 ‘Who gave a person a mouth?’ Yahweh said to him. ‘Who makes a person dumb or deaf, gives sight or makes blind? Is it not I, Yahweh?

12 Now go, I shall help you speak and instruct you what to say.’

13 ‘Please, my Lord,’ Moses replied, ‘send anyone you decide to send!’

14 At this, Yahweh’s anger kindled against Moses, and he said to him, ‘There is your brother Aaron the Levite, is there not? I know that he is a good speaker. Here he comes to meet you. When he sees you, his heart will be full of joy.

15 You will speak to him and tell him what message to give. I shall help you speak, and him too, and instruct you what to do.

16 He will speak to the people in your place; he will be your mouthpiece, and you will be as the god inspiring him.

17 And take this staff in your hand; with this you will perform the signs.’

18 Moses went back to his father-in-law Jethro and said to him, ‘Give me leave to return to my kinsmen in Egypt and see if they are still alive.’ And Jethro said to Moses, ‘Go in peace.’

19 Yahweh said to Moses in Midian, ‘Go, return to Egypt, for all those who wanted to kill you are dead.’

20 So Moses took his wife and his son and, putting them on a donkey, started back for Egypt; and Moses took the staff of God in his hand.

21 Yahweh said to Moses, ‘Think of the wonders I have given you power to perform, once you are back in Egypt! You are to perform them before Pharaoh, but I myself shall make him obstinate, and he will not let the people go.

22 You will then say to Pharaoh, “This is what Yahweh says: Israel is my first-born son.

23 I told you: Let my son go and worship me; but since you refuse to let him go, well then! I shall put your first-bornson to death.” ‘

24 On the journey, when he had halted for the night, Yahweh encountered him and tried to kill him.

25 Then Zipporah, taking up a flint, cut off her son’s foreskin and with it touched his feet and said, ‘You are my blood-bridegroom!’

26 So he let him go. She said, ‘Blood-bridegroom’ then, with reference to the circumcision.

27 Yahweh said to Aaron, ‘Go into the desert to meet Moses.’ So he went, and met him at the mountain of God and kissed him.

28 Moses then told Aaron all that Yahweh had said when sending him and all the signs he had ordered him to perform.

29 Moses and Aaron then went and gathered all the elders of the Israelites together,

30 and Aaron repeated everything that Yahweh had said to Moses, and in the sight of the people performed the signs.

31 The people were convinced, and they rejoiced that Yahweh had visited the Israelites and seen their misery, and they bowed to the ground in worship.

Exodus 5

1 After this, Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said to him, ‘This is what Yahweh, God of Israel, says, “Let my people go, so that they can hold a feast in my honour in the desert.” ‘

2 ‘Who is Yahweh,’ Pharaoh replied, ‘for me to obey what he says and let Israel go? I know nothing of Yahweh, and I will not let Israel go.’

3 ‘The God of the Hebrews has encountered us,’ they replied. ‘Give us leave to make a three -days’ journey into the desert and sacrifice to Yahweh our God, or he will strike us with a plague or with the sword.’

4 The king of Egypt said to them, ‘Moses and Aaron, what do you mean by distracting the people from their work? Get back to your forced labour.’

5 And Pharaoh said, ‘Now that the people have grown to such numbers in the country, what do you mean by interrupting their forced labour?’

6 That very day, Pharaoh gave the order to the people’s taskmasters and their scribes,

7 ‘Do not go on providing the people with straw for brickmaking as before; let them go and gather straw for themselves.

8 But you will exact the same quantity of bricks from them as before, not reducing it at all, since they are lazy, and that is why their cry is, “Let us go and sacrifice to our God.”

9 Give these people more work to do, and see they do it instead of listening to lying speeches.’

10 The people’s taskmasters and scribes went out to speak to the people and said, ‘Pharaoh says this, “I shall not provide you with any more straw.

11 Go and collect straw for yourselves where you can find it. But your output is not to be any less.” ‘

12 So the people scattered all over Egypt to gather stubble for their straw.

13 The taskmasters harassed them. ‘You must complete your daily quota,’ they said, ‘just as when the straw was there.’

14 And the Israelites’ foremen whom Pharaoh’s taskmasters had put in charge of them, were flogged and asked, ‘Why have you not fulfilled your quota of bricks made today as before?’

15 The Israelites’ foremen went and appealed to Pharaoh. ‘Why do you treat your servants like this?’ they said.

16 ‘No straw is provided for your servants, yet still the cry is, “Make bricks!” And now your servants are being flogged!. . .’

17 ‘You are lazy, lazy,’ he retorted. ‘That is why you say, “Let us go and sacrifice to Yahweh.”

18 Get back to your work at once. You will not be provided with straw; all the same, you will deliver the quota of bricks.’

19 The Israelites’ foremen saw they were in a difficult position on being told, ‘You will not reduce your daily production of bricks.’

20 As they left Pharaoh’s presence, they met Moses and Aaron who were standing in their way.

21 ‘May Yahweh look down at you and judge!’ they said to them. ‘You have brought us into bad odour with Pharaoh and his officials; you have put a sword into their hand to kill us.’

22 Moses went back to Yahweh and said, ‘Lord, why do you treat this people so harshly? Why did you send me?

23 Ever since I came to Pharaoh and spoke to him in your name, he has ill-treated this people, and you have done nothing at all about rescuing your people.’

Leviticus 4

1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:

2 ‘Speak to the Israelites and say: “If anyone sins inadvertently against any of Yahweh’s commandments and does anything prohibited by them,

3 if the one who sins is the anointed priest, thus making the people guilty, then for the sin which he has committed he must offer Yahweh a young bull, an unblemished animal from the herd, as a sacrifice for sin.

4 He will bring the bull before Yahweh at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, will lay his hand on its head and slaughter it before Yahweh.

5 The anointed priest will then take some of the bull’s blood and carry it into the Tent of Meeting.

6 He will then dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle it seven times in front of the sanctuary curtain, before Yahweh.

7 The priest will then put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of incense smoking before Yahweh in the Tent of Meeting, and will pour all the rest of the bull’s blood at the foot of the altar of burnt offerings at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.

8 “Of the bull offered as a sacrifice for sin, he will set aside all the fat: the fat covering the entrails, all the fat on the entrails,

9 both kidneys, the fat on them and on the loins, the mass of fat which he will remove from the liver and kidneys-

10 exactly as was done with the portion set aside in the communion sacrifice — and the priest will burn these pieces on the altar of burnt offerings.

11 “The bull’s skin and all its meat, its head, its shins, its entrails and its offal,

12 the whole bull he will then have carried out of the camp to a clean place, the place where the fatty ashes are thrown, and will burn it on a wood fire; it must be burnt where the ashes are thrown.

13 “If the whole community of Israel has sinned inadvertently and, without being aware of it has incurred guilt by doing something forbidden by Yahweh’s commandments,

14 once the sin of which it is guilty has been discovered, the community must offer a young bull, an unblemished animal from the herd, as a sacrifice for sin, and bring it in front of the Tent of Meeting.

15 The elders of the community will then lay their hands on the bull’s head before Yahweh, and the bull will be slaughtered before Yahweh.

16 “The anointed priest will then take some of the bull’s blood into the Tent of Meeting.

17 He will then dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle it seven times in front of the curtain, before Yahweh.

18 He will then put some of the blood on the horns of the altar standing before Yahweh inside the Tent of Meeting, and then pour all the rest of the blood at the foot of the altar of burnt offerings at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.

19 “He will then set aside all the fat from the animal and burn it on the altar.

20 He will then deal with the bull as he did with the bull in the sacrifice for sin. It will be dealt with in the same way; and once the priest has performed the rite of expiation for the people, they will be forgiven.

21 “He will then have the bull carried out of the camp and will burn it as he burned the first one. This is the sacrificefor the sin of the community.

22 “When a leader has sinned and inadvertently incurred guilt by doing something forbidden by the commandments of Yahweh his God

23 (or if the sin which he has committed is drawn to his attention), he must bring a he-goat as his offering, an unblemished male.

24 He will then lay his hand on the goat’s head and slaughter it on the spot where the burnt offerings are slaughtered before Yahweh. This is a sacrifice for sin;

25 the priest will take some of the victim’s blood on his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offerings. He will then pour the rest of its blood at the foot of the altar of burnt offerings

26 and burn all the fat on the altar, as with the fat in the communion sacrifice. This is how the priest must perform the rite of expiation for him to free him from his sin, and he will be forgiven.

27 “If one of the country people sins inadvertently and incurs guilt by doing something forbidden by Yahweh’s commandments

28 (or if the sin which he has committed is drawn to his attention), he must bring a she-goat as his offering for the sinwhich he has committed, an unblemished female.

29 He will then lay his hand on the victim’s head and slaughter it on the spot where the burnt offerings are slaughtered.

30 The priest will take some of its blood on his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offerings. He willthen pour all the rest of the blood at the foot of the altar.

31 He will then remove all the fat, as the fat was removed for the communion sacrifice, and the priest will burn it on the altar as a smell pleasing to Yahweh. This is how the priest must perform the rite of expiation for him, and he willbe forgiven.

32 “If he wishes to bring a lamb as an offering for this kind of sacrifice, he must bring an unblemished female.

33 He will then lay his hand on the victim’s head and slaughter it as a sacrifice for sin on the spot where the burnt offerings are slaughtered.

34 The priest will take some of the victim’s blood on his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offerings. He will then pour all the rest of the blood at the foot of the altar.

35 He will then remove all the fat, as was done for the sheep in the communion sacrifice, and the priest will burn it as food burnt for Yahweh. This is how the priest must perform for him the rite of expiation for the sin which he has committed, and he will will be forgiven.”

Psalm 46

1 [For the choirmaster Of the sons of Korah For oboe Song] God is both refuge and strength for us, a help always ready in trouble;

2 so we shall not be afraid though the earth be in turmoil, though mountains tumble into the depths of the sea,

3 and its waters roar and seethe, and the mountains totter as it heaves. (Yahweh Sabaoth is with us, our citadel, the God of Jacob.)

4 There is a river whose streams bring joy to God’s city, it sanctifies the dwelling of the Most High.

5 God is in the city, it cannot fall; at break of day God comes to its rescue.

6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms are tumbling, when he raises his voice the earth crumbles away.

7 Yahweh Sabaoth is with us, our citadel, the God of Jacob.

8 Come, consider the wonders of Yahweh, the astounding deeds he has done on the earth;

9 he puts an end to wars over the whole wide world, he breaks the bow, he snaps the spear, shields he burns in the fire.

10 ‘Be still and acknowledge that I am God, supreme over nations, supreme over the world.’

11 Yahweh Sabaoth is with us, our citadel, the God of Jacob.

Thoughts and Reflection

At the burning bush, God reveals his name to Moses. Significantly, the word Lord appears in uppercase letters. In the ancient world, this meant you were in a relationship with that person. And when God reveals his name to Moses, he is conveying a personal relationship with his people. Moses is still hesitant and is uncertain of what the Lord tells him to do and go to Pharaoh. Who wouldn’t be? Could you imagine?

When Moses finally does meet with Pharaoh, Pharaoh gives the people more work and does not set them free. The Israelites become angry at Moses and Aaron for making their lives more difficult.

Instead of being like Pharaoh and making our lives busier, we need to free up time to worship God. We were never meant to be slaves.

Have you made yourself free to worship God?

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!


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