1Meanwhile Moses was tending the flock of his father‐in‐law Jethro, the priest of Midian. Leading the flock across the desert, he came to Horeb, the mountainof God.* 2There an angel of the LORD * appeared to him in fire flaming out of a bush. n 2–10; Acts 7, 30–35 . As he looked on, he was surprised to see that the bush, though on fire, was not consumed. 3So Moses decided, “I must go over to look at this remarkable sight, and see why the bush is not burned.”
The Call of Moses. 4When the LORD saw him coming over to look at it more closely, God called out to him from the bush, “Moses! Moses!” He answered, “Here I am.” 5God said, “Come no nearer! o Jos 5, 15 . Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground. 6 p Ex 4, 5; Mt 22, 32; Mk 12, 36; Lk 20, 37 . I am the God of your father,” he continued, “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.”* Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. 7But the LORD said, “I have witnessed the affliction of my people in Egypt and have heard their cry of complaint against their slave drivers, so I know well what they are suffering. 8Therefore I have come down* to rescue them from the hands of the Egyptians and lead them out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey, the country of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. q 8f: Gn 15, 19ff . 9So indeed the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have truly noted that the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10Come, now! I will send you to Pharaoh to lead my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.”
11But Moses said to God, “Who am I* that I should go to Pharaoh and lead the Israelites out of Egypt?” 12He answered, “I will be with you; and this shall be your proof that it is I who have sent you: when you bring my people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this very mountain.” 13“But,” said Moses to God, “when I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ if they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what am I to tell them?” 14God replied, “I am who am.”* Then he added, “This is what you shall tell the Israelites: I AM sent me to you.”
15God spoke further to Moses, “Thus shall you say to the Israelites: The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.
“This is my name forever; r Ps 135, 13 . this is my title for all generations.
16“Go and assemble the elders* of the Israelites, and tell them: The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, has appeared to me and said: I am concerned about you and about the way you are being treated in Egypt; 17so I have decided to lead you up out of the misery of Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey.
18“Thus they will heed your message. Then you and the elders of Israel shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him: s Ex 5, 3 . The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent us word. Permit us, then, to go a three‐days' journey in the desert, that we may offer sacrifice to the LORD, our God.
19“Yet I know that the king of Egypt will not allow you to go unless he is forced. 20I will stretch out my hand, therefore, and smite Egypt by doing all kinds of wondrous deeds there. After that he will send you away. 21I will even make the Egyptians so well‐disposed toward this people that, when you leave, you will not go empty‐handed. 22 t 21f: Ex 11, 2f; 12, 35f . Every woman shall ask her neighbor and her house guest for silver and gold articles* and for clothing to put on your sons and daughters. Thus you will despoil the Egyptians.”