Offering of the firstborn
1 Yahweh spoke to Moses saying, 2 “Con secrate to me every firstborn: the first to leave the womb among the sons of Israel, whether of man or beast, is mine.”
3 Moses said to the people, “Remem ber the day you came out of Egypt from the house of slavery, for it was by his power that Yahweh brought you out; because of this you will not eat leavened bread.
4 The day you left was in the month of Abib. 5 When Yahweh brings you to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Hivites and the Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey which he swore to your fathers to give you—you will carry out this ceremony.
6 For seven days you will eat unleavened bread and on the seventh day you will hold a feast in honor of Yahweh. 7 You will eat unleavened bread for seven days and no leavened bread is to be seen among you or anywhere throughout all your territory. 8 On that day you will tell your son: ‘I do this because of what Yah weh did for me when I came out of Egypt.’
9 This ceremony will be for you as a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead, so that Yahweh’s law may be ever on your lips, for it was with great power that Yahweh brought you out of Egypt. 10 Because of this you will observe this ordinance at the appointed time from year to year.
11 When Yahweh brings you to the land of the Canaanites and gives it to you, as he swore to you and your ancestors, 12 you are to give over to Yahweh all that first opens the womb, and every firstborn of your cattle as well. These firstborn that are males are for Yahweh.
13 Every firstborn donkey will be re deemed by a lamb, and if you do not re deem it, you are to break its neck. Every firstborn among your sons you are to redeem. 14 When in the future your son questions you as to what it means you will say: ‘Yahweh, by his power brought us out of Egypt from the house of slavery. 15 As Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, Yahweh slew every firstborn in Egypt, of man and beast. That is why I sacrifice to Yahweh all the males of my cattle that first open the womb, but the firstborn of my sons, I redeem.’
16 It will be as a sign on your hand and a charm between your eyes, reminding you that the power of Yahweh brought us out of Egypt.”
17 It happened that when Pharaoh sent the people away, God did not lead them through the land of the Philistines, al though it was nearer, for God thought that the people might lose heart if they were faced with the prospect of a battle and would return to Egypt. 18 God therefore led the people by the way of the wilderness towards the Red Sea. So the Isra elites left Egypt in an orderly manner.
19 Moses took with him the bones of Joseph for he had made the Israelites swear saying, “God will surely remember you and then you will carry my bones with you away from here.”
20 They moved on from Succoth and encamped at Etham bordering the wilderness. 21 By day Yahweh went before them in a pillar of cloud to guide them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, enabling them to travel day and night. 22 Neither the cloud by day nor the fire by night, disappeared from the sight of the people.