The burning bush
1 Moses pastured the sheep of Jethro, his father-in-law, priest of Midian. One day he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the Mountain of God.
2 The Angel of Yahweh appeared to him by means of a flame of fire in the middle of a bush. Moses saw that although the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 Moses thought, “I will go and see this amazing sight, why is the bush not burning up?”
4 Yahweh saw that Moses was drawing near to look, and God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” He replied, “Here I am.” 5 Yah weh said to him, “Do not come near; take off your sandals because the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6 And God continued, “I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.”
6 Moses hid his face lest his eyes look on God. 7 Yahweh said, “I have seen the humiliation of my people in Egypt and I hear their cry when they are cruelly treated by their taskmasters. I know their suffering. 8 I have come down to free them from the power of the Egyptians and to bring them up from that land to a beautiful spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the territory of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amo rites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites. 9 The cry of the sons of Israel has reached me and I have seen how the Egyptians oppress them.
10 Go now! I am sending you to Pha raoh to bring my people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.”
11 Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the people of Israel out of Egypt?”
12 God replied, “I will be with you and this will be the sign that I have sent you. When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”
13 Moses answered God, “If I go to the Israelites and say to them: ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ they will ask me: ‘What is his name?’ What shall I answer them?”
14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO AM. This is what you will say to the sons of Israel: ‘I AM sent me to you.” 15 God then said to Moses, “You will say to the Israelites: ‘YAHWEH, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, has sent me.’ That will be my name forever, and by this name they shall call upon me for all generations to come.
Moses is given his mission
16 Go! Call together the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘Yahweh, the God of your fathers, the God of Abra ham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob appeared to me and said: I have seen and taken account of how the Egyptians have treated you, 17 and I mean to bring you out of all this oppression in Egypt and take you to the land of the Cana anites, a land flowing with milk and honey.’
18 The elders of Israel will listen to you and, with them, you shall go to the palace of the king of Egypt and say to him: ‘The God of the Hebrews, Yahweh, has met with us. Now let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness to sacrifice to Yahweh our God.’
19 I well know that the king of the Egyptians will not allow you to go unless he is forced to do so. 20 I will there fore stretch out my hand and strike Egypt in extraordinary ways, after which he will let you go. 21 And I will make the Egyptians treat my people well when you leave; you will not go empty-handed. 22 Each wo man will ask her neighbor, and any Egyptian woman staying in her house, to lend her ornaments of silver and gold, and clothing. With these you will clothe your sons and daughters, and in this way you will plunder the Egyptians.”