Exodus chapter 3

Moses encounters a burning bush. Moses is given a name for the LORD God.




VERSE 1. Now Moses was keeping the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the back of the wilderness, and came to God’s mountain, to Horeb.

Jethro, his father-in-law. Jethro is the father of Zipporah.

the priest of Midian. The word “Midian” probably refers to a geographical place. It was settled by Midian, who was a son of Abraham and Keturah.

Scholars speculate that the people of Midian worshipped Baal-peor and the Queen of Heaven, Ashteroth. If so, Jethro’s priesthood would likely have been for those religions.

Horeb. It is also known as Mount Sinai.


VERSE 2. The LORD’s angel appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the middle of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.

The LORD. When rendered in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, “LORD” or “GOD” is the translation of God’s Proper Name.

The LORD’s angel appeared. This is the visual form under which the LORD God appeared and spoke with people.

The Old Testament refers to it either as the angel of the LORD or as God himself.

bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. In our era, few of us encounter a burning bush, like Moses did.

However, there is a fire that burns. It is the indwelling fire of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit burns within us, but it does not consume us.


VERSE 3. Moses said, “I will go now, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.”


VERSE 4. When the LORD saw that he came over to see, God called to him out of the middle of the bush, and said, “Moses! Moses!” He said, “Here I am.”

God called to him. God called to Moses.

God is always calling out to us. Have you quieted yourself so you can hear his still, small voice?


VERSE 5. He said, “Don’t come close. Take off your sandals, for the place you are standing on is holy ground.”


VERSE 6. Moreover he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God.

Moses hid his face. In those days, most people believed that if they gazed upon a deity, they would die.

This chapter and the next provide a character study of Moses. He was:


VERSE 7. The LORD said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows.

I know their sorrows. The LORD God is concerned for his people.


VERSE 8. I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey; to the place of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite.

I have come down to deliver them. Previously, we saw Moses act as a deliverer. Now we see the LORD God is also a deliverer.

a land flowing with milk and honey. This is the first time we encounter this phrase in the Bible. It becomes a permanent nickname for the Promised Land.


VERSE 9. Now, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to me. Moreover I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them.


VERSE 10. Come now therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh, that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

I will send you to Pharaoh. The LORD God sends Moses on a mission. Moses needs to go somewhere and convey a message.

When the LORD God calls people to a mission, it usually means going somewhere and telling a message. That is the essence of being a prophet.

In our day, the LORD God has a calling for us Christians. We are called to go and tell a message.

The Lord Jesus calls us to take his Gospel to the whole world. Here are the key Bible verses about this »


VERSE 11. Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”


VERSE 12. He said, “Certainly I will be with you. This will be the token to you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”




VERSE 13. Moses said to God, “Behold, when I come to the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what should I tell them?”

This chapter and the next provide a character study of Moses. He was:


VERSE 14. God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM,” and he said, “You shall tell the children of Israel this: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”

I AM WHO I AM. In Hebrew, there are three words:

  • אֶֽהְיֶ֖ה (’eh·yeh)” — This means “I am”
  • >אֲשֶׁ֣ר (’ă·šer) — this means “who”
  • אֶֽהְיֶ֖ה (’eh·yeh)” — This means “I am”

Those Hebrew words could be paraphrased as “I am the one who causes to be.” That is, God the Creator.

This direct revelation does not tell Moses the name of the One God. Rather, it states a reality about God.

Perhaps it is fortunate that we do not know the true name of God. Knowing a name means the ability to control. God is never under our control.

There is a Greek version of the Old Testament that was used by Jewish people who were scattered to foreign countries.

Here is how it puts this phrase: “ego eimi ho on.” That is, “I am the BEING.”

Isaiah 41:4. “Who has performed and accomplished it, Calling forth the generations from the beginning? ‘I, the LORD, am the first, and with the last. I am He.’” (NASB translation)


VERSE 15. God said moreover to Moses, “You shall tell the children of Israel this, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and this is my memorial to all generations.


VERSE 16. Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and tell them, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, “I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt.


VERSE 17. I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, to a land flowing with milk and honey.” ’


VERSE 18. They will listen to your voice. You shall come, you and the elders of Israel, to the king of Egypt, and you shall tell him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Now please let us go three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD, our God.’


VERSE 19. I know that the king of Egypt won’t give you permission to go, no, not by a mighty hand.


VERSE 20. I will reach out my hand and strike Egypt with all my wonders which I will do among them, and after that he will let you go.

my wonders which I will do among them. The LORD God will do mighty miracles to free his people.


VERSE 21. I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, and it will happen that when you go, you shall not go empty-handed.

when you go, you shall not go empty-handed. The LORD God will provide for them.


VERSE 22. But every woman shall ask of her neighbor, and of her who visits her house, jewels of silver, jewels of gold, and clothing. You shall put them on your sons, and on your daughters. You shall plunder the Egyptians.”

every woman shall ask. They will ask the Egyptians for things. And the Egyptians will respond favorably.

We are to commanded to ask! Read more »


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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.