Exodus chapter 4

The LORD gives Moses three miraculous signs. Moses goes on his mission to Egypt.





VERSE 1. Moses answered, “But, behold, they will not believe me, nor listen to my voice; for they will say, ‘The LORD has not appeared to you.’ ”

The LORD has not appeared to you. This is a legitimate concern.

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


VERSE 2. The LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A rod.”


VERSE 3. He said, “Throw it on the ground.” He threw it on the ground, and it became a snake; and Moses ran away from it.

it became a snake. This is the first miraculous sign the LORD gave Moses.


VERSE 4. The LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand, and take it by the tail.” He stretched out his hand, and took hold of it, and it became a rod in his hand.

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


VERSE 5. “This is so that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.”


VERSE 6. The LORD said furthermore to him, “Now put your hand inside your cloak.” He put his hand inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, as white as snow.

his hand was leprous. This is the second miraculous sign the LORD gave Moses.


VERSE 7. He said, “Put your hand inside your cloak again.” He put his hand inside his cloak again, and when he took it out of his cloak, behold, it had turned again as his other flesh.


VERSE 8. “It will happen, if they will not believe you or listen to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign.


VERSE 9. It will happen, if they will not believe even these two signs or listen to your voice, that you shall take of the water of the river, and pour it on the dry land. The water which you take out of the river will become blood on the dry land.”

water … will become blood. This is the third miraculous sign the LORD gave Moses.


VERSE 10. Moses said to the LORD, “O Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before now, nor since you have spoken to your servant; for I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.”

Lord. The Hebrew word is “Adonai.”

I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. It might seem that Moses is resisting God’s calling on his life.

However, those things were actually true. Moses knew he would not be an effective leader, due to his speech problems.


VERSE 11. The LORD said to him, “Who made man’s mouth? Or who makes one mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Isn’t it I, the LORD?


VERSE 12. Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth, and teach you what you shall speak.”

This verse is fantastic! Would you consider memorizing it? More great verses to memorize from the Book of Exodus and from the entire Bible.

I will be with your mouth. Moses was timid in speech and shy. But God was going to make up for this.

All that Moses needed to do was go. After that, God would help him speak and teach him what to say.

A chain of causality is implied in this verse:

  1. Moses must step out in faith and “go”
  2. Then God will make up for his shortcomings

God does not seem to make up for our shortcomings prior to our “going.” That way, whatever we do is done by faith.

Romans 1:17. For in it is revealed God’s righteousness from faith to faith. As it is written, “But the righteous shall live by faith.”

2 Corinthians 5:7. for we walk by faith, not by sight.

In our day, we Christians are called to go evangelize the world. For that great calling, many of us feel timid and shy.

But God can make up for it. All we need to do is go. We can rely on God to help us speak and teach us what to say.


VERSE 13. Moses said, “Oh, Lord, please send someone else.”

please send someone else. Moses is still resisting his calling by God.

Previously, his objection was that he was not good at talking. Now he just wants God to select somebody else.


VERSE 14. The LORD’s anger burned against Moses, and he said, “What about Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Also, behold, he is coming out to meet you. When he sees you, he will be glad in his heart.


VERSE 15. You shall speak to him, and put the words in his mouth. I will be with your mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what you shall do.


VERSE 16. He will be your spokesman to the people. It will happen that he will be to you a mouth, and you will be to him as God.

you will be to him as God. Just as the LORD God supplies the ideas and the prophet speaks them, so too Moses will supply the ideas and Aaron will speak them.

LORD God Prophet
Moses Aaron


VERSE 17. You shall take this rod in your hand, with which you shall do the signs.”




VERSE 18. Moses went and returned to Jethro his father-in-law, and said to him, “Please let me go and return to my brothers who are in Egypt, and see whether they are still alive.” Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.”


VERSE 19. The LORD said to Moses in Midian, “Go, return into Egypt; for all the men who sought your life are dead.”


VERSE 20. Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them on a donkey, and he returned to the land of Egypt. Moses took God’s rod in his hand.


VERSE 21. The LORD said to Moses, “When you go back into Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your hand, but I will harden his heart and he will not let the people go.


VERSE 22. You shall tell Pharaoh, ‘The LORD says, Israel is my son, my firstborn,


VERSE 23. and I have said to you, “Let my son go, that he may serve me;” and you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your firstborn son.’ ”


VERSE 24. On the way at a lodging place, the LORD met Moses and wanted to kill him.

the LORD met Moses and wanted to kill him. This is very strange!

Presumably God is angry with Moses for not having kept the command given in Genesis chapter 17:

Genesis 17:10. This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you. Every male among you shall be circumcised.

The life of Moses is spared when his wife Zipporah quickly circumcised their son, as we see in the next verse:


VERSE 25. Then Zipporah took a flint, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet; and she said, “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me.”

cut off the foreskin of her son. By this quick action, Zipporah saves the life of Moses AND her son.

feet. The Hebrew word is רָ֫גֶל (“regel”). Here, it might be a euphemism for the the genitals of Moses.


VERSE 26. So he let him alone. Then she said, “You are a bridegroom of blood,” because of the circumcision.


VERSE 27. The LORD said to Aaron, “Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.” He went, and met him on God’s mountain, and kissed him.


VERSE 28. Moses told Aaron all the LORD’s words with which he had sent him, and all the signs with which he had instructed him.


VERSE 29. Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel.


VERSE 30. Aaron spoke all the words which the LORD had spoken to Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people.


VERSE 31. The people believed, and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel, and that he had seen their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped.


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RESOURCES: Summary, Outline, Memorize, Pharaoh’s Heart, Moses’ fast

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.