Exodus 4 (Shemot) Summary
Exodus 4 (Shemot) in this narrative Moses provides three excuses to YHVH. YHVH responses with answers. Moses requests Jethro to allow him to return to Egypt. YHVH speaks twice more. Moses is traveling to Egypt armed with the knowledge Israel is YHVH firstborn son and YHVH will take Pharaoh’s firstborn. Zipporah keeps YHVH from killing Moses. Moses meets Aaron and speaks with the elders of Israel. This chapter ends with them worshipping God.
Exodus 4 (Shemot) Outline
Exodus 4 (Shemot) can be navigated in three possible ways. (1) Jewish tradition of daily reading called Torah Portions, (2) Literary Layout*, and (3) theme-based verses. The Scroll Spaces** can be seen in the Hebrew text.
NOTE: *Literary Layout is based off Umberto Cassuto ** See Explainer Videos
Exodus 4 (Shemot) English Verses
Parsha Shemot #13
~ Names ~
→ Moses doubts and how they were resolved.
1 And Moses answered and said: ‘But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice; for they will say: The lord hath not appeared unto thee.’
2 And the LORD said unto him: ‘What is that in thy hand?’ And he said: ‘A rod.’
3 And He said: ‘Cast it on the ground.’ And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it.
4 And the LORD said unto Moses: ‘Put forth thy hand, and take it by the tail – and he put forth his hand, and laid hold of it, and it became a rod in his hand –
5 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, hath appeared unto thee.’
6 And the LORD said furthermore unto him: ‘Put now thy hand into thy bosom.’ And he put his hand into his bosom; and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, as white as snow.
7 And He said: ‘Put thy hand back into thy bosom. – And he put his hand back into his bosom; and when he took it out of his bosom, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh. –
8 And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign.
9 And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe even these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land; and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land.’
10 And Moses said unto the LORD: ‘Oh Lord, I am not a man of words, neither heretofore, nor since Thou hast spoken unto Thy servant; for I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.’
11 And the LORD said unto him: ‘Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh a man dumb, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? is it not I the LORD?
12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt speak.’
13 And he said: ‘Oh Lord, send, I pray Thee, by the hand of him whom Thou wilt send.’
14 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and He said: ‘Is there not Aaron thy brother the Levite? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee; and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart.
15 And thou shalt speak unto him, and put the words in his mouth; and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.
16 And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people; and it shall come to pass, that he shall be to thee a mouth, and thou shalt be to him in God’s stead.
17 And thou shalt take in thy hand this rod, wherewith thou shalt do the signs.’
→ Moses Journey
18 And Moses went and returned to Jethro his father-in-law, and said unto him: ‘Let me go, I pray thee, and return unto my brethren that are in Egypt, and see whether they be yet alive.’ And Jethro said to Moses: ‘Go in peace.’
19 And the LORD said unto Moses in Midian: ‘Go, return into Egypt; for all the men are dead that sought thy life.’
20 And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt; and Moses took the rod of God in his hand.
21 And the LORD said unto Moses: ‘When thou goest back into Egypt, see that thou do before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in thy hand; but I will harden his heart, and he will not let the people go.
22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh: Thus saith the LORD: Israel is My son, My first-born.
23 And I have said unto thee: Let My son go, that he may serve Me; and thou hast refused to let him go. Behold, I will slay thy son, thy first-born.’ –
→ The encounter at the lodging place
24 And it came to pass on the way at the lodging-place, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him.
25 Then Zipporah took a flint, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet; and she said: ‘Surely a bridegroom of blood art thou to me.’
26 So He let him alone. Then she said: ‘A bridegroom of blood in regard of the circumcision.’
→ Moses and Aaron before the elders of Israel
27 And the LORD said to Aaron: ‘Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.’ And he went, and met him in the mountain of God, and kissed him.
28 And Moses told Aaron all the words of the LORD wherewith He had sent him, and all the signs wherewith He had charged him.
29 And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel.
30 And Aaron spoke all the words which the LORD had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people.
31 And the people believed; and when they heard that the LORD had remembered the children of Israel, and that He had seen their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.
Exodus 4 (Shemot) English Verses
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שמות ג 3
Exodus 4 (Shemot) שמות Hebrew Verses
Exdous 4 (Shemot) Hebrew Reading
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שמות יג 13
א וַיַּ֤עַן מֹשֶׁה֙ וַיֹּ֔אמֶר וְהֵן֙ לֹא־יַֽאֲמִ֣ינוּ לִ֔י וְלֹ֥א יִשְׁמְע֖וּ בְּקֹלִ֑י כִּ֣י יֹֽאמְר֔וּ לֹֽא־נִרְאָ֥ה אֵלֶ֖יךָ יְהוָֹֽה: ב וַיֹּ֧אמֶר אֵלָ֛יו יְהוָֹ֖ה מַזֶּ֣ה [מַה־זֶּ֣ה] בְיָדֶ֑ךָ וַיֹּ֖אמֶר מַטֶּֽה: ג וַיֹּ֨אמֶר֙ הַשְׁלִיכֵ֣הוּ אַ֔רְצָה וַיַּשְׁלִכֵ֥הוּ אַ֖רְצָה וַיְהִ֣י לְנָחָ֑שׁ וַיָּ֥נָס מֹשֶׁ֖ה מִפָּנָֽיו: ד וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָֹה֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה שְׁלַח֙ יָֽדְךָ֔ וֶֽאֱחֹ֖ז בִּזְנָב֑וֹ וַיִּשְׁלַ֤ח יָדוֹ֙ וַיַּֽחֲזֶק־בּ֔וֹ וַיְהִ֥י לְמַטֶּ֖ה בְּכַפּֽוֹ: ה לְמַ֣עַן יַֽאֲמִ֔ינוּ כִּֽי־נִרְאָ֥ה אֵלֶ֛יךָ יְהוָֹ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֣י אֲבֹתָ֑ם אֱלֹהֵ֧י אַבְרָהָ֛ם אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִצְחָ֖ק וֵֽאלֹהֵ֥י יַֽעֲקֹֽב: ו וַיֹּ֩אמֶר֩ יְהֹוָ֨ה ל֜וֹ ע֗וֹד הָֽבֵא־נָ֤א יָֽדְךָ֙ בְּחֵיקֶ֔ךָ וַיָּבֵ֥א יָד֖וֹ בְּחֵיק֑וֹ וַיּ֣וֹצִאָ֔הּ וְהִנֵּ֥ה יָד֖וֹ מְצֹרַ֥עַת כַּשָּֽׁלֶג: ז וַיֹּ֗אמֶר הָשֵׁ֤ב יָֽדְךָ֙ אֶל־חֵיקֶ֔ךָ וַיָּ֥שֶׁב יָד֖וֹ אֶל־חֵיק֑וֹ וַיּֽוֹצִאָהּ֙ מֵֽחֵיק֔וֹ וְהִנֵּה־שָׁ֖בָה כִּבְשָׂרֽוֹ: ח וְהָיָה֙ אִם־לֹ֣א יַֽאֲמִ֣ינוּ לָ֔ךְ וְלֹ֣א יִשְׁמְע֔וּ לְקֹ֖ל הָאֹ֣ת הָֽרִאשׁ֑וֹן וְהֶֽאֱמִ֔ינוּ לְקֹ֖ל הָאֹ֥ת הָאַֽחֲרֽוֹן: ט וְהָיָ֡ה אִם־לֹ֣א יַֽאֲמִ֡ינוּ גַּם֩ לִשְׁנֵ֨י הָֽאֹת֜וֹת הָאֵ֗לֶּה וְלֹ֤א יִשְׁמְעוּן֙ לְקֹלֶ֔ךָ וְלָֽקַחְתָּ֙ מִמֵּימֵ֣י הַיְאֹ֔ר וְשָֽׁפַכְתָּ֖ הַיַּבָּשָׁ֑ה וְהָי֤וּ הַמַּ֨יִם֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר תִּקַּ֣ח מִן־הַיְאֹ֔ר וְהָי֥וּ לְדָ֖ם בַּיַּבָּֽשֶׁת: י וַיֹּ֨אמֶר מֹשֶׁ֣ה אֶל־יְהֹוָה֘ בִּ֣י אֲדֹנָי֒ לֹא֩ אִ֨ישׁ דְּבָרִ֜ים אָנֹ֗כִי גַּ֤ם מִתְּמוֹל֙ גַּ֣ם מִשִּׁלְשֹׁ֔ם גַּ֛ם מֵאָ֥ז דַּבֶּרְךָ֖ אֶל־עַבְדֶּ֑ךָ כִּ֧י כְבַד־פֶּ֛ה וּכְבַ֥ד לָשׁ֖וֹן אָנֹֽכִי: יא וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהֹוָ֜ה אֵלָ֗יו מִ֣י שָׂ֣ם פֶּה֘ לָֽאָדָם֒ א֚וֹ מִֽי־יָשׂ֣וּם אִלֵּ֔ם א֣וֹ חֵרֵ֔שׁ א֥וֹ פִקֵּ֖חַ א֣וֹ עִוֵּ֑ר הֲלֹ֥א אָֽנֹכִ֖י יְהוָֹֽה: יב וְעַתָּ֖ה לֵ֑ךְ וְאָֽנֹכִי֙ אֶהְיֶ֣ה עִם־פִּ֔יךָ וְהֽוֹרֵיתִ֖יךָ אֲשֶׁ֥ר תְּדַבֵּֽר: יג וַיֹּ֖אמֶר בִּ֣י אֲדֹנָ֑י שְׁלַח־נָ֖א בְּיַד־תִּשְׁלָֽח: יד וַיִּֽחַר־אַ֨ף יְהֹוָ֜ה בְּמֹשֶׁ֗ה וַיֹּ֨אמֶר֙ הֲלֹ֨א אַֽהֲרֹ֤ן אָחִ֨יךָ֙ הַלֵּוִ֔י יָדַ֕עְתִּי כִּֽי־דַבֵּ֥ר יְדַבֵּ֖ר ה֑וּא וְגַ֤ם הִנֵּה־הוּא֙ יֹצֵ֣א לִקְרָאתֶ֔ךָ וְרָֽאֲךָ֖ וְשָׂמַ֥ח בְּלִבּֽוֹ: טו וְדִבַּרְתָּ֣ אֵלָ֔יו וְשַׂמְתָּ֥ אֶת־הַדְּבָרִ֖ים בְּפִ֑יו וְאָֽנֹכִ֗י אֶהְיֶ֤ה עִם־פִּ֨יךָ֙ וְעִם־פִּ֔יהוּ וְהֽוֹרֵיתִ֣י אֶתְכֶ֔ם אֵ֖ת אֲשֶׁ֥ר תַּֽעֲשֽׂוּן: טז וְדִבֶּר־ה֥וּא לְךָ֖ אֶל־הָעָ֑ם וְהָ֤יָה הוּא֙ יִֽהְיֶה־לְּךָ֣ לְפֶ֔ה וְאַתָּ֖ה תִּֽהְיֶה־לּ֥וֹ לֵֽאלֹהִֽים: יז וְאֶת־הַמַּטֶּ֥ה הַזֶּ֖ה תִּקַּ֣ח בְּיָדֶ֑ךָ אֲשֶׁ֥ר תַּֽעֲשֶׂה־בּ֖וֹ אֶת־הָֽאֹתֹֽת: פ [ששי] יח וַיֵּ֨לֶךְ מֹשֶׁ֜ה וַיָּ֣שָׁב ׀ אֶל־יֶ֣תֶר חֹֽתְנ֗וֹ וַיֹּ֤אמֶר לוֹ֙ אֵֽלְכָה־נָּ֗א וְאָשׁ֨וּבָה֙ אֶל־אַחַ֣י אֲשֶׁר־בְּמִצְרַ֔יִם וְאֶרְאֶ֖ה הַֽעוֹדָ֣ם חַיִּ֑ים וַיֹּ֧אמֶר יִתְר֛וֹ לְמֹשֶׁ֖ה לֵ֥ךְ לְשָׁלֽוֹם: יט וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהוָֹ֤ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה֙ בְּמִדְיָ֔ן לֵ֖ךְ שֻׁ֣ב מִצְרָ֑יִם כִּי־מֵ֨תוּ֙ כָּל־הָ֣אֲנָשִׁ֔ים הַֽמְבַקְשִׁ֖ים אֶת־נַפְשֶֽׁךָ: כ וַיִּקַּ֨ח מֹשֶׁ֜ה אֶת־אִשְׁתּ֣וֹ וְאֶת־בָּנָ֗יו וַיַּרְכִּבֵם֙ עַֽל־הַֽחֲמֹ֔ר וַיָּ֖שָׁב אַ֣רְצָה מִצְרָ֑יִם וַיִּקַּ֥ח מֹשֶׁ֛ה אֶת־מַטֵּ֥ה הָֽאֱלֹהִ֖ים בְּיָדֽוֹ: כא וַיֹּ֣אמֶר יְהֹוָה֘ אֶל־מֹשֶׁה֒ בְּלֶכְתְּךָ֙ לָשׁ֣וּב מִצְרַ֔יְמָה רְאֵ֗ה כָּל־הַמֹּֽפְתִים֙ אֲשֶׁר־שַׂ֣מְתִּי בְיָדֶ֔ךָ וַֽעֲשִׂיתָ֖ם לִפְנֵ֣י פַרְעֹ֑ה וַֽאֲנִי֙ אֲחַזֵּ֣ק אֶת־לִבּ֔וֹ וְלֹ֥א יְשַׁלַּ֖ח אֶת־הָעָֽם: כב וְאָֽמַרְתָּ֖ אֶל־פַּרְעֹ֑ה כֹּ֚ה אָמַ֣ר יְהֹוָ֔ה בְּנִ֥י בְכֹרִ֖י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל: כג וָֽאֹמַ֣ר אֵלֶ֗יךָ שַׁלַּ֤ח אֶת־בְּנִי֙ וְיַ֣עַבְדֵ֔נִי וַתְּמָאֵ֖ן לְשַׁלְּח֑וֹ הִנֵּה֙ אָֽנֹכִ֣י הֹרֵ֔ג אֶת־בִּנְךָ֖ בְּכֹרֶֽךָ: כד וַיְהִ֥י בַדֶּ֖רֶךְ בַּמָּל֑וֹן וַיִּפְגְּשֵׁ֣הוּ יְהֹוָ֔ה וַיְבַקֵּ֖שׁ הֲמִיתֽוֹ: כה וַתִּקַּ֨ח צִפֹּרָ֜ה צֹ֗ר וַתִּכְרֹת֙ אֶת־עָרְלַ֣ת בְּנָ֔הּ וַתַּגַּ֖ע לְרַגְלָ֑יו וַתֹּ֕אמֶר כִּ֧י חֲתַן־דָּמִ֛ים אַתָּ֖ה לִֽי: כו וַיִּ֖רֶף מִמֶּ֑נּוּ אָ֚ז אָֽמְרָ֔ה חֲתַ֥ן דָּמִ֖ים לַמּוּלֹֽת: פ כז וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָֹה֙ אֶֽל־אַֽהֲרֹ֔ן לֵ֛ךְ לִקְרַ֥את מֹשֶׁ֖ה הַמִּדְבָּ֑רָה וַיֵּ֗לֶךְ וַֽיִּפְגְּשֵׁ֛הוּ בְּהַ֥ר הָֽאֱלֹהִ֖ים וַיִּשַּׁק־לֽוֹ: כח וַיַּגֵּ֤ד מֹשֶׁה֙ לְאַ֣הֲרֹ֔ן אֵ֛ת כָּל־דִּבְרֵ֥י יְהוָֹ֖ה אֲשֶׁ֣ר שְׁלָח֑וֹ וְאֵ֥ת כָּל־הָֽאֹתֹ֖ת אֲשֶׁ֥ר צִוָּֽהוּ: כט וַיֵּ֥לֶךְ מֹשֶׁ֖ה וְאַֽהֲרֹ֑ן וַיַּ֣אַסְפ֔וּ אֶת־כָּל־זִקְנֵ֖י בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל: ל וַיְדַבֵּ֣ר אַֽהֲרֹ֔ן אֵ֚ת כָּל־הַדְּבָרִ֔ים אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּ֥ר יְהוָֹ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֑ה וַיַּ֥עַשׂ הָֽאֹתֹ֖ת לְעֵינֵ֥י הָעָֽם: לא וַֽיַּֽאֲמֵ֖ן הָעָ֑ם וַֽיִּשְׁמְע֡וּ כִּֽי־פָקַ֨ד יְהֹוָ֜ה אֶת־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל וְכִ֤י רָאָה֙ אֶת־עָנְיָ֔ם וַֽיִּקְּד֖וּ וַיִּֽשְׁתַּֽחֲוֽוּ:
שמות ג 3
Exodus 4 (Shemot) שמות Interlinear Verses
א וַיַּ֤עַן מֹשֶׁה֙ וַיֹּ֔אמֶר וְהֵן֙ לֹא־יַֽאֲמִ֣ינוּ לִ֔י וְלֹ֥א יִשְׁמְע֖וּ בְּקֹלִ֑י כִּ֣י יֹֽאמְר֔וּ לֹֽא־נִרְאָ֥ה אֵלֶ֖יךָ יְהוָֹֽה
Exodus (Shemot) Chapters
- The Schocken Bible: Volume 1, The Five Books of Moses | Schocken Books | Everett Fox – My Hebrew teacher, Yoel HaLevi, has stated this is the best English translation he has heard.
- The Steinsaltz Humash | Koren Publishers | Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz – The Late Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz was renowned for his Koren Talmud. He has been called the modern Rashi.
- The Pentateuch & Haftorahs | The Soncino Press | Dr. J.H. Hertz – The Late Chief Rabbi of the British Empire was renowned for his writings and teachings. Many consider this a must have for any personal library. In the Preface Dr. Hertz calls this “a People’s Commentary”.
- The Living Torah | Maznaim Publishing | Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan – Rabbi Kaplan is well known for working with texts from Kabbalah. In the Translator’s Introduction he writes, “It (this book) is meant to be a book that can be given to a boy on the day of his Bar Mitzvah, and yet remain the subject of lifelong study.”
- A Commentary on the Book of Exodus | Varda Books | Umberto Cassuto – Professor Umberto Cassuto’s last publish text on Exodus. Listen to WSB eposide 002 for more information about the greatest scholar of the 20th Century.
- Covenant & Conversation Commentary | Schocken Books | Rabbi Jonathan Sacks – The Late Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks’ last published commentary on the Torah.
- Exploring Exodus: The Origins of Biblical Israel | Schocken Books | Nahum M. Sarna – Nahum M. Sarna is a modern scholar using current study methods to expound the Scriptures. This accessible series and the semi-scholarly JPS are his best-known writings.
- The Parsha with Rabbi Juravel: Sefer Shemos | MC Publications | Rabbi M. Feinzeig – Rabbi Juravel is well-known for his teachings for children. This series were created from his famous children’s teachings. In my opinion, everyone new to Jewish studies should start their studies here.
- The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon | Hendrickson Pub. | Francis Brown – One of the most used Hebrew and English Lexicons among serious Bible students.
According to the Masoretic Text
The Jewish Publication Society translation
 – Public Domain