Exodus 4_18 Moshe’s Return Trip

Moshe’s Return Trip

 

Background and Printed Text: Exodus 4:18-31

 

Exodus 4:18 And Draw [Moshe] walked. And he returned unto Excess [Jethro] his father-in-law. And he said to him, “I will walk, na. And I have returned unto my brethren who are in Egypt. And I have seen: Are they yet alive?” And Excess [Jethro] said to Draw [Moshe], “Walk to peace.”

 

19And Yehovah said unto Draw [Moshe] in Contention [Midian], “Walk. Return Egypt. For all the men seeking thy being died.” 20And Draw [Moshe] took his woman and his sons. And he rode them upon the ass. And he returned landward Egypt. And Draw [Moshe] took the rod of the Gods in his hand.

 

21And Yehovah said unto Draw [Moshe], “See all the wonders that I have put into thy hand during thy walking to return Egyptward. And do them to the faces of Pharaoh. And I, I will grasp his heart. And he shall not send the people.22And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, ‘Yehovah said Thus: “Israel is my son—my firstborn! 23And I said unto thee, ‘Send my son! And he will serve me!’ And thou refused to send him! Behold, I am slaying thy son thy firstborn!”’”

 

24And he was in the way, in the inn. And Yehovah met him. And He sought to kill him. 25And Ladybird [Zipporah] took a stone. And she cut the foreskin of her son. And she struck to his feet. And she said, “For thou art to me a sealed-one- of bloods -by-marriage!” 26And He desisted from him. Then she said, “A sealed-one- of bloods -by-marriage to circumcise!”

 

27And Yehovah said to Oy!-Conception! [Aharon], “Walk desertward to meet Draw [Moshe].” And he walked. And he met him in The Mountain of the Gods. And he kissed him. 28And Draw [Moshe] told to Oy!-Conception! [Aharon] all the speeches of Yehovah Who sent him and all the signs that He commanded him.

 

29And Draw [Moshe] Walked, and Oy!-Conception! [Aharon]. And they gathered all the elders of the children of Israel.30And Oy!-Conception! [Aharon] spoke all the speeches that Yehovah spoke unto Draw [Moshe]. And he did the signs to the eyes of the people [sing.]. 31And the people [sing.] believed [sing.]. And they hearkened because Yehovah visited the children of Israel and because He saw their humiliation. And they bowed. And they worshipped.

 

 

 

I. Moshe Leaves (verse 18)

 

Moshe walked and returned to Jethro his father-in-law. He told him that he will walk and return to his brethren who are in Egypt. He wanted to see for himself: are they still alive? Jethro told Moshe to walk in peace.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1. Why does the text need to say that Moshe walked? Isn’t that obvious?

 

2. Why didn’t Moshe tell Jethro about his conversation with Yehovah at this time, but instead made up the story about seeing whether his brethren were still alive?

 

3. What did Jethro mean by “Walk to peace”?

 

 

 

II. The Green Light (verses 19-20)

 

Moshe was now in Midian. Yehovah spoke to him: “Walk. Return Egypt. For all the men seeking thy being died.” Moshe took his woman (his wife) and his sons. He rode them upon the ass. He returned to the land of Egypt. Moshe also took the rod of the Gods in his hand!

 

 

 

Questions

 

1. Moshe already decided to go to Egypt. Why did Yehovah again tell him to Walk and to return [to] Egypt?

 

2. What were the men seeking who were seeking Moshe’s being?

 

3. Who had been seeking Moshe’s being?

 

4. Why did Moshe take his wife and sons? Wouldn’t they be in the way?

 

5. Did Moshe also ride on an ass?

 

6. What does “he returned landward Egypt” mean?

 

7. Why is that rod called the rod of the Gods?

 

 

 

III. Specific Commands (verses 21-23)

 

Yehovah again spoke to Moshe: “See all the wonders that I have put into thy hand during thy walking to return Egyptward.” He then commanded him, “And do them to the faces of Pharaoh.” Yehovah then promised, “And I, I will grasp his heart. And he shall not send the people.” In the meantime, Yehovah told Moshe to tell Pharaoh, “Yehovah said Thus: ‘Israel is my son my firstborn!’” This is why Yehovah was telling Pharaoh to send Israel out.

 

Yehovah continued, “And I said unto thee, ‘Send my son! And he will serve me!’ And thou refused to send him!”

 

Yehovah then threatened Pharaoh: “Behold, I am slaying thy son thy firstborn!”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1. What was Yehovah commanding Moshe when He said, “See all the wonders that I have put into thy hand during thy walking to return Egyptward”?

 

2. Yehovah then commanded, “And do them to the faces of Pharaoh.” What was different about this command?

 

3. What does “I will grasp his heart” mean?

 

4. What will be the result if Yehovah grasps the king’s mind?

 

5. Why would Yehovah aid Pharaoh to not send the people? Isn’t that the opposite of what Yehovah desires to do?

 

6. Yehovah said, “And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh…” How would Moshe get to see Pharaoh?

 

7. Yehovah told Moshe to tell Pharaoh, “Israel is my son—my firstborn!” What does that mean, in what way is that true, and why is that so important?

 

8. Yehovah told Moshe to tell Pharaoh, “And I said unto thee, ‘Send my son! And he will serve me!’ And thou refused to send him! Behold, I am slaying thy son thy firstborn!” Why did Yehovah tell Pharaoh that right up front?

 

 

 

IV. Moshe Is Nearly Killed (verses 24-26)

 

Moshe was en route—he was already on the road. He had come to an inn to spend at least one night.

 

Yehovah met him. Yehovah sought Moshe to kill Moshe. His woman Ladybird took a stone, and she cut the foreskin of her son. She then struck the foreskin to his feet—that is, she threw it to his feet to strike his feet. She said, “For thou art to me a sealed-one- of bloods -by-marriage!”

 

Yehovah desisted—that is, He ceased (from seeking to kill him).

 

Zipporah had more to say: “A sealed-one- of bloods -by-marriage to circumcise!”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1. What does “in the way” mean?

 

2. The text states, “And Yehovah met him. And He sought to kill him.” Doesn’t that conflict with Yehovah’s assigning him to go to Egypt?

 

3. The text then states, “And Zipporah took a stone. And she cut the foreskin of her son.” What was she doing, and why was she doing this?

 

4. What does “she struck to his feet” mean, and why did she do that?

 

5. What did she mean by, “thou art to me a sealed-one- of bloods -by-marriage”?

 

6. What does “He desisted from him” mean?

 

7. Zipporah continued to speak after Yehovah left. She then said, “A sealed-one- of bloods -by-marriage to circumcise!” What did she mean?

 

 

 

V. Moshe and Aaron (verses 27-28)

 

Yehovah next spoke to Aharon: “Walk desertward to meet Moshe.” Moshe did as he was told. He walked, and he met him in the Mountain of the Gods. Moshe kissed Aharon and vice versa.

 

Moshe told Aharon all the speeches of Yehovah Who sent him, and he also told all the signs that He commanded him.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1. Since there were deserts all around, how did Aharon know which way is desertward? How could he possibly just happen to run into Moshe?

 

2. What is this Mountain of the Gods?

 

3. Who kissed whom (verse 27)?

 

4. Moshe told Aharon all about the speeches of Yehovah and the signs. Why did Aharon believe Moshe?

 

5. Who sent Moshe, according to this text?

 

 

 

VI. Signs (verses 29-31)

 

Moshe and Aharon walked together. They did gather all the elders of the children of Israel. Aharon did the speaking, telling what Yehovah said to Moshe.

 

Moshe then did the signs directly in the eyes of the people. The people believed! They hearkened because Yehovah visited the children of Israel; they hearkened because Yehovah saw their humiliation. They then bowed, and they prostrated.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1. If Aharon was a slave, how was he able to just walk into and out of Egypt?

 

2. How did they gather all the elders of the children of Israel?

 

3. Who did the speaking to the elders?

 

4. Who did the signs (to the eyes of the people)?

 

5. What does “to the eyes of the people” mean?

 

6. Why is people singular instead of plural?

 

7. The text states, “the people believed.” Is that good?

 

8. Why did the Israeli elders hearken to Aharon and Moshe?

 

9. What does visited mean in, “they hearkened because Yehovah visited the children of Israel”?

 

10. To whom did they bow?

 

11. What does “they worshipped” mean?

 

 

 

 

 

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