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Dedication of the Firstborn
13Â Then theÂ LordÂ said to Moses,Â 2Â â€œDedicate to me every firstborn among the Israelites. The first offspring to be born, of both humans and animals, belongs to me.â€
3Â So Moses said to the people, â€œThis is a day to remember foreverâ€”the day you left Egypt, the place of your slavery. Today theÂ LordÂ has brought you out by the power of his mighty hand. (Remember, eat no food containing yeast.)Â 4Â On this day in early spring, in the month of Abib,Â you have been set free.Â 5Â You must celebrate this event in this month each year after theLordÂ brings you into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites, and Jebusites. (He swore to your ancestors that he would give you this landâ€”a land flowing with milk and honey.)Â 6Â For seven days the bread you eat must be made without yeast. Then on the seventh day, celebrate a feast to theÂ Lord.Â 7Â Eat bread without yeast during those seven days. In fact, there must be no yeast bread or any yeast at all found within the borders of your land during this time.
8Â â€œOn the seventh day you must explain to your children, â€˜I am celebrating what theÂ LordÂ did for me when I left Egypt.â€™Â 9Â This annual festival will be a visible sign to you, like a mark branded on your hand or your forehead. Let it remind you always to recite this teaching of theÂ Lord: â€˜With a strong hand, theÂ LordÂ rescued you from Egypt.â€™Â 10Â So observe the decree of this festival at the appointed time each year.
11Â â€œThis is what you must do when theÂ LordÂ fulfills the promise he swore to you and to your ancestors. When he gives you the land where the Canaanites now live,Â 12Â you must present all firstborn sons and firstborn male animals to theÂ Lord, for they belong to him.Â 13Â A firstborn donkey may be bought back from theÂ LordÂ by presenting a lamb or young goat in its place. But if you do not buy it back, you must break its neck. However, you must buy back every firstborn son.
14Â â€œAnd in the future, your children will ask you, â€˜What does all this mean?â€™ Then you will tell them, â€˜With the power of his mighty hand, theÂ LordÂ brought us out of Egypt, the place of our slavery.Â 15Â Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, so theLordÂ killed all the firstborn males throughout the land of Egypt, both people and animals. That is why I now sacrifice all the firstborn males to theÂ Lordâ€”except that the firstborn sons are always bought back.â€™Â 16Â This ceremony will be like a mark branded on your hand or your forehead. It is a reminder that the power of theÂ Lordâ€™s mighty hand brought us out of Egypt.â€
Israelâ€™s Wilderness Detour
17Â When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. God said, â€œIf the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.â€Â 18Â So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea.Â Thus the Israelites left Egypt like an army ready for battle.
19Â Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph had made the sons of Israel swear to do this. He said, â€œGod will certainly come to help you. When he does, you must take my bones with you from this place.â€
20Â The Israelites left Succoth and camped at Etham on the edge of the wilderness.Â 21Â TheÂ LordÂ went ahead of them. He guided them during the day with a pillar of cloud, and he provided light at night with a pillar of fire. This allowed them to travel by day or by night.Â 22Â And theÂ LordÂ did not remove the pillar of cloud or pillar of fire from its place in front of the people.
14Â Then theÂ LordÂ gave these instructions to Moses:Â 2Â â€œOrder the Israelites to turn back and camp by Pi-hahiroth between Migdol and the sea. Camp there along the shore, across from Baal-zephon.Â 3Â Then Pharaoh will think, â€˜The Israelites are confused. They are trapped in the wilderness!â€™Â 4Â And once again I will harden Pharaohâ€™s heart, and he will chase after you.Â I have planned this in order to display my glory through Pharaoh and his whole army. After this the Egyptians will know that I am theÂ Lord!â€ So the Israelites camped there as they were told.
The Egyptians Pursue Israel
5Â When word reached the king of Egypt that the Israelites had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds. â€œWhat have we done, letting all those Israelite slaves get away?â€ they asked.Â 6Â So Pharaoh harnessed his chariot and called up his troops.7Â He took with him 600 of Egyptâ€™s best chariots, along with the rest of the chariots of Egypt, each with its commander.Â 8Â TheLordÂ hardened the heart of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, so he chased after the people of Israel, who had left with fists raised in defiance.Â 9Â The Egyptians chased after them with all the forces in Pharaohâ€™s armyâ€”all his horses and chariots, his charioteers, and his troops. The Egyptians caught up with the people of Israel as they were camped beside the shore near Pi-hahiroth, across from Baal-zephon.
10Â As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up and panicked when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them. They cried out to theÂ Lord,Â 11Â and they said to Moses, â€œWhy did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Werenâ€™t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt?Â 12Â Didnâ€™t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, â€˜Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. Itâ€™s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!â€™â€
13Â But Moses told the people, â€œDonâ€™t be afraid. Just stand still and watch theÂ LordÂ rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again.Â 14Â TheÂ LordÂ himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.â€
Escape through the Red Sea
15Â Then theÂ LordÂ said to Moses, â€œWhy are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!Â 16Â Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea. Divide the water so the Israelites can walk through the middle of the sea on dry ground.Â 17Â And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they will charge in after the Israelites. My great glory will be displayed through Pharaoh and his troops, his chariots, and his charioteers.Â 18Â When my glory is displayed through them, all Egypt will see my glory and know that I am theÂ Lord!â€
19Â Then the angel of God, who had been leading the people of Israel, moved to the rear of the camp. The pillar of cloud also moved from the front and stood behind them.Â 20Â The cloud settled between the Egyptian and Israelite camps. As darkness fell, the cloud turned to fire, lighting up the night. But the Egyptians and Israelites did not approach each other all night.
21Â Then Moses raised his hand over the sea, and theÂ LordÂ opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind. The wind blew all that night, turning the seabed into dry land.Â 22Â So the people of Israel walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on each side!
23Â Then the Egyptiansâ€”all of Pharaohâ€™s horses, chariots, and charioteersâ€”chased them into the middle of the sea.Â 24Â But just before dawn theÂ LordÂ looked down on the Egyptian army from the pillar of fire and cloud, and he threw their forces into total confusion.Â 25Â He twistedÂ their chariot wheels, making their chariots difficult to drive. â€œLetâ€™s get out of hereâ€”away from these Israelites!â€ the Egyptians shouted. â€œTheÂ LordÂ is fighting for them against Egypt!â€
26Â When all the Israelites had reached the other side, theÂ LordÂ said to Moses, â€œRaise your hand over the sea again. Then the waters will rush back and cover the Egyptians and their chariots and charioteers.â€Â 27Â So as the sun began to rise, Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the water rushed back into its usual place. The Egyptians tried to escape, but theÂ Lordswept them into the sea.Â 28Â Then the waters returned and covered all the chariots and charioteersâ€”the entire army of Pharaoh. Of all the Egyptians who had chased the Israelites into the sea, not a single one survived.
29Â But the people of Israel had walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, as the water stood up like a wall on both sides.Â 30Â That is how theÂ LordÂ rescued Israel from the hand of the Egyptians that day. And the Israelites saw the bodies of the Egyptians washed up on the seashore.Â 31Â When the people of Israel saw the mighty power that theÂ LordÂ had unleashed against the Egyptians, they were filled with awe before him. They put their faith in theÂ LordÂ and in his servant Moses.
A Song of Deliverance
15Â Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to theÂ Lord:
â€œI will sing to theÂ Lord,
6Â â€œYour right hand, OÂ Lord,
9Â â€œThe enemy boasted, â€˜I will chase them
11Â â€œWho is like you among the gods, OÂ Lordâ€”
13Â â€œWith your unfailing love you lead
19Â When Pharaohâ€™s horses, chariots, and charioteers rushed into the sea, theÂ LordÂ brought the water crashing down on them. But the people of Israel had walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground!
20Â Then Miriam the prophet, Aaronâ€™s sister, took a tambourine and led all the women as they played their tambourines and danced.Â 21Â And Miriam sang this song:
â€œSing to theÂ Lord,
Bitter Water at Marah
22Â Then Moses led the people of Israel away from the Red Sea, and they moved out into the desert of Shur. They traveled in this desert for three days without finding any water.Â 23Â When they came to the oasis of Marah, the water was too bitter to drink. So they called the place Marah (which means â€œbitterâ€).
24Â Then the people complained and turned against Moses. â€œWhat are we going to drink?â€ they demanded.Â 25Â So Moses cried out to theÂ LordÂ for help, and theÂ LordÂ showed him a piece of wood. Moses threw it into the water, and this made the water good to drink.
It was there at Marah that theÂ LordÂ set before them the following decree as a standard to test their faithfulness to him.Â 26Â He said, â€œIf you will listen carefully to the voice of theÂ LordÂ your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am theÂ LordÂ who heals you.â€
27Â After leaving Marah, the Israelites traveled on to the oasis of Elim, where they found twelve springs and seventy palm trees. They camped there beside the water.
17Â Six days later Jesus took Peter and the two brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone.2Â As the men watched, Jesusâ€™ appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light.Â 3Â Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared and began talking with Jesus.
4Â Peter exclaimed, â€œLord, itâ€™s wonderful for us to be here! If you want, Iâ€™ll make three shelters as memorialsâ€”one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.â€
5Â But even as he spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, â€œThis is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him.â€Â 6Â The disciples were terrified and fell face down on the ground.
7Â Then Jesus came over and touched them.Â â€œGet up,â€Â he said.Â â€œDonâ€™t be afraid.â€Â 8Â And when they looked up, Moses and Elijah were gone, and they saw only Jesus.
9Â As they went back down the mountain, Jesus commanded them,Â â€œDonâ€™t tell anyone what you have seen until the Son of Manhas been raised from the dead.â€
10Â Then his disciples asked him, â€œWhy do the teachers of religious law insist that Elijah must return before the Messiah comes?â€
11Â Jesus replied,Â â€œElijah is indeed coming first to get everything ready.Â 12Â But I tell you, Elijah has already come, but he wasnâ€™t recognized, and they chose to abuse him. And in the same way they will also make the Son of Man suffer.â€Â 13Â Then the disciples realized he was talking about John the Baptist.
Jesus Heals a Demon-Possessed Boy
14Â At the foot of the mountain, a large crowd was waiting for them. A man came and knelt before Jesus and said,Â 15Â â€œLord, have mercy on my son. He has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire or into the water.Â 16Â So I brought him to your disciples, but they couldnâ€™t heal him.â€
17Â Jesus said,Â â€œYou faithless and corrupt people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.â€Â 18Â Then Jesus rebuked the demon in the boy, and it left him. From that moment the boy was well.
19Â Afterward the disciples asked Jesus privately, â€œWhy couldnâ€™t we cast out that demon?â€
20Â â€œYou donâ€™t have enough faith,â€Â Jesus told them.Â â€œI tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, â€˜Move from here to there,â€™ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.â€
Jesus Again Predicts His Death
22Â After they gathered again in Galilee, Jesus told them,Â â€œThe Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies.Â 23Â He will be killed, but on the third day he will be raised from the dead.â€Â And the disciples were filled with grief.
Payment of the Temple Tax
24Â On their arrival in Capernaum, the collectors of the Temple taxÂ came to Peter and asked him, â€œDoesnâ€™t your teacher pay the Temple tax?â€
25Â â€œYes, he does,â€ Peter replied. Then he went into the house.
But before he had a chance to speak, Jesus asked him,Â â€œWhat do you think, Peter?Â Do kings tax their own people or the people they have conquered?â€
26Â â€œThey tax the people they have conquered,â€ Peter replied.
â€œWell, then,â€Â Jesus said,Â â€œthe citizens are free!Â 27Â However, we donâ€™t want to offend them, so go down to the lake and throw in a line. Open the mouth of the first fish you catch, and you will find a large silver coin.Â Take it and pay the tax for both of us.â€