Copyrighted by Victor Alexander ©2003 (posted August 8, 2003)
1. And these are the names of the sons of Israel that entered Egypt with Jacob, each man and his household that entered.
2.Reuel, Simon, Levi, Judah,
3. Issachar, Zebulun, Benjamin,
4. Dan, Naphtali, Gad and Asher.
5. And all the souls that were born* to Jacob were seventy, while Joseph was in Egypt.
6. And Joseph died, all his brothers, and that entire generation.*
7. And the children of Israel grew, procreated and multiplied, and they thrived very well and the land was filled with them.
8. And there rose a new king over Egypt, who did not know who was Joseph,
9. And he said to his people, "Behold, this nation, the Israelites,* they are more than us and thriving better than us.
10. "Let us take their women as wives* until there is more of us, lest not there be war and they join our haters* also and fight against us and wipe us off the land."
11. So the [Pharaoh] appointed evil governors over them, in order to enslave them through their professions, and they made them build towns, like prison cells,* for the Pharaoh, for Pithom and Ramses.
12. And no matter how they enslaved them, they still increased and thrived, and they were really bothered by the Children of Israel.*
13. And the Egyptians began to oppress the Children of Israel heavily.
14. And they embittered their lives with heavy labor, the mixing of of clay and the laying of bricks, and with every type of field work -- they made them perform every profession to its ultimate hardship.
15. And the king of Egypt commanded the midwives -- the name of the first one was Puah and the name of the other was Shiprah --
16. And he said to them, "As you conduct the birthing of the Hebrew women, look carefully when you kneel to deliver them; if they are males, kill them and if they are females, let them live."
17. And the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt had commanded, and they let the boys live.
18. And the king of Egypt called the midwives and told them, "Why did you make this decision and let the boys live?"
19. And the midwives said to the Pharaoh, "Unlike the Egyptian women, the Hebrew women are midwives themselves, and before we have even arrived they have already given birth to live children."
20. And God blessed the midwives for making this decision and the nation grew and thrived well.
21. And it came to pass that as the midwives showed fear of God, God made them into households.
22. And the Pharaoh commanded all the people, saying, "Every son that is born, drown him in the river, and every daughter, let her live."
*1:5 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: "Emerged from the back of."
*1:6 Lit. Ar. id.: "Century."
*1:9 Lit. Ar. id.: "Children of Israel."
*1:10.1 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: "Let us have sexual intercourse with them."
*1:10.2 Lit. Ar. idiom retained: "Enemies."
*1:11 Lit. Ar. id.: "Houses of cages." The word "Coptic" comes from this; i.e., "cage-builders."
*1:12 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: "It tightened on them from before the children of Israel."
1. And a man from the household of Levi went and consecrated for himself one of the daughters of Levi,
2. And she became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and she saw that he was beautiful and she hid him for three months.
3. And she could not hide him any longer, and she made him an ark from the wood of the papyrus and she glued the pieces together with tar and pitch, and she placed the boy in it and she placed him among the reeds by the edge of the river.
4. And his sister stood from afar to see what would happen to him.
5. And the Pharaoh's daughter went down to swim in the river and her maidens walked around the edge of the river, and she saw the ark among the reeds, and she sent her maidens and fetched it.
6. And she opened it and saw the boy, and behold, the boy cried, and she looked at him and said, "This one here is a Hebrew child."
7. And his sister said to the daughter of the Pharaoh, "Let me go and call you a nursing wife from the Hebrews, and they will breast feed this child for you here."
8. And the Pharaoh's daughter said, "Go."
9. And the young girl went and called the boy's mother, and the Pharaoh's daughter said, "Here, take this boy and give him milk and I will pay for your hire," and the wife placed the child on her breast and suckled him.*
10. And the boy grew and she brought him to the Pharaoh's daughter, and she kept the child and called his name Moses,* because she said, "I claimed him from the waters."
11. And Moses grew up in those days, and he went out to his brethren and he noticed their enslavement, and he saw an Egyptian man beating a Hebrew man, one of his brethren, one of the Children of Israel.
12. And he looked around* and saw no one, and he killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand.
13. And on the next day he went out and, behold, he saw two Hebrew men fighting,* and he said to the foolish one, "Why are you beating up your companion?"
14. And he said to him, "Who put you in charge* and made you the judge over us? Say, are you going to kill me too, like you killed the Egyptian yesterday?"*
15. And the Pharaoh heard of this incident and was going to have Moses put to death, and so Moses fled from the Pharaoh, and he went to the land of the Medians and sat at the water well.
16. And the king priest of the Medians had seven daughters, and they came and dipped their buckets and filled the troves with the water for their father's herds to drink.
17. And there came some shepherd men who shooed them away, and Moses rose up and saved them and allowed their herds to drink.
18. And they came to Reuel their father, and he said to them, "How were you able to water the herd so quickly today?"
19. They said to him, "An Egyptian man delivered us from the hand of the shepherds, and he even pulled the bucket up for us and gave our herds water to drink."
20. And he said to his daughters, "Where is he, wherefore did you leave the man; go and call him so he can eat some bread with us."
21. And it pleased Moses to sit with the man, who gave him Zipporah his daughter for a wife.
22. And she gave birth to a son and he called his name Gershun,* because he said that I have become a settler in a foreign land.
And again she gave birth to a second son for Moses and he called his name Eleazar,* because he said the God of my ancestors shall help me and deliver me from the sword of the Pharaoh.
23. And it happened that after many days,* the king of Egypt died, and the Children of Israel were relieved of the heavy enslavement, and they prayed on their knees and their anguish from slavery reached God.
24. And God heard their entreaties and God recalled His Covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
25. And God saw and recognized the Children of Israel.
*2:9 Lit. Ar. expression: "Gave him suckle."
*2:10 Lit. Ar. name: "Moo-sheh," or "Calmed-from-the-Waters."
*2:12 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: "He turned here and there."
*2:13 Lit. Ar. idiomatic figure of speech: "Biting each other."
*2:14 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: "You truly know the manifestation."
*2:22.1 Lit. Ar. name: "Draw," as in "to draw to another land."
*2:22.2 Lit. Ar. name: "Eil-shall-deliver-me."
*2:23 Lit. Ar. expression: "A long time."
1. And Moses shepherded the herds of Jethro,* his king priest and he fetched him sheep for the altar, and he came to the mountain of God at Khooriv.
2. And there appeared to him the angel of the Lord through the waves of fire from inside the sun disc, and he saw that the sun disc itself did not burn up.
3. And Moses said, "Let me see, this must be indeed a great vision, that is why the disc is not burning up."
4. And the Lord saw that he was approaching to look closer, and so God called him from inside the disc, and He said, "Moses," and [Moses] said, "Behold, it is I."
5. And He said to him, "Do not come near, take off your sandals, because the land that you stand on is holy ground."
6. And He said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob." And Moses hid himself from the faces* that he saw, because he was afraid to look at God.
7. And the Lord said, "I have indeed seen* the slavery of my people in Egypt, and I have heard the agonies of their enslavement, because I know what ails them.
8. "And I have come down to deliver them from the hand of the Egyptians and to take them up from this land to an expansive and good land, to a land that flows with milk and honey, to the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.
9. "And now, behold, the agony of the Children of Israel has reached me* and I can also see the persecution by which the Egyptians oppress them.
10. "Now come, I will send you to the Pharaoh, and take my people, the Children of Israel, out of Egypt."
11. And Moses said to God, "Who am I to go to the Pharaoh and bring out the Children of Israel out of Egypt?"
12. And God said to him, "I will be with you and this is the sign that I am sending you, when you conduct the exodus of the nation from Egypt, you shall work here before God on this mountain."
13. And Moses said to God, "Behold, as I go to the Children of Israel and say to them, 'the Lord God of your ancestors has sent me over to you," and they tell me, 'what is His name?' what shall I say to them?"
14. And God said to Moses, "Ahiyeh-Ashur-hiyeh,"* and He said, "this is what you will say to the Children of Israel, "Ahiyeh has sent me over to you."
15. And again God said to Moses, "This is what you shall tell the Children of Israel, that the Lord God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, sent me over to you -- this is His name to the end of the universe and this is how you shall commemorate me from this century to the end of all the centuries,
16. "Go and gather all the elders of the Children of Israel and say to them that the Lord God of your ancestors has revealed this to me, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, so as to say this to you, that you shall memorialize this memorial, of all that He has done for you in Egypt.
17. "And you shall tell them that He brought you out of the enslavement of the Egyptians to the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, to the land that flows with milk and honey.
18. "And I shall make them heed your voice, and you and the elders of the House of Israel shall enter into the presence of the king of Egypt and you shall say to him, 'The Lord God of the Hebrews has revealed this to us now that we must go and spend three days in the wilderness and make a sacrifice to our Lord God.'
19. "And I know the king of Egypt will not allow you to go, and it is not in his power to do so.*
20. "And I shall extend my hand and strike the Egyptians and I shall perform wonders among them and then I shall send you [all out.]
21. "And I shall give the nation to be perceived kindly in the eyes of the Egyptians, so that when you go, you do not go empty-handed.*
22. "The wife shall ask her neighbor, and the residents of her house for gold plates and silver plates and clothing, so that you may cloth your sons and your daughters, and the Egyptians shall allow it."
*3:6 Lit. Ar. idiom retained: "Visions" or manifestations.
*3:7 Lit. Ar. idiomatic figure of speech: "Seeingly have seen."
*3:9 Lit. Ar. id.: "Entered upon me."
*3:14 Lit. Aramaic: (1) "Ahiyeh": "the One Who Comes in His Coming," the absolute sense of "the One Who Comes." (2) "Ashur": "the Beginning Spark that kindles the Fire" or "the Light." (3) "Hiyeh": "His Coming." (4) "Ahiyeh" and "hiyeh" are related forms of the same word. They mean more than "the Coming." They signify also the "Eternal Presence," "the Ever-Present," and the "Never Ceasing Intent of the Comer to Come." (5) In the same way, "Ashur" signifies "the Uncreated Creator who Creates Everything from Nothing." (6) Also, "Ashur" signifies: "Above-the-Flames."
*3:19 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: "It was not in his clutching hand."
*3:21 Lit. Ar. id.: "Bare."
1. And Moses replied and said, "Behold, they will not believe me and they will not listen to my voice, because they will say to me that you could not have seen the Lord."
2. And the Lord said to him, "What is that in your hands?" And he said, "A staff."
3. And He said, "Cast it on the ground." And he threw it to the ground and it became a snake and Moses ran from it.
4. And the Lord said to Moses, "Extend your hand and take it by the tail," and he extended his hand an grabbed it and it turned back to the staff in his hand.
5. "This is so that they may believe that I am the Lord God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob."
6. God said to him again, "Put your hand in your bosom," which he did and then took it our and, behold, his hand looked leprous like snow.
7. And the Lord said to him, "Return your hand to your bosom," and he returned his hand to his bosom and took it out and it became like his own flesh.
8. "Should they not believe your voice [when you perform] the first sign, they shall believe your voice [when you perform] the other sign.
9. "And if they believe in neither of the two signs, nor believe in your voice, take water from the river and cast it on the dry land and that water that you took from the river shall turn to blood on the dry land."
10. And Moses said to the Lord, "I beg you, my Lord, I was never an orator* or a speaker* or a talker,* and ever since you spoke to your servant I became tongue-tied and slow of speech."
11. And the Lord told him, "Who made the mouth for the human being or gave him the ability to speak,* [who made the human being] a mute or gave him the ability to hear, to see* or not to see* -- was it not I, the Lord?
12. "Now go and I will be with your mouth and I shall teach you what you will say."
13. And Moses said to Him, "I beg you, my Lord, send whomever you will."*
14. And the Lord's anger was aroused at Moses, and He said to him, "Behold, your brother Aaron is a Levite, I know him to be a good speaker* -- behold, he will also meet you on the way* and shall see you and be glad in his heart.
15. "And you shall tell him and consecrate my message in his mouth and I shall be with your mouth and his mouth, and I shall teach you what you will do.
16. "He shall speak for you to the nation and he shall be your translator [to them] and you shall be his to God.
17. "So take this staff in your hand with which you shall perform the signs."
18. And Moses went back* to Jethro, his king priest, and said to him, "Let me go back to my brethren in Egypt and see if they are still alive." And Jethro said to Moses, "Go in peace."
19. And the Lord said to Moses in Medin, "Go back to Egypt, because all the men that sought your life are dead."
20. And Moses fetched his wife and his sons and made them mount on a donkey and turned back to go to Egypt. And Moses took the Staff of God in his hand.
21. And the Lord said to Moses, "When you return and go to Egypt, every wonder that was performed by your hand, do it before the Pharaoh; however, I shall harden his heart so he will not let your people go.
22. "And say to the Pharaoh that this is what the Lord said, 'Let my heir Israel go free.'
23. "You tell him to send my son that he may work for me and if you do not wish to send my son, behold, I will kill your son and heir."
24. And Moses was on the way to his house,* when the Lord accosted him and wished to bring him into the Covenant of Circumcision.*
25. Therefore, Zipporah took a blade of flint and circumcised her sons,* and she hugged His feet and said to him, "I have me a bridegroom of the blood,
26. "Release him." Then she [added,] "A bridegroom through the blood of circumcision."
27. Moses and Aaron went forth and gathered all the elders of the Children of Israel.
28. And Aaron explained all that the Lord told Moses, and he performed the signs before the people.
29. And the people believed and heard [the fact that] the Lord did remember the Children of Israel and that he saw their enslavement, and the people settled down and worshipped before the Lord.
*4:10.1 Lit. Ar. id.: "A man who could talk."
*4:10.2 Lit. Ar. id.: "Someone who can speak."
*4:10.3 Lit. Ar. id.: "Someone who likes to talk."
*4:11.1 Lit. Ar. id.: "Utterance."
*4:11.2 Lit. Ar. id.: "Open."
*4:13 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: "Send by the hand of whom you will, You," or "do whatever you want."
*4:14 Lit. Ar. idiomatic figure of speech: "Speakingly he speaks," or "he makes speeches."
*4:18 Lit. Ar. idiomatic figure of speech: "Return and went."
*4:24 Lit. Ar. idiomatic figure of speech: "Between houses."
*4:24 Lit. Ar. id.: "To render him," or "to circumcise him."
*4:25 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: "Circumcised their uncircumcision."
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