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3:1 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.
3:2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
3:3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
3:4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.
3:5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
3:6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.
3:7 And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; 3:8 And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.
3:9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them.
3:10 Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.
3:11 And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? 3:12 And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.
3:13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? 3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
3:15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, the LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.
3:16 Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt: 3:17 And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, unto a land flowing with milk and honey.
3:18 And they shall hearken to thy voice: and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath met with us: and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.
3:19 And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand.
3:20 And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go.
3:21 And I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty.
3:22 But every woman shall borrow of her neighbour, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians.

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King James Bible:Exodus

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Exodus
Book: Exodus
Chapter: 3

God appears to Moses in a burning Bush. (1-6) God sends Moses
to deliver Israel. (7-10) The name Jehovah. (11-15) The
deliverance of the Israelites promised. (16-22)

1-6 The years of the Life of Moses are divided into three
forties; the first forty he spent as a Prince in Pharaoh's
Court, the second as a Shepherd in Midian, the third as a King
in Jeshurun. How changeable is the Life of Man! The first
appearance of God to Moses, found him tending Sheep. This seems
a Poor employment for a Man of his parts and education, yet he
rests satisfied with it; and thus learns Meekness and
Contentment, for which he is more noted in sacred writ, than for
all his learning. Satan loves to find us idle; God is pleased
when he finds us employed. Being alone, is a good friend to our
Communion with God. To his great surprise, Moses saw a Bush
burning without Fire to kindle it. The Bush burned, and yet did
not burn away; an emblem of the Church in Bondage in Egypt. And
it fitly reminds us of the Church in every Age, under its
severest persecutions kept By the presence of God from being
destroyed. Fire is an emblem, in Scripture, of the Divine
Holiness and Justice, also of the Afflictions and trials with
which God proves and purifies his people, and even of that
Baptism of the Holy Ghost, By which sinful affections are
consumed, and the soul changed into the Divine nature and image.
God gave Moses a gracious Call, to which he returned a ready
answer. Those that would have Communion with God, must attend
upon him in the ordinances wherein he is pleased to manifest
himself and his Glory, though it be in a Bush. Putting off the
Shoe was a token of respect and submission. We ought to draw
nigh to God with a solemn pause and preparation, carefully
avoiding every thing that looks Light and rude, and unbecoming
his service. God does not say, I was the God of Abraham, Isaac,
and Jacob, but I am. The patriarchs still live, So many years
after their bodies have been in the Grave. No length of time can
separate the souls of the just from their Maker. By this, God
instructed Moses as to another world, and strengthened his
belief of a future state. Thus it is interpreted By our Lord
Jesus, who, from hence, proves that the dead are raised, Lu
20:37. Moses hid his Face, as if both ashamed and afraid to
look upon God. The more we see of God, and his Grace, and
Covenant Love, the more cause we shall see to Worship him with
reverence and godly fear.

7-10 God notices the Afflictions of Israel. Their sorrows; even
the secret sorrows of God's people are known to him. Their cry;
God hears the cries of his afflicted people. The oppression they
endured; the highest and greatest of their oppressors are not
above him. God promises speedy deliverance By methods out of the
common ways of Providence. Those whom God, By his Grace,
delivers out of a spiritual Egypt, he will bring to a heavenly

11-15 Formerly Moses thought himself able to deliver Israel,
and set himself to the work too hastily. Now, when the fittest
person On Earth for it, he knows his own weakness. This was the
effect of more knowledge of God and of himself. Formerly,
self-confidence mingled with strong Faith and great zeal, now
sinful distrust of God crept in under the garb of Humility; So
defective are the strongest graces and the best duties of the
most eminent saints. But all objections are answered in,
Certainly I will be with thee. That is enough. Two names God
would now be known By. A name that denotes what he is in
himself, I AM THAT I AM. This explains his name Jehovah, and
signifies, 1. That he is self-existent: he has his being of
himself. 2. That he is eternal and unchangeable, and always the
same, yesterday, to-Day, and for ever. 3. That he is
incomprehensible; we cannot By searching find him out: this name
checks all bold and curious inquiries concerning God. 4. That he
is Faithful and true to all his promises, unchangeable in his
Word as Well as in his nature; let Israel know this, I AM hath
sent me unto you. I am, and there is none else besides me. All
else have their being from God, and are wholly dependent upon
him. Also, here is a name that denotes what God is to his
people. The Lord God of your fathers sent me unto you. Moses
must revive among them the religion of their fathers, which was
almost lost; and then they might expect the speedy performance
of the promises made unto their fathers.

16-22 Moses' success with the elders of Israel would be good.
God, who, By his Grace, inclines the Heart, and opens the Ear,
could say beforehand, They shall hearken to thy voice; for he
would make them willing in this Day of power. As to Pharaoh,
Moses is here told that petitions and persuasions, and humble
complaints, would not prevail with him; nor a mighty Hand
stretched out in signs and wonders. But those will certainly be
broken By the power of God's Hand, who will not Bow to the power
of his Word. Pharaoh's people should furnish Israel with riches
at their departure. In Pharaoh's tyranny and Israel's
oppression, we see the miserable, abject state of sinners.
However galling the Yoke, they drudge On till the Lord sends
Redemption. With the invitations of the Gospel, God sends the
teaching of his Spirit. Thus are men made willing to seek and to
strive for deliverance. Satan loses his power to Hold them, they
come forth with all they have and are, and apply all to the
Glory of God and the service of his Church.

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