1Yahweh spoke to Moses and said, 2'Consecrate al the first-born to me, the first birth from every womb, among the Israelites. Whetherman or beast, it is mine.' 3Moses said to the people, 'Remember this day, on which you came out of Egypt, from the place ofslave-labour, for by the strength of his hand Yahweh brought you out of it; no leavened bread may be eaten. 4On this day, in the month of Abib, you are leaving, 5and when Yahweh has brought you into the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, theHivites and the Jebusites, flowing with milk and honey, which he swore to your ancestors that he would give you,then you must observe this rite in the same month. 6For seven days you wil eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there must be a feast inYahweh's honour. 7During these seven days unleavened bread may be eaten; no leavened bread may be seen amongyou, no leaven among you throughout your territory. 8And on that day you wil explain to your son, "This is because of what Yahweh did for me when I cameout of Egypt." 9This will serve as a sign on your hand would serve, or a reminder on your forehead, and in that waythe law of Yahweh will be ever on your lips: for with a mighty hand Yahweh brought you out of Egypt. 10You shal observe this law at its appointed time, year by year. 11'When Yahweh has brought you into the Canaanites' country, as he swore to you and your ancestorsthat he would, and given it to you, 12to Yahweh you must make over whatever first issues from the womb, and every first-born cast byanimals belonging to you: these males belong to Yahweh. 13But every first-born donkey you wil redeem with a lamb or kid; if you do not redeem it, you mustbreak its neck. Al the human first-born, however, among your sons, you wil redeem. 14And when your son asks you in days to come, "What does this mean?" you wil tel him, "By thestrength of his hand Yahweh brought us out of Egypt, out of the place of slave-labour. 15When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, Yahweh killed all the first-born in Egypt, of man andbeast alike. This is why I sacrifice every male first issuing from the womb to Yahweh and redeem every first-bornof my sons." 16This wil serve as a sign on your hand would serve, or a headband on your forehead, for by thestrength of his hand Yahweh brought us out of Egypt.' 17When Pharaoh had let the people go, God did not let them take the road to the Philistines' territory,although that was the shortest, 'in case', God thought, 'the prospect of fighting makes the people change theirminds and turn back to Egypt.' 18Instead, God led the people a roundabout way through the desert of the Sea of Reeds. The Israelitesleft Egypt ful y armed. 19Moses took with him the bones of Joseph, since Joseph had put the Israelites on solemn oath withthe words, 'It is sure that God will visit you,' he had said, 'and when that day comes you must take my bonesaway from here with you.' 20They set out from Succoth and encamped at Etham, on the edge of the desert. 21Yahweh preceded them, by day in a pil ar of cloud to show them the way, and by night in a pil ar offire to give them light, so that they could march by day and by night. 22The pil ar of cloud never left its place ahead of the people during the day, nor the pil ar of fire duringthe night.
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