Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Sanctify to Me every firstborn, the firstborn of every womb among the sons of Israel, among people and animals alike; it belongs to Me.”

And Moses said to the people, “Remember this day in which you departed from Egypt, from the house of [a]slavery; for by [b]a powerful hand the Lord brought you out from this place. And nothing with yeast shall be eaten. On this day in the month of Abib, you are about to go out from here. And it shall be when the Lord brings you to the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, which He swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, that you shall [c]perform this rite in this month. For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the Lord. Unleavened bread shall be eaten throughout the seven days; and nothing with yeast shall [d]be seen among you, nor shall any dough with yeast [e]be seen among you in all your borders. And you shall tell your son on that day, saying, ‘It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ And it shall [f]serve as a sign to you on your hand, and as a reminder [g]on your forehead, that the law of the Lord may be in your mouth; for with a powerful hand the Lord brought you out of Egypt. 10 Therefore, you shall keep this ordinance at its appointed time from [h]year to year.

11 “Now when the Lord brings you to the land of the Canaanite, as He swore to you and to your fathers, and gives it to you, 12 you shall [i]devote to the Lord every firstborn of a womb, and every firstborn offspring of an animal that you own; the males belong to the Lord. 13 But every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, but if you do not redeem it, then you shall break its neck; and every [j]firstborn among your sons you shall redeem. 14 And it shall be when your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is this?’ then you shall say to him, ‘With [k]a powerful hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, from the house of [l]slavery. 15 And it came about, when Pharaoh was stubborn about letting us go, that the Lord put to death every firstborn in the land of Egypt, from human firstborns to animal firstborns. Therefore, I sacrifice to the Lord the males, every firstborn of a womb, but every firstborn of my sons I redeem.’ 16 So it shall [m]serve as a sign on your hand and as [n]phylacteries [o]on your forehead, for with [p]a powerful hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt.”

God Leads the People

17 Now when Pharaoh had let the people go, God did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, even though it was near; for God said, “The people might change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.” 18 Therefore God led the people around by way of the wilderness to the [q]Red Sea; and the sons of Israel went up in battle formation from the land of Egypt. 19 And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear, saying, “God will certainly [r]take care of you, and you shall carry my bones from here with you.” 20 Then they set out from Succoth and camped in Etham, on the edge of the wilderness. 21 And the Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, so that they might [s]travel by day and by night. 22 [t]He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from the presence of the people.


  1. Exodus 13:3 Lit slaves
  2. Exodus 13:3 Lit strength of hand
  3. Exodus 13:5 Lit serve this service
  4. Exodus 13:7 Lit appear to you
  5. Exodus 13:7 Lit appear to you
  6. Exodus 13:9 Lit be for
  7. Exodus 13:9 Lit between your eyes
  8. Exodus 13:10 Lit days to days
  9. Exodus 13:12 Lit cause to pass over
  10. Exodus 13:13 Lit firstborn of a human
  11. Exodus 13:14 Lit strength of hand
  12. Exodus 13:14 Lit slaves
  13. Exodus 13:16 Lit be for
  14. Exodus 13:16 Or frontlet-bands
  15. Exodus 13:16 Lit between your eyes
  16. Exodus 13:16 Lit strength of hand
  17. Exodus 13:18 Lit Sea of Reeds
  18. Exodus 13:19 Lit visit
  19. Exodus 13:21 Lit go
  20. Exodus 13:22 Or The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart