New English Translation
The Law of the Firstborn
1 The LORD spoke to Moses: 2 "Set apart to me every firstborn male - the first offspring of every womb among the Israelites, whether human or animal; it is mine."
3 Moses said to the people, "Remember this day on which you came out from Egypt, from the place where you were enslaved, for the LORD brought you out of there with a mighty hand - and no bread made with yeast may be eaten. 4 On this day, in the month of Abib, you are going out.
5 When the LORD brings you to the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites, and Jebusites, which he swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, then you will keep this ceremony in this month. 6 For seven days you must eat bread made without yeast, and on the seventh day there is to be a festival to the LORD. 7 Bread made without yeast must be eaten for seven days; no bread made with yeast shall be seen among you, and you must have no yeast among you within any of your borders.
8 you are to tell your son on that day, 'It is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.' 9 it will be a sign for you on your hand and a memorial on your forehead, so that the law of the LORD may be in your mouth, for with a mighty hand the LORD brought you out of Egypt. 10 So you must keep this ordinance at its appointed time from year to year.
11 When the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites, as he swore to you and to your fathers, and gives it to you, 12 then you must give over to the LORD the first offspring of every womb. Every firstling of a beast that you have - the males will be the LORD's. 13 Every firstling of a donkey you must redeem with a lamb, and if you do not redeem it, then you must break its neck. Every firstborn of your sons you must redeem.
14 In the future, when your son asks you 'What is this?' you are to tell him, 'With a mighty hand the LORD brought us out from Egypt, from the land of slavery. 15 When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to release us, the LORD killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of people to the firstborn of animals. That is why I am sacrificing to the LORD the first male offspring of every womb, but all my firstborn sons I redeem.' 16 it will be for a sign on your hand and for frontlets on your forehead, for with a mighty hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt."
The Leading of God
17 When Pharaoh released the people, God did not lead them by the way to the land of the Philistines, although that was nearby, for God said, "Lest the people change their minds and return to Egypt when they experience war." 18 so God brought the people around by the way of the desert to the Red Sea, and the Israelites went up from the land of Egypt prepared for battle.
19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph had made the Israelites solemnly swear, "God will surely attend to you, and you will carry my bones up from this place with you."
20 they journeyed from Sukkoth and camped in Etham, on the edge of the desert. 21 Now the LORD was going before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them in the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel day or night. 22 He did not remove the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night from before the people.
King James Version
1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine.
3 ¶ And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten.
4 This day came ye out in the month Abib.
5 ¶ And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee, a land flowing with milk and honey, that thou shalt keep this service in this month.
6 Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the LORD.
7 Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters.
8 ¶ And thou shalt shew thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the LORD did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt.
9 And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the LORD'S law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt.
10 Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in his season from year to year.
11 ¶ And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, as he sware unto thee and to thy fathers, and shall give it thee,
12 That thou shalt set apart unto the LORD all that openeth the matrix, and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; the males shall be the LORD'S.
13 And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.
14 ¶ And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the LORD brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage:
15 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the LORD slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast: therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all that openeth the matrix, being males; but all the firstborn of my children I redeem.
16 And it shall be for a token upon thine hand, and for frontlets between thine eyes: for by strength of hand the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt.
17 ¶ And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt:
18 But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.
19 And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you.
20 ¶ And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness.
21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:
22 He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.