1The Lord spoke to Moses: 2“Consecrate every firstborn male to me, the firstborn from every womb among the Israelites, both man and domestic animal; it is mine.”
3Then Moses said to the people, “Remember this day when you came out of Egypt, out of the place of slavery, for the Lord brought you out of here by the strength of his hand. Nothing leavened may be eaten. 4Today, in the month of Abib, you are going out. 5When the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, Hethites, Amorites, Hivites, and Jebusites, which he swore to your ancestors that he would give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, you must carry out this ceremony in this month. 6For seven days you must eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there is to be a festival to the Lord. 7Unleavened bread is to be eaten for those seven days. Nothing leavened may be found among you, and no yeast may be found among you in all your territory. 8On that day explain to your son, ‘This is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ 9Let it serve as a sign for you on your hand and as a reminder on your forehead, so that the Lord’s instruction may be in your mouth; for the Lord brought you out of Egypt with a strong hand. 10Keep this statute 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 your ancestors, and gives it to you, 12you are to present to the Lord every firstborn male of the womb. All firstborn offspring of the livestock you own that are males will be the Lord’s. 13You must redeem every firstborn of a donkey with a flock animal, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. However, you must redeem every firstborn among your sons.
14“In the future, when your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ say to him, ‘By the strength of his hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. 15When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord killed every firstborn male in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of humans and the firstborn of livestock. That is why I sacrifice to the Lord all the firstborn of the womb that are males, but I redeem all the firstborn of my sons.’ 16So let it be a sign on your hand and a symbol on your forehead, for the Lord brought us out of Egypt by the strength of his hand.”
The Route of the Exodus
17When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them along the road to the land of the Philistines, even though it was nearby; for God said, “The people will change their minds and return to Egypt if they face war.” 18So he led the people around toward the Red Sea along the road of the wilderness. And the Israelites left the land of Egypt in battle formation.
19Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, because Joseph had made the Israelites swear a solemn oath, saying, “God will certainly come to your aid; then you must take my bones with you from this place.”
20They set out from Succoth and camped at Etham on the edge of the wilderness. 21The Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to lead them on their way during the day and in a pillar of fire to give them light at night, so that they could travel day or night. 22The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night never left its place in front of the people.