Moses Returns to Egypt

“The LORD said to Moses, “When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.”
(Exodus 4:21)

The account of Moses’ return to Egypt is recorded by Moses himself in the Five Books of Moses. Through his writings, Moses reveals his inner thoughts and uncertainties despite being compelled by God’s call to return to Egypt. This honest confession showcases Moses’ human struggles and emphasizes that God’s promises were fulfilled without fail, as reflected in the events he records.


Accompanied by Aaron

God responds to Moses’ hesitation by performing two miracles: afflicting Moses’ hand with leprosy and then restoring it. However, Moses still refuses, pleading for someone else to be sent in his place. God, reaching His limit of patience, appoints Aaron to be Moses’ mouthpiece, speaking to the people on Moses’ behalf. Just as prophets proclaim God’s word, Aaron is entrusted to convey God’s messages to the Israelites.


From Midian to Egypt

Moses bids farewell to his father-in-law Jethro, takes the staff of God, and sets out for Egypt without informing his family of his mission. His sole concern is the welfare of the Israelites in Egypt. Encouraged by the death of the king who sought his life, Moses embarks on the journey to Egypt.


God’s Desire for Worship

God refers to the Israelites as His sons, desiring their service and worship rather than their submission to Pharaoh. To make this possible, God hardens Pharaoh’s heart. God intends for sinners to repent and turn to Him, but those who persist in despising His mercy and patience are allowed to remain hardened, ultimately facing His judgment and wrath. God’s desire for worship is so profound that He permits the death of Pharaoh’s firstborn.


The Attempted Killing of Moses

The brief account in Exodus 4:24-26 raises questions and concerns about why God would want to harm the messenger He sent. However, it becomes clear that God intended to kill Moses because he had neglected to circumcise his son, a covenantal rite that distinguished the Israelites from the Gentiles. Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, intervenes and performs the circumcision, symbolically marking Moses as a blood brother. This incident highlights the importance of circumcision as a sign of the covenant. It also demonstrates that God’s actions may be incomprehensible to humans and that He sees the flaws and shortcomings of individuals.



Regardless of our own thoughts and uncertainties, God’s promises and blessings are always fully realized. Moses’ experience should renew our confidence in God’s salvation and future blessings. We must trust that God’s word will be fulfilled, enabling us to fully enjoy His greater blessings.


The circumcision of Moses’ children exemplifies how the Exodus of Israel was the fulfillment of God’s covenant with Abraham. As the one chosen to carry out this covenant, Moses was expected to observe the rite of circumcision. His failure to circumcise his own son indicated a deviation from the covenant requirements, jeopardizing his leadership role. God prioritizes covenant-keeping and holiness above all else. Likewise, we must examine whether we are neglecting fundamental aspects in our pursuit of grand missions, recognizing the importance of maintaining covenantal obedience and holiness.