1. Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,
2. 'Consecrate all the first-born to me, the first birth from every womb, among the Israelites. Whether man or beast, it is mine.'
3. Moses said to the people, 'Remember this day, on which you came out of Egypt, from the place of slave-labour, for by the strength of his hand Yahweh brought you out of it; no leavened bread may be eaten.
4. On this day, in the month of Abib, you are leaving,
5. and when Yahweh has brought you into the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Hivites 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.
6. For seven days you will eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there must be a feast in Yahweh's honour.
7. During these seven days unleavened bread may be eaten; no leavened bread may be seen among you, no leaven among you throughout your territory.
8. And on that day you will explain to your son, "This is because of what Yahweh did for me when I came out of Egypt."
9. This will serve as a sign on your hand would serve, or a reminder on your forehead, and in that way the law of Yahweh will be ever on your lips: for with a mighty hand Yahweh brought you out of Egypt.
10. You shall 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 ancestors that he would, and given it to you,
12. to Yahweh you must make over whatever first issues from the womb, and every first-born cast by animals belonging to you: these males belong to Yahweh.
13. But every first-born donkey you will redeem with a lamb or kid; if you do not redeem it, you must break its neck. All the human first-born, however, among your sons, you will redeem.
14. And when your son asks you in days to come, "What does this mean?" you will tell him, "By the strength of his hand Yahweh brought us out of Egypt, out of the place of slave-labour.
15. When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, Yahweh killed all the first-born in Egypt, of man and beast alike. This is why I sacrifice every male first issuing from the womb to Yahweh and redeem every first-born of my sons."
16. This will serve as a sign on your hand would serve, or a headband on your forehead, for by the strength of his hand Yahweh brought us out of Egypt.'
17. When 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 their minds and turn back to Egypt.'
18. Instead, God led the people a roundabout way through the desert of the Sea of Reeds. The Israelites left Egypt fully armed.
19. Moses took with him the bones of Joseph, since Joseph had put the Israelites on solemn oath with the words, 'It is sure that God will visit you,' he had said, 'and when that day comes you must take my bones away from here with you.'
20. They set out from Succoth and encamped at Etham, on the edge of the desert.
21. Yahweh preceded them, by day in a pillar of cloud to show them the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could march by day and by night.
22. The pillar of cloud never left its place ahead of the people during the day, nor the pillar of fire during the night.