* Site-Outage Notice: Our engineering elves will be tweaking the Shmoop site from Monday, December 22 10:00 PM PST to Tuesday, December 23 5:00 AM PST. The site will be unavailable during this time.
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Book of Exodus

Book of Exodus

Book of Exodus Chapter 3 Summary

The Burning Bush… Say What?

  • Moses is guarding his father-in-law's flock of sheep, and he wanders with them "beyond the wilderness" (3:1) to Horeb, the mountain of God.
  • An angel of God appears to him in the form of a bush that's on fire but doesn't burn. Now that's a trick.
  • Moses checks out the situation, naturally.
  • God addresses Moses and tells him that he's back to help the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt. And guess what? Moses has to lead them.
  • Moses, a bit freaked out by all this, asks God why he's been chosen for the job.
  • God tells him not to worry, that he'll do all the heavy lifting. There'll be miraculous wonders, a new home for the Israelites ("a land flowing with milk and honey" [3:8]), and lots of shiny stuff for the Israelites ("You shall plunder the Egyptians" [3:22]).
  • God also reveals his name to Moses, and identifies himself as "the God of your ancestors." 
  • Moses's mouth drops to the ground.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Noodle's College Search