Exodus 3:3

ESV And Moses said, "I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned."
NIV So Moses thought, "I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up."
NASB So Moses said, 'I must turn aside and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burning up!'
CSB So Moses thought, "I must go over and look at this remarkable sight. Why isn’t the bush burning up?"
NLT This is amazing,' Moses said to himself. 'Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.'
KJV And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
NKJV Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.”

What does Exodus 3:3 mean?

Moses is tending his father-in-law's sheep, having settled in Midian after fleeing his birth home of Egypt. In the prior verse, Moses noticed a bush on fire, but a fire which did not consume the bush itself. Here, Moses says he will stop to see why this bush was burning yet not consumed. Moses may have only thought these words to himself, though it is possible he spoke the words aloud. He calls it a "great" sight, meaning he clearly understood something unique was taking place. Moses was certainly familiar with fire and knew it consumed a bush. He wanted to know why this situation was different.

God is often associated with fire (Genesis 15:17; 19:24; Exodus 13:17—14:31; 19; 24:17; 40:34–38). After freeing them from Egypt, God will appear before the Israelites in the form of a pillar of fire (13:17–22). He would lead His people to return to this very mountain where Moses would experience the Lord once again and receive the Ten Commandments directly from the Lord. The Lord remained as a fire to give the people light for travel, revealing His power as He led His people from Egyptian slavery (Exodus 13:21–22).
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