NKJV - 6 Furthermore the LORD said to him, "Now put your hand in your bosom." And he put his hand in his bosom, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, like snow.
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The action described in the verse cited in the question was one of three signs that God gave to Moses in Exodus 4 that he could show to the Israelites in Egypt to prove to them that God had sent him to them for the purpose of liberating them from their bondage in Egypt. When Moses would place his leprous hand back in his cloak and take it out again, the leprosy would be gone. (The other signs were Moses throwing his shepherd's staff down on the ground and having it turn into a serpent, and turning the water of the Nile into blood.) (God granted Moses those signs in response to Moses' concern that, if he came to the Israelites in Egypt and told them that God had sent him, they would not believe him in the absence of such signs as proof of God's involvement.) However, the sign involving leprosy could also be regarded as God's means of chastising Moses for his initial unbelief and request for signs, since leprosy was also commonly regarded in biblical times as a punishment from God for speaking slander (as Moses could have been regarded as having done by his failure to accept the mission that God assigned to him unhesitatingly, rather than disputing with God or questioning Him about it). (The sign involving Moses' staff could similarly also be interpreted as having this same purpose, since the transformation of the staff into a serpent could be associated with the serpent in Eden that sinned through its speech, as Moses had done by questioning God.)
This unexpected skin infection showed that God had the option to get such sicknesses to Egypt and that no one but he could dispose of them. Moses' hand turning to leprosy stresses God's power over diseases and would warn Pharaoh that Moses, God's ambassador, had the power to inflict sickness.
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