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raelites the One true God under the character of I am, or the Being of Life, the original word is 77978. This was a new title, by which the deity chose to be distinguished. It is to be observed, that there is very little difference between this, and the more common name; the sacred tetragrammaton of the Jews. The one was 7,79, Jehovah ; and the other newly appointed » * 179.78, which some express Jehevah.
. How truly it is rendered, I cannot pretend to determine. This, I believe, is allowed, that
, , , hejah or hevah : by which is signified to exist, live, and be. Some think, that by. Jehovah is meant I am; and by Jehevah or Ehiah (as some render it) I will be. It is accordingly translated by some expositors in the future--ero, qui ero ; and both by Aquila and Theodotion, Εσσομαι, Εσσομαι. We may at all rates be assured, that they both relate to life and existence; and cannot properly be applied to any Being, but one, s Thou, whose name alone is Jehovah---4'0v, xar ó nv, xai ερχομενος. .
,הוה or ,היה ,the latter is formed from the root
· Exodus, ch. iii. 14.
* Chap. iii. 14.
Apocalyps, ch. i. ver. 4.
Conclusion upon this Head, We may therefore, I think, be assured of the true purport of that Egyptian title of the deity, which the Grecians expressed O, and Sv. By On' was signified life and being : and by the deity of On (On2) was denoted the living God; the truly existing Being. This title was grossly misapplied by the Egyptians : upon which account the real and only God is represented as inforcing this truth upon his people, that there was no deity but himself. He is therefore repeatedly styled, in opposition to all pretended divinities, The Living God, In consequence of this we continually meet with this asseveration --- As I live, saith the Lord. Hence Moses was ordered, when he inade mention of the deity to the Israelites, to use the title above mentioned---I am that I
A very learned friend thought that the term On could not relate to life and being; because the city of On, in the Coptic version, has not the final aspirate: which the same word, when it signifies life or to live, has. But a variation so very slight between a primary word, and a derivative, might easily happen in such a length of time.
The difference is too small to have any objection founded upon it, especially as all the Grecian authors, who speak of the Egyptian term On, always sefer it to life and being,
am: 1 AM hath sent me unto you : which answers precisely to Ey Engles to Oy of the Grecians; and to the sacred title wrz, of Egypt. By this, in other words, is signified, Let the children of Israel know, that you come from the only true and self-existent Being : from the living God, who was, and is, and will be for ever, This was a character to which no other being could pretend. Moses is further ordered to say to the Israelites---" The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever. This is the deity who styles himself I AM; the living God, the Jehovah of the Hebrews. The prophet proceeds to intimate, that the divinities of Egypt had no claim to so high a title ; and they would therefore fall before the God of Israel: and for this he had good assurance--- Against all the Gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I AM THE LORD. These expressions are attended with peculiar energy, but without this explanation they seem to lose great part of their emphasis.
i Exod. iii. 15. * Chap. xii. 12.
Continuation of the Divine Interview, and an Ac
count of the Two Miracles exhibited,
Many events are laid open to the legate of God; and many promises are made to give him fortitude for the undertaking. But for a long time during this interview he hesitates, and is alarmed at the difficulties which
presented themselves. It may seem strange, after such immediate assurances from God, that Moses should persist in his diffidence. He ought certainly to have trusted to the words of him, who cannot deceive ; and paid implicit obedience. But human nature is frail. His zeal had been damped by disappointments, and his faith ruined by his fears. He knew that his life was 'forfeited, if he returned to Egypt; and he moreover felt a want of ability to effect what was enjoined him. Hence, though he knew the power of the Almighty, yet he could not sufficiently exert himself upon the occasion. He was like a person upon a precipice, who is ordered to throw himself down upon a promise of being supported; but though the assurance be from
" See Diodorus Sic. l. 1. p. 70. quoted above.
the voice of an angel, he cannot trust himself to the dreadful vacuity. It must likewise be considered, that he had formed some interesting connections, which though they may appear comparatively new, were in reality of long standing. He had been admitted for a long season into a family of morality and goodness; where he enjoyed ease and security. He had married a wife, with whom he was quite happy, and had a son by her. This peace and these connections were to be interrupted for the sake of a people who had betrayed him ; and from whom he had been estranged for forty years.
He could not bring himself to have any trust in them.
Behold, says he, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice; for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee. His reasoning was just; for he was to go to a perverse and stubborn people: and, as I mentioned before, if he could not persuade them of old, he must necessarily have little influence after an absence of so long a date. In short, he had not power to execute such a mission, nor inclination to undertake it. His credentials therefore and authority could not pro
• Exod. iv. 1.