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more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel. And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigor: and they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigor.
And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: and he said: "When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the birth-stool; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live." But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive. And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them: "Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men children alive?" And the midwives said unto Pharaoh: "Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them." Therefore God dealt well with the midwives; and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty. And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them households. And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying: "Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive."
The Youth of Moses (Ex. ii.). And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi. And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink. And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him.
And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river's side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it. And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, 66 This is one of the Hebrews' children." Then said his sister to Pharaoh's daughter: "Shall I go and call to thee a
nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?" And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Go." And the maid went and called the child's mother. And Pharaoh's daughter said unto her, "Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages." And the woman took the child, and nursed it. And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses and she said, "Because I drew him out of th water." 1
And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren. And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand. And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that did the wrong, "Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow?" And he said: "Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian?" And Moses feared, and said, "Surely this thing is known.”
Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian. And he sat down by a well. Now the priest of Midian 2 had seven daughters: and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father's flock. And the shepherds came and drove them away; but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock. And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, "How is it that ye are come so soon today?" And they said: "An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew water enough for us, and watered the flock." And he said unto his daughters: "And where is he? why is it that ye have left the man? call him, that he may eat bread." And Moses was content to dwell with the man, and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter. And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom:3 — for he said, "I have been a stranger in a strange land."
1 The writer regards the name as derived from the Heb. mäshäh, 'to draw
2 priest of Midian. The chief of a nomadic clan, such as that of the Midianites, would in early times perform priestly functions. There is some uncertainty as to the name of Moses' father-in-law. See pp. 83, 111, 115.
8 Gershom. A sojourner there.'
And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died and the
children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God, by reason of the bondage. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.
Moses' Call (Ex. iii. 1-iv. 17). Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.2 And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said: "I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt." And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, "Moses, Moses." And he said, "Here am I." And he said: "Draw not nigh hither. Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground." Moreover he said: "I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." And Moses hid his face: for he was afraid to look upon God.
And the Lord said: "I have surely seen the affliction of my
1 in process of time. Lit., 'after those many days'-possibly referring to the fact that Ramses II reigned 67 years.
2 Horeb. See note, p. 102.
3 angel of the Lord. Here, as in several other passages (see pp. 24, 192), the "angel of the Lord" proves to be not a messenger from the Lord, but a manifestation of Jehovah himself. Even in these cases, however, the angel sometimes speaks rather as representing God than as God in person, - as if the fact of manifestation itself created a distinction between the spiritual Deity and the physical apparition.
people, which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows, and I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey. Come now, therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt."
And Moses said unto God: "Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?" And he said: "Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain." And Moses said unto God: "Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?" And God said unto Moses, "I AM THAT I AM :" and he said: "Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM 1 hath sent me unto you."
And God said moreover unto Moses: "Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, Jehovah, the 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, and this is my memorial unto all generations. Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, Jehovah, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt. And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt, unto a land flowing with milk and honey. And they shall hearken to thy voice: and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, The Lord God of the Hebrews hath met with us and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God. And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand. And I will stretch out my hand, and
1 I AM. The name of the God of Israel is written in Hebrew Jhvh, without the vowels. The Jews of later times considered it too sacred to be spoken, and in reading replaced it with the word Adonai, 'Lord.' Its true pronunciation probably 'Yah-weh" - thus became lost. In the 16th century the vowels of Adonai were added to Jhvh, giving it the familiar but artificial form Jehovah. The word is in this passage regarded as derived from the verb hāwāh, 'to be.'
smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof and after that he will let you go. And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty; but every woman shall borrow of her neighbor, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment. And ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians."
And Moses answered and said: "But behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee." And the Lord said unto him, "What is that in thine hand?" And he said, "A rod." And he said, "Cast it on the ground." And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. And the Lord said unto Moses: "Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail," (and he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand) "that they may believe that Jehovah, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee."
And the Lord said furthermore unto him, "Put now thine hand into thy bosom." "And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow. And he said, "Put thine hand into thy bosom again." And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and behold, it was turned again as his other flesh; "and it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign. And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe also these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land."
And Moses said unto the Lord: "O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue." And the Lord said unto him: "Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say." And he said: "O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom [soever else] thou wilt send." And the anger of the Lord was kindled