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against Moses, and he said: "Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart. And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God. And thou shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs."

Mission of Moses and Aaron (Ex. iv. 18-20, 24-26, 21-23, 27-31; v. ; vi. 1–4, 9–12; vii. 1, 2, 7-13). And Moses went and returned to Jethro his father in law, and said unto him: "Let me go, I pray thee, and return unto my brethren which are in Egypt, and see whether they be yet alive." And Jethro said to Moses, "Go in peace." And the Lord said unto Moses in Midian: "Go, return into Egypt; for all the men are dead which sought thy life." And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took the rod of God in his hand.

And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the Lord met him, and sought to kill him. Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said: "Surely a bloody husband art thou to me." So he let him go then she said: "A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision." 1

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And the Lord said unto Moses: "When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go. And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: and I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy. son, even thy firstborn.”

And the Lord said to Aaron: "Go into the wilderness to meet Moses." And he went, and met him in the mount of God, and kissed him. And Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord who had sent him, and all the signs which he had com

1 Zipporah's act is designed to appease Jehovah by conforming to the rite of circumcision. The story is curious in this place, and has been explained as a fragment, more ancient than the account of circumcision in Genesis, intended as the first instance of applying circumcision to infants. The rite was common to a number of peoples in Asia and Africa, but was customarily performed at the marriage period.

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manded him. And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel: and Aaron spake all the words which the Lord had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. And the people believed: and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.

And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh 1 "Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness." And Pharaoh said: "Who is Jehovah, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not Jehovah, neither will I let Israel go." And they said: "The God of the Hebrews hath met with us. Let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the Lord our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword." And the king of Egypt said unto them: "Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from their works? get you unto your burdens." And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and

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their officers, saying: "Ye shall Merneptah. Granite Bust from his Temno more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves. And the tale of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish aught thereof: for they be idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God. Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labor therein; and let them not regard vain words."

And the taskmasters of the people went out, and their officers,


1 Pharaoh. Ramses II was succeeded by Merneptah (about 1225-1215 B. C.), who is therefore thought to have been the Pharaoh of the Exodus. The following verse, however, occurs in a song dating from his reign, and celebrating his triumphs in Palestine :

"Israel is desolated, her seed is not."

and they spake to the people, saying: "Thus saith Pharaoh, I will not give you straw. Go ye, get you straw where ye can find it yet not aught of your work shall be diminished." So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble instead of straw. And the taskmasters hasted them, saying: "Fulfil your works, your daily tasks, as when there was straw." And the officers of the children of Israel, which Pharaoh's taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, and demanded: "Wherefore have ye not fulfilled your task in making brick both yesterday and to day, as heretofore?" Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried unto Pharaoh, saying: "Wherefore dealest thou thus with thy servants? There is no straw given unto thy servants, and they say to us, Make brick and behold, thy servants are beaten; but the fault is in thine own people." But he said: "Ye are idle, ye are idle: therefore ye say, Let us go and do sacrifice to the Lord. Go therefore now, and work; for there shall no straw be given you, yet shall ye deliver the tale of bricks."

And the officers of the children of Israel did see that they were in evil case, after it was said: "Ye shall not minish aught from your bricks of your daily task." And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh : and they said unto them: "The Lord look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savor to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us." And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said: "Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil intreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all."

Then the Lord said unto Moses: "Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh : for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land." And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him: "I am the Lord: and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them. And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers."

And Moses spake so unto the children of Israel: but they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel

bondage. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying: "Go in, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, that he let the children of Israel go out of his land." And Moses spake before the Lord, saying: "Behold, the children of Israel have not hearkened unto me; how then shall Pharaoh hear me, who am of uncircumcised lips?"

And the Lord said unto Moses: "See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet. Thou shalt speak all that I command thee; and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel out of his land."

And Moses was fourscore years old, and Aaron fourscore and three years old, when they spake unto Pharaoh.

And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying: "When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Shew a miracle for you then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent." And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the Lord had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers. Now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods. And Pharaoh's heart was hardened, that he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said.

The Ten Plagues (Ex. vii. 14-18, 20-25; viii.; ix. 1–13, 17, 18, 22–34; x. 3–29; xi. 4–8). And the Lord said unto Moses: "Get thee unto Pharaoh in the morning; lo, he goeth out unto the water; and thou shalt stand by the river's brink against he come; and the rod which was turned to a serpent shalt thou take in thine hand. And thou shalt say unto him, The Lord God of the Hebrews hath sent me unto thee, saying, Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness and behold, hitherto thou wouldest not hear. Thus saith the Lord, In this thou shalt know that I am the Lord: behold, I will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood: and the fish that is in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall loathe to drink of the water of the river."


And Moses and Aaron did so, as the Lord commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. And the fish that was in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt. But the magicians of Egypt did in like manner with their enchantments; so that Pharaoh's heart was hardened, neither did he hearken unto them; as the Lord had said. And Pharaoh turned and went into his house, neither did he set his heart to this also. And all the Egyptians digged round about the river for water to drink; for they could not drink of the water of the river. And seven days were fulfilled, after that the Lord had smitten the river.

And the Lord spake unto Moses: "Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Let my people go, that they may serve me. And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs: and the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into thine house, and into thy bedchamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy kneadingtroughs: and the frogs shall come up both on thee, and upon thy people, and upon all thy servants.'

And the Lord spake unto Moses: "Say unto Aaron, Stretch forth thine hand with thy rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds." And Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt. But the magicians did in like manner with their enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt.

Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said: "Intreat the Lord, that he may take away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may do sacrifice unto the Lord." And Moses said unto Pharaoh : “Glory over me:1 when shall I intreat for thee and for thy servants, and for thy people, to destroy the frogs from thee and thy houses, that they may remain in the river only?" And he said, "Tomorrow." And he said: "Be it according to thy word: that thou mayest know that there is none like unto the Lord our God. And the frogs shall depart from thee, and from thy houses, and

1 Glory over me. An expression of courtesy toward royalty.

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