« PreviousContinue »
V. 10. Corne now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.'
V. 11. 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.
Moses was frightened when he heard his destination. He started back; from a just sense of the greatness of the undertaking , and a fearful consciousness of his own inability. It pleased God to assure him of his guidance and protection : and he added, V. 12 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. This was a circumstance, were it not for the person, who promised; and appointed it, scarcely to be believed. For what connection had Horeb with the borders of Canaan? When however this was afterwards accomplished, it was a sure token, that the mission of Moses was from God. Moses however is still in a state of uncertainty, and dreads some illusion.---He accordingly says, V. 13. 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? By this I should imagine, that the Israelites were far gone in the idolatries of Egypt; so as to have
'The road from Egypt was in a quite different direction. * Exodus iii. 14.
forgotten the Lord Jehovah; or else Moses , was not quite assured of the person before
whom he stood; and apprehended some illusion. The Lord upon this told Moses, that the title and character by which he would be made known to the people, should be ---' I am that I am :- Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.
Observations upon this Order.
The reason why it pleased God to be described in this particular manner, seems to have been owing to the false worship of the Egyptians, whom the Israelites copied : and to the abuse of this divine title, which it was necessary to remedy. The chief deity of Egypt was the Sun, who was improperly called On: as by that term, I conceive, was denoted the living God. That this was a title given to the Sun we may learn from Cyril upon
Hoseah. 'S2v Essv ó 'H2005---- Ny de esiv tog QUTOIS (ross ASYUTTIOIS) ó 'Halos. The term On among the Egyptians signifies the sun. Hence the city On of Egypt was uniformly rendered Heliopolis, or the City of the Sun. Theophilus, upon the authority of Manetho of Sebennis, in speaking of this place, says, " Nvg ýtus esiv 'Hristos. On, which is Heliopolis, or the city of the Sun: and the authors of the Greek version afford the same interpretation. When mention is made of Potiphera, or rather Petephre, the Priest of On, it is rendered ? Ilezegen segews 'HX18 Tonews: Petephre, the Priest of Heliopolis. The same occurs in another place. 4 Aceved Juyatne Iletsoen iepews 'HA18To8w5. Aseneth, the daughter of Petephre, the priest of On, or Heliopolis. It is also to be found in the Coptic version, where the same city is described
WIT ETE Baki, lesbph me: 'On, which is the city of Ree, the Sun.
From hence it is manifest that the term On among the Egyptians, in those times and afterwards, was applied to Helius, the same as Osiris, the Sun: but how properly remains to . P. 145. . * Ad Autolycum, 1. 3. p. 392. 3 Gen. xli. 45.
4 Chap. xli. 50. 5 Coptic Lexicon by Mr Woide, p. 118,
be considered. I have mentioned it to be my opinion, that by this term was denoted originally the Living God, the self-existent Being. And in this opinion I am confirmed by Plato, and many other Greek writers, who, when ever they allude to this Egyptian name, express it by the terms to Ov: which signify, by way of eminence, The Being; or, in other words---the great first cause. These writers derived their theology from Egypt; and from hence we may infer, that they knew well the purport of the name. This, I think, may be farther proved from the Coptic language; in which are undoubtedly to be found the remains of the ancient Egyptian. Here the same words, which the Greeks rendered ov, and wv, denote both · life and to live : to exist, and to be. They are expressed in the Coptic characters with a final aspirate ortà and wna Onh, and Onh with an omega : also with the prefix, fwn2. Hence the terms Tu WND TIETZ signify vita æterna. Plato therefore with great justice rendered the term in his own language by to Oy, when he treated of the first cause, the Lord of Life: for the name among the Egyptians was perfectly analogous to ov, ovia, 6OVT Q, Elvas, among the Greeks. It was the name of the true God; of whom the Egyptians at first made the sun only a type. But when the substitute was taken for the original, it was then adapted to the luminary: at least, so far as that the city of On was called the city of the Sun: and the orb of day was worshipped as the living God. For I do not believe that the term On related literally to the sun ; which I think is plain from its standing in need of explanation. WN, ETE OB&Ki le pH Me On which is the city of Phre, THE SUN: and in the Greek,---! Nu, ý E51 HA18Tomo5, On, which is Heliopolis, From hence we may justly infer, that the living God was originally worshipped under the semblance of the Sun. But the true name of the luminary, both among the ancient and modern Egyptians, was Ree. This may be farther proved from the name of his priest; who was stiled Potiphera, Potiphra, and Petiphre; which I do not imagine to be a proper name; for the former part of
* Auto to. 160V, WITO TO, xador, AUTO 6x050v, å £501To Oy Plato in Phædone, v. 1. p. 78..
To Oy, PlutarchIs, et Osiris, p. 352. A. * See Coptic Lexicon published by Mr Woide, p. 189, 193.