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The Rod of Moses.'
We may therefore presume, that the serpent, into which Moses saw his rod changed, was not only equally significant, but had the same reference. It seemed to indicate, that divine wisdom and authority would be with him, and conduct him in all his ways; and that the particular person from whom the Israelites, and the world in general, were to expect deliverance, was Jehovah, the Redeemer. In order to understand this perfectly, let us attend to the process of this wonderful transaction. Moses was standing with his rod, an instrument both of support and authority, in his. hand ; and he was ordered to cast it on the ground. He cast it on the ground, and it immediately became a serpent. He was ora dered to lay hold of it with his hand, and he did so; and it was again restored to a rod, Now to know the scope of the miracle, we must attend to the meaning of the two objects, which are the principal in the operation. Concerning the serpent we have spoken already; and shewn that it was a favourite emblem, by which a human divinity, a benign
genius, Agathodæmon; was signified. In what acceptation a rod was held by the Hebrews, and what it typically represented, can only be found from their own writings. And by these we may learn that it denoted support and assistance; also rule, authority, and dominion, The Psalmist says, Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Psal. xxiii. 4. It here signifies plainly assistance and support. That it relates to authority and power we may perceive, by Moses being constantly ordered to take his rod in his hand. And we are accordingly told, when he left Jethro to return to Egypt, that he took the rod of God with him. Exod. ch. iv. Ver. 20. When be appears before Pharaoh, he is ordered to take the rod which had been turned to a serpent in his hand. Exod. chi vii. ver. 15. The same injunction is given to his brother---Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters, v. 19. Its typical signification may be farther known from a variety of passages in scripture ; out of which the following will suffice. Jeremiah, speaking of the ruin of Moab, which had been in a flourishing state, says, How is the strong
staff broken, and the beautiful rød! ch. xlviii, ver. 17. The same prophet, speaking of the Jewish theocracy, says---Israel is the rod of his inheritance, ch. li. ver, 19. that is, the rule, government, and kingdom of Israel belongs solely to God. Againz-The Lord said unto my Lord The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion; rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Psalm cx. ver. 1, %:-Thera shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse. Isaiah, ch, xi. ver. 1. From hence we may infer, that neither Moses, nor the Israelites, could mistake the purport of the miracle, when his rod was turned into a serpent. The immediate signification seems to have been, that human support should be improved to divine assistance; and, instead of the authority of man, the people should be under the guidance and authority of the ' Almighty. His kings dom should be established among them....
* St Paul quotes the Psalmist concerning our Saviour. O θρονος σε, ο Θεος εις τον αιώνα τα αιωνος. Ραβδος ενθυτητος και μαύδος ons baridices on. Hebrews i. 8.
Concerning the Purport of the second Miracle.
But there was certainly a farther meaning, and a circumstance of more consequence intimated, though the people at that time might not apprehend it. In the history of this operation, as well as in that of the brazen serpent, mentioned above, we have pointed out to us the Redeemer, that good physician, that benign human divinity, who was to heal us from all deadly infection, restore us to life, and cleanse us from every impurity. That this was the thing ultimately signified, we may perceive by what immediately follows. For Moses was ordered to put his hand into his bosom; and he did so : when upon taking it out again, it was found foul and loathsome, being infected with leprosy and white as snow. He was directed to put it into his bosom a sez cond time, and when he drew it out, it appeared pure and wholesome ; all taint and infection were cleansed away. From hence I should judge, that these miraculous representations had a covert meaning: and that they did not relate to the Israelites only and their deliverance from bondage ; bụt to the
redemption of the whole world ; and to the means by which it is to be effected. In short, there are three things presented to our view--the deity, the disease, and the cure. However concise the history, the meaning cannot be mistaken.'
Of the Miracle to be renewed. It was farther enjoined to Moses, that, when he came among his people, he should act over again what he had now done, with his rod, and with his hand; and the same consequences were to follow. Each sign was to be precisely repeated for the conviction of the Israelites. And the Lord gave him this assurance--Exodus, chap. iv. ver. 8. 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.
V. 9. And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe also these two signs, (of the rod, and of his hand) 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