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But the passage, cited above, contains some data of a most remarkable kind, from which, if our explanation be the correct one, we learn that some of the Israelites began to think of returning to Palestine at a very early period, and attempted to carry out their intentions by their own power. One portion of the tribe of Ephraim returned and settled in the southern highlands of Palestine, even during the lifetime of Ephraim himself. From these settlements they made predatory incursions into the plain of Philistia, in which, however, they suffered such severe losses that the whole of their father's house was thrown into the deepest sorrow. This repulse probably weakened them so much that the quixotic undertaking had to be relinquished. An enterprise of a similar character is referred to in 1 Chr. iv. 22, where some of the descendants of Judah are said to have ruled over Moab. The writer of the Chronicles refers to the Ozny, that is, to the ancient accounts belonging to a very remote period. On the relation of the Israelites to the Hyksosdynasty see § 34 sqq.
(1). In 1 Chr. vii. 21 there are almost as many enigmas as words. The preceding verse contains a genealogy of Ephraim carried down to the seventh generation : "The sons of Ephraim are Shuthelah, and his son Bered, and his son Tahath, and his son Eladah, and his son Zabad, and his son Shuthelah, and Ezer and Elead." Then follows in ver. 21 : “And the men of Gath, who were born in the land, slew them, for they had gone down to take their cattle; (ver. 22) and their father Ephraim mourned many days, and his brethren came to comfort him. (Ver. 23) And he went in to his wife, and she conceived and bare a son, and called him B’riah, for it went evil with his house. (Ver. 24) And his daughter Sherah built lower and upper Beth-horon and Uzzensherah.”
The first thing that is doubtful is the period here referred to. Ewald (i. 490) places it before the migration into Egypt. As Ewald thinks he has a right to construct history at his pleasure with oracular authority, it does not of course trouble him in the least, that, according to the book of Genesis, Ephraim was born in Egypt. Lengerke (i. 355) and Bertheau (Chronik. p. 83) on the other hand assign it to the period immediately subsequent to Moses, and arbitrarily identify the Beriah in chap. vii. 23 with the Benjamite Beriah in chap. viii. 13. Moreover, in reply to the question: "How are we to dispose of the father Ephraim, who mourns for the loss of his sons ?” Bertheau says, we shall be obliged to regard Ephraim as meaning the tribe, which mourned for the calamity that had happened to two of its sons, i.e., 'to two divisions of the tribe.” Good, we reply, but what are we to understand, then, by the Ephraim, who after this calamity goes in to his wife and begets a son named Beriah ? Does this mean the whole of the tribe ? As we cannot possibly think of any other Ephraim of later date, the account in the Chronicles brings us at the latest to the commencement of the second century of the sojourn in Egypt. But this does not seem to tally with what precedes, provided, that is, we look upon Shuthelah, Ezer and Elead (in ver. 21) as descendants of Ephraim in the seventh degree. Undoubtedly the suffix in 09217(and they slew them) may refer to the last names only. But it is cer. tainly a mistake to string the three last names together and look upon them as sons of Zabad, for in that case we should expect to find “his sons instead of “his son. The more correct arrangement is that adopted by Bertheau (p. 82), who classes the two last-named (Ezer and Elead) as sons of Ephraim himself, who continue the series commenced with Shuthelah in ver. 20.
Again it is doubtful whether the Ephraimites or the Gathites are to be regarded as the subject of 9779 (they had gone down) and what was the scene of this event. It has generally been supposed by earlier expositors, that the Ephraimites made a predatory attack upon the Gathites, entering Philistia from Egypt. Calovius (Bibl. illustr. ad. h. 1.) gives the following unsatisfactory explanation of the event: “De Ephraimitis res ita habet : mora impatientes et gloria primogeniturae a Jacobo concessae tumentes tentarunt magnis consiliis eductionem ex Aegypto, adeoque progressi sunt, collecto exercitu, vivente adhuc patre Ephraimo, ex Aegypto affines terrae Canaan. Quo nomine accusat eos Assaph (Ps. lxxviii. 9), quod non exspectato justo tempore terram promissam invadere ausi fuerint fiducia copiarum et peritia sua in re bellica, additque, quod justo Dei judicio temeritatis suae poenas dederint, terga verterint, inque fuga misere perierint.” But apart from the fact that Ps. Lxxviii. 9 contains nothing at all of what Calovius has discovered there, this exposition is rendered impossible by the word 779, which cannot refer to an expedition from Egypt to the more elevated land of Philistia. If we suppose the Ephraimites to have been in the land of Goshen at that time, we must necessarily regard the Gathites as the aggressors. Or if, on the other hand, we refer the words “they came down” to the Ephraimites, we must assume that they were no longer living in the land of Goshen, but had already established themselves in the highlands of Palestine.
Between these two interpretations we have to make our choice. Bertheau and Lengerke decide in favour of the latter, though we have already shown that the explanation given by Lengerke is inadmissible. Saalschütz (Mos. Recht, Berlin 1848, p. 651, seq.) also adopts it, and his interpretation is original and well worthy of consideration. His views are to some extent the same as those advocated by Calovius, but he describes and accounts for the expedition in a very different manner. “From chap. vii. 24, we perceive, he says, that a great-grand-daughter of Joseph built both upper and lower Beth-horon in the land of Canaan. If the building of these towns took place during the sojourn of the Israelites in Egypt, as some suppose, and as the context of the passage indisputably implies, seeing that it speaks of Ephraim as still alive, we have a positive proof that a portion of the Hebrews drove their flocks baek to Palestine, and that they even went so far as to establish themselves in the land and build cities there." From chap. vii. 21, it follows as he thinks, "that the Ephraimites had settlements in Palestine, before the death of Ephraim; and if these settlements were in the district in which Beth-horon was built, either at that time or a little later, the map will furnish us with the best exposition of this passage in the Chronicles, for the situation of Beth-horon is pretty well known to us, being identical, as Robinson thinks, with Beit-Ur, which is about five hours' journey to the northwest of Jerusalem, that is, in the mountainous district at a short distance from Gath."
The other view, which makes the Gathites the aggressors, has been advocated by Lightfoot (Opp. i. 23, Rotterdam, 1686), C. B. Michaelis (Annotationes in hagiogr. iii. 370), and many others. As the words "born in the land" must necessarily be understood as applying to the land, into which the incursion was made, the only explanation, which can possibly be given by those who adopt this view, is that the Gathites, by whom the attack was made, had formerly dwelt in the land of Goshen, and that having been forced out by the spread of the Israelites, they retaliated by making this attack upon their oppressors. We admit that the words of the text allow of such an interpretation, but in several respects it appears to us a forced one. First of all, it seems more natural to render the passage thus : “ The Gathites slew the Ephraimites, for (99) they had gone down to steal the cattle of the Gathites." Again it appears to us to be much more natural, i.e. more in accordance with the context and with history, to understand the words “ born in the land” as referring to the land of Philistia. And lastly, there is the unmistakeable testimony of ver. 24, if we are correct in our supposition that the erection of Beth-horon occurred before the time of Moses. For these reasons, then, we are inclined to give the preference to the interpretation of Saalschütz.
BIRTH AND EDUCATION OF MOSES.
§ 19 (Exodus ii. 1-22, vi. 16-25).-Just at the time when the oppression was most severe, and when the command to drown the new-born boys of the Israelites was most stringently enforced, a son was born to an Israelite named Amram, of the tribe of Levi and the family of Kehath, by his wife Jochebed (1). The child was remarkable for its beauty ; and therefore the mother was all the more concerned to save it, if possible, from the threatened destruction. She succeeded in concealing it for three months, but she could not hope to hide it any longer from the keen eyes of the Egyptian executioners. Maternal love, however, is always inventive. Jochebed knew that Pharaoh's daughter was accustomed to bathe at a certain spot in the Nile. This knowledge helped her to form her plan. She reckoned on the tenderness of a woman's heart. She placed the
child in an ark constructed of papyrus stalks and securely pitched, and laid it among the reeds in the well-known spot by the side of the Nile, and left her eldest daughter Miriam to watch its further fate. The plan was successful. The king's daughter noticed the ark, and had it brought to her; and the sight of the beautiful weeping infant did not fail to produce the desired impression npon her heart.
She soon conjectured that it must be one of the Israelitish boys; and as if by accident, Miriam came forward. She offered to fetch a Hebrew nurse. Of course she fetched the child's own mother, and Pharaoh's daughter gave her the child with the words: “take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages” (2). We look forward with anxiety to the future course of the child that has been so wonderfully rescued, feeling sure that he is destined for some rernarkable mission. Nor can we doubt that some such surmise or hope must have been entertained by his parents, and that this increased their anxiety to give such a direction to his mind, as would be most likely to lead to the fulfilment of their own hopes. It is true that the child would only remain a few years in his parents' house, seeing that Pharaoh's daughter intended to bring him up as her adopted son; but even at a subsequent period it could not appear strange if the boy frequently visited his nurse's home. The people, too, to whom he belonged by birth must certainly have gazed upon him with looks full of expectation and hope; or, at any rate, they must have regarded the extraordinary events of his early life, as proofs of an overruling providence and divine call. --After he was weaned, Jochebed brought back the boy to his foster-mother, who gave him the name Mo-udshe (i.e., ex aqua servatus, LXX. Mwions, Hebraized wna) (3), and had him educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians (4).
In this position a splendid career awaited him. The highest honours were within the reach of the adopted son of Pharaoh's daughter. But he