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and the Israelites desiring to hold out to the | a glory that would be remembered through all end under them.
ages; which thing was so feared by the king, While the affairs of the Hebrews were in that, according to this man's opinion, he comthis condition, there was this occasion offered manded that every male child, which was itself to the Egyptians, which made them | born to the Israelites, should be cast into the more solicitous for the extinction of our nation.river, and destroyed ; that besides this, the One of these sacred scribes, * who are very | Egyptian t midwives should watch the labors sagacious in foretelling future events truly, of the Hebrew women, and observe what told the king, that about this time a child was born; for those were the women who were would be born to the Israelites; who, if he enjoined to do the office of midwives to them, were reared, would bring the Egyptian domi- || and by reason of their relation to the king nion low, and would raise the Israelites; that would not transgress his commands.[ He he would excel all men in virtue, and obtain enjoined, also, that if any parents should dis
11 As to the affliction of Abraham's posterity for 400 || records now lost, about ibe birth and actions of Moses, years, see I. 10; and as to what cities they built in Egypt | than either our Hebrew, Samaritan, or Greek Bibles afford under Pharaoh Sesostris, and of Pharaoh Sesostris's drown- us, which enabled him to speak so largely and particularly ing in the Red Sea, see Essay on the Old Test, Append. || about him. page 139–162.
It is generally supposed that the midwives upon this I Exodus, 1. 8.
occasion told a lie; but there is no reason for such a sup** It is a common opinion, that the word pyramid is de- | position, though possibly they might conceal some part rived from the Greek' Pyr or Pur, fire; and that these of the truth, which is not unlawful, but bigbly commendstructures were so called from their shape, which ascend-able, when it is to preserve the innocent; for many of ed from a broad basis, and ended in a point, like a flame || the Hebrew women might be such as are here described, of fire. Others, whose opinion Vossius seems to approve, though not every one of them. The answer of the midsay that the name comes from the word Pyros, which, in || wives therefore is so far from being a sneaking lie to save the same language, signifies wheat, because they suppose their lives, that' it is a bold confession of their faith and then’to have been the granaries of the ancient Egyptian piety, to the hazard of them, viz. that they saw so plain kings. But a late writer, versed in the Coptic tongue, an evidence of the wonderful hand of God, in that extrahas given us another etymology from that language, ordinary vigour in the travail of the women, that do what wherein Pouro signifies a king, and Misi, a race or gene- | Pharaoh would, they durst not, would not, strive against ration ; and the reason why the pyramids had this name it, because they would not strive against God; Lightgiven them was, as he tells us, because they were erect. | foot's Sermons on 2 Sam. xix. 29. The making the mided to preserve the memory of the princes (who were their wives houses is, by most interpreters, ascribed to God, founders) and their families. Wilkins's Dissert. De Ling. | and the thing is supposed to have been done in a metaCapt. p. 108.
phorical sense, i, e, Ciod gave them a numerous offspring it of this building of the pyramids of Egypt by the or family, and a very lasting succession or posterity. For Israelites, see Perizonius Orig. Egyptiac. c. 21. It is not there are five things, say they, which go to complete the 'impossible they might build one or more of the small greatness or eminence of a family, as such; its largeness, ones, but the large ones seem much later. See my Chro- || its wealth, its honors, ils power, and its duration. Aud nological Table, and Authent. Rec. Part II. page 885, therefore since the midwives hazarded their own lives to 886, 887. Ouly if they be ali built of stone, this does save those of the Hebrew children, and to preserve the not so well agree with the Israelites' labors, which are said Israelites a numerous progeny and posterity, the God of to have been in brick, and not in stone, as Mr. Sandys || Israel, in return, not only made their own lives long and observes in his Travels, page 127, 128.
prosperous, but gave them very numerous families, and * Dr. Bernard informs us here, that instead of this an enduring posterity, in whom they might be said to live single priest, or prophet of the Egyptians, without a name after death, even from generation to generation. But all in Josephus, the Targum of Jonathan names the two fa- this is a very forced construction, and what the original mous antagonists of Moses, Jannes and Jambres. Nor is words will by no means bear. We should therefore rait at all unlikely, that it might be one of these who fore-ther think these houses were built, not for the midwives, boded so much misery to the Egyptians, and so much but for the Israelites, and that it was not God; but Phahappiness to the Israelites, from the rearing of Moses. raoh, who built then. The case seems to be this:-Pha
† Josephus is clear that these midwives were Egyp- raoh had charged the midwives to kill the male children tians, and not Israelites, as in our other copies, which is that were born of the Hebrew women ; the midwives fearvery probable, it being not easily to be supposed that Pha-ed God, omitted to do what the king had commandraoh could trust the Israelite midwives to execute so bar- ||ed them, pretending in excuse for their omission, that barous a command against their own nation. Consult, the Hebrew women were generally delivered before they therefore, and correct hence our ordinary copies, Exod. could get to them. Pharaoh hereupon, resolving to pre1. 15-22; and, indeed, Josephus seems to have had much | vent their increase, gave charge to his people to have all completer copies of the Pentateuch, or other authentic | the male children of the Hebrews thrown into the river;
obey him, and venture to save their male would always reward them for it; as he had children alive, they and their families should formerly granted his favor to their forefathers, be destroyed. This was a severe affliction, and made them increase from a few to so indeed, to those that suffered it, not only as great a multitude. He reminded him, that they were deprived of their sons, and, while when Abraham was come alone out of Mesothey were the parents themselves, they were potamia into Canaan, he had been madeobliged to be subservient to the destruction of happy, not only in other respects, but that their own children, but as it was to be sup- when his wife was at first barren, she was posed to tend to the extirpation of their na-afterward by him enabled to conceive seed, tion; while upon their destruction of their and bear him sons: that he left to Ishmael, children, and their own gradual dissolation, and to his posterity, the country of Arabia : the calamity would become very hard and in-as also to his sons by Ketura, Troglodytis ; consolable. Such was the ill state they were and to Isaac, Canaan. • By my assistance,' in; but no one can overthrow the purposes of said he," he did great exploits in war, wbich, God, though he contrive ten thousand subtile unless you be yourselves impious, you must. devices for that end; for this child, whom the still remember. As for Jacob, he became sacred scribe foretold, was brought up, and well known to strangers also, by the greatconcealed from the observers appointed by ness of that prosperity in which he lived, and the king; and he that foretold him did not left to his sons, who came into Egypt with mistake in the consequences of his preserva- no more than seventy souls, while you are tion, which were brought to pass under a sin- | now become above six hundred thousand. gular manner :
Know, therefore, that I shall provide for you A man, whose name was Amram, one of all in common what is for your good, and the nobler sort of the Hebrews, was afraid of particularly for thyself what shall make thee his whole nation lest it should fail, by the famous; for that child, out of dread of whose want of young men to be brought up here- nativity the Egyptians have doomed the Israelafter, and was very uneasy at it, bis wifeite children to destruction, shall be this child being then with child, and he knew not what of thinė, and shall be concealed from those to do; hereupon he betook himself to prayer who watch to destroy him; and when he is to God, and intreated him to have compassion brought up, in a surprising way he shall deon those men, who had no ways transgressed | liver the Hebrew nation from the distress they the laws of his worship, and to afford them de- | are under from the Egyptians. His memory liverance from the miseries they at that time shall be farpous while the world lasts; and endured, and to render abortive their enemies' this not only among the Hebrews, but fohope of the destruction of their nation. Ac- reigners also ; all which shall be the effect of cordingly God had mercy on him, and was my favor to thee, and to thy posterity. He moved by his supplication; he stood by him shall also have such a brother, that he shall in his sleep, and exhorted him not to despair || himself obtain my priesthood, and his posof his future favors. He said farther, that he terity shall have it after him to the end of the did not forget their piety towards him, and world.”
but his command could not be strictly executed whilst Moses' account of this affair. The only seeming difficulty
When the vision had informed him of these | dition, almost from the very midst of their cathings, Amram awaked, and told it to Joche- lamities : those I mean whose dangers arise bed, his wife : and now the fear increased by the appointment of God; and indeed such upon them, on account of the prediction in a providence was exercised in the case of this Amram's dream, for they were under con-child as shewed the power of God. cern, not only for the child, but on account 'Thermuthis, the king's daughter, was now of the great happiness that was come to diverting herself by the banks of the river; him also. However* the mother's labour was and seeing a cradle borne along by the cursuch as afforded a confirmation to what was rent, she sent some that could swim, and bid foretold by God; for it was not known to them to bring the cradle to her. When those those who watched her by the easiness of her that were sent on this errand came to her pain's, and because the throes of her delivery with the cradle, and she saw the little child, did not fall upon her with violence; and now she was greatly in love with it, on account of they nourished the child at home privately for its largeness and beauty, for God had taken three months. But after that time, Amram such great care in the formation of Moses, fearing he should be discovered, and by fall- that he caused him to be thought worthy of ing under the king's displeasure, both he and bringing up and providing for by all those bis child should perish, and so he should make that had taken the most fatal resolutions, on the promise' of God of none effect, he deter- account of their dread of his nativity, for the mined rather to trust the safety and care of destruction of the rest of the Hebrew nas the child to God, than to depend on his own tion. Thermuthis bid them bring her a woconcealment of him, which he looked upon as man that might suckle the child; yet would a thing uncertain, and whereby both the not the child admit of her breast, but turned child, so privately to be nourished, and him-away from it, and did the like to many other self, should be in imminent danger ; but he women. Now Miriam was by when this hapbelieved that God would some way for certain pened: not to appear to be there on purpose, procure the safety of the child, in order to but only as staying to see the child; and she secure the truth of his own predictions. When said, " It is in vain that thou, O queen, callest they had thus determined, they made an ark for these women for the nourishinent of the of bulrushes, after the manner of a cradle, child, who are by no way of kin to it; but if thou and of a bigness sufficient for an infant to be wilt order one of the Hebrew women to be laid in, without being too much straitened. brought, perhaps it may admit the breast of They then daubed it over with slime,' wbich one of his own nation.” Now, since she seemed would naturally keep out the water from en-to speak well, Thermuthis bid her procure such tering between the bulrushes, and put the in- a one; so when she had such authority given fant into it, and setting it afloat upon the river, | her, she came back, and brought the mother, they left its preservation to God : so the river who was known to nobody there; and now received the child, and carried him along; the child gladly admitted the breast, and but Miriam, the child's sister, passed along seemed to adhere closely to it; and so it was upon the bank over against him, as her mo- that at the queen's desire the nursing of the ther bad bid her, to see whither the ark would child was entirely intrusted to the mother. he carried: where God demonstrated that hu Hereupon it was that Thermuthis imposed man wisdom was nothing, but that the Su- this name, Mouses, upon him, from what bad preme Being is able to do whatsoever he happened when he was put into the river, for pleases ; that those who, in order to their own the Egyptians call water by the name of Mo, security, condemn others to destruction, and and such as are saved out of it by the name of use great endeavours about it, fail of their pur. Uses; so, by putting these two words togepose; but that others are, in a surprising man- ther, they imposed this name upon him: and ner, preserved, and obtain a prosperous con- he was, by the confession of all, according to
An. 1612. VOL. I.-(6.)
God's prediction, as well for his greatness of saw this, (he was the same person that foremind, as for his contempt of difficulties, the told that his nativity would bring the domibest of all the Hebrews. Abraham was bis nion of that kingdom low,) he made a violent ancestor of the seventh generation, for Moses attempt to kill him; and crying out in a was the son of Amram, who was the son of frightful manner he said, “ This, o king! Caath: whose father Levi was the son of this child is he of whom God foretold, that if Jacob, who was the son of Isaac, who was we kill him we shall be in no danger; he himthe son of Abrahain. Now Moses's under- | self affords an attestation to the prediction of standing became far superior to his age, and the same thing, by his trampling upon thy gowhen he was taught, he discovered greatervernment, and treading upon thy diadem. quickness of apprehension than was usual in Take him, therefore, out of the way, and deyouth, and his action at that time promised liver the Egyptians from the fear they are in greater, when he should come to the age of a about hin, and deprive the Hebrews of the God also
gave him that tallness, when hope they have of being encouraged by him.” he was but three years * old, as was wonder- But Thermuthis prevented him, and snatched ful, and every one that saw him was greatly the child away; and the king was not hasty surprised at the beauty of his countenance. to slay him, God himself, whose providence Nay it happened frequently, that those that protected Moses, inclining the king to spare met him, as he was carried along the road, him: he was therefore educated with great were obliged to turn again upon seeing the i care; so the Hebrews depended on him, and child ; that they left what they were about, were of good hopes that great things would and stood still a great while to look on him; be done by him. The Egyptians, indeed, 'for the beauty of the child was so remarkable were suspicious of what would follow his eduon many accounts, that it detained the specta- cation; yet because if Moses had been slain, tors, and made them stay longer to look upon there was no one, either akin or adopted, him.
that had any oracle on his side for pretending Thermuthis, therefore, perceiving bim to be to the crown of Egypt, and likely to be of so remarkable a child, adopted him for her greater advantage to them, they abstained son, having no child of her own; and when from killing him. one time she had carried Moses to her father, she shewed him to him, and said, she thought
CHAP. X. ' to make him her father's successor, if it should please God she should have no legitiinate child of her own; and said to him, " I have brought up a child who is of a divine MOSES, therefore, when he was bora received him from the bounty of the river, in ner, and came to the age of maturity, made a wonderful manner, I thought proper to his virtue manifest to the Egyptians, and adopt him for my son, and the heir of thy shewed that he was born for the bringing kingdom.” And when she had said this, she them down and raising the Israelites : and the pat the infant into her father's hands : so he occasion he laid hold of was this: the Ethiotook him, and pressed him to his breast; and pians, who are next neighbours to the Egypon his daughter's account, in a pleasant way, tians, made an incursion into their country, put the diadem upon his head. But Moses
But Moses which they seized upon, and carried off the threw it down to the ground, and in a puerile effects of the Egyptians, who, in their rage, mood he wreathed it round, and trod upon it fought against them, and revenged, the afwith his feet, which seemed to bring along fronts they had received'; but being overcome with it an evil presage concerning the king- in battle, some of them were slain, and the dom of Egypt. But when the sacred scribe rest ran away in a shameful manner, and by
OF THE WAR WHICH MOSES MADE WITH THE ETHIOPIANS,
* An. 1609.
that means saved themselves. Hereupon the multitude of serpents (which it produces in
his assistants before the army came upon that
success, by the means of Moses, they did not Moses took and led his army before their slacken their diligence, insomuch that the enemies were apprized of his attacking them; Ethiopians were in danger of being reduced for he did not march by the river, but by to slavery and complete destruction; and at land, where he gave a wonderful demonstra- length they retired to Saba, a royal city of tion of his sagacity: for when the ground Ethiopia, which Cambyses afterward named was difficult to be passed over, because of the Meroe, after the name of his own sister. The
* This history of Moses, as general of the Egyptians thing else, when he said of Moses, before he was sent by against the Ethiopians, is wholly omitted in our Bibles; | God to the Israelites, that he was not only learned in all but is thus cited by Irenæus, from Josephus, and that the wisdom of the Egyptians, but was also mighty in soon after his own age : Josephus said that when Moses words and in deeds, Acts, vii. 22. was nourished in the king's palace, he was appointed ge + Pliny speaks of these birds called ibes, and says the neral of the army against the Ethiopians, and conquered || Egyptians invoked them against the serpents, Hist. Nat. them, when he married that king's daughter, because out | X. 28. Strabo speaks of this island, Neroe, and these of her affection for him, they delivered the city up to rivers Astapus and Astaboras, XVI. page 771,786. XVII. him.” See the Fragments of Irenæus, ap. edit. Grab. page 831. page 472. Nor, perhaps, did 'St. Stephen refer to any