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place was to be besieged with very great dif- | success, to raise a sedition, and bring innova-
which were made for the reception of that
water : but the shepherds came upon the maidCHAP. XI.
ens, and drove them away, that they might have the command of the waters themselves.
Moses thought it would be a terrible reproach Sow the Egyptians, after they had been upon him if he should overlook this unjust op
preserved by Moses, entertained an pression, and should suffer the violence of the hatred to him, and were very eager in effect- men to prevail over the right of the maidens: ing their designs against him; and suspecting he therefore drove away the men, who had a that he would take occasion, from his good | mind to more than their share, and afforded
OF Moses's FLIGHT OUT OF EGYPT INTO MIDIAN.
a proper assistance to the women, who, when || and spake words to bim; by which it signithey had received such a benefit, came to fied how bold he had been in venturing to come their father, and told him how they had been into a place whither no man had ever come affronted by the shepherds, and assisted by a before, because the place was divine; and stranger, and intreated that he would not let advised him to remove a great way from the this ģenerous action go without a reward. || Aame, and to be contented with what he had Now the father took it well from his daugh- || seen; for, though he were himself a good ters that they were so desirous to remunerate man, and the offspring of great men, lie should their benefactor, and bid them bring Moses | not pry any farther; and he foretold to him into his presence, that he might be rewarded that he should bave glory and honour among as he deserved. And when Moses came, hemen, by the blessing of God upon
him. He told him what testimony his daughters bare to also commanded him to go with confidence to him that he had assisted them; and that, as Egypt, in order to his being the commander he admired him for his virtue, he said, that and conductor of the body of the Hebrews, Moses had bestowed such assistance on per- and to his delivering his own people from the sons not insensible of benefits, but where they l injuries they suffered there. “ For,” said God, were both able and willing to return the kind they shall inhabit this happy land, which ness, and even to exceed the measure of his your forefather Abraham inbabited, and shall generosity: so he made him his son, and gave have the enjoyment of all sorts of good things ; him one of his daughters in marriage, and and thou, by thy prudence, shalt guide them appointed him to be the guardian and super-| to those good things." But he still enjoined intendent over his cattle, for of old all the him, when he had brought the Hebrews out wealth of the barbarians was in their cattle. of the land of Egypt, to come to that place,
and offer sacrifice of thanksgiving there.
Such were the divine oracles which were deCHAP. XII.
livered out of the fire.
Moses was astonished at what he saw, and much more at what he heard ; and he said, “ I
think it would be an instance of too great madTHEN Moses had obtained this favor of || ness, O Lord, for one of that regard I bear to of Raguel), he stayed there, and fed his adore it, and know that it has been made maflocks;but some time afterward, taking bisnifest to my progenitors; but I am still in station at the mountain called Sinai, he drove || doubt how I, who am a private man, and one his flocks thither to feed them. Now this is of no abilities, should either persuade my counthe highest of all the mountains thereabouts, || trymen to leave the country they now inhabit, and the best for pasturage, the herbage being and to follow me to a land whither I lead them; good : and it had not been before fed upon, || or, if they should be persuaded, how can I because of the opinion men had that Godforce Pharaoh to permit them to depart, since dwelt there, the shepherds not daring to he augments his own wealth and prosperity ascend up to it: and here it was that a wonder- | by the labors and works he put upon them.” ful prodigy appeared to Moses : for a fire I But God persuaded him to be courageous fed upon a thorn, bush ; yet did the green on all occasions, promising to be with him, leaves and flowers remain untouched, and land to assist him in his words when he was to the fire did not consume the fruit branches, persuade men, and in his deeds when he was to although the flame was great and fierce. I perform wonders. He bid him also take Moses was affrighted at this strange sight; là signal of the truth of what he said, by but he was still more astonished when the fire throwing his rod s upon the ground; which uttered a voice, and called to him by name, when he had done, it crept along, and be
OF THE BURNING BUSH AND THE ROD OF MOSES.
W | , to " ,
* Jetheglacus, in the Greek of Josephus.
Tell us of this rod, viz. That it originally grew in Paradise, + Exod. ii. 1.
* An. 1532.
was brought away by Adam, from him passed to Noah, § Wonderful are the stories which the Hebrew doctors and so through a succession of patriarchs, till it came to VOL. 1.-(6.)
OF THE RETURN OF MOSES AND AARON INTO EGYPT, TO
came a serpent,* and rolled itself round in its | upon God declared to him that name which folds, and erected its head, as ready to re- had never been discovered to men before, venge
itself on such as should assault it, and concerning which it is not lawfult for me to afterwards it became a rod again, as it say any more. Now these signs accompanied was before.
After this God bid Moses put his Moses, not then only, but always when he right hand into his bosom; he obeyed, and prayed for them; of all which signs he atwhen he took it out it was white, and in co- | tributed the firmest assent to the fire in the lor like to chalk, but afterward it returned to bush ; and believing that God would be a its wonted color again. He also, upon God's gracious supporter to him, he hoped he should : command, took some of the water that was be able to deliver his own nation, and bring near him, and poured it upon the ground, and calamities on the Egyptians. saw the color was that of blood. Upon the surprise that Moses testified at these signs,
CHAP. XIII. God exhorted him to be of good courage, and to be assured that he would be the greatest support to him, and bid bim make use of those
OSES and did all
in whose reign was dead, cording to the Divine commands. Accord- | asked leave of Raguel to go to Egypt, for ingly he was enjoined to make no more de- || the benefit of his own people ; and he took lays, but to hasten to Egypt, and to travel with him Zipporah, the daughter of Raguel, night and day, and not to draw out the time: whom he had married, and the children he and so make the slavery of the Hebrews, and had by her, Gersom and Eleazar, and hastentheir sufferings, to last no longer.
ed into Egypt. Now the former of those Moses, having seen and heard these won-names, Gersom, in the Hebrew tongue signiders, that assured him of the truth of God's fies that he was in a strange land : and Eleapromises, had no room left him to disbelieve zar, that by the assistance of the God of his them ; so he intreated him to grant him that fathers he had escaped from the Egyptians. power when he should be in Egypt, and be When they were near the borders, Aaron, sought him, since he had heard and seen his brother, by the command of God, met him, that he would also tell him his name, him: to whom he declared what had befallen that when he offered sacrifice he might in- him at the mountain, and the commands that voke him by such name in his oblations. Here- God had given him : but as they were going
signs in order to obtain belief among all men: MOSES having understood that Pakaraadi;
be transplanted into Jethro's garden, and there took root is it an improbable conjecture, that the wands which again, God knows how; that it was called Zaphir (whence great ministers are wont to carry in their hands, in token Zipborah his daughter had her name), and had the Tetra- of their power and office, were originally derived from grammaton written upon-it; that when Ziphorah fell in this of Moses. Universal Hist. 1. c. 7; and Pool's Anlove with Moses, her father consented that she should not.
B. have him if he could pluck up this Zaphir-rod, and at the * Exod. iv. 3. same time published a proclamation, that whoever did it + This superstitious fear of discovering the name with first should marry his daughter; that hereupon several four letters, which of late bave been used falsely to prolusty young men came, and tried their strength in vain; nounce Jehovah, but seems to have been originally probut that Moses, by being acquainted with the true pro- | nounced Jahoh, or Jao, is never, I think, heard of till nunciation of the name of God, in virtue therefore did it this passage of Josephus: and this superstition, in not prowith ease, and so not only obtained his daughter, but | nouncing that name, is continued among the Rabbinical this rod into the bargain, with which he wrought after- | Jews to this day; though whether the Samaritans and wards all his wonders in Egypt. But how fictitious so Caraites observed it so early does not appear. Josephus ever all this may be, it is certain that, in Exod. iv. 20, | also durst not set down the very words of the Ten Comthis staff is called the rod of God; and that partly because mandments, as we shall see hereafter, III. 5. which superit was appropriated to God's special service, to be the in- stitious silence, I think, has yet not been continued even strument of all his glorious works; and partly to shew || by the Rabbins. Both these cautious concealments, liowthat whatever was done by that rod was not done by any ever, were probably taught Josephus by the Pharisees, virtue in it, or in the hand of Moses, but merely by the a body of men at once very wicked and very superstipower of God, who was pleased, for the greater confu- tious. sion of his enemies, to use so mean an instrument. Nor
forward, the chief men among the Hebrews, || their rods, they became serpents ; but Moses having learned that they were coming, met was not daunted at it, and said, “ O king, I them; to whom Moses declared the signs he || do not myself despise the wisdom of the Egyphad seen, and when they could not believe tians; but I say, that what I do is so much them, he made them see them; so they took superior to what these perform by magic arts courage at these surprising and unexpected and tricks, as divine power exceeds the power sights, and conceived hopes of their entire de- of man; but I will demonstrate that what I do liverance, as believing now that God took is not done by craft, or so counterfeiting, what care of their preservation.
is not really true, but that they appear by the Since then Moses found that the Hebrews providence and power of God.” When he would be obedient to whatever he should dj-had said this, he cast his rod down upon the rect, as they promised, and that they were in ground, and commanded it to turn itself into love with liberty; he came to the king, who a serpent. It obeyed him, and went all round had indeed but lately* received the govern- and devoured the rods of the Egyptians,t ment, and told him how much he had done which seemed to be dragons, until it had confor the good of the Egyptians, when they sumed them all. It then returned to its own were despised by the Ethiopians, and their form, and Moses took it into his hand again. country laid waste by them, and how he had However, the king was no more moved been the commander of their forces, and had when this was done than before; but being labored for them, as if they had been bis own very angry he said, that he should gain nopeople; and he informed him in what danger thing by this cunning and shrewdness against he had been during that expedition, without the Egyptians; at the same time commandhaving any proper returns made him, as he ing the chief task-master over the Hebrews had deserved, He also stated, distinctly, to give them no relaxation from their labors, what things happened to him at Mount Sinai, but to compel them to submit to greater opand what God said to him, and the signs that pressions than before ; and though he allowwere done by God in order to assure him of ed them chaff before for making their bricks, the authority of those commands which he had he would allow it no longer, but he made given bim; he also exhorted him not to disbe-them to work hard at brick-making in the day lieve what he told him, nor to oppose the will time, and to gather chaff in the night. Now of God.
when their labor was thus doubled they laid But when the king derided Moses, he made the blame upon Moses, because their labor him see the signs that were done at Mount and their misery were on his account become Sinai; yet was the king very angry, and call-more severe. But Moses did not let his courage ed him a wicked man, who had formerly run sink for the king's threatenings; nor did he away from his Egyptian slavery, and now come abate of his zeal on account of the Hebrews' back with deceitful tricks, and wonders, and complaints, but he supported himself, and set magical arts, to astonish him. And when he his soul resolutely against them both, and had said this, he commanded the priests to || used bis utmost diligence to procure liberty let him see the same wonderful sights; as to his countrymen : so he went to the king, knowing that the Egyptians were skilful in and persuaded him to let the Hebrews go this kind of learning, and that he was not to Mount Sinai, and there to sacrifice to God, the only person who knew them, and pretend- because God had enjoined them so to do. He ed them to be divine: he also told bim, that persuaded him also not to counterwork the when he brought such wonderful sights before designs of God, but to esteem his favor above him, he would only be believed by the un- || all things, and to permit them to depart lest · learned. Now when the priests threw down he should lay an obstructiou in the way of the
* Josephus seems here mistaken in his Egyptian chro. | mistaken in this entire Egyptian chronology, and so in nology, when he says that this Pharaoh, who was then the king of Egypt, with whom Moses had to do. king, bad but lately begun his reign; nor is it any won. of Exod. yii, 12. der, since I have already observed how greatly be was
OF THE TEN PLAGUES WHICH CAME UPON THE EGYPTIANS.
Divine commands, and so occasion his suffer- || the Egyptians, he gave the Hebrews leave
country was full of filthy slime, as they were
born, and as they died; they also spoiled their CHAP. XIV.
vessels in their houses which they used, and were found among what they ate and what
they drank, and came in great numbers upon WHEN the king despised the words of their beds. There was also a noisome smell
Moses, and had no regard at all to arose from them, as they were born, and as them), grievous plagues seized the Egyptians ; they died therein. Now when the Egyptians every one of which I will describe; both be- || were under the oppression of these miseries, cause no such plagues ever happened to any the king ordered Moses to take the Hebrews other nation as the Egyptians now felt; and with him, and be gone: upon which the because I would demonstrate that Moses did whole multitude of the frogs vanished away; not fail in any one thing that he foretold || and both the land and the er returned to them; and because it is for the good of man-their former natures. But a: pon as Pharaoh kind, that they may learn this caution, not to saw the land freed from this plague, he forgot do any thing that may displease God, lest he the cause of it, and retained the Hebrews; be provoked to wrath, and avenge their ini. and, as though he had a mind to try the naquities upon them.
ture of more such judgments, he would not yet The Egyptian river ran with bloody water, sufier Moses and his pepole to depart ; having * at the command of God, insomuch, that it granted that liberty rather out of fear, than could not be drank; and they had no other out of good consideration. spring of water. For the water was not only Accordingly, God punished his falseness of the color of blood, but it brought upon with another plague, added to the former. those that ventured to drink it great pains; For there arose, out of the bodies of the Egypand bitter torment. Such was the river to tians, an innumerable quantity of lice; ş by the Egyptians. But it was sweet and fit to which, wicked as they were, they miserably drink to the Hebrews, and no way different || perished; being unable to destroy this sort of from what it naturally used to be. As the vermin, either with washes, or with ointments: king, therefore, knew not what to do in these || At this terrible judgment, the king of Egypt surprising circumstances, and was in fear for was in disorder, upon the fear into which he
* Exod, vii. 20.
culty might the frogs, these armies of the Divine vengeThe river Nile naturally produces frogs; but so great ance, find a conveyance into the cities, which stood an abundance appearing on a sudden, filling the country, all upon the banks of the river, by aqueducts and suband leaving the rivers and fiells, to go into the cities and terraneous communications; and being got into the cities, houses, was really miraculous. How they got into the they might find apertures in the walls of the houses, cities and houses is not so hard a matter to conceive: for which the inhabitants never perceived before, Biblioif expert generals, according to both ancient and modern theca Bibl. in locum. B. history, have sometimes surprised an enemy by entering
§ Exod. viii. 17. cities through the common sewers, with much less diffi Ñ Some would have the word Cinnim, which we render