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mistaken the words of Moses: They render the passage, There he made for Them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved Them. This translation seems to hint, that some laws were here given to the Israelites, and that they were the persons here proved ; but the commentators are at a loss to ascertain any laws given at this time.8 If we attend to the Hebrew text, the affix used by Moses does not signify Them, but Him ; and Moses himself was the person here applied to, and not the Israelites, and the statute and ordinance here given was to him, not to them. This agrees with the 26th verse, where the text is justly translated, not, If ye will hearken; but, If Thou wilt diligent!t/ hearken, &c. When the Israelites were got over the Red Sea, we do not read that the pillar of the cloud and of fire went before them into the wilderness of Sliur. Moses very probably led them thither, without any special direction from God; they travelled here three days without waterr and when they found water it was bitter, and they could not drink it. In their distress they murmured, and Moses prayed to God for assistance: God accepted his prayer, and gave him (chbk xe Mishpat), a special order and appointment what to do; namely, to take a bough from a tree to which he was directed, and to put it into the waters, and by this he proved or tried him.h He gave him an opSee Pool's Synopsis in locum. h We meet many instances in the Scriptures, of God'.* appointing persons applying to him for favours, to do some portunify to shew his readiness strictly to perforin whatever orders should be enjoined him; and Itefeupoti Goo promised him, tlmt if he would litu* punctually observe all his appointment!, that thou hr would continually extricate hitn out of evecy dtffAcuity. :,
We rend of no place called Martin, in the profane author*; for indeed the Israelites gave the plane tbii name, because the water* they found here wore bitter, the word Marnh in their language signifying to b$ bitter; hut the best, heathen writers agree, that there were lakes of bitter waters in those parts where the Israelites were now travelling. Diodorus Informs us, tlmt there were such waters tit some little distance from the city Arslnoe.1 Hlrabo says the same thing;k and Pliny carries on Trajan's river from the Nile to the hitter fountains.' Now these bitter fountains, and toe bitter hikes mentioned by Btrubo and Diodorus,
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act as a proof of their entire submission anil obedience to him. Jacob was ordered to nso peeled rods, Gen. xijt. \:i.u.i.m to wash In the river Jordan, 3 Kings v. And In Esodusuvl. the Israelites weru proved In this manner. They were ordered to gather of the manna a certain rate every day, that Ooo might prove them, whether they would walk in his law or not. Tiiub was Moses here proved, he was ordered ) to put a bough Into the water; a thing In Itself insignificant, tint his doing It testified his readiness to observe any injunction which dun should think fit to give him.
i DIoiU Sic. I. 3, p. l'lO. kS(rabo, (Joog. I. 17. p. H04,
• I'lin. Nut. Ulit. 111). 6, c. 90, rot,, ni. • K