페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub
[blocks in formation]

Year before the coinmon Year of Christ, 1706. —- Julian Period, 2009.-Cycle of the San, 7.-Dominical Letter, F.-Cycle of the Moon, 2. ---Indiction, 15.-Creation from

Tiari or September, 2-98.

B. C. 1635.

CHAPTER 1.

6 And a Joseph died, and all his bre- A M. DER

thren, and all that generation. The names and number of the chileren of Israel that went down into Egypt, !-5. 7 e And the children of Israel were fruitful, and Joseph and all his brethren of that generation dlje, 6. "The great increase of their pocenity TomThe eruit policy of the king of Feype to destroy them, s-11. They increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed age, 13. 11. Pharaoh's command to the Helrew nidwives to kill all the male chil: exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with dren, 15, 16. The milwives desohey the king's conimaniment, and on being ques. I them. tionel, vinilicate themselves, 17-19. God is pleased with their conduct, blesses them, and increases the people, 20, 21, Phanuuh gives a general command to the 8 Now there ! arose up a new king A M. cr nam Egypuans to drown all the male children of the Hebrews, 22.

over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. A M. 2299.

a these are the names of the B. C. 1706.

9 And he said unto his people, Behold, 6 the children of Israel, which came into people of the children of Israel are more and Egypt; every man and his household came with mightier than we: Jacob.

10 - Come on, let us i deal wisely with them; 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah,

lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, 3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin,

when there falleth out any war, they join also 4 Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so 5. And all the souls that came out of the bloins get them up out of the land. of Jacob were · seventy souls: for Joseph was in 11 Therefore they did set over them taskEgypt already.

masters k to afflict them with their i burdens.

NOW .

Gen. 46. 8. Ch. 6. 14.-b Heb. thigh-e Gen. 16. 8. 27. Ver. 20. Deut. 10. 22.-dGen. 50. 35. Acts 7. 15. ---Gen. 46. 3. Deut. 23. 5. Psa. 105. 29. Acta 7.17. - Acus 7. 18.

g Psa 105. 24---h Psa. 10. 2. & 83. 3, 4.--- Job 5. 13. Psa. 105. 25. Prov. 16. 25 & 21. 30. Acus 7. 19. -- Gen. 15. 13. Ch. 3. 7. Deut. 26. 6.- Ch. 2. 11. & 3.4, 5. Pas 81. 6.

NOTES ON CHAPTER I.

ledge the obligations under which the whole land of Egypt Verse 1. These are the names] Though this book is a was laid to this eminent prime minister of one of his precontinuation of the book of Genesis, with which probably decessors. it was in former times conjoined, Moses thought it neces Verse 9. He said unto his people] He probably sumsary to introduce it with an account of the names and num moned a council of his nobles and elders to consider the ber of the family of Jacob when they came to Egypt, to subject; and the result was, to persecute and destroy them, show, that though they were then very few, yet in a short as is afterward stated. time, under the especial blessing of God, they had multi Verse 10. They join also unto our enemies] It has plied exceedingly, and thus the promise to Abraham had been conjectured, that Pharaoh had probably his eye on the been literally fulfilled.--See the notes on Gen. xlvi. oppressions which Egypt had suffered under the shepherd

Verse 6. Joseph died, and all his brethren] That is, kings, who for a long series of years had, according to Joseph had now been some time dead, as also all his bre- Manetho, governed the land with extreme cruelty. As thren; and all the Egyptians, who had known Jacob and the Israelites were of the same occupation, viz. shepherds

, his twelve sons: and this is a sort of reason why the im- the jealous, cruel king found it easy to attribute to them portant services performed by Joseph were forgoiten. the same motives; taking it for granted, that they were

Verse 7. The children of Israel were fruitful] 110 only waiting for a favourable opportunity to join the eneparu, a general term, signifying that they were like healthy mies of Egypt, and so overrun the whole land. irees, bringing forth an abundance of fruit.

Verse 11. Scl over them task-masters) ooonnu sarey And increased) in yishretsu, they increased like missim, chiefs or princes of burdens, works, or tribute fishes, as the original word implies. ---See Gen. i. 20. and 1715TRT45 Troy segur, Sept. overseers of the works. The the note there.

persons who appointed them their work, and exacted the Abundantly) 197 yirebu, they multiplied: this is a performance of it. The work itself being oppressive, and separate term, and should not have been used as an adverb the manner in which it was exacted still more so, there by our translators.

is some room to think that they not only worked them And waxed exceeding mighty) ND INDD 1080" va- unmercifully, but also obliged them to pay an exorbitant yaâtsmu be-meod meod, and they became strong beyond tribute at the same time. measure-superlatively, superlatively—so that the land Treasure cities) n12200 ny ârey miscenoth, store cities (Goshen) was filled with them. This astonishing increase - public granaries. Calmet supposes this to be the name was, under the providence of God, chiefly owing to two of a city, and translates the verse thus: “They built cities, causes; 1. The Hebrew women were exceedingly fruitful, viz. Miscenoth, Pithom, and Rameses.". Pithom is supsuffered very little in parturition, and probably often brought posed to be that which Herodotus calls Patumos. Raamforth twins. 2. There appears to have been no premature ses, or rather Rameses, for it is the same Hebrew word as deaths among them. Thus in about two hundred and in Gen. xlvii. 11. and should be written the same way here fifteen years they were multiplied to upwards of 600,000, as there, is supposed to have been the capital of the land independently of old men, women, and children.

of Goshen, mentioned in the book of Genesis by anticipaVerse 8. There arose up a new king] Who this was, tion; for it was probably not erected till after the days of it is difficult to say. It was probably Ramesses Miamun, Joseph, when the Israelites were brought under that severe or his son Amenophis, who succeeded him in the govern- oppression described in the book of Exodus. The Septuament of Egypt, about A. M. 2400, before Christ 1604.

gint add here, **• 2, !TTIV HALOutonos, and ON, which is Which kneio not Joseph.) The verh ya, yadâ, which Heliopolis : i. e. the city of the Sun. The same reading we translate to knowo, often signifies to acknowledge or is found also in the Coptic version. approve, see Judges ii. 10. Psal. i. 6. xxxi. 7. Hog. ii. 8.

Some writers suppose, that, besides these cities, the Isand Amos iii. 2. The Greek verbs 18w, and govw=xv, are raelites builded the Pyramids. If this conjecture be wellused precisely in the same sense in the New Testament, founded, perhaps they are intended in the word 112200 see Matt. xxv. 12. and 1 John iii. 1. We may therefore miscenolh, which from 30 sacan, to lay up in store, might understand by the new king's not knowing Joseph, his be intended to signify places where Pharaoh laid up his diapproving of that system of government which Joseph treasures; and from their structure, they appear to have had established, as well as his haughtily refusing to acknow- been designed for something of this kind. If the history

And they built for Pharaoh, treasure cities, 16 And he said, When ye do the office of a Pithom mand Raamses.

midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them 12 " But the more they afflicted them, the more upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill they multiplied and grew. And they were him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live. grieved because of the children of Israel.

17 But the midwives r feared God, and did not 13 And the Egyptians made the children of as the king of Egypt commanded them, but Israel to eerve with rigour:

saved the men children alive. 14 And they made their lives bitter with 18 And the king of Egypt called for the midhard bondage,'P in mortar, and in brick, and in wives, and said unto them, Why have ye done all manner of service in the field: all their ser- this thing, and have saved the men children alive? vice, wherein they made them serve, was with 19 And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, rigour.

Because the Hebrew women are not as the 15 | And the king of Egypt spake to the He- Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are brew midwives, of which the name of the one delivered ere the midwives come in unto them. was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: 20 - Therefore God dealt well with the mid

m Gen. 17. 11.-nlleb. And as they afflicted them, do they multiplied, &c.-- Ch. 2

22 & 6.9. Nuab. 2. 15. Acis 7. 19, 31.

p Psa. 81.6.- Prov. 16. 6.- Dan. 3. 16, 18. & 6.13. Acts 5.23.- See Joah.2 4. &c.

2 Sam. 17. 19, 20.-u Prov. 11. 18. Eccles 8. 12 Isai. 3. 10. Heb. 6. 10.

of the pyramids be not found in the book of Exodus, it is among the Hebrew women at this time; but that very few nowhere else extant; their origin, if not alluded to here, were requisite, see proved on ver. 19. being lost in their very remote antiquity. Diodorus Sicu Verse 16. Upon the stools] Dunn Sy al ha-abenayim. lus, who has given the best traditions he could find relative This is difficult word, and occurs nowhere else in the to them, says, that there was no agreement either among Hebrew Bible, but in Jer. xviii. 3. where we translate it the inhabitants, or the historians, concerning the building the potter's wheels. As an aben, signifies a stone, the of the pyramids. Bib. Hist. lib. 1. cap. Ixiv.

abenayim has been supposed to signify a stone trough, in Josephus expressly says, that one part of the oppression which they received and washed the infant as soon as born. suffered by the Israelites in Egypt, was occasioned by Jarchi, in his book of Hebreo roots, gives a very different building pyramids.-See on ver. 14.

interpretation of it; he derives it from ja ben, a son ; or In the book of Genesis, and in this book, the word Pha-Doa banim, children: his words must not be literally raoh frequently occurs, which, though many suppose to be translated; but this is the sense_."When ye do the office a proper name, peculiar to one person, and by this sup- of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and ye see that the position confound the acts of several Egyptian kings; yet birth is broken forth, if it be a son, then ye shall kill him.” it is to be understood only as a name of office.

Jonathan ben Uzziel gives us a curious reason for the comIt may be necessary to observe, that all the Egyptian mand given by Pharaoh to the Egyptian women-"Phakings, whatever their own name was, took the surname raoh slept, and saw in his sleep a balance, and behold the of Pharaoh when they came to the throne; a name, which whole land of Egypt stood in one scale, and a lamb in the in its general acceptation, signified the same as king or other; and the scale in which the lamb was outweighed monarch; but in its literal meaning, as Bochart has am that in which was the land of Egypt. Immediately he ply proved, it signifies a crocodile, which being a sacred sent and called all the chief magicians, and told them his animal among the Egyptians, the word might be added to dream. And Janes and Jimbres, (see 2 Tim. iii. 8.) who their kings, in order to procure them the greater reverence were chief of the magicians, opened their mouths and said and respect.

to Pharaoh, A child is shortly to be born in the congregaVerse 12. But the more they afflicted them] The margin tion of the Israelites, whose hand shall destroy the whole has pretty nearly preserved the import of the original— And land of Egypt." Therefore Pharaoh spake to the midas they afflicted them, so they multiplied, and so they wires, &c. grew. That is, in proportion to their afflictions was their Verse 17. The midwives feared God] Because they prosperity; and had their sufferings been greater, their knew that God had forbidden murder of every kind : for increase would have been more abundant.

though the law was not yet given, Exod. xx. 13. being Verse 13. To serve with rigour] 7nda be-pherec, with Hebrews, they must have known that God had from the cruelty, great oppression, being ferocious with them. The beginning declared, Whosoever sheddeth man's blood, by word fierce is supposed by some to be derived from the man shall his blood be shed, Gen. ix. 6. Therefore they Hebrew, as well as the Latin ferox, from which we more saved the male children of all to whose assistance they immediately bring our English term. This kind of cruelty were called. See ver. 19. to slaves, and ferociousness, unfeelingness, and hard-heart Verse 19. The Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian edness, were particularly forbidden to the children of Israel. women) This is a simple statement of what general exSee Levit. xxv. 43, 46. where the same word is used-thou perience knows to be a fact, viz. that women, who, during shalt not rule over him with rigour, but shalt fear thy the whole of their pregnancy, are accustomed to hard God.

labour, especially in the open air, have comparatively little Verse 14. They made their lives bitter) So that they pain in parturition. At this time the whole Hebrew became weary of life through the severity of their servi- nation, men and women, were in a state of slavery, and tude.

were obliged to work in mortar and brick, and all manWith hard bondage] hop nnaya be-åbodah kashah, ner of service IN THE FIELD, ver. 14. and this at once with grievous servitude. This was the general character accounts for the ease and speediness of their travail.

With of their life in Egypt; it was a life of the most painful the strictest truth the midwives might say, the Hebrew servitude, oppressive enough in itself, but made much more women are not as the Egyptian women: the latter fare so, by the cruel manner of their treatment, while perform- delicately, are not inured to labour, and are kept shut up at ing their tasks.

home; therefore they have hard, difficult, and dangerous In mortar and in brick] First in digging the clay, labours: but the Hebrew women are lively, nun chaiyoth, kneading and preparing it, and secondly, forming it into are strong, hale, and vigorous, and therefore are delivered bricks, drying them in the sun, &c.

ere the midwives come in unlo them. In such cases, we Serrice in the field] Carrying these materials to the may naturally conclude, that the midwives were very selplaces where they were to be forined into buildings, and dom eren sent for. And this is probably the reason why serving the builders, while employed in those public works. we find but two mentioned ; as in such a state of society, Josephius says the Egyptians contrived a variety of ways there could be but very little employment for persons of to afflict the Israelites : for they enjoined them, says he, to that profession, as a mother, an aunt, or any female accut a great number of channels for the river, and to build quaintance or neighbour, could readily afford all the assistwalls for their cities and ramparts, that they might restrain ance necessary in such cases. Commentators, pressed with the river, and hinder its waters from stagnating, upon its imaginary difficulties, have sought for examples of easy overrunning its own banks: they set them also to build parturition in Ethiopia, Persia, and India, as parallels to pyramids, mue exe: 825 to 209.24d-youvT85, and wore them out, the case before us; but they might have spared ihemselves and forced them to learn all sorts of mechanic arts, and to the trouble, because the case is common in all parts of the accustom themselves to hard labour.–Antiq. lib. ii. cap. ix. globe where the women labour hard, and especially in the sect. 1. Philo bears nearly the same testimony, p. 86. open air. I have known several instances of the kind Edlit. Mangey.

myself, among the labouring poor. I shall mention one: Verse 15. Hebrew midwives] Shiphrah and Puah, I saw a poor woman in the open field at hard labour-she which are here mentioned, were probably certain chiefs, staid away in the afternoon; but she returned the next under whom all the rest acted, and by whom they were morning to her work, with her infant child, having in the instructed in the obstetricart. Aben Ezra supposes, there interim been safely delivered! She continued at her daily could not have been fewer than five hundred midwives I work, having apparently suffered no inconvenience !

wives: and the people multiplied, and waxed 22 | And Pharaoh charged all his people, very mighty.

saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast 21 And it came to pass, because the midwives into the river, and every daughter ye shall save feared God, that he made them houses. alive.

W

Step 1 Sam. 2 35. 2 Sam. 7, 11, 13, 27, 29. 1 Kings 2 21. & 11. 33. Psa. 127. 1.

w Acts 7. 19. Ch. 7. 19-21. Rev. 16. 4-6.

I have entered more particularly into this subject, be. Hebrews as an offering to his god, having two objects in cause, through want of proper information (perhaps from view, 1. To increase the fertility of the country by thus a worse motive) certain persons have spoken very un- procuring, as he might suppose, a proper and sufficient guardedly against this inspired record" The Hebrew annual inundation; and 2. To prevent an increase of popumidwives told palpable lies, and God commends them for lation among the Israelites, and in process of time procure it: thus we may do evil that good may come of it, and their entire extermination ? sanctify the means by the end." Now, I contend that It is conjectured, with a great show of probability, that there was neither lie direct, nor even prevarication in the the edict, mentioned in this verse, was not made till after case. The midwives boldly state to Pharaoh a fact, (had the birth of Aaron; and that it was revoked soon after the it not been so, he had a thousand means of ascertaining the birth of Moses; as, if it had subsisted in its rigour, during truth) and they state it in such a way, as to bring convic- the eighty-six years, which elapsed between this and the tion to his mind, on the subject of his oppressive cruelty on deliverance of the Israelites, it is not at all likely that the one hand, and the mercy of Jehovah on the other. As their males would have amounted to six hundred thouif they had said, “The very oppression, under which, sand, and those all effective men. through thy cruelty, the Israelites groan, their God has In the General Preface to this work, reference has been turned to their advantage: they are not only fruitful, but made to Origen's method of interpreting the Scriptures, they bring forth with comparatively no trouble; we have and some specimens promised. On the plain account of a scarcely any employment among them.” Here then is a simple matter of fact, related in the preceding chapter, fact, boldly announced in the face of danger: and we see this very eminent man, in his 2d homily on Exodus, imthat God was pleased with this frankness of the midwives, poses an interpretation, of which the following is the suband he blessed them for it.

stance, Verse 20. Therefore God dealt well with the midwives : Pharaoh king of Egypt, represents the devil ;--the and the people multiplied, and wared very mighty) This male and female children of the Hebrews, represent the shows an especial providence and blessing of God; for animal and rational faculties of the soul. Pharaoh, the though in all cases where females are kept to hard labour, devil, wishes to destroy all the males, i. e. the seeds of they have comparatively easy and safe travail; yet in a rationality and spiritual science, through which the soul state of slavery, the increase is generally very small; as tends to, and seeks heavenly things; but he wishes to the children die for want of proper nursing, the women, preserve the females alive, i. e. all those animal propen. through their labour, being obliged to neglect their off sities of man, through which he becomes carnal and spring; so that in the slave countries, the stock is obliged | devilish. Hence, says he, when you see a man living in to be recruited by foreign imports; yet, in the case above, luxury, banquetings, pleasures, and sensual gratifications; it was not so; there was not one barren among their tribes; know, that there the king of Egypt has slain all the and even their women, though constantly obliged to per- males, and preserved all the females alive. The midform their daily tasks, were neither rendered unfruitful by wires represent the Old and New Testaments; the one it, nor taken off by premature deaths, through the violence is called Sephora, which signifies a sparrou, and means and continuance of their labour, when even in the delicate that sort of instruction, by which the soul is led to soar situation mentioned above.

aloft, and contemplate heavenly things. The other is Verse 21. He made them houses) Dr. Shuckford thinks called Phua, which signifies ruddy or bashful, and points that there is something wrong both in the punctuation and out the Gospel, which is ruddy with the blood of Christ, translation of this place, and reads the passage thus, add spreading the doctrine of his passion over the earth. By ing the 21st to the 20th verse. "And they multipled and these, as midwives, the souls that are born into the church waxed mighty; and this happened ( vayehi) because are healed; for the reading of the Scriptures corrects the midwives feared God: and he (Pharaoh) made only and heals what is amiss in the mind. Pharaoh, the devil, lahem, (masc.) them (the Israelites) houses ; and com wishes to corrupt those midwives, that all the males, the manded all his people, saying, Every son that is born,' spiritual propensities, may be destroyed; and this he &c. The doctor supposes that previous to this time the endeavours to do, by bringing in heresies and corrupt Israelites had no fixed dwellings, but lived in tents, and opinions. But the foundation of God standeth sure. The therefore had a better opportunity of concealing their midwives feared God, therefore he builded them houses. children: but now Pharaoh built them houses, and obliged If this be taken literally, it has little or no meaning, and them to dwell in them, and caused the Egyptians to watch is of no importance; but it points out, that the midwives, over them, that all the male children might be destroyed, the law and the Gospel, by teaching the fear of God which could not have been easily effected had the Israelites build the houses of the church, and fill the whole earth continued to live in their usual scattered manner in tents. with houses of prayer. Therefore these midwives, be. That the houses in question were not made for the midwives, cause they feared God, and taught the fear of God, did but for the Israelites in general, the Hebrew text seems not fulfil the command of the king of Egypt-they did pretty plainly to indicate : for the pronoun ons lahem, to not kill the males : and I dare confidently affirm, that they ihem, is the masculine gender : had the midwives been did not preserve the females alive; for they do not teach meant, the feminine pronoun 175 lahen, would have been vicious doctrines in the church, nor preach up luxury, nor used. Others contend, that by making them houses, not foster sin, which are what Pharaoh wishes, in keeping only the midwives are intended, but also that the words the females alive; for by these rirtue alone is cultivated mark an increase of their families, and that the objection and nourished. By Pharaoh's daughter, I suppose the taken from the masculine pronoun is of no weight, because church to be intended, which is gathered from among the these pronouns are often interchanged; see 1 Kings xxii. Gentiles : and although she has an impious and iniquitous 17. where ab lahem is written, and in the parallel place, father, yet the prophet says unto her, Hearken, o daugh2 Chron. xviii. 6. 105 lahen is used. So ona bahem, in ter, and consider, incline thine car ; forget also thine 1 Chron. x. 7. is written ina bahcn, 1 Sam. xxxi. 7. and own people, and thy father's house, so shall the king in several other places. There is no doubt that God did greatly desire thy beauty. Psal. xlv. 10. 11. This, therebless the midwives; his approbation of their conduct is fore, is she who comes to the waters to bathe, i. e. to the strictly marked ; and there can be no doubt of his prosper baptismal font, that she may be washed from the sins ing the Israelites ; for it is particularly said that the people which she has contracted in her father's house. Immemultiplied and waxed very mighty. But the words most diately she receives bowels of commiseration, and pities probably refer to the Israelites, whose houses or families, the infant–That is, the church, coming from among the were built up by an extraordinary increase of children, Gentiles, finds Moses, the law, lying in the pool, cast out, notwithstanding the cruel policy of the Egyptian king and exposed by his own people, in an ark of bulrushes Vain is the counsel of man, when opposed to the determi- daubed over with pitch, deformed and obscured by the nations of God! All the means used for the destruction of carnal and absurd glosses of the Jews, who are ignorant this people, became in his hand instruments of their pros of its spiritual sense ; and while it continues with them, perity and increase. How true is the saying, if God be is as a helpless and destitute infant; but as soon as it for us, who can be against us ?

enters the doors of the Christian church, it becomes strong Verse 22. Ye shall cast into the rider] As the Nile, and vigorous; and thus Moses, the lar, grows up, and which is here intended, was a sacred river among the becomes, through means of the Christian church, more Egyptians, is it not likely that Pharaoh intended the young I respectable even in the eyes of the Jews themselves, ac

and y when she saw him that he was a goodly CHAPTER II.

child, she hid him three months. Amram and Jochebel marry,! Moses is born, and is hid by his mother three months,

3 And when she could not longer hide him, 2 Is exposed in an ark of bulrushes on the river Nile, and watched by his sister, 3,4." He is found by the daughter of Pharaoh, who commits him to the care of his she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed own mouher, and has him elucaled as her own son, 5.-9. When grown up be is trought to Pharanh's danghter, who receives him as her own child, and calls him it with slime and with pitch, and put the child NO.CO, 10. Fisting Egyptian smiling an Hebrew, he kills

the Egyptian, and therein; and she laid it in the fags by the gether, one of whom charges him with killing the Egyptian, 13, 14. Pharaoh river's brink. hearing of the death of the Egypuan, sought to slay Moses, who being alarmed, excapes to the land of Mdian, 15. Meets with the seven daughters of Reuel priest

4 ? And his sister stood afar off, to wit what of Madan, who caune to water their flocke, and wrists them, 16, 17. On their return, would be done to him. they intoru un father Reuel, who invites Moses to his house, 18-20. Mones dwells with him, and receives Zipporah his danghter to wise, 21. She bears him a 5 | And the daughter of Pharaoh came Esp. cry for deliverance, 23 God remembers his covenant with Abraham, Islac, down to wash herself at the river; and

her and Jacob, and prayer, 25

maidens walked along by the river's side; and Levi, and took to wife a of Levi. her maid to fetch it. 2 And the woman conceived, and bare a son: 6 And when she had opened it, she saw the

x Ch. 6. 20. Numb. 28. 59. I Chron. 23. 14.

y Acta 7. 20. Hebr. 11. 23.--2 Ch. 15. 20. Numb. 26. 59.-a Acts 7. 21.

cording to his own prophecy-I will move them to jealousy of his preservation. Scarcely any thing interests the with those which are not a people ; I will provoke them heart more, than the sight of a lovely babe in distress. to anger with a foolish nation, Deut. xxxii. 21. Thus His beauty would induce even his parents to double their taught by the Christian church, the synagogue forsakes exertions to save him, and was probably the sole motive idolatry for when it sees the Gentiles worshipping the which led the Egyptian princess to take such particular true God, it is ashamed of its idols, and worships them no care of him, and to educate him as her own son, which in more. In like manner, though we have had Pharaoh for all likelihood she would not have done, had he been only our father, though the prince of this world has begotten an ordinary child. us by wicked works, yet when we come unto the waters Verse 3. An ark of bulrushes] Ndanan tebath gorné, of baptism, we take unto us Moses, the law of God, in a small boat or basket, made of the Egyptian reed called its true and spiritual meaning; what is low or weak in it, papyrus, so famous in all antiquity. This plant grows on we leave; what is strong and perfect, we take and place the banks of the Nile, and in marshy grounds ; the stalk in the royal palace of our heart. Then we have Moses rises to the height of six or seven cubits above the water, grown up; we, no longer consider the law as little or is triangular, and terminates in a crown of small filamean-all is magnificent, excellent, elegant-for all is ments, resembling hair, which the ancients used to compare spiritually understood. Let us beseech the Lord Jesus to a thyrsis. This reed was of the greatest use to the Christ, that he may reveal himself to us more and more, inhabitants of Egypt, the pith contained in the stalk, and show us how great and sublime Moses is; for he, by serving them for food, and the woody part to build vessels his Holy Spirit, reveals these things to whomsoever he with ; which vessels frequently appear on engraved stones will. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever! and other monuments of Egyptian antiquity. For this Amen.

purpose they made it up like rushes into bundles, and by Neither the praise of piety, nor the merit of ingenuity, iying them together, gave their vessels the necessary can be denied to this eminent man, in such interpretations figure and solidity. The vessels of bulrushes or papyrus, as these. But who, at the same time, does not see, that if says Dr. Shaw, were no other than large fabrics of the such a mode of exposition were to be allowed, the trumpet same kind with that of Moses, Exod. ii. 3. which, from could no longer give a certain sound. Every passage and the late introduction of plank and stronger materials, are fact might then be obliged to say something, any thing, now laid aside. Thus Pliny, lib. vi. chap. 16. takes every thing, or nothing, according to the fancy, peculiar notice of the Naves papyraceas armamentaque Nili, creed, or caprice of the interpreter.

Ships made of papyrus and the equipments of the I have given this large specimen from one of the an- Nile; and lib. xii. chap. 11. he observes, Er ipsa cients, merely to save the moderns ; from whose works quidem papyro navigia texunt—"Of the papyrus itself on the sacred writings, I could produce many specimens, they construct sailing vessels.” Herodotus and Diodorus equally singular, and more absurd. Reader, it is possible have recorded the same fact, and among the poets, Lucan, to trifle with the testimonies of God, and all the while lib. iv. ver. 136. Conseritur_bibula Memphitis cymba speak serious things; but if all be not done according to papyro—"The Memphian or Egyptian boat is constructed the pattern shown in the mount, much evil may be pro- from the soaking papyrus.” The epithet bibula is partiduced, and many stumbling-blocks thrown in the way of cularly remarkable, as corresponding with great exactness others, which may turn them totally out of the way of to the nature of the plant, and to its Hebrew name Nda understanding; and then what a dreadful account must gomé, which signifies to soak, to drink up. See Parksuch interpreters have to give to that God, who has pro-hurst sub voce. nounced a curse, not only on those who take away from She laid it in the flags] Not willing to trust it in the his word, but also on those who add to it.

stream, for fear of a disaster; and probably choosing the NOTES ON CHAPTER II.

place to which the Egyptian princess was accustomed to Verse 1. There went a man] AMRAM, son of Kohath, come, for the purposes specified in the note on the folson of Levi, chap. vi. 16-20. A daughter of Levi- lowing verse. JOCHEBED, sister to Kohath, and consequently both the Verse 5. And the daughter of Pharaoh] Josephus wife and aunt of her husband Amram, chap. vi. 20. calls her Thermuthis, and says, that "the ark was borne Numb. xxvi. 19. Such marriages were at this time along by the current, and that she sent one that could lawful, though they were afterward forbidden, Lev. xviii. swim after it- that she was struck with the figure and un12. But it is possible that daughter of Levi, means no common beauty of the child : that she inquired for a more than a descendant of that family, and that probably nurse-but that he having refused the breasts of several, Amram and Jochebed were only cousin-germans. As a his sister, proposing to bring a Hebrew nurse, his own new law was to be given, and a new pricsthood formed, mother was procured.” But all this is in Josephus's God chose a religious family, out of which the law manner, as well as the long circumstantial dream, that gider and the high priest, were both to spring.

he gives to Amram concerning the future greatness of Verse 2. Bare a son] "This certainly was not her first Moses, which cannot be considered in any other light than child, for Aaron was fourscore and three years old, when that of a fable, and not even a cunningly devised one, Moses was but fourscore, see chap. vii. 7. And there was To wush herself at the riter) Whether the daughter a sister, probably Miriam, who was elder than either, see of Pharaoh went to bathe in the river through motives of below, ver. 4. and see Numb. xxvi. 59. Miriam and Aaron pleasure, health, or religion : or whether she bathed at all, had, no doubt, been both born before the decree was passed the text does not specify. It is merely stated by the sacred for the destruction of the Hebrew male children, men writer, that she went down to the river to wash; for the tioned in the preceding chapter.

word herself, is not in the original. Mr. Harmer, ObGoodly child] The text simply says, ana 399 9 ki tobservat. vol. iii. p. 529. is of opinion that the time referred hu, that he was good, which signifies that he was not only to above, was that in which the Nile begins to rise ; and a perfect well-formed child, but that he was very beau as the dancing girls in Egypt are accustomed now to tiful: hence the Septuagint translate the place idovris so plunge themselves into the river at its rising, by which

vTo ustrov, seeing him to be beautiful-which St. Stephen act they testify their gratitude for the inestimable' blessing interprete, musstilos Tu Orw, he was comely to God, or of its inundations, so it might have been formerly; and divinely beautiful. This very circumstance was wisely that Pharaoh's daughter was now coming down to the ordained by the kind providence of God, to be one means river on a similar account.- I see no likelihood in all thie.

[ocr errors]

child : and, behold, the babe wept. And she 10 And the child grew, and she brought him had compassion on him, and said, This is one of unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her the Hebrews' children.

son. And she called his name Moses: and she 7 Then said his sister to Pharaoh's daughter, said, Because I drew him out of the water. Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the He 11 1 And it came to pass in those days, R. M. Am brew women, that she may nurse the child for when Moses was grown, that he went thee?

out unto his brethren, and looked on their ebur8 And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go. dens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting a HeAnd the maid went, and called the child's brew, one of his brethren. mother.

12 And he looked this way and that way, and 9 And Pharaoh's daughter said unto her, when he saw that there was no man, he ? slew Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand. I will give thee thy wages. And the woman 13 And 6 when he went out the second day, took the child, and nursed it.

behold, two men of the Hebrews strove toge

b Acts 7. 21.- That is, drain out--- Aets 7. 23, 24. Hebr. 11. 24, 25, 26.

e Ch 1. 11.-- Acts 7. 24.-Acts 7. 26.

with an Proulous haste.

If she washed herself at all, it might have been a reli- of the Hebrew children, from what she had seen in the gious ablution, and yet extended no farther than to the case of Moses, would probably implore her father to hands and face: for the word pro rachats, to wash, is abolish this sanguinary edict. repeatedly used in the Pentateuch to signify religious Verse 7. Shall I go and call-a nurse?) Had not the ablutions of different kinds. Jonathan in his Targum different circumstances marked here, been placed under says, that God had smitten all Egypt with ulcers, and the superintendence of an especial Providence, there is no that the daughter of Pharaoh came to wash in the river human probability that they could have had such a happy in order to find relief; and that as soon as she touched the issue. The parents had done every thing to save their ark where Moses was, her ulcers were healed. This is child, that piety, affection, and prudence could dictate, and all fable. I believe there was no bathing in the case, having done so, they left the event to God. By faith, but simply what the text states, washing, not of her says the apostlé, Heb. xi. 23. Moses was hid, when he person, but of her clothes, which was an employment that was born, three months of his parents, because they saw even kings' daughters did not think beneath them in those he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the primitive times. Homer, Odyss. vi. represents Nausicaa, king's commandment. Because of the king's commanddaughter of Alcinous, king of the Phæacians, in company ment they were obliged to make use of the most prudent with her maidens, employed at the sea side, in washing caution to save the child's life; and their faith in God her own clothes, and those of her five brothers! While enabled them to risk their own safety; for they were not thus employed they find Ulysses just driven ashore, after afraid of the king's commandment-they feared God, and having been shipwrecked ; utterly helpless, naked, and they had no other fear. destitute of every necessary of life. Th hole scene is Verse 10. And he became her son] From this time of 80 perfectly like that before us, that they appear to me to his being brought home by his nurse, his education combe almost parallels. I shall subjoin a few lines. The menced, and he was learned in all the wisdom of the princess having piled her clothes on a carriage drawn by Egyptians, Acts vii. 22. who, in the knowledge of nature, several mules, and driven to the place of washing, com- probably exceeded all the nations then on the face of the mences her work, which the poet describes thus :

earth. Tad ar an uns

And she called his name) nuo moshch, because OYONID Ειματα χερσιν ελοντο, και ισφορεoν μιλαν υδωρ.

min ha-mayim, out of the waters, vonivo moshitihu, hare Στέιβον δ' βοθροισι δους εριδα προφερουσαι,

I drawn him. nuo mashah signifies to draw out, and
Αυταρ πει πλυναν τε, καλ ηραν τι ρυπα παντα,
Εξαμης ποτασαν παρα θιν' αλος, ηχι μαλιστα

mosheh is the person drawn out: the word is used in the Λαιγγας ποτι χερσον αποπλυνεσκς θαλασσα,

same sense, Psal. xvii. 17. and 2 Sam. xxii. 17. What Odyss. lib. vi. ver. 90.

name he had from his parents we know not; but whatever "Light'ning the carriage next, they hore in hand,

it might be, it was ever after lost in the name given to him The garments down to the unsullied bare,

by the princess of Egypt. Abul Farujius says that TherAnd thrust them, heaped into the pools, their task Despatching brisk,

muthis delivered him to the wise men, Janees and Fim. When all were purified, ani neither spot

brees, to be instructed in wisdom.
Could be perceivel, or blemish more, they spread
The rainient orderly along the beach,

Verse 11. When Moses was grown] Being full forty
Where dashing idea had cleans the pebbles most."

years of age, as St. Stephen says, Acts vii. 28. it came

Corper. into his heart to visit his brethren-i. e. he was excited When this task was finished, we find the Phæacian to it by a divine inspiration-and seeing one of them suffet princess and her ladies (Kouen Ś' en 6 za 24.10—-*1762.00 wrong-by an Egyptian smiting him; probably one of 22.xo) employed in amusing themselves upon the beach, the task-masters-he avenged him and smote, slew the till the garments they had washed should be dry, and fit Egyptian ; supposing that God, who had given him to be folded up, that they might reload their carriage and commission, had given also his brethren to understand, return.

that they were to be delivered by his hand, see Acts vii. In the text of Moses, the Egyptian princess, accompa- 23—25. Probably the Egyptian killed the Hebrew, and nied with her maids onnys naûroteyah, comes down to therefore on the Noahic precept, Moses was justified in the river, not to bathe herself, for this is not intimated, killing him: and he was authorized so to do, by the combut merely to wash, pas lirechots : at the time in which mission which he had received from God, as all sucthe ark is perceived, we may suppose that she and her ceeding events amply prove. Previous to the mission of companions had finished their task, and like the daughter Moses to deliver the Israelites, Josephus says, the Ethioof Alcinous and her maidens, were amusing themselves, pians having made an irruption into Egypt, and subdued walking along by the river's side, as the others did by a great part of it, a divine oracle advised them to employ tossing a ball, $2009 T** T'XP 1721tev, when they as sud- Moses the Hebrew. On this, the king of Egypt made denly and as unexpectedly discovered Moses adrift on him general of the Egyptian forces; with these he attacked the food, as Nausicaa and her companions discovered the Ethiopians, defeated and drove them back into their Ulysses, just escaped naked from shipwreck. In both the own land, and forced them to take refuge in the city of histories, that of the poet, and this of the prophet, both Saba, where he besieged them. That Tharbis, daughter the strangers, the shipwrecked Greek, and the almost of the Ethiopian king, seeing him, fell desperately in love drowned Hebrew, were rescued by the princesses, nour- with him, and promised to give up the city to him, on conished and preserved alive! Were it lawful to suppose that dition that he would take her io wife, to which Moses Homer had ever seen the Hebrew story, it would be rea- agreed, and the city was put into the hands of the Egypsonable to conclude that he had made it the basis of the lians. Jos. Ant. lib. ii. chap. 9. St. Stephen probably 6th book of the Odyssey.

alluded to something of this kind, when he said Moses was Verse 6. She had compassion on him] The sight of a mighty in deeds as well as words. beautiful babe in distress, could not fail to make the im Verse 13. Tuo men of the Hebrews strove together) pression here mentioned; see on ver. 2. It has already How strange, that in the very place where they were sufferbeen conjectured, that the cruel edict of the Egyptian king ing a heavy persecution, because they were Hebrers, that did not continue long in force ; see chap. i. 22. And it the very persons themselves, who suffered it, should be will not appear unreasonable to suppose, that the circum- found persecuting each other! It has been often seen, that stances related here might have brought about its abolition. in those times in which the ungodly oppressed the church The daughter of Pharaoh, struck with the distressed state of Christ, its own members have been separated from each

« 이전계속 »