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15 And Moses built an altar, and called the 2 Then Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, took name of it "JEHOVAH-nissi:
Zipporah, Moses' wife, « after he had sent her 16 For he said, w Because the Lord hath back, sworn that the LORD will have war with Ama 3 And her btwo sons; of which the name of lek, from generation to generation.
the one was • Gershom; for he said, I have
been an alien in a strange land : CHAPTER XVIII.
4 And the name of the other was, e Eliezer; Jethra, called the father-in-law of Moses, hearing of the deliverance which God had for, the God of my father, said he, was mine brought them to Aluses, when te with th. Israelites, were encampe) neurs Horeb, help, and delivered me from the sword of 2-3. He sent to Mo, annoucing his animal, 6. Motes goes out to meet him Pharaoh: 7, and gives him a history of God's dealing with the Israelites, 8. Jethro greatly rejoices, and makes striking chorvations on the power and goodness of Go:1, 9--11. 5 And Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, came He offers burnt-otleringsan) sacrifices to Jehovah, and Aaron and all the elders of lernel feast with him, 12 The next day, Jethro, observing how much Mowes Wils
with his sons and his wife unto Moses into the fatigued, by bring blized to si es jutge and war carstrom morning to evening wilderness, where he encamped at the mount termine causes between man and man, ani to teach them the statules and laws of of God: Gul, 15, 16. Jethro finis fault, and counsels him to appoint men who fear Gol, love truth, and hate covetousness, to be judges over thousands, hundrais, fifties,
6 And he said unto Moses, I, thy father-in-law , Jethro, am come unto thee, and thy wile, and her
l rost important , 17-*; and that this plan will be alsantageous both to him and to the people, -23. Mows hearkens to the counsel of Jethro, two sons with her. and appoints proper oficers over the people, who enter upon their functions, determine all minor causes, and reler only the most difficult to Moses, 21—36. Modes
7 | And Moses & went out to meet his fatherdisraisses Jethro, who returns to his own country, 27.
in-law, and did obeisance, and kissed him; and A M. 2514. B. C. 1190.
dian, -, . Ijar or Zif. of all that God had done for Moses, 8 And Moses told his father-in-law, all that and for Israel his people, and that the Lord had the Lord had done unto Pharaoh, and to the brought Israel out of Egypt;
Egyptians, for Israel's sake, and all the travail v That is, the LORD my banner: Se Judges 6. 21.-Or, Berause the land of a Ch. 4. 2.- Actu 7. 29. -c Ch. 2 22- That is, a stranger tere.-e That Amalek is against the throne of the LORD, therefore, &c - Heb. the hand upon ia, my God is a help - Ch. 3. 1, 12-g Gen. 14. 17. 18. 219. 1. 1 Kg the throne of the LORD.-y Ch. 2. 16. & 3. 1.- Psa4. 1. & 77. 11, 15. & 78. 4. 2. 19.- Gen 29. 13. & 33. 1.-i Heb. peace. Gen. 43. 27. 2 Sam. 11. 7. & 105. 5, 13 & 106. 2, 8.
D. WHEN M Jethro the priest of Mi they asked each other of their i welfare ; and
Rehearse it in the ears of Joshua] Thus showing that 1. This first victory of Israel must have inspired them Joshua was to succeed Moses, and that this charge should with a considerable measure of confidence in God, and in be given to every succeeding governor.
his servant Moses. Though God alone could give them I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek] the victory, yet it was necessary to show them, that it was This threatening was accomplished by Saul, I Sam. xv. by the intluence of Moses they got it.
Moses could not 3, &c. four hundred and twelve years after. Judgment is deliver Amalek into their hands; yet, if Moses did not God's strange work; but it must take place, when the continue to hold up his hands, i. e. to pray, Amalek must sins which incensed it, are neither repented of nor for- prevail. God, therefore, wrought this work in such a saken. This people, by their continued transgressions, I way, as to instruct the people, promote his own glory, and proved themselves totally unworthy of a political exist secure the true honour of his servant. The Divine Being ence; and therefore said God to Saul, Go and utterly always performs the greatest number possible of ends by destroy the SINNERS the Amalekites, Sam. xv. 18. the ferest and simplest means. In every work of God, their continuance in sin was the cause of their final de there is as much of wisdom and economy, as there is of struction.
sovereign uncontrolled power. Verse 15. Jehovah-nissi] Jehovah is my ensign or 2. It is not probable, that the people whom Joshua banner. The hands and rod of Moses were held up as chose out to lead against Amalek, were unarmed; and soldiers are wont to hold up their standards in the time we have already seen, that it is not at all likely that they of battle; and as these standards bear the arms of the came armed out of Egypt. And as the whole circumcountry, the soldiers are said to fight under that ban stances of this case show, that those who fought against ner, i. e. under the direction and in the defence of that the Amalekites were properly equipped for the fight, we government. Thus the Israelites fought under the direc may then safely presume that they got their arms from the tion of God, and in the defence of his truth; and therefore Egyptians, whose bodies were thrown on the shore, after the name JEHOVAH became the armorial bearings of the having been overwhelmed in the Rea sea. us, what whole congregation. By his direction they fought, and in was a judgment in the one case, was a must gracious prohis name and strength ihey conquered ; each one feeling vidence in the other. Judgment on God's foes, is mercy himself not his own, but the Lord's soldier.
to bis friends. Verse 16. The Lord hath sworn, that the Lord will 3. Of the efficacy of prayer we have already had the have war with Amalek, &c.] This is no translation of the most striking examples. He who has the spirit of prayer, words onbonyos by 70 ki yad âl kes yah milchamah, has the highest interest in the court of Heaven; and the which have been variously rendered by different transla- only way to retain it, is to keep it in constant employtors and critics : the most rational version of which is the ment. Apostasy begins in the closet: no man ever following: Because the hand of Amalek is against the backslid from the life and power of Christianity, who throne of God, therefore will I have war with Amalek continued constant and ferveni, especially in private prayer. from generation to generation. This gives a tolerably He who prays without ceasing, is likely to rejoice were consistent sense, yet still there is considerable obscurity in the passage. Houbigant, a most judicious, though bold
NOTES ON CHAPTER XVIII, critic, supposes, that as Jehovah-nissi, 'o 7974 Jchovah Verse 1. When Jethro, the priest of Midian, &c.] my ensign, was spoken of immediately before, that do Concerning this person, and his several names, see the kes, a throne, in this verse, is an error of some transcri- notes on ch. ii. 15, 16, and 18. and ch. ji. 1. ch. iv. 20, 24. ber, for ones, an ensign, which might be readily Jethro was probably the son of Reuel, the father-in-law occasioned by the great similarity between the caph and of Moses, and consequently the brother-in-law of Moses; the 3 nun. He thinks farther, that the two letters to yah, for the word inn choten, which we translate father-in-law, which are supposed to be here a contraction of the word in this chapter, means simply a relative by marriage. 17 Yehovah, are separated, the 'yod from da ncs, which See the note on chap. 1. 1. should be written o nissi, and the , he, from nonso Verse 2. After hc had sent her back] Why Zipporah milchamah, which should be written onbon hamilchama, and her two sons returned to Midian, is not certainly and then the whole verse will run thus: For the hand known. From the transaction recorded ch. iv, 20, 24. it shall be upon the ensigns of war unto the Lord, against scems as if she had been alarmed at the danger to which Amalek for ever, i. e. God makes now a declaration of the life of one of her sons had been exposed; and fearing war against the Amalekites, which shall continue till their worse evils, lest her husband, and returned to her father. final destruction. The conjecture of Mr. Julius Bate, in It is, however, possible, that Moses, foreseeing the trouhis Literal Translation of the Pentateuch, deserves bles to which his wife and children were likely to be ese attention. He supposes that as da cos signifies a cup, and posed, had he taken them down to Egypt, sent them back a cup is emblematically used for wrath, that on one of the io his father-in-law, till it should please God to deliver stones of the altar, mentioned in the preceding verse, a his people. Jethro now finding that God had delivered hand holding a cup was sculptured, this being a memo.them, and totally discomfited the Egyptians, their enemies, rial, according to the custom of hieroglyphical writing, thought it proper to bring Zipporah and her sons to Moses, that the Lord would continue the cup of wrath, portending while he was in the vicinity of Horeb. continual war, against Amalek for ever. I prefer Houbi Verse 3. The name of the one was Gershom] Ses the gants exposition.
note on ch. ii. 22.
that had come upon them by the way, and how I hath delivered the people from under the hand the LORD I delivered them.
of the Egyptians. 9 | And Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness 11 Now I know that the LORD is greater which the Lord had done to Israel, whom he than all gods: • for in the thing wherein they had delivered out of the hand of the Egyp- dealt p proudly he was above them. tians.
12 And Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, took a 10 And Jethro said, Blessed be the Lord, burnt-offering and sacrifices for God: and Aaron who hath delivered you out of the hand of the came, and all the elders of Israel, to eat bread Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh, who with Moses' father-in-law," before God.
k Hek found tren Gen. 41. 31. Nunb. 23. 11-1 Pa 78 12 & 61. 7. & 106. 10. 107 2.-Gen 14 20.2 Sam. 18. 8. Luke 1. 63.-2 Chron. 25. Psa. 33. 3 & 9. 9. & 135 5.
0 Ch:. 1. 10, 16, 22 6 5 9, 1. & 14. 8, 13 - 1 Sam. 2 3. Neh. 9. 10, 16, 29. Job 40. 11, 12. Psal. 31. 3. & 119. 21. Lukel. 51-4 Deut. 12. 7. I Chron. 29. 22. 1 Cor. 10. 18, 21, 31.
Verse 5. Jethro-came with his sons] There are seve Verse 6. And he said unto Moses] That is, by a mesral reasons to induce us to believe, that the fact related
senger; in consequence of which, Moses went out to meet here is out of its due chronological order, and that Jethro him, as is stated in the next verse; for an interview had did not come to Moses till the beginning of the second not yet taken place. This is supported by reading man year of the Exodus, (see Nurnb. x. 11.) some time after hinnch, behold, for vi ani, I, which is the reading of the the tabernacle had been erected, and the Hebrew common Septuagint and Syriac, and several Samaritan MSS. invealth established, both in things civil and ecclesiasticul. stead, therefore, of I, thy father, we should read, Behold, This opinion is founded on the following reasons:
thy father, &c.-Kennicott's Remarks. 1. On this verse, where it is said that Jethro came to Verse 1. And did obeisance] nne vayistachu, he Moses uhile he was encamped ut the mount of God. Now bowed himself down, see on Gen. xvii. 3. and Exod. iv. it appears from ch. xix. 1, 2. that they were not yet come 31. This was the general token of respect: and kissed lo Horeb, the mount of God, and that they did not arrive him—the token of friendship. And they asked each other there till the third month after their departure from Egypt; of their welfare-literally, And they inquired each man and the transactions with which this account is connected, of his neighbour concerning peace or prosperity, the proof certainly took place in the second month.—See ch. xvi. 1. of affectionate intercourse. These three ihings constitute
2. Moses, in Deut. i. 6, 9, 10, 12–15. relates, that when good-breeding and politeness accompanied with sincerity. they were about to depart from Horeb, which was on the And they came into the tent] Some think that the ta. 20th day of the second monih of the second year from their bernacle is meant, which it is likely had been erected before leaving Egypt, that he then complained, that he was not this time; see the note on ver. 5. Moses might have able to bear the burden alone of the government of a peo- thought proper to take his relative first to the house of God, ple so numerous; and that it was at that time, that he es before he brought him to his own tent. tablished judges and captains over thousands, and hun Verse 9. And Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness) dreds, and fifties, and tens, which appears to be the very Every part of Jethro's conduct proves him to have been a transaction recorded in this place; the measure itself being religious man, and a true believer. His thanksgiving to recommended by Jethro, and done in consequence of his Jehovah, verse 10. is a striking proof of it: he first blesses advice.
God for the preservation of Moses, and next for the deli3. From Numb. x. 11, 29, &c. we find that when the verance of the people from their bondage. cloud was taken up, and the Ísraelites were about to depart Verse 11. Now I know that the Lord is grcater than all from Horeb, that Moses addressed Hobab, who is supposed gods] Some think that Jethro was now converted to the true to have been the same as Jethro, and who then was about God; but it is very probable that he enjoyed this blessing to return to Midian, his own country, entreating him to before he knew any thing of Moses: for it is not likely stay with them as a guide, while they travelled through that Moses would have entered into an alliance with this the wilderness. It therefore seems necessary that the family, had they been heathens. Jethro, no doubt, had the transaction recorded in this chapter should be inserted true patriarchal religion. Numb. x. between the 10th and I'lth verses.
Wherein they deult proudly! Acting as tyrants over 4. It has been remarked, that shortly after they had de- the people of God: enslaving them in the most unprinciparted from Sinai, the dispute took place between Miriam, pled manner, and still purposing more tyrannical acts. Aaron, and Moses, concerning the Ethiopian woman, Zip: He was above them-he showed himself to be infinitely porah, whom he had married, (see Numb. xii. 1, &c.) and superior to all their gods by the miracles which he wrought. this is supposed to have taken place shortly after she had Various translations have been given of this clauge; the been brought back by Jethro.
above I believe to be the sense. 5. In the discourse between Moses and Jethro, mentioned Verse 12. Jethro-took a burnt-offcring] aby ôlah. in this chapter, we find that Moses speaks of the statutes Though it be true that in the patriarchal times, we read of and laws of the Lord, as things already revealed, and a burnt-offering ; see Gen. xxi. 2, &c. yet we only read acknowledged, which necessarily implies, that these laws of one in the case of Isaac, and, therefore, though this ofhad already been given, (ver. 16.) which we know did not fering made by Jethro is not a decisive proof that the law take place ull several months after the transactions men- relative to burnt-offerings, &c. had already been given, yet tioned in the preceding chapters.
taken with other circumstances in this account, it is a pre6. Jethro offers burnt-offerings and sacrifices to God, sumptive evidence that the meeting between Moses and apparently in that way in which they were commanded in Jethro took place after the erection of the tabernacle. See the law. Now the law respecting burnt-offerings was the note on ver. 5. not given till after the transactions mentioned here, unless Sacrifices for God] Ona zcbachim, slain beasts as we refer this chapter to a time posterior to that in which the word generally signifies. We have already seen that it appears in this place.--See the note on verse 12. sacrifices were instituted by God himself, as soon as sin
From all these reasons, but particularly from the tro entered into the world; and we see that they were conArst and the two last, it seems most likely that this chap- inued, and regularly practised, among all the people who ier stands out of its due chronological order, and therefore had the knowledge of the true God, from that time, until I have a ljusted the chronology in the margin to the time they became a divine legal establishment. Jethro, who in which, from the reasons above alleged, I suppose these was a priest, chap. ii. 16. had a right to offer these sacritransactions to have taken place; but the matter is not of fices ; nor can there be a doubt of his being a worshipper much importance, and the reader is at liberty to follow the of the true God, for those Kenites, from whom the Rechabcommon opinion. As Moses had, in the preceding chapter, ) ites came, were descended from him, 1 Chron. ii. 55. see related the war with Amalek, and the curse under which also Jerem. xxxv. they were laid, he may be supposed to have introduced here And Aaron came, and all the elders of Israel, to eat the account concerning Jethro the Midianite, to show that bread] The burnt-offering was wholly consumed : every he was free from that curse, although the Midianites, and part was considered as the Lord's portion; and therefore, the Kenites, the family of Jethro, were as one people, it was entirely burnt up. The other sacrifices mentioned dwelling with the Amalekites, see Judges i. 16. 1 Chron. here, were such, that after the blood had been poured out xi. 55. 1 Sam. xv. 6. For although the Kenites were before God, the officers and assistants might feed on the some of those people whose lands God had promised to flesh. Thus, in ancient times, contracts were made, and the descendants of Abraham, (see Gen. xv. 18, 19.) yet, in covenants sealed. See the notes on Gen. xv. 13, &c. It consideration of Jethro, the relative of Moses, all of them, is very likely, therefore, that the sacrifices offered on this who submitted to the Hebrews, were suffered to live in occasion, were those, on the flesh of which Aaron and the their own country: the rest are supposed to have taken elders of Israel feasted with Jethro. refuge among the Edomites and Amalekites. --See Cal
Before God] Before the tabernacle, where God dweit: me, Locke, &c.
for it is supposed that the tabernacle was now erected. VOL. I.-32
13 | And it came to pass on the morrow, that | is too heavy for thee; " thou art not able to perMoses sat to judge the people: and the people form it thyself alone. stood by Moses, from the morning unto the eve 19 Hearken now unto my voice, I will give ning.
thee counsel, and - God shall be with thee: Be 14 And when Moses' father-in-law saw all thou y for the people God-ward, that thou maythat he did to the people, he said, What is this est bring the causes unto God: thing that thou doest to the people ? why sittest 20 And thou shalt & teach them ordinances thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by and laws, and shalt ehow them the way wherethee, from morning unto even ?
in they must walk, and the work that they 15' And Moses said unto his father-in-law, must do. Because the people come unto me to inquire of 21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the God:
people d able men, such as e fear God, 'men of 16 When they have 'a matter, they come truth, & hating covetousness; and place such unto me; and I judge betweeni one and another, over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers and I do u make them know the statutes of God, of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of and his laws.
tens: 17 And Moses' father-in-law said unto him, 22 And let them judge the people hat all seaThe thing that thou doest is not good.
sons: 1 and it shall be, that every great matter 18 Thou will surely wear away, both thou, they shall bring unto thee, but every small matand this people that is with thee: for this thing ter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for
r Lev. 21. 12 Nomb. 15. 34.- Ch. 23. 7. & 21. 14. Deut. 17. 8. 2 Sam. 15. 3. Job 31. 13. Acts 18. 15. I Cor. 6. 1.- Heb. a man and his fellor. Lev. 24. 15. Numb. 15. 35. & 27. 6, &c * 36. 6-9,- Heb. Fading thou will fade.-w Numb. 11. 14,17. Deut. 1. 9, 12-x Ch. 3. 12.-y Ch. 4. 16. & 20. 19. Deat. 5.5.-2 Numb. 27. 5.
a Deut. 4. 1, 5. & 5.1. & 6.1,2 & 7.11.-b Px. 143 8.4 Deut. 1. 18.- Ver. 3. Deut. I 15, 16. & 16. 18. 2 Chron 19. 5-10. Acta 6. 3.-e Gen 42 18 2 Sam. 233 2 Chron. 19. 9.-Ezek. 19. 8.- Deut. 16. 19.-h Ver. 26.- Ver. 26. Lev. 24 IL Numb. 15. 33. & 27. 2. & 36. 1. Deut. 1. 17. & 17. 8.
See on ver. 5. and see Deut. xii. 5–7. and i Chron. xxix. point out to each his particular duty; and what is expected 21, 22. where the same form of speech, before the Lord, of him in his situation, connexions, &c. And 4. He must is used, and plainly refers to his manifested presence in set them all their work, and see that they do it. On such the tabernacle.
a plan as this, he will have full opportunity to show the Verse 13. To judge the people] To hear and determine people, 1. Their sin, ignorance, and folly., 2. The pure controversies between man and man, and to give them in- and holy law which they have broken, and by which they struction in things appertaining to God.
are condemned. 3. The grace of God that bringeth salFrom the morning unto the evening) Moses was oblig- vation, by which they
are to be justified and finally
saved. ed to sit all day; and the people were continually coming And 4. The necessity of showing their faith by their and going:
works ; not only denying ungodliness and wordly lusts, Verse 15. The people come unto me to inquire of God] but living soberly, righteously, and godly in this present To know the mind and will of God on the subject of their world, looking for that blessed hope and the glorious apinquiries. Moses was the mediator between God and the pearance of the great God, and of our Saviour Jesus people; and as they believed that all justice and judgment | Christ. must come from him; therefore they came to Moses to Verse 21. Able men) Persons of wisdom, discernment, know what God had spoken.
judgment, prudence, and fortitude : for who can be a ruler Verse 16. I do make them know the statutes of God without these qualifications ? and his laws] These words are so very particular, that Such as fear God] Who are truly religions, without they leave little room for doubt that the law had been which, they will feel little concerned either for the bodies given. Such words would scarcely have been used, had or souls of the people. not the statutes and laws been then in existence. And Men of truth] Honest and true in their own hearts and this is one of the proofs that the transaction mentioned lives; speaking the truth, and judging according to the here stands out of its due chronological order. See on ver. 5. truth.
Verse 18. Thou wilt surely wear away] San 52 nabal Hating covetousness] Doing all for God's sake, and tibol, in wearing away, thou wilt wear away; by being love to man; labouring to promote the general good, never thus continually employed, thou wilt soon become finally perverting judgment, or suppressing the testimonies of exhausted. And this people that is with thee :- As if he God, for the love of money, or through a base man-pleashad said, “Many of them are obliged to wait so long for ing spirit; but expecting their reward from the mercy of the determination of their suit, that their patience must be God, in the resurrection of the just. boon necessarily worn out, as there is no one to hear every Rulers over thousands] Millenaries, centurions, quincause, but thyself."
quagenaries, and decurions-each of these, in all probaVerse 19. 'I will give thee counsel, and God shall be bility, dependent on that officer immediately above himwith thee] Jethro seems to have been a man of great un self. So the decurion, or ruler over ten, if he found a derstanding and prudence. His advice to Moses was matter too hard for him, brought it to the quinquagenary, most appropriate and excellent : and it was probably given or ruler of fifty; if, in the course of the exercise of his under the immediate inspiration of God; for after such functions he found a cause too complicated for him to desacrificial rites, and public acknowledgement of God, the cide on, he brought it to the centurion, or ruler over a hunprophetic spirit might be well expected to descend and rest | dred. In like manner, the centurion brought his difficult upon him. God could have showed Moses the propriety case to the millenary, or ruler over a thousand; the case and necessity of adopting such measures before; but he that was too hard for him to judge, he brought to Moses ; chose in this case, to help man by man; and in the present and the case that was too hard for Moses, he brought iminstance, a permanent basis was laid, to consolidate the mediately to God. It is likely that each of these classes union of the two families, and prevent all future misun- had a court composed of its own members, in which causes derstandings.
were heard and tried. Some of the rabbins have supposed Verse 20. Thou shall teach them ordinances] Dpn that there were 600 rulers of thousands; 6,000 rulers of chukim, all such precepts as relate to the ceremonies of hundreds ; 12,000 rulers of fifties; and 60,000 rulers of religion and political economy. And laws, nina huto- tens, making in the whole 78,600 officers. But Josephus roth, the instructions relative to the whole system of mo says, Antiq. lib. iii. chap. 4. that Moser, by the advice of rality.
Jethro, appointed rulers over myriads, and then over Thou shalt show them the way) 7970 nn et haderec, thousands; these he divided into fire hundreds, and again THAT rery way, that only way which God himself has into hundreds, and into fifties: and appointed rulers over revealed, and in which they should walk in order to please each of these, who divided them into thirties, and at last him, and get their souls everlastingly saved.
into tuenties and tens: that each of these companies had And the work that they must do] For it was not suffi. a chief, who took his name from the number of persons cient that they should know their duty both to God and who were under his direction and government. Allowing man, but they must do it too; noy' yaåsun, they must do what Josephus states to be correct, some have supposed it diligently, fervently, effectually, for the paragogic; that there could not have been less than 129,860 officers in nun, deepens and extends the meaning of the verb. the Israelitish camp. But such computations are either
What a very comprehensive form of a preacher's duty fanciful or absurd.' That the people were divided into does this verse exhibit! 1. He must instruct the people
in thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens, we know, for the the nature, use, and importance of the ordinances of reli text states it ; but we cannot tell precisely, how many of gion. 2. He must lay before them the whole moral law, such divisions there were ; nor, consequently, the number and their obligations to fulfil all its precepts. 3. He musi l of officers.
thyself, and they shall bear the burden with
CHAPTER XIX. thee.
The children of Israel having departed from Rephidám, come to the wilderness of 23 If thou shalt do this thing, and God com Singi, in the third month, 1, 2 'Moses goes up into the nount of Gol, and receivea
a neage which he is to deliver to the people, 3-6. He returns and deliver it to mand thee so, then thou shalt be able to en
the people Letore the elden, 7. The peuple premise obedience, &
The Lord pro dure, and all this people shall also go to mtheir mises to moe Moses in the c!ond, 9. He cogunan:la hili to sanctity the people, and
pronses to come down visibly on mount Sinai ou the tini day, 10, 11 ic complace in peace.
annis bim also to be bounts, to prevent the people or any 'the caule from touch
ing the mount, on pain of being stone , or shot through with a lart, 12, 13. Moses 24 So Moses hearkened to the voice of his
goes down and delivers this message, 11, 15. The third day is usherel in with the father-in-law, and did all that he had said.
appearance of the thick cloud upon the mount, and with wundera, lightning, and
the sum of a trumpet : at which the people are greatly terrified, 16. Moses brings 25 And Moses chose able men out of all forth the people out of the camp 10 meet with 60), 17. Mount Sinai is encloped
with snoke, ani fire, 18. After the trumpet haul sounr le) long and loud, Moses Israel, and made them heads over the people,
spoke, and God answered him by a voice, 19. Goricalls loses up to the mount, and rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers gives hun a charge to the people and to the priests, Umat thły do not attempt to come
near to the mount, 21, 22. loses allering that it was impossible for theni to touch it of fifties, and rulers of tens.
because of the bounde, 23, is sent down to bring up Aarun, anul to warn the people 26 And they judged the people at all sea
again, bot to break through the bounis, 24. Moses goes down, and delivers this mes.
sage, 25. After which, we may suppose that be and Aaron went up to meet God in sons: the phard causes they brought unto
Sivan . 27 | And Moses let his father-in-law depart; of the land of Egypt, the same day 'came they and a he went his way into his own land.
into the wilderness of Sinai.
k Namb. IL 17.-- Ver. 18-m Gen. 18. 33. & 30 25. Ch. 16. 29. 2 Sam. 19. 39.
n Deut. 1. 15. Acts 6. 5.-o Ver. 22.--p Job 29. 16.-- Numb. 16. 29, 30.- Numb.
Verse 23. If thou shalt do this thing, and God com tain some palpable falsitics, which will discover the falsimand thee) 'Though the measure was obviously of the ut ty of all the rest. most importance, and plainly recommended itself by its 5. That wherever it is first propagated, it must be done expediency and necessity; yei Jethro very modestly leaves by craft and fruud. it to the wisdom of Moses to choose or reject it: and 6. 'That when entrusted to many persons, it cannot be knowing, that in all things his relative was now acting long concealed. under the immediate direction of God, intimates that no 1. The keenest-eyed adversary of Moses has never been measure can be safely adopted, without a positive injunc- able to fix on him any carnal interest. No gratification tion from God himself. As the counsel was doubtless in- of sensual passions, no accumulation of wealth, no ag. spired by the Divine Spirit, we find that it was sanctioned grandizement of his family or relatives, no pursuit of by the same; for Moses acted in every respect according worldly honour, has ever been laid to his charge. to the advice he had received.
2. His life was unspotted, and all his actions the offVerse 27. And Moses let his father-in-law depart] But spring of the purest benevolence. if this be the same transaction with that, mentioned Numb. 3. As his own hands were pure, so were the hands of x. 29, &c. we find that it was with great reluctance that those whom he associated with himself in the work. Moses permitted so able a counsellor to leave him: for 4. No palpable falsity has ever been detected in his having the highest opinion of his judgment, experience, writings, though they have for their subject the most comand discretion, he pressed him to stay with them, that he plicate, abstruse, and difficult topics that ever came under might be instead of eyes to them in the desert. But Jethro the pen of man. choze rather to return to his own country, where, probably, 5. No craft, no fraud, not even what one of his own his family were so settled and circunstanced, that they countrymen thought he might lawfully use, innocent guile, could not be conveniently removed; and it was more his because he had to do with a people greatly degraded, and duty to stay with them to assist them with his counsel and grossly stupid, can be laid to his charge. His conduct advice, than to travel with the Israelites. Many others was as open as the day; and though continually watched might be found that could be eyes to the Hebrews in the by a people who were ever ready to murmur and rebel, desert; but no man could be found capable of being a father and industrious to find an excuse for their repeated sedito his family, but hitaself. It is well to labour for the pub- tious conduct, yet none could be found either in his spirit, lic good; but our own families are the first claimants on private life, or public conduct. our care, attention, and time. He who neglects his own 6. None ever came after to say, We have joined with household, on the pretence of labouring even for the good Moses in a plot, we have feigned a divine authority and of the public, has surely denied the faith, and is worse than mission, we have succeeded in our innocent imposture, and an infidel.
now the mask may be laid aside. The whole work proved It is strange, that after this we hear no more of Zippo- itself so fully to be of God, that even the person who might rah! Why is she forgotten ? Merely because she was the wish to discredit Moses and his mission, could find no wise of Moses : for he chose to conduct himself so, that to ground of this kind to stand on. The ten plagues of Egypt, the remotest ages, there should be the utmost proofs of his the passage of the Red sea, the destruction of the king of disinterestedness. While multitudes of the families of Israel Egypt and his immense host, the quails, the rock of Horeb, are celebrated and dignified, his own he writes in the dust. the supernatural supply by the forty years' manna, the conHe had no interest but that of God and his people; to pro- tinual miracle of the sabbath, on which the preceding day's mote this, he employed his whole time and his uncommon manna kept good, though, if thus kept, it became putrid on taleats. His body, his soul, his whole life were a con any other day, together with the constantly attending sutinual offering to God. They were always on the divine pernatural cloud, in its threefold office of a guide by day, altar; and God had, from his creature, all the praise, glory, a light by nigh, and a covering from the ardours of the and honour that a creature could possibly give. Like his sun, all, all invincibly proclaim that God brought out this great antitype, he went about doing good ; and God was people from Egypt; that Moses was the man of God with him. The zeal of God's house consumed him; for chosen by him, and fully accredited in his mission; and in that house, in all its concerns, we have the testimony of that the laws and statutes which he gave, were the offGod himself, that he was faithful: Heb. iii. 2. and a high- spring of the wisdom and goodness of Him, who is the er character was never given, nor can be given, of any Father of Lights, the Fountain of truth and justice, and governor, sacred or civil. He made no provision even for the continual and unbounded Benefactor of the human his own sons, Gershom and Eliezer : they and their fami- race. lies were incorporated with the Levites,' 1 Chron. xxiii.
NOTES ON CHAPTER XIX. 14. and had no higher employment than that of taking Verse 1. In the third month] This was called Sivan, care of the tabernacle and the tent; Numb. iii. 21–26. and and answers to our May. merely to serve at the tabernacle, and to carry burthens, The same day! There are three opinions concerning Nurnb. iv. 24—23. No history, sacred or profane, has the meaning of this place, which are supported by respectbeen able to produce a complete parallel to the disinterest- able arguments. 1. The same day means the same day edness of Moses. This one consideration is sufficient to of the third month with that, viz. the 15th, on which the refute every charge of imposture brought against him and Israelites had left Egypt. 2. The same day signifies, his laws. There never was an imposture in the world, here, a day of the same number with the month to which saya Dr. PRIDEAUX, Letter to the Deists, that had not the it is applied, viz. the third day of the third month. 3. By following characters ;
the same day, the first day of the month is intended. The 1. It must always have for its end some carnal interest. Jews celebrate the feast of Pentecost fifty days after the 2. It can have none but wicked men for its authors. pass-over : from the departure out of Egypi to ihe coming
3. Both of these must necessarily appear in the very to Sinai, were forty-five days; for they came out the contarture of the imposture itself.
fifteenth day of the first month, from which day, to the 4. That it can never be so framned, that it will not con- 1 first of the third month, forty-five days are numbered.
2 For they were departed from • Rephidim, 6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had priests, and a holy nation. These are the words pitched in the wilderness: and there Ísrael en- which ihou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. camped before the mount.
7 | And Moses came and called for the elders 3 || And Moses went up unto God, and the of the people, and laid before their faces all these LORD called unto him out of the mountain, eay words which the LORD commanded him. ing, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, 8 And d all the people answered together, and and tell the children of Israel ;
sajd, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. 4 » Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyp- | And Moses returned the words of the people tians, and how * I bare you on eagles' wings, unto the Lord. and brought you unto myself.
9 And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come 5 Now y therefore, if ye will obey my voice unto thee e in a thick cloud, that the people indeed, and keep my covenant, then < ye shall be may hear when I speak with thee, and believe a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the for a all the earth is mine:
people unto the LORD.
& Ch. 17. 1, 8.- Ch. 3. 1,12--u Ch. 30. 21. Acis 7. 38.- Ch.3.4.- Deut. 29. 2 * Deut. 32. 11. Isi. 3. 9. Rev. 12. 14.-y Dent. 5. 2-. Deut. 4. 20.& 7.6. & 14.2, 21. & 25.15. & 32, 9. I Kings 8. 53 Psa. 135. 4. Cant. 8.12 Isai. 41. 8. & 43. 1. Jer. 10. 16. Mal. 3. 17. Tit. 2. 14.-a Ch. 9. 9. Deut. 10. 11. Joh 41. 11. Psa. 24. 1.
& 50. 12. 1 Cor. 10. 26, 28.--- Deut. 33. 2-4. 1 Pet. 2. 5, 9. Rev. 1.6.& 5. 10. 20.6. c Les. 20. 24, 26. Deut. 7. 6. & 6. 19. & 289. Isai. 62. 12. I Cor. 3. 17. I These 5.27. d Ch. 21 3,7. Deut. 5. 27. & 26. 17.--e Ver. 16. Ch. 20. 21. & 24. 15. 16. Detil 4. IL. Psa. 18. 11, 12 & 97.2 Matt. 17. 5.- Deut. 4. 12, 36. John 12. 29, 30.- Ch.11. 31
On the 24 day of this third month, Moses went up into they should hear; they should consult his testimonies, the mountain, when three days were given to the people hear them whenever read or proclaimed, and obey them to purify themselves: this gives the fourth day of the as soon as heard, affectionately and steadily. 3. They third month, or the forty-ninth from the departure out of must keep this covenant-Not only copy in their lives the · Egypt. On the next day, which was the fifticth from the ten commandments, but they must receive and preserve celebration of the passover, the glory of God appeared on the grand agreement made between God and man by the mount; in commemoration of which the Jews cele- sacrifice, in reference to the incarnation and death of brate the feast of Pentecost. This is the opinion of St. Christ; for, from the foundation of the world, the coreAugustin and of several moderns; and is defended at large nant of God, ratified by sacrifices, referred to this; and by Houbigant. As the word win chodesh, month, is put now the sacrificial system was to be more fully opened, for new moon, which is with the Jews the first day of the by the giving of the law. 4. They should then be God's month, this may be considered an additional contirmation peculiar treasure, bo segullah, his own patrimony, of the above opinion.
people in whom he should have all right, and over whom The wilderness of Sinai] Mount Sinai is called by the | he should have exclusive authority above all the people Arabs Jibel Mousa, or the mount of Moses; or, by way of the earth; for though all the inhabitants of the world of eminence, El Tor, The Mount. It is one hill, with were his, by his right of creation and providence, yet two peaks or summits : one is called Horeb, the other these should be peculiarly his, as receiving his revelation, Sinai. Horeb was probably its most ancient name, and and entering int his covenant. 5. They should be a might designate the whole mountain. But as the Lord kingdom of priests, ver. 6. Their state should be a had appeared to Moses on this mountain in a bush, n:o theocracy, and as God should be the sole Governor, being sench, chap. iii. 2. from this circumstance it might have King in Jeshurun, so all his subjects should be priests, received the name of Sinai, or yo yo har Sinai, the all worshippers, all sacrificers, every individual offering mount of the bush, or the mount of bushes; for it is possi- up the riclim for himself. A beautiful representation of ble, that it was not in a single bush, but in a thicket of the Gospel dispensation, to which the apostles Peter and bushes, that the Angel of God made his appearance. John apply it, i Pet. ii. 5. 9. Rev. i. 6. v. 10. and xx. 6.
Verse 3. Moses went up unto God] It is likely that Under which dispensation, every believing soul offers up the cloud which had conducted the Israelitish camp, had for himself, that Lamb of God which was slain for, and now removed to the top of Sinai, and as this was the sym which takes away the sin of the world; and through bol of the divine presence, Moses went up to the place, which alone a man can have access to God. there to meet the Lord.
Verse 6. And a holy nation] They should be a naThe Lord called unto him) This, according to St. tion, one people; firmly united among ihemselves, living Stephen, was the Angel of the Lord, Acts vii. 38. And under their own laws; and powerful, because united, and from several scriptures, we have seen, that the Lord Jesus acting under the direction and blessing of God. They was the person intended ; see the notes on Gen. xvi. 7. should be a holy nation, saved from their sins, righteous xviii. 13. Exod. ii. 2.
in their conduct, holy in their hearts; every external rite Verse 4. How I bare you on cagles' wings) Mr. | being not only a significant ceremony, but also a means Bruce contends, that the word vi neser, does not mean of conveying light and life, grace and peace to every perthe bird we term cagle; but a bird which the Arabs, from son who conscientiously used it. Thus they should be its kind and merciful disposition, call rachama, which is both a kingdom, having God for their Governor; and a noted for its care of its young, and its carrying them upon | nation, a multitude of peoples connected together; not a its back. See his Travels, vol. vii. p. 33. It is not un scattered, disordered, and disorganized people, but a royal likely, that from this part of the sacred history, the heathens nation, using their own rites, living under their own borrowed their fable of the eagle being a bird sacred to laws, subject, in religious matters, only to God; and in Jupiter, and which was employed to carry the souls of things civil, to every ordinance of man, for God's
sake. departed heroes, kings, &c. into the celestial regions. This was the spirit and design of this wonderful instiThe Romans have struck several medals with this device, tution, which could not receive its perfection but under the which may be seen in different cabinets, among which are Gospel; and has its full accomplishment in every member the following: one of Faustina, daughter of Antoninus of the mystical body of Christ. Pius, on the reverse of which she is represented ascending Verse 7. The elders of the people] The head of each to heaven on the back of an eagle; and another of Salonia, tribe, and the chief of each family, by whose ministry this daughter of the emperor Galienus, on the reverse of which gracious purpose of God was speedily communicated to the she is represented on the back of an eagle, with a sceptre whole camp. in her hand, ascending to heaven. Jupiler himself is Verse 8. And all the people answered, &c.) The people sometimes represented on the back of an cagle also, with having such gracious advantages laid before them, most his thunder in his hand, as on a medal of Licinus. This cheerfully consented to take God for their portion; as he brings us nearer to the letter of the text, where it appears, had graciously promised to take them for his people. Thus that the heathens confounded the figure made use of by the a covenant was made; the parties being mutually bound sacred pennan, I bore you on eagles' wings, with the to each other. manifestation of God in thunder and lightning on mount Moses returned the words] When the people had, on Sinai. And it might be in reference to all this, that the their part, consented to the covenant, Moses appears to Romans took the eagle for their ensign. See Scheuchzer, I have gone immediately up to the mountain, and related to Musellius, &c.
God the success of his mission; for he was now on the Brought you unto myself] In this, and the two fol-mount, as appears from ver. 14. lowing verses, we see the design of God in selecting a Verse 9. A thick cloud] This is interpreted by ver. 18. people for himself. 1. They were to obey his voice, ver. 5. And mount Sinai was altogether on a 'SMOKE --and the io receive a revelation from him, and to act according to SMOKE thercof ascended as the SMOKE of a furnace; his that revelation, and not according to their reason or fancy, usual appearance was in the cloudy pillar; which, we may in opposition to his declarations. 2. They were to obey suppose, was generally clear and luminous. his voice indeed, woun yıpu shimoâ tishmều, in hearing That the people may hear] See the note on chap. Iv. 9.