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them, so they multiplied and so they grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel,
And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour : and they embittered their lives with hard bondage, in clay, and in bricks, and in all labour of the field all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.
And the king of Egypt commanded the Ilebrew midwives, of whom the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah : and said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see the birth ; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him : but if it be a daughter, then she shall live. But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive. And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said to them, Why have ye done this thing, and saved the male children alive? And the midwives said to Pharaoh, Because the IIebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous, and are delivered ere the midwives come in to them. Therefore God dealt well with the mid wives : and the people multiplied, and grew exceedingly strong
And, because the midwives feared God, so it was, that he raised up families to them. But Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that shall be born ye shall cast into the river, but every daughter ye shall save alive.
And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi. And the woman conceived, and bore a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. And when she could not longer hide him,* she took for him a chest of reeds, and
* Could not longer hide him. This proves that the order to put to death the male children of the Hebrews, was rigorously executed.
covered it with bitumen and pitch, and put the child in it; and she laid it in the sedges by the river's brink. And his sister stood at a distance, to observe what would be done to him.
And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river's side; and when she saw the chest among the sedges, she sent her maid to fetch it. And she opened it, and saw the child : and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews' children. Then his sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee? And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child's mother. And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Take this child away, and nurse him for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the woman took the child, and nursed him. And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and he was to her as a son.* And she called his name Moses :f and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.
And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown,f that he went out to his brethren, and looked on their burdens : and he saw an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew,f one of his breth
And he looked this way and that way,
* Stephen, the first martyr, states, in his address to his persecutors, that Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in his words and in deeds. ACTS vii. 22.
† Moses, that is, “ drawn out.” I Was grown.—Stephen tells us that he was full forty years of age.-Acts vii. 23.
$ Smiting an Hebrew.—Probably putting him to death, for so the word frequently signifies ; and, as the Egyptians were anxious to keep down the number of the Hebrews, they would not be very scrupulous about murdering them.
and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian,* and hid him in the sand.
And he went out the second day, and, behold, two men of the Hebrews were striving together : and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow? And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us ? dost thou intend to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian ? And Moses was afraid, and said, Surely this thing is known. Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian. And he sat down by a well.
Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters : and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father's flock. And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock. And when they came to Raguel their father, he said, How is it that ye are come so soon to-day ? And they said, A man of Egypt delivered us out
* Slew the Egyptian.-If the Egyptian slew the Hebrew, Moses was only executing the Divine law upon the Egyptian, in putting him to death. For the law given to Noah ran thus, “Whosoever sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God made he man!" Moses, by thus avenging the wrongs of the Israelites on the Egyptians, manifested his determination to be regarded as a Hebrew, and not an Egyptian ; although he had been adopted and educated as the son of the king's daughter. The Apostle Paul tells us the reason why he made this choice, in Heb. xi. 24. By faith, Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the transient pleasures of sin: esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt—for he looked for the reward.” He had been taught by his parents that he was a Hebrew, and not an Egyptian, and that the promises of God were the heritage of his family, and he preferred that heritage to any thing that the land of Egypt could yield to him.
of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew water for us, and watered the flock. And he said unto his daughters, But where is he? why is it that ye have left the man ? call him, that he may eat bread. And Moses was willing to dwell the man : and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter. And she bore him a son, and he called his name Gershom : for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land. [And she bore to him another son, whose name he called Eliezer : because, said he, the God of my father helped me, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh.—Chap. iv. ver. 20.]
QUESTIONS ON LESSON XXXI.
How many persons came down with Jacob into Egypt? How were they treated in Egypt while Joseph lived ? What happened to them after Joseph's death?
What directions did Pharaoh give respecting their children?
To whom did he give these directions ?
What directions did Pharaoh give to the people of Egypt respecting the Hebrews' children?
Wheu Moses was born what did his parents do with him for three months? and why?
What did they do with him afterwards ?
What circumstances led to his leaving Pharaoh's daughter ?
Why did he prefer being accounted an Hebrew, to being accounted the son of the king's daughter ?
What led to his leaving Egypt ?
FROM EXODUS II. AND III.
And so it was after many days,* that the king of Egypt died : and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.
Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his fatherin-law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock behind the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush was burning with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will turn now, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, and God called to him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither : take off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. And he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.
After many days.-It
from Acts vii. 30, compared with Exod. vii. 7, that forty years elapsed between the flight of Moses from Egypt and the death of the king.