« PreviousContinue »
wages. And the woman took the child, and nursed it. And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him.. out of the water."*
Moses, being the adopted son of the Egyptian princess, received an education correspondent with his rank; and he was instructed, we are told, “ in all the wisdom of the Egyptians,” and he was “ learned” and “mighty in words and deeds.” of
“ And when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel.” And he did so; and having avenged the cause of one of his afflicted brethren, he drew upon himself the anger of Pharaoh, and was obliged to fly for safety
*“ Here we see an amazing concurrence of circumstances; and those of great moment and highly interesting, which could not be the effect of chance. They were certainly brought about by that Divine Wisdom, which can influence our hearts and order our goings, and make us subservient to the will of God; which often makes use of a series and evolution of events, simple in themselves, and obvious, but wonderful in their texture and combination, towards the accomplishment of his high decrees."— Bryant.
* Acts vii. 22.
into the land of Midian; and there he dwelt."*
“ It came to pass now,” we read, “ that the king of Egypt died, and the children of Israel sighed by reason of their bondage ; and they cried, and their cry came unto God, by reason of their bondage.”
Another king, who even exceeded the former in wickedness, had ascended the Egyptian throne. Four hundred years had elapsed, since the promise was made to Israel of the inheritance of the land of Canaan; and now, in this fittest season, in this fulness of time, which the Almighty had “put in his own power,” Moses is summoned to be the deliverer of the people. I have seen, said the Lord to Moses, the affliction of my people, and I have heard their cry; and I am come to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians; and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring them forth. But I am sure that he will not let you go—no, not by a mighty hand. And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders, I which I
* Exod. ii. 21. + Acts i. 7.
# “ All of which had reference to the idolatry of the people.”— Bryant.
will do in the midst thereof; and after that he will let you go.
In obedience to God's command, Moses went forth with Aaron to the king; whose reply to the divine mission was, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice, to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go.”p And Pharaoh commanded, the same day, the task-work of the Israelites to be increased ; and the officers of the children of Israel came and besought the king, but were treated only with cruelty and scorn.
The Lord, then, again sent his messengers, vested with miraculous power, unto Pharaoh. But his heart was still hardened, and he hearkened not unto them, as the Lord had
* See Exod. iii.......“ God foresees all the actions of men, both those which are conformable to his will, and those which are not; but the fact of his foreseeing them does not affect the free agency of man.”
of Exod. v. 2. See Gen. xii. 17.
# Exod. vii. 13....... This verse has been incorrectly translated. It should be, “ the heart of Pharaoh was hardened,” and not, 66 he hardened Pharaoh's heart."“ The original is so rendered by all the ancient versions, without exception, and by the most judicious modern translations.”—Dr. Hales.
We are not told that the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart until ver. 9, ch. xii.- When nations or individuals,” says
The waters of the river Nile- the waters of the idolized river of Egypt—were then turned into blood! And the fish that were in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river: and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt !
But Pharaoh's heart was hardened, neither did he hearken unto Moses and Aaron, as the Lord had said !
At the coming of another judgment, the king, we are told, began to repent; but at the removal of the plague by the prayer of Moses, again Pharaoh turned to his impenitence and wickedness, and again defied the Holy One of Israel.
More judgments came! Another, and another terrible infliction! And the king clung to his sins! *
But, not until after his resistance of even another yet more awful warning—not until then, was it that the Lord accomplished his
the learned author, whose words have just been cited,
despise the warnings of Heaven, abuse their best gifts, and resist the means of grace, God then delivers them over to a reprobate or undiscerning mind, to work all uncleanness with greediness.'”—Rom. i. 28; Eph. iv. 19.
* “ Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin, as it were, with a cart-rope."
word, and hardened the heart of Pharaoh, as he had spoken unto Moses. *
The inward voice of conscience in vain had whispered. The outward inflictions of plague and pestilence had descended round about the impenitent man in vain. Still he pursued his
Almighty God is just, as well as merciful. “ Justice and judgment are the habitation of his throne; mercy and truth go before his face.”
The voice, so long unheeded, now died away. Light, granted but avoided, was now made to recede. Darkness, so long wooed, now became a bride. And sure it was, that, until the destroying angel came to smite with death, Pharaoh would not let the people go.
More plagues came, and the king the more resisted. And no sooner had he been URGED, by the slaughter of the first-born, to dismiss the people; than, in demoniacal frenzy, I he exclaimed, “ Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us ? And he made ready his chariots, and took his people with him; and he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and
* Exod. ix. 12.
of Psalm lxxxix. 14. # 1 Sam. xvi. 14.