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THE JUDÆAN PROPHETIC NARRATIVE,
CIRC. 800 B. C,
STORY OF ISRAEL'S SERVITUDE IN EGYPT. MOSES' DEED OF VIOLENCE, AND FLIGHT TO MIDIAN ; HIS MARRIAGE
THERE AND THE BIRTH OF HIS SON.
And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that 146 generation. But [the children of Israel] multiplied and 7 waxed exceeding mighty. Therefore they did set over them 11. ótaskmasters' to ' afflict' them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh store cities, Pithom and Raamses. But the 12 more they 'afflicted' them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad”; so that they “stood in dread of ' the children of Israel. [And they imposed forced labor on 13 them], in mortar and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field ; but the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty. 20b
[. . . And one of the house of Levi named Moses, a son of Amram, rose up against an Egyptian and slew him. And Pharaoh sent men to take him, but Moses fled, and
escaped to the land of Midian. And he saw a well in the field and flocks] ; so he sat down by the well.
2—15b Now [Hobab] the priest of Midian had seven daughters : 16 and they came to draw water, and fill the 'troughs' to water their father's flock ; but the shepherds' came and drove 17 them away : and Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock. And when they came to their father, he 18 said, How is it that ye are come so soon to-day? And they 19 said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and moreover he drew water for us, and watered the flock. And he said unto his daughters, And where is he? 20
why is it that ye have deserted the man ? call him, that he 21 may eat bread. And Moses decided to dwell with the 22 man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter. And she
bare a son, and he called his name Gershom :
DEATH OF THE TYRANT, AND RETURN OF MOSES TO EGYPT. HE
ENCOUNTERS YAHWEH AT THE LODGING-PLACE, AND
STITUTE FOR BRIDEGROOM CIRCUMCISION.
And it came to pass in the course of those many days, 4-19 that the king of Egypt died : And Yahweh 'said unto
Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt : for all the men are 20 dead which sought thy life. So Moses took his wife and his
son, and set them upon an ass, and he set out to return to 24 the land of Egypt: And it came to pass on the way at the
lodging-place,' that Yahweh'fell upon ’him, and sought 25 to kill him. Then Zipporah took a flint and touched his
person with it, saying, Surely a "blood-bridegroom art 26 thou to me. So he let him alone. Then it was that she
gave rise to the saying, "a bridegroom of blood” with reference to circumcision.
YAHWEH'S APPEARANCE TO MOSES IN THE BURNING BUSH AND
COMMISSION TO HIM TO DELIVER ISRAEL.
[And on the morrow Moses set forward from the lodging3- —2 place]. And the angel of Yahweh' appeared’unto him
in a flame of fire out of the midst of the thorn thicket. And
when he looked behold'the whole thicket was burning with 3 fire, but the thicket was not consumed. And Moses said to
himself, I will turn aside now and see this great sight, why 4 the thicket is not consumed. And when ‘Yahweh 'perceived 5 that he turned aside to see, he said, Draw not nigh hither,
put off thy sandals from off thy feet ; for the place where7 on thou standest is holy ground.' And · Yahweh' said, I have
surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt,
and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters’; 8 for I know their sorrows; and I am come down' to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a * land flowing with milk and honey.' Go, and gather the 16 elders of Israel together, and say unto them, Yahweh, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, hath appeared' unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt : and I have said, I will bring you up out of the ' affliction' of 17 Egypt unto a ' land flowing with milk and honey. And they 18 shall hearken to thy voice : and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, Yahweh, the God of the Hebrews, hath 'met' with us : and now let us go, we pray thee, 'three days' journey into the wilderness,' that we may sacrifice to Yahweh our God. And Moses answered and said, But, what if they will not 4 believe me, nor hearken unto my voice, but say, Yahweh hath not appeared' unto thee? And Yahweh said unto him, 2 What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. And he 3 said, Cast it on the ground.' And he cast it on the ground, and it became a 'serpent'; and Moses fled from before it. And Yahweh said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and 4 take it by the tail : (so he put forth his hand, and iaid hold of it, and it became a rod in his hand :) that they may be- 5 lieve that Yahweh, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of 'Jacob, hath 'appeared' unto thee. And Yahweh said furthermore unto 6 him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. So he put his hand into his bosom : and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, as (white as) snow. And he said, Put thine 7 hand into thy bosom again. (Then, when he had put his hand into his bosom again, and had taken it out of his bosom, behold, it was turned again as his (other) flesh.) And it shall 8 come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign. And it shall come to pass, if they will not 9 believe even these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the Nile, and pour it
upon the dry land : and the water which thou takest out of the Nile shall become blood upon the dry land.
THE PRIESTHOOD THE AUTHORIZED EXPOUNDERS OF THE LAW.
AARON IS MADE MOSES' SPOKESMAN TO THE PEOPLE.
And Moses said unto Yahweh, I pray thee, Lord, have me excused,' I am no speaker neither 'heretofore,' nor since
thou hast spoken unto thy servant : for I am slow of speech, u and of a slow tongue. And Yahweh said unto him, Who
hath made man's mouth ? or who maketh [a man] dumb, or 12 deaf, or seeing, or blind : is it not I Yahweh? Now there
fore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what 13 thou shalt speak. But he said, 'I pray thee, Lord, have me
excused,' send I pray thee rather by the hand of whomsoever 14 thou wilt. And the anger of Yahweh was kindled against
Moses, and he said, Is there not Aaron thy brother, the 15 'Levite'? I know that he can speak well [...] And
thou shalt speak unto him, and put the words in his mouth :
and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will 16 teach
shall do. And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people : and it shall come to pass, that he shall be
to thee a mouth, and thou shalt be to him as God [to the 29 priest] So Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all 30 the elders of the children of Israel : and he [Moses] spake
all the words which Yahweh had spoken, and did the signs in 31 the sight of the people. And the people believed when they
heard that Yahweh had visited the children of Israel, and that he had seen their affliction, and they bowed their heads and worshipped.'
THE APPEAL TO PHARAOH. MOSES AND THE ELDERS MEET
REBUFF, AND THE PEOPLE'S BURDENS ARE INCREASED.
[Then Moses and the elders of Israel came unto Pharaoh] 5—3 and said, The God of the Hebrews hath ‘met' with us :
let us go, we pray thee, 'three days' journey into the wilderness,' and sacrifice unto Yahweh our God; lest he "fall upon' us with pestilence, or with the sword.