Imágenes de páginas

PREFACE TO EXODUS. crops with grievous storms of hail, accompanied with the most terrible thunder and lightning. 8. Desolated the whole land by innumerable swarms of locusts. 9. He spread a palpable darkness all over Egypt; and, 10. In one night slew all the first-born, both of man and beast, through the whole of the Egyptian territories. What proved the miraculous nature of all these plagues most particularly was, 1st, Their coming exactly according to the prediction and at the command of Moses and Aaron. 2dly, Their extending only to the Egyptians, and leaving the land of Goshen, the Israelites, their cattle and substance, entirely untouched.

After relating all these things in detail, with their attendant circumstances, Moses describes the institution, reason, and celebration of the passover ; the preparation of the Israelites for their departure; their leaving Goshen and beginning their journey to the promised land, by the way of Ramëses, Succoth, and Etham.. How Pharaoh, repenting of the permission he had given them to depart, began to pursue them with an immense army of horse and foot, and overtook them at their encampment at Baal-zephon, on the borders of the Red Sea. Their destruction appearing then to be inevitable, Moses fạrther relates that having called earnestly upon God, and stretched his rod over the waters, they became divided, and the Israelites entered into the bed of the sea, and passed over to the opposite shore. Pharaoh and his host madly pursuing in the same track, the rear of their army being fairly entered by the time the last of the Israelites had made good their landing on the opposite coast, Moses stretching his rod again over the waters, they returned to their former channel and overwhelmed the Egyptian army, so that every soul perished.

Moses next gives a circumstantial account of the different encampments of the Israelites in the wilderness, during the space of nearly forty years: the miracles wrought in their behalf; the chief of which were the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night, to direct and protect them in the wilderness; the bringing water out of a rock for them and their cattle ; feeding them with manna from heaven; bringing innumerable flocks of quails to their camp; giving them a complete victory over the Amalekites at the intercession of Moses, and particularly God's astonishing manifestation of himself on Mount Sinai, when he delivered to Moses an epitome of his whole law, in what was called the Ten Words or TEN COMMANDMENTS.

Moses proceeds to give a circumstantial detail of the different laws, statutes, and ordinances which he received from God, and particularly the giving of the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, and the awful display of the Divine Majesty on that solemn occasion ; the formation of the Ark, holy Table and Candlestick ; the TABERNACLE, with its furniture, covering, courts, &c., the brazen Altar, golden Altar, brazen Laver, anointing oil, perfume, sacerdotal garments for Aaron and his sons, and the artificers employed on the work of the Tabernacle, &c. He then gives an 'account of Israel's idolatry in the matter of the golden calf, made under the direction of Aaron ; God's displeasure, and the death of the principal idolaters; the erection and consecration of the Tabernacle, and its being filled and encompassed with the Divine glory, with the order and manner of their marches by direction of the miraculous pillar; with which the book concludes. VOL. I. ( 20 )


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E X O. DU S.

Year before the common Year of Christ, 1706.Julian Period, 3008.-Cycle of the Sun, 7. Dominical

Letter, F.-Cycle of the Moon, 2.-Indiction, 15.-Creation from Tisri or September, 2298.


The names and number of the children of Israel that went down into Egypt, 1–5. Joseph and all his bre

thren of that generation die, 6. The great increase of their posterity, 7. The cruel policy of the king of Egypt to destroy them, 8-11. They increase greatly, notwithstanding their affliction, 12. Account of their hard bondage; 13, 14. Pharaoh's command to the Hebrew midwives to kill all the male children, 15, 16. The midwives disobey the king's commandment, and, on being questioned, vindicate themselves, 17-19. God is pleased with their conduct, blesses them, and increases the people, 20, 21.

Pharaoh gives a general command to the Egyptians to drown all the male children of the Hebrews, 22. A. M. 2298. Now a these are the names of " loins of Jacobwere.c seventy souls : A. M. 2298. B. C. 1706.

the children of Israel, which for Joseph was in Egypt already." came into Egypt; every man and his house- 6 And a Joseph died, and all his A. M. 2369. hold came with Jacob.

brethren, and all that generation. 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah,

7. And the children of Israel were fruitful, 3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and 4 Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. waxed exceeding mighty ; and ihe land was 5 And all the souls that came out of the filled with them.

B. C. 1706.

B. C. 1635.

* Gen. xlvi. 8; chap. vi. 14.

_b Heb. thigh. 27; ver. 20; Deut. x. 22.

-c Gen. xlvi. 26, Gen. 1. 26; Acts vii. 15.- - Gen. xlvi. 3; Deut. xvi. 5;

Psa. cv. 24 ; Acts vii. 17.

ויעצמו במאד מאד [And waxed ecceeding mighty


paru, a general term, signifying that they were like Verse 1. These are the names] Though this book healthy trees, bringing forth an abundance of fruit. is a continuation of the book of Genesis, with which And increased] 390 yishretsu, they increased like probably it was in former times conjoined, Moses .fishes, as the original word implies: See Gen. 1. 20,thought it necessary to introduce it with an account of and the note there. the names and number of the family of Jacob when Abundantly! T yirhu, they multiplied ; 'this is a they came to Egypt, to show that though they were separate term, and should not have been used as an then very few, yet in a short time, under the especial adverb by our translators. blessing of God, they had multiplied exceedingly; and

] thus the promise to Abraham had been literally fulfilled. vaiyaatsmu bimod meod, and they became strong beSee the notes on Gen, xlvi.

yond measure--superlatively, superlativelyso that Verse 6. Joseph died, and all his brethren] That the land (Goshen) was filled with them. This astonishís, Joseph had now been some time dead, as also all ing increase was, under the providence of God, ehiefly his brethren, and all the Egyptians who had known owing to two causes: 1. The Hebrew women were Jacob and his twelve sons; and this is a sort of reason exceedingly fruitful, suffered very little in parturition, why the important services performed by Joseph were and probably often brought forth twins. 2. There apforgotten.

pear to have been no premature deaths among them. Verse 7. The children of Israel were fruitful] 10 Thus in about two hundred and fifteen years they were 290

( 204 )

B. C. cir. 1604.


B Heb. and as

Acts vü. 19.


The Hebrews are persecuted


by the Egyptians. A. M, cir. 2400. 8 Now there arose up a new against us, and so get them up 4. M. cir. 2400. B. C. cir. 1604.

king over Egypt, which knew out of the land. not Joseph.

1.1 Therefore they did set over them task, 9 And he said unto his people, Behold, masters * to afflict them with their l burdens. & the people of the children of Israel are more And they built for . Pharaoh treasure cities, and mightier than we:

Pithom mand Raamses. h Come on, let us deal wisely with 12 But the more they afflicted them, them; Iest they multiply, and it come to the more they multiplied and grew. And pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they were, grieved because of the children they join also unto our enemies, and fight of Israel.

| Acts vii. 18. Psa. ev. 24.- h Psa. x. 2;. lxxxiii. Gen. xv. 13; chap, iii. 7; Deut. xxvi. 6. Chap. ii. 11; 3, 4. -i Job v. 13; Psa. cv. 25; Prov. xvi. 25; xxi. 30; v. 4, 5; Psa. lxxxi. 6.- m Gen. xlvii. 11.

they afflicted them, so they multiplied, &c. multiplied to upwards of 600,000, independently of old dotus calls Patumos. Raamses, or rather Rameses, men, women, and children.

(for it is the same Hebrew word as in Gen. xlvii. 11, Verse 8. There arose up a new king) Who this and should be written the same way here as there,) is was it is difficult to say. It was probably Ramesses supposed to have been the capital of the land of Miamun, or his son Amenophis, who succeeded him Goshen, mentioned in the book of Genesis by anticiin the government of Egypt about A. M. 2400, before pation ; for it was probably not erected till after the Christ 1604.

days of Joseph, when the Israelites were brought Which knew not Joseph.] The verb yote yada, which under that severe oppression described in the book of we translate to know, often signifies to acknowledge or Exodus, The Septuagint add here, kal lv, approve. See Judges ü. 10; Psa. i. 6 , xxxi. 7 ; "Haloutons" and ON, which is Heliopolis ; i. e., the Hos. ii. 8; Amos iii. 2. The Greek verbs elow and city of the Sun. The same reading is found also in ylvwotw are used precisely in the same sense in the the Coptic version. New Testament. See Matt. xxv. 12, and 1 John iii. 1. Some writers suppose that beside these cities the We may therefore understand by the new king's not Israelites built the pyramids. If this conjecture be knowing Joseph, his disapproving of that system of well founded, perhaps they are intended in the word government which Joseph had established, as well as nubos mistenoth, which, from a sachan, to lay up his haaghtily refusing to acknowledge the obligations in store, might be intended to signify places where under which the whole land of Egypt was laid to this Pharaoh laid-up his treasures; and from their structure eminent prime minister of one of his predecessors. they appear to have been designed for something of

Verse 9. He said unto his people] He probably this kind. If the history of the pyramids be not found summoned a council of his nobles and elders to con- in the book of Exodus, it is nowhere else extant; sider the subject ; and the result was to persecute and their origin, if not alluded to here, being lost in their destroy them, as is afterwards stated.

very remote antiquity. Diodorus Siculus, who has Verse 10. They join also unto our enemies] It has given the best traditions he could find relative to them, been conjectured that. Pharaoh had probably his eye says that there was no agreement either among the on the oppressions which Egypt had suffered under the inhabitants or the historians concerning the building of shepherd-kings, who for a long series of years had, the pyramids.--Bib. Hist., lib. i.;-cap. lxiv according to Manetho, governed the land with extreme Josephus expressly says that one part of the opcruelty. As the Israelites were of the same occupa- pression suffered by the Israelites in ligypt was occation, (viz., shepherds,) the jealous, cruel king found it sioned by building pyramids. See or ver. 14. : easy to attribute to hem samé motives ; taking it In the book of Genesis, and in this book, the word for granted that they were only waiting for a favoúra- Pharaoh frequently occurs, which, though many supble opportunity to join the enemies of Egypt, and so pose it to be a proper name peculiar to one person, overrun the whole land.

and by this supposition confound the acts of several Verse 11. Set over them task-masters] D'ors TV Egyptian kings, yet is to be understood only as a name sarey missim, chiefs or princes of burdens, works, or of office. . tribule ;. Erlotarás Twv epywv, Sept. overseers of the It


be necessary to observe that all the Egypworks. The persons who appointed them their work, tian kings, whatever their own name was, took the surand exacted the performance of it. . The work itself name of Pharaoh when they came to the throne ; a being oppressive, and the manner in which' it was ex- name which, in its general acceptation signified the same acted still' more so, there is some room to think that as king or monarch, but in its literal meaning, as Bothey not only worked them unmercifully, but also obliged chart has amply proved, it signifies a crocodile, which them to pay an exorbitant tribute at the same time. being a sacred animal among the Egyptians, the word

Treasure cities] . 1937 dy arey miscenoth, store might be added to their kings in order to procure them cities-public granaries. Calmet supposes this to be the greater reverence and respect. the name of a city, and translates the verse thus : Verse 12. But the more they afflicted them] The * They built cities, viz., Miscenoth, Pithom, and Ra-margin has pretty nearly preserved the import of the meses.” Pithom is supposed to be that which Hero- ! original : And as they afflicted them, so they multiplied The midwives are commanded


to destroy the male children A. M. cir. 2400.

13 And the Egyptians made a midwife to the Hebrew women, 8: M. cir. 2.000 B. C. cir. 1604.

the children of Israel to serve and see them upon the stools; with rigour :

if it be a son, then ye shall kill him : but if '14 And they made their lives bitter with it be a daughter, then she shall live. hard bondage, Pin mortar, and in brick, and 17 But the midwives a feared God, and did in all manner of service in the field : all their not 'as the king of Egypt commanded them, service, wherein they made them serve, was but saved the men children alive. with rigour.

18 And the king of Egypt called for the 15 And the king of Egypt 'spake to the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the done this thing, and have saved the men one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other children alive ? Puah :

19 And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, 16 And he said, When ye do the office of Because the Hebrew women are not as the • Chapter ii. 23; vi. 9; Num. xx. 15; Acts vii, 19, 34. 9 Prov. xvi. 6. - Dan. ii. 16, 18; vi. 13; Acts v. 29. p Psa. lxxxi. 6.

• See Josh. ii. 4, &c.; 2 Sam. xvii. 19, 20. and so they grew.

That is, in proportion to their poses there could not have been fewer than five hunafflictions was their prosperity ; and had their suffer- dred midwives among the Hebrew women at this time; ings been greater, their increase would have been still but that very few were requisite see proved on verse 19. more abundant.

Verse 16. Upon the stools] OINT by al haobVerse 13. To serve with rigour] 9902 bepharech, nayim. This is a difficult word, and occurs nowhere with cruelty, great oppression; being ferocious with else in the Hebrew Bible but in Jer. xviii. 3, where them. The word fierce is supposed by some to be we'translate it the potter's wheels. As y3x signifies derived from the Hebrew, as well as the Latin feror, a stone, the obnayim has been supposed to signify a from which we more immediately bring our English stone trough, in which they received and washed the term. This kind of cruelty te slaves, and ferocious- infant as soon as born. Jarchi, in his book of Hebrero ness, unfeelingness, and hard-heartedness, were par-root's, gives a very different interpretation of it; he ticularly forbidden to the children of Israel. See Lev. derives it from ja ben, a son, or Dil banim, children ; xxv. 43, 46, where the same word is used : Thou shalt his words must not be literally translated, but this is not rule over him with rigour, but shall fear thy God. the sense : “ When ye do the office of a midwife to

Verse 14. They made their lives bitter) So that the Hebrew women, and ye see that the birth is they became weary of life, through the severity of broken forth, if it be a son, then yé shall kill him.” their servitude.

Jonathan ben Uzziel gives us a curious reason for the With hard bondage) nep ngjys baabodah kashah, command given by Pharaoh to the Egyptian women; with grievous servitude. This was the general cha: “ Pharaoh slept, and saw in his sleep a balance, and racter of their life in Egypt; it was a life of the most behold the whole land of Egypt stood in one scale, painful servitude, oppressive enough in itself, but made and a lamb in the other; and the scale in which the much more so by the cruel manner of their treatment lamb was outweighed that in which was the land of while performing their tasks.

Egypt, Immediately he sent and called all the chief In mortar, and in brick] First, in digging the clay, magicians, and told them his dream. And Janes and kneading, and preparing it, and secondly, forming it Jimbres, (see 2 Tim. iii. 8,) who were chief of the into bricks, drying them in the sun, &c.

magicians, opened their mouths and said to Pharaoh, Service in the field] Carrying these materials to A child is shortly to be born in the congregation of the places where they were to be formed into build- the Israelites, whose hand shall destroy the whole ings, and serving the builders while employed in those land of Egypt." Therefore Pharaoh spake to the public works. Josephus says “ The Egyptians con- midwives, fc.". trived a variety of ways to afflict the Israelites ; for. Verse 17. The midwives feared God] Because they enjoined them to cut a great number of channels they knew that God had forbidden murder of every for the river, and to build walls for their cities and kind; for though the law was not yet given, Exod. xx. ramparts, that they might restrain the river, and hin- 13, being Hebrews they must have known that God der its waters from stagnating upon its overrunning had-from the beginning declared, Whosoever sheddeth its own banks ; they set them also to build pyramids, man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed, Gen. ix. 6. ftupauidaç avolxOdOuovutes,) and wore them out, Therefore they saved the male children of all to whose and forced them to learn all sorts of inechanic arts, assistance they were called. See ver. 19. and to accustom themselves to hard labour.”—Antiq., Verse 19. The Hebrew women are not as the Egyplib. ii., cap. ix., sec. 1. Philo bearš nearly the same tian women) This is a simple statement of what testimony, p. 86, Edit. Mangey.

general experience shows to be a fact, viz., that Verse 15. Hebrew midwives) Shiphrah and Puah, women, who during the whole of their pregnancy are who are here mentioned, were probably certain chiefs, accustomed to hard· labour, especially in the open air, under whom all the rest'acted, and by whom they have comparatively little pain in parturition. At this were instructed in the obstetric art. Aben Ezra sup- I time the whole Hebrew nation, men and women, were The midwives refuse,


and God blesses them.

B. C. cir. 1604.

B. C. cir. 1604.

A. M. cir. 2400. Egyptian women ; for they are| midwives : and the people mul- A. M. eir. 2400.

lively, and are delivered ere the tiplied, and waxed very mighty. midwives come in unto them.

21 And it came to pass, because the mid20 • Therefore God dealt well with the wives feared God, u that he made them houses.

· Proverbs xi. 18; Eccles. viii.. 12;. Isaiah iii. 10;

Heb. vi. 10.

" Samuel ii. 35; 2 Samuel vii. 11, 13, 27, 29; 1 Kings ii. 24;

xi. 38; Psa. cxxvii. 1.

in a state of slavery, and were obliged to work in mighty.) This shows an especial providence and morlar and brick, and all manner of service in the blessing of God; for though in all cases where fePIELD, ver. 14, and this at once accounts for the ease males are kept to hard labour they have comparatively and speediness of their travail. With the strietest easy and safe travail, yet in a state of slavery the intruth the midwives might say, The Hebrew women are crease is generally very small, as the children die for not as the Egyptian women : the latter fare delicately, want of proper nursing, the women, through their are not inured to labour, and are kept shut up at home, labour, being obliged to neglect their offspring ; 50 therefore they have hard, difficult, and dangerous that in the slave countries the stock is obliged to be labours ; but the Hebrew women are lively, nrn cha- recruited by-foreign imports : yet in the case above yoth, are strong, hale, and vigorous, and therefore are it was not so; there was not one barren among their delivered ere the midwives come in unto them. In tribes, and even their women, though constantly obliged such cases we may naturally conclude that the midwives to perform their daily tasks, were neither rendered unwere very seldom even sent for. . And this is proba- fruitful by it, nor taken off by premature death through bly the reason why we find but two mentioned ; as in the violence and continuance of their labour, when such a state of society there could be but very little even in the delicate situation mentioned above. employment for persons of that profession, as a mother, Verse 21. He made them houses.) Dr. Shuckford an aunt, or any female acquaintance or neighbour, thinks that there is something wrong both in the could readily afford all the assistance necessary in punctuation and translation of this place, and reads such cases. Commentators, pressed with imaginary the passage thus, adding the 21st to the 20th verse : difficulties, have sought for examples of easy parturi- “And they multiplied and waxed mighty; and this tion in Æthiopia, Persia, and India, as parallels to the happened (17") vayehi) because the midwives feared case before us; but they might have spared them- God; and 'he (Pharaoh) made on lahem, masc.) şelves the trouble, because the case is common in all them (the Israeliles) houses; and commanded all his parts of the globe where the women labour hard, and people, saying, Every son that is born, &c.” The especially in the open air. I have known several in doctor supposes that previously to this time the Isstances of the kind myself among the labouring poor. raelites had no fixed dwellings, but lived in tents, and I shall mention one : I saw a poor woman in the open therefore had a better opportunity of concealing their field at hard labour; she stayed away in the afternoon, children ; but now Pharaoh built them houses, and but she returned the next morning to her work with obliged them to dwell in them, and caused the Egypher infant child, having in the interim been safely de- tjans to watch over them, that as the male children livered! She continued at her daily - work, having might be destroyed, which could not have been easily apparently suffered no inconvenience!

effected had the Israelites continued to live in their I have entered more particularly into this subject usual scattered manner in tents. That the houses in because, through want of proper information, (perhaps question were not made for the midwives, but for the from a worse motive,) certain persons have spoken Israelites in general, the Hebrew text seems pretty very unguardedly against this inspired record : " The plainly to indicate, for the pronoun ons lahem, to them, Hebrew midwives told palpable lies, and is the masculine gender ; had the midwives been meant, mends them for it; thus we may, do evil that good, the feminine pranoun jos lahen would have been used. may come of it, and sanctify the means by the end." Others contend that by making them houses, not only Now I contend that there was neither lie direci nor the midwives are intended, but also that the words even prevarication in the case. The midwives boldly-i mark an increase of their families, and that the objecstate 10 Pharaoh a fact, (had it not been so, he had a tion taken from the masculine pronoun is of no weight, thousand means of ascertaining the truth,) and they because these pronouns are often interchanged; see state it in such a way as to bring conviction to his 1 Kings xxii. 17, where ons lahem is written, and in mind on the subject of his oppressive cruelty on the the parallel place, 2 Chron. xviii. 6; 707h lahen is used. one hand, and the mercy of Jehovah on the other. As So ona bahem, in 1 Chron. x. 7, is written fora bahen, if they had said, “ The very oppression under which, 1 Sam. xxxi. 7, and in several other places. There through thy cruelty, the Israelites groan, their God has is no doubt that God did bless the midwives, his, apturned to their advantage; they are not only fruitful, probation of their conduct is strictly marked; and but they bring forth with comparatively no trouble ; there can be no doubt of his prospering the Israelites, we have scarcely any employment among them.” | for it is particularly said that the people multiplied and Here then is a fact, boldly announced in the face of waxed very mighty. But the words most probably danger; and we see that God was pleased with this refer to the Israelites, whose houses or families were frankness of the midwives, and 'ne blessed them for it. built up by an extraordinary increase of children, note

Verse 20. Therefore God dealt well with the mid- withstanding the cruel policy of the Egyptian king. wives : and the people multiplied; and wared very vain is the counsel of man when opposed to the de.

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