Imágenes de páginas

their miscarriage many days. See 1 Chron. vii. 22. This seems to have happened a little before the rigour of the Egyptian's slavery, and before the reign of that new king, mentioned Exod. i. 8. who knew not Joseph as his predecessors had done. Dr. Lighlfoot affirmeth, that Ephraim's sons at Joseph's death could not be less than seventyfive years old; and, therefore, that passage concerning Ephraim's sons being slain by the men of Gath, I Chron. vii. 21, 22, 23. seemeth to be not very long after Joseph's death, if not before it. 'It is probable,' says Dr. Lightfoot, 'that the third generation of Ephraim's, mentioned Gen. I. 23. were the persons so unhappily slain by the inhabitants of the land. In these ancient times it was usual for one country to invade another adjacent, as the Philistines, or men of Gath, the Egyptians, their next neighbours, and to carry thence their booties. It is probable this had been done upon Goshen, the utmost part of Egypt, and bordering upon the Philistines. The children of Ephraim, presuming, it may be, on their own numbers and strength, might attempt to requite these plunderers, and recover their losses, wherein they miscarried, for which Ephraim their father mourned many days.

Joseph's prophecy, concerning the carrying his bones out of Egypt into Canaan, was in God's time accomplished. Moses was mindful of Joseph's last will, and Israel's oath they swore to him, Gen. I. 25; therefore, in conscience of duty, the coffin was carried out with Israel, see Exodus xiii. 19. which was buried in the valley of Achor, that door of hope of a better resurrection, namely in that field near Shechem, &c. See Joshua xxiv. 32. Thus long did Joseph willingly wait for his burial in Canaan, being not immediately carried thither as Jacob was. In the 105th Psalm, the Holy Ghost sets forth the church of Christ in Abraham and the patriarchs, shewing God's care and providence over his people, and his proceedings with states and kingdoms, according to their carriage and dealings with his church. So that I conclude with Dr. Goodwin's words— ' That God, from the beginning, so ordered it in his providence, that the greatest and most flourishing kingdoms and states should still have to do with his saints and people in all ages. And either they have been broken by their ill-using of them, or they have prospered by their well-dealing with them.'


As the book of Exodus begins with an account of the name and number of the children of Israel that came into Egypt with Jacob, so it relates the going forth of the Israelites from the house of bondage, and contains an history and narrative from Joseph's death to the time of Moses setting up the tabernacle in the wilderness, which is said to be a period of one hundred and forty-five years.

Salmon, in his general history of the several nations of the world, and kings of Egypt, begins them thus:—1. Mizraim, the son of Cham, or Ham, by the Grecians called Osiris, supposed to be Sesostris by some, in whose time Abram went into Egypt.—2. Tupkon, an usurper.—3. Orus, the son of Osiris, restored unto the kingdom by his uncle Lehabim, the advancer of Joseph.—A. M. 2207. .4. A musts Themos, or Amos, in whose time Jacob went down into Egypt, 25.-2233. 5. Cheron, 12. —2245. 6. Amenophisi or Amenophthis, 21.—2226. 7. Amarisis, the sister of Amenophthis, 22. — 2288. 8. Memphes, 12.—2300. 9. Mesphomuthesis, 25.— 2325. 10. Thamosis, or Thuthenosis, 10.—2335. 11. Amenophthis, 34.-2366. 12. Orus II. the Busiris of the Grecians, a bloody tyrant, who commanded the male children of the children of Israel to be slain, 37.—2403. 13. Acenhceres, by some called Thermutis, the daughter o( Amenophatis II. and afterwards the wife of Orus, who preserved Moses, and survived her husband thirteen years.— 2416. 14. Rathosis, the son of Orus, 6.—2422. 15. Acencheres II. 12.—2449. 16. Cencheres, by some called Arenasis, by others, Borchoris, who was drowned in the Red Sea with his horses and chariots. Busiris began his persecution of the Israelites, according to the Jewish chronologers, after the death of Levi, who survived his brethren, and died the last of them, aged one hundred and thirtyseven. The liberty and worldly felicity of the Israelites in Egypt died with Joseph, as afterwards Israel's prosperity died with Josiah. - At the death of Joseph, or soon after it, the Egyptian bondage began, and lasted, as some say, from Joseph's death to their Exodus, or departure out of Egypt, one hundred and sixty years; though, according to Jewish chronologers, Levi died twenty-fours years after Joseph, and from the death of Levi to the departure from Egypt, they reckon one hundred and sixteen years. Before the persecution of Busiris, that savage tyrant, began, the case of the Israelites seems to be this. They began to corrupt their most holy religion: they had, as some think, omitted the ordinance of circumcision, and had also, as it is conceived, married with the Egyptians, and committed whoredoms with the idols of Egypt; for which the Lord was angry with them, and cast them into a furnace of affliction : hereby manifesting his displeasure against them for their sins, by turning the hearts of the Egyptians against them, to hate his people, and to deal subtilly with his servants. See Psalm cv. It is called, "an iron furnace." As it respects their sin and idolatry in Egypt, see Ezek. xxviii. 8. and xx. 5, 7, 8, and Joshua xxiv. 14. and v. 9. The great increase and multiplication of the Israelites, excite and stir up the jealousies, fears, and suspicions of the king of Egypt, lest they should revolt, and free themselves from the Egyptian bondage and servitude which they were under. The king, therefore, stirs up his principal ministers of state, to whom he proposed, and with whom he agreed to lay heavy taxes upon the Israelites, and which they were obliged to pay to him, out of which moneys as some conceive, Pharaoh's treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses, were built.

The Israelites continuing to increase and multiply, very laborious work is appointed for them, and great rigour and severity is used towards them. After which, Pharaoh seeing that afflicting them with hard bondage did not hinder their fruitfulness, but that they multiplied under all his tyranny, issued forth an edict to kill and drown all their male children, which command was given to the Hebrew midwives, and renewed and charged upon all the Egyptians. Yet, through the Lord's blessing, the Israelites prosper and multiply in spite of all opposition.

In these bitter times of bondage, tyranny, and persecution, Heman and Ethan, 1 Chron. ii. 6. prophetically penned the 88th and 89th Psalms. Of this opinion was Dr. Lightfoot, who says, 'the 88th Psalm was penned by Heman, the son of Zerah, the son of Judah, and so becalled the Zarhite, and with the addition of a letter, the Ezrahite; he is mentioned along with others as famous for wisdom, 1 Chron. ii. 6. 1 Kings iv. 31.' He thinks the 88th Psalm was penned by this Heman many years before the birth of Moses; and that the 89th Psalm was penned in the time of the Israelites' bondage in Egypt, by Ethan, the son of Zerah, and grandchild of Judah, the son of Jacob, who is mentioned, 1 Chron. ii. 6. therefore called Ethan, the Ezrahite, or of Zerah, who was the son of Judah. Though there is mention made of Ethan in the time of David, 1 Chron. xv. 17, 19. and though mentioned in the Psalm, ' yet,' saith he, ' being wrote by two men who felt and groaned under the bondage and afflictions of the Egyptians.' During this period of deep distress and affliction to the church and people of God, Moses their deliverer was born, according to Archbishop Usher, forty-one years after the death of Levi, in the year of the world, 2433; before Christ, 157),

Levi was the father of Koath, who was the father of Amram, the father of Moses, whose mother, Jochebed, was the daughter of Levi; so that Levi was the great grandfather of Moses by his father's side, and his grandfather by his mother's side, she being Levi's daughter. Ainsworth informs us, that Moses was by his father the seventh generation from Abraham, as Enoch was the seventh from Adam; and as Abraham, the Hebrew, was the seventh from Eber, or Heber.

Moses being born, is hid by his parents three months; when his mother, who concealed him when born, and afterwards for three months, could no longer hide him, she put him into an ark of bulrushes, and placed it, with the child in it, in the flags by the river's brink of the river Nile.

We may behold the divine care and compassion of Christ towards his church, which is his mystic body. In all the afflictions of his people he is afflicted. He observes the miseries of his people, the burthens they labour under, the afflictions they are compassed with; he hears their groaning, and remembers his covenant for them. The parents of Moses knew Christ, and believed on him. This act of their faith concerning this their son, is recorded in the epistle to the Hebrews. "By faith, Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child, and they were not afraid of the king's commandment."

Vol. VIII.—No. 95.] 2 P

Moses lay hid in the ark on the brink of the river. He is found by Pharaoh's daughter, whose name, as given by Josephus, was Thermulhis; she compassionates and cares for the infant, who through the concurrence and operation of God's secret providence, has his own mother for his nurse. He was adopted by Thermuthis for her son, and designed, as some say, to sit on the throne. But he being appointed by the Lord to be the deliverer of his people out of their great afflictions and distresses, is divinely wrought upon by the Holy Spirit, and influenced by his grace; who working effectually upon him, this testimony is given concerning him. "By faith, Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he had respect to the recompense of the reward."

Moses' steal for, and love to his brethren, the Israelites, in which he gave an item, which he thought they would look on as an indication how God would deliver them by his hands, appeared thus. He being forty years old, going out of Pharaoh's court, and observing the cruelty exercised by the Egyptians over the Israelites ; he seeing an Egyptian task-master, as is highly probable, smiting an Hebrew for not doing his work as he required, his spirit was stirred up to this heroic act. After looking this way and that way, to see if he was overlooked by any, thinking himself safe, "he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand." And going out the day following, he perceives two Hebrews wrangling; he, upon expostulating with one of them, is cruelly upbraided by him, who with sneer and impudence asks him, " Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me as thou didst the Egyptian yesterday?" This created great uneasiness in Moses' mind ; and the king being informed of it, that he had killed an Egyptian, and also taken part with the Hebrews against the Egyptians, sought to slay him; but Moses fled, and was a stranger in the land of Alidian, and dwelt in that land of Midian, a country so called from Midian, one of Abraham's children by Keturah. See Gen. xxv. 2. This country was sometimes called Cush, or Ethiopia; hence Moses' wife is called the Ethiopian woman, Numb. xii. 2.

Moses lived forty years as the adopted son of Pharaoh's daughter, and was, as Stephen informs us (Acts vii. 22.) learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds. Moses remained in Midian forty years; during which time, and at which place, he from being a high courtier became a poor shepherd, and from being a student in philosophy was a student in divinity; and it is thought that here, and during this interval, he, under the immediate and divine inspiration of the Holy Ghost wrote the book of Genesis, and the book of Job.

In this land, upon his first entrance into it, he sat down by a well, and relieved the oppressed, viz. the seven daughters of the priest, or prince of Midian, from the rude and slothful shepherds who had brought their flocks to drink the water these virgins had drawn, and rilled the troughs with, to water their own flock. These ladies, upon their return home, inform their father Reuel of the civility and kindness they had met with from an Egyptian, for so they called Moses, it may be because he spake the Egyptian language. The father blames his daughters for their ingratitude in leaving him at the well, invites him to his house; and after some time, it may be ten years, he gives him his daughter Zipporah to wife, who bore him two sons; the first of whom he called Gershon, which signifies a desolate stranger; the second he calls Eliezer, which signifies, my God is my help, or my helper.

It seems to be twenty yeare from the time Moses left Egypt before he was sent to be the deliverer of his people. In process of time, the king of Egypt died, which, according to Bishop Usher, was the same king under whom Moses was born, and from whose face fled, whose name was Rameses Miaman, who died in the 67th year of his reign, who leaving two sons behind him, Amenophis and Busiris. Amenophis the eldest succeeds him, who was the Pharaoh under whose reign the Israelites departed out of Egypt, and who was drowned in his passage through the Red Sea. Though, according to Eusebius, Orus reigned in Egypt when Moses fled thence, and two more reigned after him, Acencheres and Achoris, who both died before the deliverance of the children of Israel.

Though the king of Egypt was dead, yet no alteration for the better as it respected the Israelites took place, but their afflictions rather increased, the severity of which, and its long duration, caused them to sigh and groan inwardly; and it may be their cry to the Lord in prayer for deliverance was great and vehement, who heard their groanings, remembered his covenant: he looked upon, and had respect to his people, who were most cruelly oppressed.

Moses having been forty years in Midian, it is probable, Reuel, or Raguel, his father-in-law, was dead, and Jethro his eldest son might succeed him as the principal man in the family, whose sheep Moses kept; and he led them to a good place for pasturage, and came to a mountain in Arabia, about three days' journey from Egypt, which mountain was afterwards called the mountain of God, because of his appearance on it, as also because he descended on it, and gave forth the law. Here the angel of the Lord appeared unto Moses, in a flame of fire, out of the midst of the bush. It was a bramble bush. Upon the sight of which Moses struck with admiration, intending to draw near and see this great sight, the Lord by an audible voice commands him to keep at a distance—to put off his shoes from his feet, out of respect to the relative holiness of the place, as long as thus sanctified with the divine presence; saying, " I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob." Struck as we may most justly conceive with divine awe, Moses vails his face, as the seraphims covered theirs with their wings,

« AnteriorContinuar »