Page images
PDF
EPUB

4 And e I will harden Pharaoh's 5 | And it was told the king of heart, that he shall follow afier Egypt that the people fled : and them; and I fwill be honoured h the heart of Pharaoh and of his lipon Pharaoli, and upon all his servants was turned against the liost; g that the Egyptians may people, and they saiu. Why have know that I am the LORD. And we done this, that we have let Isthey did so.

rael

go

from erving us? e cil, 4. 21. & 7. 3. fch. 9. 16. ver. 17, 18. Rorn. 9. 17, 22, 23. &ch, 7, 5.

b Ps. 105. 25.

this of course did not enter his thoughts. information from some of the mixt mul. "What seems to tend to the church's titude who returned upon the route be. ruin, is often overruled to the ruin of ing changed, for which they could see the church's enemies. Henry.

no reason, and therefore concluded it 4. I will be honored upon Pharaoh, not safe to trust themselves longer lo and upon all his host. Heb. 177336 such an uncertain guidance. And ikkabedah, I will be glorified. The ul- the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants timate scope to which all the counsels was turned, &c. This inexorable mon. of Pharaoh were to be overruled is here arch was left in a previous chapter stated; viz. the bringing of a larger stricken with terror and dismay at the measure of glory to the great name of death of the first-born. We saw him God. This is in fact the end of all his overpowered by that signal display of judgments upon wicked men. As all divine wrath against him, and inwardly creatures are made for his honor and constrained to send away the Israelites glory, if they do not willingly and cor. in haste out of his dominions. We dially render him his due, he will ex. could fain have hoped that the terrible tort it froin them in the righteous doom chastisement he had already experito which he condemns them. Comp. enced would have been sufficient to Ezek. 38. 22, 23. - And they did so. humble the pride of his spirit, and bring That is, the Israelites did as they had him in penitence and prayer to the foot. been commanded relative to changing stool of divine mercy. Bnt, alas ! the their route.

power of a reprobate sense shows itself 5. It was told the king that the people as strong as ever. Every conviction had fled. Pharaoh could not be igno- and aların had passed away from his rant that the Israelites had left Egypt, obdurate mind, like breath from the for the avowed purpose of holding a polished surface of a mirror. He re. sacrifice in the desert, as they had gone pented indeed, but only that he had let out with his permission, and their de-them go. He repented that he had been parture had been hastened by his own obedient to the command of God, and people. But this he seems not to have he would retract his permission. Pride, regarded as a 'fight. He is now, how. resentment, avarice, reassumed their ever, informed that they had ‘fed ;' i.e. empire over his heart, and goaded him that they discovered a very different on to the mad attempt to recover his intention from that of going three days' escaping captives. His subjects, so far journey into the wilderness and return as they had a profitable interest in the ing again, as he had been led to expect. labors of the Israelites, would naturally He now understood that they had no share in the feelings of the king, and intention of returning. It was in this the intimation of loss would not fail to sense that Pharaoh learned that they alarm those who had 'lent to the He. zad 'fled.' He probably received his! brews their 'jewels of silver and jewels

6 And he made ready his chariot, of Israel : and the children of Isand took his people with him : rael went out with an high hand.

7 And he took i six hundred cho- . But the m Egyptians pursued af sen chariots, and all the chariots ter them (all the horses and chariof Egypt, and captains over every ots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, one of them.

and his army) and overtook them 8 And the LORD khardened the encamping by the sea, beside Pineart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, hahiruth, before Baal-zephon. and he pursued after the children

m ch. 15.

1 ch. 15. 4. k ver. 4.

Ich. 6. 1. & 13. 9. Numb. 33. 3. 9. Josh. 24. 6.

of gold,' and who by this time had 7237 x 0877 va-yesor eth rikbo, found leisure to think that they had joined or bound his chariot; i. e, the too easily parted with their wealth. horses to the chariot. Gr. Etenga yoked. Thus it is that the wicked show them. The word 'chariot,' though in the sinselves as prone to repent of their well- gular, is to be understood in a plural doing as the righteous of their ill. sense. He ordered all his chariots to doing.

be got ready. The same term in the 6. Ile made ready his chariot. Hib. I next verse is also singular.

[graphic][merged small]

7. Went out with an high hand. That a high hand, Num. 15. 30, is to sm is, openly, boldly, powerfully, in the openly, fearlessly, and au laciously. full view of the Egyptians, and with 9. Overtook them encarnping by the the air not of a company of renegadoes, sea. Upon this passage the Editor of but of a mighty army. So to sin with the Pictorial History of Palestine re.

n Josh. 24.7. Neh. 9. 9. Ps. 34. 17. & 107.6.

10 And when Pharaoh drew they were sore afraid: and the nigh, the children of Israel lifted up children of Israel ncried out unto their eyes, and behold, the Egyp- the LORD. tians marched after them; and narks, “We do not agree with those the sea opened to let them pass through who think that the king of Egypt came it. The Egyptians being satisfied that upon the encamped Hebrews through they had secured their prey, and that it the valley of Bedea, in the plain at the was impossible for their fugitive bonds. mouth of which they were encamped. men to escape, were in no haste to asAs he was so glad to find how they had sail them. They were themselves also bentangled themselves in the land,' he probably wearied by their rapid march. was not likely to take a course which They therefore encamped for the night would deprive him of all the advantages —for it was towards evening when they derivable from their apparent oversight. arrived — intending, no doubt, to give This he would do by coming upon them effect to their intentions in the mornthrough the valley of Bedea, for this ing. would have left open to them the alter 10. And when Pharaoh drew nigh, native of escaping from their position &c. However much reason we have by the way they entered ; whereas, by before had to wonder at the obstinacy coming the same way they had come, and unbelief of Pharaoh, we have here he shut up that door of escape; and if occasion to vent our astonishinent at they fled before him, lest them no other the unbelief of those in whom we should visible resource but to march up the least expect it. The sight of their old valley of Bedea, back to Egypt, before oppressors struck the Israelites with the Egyptian troops. That this was terror. Pervaded by a general panic, really the advantage to himself which their faith and their courage seemed to the king saw in their position, and that desert them at once. They deplored it was his object to drive them before the rash adventure in which they had him back to Egypt through this valley, engaged, and their servile minds looked or to destroy them if they offered to back with regret and envy upon the enresist, we have not the least doubt: and slaved condition under which they had it is unlikely that he would take any so recenily sighed. But wherefore did road but that which would enable him they now give way to fear? Could they to secure these benefits. To this view not look back upon the wonders which of the subject we do not object as far as God had wrought for them so short a the main body of Pharaoh's army is time before ? Could they not remember concerned. They would no doubt pur- the recent death of all the first-born in sue the Hebrew caravan in the same Egypt? Could they not fix their eye on route which it travelled, but as the the pillar of cloud, and encourage theme Egyptians doubtless kept themselves selves in that immediate token of God's informed of every movement of the Iso presence with them and his care for raelites, we would suggest the proba them? True indeed, they were in a bility that a detachment of Pharaoh's strait, a very great strait, and their peril forces took their march through the was imminent. They were surrounded valley of Tih, in order to intercept with dangers on all sides. The moun. their escape through that avenue. They tains, the sea, the pursuing hosts of would thus be effectually hemmed in Egypt pressed close upon them on every on every side, and no possible mode of hand. In ordinary circumstances there extrication remained for them, unless I was no doubt, occasion for the greatest

11 And they said unto Moses, die in the wilderness? Wherefore Because there were no graves in hast thou dealt thus with us, to Egypt, hast thuu taken us away to carry us forth out of Egypt?

o Ps. 106. 7, 8. alarm. But they were not in ordinary distresses, we can scarcely prevent a circumstances. They had lately wit feeling of the indignant from mingling nessed a series of most extraordinary with our surprise. It was at once an proofs that God had taken up their ebullition of rank injustice and ingrati. cause. They knew, moreover, that it tude towards Moses, and a gross provo. was the same God who had so miracu- cation of God, in obedience to whose lously appeared in their behalf, and orders he had taken every step towards brought them out of Egypt, that had their deliverance. We do not forget, conducted them to the perilous position although they did, that all his great inwhich they now occupied, and they were terests were embarked with theirs in bound to believe that in all this he in- this enterprise. His lot was cast into tended them good and not evil, and that the common lap. He had made a sacri. his omnipotence would in some way fice unspeakably greater than any other make sure their rescue. Their fears | individual of the immense congregation. therefore were groundless, and their His prospects, either for himself or his complaints inexcusable. They showed family, were no more bright or flatter. in this too much of the spirit of Pha ing than those of the obscurest Hebrew. raoh himself. They were as forgetful if there were danger from the pursuing of the Lord's mercies which they had | host of Pharaoh, his share, assuredly, experienced, as he of the judgments was not less than that of any other man. which he had suffered. The similarity He had rendered himself peculiarly obhowever of our own conduct in trying noxious to the unrelenting tyrant, and circumstances should no doubt abate must have been among the first victims our surprise at the perverseness of Is- of his resentment. In view of this

ael. Alas, how little can we ourselves treatment we feel that if others might exercise faith and trust, in our own dan be offended, Moses might burn; and yet gers and troubles! How prone are we in the midst of these trying circumto forget our past mercies, how inca- stances, he affords us a noble example pable to see our present help, how ready of the meekness and forbearance for to count God our enemy when his provi. which he was so distinguished. In the dence frowns, and after all our experi- danger which appeared, and in the unence of his truth to cry out, 'We shall reasonable and wicked complaining of one day perish?' Let then the spirit of the people against him, he stood untelf-reproof temper our condemnation of moved. Far from remonstrating with unbelieving Israel.

them or vindicating himself, he dis. 11. And they said unto Moses, Be- covered the most admirable composure cause, &c. Had the Israelites merely of mind, aiming to comfort and encour. given way to the inward promptings of age instead of chiding them, and assur. an ignoble fear, or confined the expres- ing them that they had nothing to do sion of it to one another, we should have but to remain quiet and wait. They been less disposed to condemn, although need neither fiee nor fight. That was even then we should not have been able the last time that the Egyptians should to excuse it. But when we see their cause them either fear or trouble. The lears exciting them to murmur against Lord should fight for them and they Moses, as the procuring cause of their should soon see the unreasonableness

12 pIs not this the word that we and see the salvation of the LORD, did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let which he will shew to you to-day: us alone, that we may serve the for the Egyptians whom ye have Egyptians ? For it had been better seen to-day, ye shall see them a. for us to serve the Egyptians, than gain no more for ever. that we should die in the wilder 14 r The LORD shall fight for you,

and ye shall s hold your peace. 13 | And Moses said unto the people, 9 Fear ye not, stand still,

r ver. 25. Deut. 1. 30. & 3.22. & 20. 4. Josh 92 Chron. 20. 15, 17. 10. 14, 42. & 23. 3. 2 Chron. 20. 29. Neh. Isai 41. 10, 13, 14.

ness.

Pch. 5. 21. & 6. 9.

4. 20. Isai. 31. 4.

s Isai. 30. 15.

of their alarms, and he ashamed of their | See the salvation of the Lord. That unjust suspicions and complaints. is, experience, enjoy the salvation. See

12. Is not this the word, &c. We do on this peculiar use of the word see not indeed previously read of their ut. the Note on Gen. 42. 1.- For the tering these precise words, but this was Egyptians whom ye have seen, &c. Heb. the spirit, the drift, of their desponding 'For in what manner ye have seen the exposculations with Moses and Aaron Egyptians to-day ye shall not add to when they found their burdens increas. see them any more for ever;' i. e. ye ed. The language breathes the most shall not see them alive any more. deplorable sordidness and pusillanimity 14. Ye shall hold your peace. Heb. of soul, as if their spirits had been ut- 770.nh taharishun, ye shall be silent ; terly broken down and crushed by their a term denoting here, as in many other long bondage. Because their liberty instances, not so much a cessation from was attended with some dangers and noise as from action, equivalent to redifficulties, they speak of it with virtual maining still, quiet, or inert. Thus, 2 .contempt, as if a state of servitude Kings, 19. 11, 'Why are ye the last to were to be preferred! IIad they pos. bring the king back from his house ?! sessed the generous spirits of men, they Heb. "Why are ye silent from bring. would have said it was better, if needs ing,' &c.; i. e. why are ye negligent ? be, to die on the field of honor than 10 Ps. 83. 1, "Keep not thou silence, o live in the chains of slavery. Why God;' i. e. do not forbear to act. Ps. 5. should the idea of a grave in the wil. 3, 'Our God shall come and not keep derness be so dreadful to them? Why silence;' i. e. shall not remain inactive. should they prefer to it a grave in By this usage of the term we are assistEgypt? It was but a grave at the ed in the interpretation of Rev. 8. 1, worst; only if they died now, they died 'And when we had opened the seventh at once; died like men defending their seal there was slence in heaven about lives, liberty, and families; not pour the space of half an hour;' i. e. there ing out their lives, drop by drop, under was a respite from action ; the vari. the whip of a cruel taskmaster. But ous symbolical agents who had hitherto slavery had done its work in extinguish- been so busily employed in the vision ing the nobler impulses of their nature, ary heaven, came to a temporary pause and the native unbelief and depravity of representing some epoch in the state of the human heart had put the finishing the church when a series of stirring and stroke to their perverseness.

momentous events, a succession of wars 13. Fear ye not, stand still. Heb. and commotions, were followed by a 737404 hithyatzebu, stand firm; waver profound, though not a lasting calm. aot stagger not, in your minds. Such is the import of the symbol, and

« PreviousContinue »