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23 | And it came to pass, xin cry came up unto God, by reason process of time, that the king of of the bondage. Egypt died : and the children of 24 And God a heard their groanIsrael y sighed by reason of the ing, and God b remembered his bondage, and they cried; and z their ccovenant with Abraham, with
Isaac, and with Jacob.
x ch. 7. 7. Acts 7. 30. y Numb. 20, 16. Deut. 26. 7. Ps. 12. 5. z Gen. 19. 20. ch. 3. 9. & 22. 23, 27. Deut. 24. 15. James 5 4.
a ch. 6. 5. bch. 6. 5. Ps. 105. 8, 42. & 106 45. c Gen. 15. 14. & 46, 4.
of his children took place, we have no
ueta, after, as is clear from Num. 28. means of ascertaining. From the inci. 26, ' After your weeks (bannyawa in dent mentioned, Ex. 4. 24, 25, it has your weelcs),' and elsewhere. So in the generally been supposed that the chil. New Testament, Mark, 13. 24,- In those dren were then young, as one of them days' is parallelled by Mat. 24. 29,- Af. was circumcised on that occasion by ter the tribulation of those days. But his mother. But it strikes us as ex- it is perhaps sufficient to understand by tremely improbable that Moses should the phrase simply that in the course have deferred his marriage for near forty and touards the latter part of the forty years after entering Midian, or that he years of Moses' sojourn in Midian the ing married shortly after that time, so king of Egypt died. As to the precise long an interval should have elapsed date of the event, it was not important before he became a father. It is to be that we should be informed of it.remembered that he was at the time I Sighed by reason of the bondage. mentioned, ch. 4. 24, 25, on the way. The time was now fast approaching in to Egypt, and is it conceivable that which the Most High had proposed to he was then the father of two small visit and redeem his people, and still children? True indeed it is said, Ex. no symptoms of favor as yet are per. 4. 20, that he took his wife and his ceived. On the contrary, though Egypt sons and set them upon an ass, and re- bad changed its sovereign in the mean turned to Egypt,' from which it is ar- time, yet the seed of Jacob experienced gued that the sons must have been mere Initigation of their distress. Every children, or they could not have been change which they had undergone was carried, with their mother, on a single rather a change from evil to worse, till ass. But this objection will be obviated at length their calamities are repre. in our note on that passage, and as the sented, like the blood of murdered Abel advanced age of the eldest son at this as having a voice and crying to heaven tiine is an important item in our inter for vengeance. pretation of the context in question, we 24. God remembered his covenant, &c are forced for the present to lay great There is a pitch of oppression which stress on the intrinsic probability that will not fail to awaken the wrath of Moses was both married and begat one heaven. The groans and tears extorted at least of his two sons very early during by violent wrong, especially if they his residence in Midian.
come from humbled and peritent l:earts, 23. It came to pass in process of time. will pierce the ear of God, and prove a Heb. 1777 693770-273 ba-yamim ha- presage of deliverance. Cum latera rabbim huhem, in those many days. Gr. duplicantur Moses adest,' when the μετα δε τας ημερας τας πολλας εκεινας, | bricks are doubled, Moses is at hand after those many days. On this phrase- Yet it seems that in the present case it ology Ainsworth remarks that the Heb. was not solely from a regard to their I in is here rightly translated by the miseries that God det ru ined to inter
25 And God a looked upon the children w istael, and God e had
re-mert unto them. dch. 4. 31. 1 Sam. 1. 11. 2 Sam. 16. 12. Luke 1. 25.
e ch. 3. 7.
fere. His own faithfulness was at gratitude. Yet it should not be for. stake. He remembered his covenant, gotten that whatever care
we may and his covenant is his engagement. exercise for our little ones, or what. To the three patriarchs here mentioned ever guardianship we may afford them, he had solemnly bound himself to en- they as really require the preserving large, to prosper, and to bless their mercy of heaven when reposing in their seed, and after the lapse of a certain cradles or sporting in our parlors, as did period to bring them out of bondage Moses when enclosed in his ark of bul. and plant them in the land of promise. rushes and exposed to the waves or As this period had now nearly expired, the ravenous tenants of the Nile. and the enemies of Israel by making (2.) It is doing no violence to the their condition to the utmost degree in spirit of the sacred text to conceive of tolerable were doing what in them lay our heavenly Father as saying to the be. to crush and exterminate the race, and liever when presenting his infant-off. thus counteract the fulfilment of the spring in baptism, “Take this child divine promises, the God of Abraham, away and nurse it for me, and I will of Isaac, and of Jacob saw that it was give thee thy wages. Take him out time to awake, and make bare his arm, of the pollution that is in the world lest his word should fail for evermore. through sin, and bring him up in the nur. What is meant by God's remember- ture and admonition of the Lord. Take ing' his covenant we have explained in him from the many perils which beset the Note on Gen. 8. 1. It is an effective him by the lusts of the flesh, the pride of remembrance evinced by the perform life, and the malice of Satan, and estabance of some special act of his care. lish him in faith, hope, and love, as a We may understand it the better by devoted servant of the Savior, and verily conceiving of its opposite. God is said thou shalt by no means lose thy reward. to forget or not to remember, when he (3.) What a powerful principle is fails to assist or deliver. And in like true faith! And how illustrious the manner his looking upon a people is exhibition of it in the choice of Moses ! the opposite of turning his back upon We know how hardly men are persuad. them, and the term for one of the most ed to resign a little wealth, to forego a fearsul forms of the divine judgments. little honor, to resign the faintest pros.
25. God had respect unto them. Heb. pect of rank and power. Yet Moses ugh yeda, knew them. That is, compas- freely gave up all that was tempting in sionately regarded them, tenderly cared this respect, as a noble sacrifice of sense for them. On the peculiar import of to faith! Several of the circumstances the word 'know,' see Note on Ex. 1. 8. which rendered this sacrifice so remark
REMARKS.-(1.) The doctrine of a able have been already considered. Conspecial overruling providence is no sider in addition, that there were other where more impressively taught than than selfish objections to be overcome. in the early history of Moses; and in Pharaoh's daughter had strong claims contrasting the perils which surrounded on the gratitude of Moses. He was a l:is infancy with the security and com- poor soundling, rescued from the peril fort with which we can rear our own of a watery grave, by the kindness of offspring, we have abundant grounds of his benefactor; and no one acquainted VOL. I
with the sympathy and tenderness of I were the 'allictions of the people of woman's heart needs to be told, how God,' and the reproach incurred the strong is the attachment formed for a reproach of Christ,' and these he well helpless infant thus strangely and unex- knew would be sanctified to any one who peetedly thrown upon her hands. A should encounter them for conscience deep and affectionate interest would in- sake. evitably spring up in her bosom towards her orphan charge, an interest all the
CHAPTER III. deeper and stronger from having no Of the events which marked the his. children of her own. Now can we sup- tory of Moses during the forty years of pose that Moses when he had attained his residence in the land of Midian, the to years of reflection and was made ac. Scriptures have furnished us with no quainted with the events of his history, detailed account. As Moses is him. could have been insensible to what he self the historian of his own life, it is owed to his preserver ? Would it not reasonable to infer from his silence that be a mighty struggle to tear himself the period was not distinguished by any away from one who had been a mother occurrences sufficiently important in to him from his infancy; who had his view to deserve a record. His days watched with kind solicitude over his , probably passed quietly away in the advances froin childhood to youth, and wonted discharge of his duties as a shepfrom youth to manhood ; whose heart herd, and the shepherd too of another had exulted to note his expanding intel. man's flock. His situation was no doubt lect as he grew learned in all the wis- favorable to contemplation and commu. dom of the Egyptians, and to see him nion with God. He could scarcely fail entitling himself by his intrinsic merit to make progress in that divine knowto the station to which he had been for- | ledge which would do more to qualify tuitously raised? Shall he then sum- him for his future mission than all the non up an iron resolve, sunder the ties learning he had acquired in Egypt. that bound him to his earliest bene. The life too which he led was happily factor, and bid her adieu for ever? adapted to work within him that hardi. Shall he do this when in doing it he hood of constitution and character, of would seem to be resigning the only which he would afterwards stand so hope of aiding and of finally emanci- much in need, and of which the sequel pating his brethren? For if he would of his story affords us so many striking consent to be called the son of his pa- instances. Still, it could not but be a troness, retaining his place in the court, severe trial of his faith to find year after and watching the events of providence, year elapsing, and the prime and vigor some opportunity might at length occur of his age apparently wearing away, for effecting an object so near his heart. while no tokens from above indicated But we see the conviction of present that the great work of his vocation was duty outweighing every other considera- any nearer at hand. Yet he seems meek. tion, and triumphing over the promptly to have endured as seeing Him who is ings of affection and the dictates of invisible, and to have evinced that true worldly policy. So complete is the wisdom which consists in waiting for dominion of Faith over his whole soul and following the call of heaven, in. that he resolves to take the momentous stead of running before it. It was evi. step, though assured that he should dently no part of his design to hold up thereby plunge into affliction and ncur for admiration his own example of sub. reproach. But the afflictions anticipated I missive patience, yet the Holy Spirit is
flock to the back side of the desert, Now Moses kept the flock of and came to the mountain of God priest of Midian: and he led the
a ch. 2. 16.
b ch. 18. 5. 1 Kings 19. 8.
not restrained from presenting his con- and lonely places have often been those duct in such a light as will suggest the which God has selected for the most most useful lessons to all succeeding signal displays of himself to his serv. ages.
ants; nor is it superfluous to remark, 1. Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro. that such manifestations are usually Heb. 94V 739 7777 hayah roeh eth made, as here, not to the idle or sloth. tzon, was feeding the flock, or acting ful, but to those who are busied in the the shepherd towards. See Note on duties of their calling. - He led the Gen. 37. 2. He who is before, Ex. 2. flock to the back side of the desert, &c 18, called Reuel, is here denominated Gr. vno tov epnuov, under the wilderness. Jethro. Our reasons for thinking them Vulg. ' Ad interiora deserti,' to the inte. the same person have already been rior parts of the desert. Chal. “To the given. In Num. 10. 29, he is called place of sair pasturage in the desert. Raguel, and is expressly said to have The expression is probably equivalent been the father of Hobab.—There is no to a great way into the desert. doubt a very marked contrast between 1 Came to the mountain of God, so callMoses in the court of Egypt, making ed, not so much from its great height, his abode in a palace, and surrounded as tall cedars are called cedars of God, with all the splendors of royalty, and &c: (see Note on Gen. 23. 6), as by an Moses a humble hireling shepherd, lead
ticipation, from several very remarking lis flocks over the rough places of
able events having afterward occurred the desert, sleeping osten in the open confer upon it a sacred character. It
upon this memorable mount tending to air, exposed to heat and to cold, to
was here (1.) that God appeared to weariness and watchings, and living Moses in the bush ; (2.) that he maniupon the coarsest fare. But as we know fested his glory at the delivery of the that he had voluntarily and deliberately law; (3.) that Moses with his rod made the exchange of one condition for brought water out of the rock; (4.) that the other, and as we know too the mo- by listing up his hands he made Joshua tives by which he had been governed in to prevail against Amelek; (5.) that doing it, it would be no matter of sur- he fasted twice forty days and forty prise could we be assured, as was doubt- nights; (6.) that from hence he brought less the fact, that he was as truly happy the two tables of the law; and (7.) that while thus traversing the rocky region Elijah was vouchsafed a glorious vision. of Midian, his tent his only shelter, as The Chal. renders it, the mount where when treading the marble pavements of the Glory of the Lord was revealed.? Egyptian halls, or reposing on couches -9 Even to Horeb. Heb. 20 horeb, of state, with a cıowd of menials prompt i. e. dryness, from the character of the to do his pleasure. As it was from,a su- soil ; it being a dry, sterile, bleak, rocky preme regard to the glory of God that he region. The names Horeb' and 'Sinai' bad entered this humble sphere, so God are interchanged in the Scriptures : and was not unmindful of the sacrifices he modern travellers give such varied achad made, nor did he leave him without counts of them, that we are left in great witness of his special favor. Desert | uncertainty with regari to their original
Acts 7. 30.
2 And c the Angel of the LORD | and he looked, and behold, the appeared unto him in a flame of bush burned with fire, and the fire out of the midst of a bush ; bush was not consumed.
Deut. 33. 16. Isai 63. 9. position. They may be considered as four score and five thousand.' The parts of one vast eminence in the midst effect here described is very generally of the surrounding desert, the upper re. conceded to have been produced by a gion of which forms an irregular circle pestilential wind of the desert, which of thirty or forty miles in diameter. is personified, and termed an angel. So This region contains the highest moun- the pestilence which occurred in conse. tains of the peninsula, whose shagged quence of David's numbering the people, and pointed peaks, and steep and shat. 2 Sam. 24. 15, 16, in like manner repre. tered sides, render it clearly distin. sented as the work of an angel. The guishable from all the rest of the coun- destruction of the first-born in Egypt, try in view. Abrupt cliffs of granite, Ex. 12. 23, 29, is doubtless to be viewed from six to eight hundred feet in height, in the same light. Though cut off by whose surface is blackened by the sun, the direct supernatural judgment of surround the avenues leading to the the Most High, yet the agency is per. elevated region, to which the name of sonified and represented as a destroying Sinai, at the present day, is specifically angel. The language of the Psalmist applied. The cliffs enclose the inoun- Ps. 78. 49, undoubtedly requires the tain on three sides, leaving the east and same construction ;' He cast upon then north-east sides only, towards the gulf | the fierceness of his anger, wrath and of A kaba, more open to the view. Fur- indignation and trouble by sending evil ther information respecting this remark- angels among them;' i.e. the judgments able mountainous tract will be given in of the plagues. In the New Testament tracing the course of the children of the same mode of speech occurs, Acts, Israel in their march from Egypt to 12. 23,' And immediately the angel of Canaan.
the Lord smote him, because he gave 2. The angel of the Lord appecred not God the glory, and he was eaten of unto him, &c. Of the scriptural import worms, and gave up the ghost.? Here the 01' the word "angel' we have given a judgment itself, the fatal disease with somewhat extended view in the Note which Herod died, was the angel intend on Gen. 16. 7, with which compare Note ed in the text. But if such language on Gen. 24. 7. It is properly a term of was used in reference to vindictive judgoffice, and not of nature, and is used to ments extraordinarily inflicted, there is denote not only human and spiritual no reason to doubt that merciful visita messengers, but also any of the imper. tions, or in fact any kind of
rare, sonal agents, such as winds, fires, pesti. derful, and astounding occurrences tha: lences, remarkable dispensations, &c., happen somewhat out of the ordinary which serve as a medium to make course of providence, should be set forth known the divine will, or to illustrate in a similar figurative or symbolical the divine operation in nature or provi- diction. Thus when it is said, Dan. 6.22, dence. In fact, one of the most frequent that God had sent his Angel and shut uses of the term is as a personification the lions' mouths, that they should not of divine judgments. Thus 2 Kings, hurt Daniel,' it is not necessary to un. 19. 35, ' And it came to pass that the derstand the literal presence of an angel, Angel of the Lord went out and smote or spiritual being, but simply, that by in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred the special interposition or influence of