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ch. 2. 25.
ple which are in Egypt, and i have, 8 And mI am come down to n des heard their cry k by reason of their liver them out of the hand of the taskmasters; for 1 I know their Egyptians, and to bring them up
out of that land, ounto a good land, ich. 2. 23, 24. kch, 1. 11. 1 Gen. 18. 21. m Gen 11. 5,7. & 18. 21. & 50. 24. nch. 6.
6, 8. & 12. 51, o Deut. 1. 25. & 8.7, 8, 9. Heb. 77272 nogesquv, his task-masters; his people, their miraculous deliverance, the whole people spoken of as one man, with deserved vengeance upon Egypt, according to common usage. The orig. is the memorable result. Unto a inal for task-masters, though of equiva- good land and a large. Not indeed a lent import, is not the same word with land very large in itself, but large in that so rendered, ch. 1. 11, but properly comparison with their territory in Gosignifies exacters, translated in Job, 39. shen, and of sufficient extent to contain 7, driver, and in Zech. 9. 8, oppressor. with ease all the population of that The Gr. has anyodluktai, workinasters, race which was destined to inherit it. and the Chal. • Those who cause them - Unto a land flowing with milk to serve. - I know their sorrous. and honey. An abundance of milk and Heb. 724a makobauv, his sorrow's, honey indicates a country rich in pas. collect. sing. as before. For the import turage and flowers, of which the one is of know,' see Note on Ex. 1. 8. Hos. evinced by the teeming udders of the 13.5, presents a parallel phraseology, flocks and herds, and the other by large *I did know thee in the wilderness, in quantities of wild or cultivated honey. the land of great drought;' i. e. I com- That this description held literally good passionately knew thee; I knew thee of the land of promise, there is the most so as to succor thee.
unquestionable evidence, not only from 8. I am come down to deliver them. Heb. the declarations of Scripture, Deut. 8. 8. 737973 lehatzilo, to deliver him, collect. 32. 13. Judg. 14. 8. 1 Sam. 14. 25, 26. sing. In strict propriety of speech nei. Ps. 81. 17, but even from what we know ther ascent nor descent can be predicated in modern times of the soil, climate, of the Omnipresent Being, but in adapt and productions of Palestine. But if ation to our modes of conceiving of the this should be thought too rigid an indivine acts, God is said to come down' terpretation of the words, 'milk' may when he puts forth in the sight of men be understood to denote all kinds of such striking exhibitions of his power, necessary food, and 'honey,' whatever either for grace or judgment, as shall is peculiarly agrecable to the palate, so constitute an indubitable token of his that this expression, so often applied special presence. It may be remarked, to the land of Canaan, may be simply moreover, that whenever the Most High intended to characterise a very fruitful is said, in the sacred volume, to de- and pleasant country, abounding in all scend,' some signal event of his provi. the products necessary to the subsistdence is uniformly represented as fol.ence of life, and rich in the dainties lowing. Thus, when he is said to have which minister to the gratification of the resolved to go down' and see the sins taste. See the emphatic commendation of Sodom, the fearful overthrow of their of the soil, productions, &c. of the city quickly ensued; when he came promised land, Deut. 8. 7–9. The same down' to thwart the building of Babel, proverbial expression of plenty is sathe confusion of tongues followed, as it miliar to the classic writers. Thus Euwere, upon his footsteps; and when, in ripides, Bac. v. 142, “The field flows the narrative before us, he announces with milk, with wine, and with the his purpose of descending in behalf of nectar of bees.' The enemies of reve
and a large, unto a land pflowing| 9 Now therefore, behold, rthe cry with milk and honey ; unto the of the children of Israel is come ui. place of 4 the Canaanites, and the to me: and I have also seen the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the soppression wherewith the EgypPerrizzites, and the Hivites, and tians oppress them. the Jebusites.
10 + Come now therefore, and I p ver. 17. ch. 13. 5. & 33. 3. Numb. 13. 27. will send thee unto Pharaoh, thai
rch. 2. 23. Sch. 1. 11, 13, 14 22. Ps. 105
Deut. 26. 9, 15. Jer. 11. 5. & 32. 22. Ezek. 20 6. 9 Gen. 15. 18.
Micah. 6. 4.
lation have drawn arguments from the convey any adequate idea of its sur present neglected state of some parts of prising produce: it is truly the Eden o* Palestine, to invalidate the statements the East, rejoicing in the abundance o' of the sacred historians, who represent its wealth. The effect of this upor it as one of the most delightful spots the people was strikingly portrayed in upon the face of the earth. In this, every countenance. Under a wise and however, they have not only utterly beneficent government, the produce of failed, but by drawing the attention of the Holy Land would exceed all calcumodern travellers on the subject, have lation. Its perennial harvests; the saunwittingly contributed towards the il. lubrity of its air ; its limpid springs ; lustration and confirmation of the sacred its rivers, lakes, and matchless plains; records. The land has, indeed, suffered its hills and valleys; all these, added under the blighting dominion of the to the serenity of the climate, prove Saracens, Turks, and Egyptians; agri- this land to be indeed a field which culture has been neglected; and an air the Lord hath blessed: God hath given of desolation has crept over its once it of the dew of heaven, and the fatness luxuriant hills and dales, but the traces of the earth, and plenty of corn and of ts original fertility and beauty are wine!' -1 Canaanites, llittites, Amor. far from being wholly obliterated. We ites, &c. All singular in the original, way infer, from the following passages Canaanite, Hittite, &c., and so in in. fiom the pens of eminent travellers, numerable other instances. what Palestine was in a state of pros. 9. Now therefore behold the cry, &c. perity. "We left the road,' says D'Ar- The Most High repeats this declaration vieux,'to avoid the Arabs, whom it is from v. 7, in order to give stronger as. always disagreeable to meet with, and surance to Moses that he will be with reached by a side path the summit of a him and not suffer him to go upon a mountain, where we found a beautisul fruitless embassy. His truth, his jus. plain. It must be confessed, that if we tice, his mercy were all concernerl in could live secure in this country, it the liberation of his people. Such cruel. would be the most agreeable residence ties as they had suffered at the hands in the world, partly on account of the of the Egyptians would have awaked pleasing diversity of mountains and val. his vindictive providence in behalf of leys, partly on account of the salubrious any people, and armed it against their air which we breathe there, and which oppressors. How much more when the is at all times filled with balsamic sufferers were his own chosen people, odors from the wild flowers of these whom he had taken under his special valleys, and from the aromatic herbs covenant care, whom he had sworn to on the hills.' Dr. E. D. Clarke, speak- protect, to befriend, to bless. ing of the appearance of the country 10. Come now therefore, &c. Heb. between Sychem and Jerusalem, says, 133 7637 ve-attah lekah, and nou go A sight of this territory alone, can. The secret iinpulse under which Mosey
thou mayest bring forth my peo- u Who am I, that I should go unto ple, the children of Israel, out of Pharaoh, and that I should bring Egypt.
forih the children of Israel out of il | And Moses said unto God, Egypt?
But we are not
had formerly acted, in his incipient es- years before, the ardor of comparasays towards the deliverance of his tive youth, he had made such an atpeople, ch. 2. 11, now becomes an open tempt, and failed. He shrinks back Call and a full commission ; id he therefore from it now. whom the Israelites, Acts, 7. 35, 're- to suppose that it was altogether from fused saying, Who made thee a ruler the recollection of the past that he deand a judge ? the same did God send to clined the present service. He was in be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand many respects a different man now from ;f the angel which appeared to him in what he was then. He had long been the bush. The divine Speaker here leading a retired, quiet, and contempasses from promises and assurances to plative life, and had gained a deeper commands. Moses is now required to knowledge of God and of himself. He address himself to the work which God had greater experience of the disposihad destined him to perform. He dealt tions and motives of men, and had kindly with his servant in thus strength- grown in humility and a diffidence of ening and animating him with these his own powers. He could better esti. precious hopes of success. Nothing mate the magnitude and difficulty of could have been laid to his charge had the work. He could better understand he waved all such preliminary encou- the weight of opposition which would ragements, and sternly bid him go for arise from a powerful king and a mighty ward without any intimations as to the nation ; and he might also well expect result of his mission. But our merciful | w have again to encounter fear or unGod deals more graciously with human willingness in his own people. Now infirmity. He excites a more prompt and also he would feel that he could have cheerful obedience by assuring his serv no protection or favor from Pharaoh's ants of a happy issue to all the work daughter, and obscure as he was in in which they engage for him. He thus Midian, he looked upon himself as alleaves our perverse and selfish and re- together insufficient and incompetent fractory hearts utterly without excuse, for so great an undertaking. That his if we decline his service.
backwardness was excusable no one 11. And Moses said unto God, Who will affirm, yet it is probably no more am I, &c. Calling to mind the lively than justice to Moses to say, that his interest which Moses had formerly reply did not low from a positiveevinced in behalf of his people, and the ly disobedient spirit, like that which ready zeal with which he had entered prompted Jonah to flee from the presupon the redress of their wrongs, we ence of the Lord, but from a profoundly should no doubt at first suppose that humble sense of his own unworthiness his inmost heart would have responded and incompetence for such an ardaoas to the divine call, and that he would trust. From a similar consciousness. have discovered an almost eager prompt- Isaiah shrunk from the duty to which itude to enter upon so congenial a sery- he was called of being the Lord's mes. ice. But no; he is appalled by the ap- senger, saying, "I am a man of unclean pointment. He cannot believe himself lips ;' and Jeremiah was led to exclaim equal to it, or worthy of it. Forty | Ah, Lord God! behold I cannot speaks
12 And he said, ~ Certainly I will | token 2110 thee, that I have sent be with thee; and this shall be a thee: when thou hast brought forth
the people out of Egypt, ye shall x Gen. 31. 3. Deut. 31. 23. Josh. 1.5. Rom.
serve God upon this mountain. for I am a child.' Paul also was actu. confidence out of himself, when in the ated by the same feeling when he anx- deep sense of our own impotence we iously enquired, 'Who is sufficient for count it enough that he is with us and these things ?' A due degree of distrust for us.- This shall be a token unto in ourselves is no doubt always proper, thee that I have sent thee. Heb. 73 775 but we should not forget, that as there 17787 zeh leka haoth, this shall be to is a sinful pride which urges men to thee a sign. These words are under. seek stations and employments to which stood by most of the Rabbinical comthey have no just pretensions, so there mentators to refer to the supernatural is a sinful humility which shrinks from appearance which Moses was now called the call of God, and which under the to witness in the burning bush. Acguise of self denial, or the affectation cording to this mode of interpretation of under-valuing and debasing our own there is a two-fold assurance conveyed persons and qualities, indirectly char- to him in the two several clauses of ges God with foolishness in choosing this verse; first, that God would be instruments unsuited to his work. Let with him, and protect him in his emus ever aim then to observe a happy bassy to Pharaoh. Of this fact he medium between self-complacency and might regard the spectacle before him self-disparagement. As it is God's pre- as a sign or token ; for as he saw the rogative to send by whom he will send, burning bush subservient to the divine so he will never fail to qualify his emis- pleasure without being consumed, so he saries for the errand on which he dis- might be confident of being enabled to patches them. His commission is suffi- execute the commission assigned to cient to empower the weakest man for him without personal harm. Secondly the most arduous service.
that when this was accomplished, when 12. And he said, Certainly I will be he had delivered his message to Phawith thee. Chal. "My Word shall be raoh, and brought out the people from for thy help.' It no doubt for the most Egypt, then both he and all the host of part holds true, that those who are in Israel should serve God, by oblations reality the best fitted for the peculiar of sacrifice and praise, upon that very work of God are usually prone to esteem mountain where he now stood. The themselves the least so; yet the pro- mass of modern interpreters, however, mised presence of Jehovah is sufficient understand the token here spoken of, to silence every plea which would pre- to refer, not to the vision of the divine vent the humble-minded from going glory in the burning bush, but to the forward in any prescribed deliverance, actual future result of the mission now reformation, or change in the church or devolved upon Moses: the sign promised the world. No other than this simple was no other than the event itself, which consideration is afforded in order to re was predicted; q.d. 'Go now and try, move the misgivings of Moses. It was and you shall find, by the event, that I of no consequence who he was, or what have sent you. Of these interpretations he could do, as long as Omnipotence the former is more agreeable to the He led the way before him. We render the brew accents, which indicate a marke highest honor to God when relying on distinction between the former and the his proffered aid, we seek no ground of l latter clauses of the verse; and it seems VOL. I
13 And Moses said unto God, Be- me, What is his name? what shall hold, when I come unto the children I say unto them? of Israel, and shall say unto them, 14 And God said unto Moses, The God of your fathers hath sent I AM THAT I AM: and he said me unto you; and they shall say to Thus shalt thou say unto the chil also better to accord with our ordinary mainly of that attribute which served conceptions of the use of a sign, which as a security for the fulfilment of the is understood to be something addressed promise. Thus when he appeared to to the outward senses rather than to the Abraham, Gen. 17. 1, and promised him faith of the recipient, and is of course a son in his old age, he announced him. naturally regarded rather as a cause, self as El Shaddai, God Almighty, inhelp, or confirmation of faith, than its finitely able to accomplish all his purobject. The latter view of the passage, poses. So also we find the occasional however, it must be admitted, is strong- titles Most High, Ancient of Days, Jah, ly corroborated by Isaiah, 7. 14. “ There- &c. In like manner, Moses took it for fore the Lord himself shall give you a granted that on an occasion so momentsign; Behold a virgin shall conceive ous as the present, they would expect and bear a son, and shall call his name the announcement of some new and apImmanuel.' Here both the sign and the propriate name,
which should carry in thing promised are future. But, the its import a kind of pledge for the per. point is one which after all we must formance of all that he was pleased to leave undecided.
promise. 13. Behold, when I come, &c. The 14. God said unto Moses, I am that I diffidence of Moses is not yet overcome.
. Still doubting and irresolute, he ven- ehyeh, literally, I will be that I will be. tures to urge another difficulty in the The Gr. resolves it, tyw Erue ó wv, I am words of this verse. He supposes that he that is, or the Existing One. Arab. his own people will rigidly interrogate · The Eternal who passeth not away? him by way of sifting the authority un- A somewhat similar denomination oc. der which he acts, and will particularly curs, Rev. 1. 4, where John invokes require of him an account of the nature, grace and peace from Him which is character, and attributes of the Being and which was, and which is to come,' whose commission he bore. This is which is supposed to be a paraphrase undoubtedly the true sense of the term or exposition of the name 77775 Yehoname in this connexion. It is not so vah, a word derived from the same root much the common title by which he was 177 hayah, and of kindred import with known that they would wish to learn, the phrase before us. See Note on Ex. for it is supposed by the wording of the 6. 3. The title, 'I am that I am,' pro. text that he would announce him as perly denotes the underived, eternal,
the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of and unchangeable existence of the great Jacob?--as the new and significant de. Being to whom it is applied, carrying nomination, which he might be expect- in it also the implication that He, in dis. ed to assume on this occasion. The tinction from all others, is the one only people were well aware by tradition true God, the God who really is, while that whenever God had been pleased to all the pretended deities of the Egyphonor any of their ancestors with a new tians and other nations were a vanity, revelation, it was his wont, in order to a nonentity, a lic. It implies, more. give it greater weight, to assume a new over, as founded upon the immutability characteristic denomination, expressive of the Divine nature, the certain and
ehyeh asher אהיה אשר אהיה