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26 So he let him go: then she | 27 | And the LORD said to Aaron, said, A bloody husband thou art, Go into the wilderness d to meet because of the circumcision.

d ver. 14.

words are to be considered as addressed further effects of his displeasure. The to Moses or to her son. By those who signs of his anger ceased when the ocadopt the common construction, and casion ceased. Jerus. Targ. - The Des. suppose Moses himself to have been troyer let him go. The phrase is taken the person endangered, and the child from the act of relaxing a vigorous an infant, Zipporah is understood as grasp. The original term is similarly virtually saying ; ' Behold the evidence applied, 1 Chron. 21. 15, ' And he said of my intense affection towards thee. unto the angel that destroyed, It is I have jeoparded the life of my babe as enough stay (9707 hereph, relax, remit) the ransom for thine. In order to free now thine hand.' So also Josh. 10. 6, thee from danger, and, as it were, to · And the men of Gibeon sent unto espouse thee to myself anew, to make Joshua to the camp to Gilgal, saying, thee once more a bridegroom, I have slack (97777 hereph) not thine hand from not shunned to shed the blood of this thy servants, &c. Notwithstanding all dear child, even under perilous circum- the obscurity that envelopes the transstances, when the hardships of the jour-action here recorded, we learn from it, ney may render the operation fatal.' (1) That God takes notice of and is But a far preferable construction, in our much displeased with the sins of his opinion, is to consider the words as ad- own people, and that the putting away dressed to the son, now grown up, from of their sins is indispensably necessary his being espoused, as it were, to God to the removal of the divine judgments. by the seal of circumcision. Aben Ezra (2) That no circumstances of prudence remarks, 'It is the custom of women or conveniency can ever with propriety to call a son when he is circumcised a be urged as an excuse for neglecting a spouse (781 hathan).' Kimchi in his clearly commanded duty, especially the Lexicon, under 100 concurs in the same observance of sacramental ordinances. view, which is also adopted by Schind. (3) That he who is to be the interpreter ler, Spencer, Mede, and others. The of the law to others ght in all points idea that Zipporah intended to upbraid to be blameless, and in all things conher husband with the cruelty of the rite formed to the law himself. (4) That which his religion required him to per- when God has procured the proper re. form, seems hardly tenable ; for as she spect to his revealed will, the controwas a Midianitess, and so a daughter versy between him and the offender is of Abraham by Keturah, it is not easy at an end ; the object of his government to imagine her altogether a stranger to being not so much to avenge himself as the ceremony of circumcision, which to amend the criminal. From Ex. 18.2, had been from the earliest ages perpet- it would seem that Zipporah and her uated in all the branches of the Abra. sons were sent back to his father-in-law, hamic race, and is even observed by the where they remained till Jethro brought followers of Mohammed at the present them to Moses in the wilderness. day, not as an institution of the prophet 27. The Lord said unto Aaron, &c. himself, but as an ancient rite received The scene of domestic danger and disfrom Ishmael.

tress described above is speedily fola 26. So he let him go. Heb. 7an 97 lowed by another of a pleasanter kind, yereph mimmenu, he slackened from viz., the interview between the two him. That is, God desisted from the brothers in the wilderness. The present,

Moses. And he went, and met him him, and all the g signs which he in e the mount of God, and kissed had commanded him. him.

29 | And Moses and Aaron hwent, 28 And Moses f told Aaron all the and gathered together all the elders words of the LORD who had sent of the children of Israel. ech. 3. 1. f ver. 15, 16.

5 ver. 8, 9. h ch. 3. 16. phrase however should rather be ren- of forty years among strangers, to meet dered · The Lord had said,' for the com- his own brother, to receive from him mand had no doubt reached him some the welcome tidings of his family and time previous, as Moses was yet in the nation, and to impart to his friendly ear neighborhood of the sacred mount where the story of his own life during so long the vision appeared. Although the com an interval. On the other hand, what mand is recited in the most general pleasure must it have afforded to Aaron, terms, 'Go into the wilderness, yet we to learn from the mouth of his brother cannot doubt that detailed directions as the great designs of providence respectto the particular place where he should ing themselves and their people? With meet his brother accompanied it. what overflowings of heart would they I He went and met him in the mount | join in a fraternal embrace and mingle of God. TI is, in or at Horeb, called their sighs and tears? With what ardor the "Mount of God for the reasons would their united prayers and vows stated in the Note on Ex. 3. 1. Chal. and praises ascend to heaven? How • In the mount where the Glory of the confirmed the faith, how forward the Lord had been revealed.' Aaron was zeal of each, strengthened and stimunow eighty-three years of age, though | lated by that of the other? Well may we are wholly unacquainted with his they go on their way rejoicing. They are previous history. We have every reason following God, and they must prosper. to believe, however, from the fact that 29. Moses and Aaron went and gath. God selected him as the companion of ered together. We do not learn that any Moses in so arduous an enterprise, and doubt or hesitancy was evinced on the from his subsequent conduct and station, part of Aaron. Convinced by the inthat his character was one of no ordinary timations he had himself received, and stamp. While residing in Egypt he had by the scene of wonders which Moses been making progress in knowledge, in had related to him, he is ready to go moral worth, and in influence among his with his brother on their momentous er. countrymen. Like his brother, he had rand, and as if to indicate the alacrity been maturing for the great work in with which they now proceeded for. which he was now to engage.

2.- Andward, passing in silence over all the kissed him. In remarking upon the in- intermediate details of their journey, terview between Joseph and Jacob, Gen. we all at once find them in the midst 46.29, we observed that the phrase "he of their countrymen. Before this, how. fell on his neck' might be understood ever, possibly before the meeting of the of both; and in like manner we cannot two brothers at Horeb, Moses had di. question but that the embrace of Moses rected his wife and sons to return to his and Aaron was mutual. Accordingly father-in-law Jethro. He doubtless had the Gr. renders it, “They kissed each good reasons for this step, though we other.'

are left in ignorance what they were. 28. And Moses told Aaron all the At what time and under what circum. words, &c. To Moses it must have stances they met again, we shall see in been highly gratifying, after a sojourn | a subsequent part of the history.

n Gen. 24.

30 i And Aaron spake all the words when they heard that the Lord had which the LORD had spoken unto I visited the children of Israel, and Moses, and did the signs in the that he m had looked upon their afsight of the people.

fliction, then n they bowed their 31 And the people k believed: and heads and worshipped.

ich. 3. 16. mch. 2. 25. & 3. 7. I ver. 16. k ch.3. 18. ver. 8, 9. 26. ch. 12. 27. 1 Chron. 29. 20. 30. And Aaron spake, &c. Having vincing demonstrations of the divine assembled the elders Aaron begins, ac- power in the miracles which they had cording to the divine appointment, v. witnessed ; all conspired to produce in 16, to act as 'spokesman’ in delivering their breasts the deepest emotions of the message, while Moses at the same wonder and joy; a strong confidence in time, in the discharge of his appropriate God; and an assurance that he was inoffice, performs the miraculous signs deed about to show them mercy. In which were to be a seal of his com- testimony of this, and as a solemn act mission. There can be no doubt that of reverential gratitude, the whole as. the rendering of our version, which sembly bowed their heads and worshipascribes the working of the signs to ped. They accounted it not sufficient Aaron is erroneous. The pronoun 'he' merely to ponder in their hearts these should be inserted before · did the signs,' signal tokens of the divine interposito 'indicate that Moses and not Aaron tion in their behalf, but were prompted is the true subject of the verb. Comp. to give expression to their feelings by v.21.- In the sight of the people. appropriate outward signs. Such ex. As nothing has been hitherto said of ternal acts of reverence are indeed of the people, but only of the elders, comparatively little account in the eyes we must either understand this of the of him who weighs the spirits, but as elders alone, called “people in virtue they are helps to our infirmities, and go of their representative character, or else to show more fully the entireness of we must suppose that a considerable our devotion to our heavenly benefactor, body of the people, such as could be they are always acceptable in his sight conveniently assembled, were present when springing from the proper motive. with the elders who acted in their - And when they heard. Heb. name. The same remark is to be made 79097 va-yishme-u, and they heard. respecting the term people in the next | Gr. KaL ETIOTEUOAN ó dolog kul e xuon, and

The former is perhaps the most the people believed and rejoiced, that probable interpretation, not only be the Lord, &c. That an import analogcause that mode of speech is common, ous to this, viz., that of a joyful hear. but because the act of solemn worship ing, is conveyed by the original term that ensued appears to have taken place would appear from 2 Kings, 20. 13, in a meeting ; and if so, it must have And Hezekiah hearkened unto them, been a meeting of a select number, and which in the parallel passage, Is. 39. 2, not of the whole nation, who cannot be is rendered,' And Hezekiah was glad of supposed to have been convened on the them.' We have before had occasion to occasion. The result was such as God remark that verbs of the senses frequent. had foretold, Ex. 3. 18. The return of ly imply the exercise of the affections. Moses after his long exile, in company See Note on Gen. 21. 17.—1 Had visited. with his brother whom they well knew Had visited in mercy. See Note on Gen. and highly esteemed; the cheering na- 21.1. Chal. 'Had remembered.:-- Lookture of the message addressed to them ed upon the affliction. Compassionate. in the name of the great I AM; the con- I ly regarded. See Note on Ex. 2. 11.

verse.

CHAPTER V.

my people go, that they may hold AN

ND afterward Moses and Aaron a a feast unto me in the wilder

-went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus ness., saith the LORD God of Israel, Let

a ch. 10. 9.

CHAPTER V.

is,' the God of Israel, and this is the The present chapter ushers in the his first time the title occurs in that contory of the controversy between God nexion in the Scriptures. He is indeed and Pharaoh, and its fearful issue in in Gen. 33. 20, called 'the God of Isthe utter destruction of the daring rebel rael,' the person, but here it is Israel, who had presumed to set himself in ar- the people. Though now a poor, afflictray against his Maker. While the inci. ed, and despised people, yet God is dents mentioned in the close of the pre- not ashamed to be called their God.' ceding chapter were transpiring, Pha. As such he commands Pharaoh to let raoh was sitting proudly and securely them go. Whatever claim their opon his throne, surrounded by his obedi. pressor had set up to their persons or ent subjects, and wholly ignorant of the services, it was a downright and daring portentous movement which was tak- usurpation which God, their rightful ing place in the midst of the wretched Lord and Sovereign, would not tolerate bondsmen to whom he was wringing for a moment. Here therefore he moves out the waters of a full cup of affliction. towards their deliverance, and may be He had heard, indeed, of Moses and his considered as virtually saying in the singular history. He had been told of language of the prophet, Is. 52. 5, 6, his living so long at the court of his . Now therefore, what have I here, saith predecessor, as the adopted son of the the Lord, that my people is taken away daughter of the king; of his high char- for nought? they that rule over them acter and attainments, and his great in- make them to howl, saith the Lord. fluence among his countrymen ; of his Therefore my people shall know my strange abandonment of his conspicuous name: therefore they shall know in station, and of the circumstances which that day that I am he that doth speak: led to his flight from Egypt. But if he behold it is I.' - That they may were still living, he supposed him be hold a feast unto me. Heb. 7377 yaho. an insignificant exile in some foreign gu. The primary import of the original land from which he would never dare word gin hagag is to dance, rendered, again to return. Little did he think Ps. 107, 27, reel too and fro, probably that this outcast Israelite was now so from the fact that the staggering motion near him, having come in the strength of men in a ship, tossed by a tempest, of Omnipotence to rescue the oppressed resembled that of dancers. In a secondfrom his grasp and to overwhelm him ary sense, it is applied to keeping a and his host in utter destruction. feast religiously, which was marked by

1. Moses and Aaron went in and told eating, drinking, dancing, and mirth. Pharaoh, &c. They were doubtless ac. The terın is here, therefore, used synec. companied on this occasion by a num- dochally for all the attendant ceremober of the elders of Israel, to give more nies of a sacred festival, in which wor. weight and solemnity to the demand. ship and sacrifice were prominent; for Comp. Ex. 3. 18. Thus saith the which reason the phrase is rendered by Lord God of Israel. Moses in addressing the Chal. 'that they may sacrifice be, the elders of Israel is directed to call fore me. In the wilderness. A reGod the God of their fathers ;! but in tired place was rendered proper from addressing Pharoah the title employed l the peculiar religious usages of the He

2 And Pharaoh said, 6 Who is the Hebrews hath met with us: let us LORD, that I should obey his voice go, we pray thee, three days' jourto let Israel go? I know not the ney into the desert, and sacrifice unLORD, cheither will I let Israel go. to the LORD our God; lest he fall 3 And they said, a The God of the upon us with pestilence, or with the

sword. 0 2 Kings 18. 35. Job 21. 15. c ch. 3. 19.

d ch. 3. 18.

brews, which were different from those spised character of the people of Israel, practised or allowed among the Egyp- he no doubt formed his estimate of the tians.

God whom they professed to serve, and 2. Who is the Lord, &c. Rather, concluded that he was no more entitled 'Who is Jehovah ?-I know not Jeho- to reverence as a deity, than they were vah. There is a special reason why to respect as a people. - That I this title should here be rendered, ver- should obey his voice. Heb. 73p3 YODA batim, " Jehovah, rather than "Lord,' eshma bekolo, should hearken to his viz. that it is mentioned as the peculiar voice. See Note on Gen. 16. 3. name of the God of Israel, whereas the 3. The God of the Hebrews hath met title · Lord,' was common to the hea. with us. Heb. 7373387pJ nikra alenu, then deities, many of them being called lit. is called upon us, i. e. is invoked

Baalim,' or ' Lords. This makes Pha- and worshipped by us. And accordingraoh's answer more emphatic, 'Who is ly the Chal. has, 'The God of the Jews Jehovah?'-a name of which he had is invoked

upon

us.' But the other ver. never before heard. Chal. “The name sions vary. Gr. ' The God of the Heof Jehovah is not revealed to me, that I brews hath called us. Syr.' The God should obey his word. Targ. Jon. 'I of the Hebrews has appeared unto us.' have not found in the book of the angels Arab. “ The command of the God of the (gods) the name of Jehovah written: I Hebrews is come unto us. It is on the fear him not. The reply of Pharaoh whole most probable that ap3 nikra, is, upon the best construction, marked is used by change of letters for 1723 by a tone of insolence and contempt for nikrah, hath met, the very phrase which which we can find no excuse. Yet it occurs Ex. 3. 18. - Let us go three would perhaps be unjust to charge upon days' journey, &c. Instead of reproach. him an intentional act of impiety, for ing Pharaoh, or threatening him with he was no doubt a worshipper of the the judgments of heaven, they adopt a gods of Egypt. But he would intimate style of humble and respectful entreaty, that he considered Moses and Aaron as We pray thee;' at the same time the setters-forth of a strange god, whose representing that the journey they proclaims he would not deign to admit. posed was not a project formed among That the poor outcast slaves, who ex- themselves, but a measure enjoined isted by his sufferance, and labored for upon them by the God of their nation, his pleasure, should have a God of such and one which they dared not decline. authority as to prescribe laws for him, In saying this it is true they dissemwas not to be endured. It is as if he ble the design of forsaking Egypt alto. had said, 'Who is this unheard-of deity gether, perhaps with a view to learn that you call · Lord ?' What greater from the manner in which he treated a or better is he than my gods? What smaller request, what prospect of suchave I to do with him? Why should Icess they would have in urging a greatcare for him? He is not the God whom er. In this they stated no falsehood, I serve ?! From the degraded and de- but merely concealed a part of the VOL. I

7

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