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Make brick: and behold, thy ser- there shall no straw be given you, vants are beaten ; but the fault is yet shall ye deliver the tale of bricks. in thine own people.

19 And the officers of the children 17 But he said, Ye are idle, ye are of Israel did see that they were in idle: therefore ye say, Let us go, evil case, after it was said, Ye shall and do sacrifice to the LORD. not minish aught from your bricks

18 Go therefore now, and work: for of your daily task.
people has sinned, or done wrong ; or certain extent indeed there was ground
considering on a noun, this is the for Pharaoh's words; that is to say,
sin of thy people. The true meaning they recognize the fact, that being idle
of the clause is not easily determined, is oftentimes the occasion of indulging
as it is by no means obvious whether vain and evil thoughts, and cherishing
the phrase "thy people is to be referred visionary projects. Had it been true,
to the Israelites or to the Egyptians. as he professed to think, that the Is.
Those who adopt the former construc- raelites had not work enough to do,
tion suppose the Israelites are called nothing would have been more likely
Pharaoh's people in order to work upon than that they should have devised
his compassion. But even in this case some such excursion as he here charges
there is some discrepancy of interpre- upon them, under the plea of religious
tation. The words may be understood service. Thus the worldly wisdom
as a complaint of the officers that they and base insinuations of the king of
were beaten, though the people (the Is- Egypt, though grossly false and injuri.
raelites) were the offenders, if any. On ous in the present case, rnay yet teach
another, and on the whole a better con us the useful lesson, that increased dili.
struction, the sense will be; “Behold gence in our daily work is one of the best
thy servants are beaten, and yet the remedies for a roving imagination and
fault really lies at the door of thine ungovernable thoughts. Let those that
own people (the Egyptians), who re suffer from such temptations set them.
fuse to furnish them straw. According selves diligently to work at some em-
to this the Chal. has, 'Thy ple sin- ployment useful to man and honorable
neth against them.' Leclerc, however, to God. The less time they allow their
intimates that the phrase, 'the fault is hands to be idle, the less will be the
in thine own people,' is equivalent to risk of their thoughts leading them
saying the fault is charged, imputed, to astray..
thine own people (the Israelites), and 19. The officersdid see that they
punishment inflicted upon them accord- were in evil case. Heb. 3 in evil.
ingly, though with vast injustice. This Moses and Aaron are here made to ex-
is somewhat countenanced by the Gr. perience the lot that sometimes befalls
Syr. and Vulg. which all render substan- good men in the best of causes. Their
tially, “ Thou injurest thy people, i.e. well-meant efforts but increase the hard-
the Israelites. We are still left in some ships they were intended to remedy.
degree of suspense as to the true import. The mission which had not long before

17, 18. But he said, Ye are idle, ye so exhilarated the minds of the people are idle, &c. Thus affording a sample and filled them with eager anticipations of the grossest tyranny, which gener- of deliverance, now proves the occasion ally thinks it sufficient to answer rea of new miseries and persecutions. Bad sonable complaints by redoubled abuse as their condition had been before the and crimination, and by increasing the two brothers came among them with burdens which call them forth. To a their promises and their wonderful

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h ch. 6, 9.

Or

20 | And they met Moses and put a sword in their hand to slay us. Aaron, who stood in the way, as 22 And Moses returned unto the they came forth from Pharaoh : LORD, and said, Lord,wherefore hast

21 h And they said unto them, The thou so evil-entreated this people ? LORD look upon you, and judge; why is it that thou hast sent me ? because ye have made our savour to 23 For since I came to Pharaoh to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, speak in thy name, he hath done and in the eyes of his servants, to evil to this people: neither hast

thou delivered thy people at all. signs, it was not to be compared to hope for better things. . Put a the intolerable hardships which the vin. sword in their hands to slay us. That dictive despot, in consequence of this is, give them a plausible pretext for de. mission, laid upon them. For the fan-stroying us. A proverbial expression. cied invasion of his royal prerogative 22. And Moses returned, &c. and the wound given to his pride, he rather perhaps turned unto the Lord,' avenges i himself upon the bleeding i. e. mentally, for we can conceive of shoulders of the poor vassals who could no local return expressed by the term. not redress themselves and who durst He was evidently unprepared for this not complain.

issue of the transaction, though he had 20. And they met Moses and Aaron, been assured by God himself, that Pha. who stood in the way, as they came forth raoh would not, till driven to the ut. from Pharaoh. They doubtless having most extremity, consent to the departstationed themselves at some conveni. ure of the Israelites. While he could not ent stand on the way-side, where they but be grieved to the heart to perceive could speedily learn the result of the that his efforts to serve his brethren had interview.

only contributed to plunge them deeper 21. The Lord look upon you, &c. in distress, yet he was doubtless strong. The crimination of Moses and Aaron ly sensible of the wrong that was done on this occasion was clearly as unjust to him by their keen reproaches. But in. and unreasonable as that of Pharaoh stead of retorting upon them in terms had been well deserved. They had of equal harshness, he has immediate given the best evidence of their de recourse to God and to him he pours votedness to the interests of their coun out his complaint in a pathetic expostutrymen, and of their zeal for their lation.- Wherefore hast thou so emancipation, and yet, from the acci- evil entreated this people? That is, dental issues of their enterprise, they why hast thou suffered them to be 80 are reproached as accessaries to their evilly treated, as is evident from the slavery. But some allowance is to be tenor of the next verse. But as we have made for their rashness on the principle seen before, this is entirely according to mentioned by the Preacher, that op- prevailing usage in the Scripture to repression will drive a wise man mad,' present God as doing that which he so that he shall speak unadvisedly with sovereignly permits to be done. Thus his lips, and sometimes mistake a true the petition in the Lord's Prayer, ' Lead friend for a bitter enemy. But let pub- us not into temptation,' is to be underlic benefactors learn from this, that they stood, not of any supposable direct and must expect to be tried, not only by the positive act on the part of God, but sim. malice of declared opponents, but also ply of sufferance and permission : "Do by the unjust and unkind reflections of not suffer us to be led into temptation.' those from whom they had a right to Moses was evidently at a loss how to

CHAPTER VI.

a strong hand b shall he drive them THI THEN the LORD said unto Moses, out of his land.

Now shalt thou see what I will 2 And God spake unto Moses, and do to Pharaoh : for a with a strong said unto him, I am the LORD: hand shall he let them go, and with a ch. 3. 19.

b ch. 11. 1. & 12. 31, 33, 39. reconcile the adverse providence with the Hebrew Scriptures.-The murmur. the promise and the commission which ing spirit in which Moses appealed to he had received. He had indeed been God might have been justly met by a taught to anticipate Pharaoh's refusal stern rebuke. But in the tone of gentleto let the people go, but he was taken ness and kindness in which this answer by surprise on finding their burdens in- is couched we read no reproach of the creased. It seemed to him that his infirmity, not to say perverseness, which mission was utterly abortive, and that had appeared in Moses' language. Thus thus far not one step had been taken to long-suffering and indulgent is the Fa. wards their deliverance. Bụt guided by ther of mercies towards his offending the light of his experience, and that of children. By an emphatic repetition of thousands of others in subsequent times, the promise before given, Ex. 3. 20, he we can put a more discreet construction silences the complaints of his servant, upon this apparently mysterious style of and assures him not only of ultimate dispensation. To us it is not a strange but speedy success in his embassy to spectacle to see the most merciful coun the king. T Now shalt thou see. sels of God ushered in by a train of Your seeing this result shall not long events apparently the most disastrous; be delayed. The words perhaps imply to see his dearest servants reduced to a tacit reproof of his former incredulity; the utmost straits just when he is ready q. d. I perceive you are slow to believe to appear for their deliverance ; and to what I assured you, ch. 3. 19, 20, I witness the best directed endeavors for would do to Pharaoh. Therefore you men's conviction and conversion, but ex- shall very shortly have evidence that asperating their corruptions, confirming will convince you.- - With a strong their prejudices, hardening their hearts, hand shall he let them go, &c. The and sealing them up under unbelief. 'strong hand' here mentioned is to be This result is suffered to take place in understood both of God and of Pharaoh. infinite wisdom that we may learn to Pharaoh should by the sudden exercise cease from man, and that the divine in- of his kingly power and with great terpositions may be more endeared to urgency send them forth out of Egypt ; the hearts of those that wait for them. but to this he should himself be com

pelled by the strong hand' of God put CHAPTER VI.

forth in the terrific judgments of the 1. Then the Lord said unto Moses, plagues. The language of the promise, &c. That is, in answer to the com- it will be observed, becomes more inplaining tenor of his address mentioned tense in the final clause. He shall not. at the close of the preceding chapter, only be brought at last to consent to the to which this verse properly belongs. departure of Israel, but shall be imIt is somewhat singular, indeed, that it pelled himself by the pressure of the should have been separated from it, for divine judgments to urge and hasten it with this verse ends the fourteenth sec. with the utmost vehemence. tion, or Sabbath day's reading of the 2. And God spake unto Moses, &c. Law; a division very clearly marked in. Whether this is to be regarded as a

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3 And I appeared unto Abraham, my name d JEHOVAH was I not unto Isaac, and unto Jacob by the known to them. name of God Almighty, but by

d ch. 3. 14. Ps. 68. 4. & 83. 18. John 8. 58. c Gen. 17 1. & 35. 11. & 48. 3.

Rev. 1. 4.

continuation of the address commenced to be understood in their most exact and in the preceding verse, or whether it literal import, as teaching that the name was spoken to Moses on some subse- ' Jehovah' was utterly unknown to the quent occasion, is not easily determin- ancient patriarchs, and was first reveal. ed. However this may be, the drift of ed to Moses at the burning bush, where, the words is undoubtedly to show the when he asked the name which he sure foundation on which the fulfilment should announce to Israel, God declared of the promise of deliverance rested. himself by the sacred denomination 'I To this end he begins by declaring him am that I am,' which is of the same self under the significant name of "Je origin and import with • Jehovah,' and hovah,' by which he designed hereafter said moreover of the title “Jehovah,' to be more especially recognized as the this my name for ever, and this is covenant God of their race. Hitherto my memorial unto all generations. The the august title of Lord God Almighty' | advocates of this opinion, in answer to (El Shaddai) had been that with which the objection that the name in question they had been most familiar, and which must have been known long before this, had afforded the grand sanction and as it occurs in repeated instances in the security to all his promises. In their course of the book of Genesis, reply, various wanderings, weaknesses, and that as there is no evidence that the distresses, they had been encouraged book of Genesis was written till after to trust in a Being omnipotent to pro- the divine appearance at Horeb, when tect them, all-sufficient to supply their this title was first revealed, the mere wants. But their posterity were hence- fact of Moses' making use of the name forth to know him by another name, “ Jehovah' in that book is no sufficient under a new character, even the incom- proof that the name was known to those municable name “Jehovah,' which de- of whom he writes, any more than his notes eternal unchangeable self-exist- mention of a place called · Dan' in the ence ; deriving nothing from any, but time of Abraham, Gen. 14. 14, proves conferring upon all, life, and breath, and that the place was at that time known all things ; who is above all, through by this name, whereas it was then called all, and in all; “the same yesterday, to Laish.' They contend farther, that as day, and for ever.' This glorious name Moses wrote for the benefit of those of he puts significantly in contrast with his own age and their posterity, it was that by which he was known to Abra specially fitting, that in writing the hisham, Isaac, and Jacob, in order to min- tory of the Israelitish race from its ister to his people a more abundant earliest period, he should proleptically ground of hope and confidence. employ that peculiar name by which

3. By my name JEHOVAH was I not the Most High would be known as their known to them. Gr. 'My name 'Lord' I God, the very same God who brought did not manifest unto them.' Chal. “My them out of Egypt, and who, a little name ' Adonai' I showed not. A two before that deliverance, had made this fold mode of interpretation divides into his name known to them as that by two classes the great mass-of commen. which he would especially be called in tators upon this passage. (1.) It is memory of that great event. As to the maintained by some that the words are passages where the patriarchs are re

presented as expressly addressing the the things promised. They believed in Lord by his title " Jehovah,' as for in- these things, but they had not lived to stance, Gen. 15. 2, these, they say, are see the actual accomplishment of them; corrupted in the original text, and that they had not experimentally known later writers have substituted Jehovah' them. The time, however, was now for · Elohim'orAdonai,' which Moses come, when God was to be known by undoubtedly wrote, and this hypothe- his name • Jehovah,' in the doing of sis, it must be confessed, is somewhat what he had before decreed, and the fulfavored by the variation of several of filling of what he had before promised. the ancient versions from the present Accordingly in the words immediately Hebrew reading. See Geddes' Critical following, which may be regarded as Remarks on this passage, who observes, exegetical of the title under considerathat if the name “Jehovah' were known tion, God goes on to assure them that before it was here communicated to Mo- he will make good his promise by estabses, and were the common appellation lishing his covenant. Agreeably to this of the God of the patriarchs, the ques. mode of interpretation it appears from tion of Moses, Ex. 3. 13, was needless, other passages that God is said to make was impertinent ; for God had before himself known under the high designa. told him, v. 6, that he was the God of tion of “Jehovah' by bringing to pass his (Moses') fathers, the God of Abra- the grand predicted events of his provi. ham, the God of Isaac, and the God of dence. Thus, Ex. 7.5, 'And that the Jacob. It is clear then that Moses, by Egyptians shall know that I am Jeasking, what was the name of this same hovah, when I stretch forth my hand God of his fathers, knew not that he upon Egypt.' Again, v. 17, “Thou shalt had any particular name; and that par. know that I am Jehovah; for I will ticular “Jehovah’ is now, for the first strike with the rod that is in thine hand time, made known as the peculiar God upon the rivers, and they shalt be turned of the Israelitic nation. These are the into blood. Ezek. 28. 22, 'And they principal arguments adduced in favor shall know that I am the Lord (Jehoof the first hypothesis: (2.) Others, vah) when I shall have executed judg. and we think for better reasons, under- ments in her and shall be sanctified in stand the words as implying, not that her.' It may be observed, moreover, the literal name "Jehovah' was un- that the Lord is not called “Jehovah' known to the ancient fathers who pre- till after he had finished the work of ceded Moses, but that its true, full, and creation, Gen. 2. 4; and in like manner complete import-its force, burden, and Christ, having fulfilled all things perpregnant significancy, was not before taining to our redemption, which is the known; whereas now and hereafter, the new creation, manifested himself under chosen people should come to under the same significant name, not in its stand this august name, not in the letter letter but in its interpretation, when he merely, but in the actual realization of declared himself, Rev. 1. 8, 17, 18, to all which it implied. The name “Je be “the Alpha and the Omega, the behovah,' as before remarked, natively ginning and the ending, the Lord who denotes not only God's eternal exist is, and who was, and who is to come, ence, but also his unchangeable truth even the Almighty. The words of Moand omnipotent power, which give being ses, therefore, it is contended, are not to his promises by the actual perform to be understood as an absolute but a ance of them. Now, although Abra- comparative negative; for that the litham, Isaac, and Jacob, had received eral name - Jehovah' was known to the promises, yet they had not enjoyed | patriarchs, is indubitable, from the fol

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