Imatges de pàgina

tell us, whether the divine anger was occafioned by his incumbering himself with a wife and two children, when


and ill-language, to perform. kill Mofes (22). Others, among the operation. We shall there. the Jews, telling us (23), that fore endeavour to set this mat- the vision was a monstrous ter in a clearer light, and shew, large serpent, which swallowed that they have quite mistaken up Moses's body 7y! yung the sense of the original, and obicn

from the head to (the that there was neither quarrel place of) circumcision, where nor ill-language in the case ; he stuck, by which she guessed but that the ceremony was per- at the cause of his danger, formed with all the decency and, having forthwith circumand decorum that the solemnity cised the child with the usual of it, and their imminent dan- form of ung a5 OD 187 ger, could poflibly require. (which words we miftransate,

First then, as to the words, A bloody husband thou art to The Lord met bim at the inn, me), the observed her husand fought to pay him, which band spewed up again unhurt; the Septuagint, Vulgate, and upon which she began to ex. some other versions,render (21), claim in praise of circumcifion, The angel of the LORD, &c. it which she saw accompanied is plain, that they relate to with such virtue. All that is Moses, and not to the child; worth observing from this because, if it had been the lat- Jewish comment is, that Zipter, Mofes, rather than his porab expressed no paffion wife, would have performed against her husband during the the operation. This shews whole action, much less in the likewise, that the words im- words the spoke, seeing they port no more, than that God were part of a form used in smote him with some grievous circumcision, as will appear in disease, which fo disabled him its proper place. from circumcising the child, Secondly, As for the cause that Zipporah was forced to do of God's anger against Moses, it herself, though otherwise whatever fome ancient fathers unfit. Those who are acquaint- have thought of it (24); the ed with the genius of the He- true reason seems to be the brew tongue, know that the neglect of circumcising the phrase 'here used signifies no child, since Mofes was delivered more. Some antient interpret- from the danger as soon as ers have indeed underftood it Zipporah had done it (25). in a different sense; some think- Thirdly, it is not easy to ing, that the angel appeared guess how long, or why, Meses with a drawn (word, ready to deferred the circumcifing of

(23) El.

(21) Pelican. Jun. & al. (22) I beodoret. & al. in loc. lehemoth Rab. R. Sal. & al. (24) Auguft. ferm. de temp. D. Kimchi Rupert. Toftat. Perrer. Munft. Villet. & al.



he was sent upon so glorious and important a message, or“ because he had deferred to circumcise his youngest son,


[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

the child. Those who follow ed divines has fully proved not the Jerusalem Targum, which to have been spoken to Mofes, says, that Jethro and Zipporah but the child (27). He very took offence at it (26), seem to judiciously observes, that the forget, that Jethro was a Mi- word inn chatan, which we dianite, descended from Abra- translate husband, signifies only ham by Keturab; and conse- a bridegroom; and it is not quently, that circumcifion was likely that Zipporah should most probably adopted by call him by that name, after them, as it was by the Ish- having been married so long, and maelites, and all other descen- having had two children byhim; dants of that patriarch. Be- that appellative ceasing immefides, they are fallen into this diately after the eight days of notion by mistaking the words the nuptial solemnity were and action of Zipporah, and over, Another observation he thinking that there was a sharp makes is, that this word chadispute between Moses and her tan doth properly signify a fonabout it; the contrary of which in-law; and so expresses not the will appear presently. We omit relation the man has to his feveral other conjectures equally wife, but to her parents ; for obscure and uncertain, to come which reason it never has any to inquire into her behaviour affixed pronoun, unless it be and words, after she had per- with relation to the latter. formed the ceremony ; which The fame may likewise be said have proved the main ftum- of the word is calah, bride, bling-block of moft translations. or rather daughter-in-law; it

For, first, they have under- being used only with relation stood it, that the threw the to the husband's parents, who child's foreskin at his (Moses's) alone can properly call the marfeet, though the text doth not ried woman 5 calathi, my say, whether it was at his, the daughter-in-law; but the bride. child's, or the angel's feet; groom never calls her by that and the words are fo far from

name to signify his bride ; it fignifying finging, especially being certain, that the Hebrew in

anger, that they rather im- language has no word to exply a laying the prepuce down press a bridegroom or bride, in a decent or humble manner: with respect to the relation for the literal sense is, she made they bear to each other. It it touch his feet.

would therefore have been We come now to the words, nonsenfe in Zipporab to have A bloody husband art thou to called him by the name of me, &c. which one of our learn- chatan, which neither expref

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

(26) Targ. Hieros. in loco. Jun, Simler, Pelican, Piscat. G anda (27) FT. Medte fermon on the words,


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

either out of regard to his tender age, or in complaisance
to his wife, who might fear, left such an operation should

make him unfit to travel for a while, if not endanger his Zipporah life in that hot country. Zipporah, however, taking it circumcises in the latter. fensé, made what haste the could to get a her son, tharp stone, with which she cut off the child's prepuce

, and Moses

and laid it-at-his feet, telling him at the same time, that is reffored. he was now become a joyful bridegroom to her by the blood si

, of this circumcifion. The ceremony was no sooner over, but Mofes was restored again, and able to pursue his jour

towards mount Horeb, whilst his wife took the two tive children back to her father Jethro, resolved to wait there till a more favourable opportunity offered to rejoin het terde husband.


[ocr errors]

the form WOL

fed an old nor a new husband. nify here by , as-it doth in
The question then will be, how a great many other places of vine
it could be applied to the Scripture, the sense will be fü aile
child ? and herein the Hebrew more plainly this ; Thou art ang
doctors are best able to help us now by me made a circumcised in
out, who tells us, that it was

child: which was
the custom of the women to of words used in the circuma-
call the circumcised child chaa fion, and might be more promind

, , I ud
inn 511 (33). Kimchi says, thee circumcised. Neither as
that it signifies originally one it at all improbable, that this
that gives joy, and is there- word inn was originally ufed
fore used to express the joy in this form, not only to ex-
that attends a wedding, or the press the usual joy of a child's
circumcision of a child (34). circumcision, but likewife bis
Accordingly we find, that the admission into the alliance made

Arabians called the circumcised by God with Abraham,and his
pinnn machtun, or one that is posterity; in both which fensées
made a chatan, in the fame that word is very fitly applied

manner as we call a baptized and this is so far from being a
child, christened. The words

The words new or peculiar notion of Mr. then used by Zipporah ought Mede, that we find several as ou to have been translated, thou tient versions expounding i art (now) to me a joyful cir- after the very fame manner cumcised son. To which if we (35); from all which it plainly


V. add the last observation of the appears, that there neither was

th fame learned author, that the any squabble between Mofe word 5 li, which we translate and his wife, nor any indecency to me, doth more properly fig- or ill-language used by her.

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

(33) Idem ibid. tuagint. al.

(34) D. Kimchi in radis,

(35) Chald. Sa

In the mean time Mofes and Aaron met at the foot of Joins his mount Horeb, and after the first embraces of two brothers, brother at who had not seen one another during the space of forty mount Hoyears, Mofes acquainted him with the commiffion he had reb. received from God. Aaron expressed a sensible joy at the news, and promised to be obedient in all things to the divine will ; they continued their journey towards Egypt; and, being happily arrived at the land of Goshen, their first Declares care was to affemble the elders or heads of the Israelites, bis como and to impart to them the joyful news of their speedy mission to deliverance; and Mofes, to confirm their hesitating be-the Israeli lief, wrought those miracles before them, by which Gopites. had commanded him to establish his credit and authority among them. These first essays were received with incredible joy by the whole aflembly, every one bowing themselves in token of gratitude and adoration to the divine goodness, which had at length taken pity of their miserable flavery b. But this docile disposition lasted no

Year of longer than they thought their deliverance would coft nothing but miracles, and that the care and danger of it the flood would only fall upon Moses and Aaron; but when it Bef. Chr. came to touch them a little nearer, they became so resty

1491. and desponding, that Mofes found them as hard to be perfuaded to embrace their freedom, as Pharaoh was to grant it (B).

Moses and Aaron did not delay to open their com- Delivers miffion before the Egyptian king: but the preamble, Thus bis message Jaith the LORD God of the Hebrews, founded so strangely to the king in his ears, unused to such an expression, that he could of Egypt,

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

(B) Some historians have He is also of opinion, that this ventured to give us the name Amenophis is the fame monarch of this Pharaoh, though Joe- whom the Greeks call Belus the phus doth only call him the father of Ægyptus and Danaus, new king (36). Apion calls him though the fable-writers have Amofis or Amalis ; Eusebius, confounded him with Belus the Chencris ; but archbishop Allyrian, and father of Ninus Ulher thinks after Manethe, (37): the truth is, that we that it was Amenophis the son have fo little light from history of Rameses Miamun, and fa

as to this point, that it is very ther of Sethefis, called also af- dangerous to affirm any thing ter his grandfather Ramesis. about it (38).

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

not forbear wondering at their boldness, telling them that he knew no such God, and that as to the Israelites, they should not find him fo easy to part with them. To this they answered, that this very God, whom he refused to acknowlege, had injoined them to go three days journey to celebrate a festival to him, and that if they should omit complying with his command, he would soon punish their disobedience, either by peftilence, or by the sword. This more amazed the haughty monarch, who thereupon *dismissed them with a severe reprimand, for putting such idle notions into their people's heads, and debauching them from their work, bidding them return to their own tasks, and they fhould soon know the success of this wile embaffy. As this proved the beginning of that famous conteft between Moses, or rather the God of Israel, and

the king of Egypt, so it became the fatal source of new The Israel-forrows and complaints' to the Israelites. For Pharaoh, ites bur. fearing their excessive numbers, and thinking, or at least dens in- pretending, that idleness and wantonness were the cause creased. of this rambling fit of religion, ordered their task-masters

to harden their work ftill more, and instead of giving them stráw to dry. their bricks with, to make them wander over the land, since they had such an inclination for a change of air, and to gather themselves stubble instead of it, without diminishing one tittle of their work. This order was foon obeyed by their merciless talk-mafters, who failed not to punish their overseers, whenever they found them come short of their appointed task. These therefore came in a body to make their grievances known to the king, who, instead of minding their piteous complaints, only accused them of being grown idle and wanton for want of work, and dismissed them with the utmost unconcern. They were scarce gat out of Pharaob's palace before Mofes and Aaron met them, againft whom they began to inveigh in the bitterest terms, as the authors of this new addition of mifery, which could

terminate in nothing but death and defpair. It would I have been in vain for Mofes to have offered any thing,

either in his own defence, or by way of comfort to them at 'that time ; he thought it more adviseable to apply himself to God, and in the humbleft terms to expoftulale with him for the ill success of this first message",

€ Exod. v. p. tot. voor


« AnteriorContinua »