Imatges de pàgina
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Moses had no sooner made an end of his complaint, Moses is but God gave him fresh assurances of his love and com-bid to go passion for his groaning people, and bid him go to them, again to and affure them from him, that he would speedily let al Pharaoh. Fgypt see that he was their God, and would be their deliverer and conductor into that land which he had

promised to their fathers, to whom he had indeed appeared, and been known heretofore by the name of El Saddai (God Almighty or All-fufficient), though never till now by his great name Jehovah (C), promising them to signalize their deliverance, by such tokens of justice on that obstinate prince and people, as thould force the proud monarch to dismiss them. All these divine promises, however, were so little regarded by the desponding Ifraelites, that, when God commanded Mofes to go again to Pharaoh, and to renew his demand in his name, he was so disheartened at his ill success, that he could not forbear thewing an excessive reluctancy to obey. Alas! said he, if iny words can find so little credit with thy own people, how can I expect that they will be regarded by that unbelieving monarch, especially considering with whai difficulty I am forced to utter them! To this God was pleased to reply, Behold, Moses, I give thee a miraculous

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(C) Those who conclude brew and Clrilian commenta-
from this paffage, that the tors have endeavoured to bring
name (37), or the genuine some mysteries, which we
meaning (38), or, lastly, the should be loch to vent after
true pronunciation, of the them. The most natural ex-
word 'Jehovah (39), had been position is that which renders
unknown to the patriarchs the Hebrew word fhem by cha-

Abraham, Isaac, &c. and that racter instead of name, and
Mofes used it by way of anti- then the sense will be this:
cipation, and spoke according to In my character of El Shaddai,
the time in which he wrote, or omnipotent; was I only
when God had made it fully known to them ș that is, they
known to his people, seem to only relied on my word and
forget, that Abraham called the all-sufficient power for the ful-
mountain, on which he was to filling my promises to them ;
have facrificed his son, Jeho- but now I will be known by the
vab-jired. However, it must character of Jehovah, or per-
be owned, that there is a great former of those promises (40).
obscurity in the words of Mo- See our notes under theword Je-
Jes, out of which many He- hovah, p. 356,& feqq.not.(T).

(37) Kimch. Abenezra, Oleafter, &c. (38) Paul. Burg. Rupert. Lyra, Cajetan. Tostar. (39) Oleaji

. glof. Berruyer, &c. (40) Simler, junius, & ale

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power over Pharash, and thy brother Ihall be as thy prophet and interpreter to him ; and though I suffer bis heart to continue hardened (D), till thou haft wrought

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(D) We have ventured to We think ourselves, therefore, depart from our own, ard al obliged to do justice to those most all other versions, which learned critics, who have been make God the chief hardener at the pains of clearing the of Pharaob's heart, that he Scriptures from charging the might inflict the more severe great Judge of heaven and earth panishments on him. A no- vith fuch foul injustice, by tion, which, however embraced proving, even againft the Jews, by the predestinarians, feems that the verbs here used are so shocking to reason, that one in the conjugations piel and would sooner choose to say bipbil, as they are called by with the fool, There is no God, the grammarians; and signify than to believe him capable of often a bare permiffion, of fuch manifest injustice. We which they have given very hall have occafion, in the se. many unqueftionable inftances, quel of this history to fhew, which we shall not bere trolthat the Jews have been the ble our reader with, seeing he first broachers of this monstrous may consult the authors them. doctrine ; and, by their ver- felves, whose names he will fions and paraphrases, have find in the margin (41). From led the way for others to ren- all these, and many more aoder these, and many other texts thorities, it is plain, that the of the Old Teftament, in a words ought to have been sense in which neither the ori- trandated, as we have, that giral, nor the whole tenor of God suffered the beart of Pha. Scripture, nor the notion of a raob to be hardened, as all those, Deity, nor even the context, in who are ever so little versed in this particular case, could bear the Hebrew, will readily own. them out. Forwho can deny, As for thofe places where it is that what God did to Pharaoh faid, For this cause bave i fet and the Egyptians was much thee up, that I might for my more proper to foften than to power, &c. it is plain, they harden his heart; especially ought to have been rendered, when it is observable, that it for this caufe have I fuffered was not till after seeing the thee to fubfift, or to fland, &c. miracles, and after the ceasing that is, I have forborn to cut of the plagues, that his heart thee off, or spared thee from is said to have been hardened ? the common ruin, &c. which

(41) Arr. Montan. de idiom. Hebr. #. 42. fin. Can. tbeois cent. 2. Gerbard. de Provid. Calsv. & Rung. in Exod. Hunnin. qu. de Provid. 57, 91. Meit zer. difp. Gief. tom. p. 745. Mcfner antbropol. dec. 1. Pfeifer dubia V. T. cent. 1. l. 87. Pelling & Whitby against predeft. Dr. Clark, Le Clerc is los. Grot, de Scene Jay, & al.

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all the miracles I have charged thee with ; yet be affüred, that I will bring frael out of their bondage like a triumphant army, and the Egyptians fhall know, that I am the LORD. Go therefore, and let your mighty works convince that proud tyrant at least, that your mesage is from a greater and more powerful Monarch than hed. Moles and Aaron forthwith obeyed ; and, having presented themselves before Pharaob, confirmed their mellag: by First mi. the first miracle, and Moles threw down his rod, which racle. turned immediately into a serpent. Here Pharaoh fent rod turned to try what his magicians could do, and these likewise into a fers turned their rods into ferpents ; so that all the superiority pent. which Mofes shewed over them at this time was, that his The magirod swallowed up those of the Egyptians (E). However, ciat do

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this the fame

d Exod. vi. p. tot.

by theirs.

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bear quite another sense, and ptian magicians speaking to

only thew, that though he had Pharaoh, and his court, to this a long ago, deserved to be de- purpose ; Why are you fright

ftroyed, yet. God thought fit ed? We are not ignarant of
to let him fubfift, till he had, fuch things, fering we profesi
by his many wonders, deliver- the fame ourselves. (2).
ed his people, in spight of all And here, fince we are en,
his opposition.

tering into a lang scene of Mo-
(E) The Talmud has pre- fes's miracles, the greatest part
fèrved us a tradition of a pro- of which were imitated by the
verbial taunt, with which the magicians of Pharaoh, it will
Egyptians flouted Mofes, when not be amiss to inquire who the
he began to work his miracles latter were, by what power.
among them ; Thou bringest they performed those wonders,
Araw to Affra, a place in and why they came short of
Egypt where straw abounded; some of those of Mofes. As
meaning, that he had chosen to the first, we promised in a
the wrong place to play his former place to prove, that
conjuring tricks jn, a country they were Jannes and Jambres
that was so well Atocked with (3) mentioned by St. Paul to
conjurers. Origen fays, that have withstood Mofes (4); Pli.
they (the Egyptians) did not my calls them Jamnesand Jota.
abfolutely deny the miracles of pha (5), when, speaking of the
Mofes; but only pretended, that fect of the magicians, he says,
they were done by delusion, and that Mofes, Jamnes, and Joia.
not by a divine power (1). pha, were the heads and found-
And Philo introduces the Egg- ers of it. They are celebrat-

(1) Orig. cent. Celf. lib. ii. (2) Pbil. in vit. Mos. Vid. W'arren carit, Burnet, p. 40.

(3) Vid. fup. p. 348, 349, (P). (). & Tim. üi, 1, (5) Lib. xxx, cm I.

this advantage made no great impression on Pharaoh, who Second mi. might attribute it only to his superior skill in magic, racle, the This miracle therefore was soon followed by another,

which was turning all the running and standing waters of turned in-Egypt into blood ; so that there was not a drop of water to blood.

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ed in the Talmud (4) under However, though this opinion the names of 'n ji inn fo-. hss beep likewise maintained by chani and Mamri. The targum several eminent persons, both of Jonathan (5) affirms them Jews and Chriflians (9); yet to have been Balaam's sons ; that of St. Austin (10), that and that they went along with they were done by the power him to Balak king of Moab. of the devil, has been more Some Jewish authors call them universally received, and that Janes and Jambres; others, for the two following reasons ; Focbanan and Mamre; and first, because the Scriptures of o: bers, Jonah and Jombres (6); the Old and New Testament and pretend, that they were seem to attribute some such drowned in the Red Sea with power to evil spirits ; and, lethe Egyptians; though others condly, because Moses expres think that they were not de- fes himself in such terms as maAtroyed till the war which Pbi- nifeftly shew, that they really neas waged against the Midian- imitated him in all those wonite's (7).

ders they wrought. For, in this The Mohammedans ( (8), case of their rods being tu: ned after their usual manner, have into serpents, he doth not say, added many ridiculous ftories that theymade them appear to be to this contest, particularly such by a deceptiovisus; but that put to death by Pharaoh, who they ftung down every man bis fuspected them to hold a secret rod, and that they became Tercorrespondence with Mofes, be- pents, And in all the other cause they suffered his ferpent cases, wherein they imitated to swallow theirs ; but, from him, he expresses himself thus:

, it, it is plain, they looked upon yon, and the magicians the wonders wrought by the did so likewise ; or, and the Egyptians rather as hocus pocus magicians, even they, did to uicks, than supernatural works. likewise, If it be aked, why

גם or ,ויעשו כן חרטומים the whole account they give of

(4) Trafl. , cap. 9. (5) Targ. i. Num. xxii. 22, (6) Bux, forf. lexic. Talmul Fübric. de Apoct. Vet. Teft. (75 Num. xxv. 17, 18. (87 Horbelte biblictb. orient. p. 648, & feq. Monofab ap. Ca!mce, (ub voci (9) 1. ant. lib. ii

. 4. 13. Iuftin, Mart. quæjl. orthod. xvi. Tertul. lib. de anima. Greg. Nyden, Ambrof. Hieron, cont. Yovini, lib. ii. & (10) Augufl

. lib. xxxviii. quxft. 79, 98, & lib. iii. de Trinitate, cap. annet al. plurim.

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left in the whole land for the Egyptians to drink (F). This miracle was likewise imitated by the magicians, but whether upon sea-water brought on purpose, or some fresh water from the land of Goßen, or fome of that which they had drawn out of their new-digged wells, is not easy to guess ; though it is more probable, that they staid till the waters of the Nile, and other places, were restored to their former colour and taste. However that be, Phan raoh was not one jot the nearer being convincede : where

• Exod. vii. p. tot.

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God suffered them to borrow from the true worship of God this

power from the deyil, to (11). invalidate, it possible, those (F) How long they conti. miracles which his servant nued so Mofes has not told us ; wrought by his divine power, for what is added afterwards in the following reasons may be the last verse of this chapter, given for it ; namely, first, it that seven days were completwas necessary that these magi. ed after the turning of the wacians should be suffered to exert ters into blood, is rather the the utmost of their power space between this miracle and against Mofes, in order to clear that of the frogs, which they him from the imputation of are bid to perform in the bemagic or forcery : for, as the ginning of the next chapter. notion of such an extraordi- For, as the division of the Bible nary art was very rife, not into chapters was of later inonly among the Egyptians, but vention, and introduced for all other nations, if they had the better conveniency ofreadnot entered into this strenuousing it, if we join the last verse competition with him, and of the seventh with the be: been at length overcome by ginning of the eighth, it will him, both the Hebrews and run thus; And seven days Egyptians would have been were fulfilled after the turn- ; apter to attribute all his mi: ing the waters into blood, and racles to his skill in magic,than the LORD pake, and so on, to the divine power. Secondly,it which is the same as if he had wasnecessary, in order to confirm said, And seven days after the the faith of the wavering and turning of the waters into desponding Ifraelites, by mak- blood, God spoke to Mofes. ing them see the difference However, this change conbetween Moses's acting by the tinued long enough to kill all power of God, and the for the fish, and to oblige the Ecerers by that of Satan. And, gyptians to dig round about lastly, in order to preserve the river 'for fresh water to them afterwards from being drink, none of the rest being seduced, by any false miracles, fit for that, or any other user (11) Rupert, Perrer, Simler. Ferus, Villet. Tremel. &. al. in loc.

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