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phecy, the future condition of all his children, and foretold that the Messiah should descend from Judah (t). He commanded Joseph to bury him in the land of Canaan, in the field of Machpelah, where Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, and Leah, were all buried, intimating by this command his faith in the promise of God, that his seed should possess the land of Canaan, the body of Jacob was, by the permission of 1689. Pharaoh, carried from Goshen, and buried by his sons with great solemnity in the land of Canaan. Joseph returned with his brothers into Egypt, and continued to treat them with the same uniform kindness, which they had experienced from him during the life of their father, He died there at the age of one hundred and ten 1635. years, having, immediately before his death, solemnly assured his brethren of his faith in the promises of God (u): “ Į die : and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land, unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and ye shall carry up my bones from hence (x),

The (t) Gen. c. 49. v. 8, &c.

(u) It has been supposed that Joseph repeated this promise of deliverance out of Egypt, with the same pro.. phetic spirit with which his fathers were enduede (*) Gen. c. 50. v. 24 and 25. Vol. I


The descendants of Jacob multiplied to so 1573. great a degree, that about sixty years after the

death of Joseph, the king, who then reigned over Egypt, became jealous of their numbers, and endeavoured to check their increase, by imposing heavy tasks upon them, and by reducing them to a state of severe slavery. But finding that these attempts had not the proposed effect, he ordered their midwives to destroy all the male children of the Israelites at the time of their birth. The midwives refused to obey these inhuman orders, and the Israelites continued to increase. Then the king commanded his people to cast into the river all the male children of the Israelites. And a woman of the tribe of Levi,

whose name was Jochabed, and whose husband's 1571. name was Amram, hid her son for three months ;

but being unable to conceal him any longer, she put him in a basket, and laid it by the side of the river. Soon after, the king's daughter came down to bathe in the river, and having discovered the child, concluded that it was one of the Hebrew children, and had compassion upon him. . The sister of the child, who had been watching at a distance to see what became of him, now coming up, offered to go and call one of the Hebrew women, who might nurse the child for the king's daughter, and having received permission, she 6


brought the mother of the child; and Pharaoh's daughter said to her, “Take this child away, and nurse him for me, and I will give thee thy wages (y).” Thus was the child committed to the care of his own mother; and when he was grown to a certain age, he was carried to Pharaoh's daughter, who called him Moses, and treated and educated him as her own son. Thus was the destined lawgiver of the Jews miraculously preserved, and fitted by "all the learning of the Egyptians” for the character he was to assume, as far as depended upon human acquirements.

Moses, being grown up to manhood, became acquainted with the circumstances of his birth, and with the sufferings of his brethren; and observing one day an Egyptian cruelly beating a Hebrew, he slow the Egyptian. When this 1531. was known to Pharaoh, he sought to put Moses to death; but he fled into the land of Midian, and married Zipporah, the daughter of Jethro, the priest of that country, where it appears, the worship of God was still retained. While Moses lived in Midian the king of Egypt died; but the persecution of the Israelites continuing under his successor, they prayed unto God, and God was pleased to have compassion upon them, according to his promise to their fathers. When (9) Ex. C. 2. v. 9.


1491. Moses, about forty years after he first came into

Midian, was keeping the flocks of Jethro, near
Mount Horeb,“ the angel of the Lord appeared
unto him in a flame of fire, out of the midst of
a bush, and he looked, and behold the bush
burned with fire, and the bush was not con-
sumed (2).”—“And God called to Moses out
of the midst of the bush,” and declared hiniself
to be the God of his father, and of Abraham,
Isaac, and Jacob, in a manner peculiarly solemu.
“ And the Lord said, I have seen the affliction
of my people, and I am come down to deliver
them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to
bring them into the fruitful land of Canaan(a).
These words are remarkable, and seem to indi-
cate, that God had not vouchsafed to hold any
visible intercourse with the Israelites during their
long residence in Egypt, from the death of Jacob
to this period of their sufferings. And God
declared it his purpose to make Moses his in-
strument to deliver his people from bondage, and
commanded him to communicate this his gra-
*cious design to the elders of Israel. He farther
directed, that they should ask of Pharaoh permis-
sion to go three days journey into the wilderness
to sacrifice to the Lord their God, foretelling at

(2) Ex. c. 3. v. 2.
(a) Ex. c. 3. v. 7 and 8.

the same time, that Pharaoh would not at first grant this request; but that after a variety of afflictions, which the Egyptians would suffer in consequence of his refusal, he would allow them to go. Moses, being “ meek above all men,” was at first unwilling to engage in this arduous business, and pleaded his unfitness for the employment, from the slowness of his speech, and want of authority to convince the people that he was sent to them by God. But God, though he expressed displeasure at his reluctance and distrust, condescended to promise him his constant presence and immediate direction, and the assistance of his brother Aaron, whom he knew to excel in eloquence, as his “spokesman ;" and he also promised him the power of performing miracles, as a proof of his divine commission, To inspire him farther with confidence, God caused his rod to become a serpent, and the serpent again to become a rod : he then caused his hand to be “ leprous as snow," and his hand

“ turned again as his other flesh.” Encouraged by these assurances of support and success, and convinced by the wonders he saw, that it was indeed the God of his fathers who thus appeared to fulfil the promise of restoring the Israelites to the land of Canaan at the



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