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THE SECOND BOOK OF MOSES,
E X O D U S.
12 But the more they afflicted them, the 1 The children of Israel, after Joseph's death, do
more they multiplied and grew. And they multiply. $ The more they are oppressed by a were grieved because of the children of new king, the more they multiply. 15 The godli- Israel. ness of the midwives, in saving the men children alive. 22 Pharaoh commandeth the male children dren of Israel to serve with rigour:
13 And the Egyptians made the chilto be cast into the river.
14 And they made their lives bitter with OW 'these are the hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and names of the children in all manner of service in the field: all of Israel, which came their service, wherein they made them into Egypt; every serve, was with rigour. man and his hous- 15 | And the king of Egypt spake to hold came with Ja- | the Hebrew midwives, of which the name cob.
of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of 2 Reuben, Simeon, the other Puah: Levi, and Judah, 16 And he said, When ye do the office
3 Issachar, Zebu- of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see
lun, and Benjamin, them upon the stools ; if it be a son, then ye 4 Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then
5 And all the souls that came out of the she shall live. Ploins of Jacob were 'seventy souls : for Jo- 17 But the midwives feared God, and seph was in Egypt already.
did not as the king of Egypt commanded 6 And Joseph died, and all his brethren, them, but saved the men children alive. and all that generation.
18 And the king of Egypt called for the 7 q . And the children of Israel were midwives, and said unto them, Why have fruitful, and increased abundantly, and mul- ye done this thing, and have saved the men tiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and children alive? the land was filled with them.
19 And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, 8 Now there arose up a new king over | Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egypt, which knew not Joseph.
Egyptian women; for they are lively, and 9 And he said unto his people, Behold, are delivered ere the midwives come in unto the people of the children of Israel are them. more and mightier than we:
20 Therefore God dealt well with the 10 Come on, let us deal wisely with midwives : and the people multiplied, and them; lest they multiply, and it come to waxed very mighty. pass, that, when there falleth out any war, 21 And it came to pass, because the they join also unto our enemies, and fight midwives feared God, that he made them against us, and so get them up out of the land. houses.
11 Therefore they did set over them 22 And Pharaoh charged all his people, taskmasters to afflict them with their bur- saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast dens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure into the river, and every daughter ye shall cities, Pithom and Raamses.
5 Heb. and as they afflicted them, so they multiplied, &c. Exodus.—This title is derived from the Septuagint, and is descriptive of the contents of the book, signifying the “ going forth or departure”-i. e., of the Israelites from Egypt. The Hebrews, according to their custom, denominate the book from its initial words now 7389 (re-aleh shemoth)—“ Now these are the names ;” or, sometimes, only Shemoth—"names." The book contains the history of 145 years, from the death of Joseph to the erection of the tabernacle at the commencement of the first year from the departure of the Israelites out of Egypt. In the New Testament there are said to be twenty-five direct quotations from this book, and nineteen allusions to its sense.
Verse 8. “ There arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.”—Mr. Faber, by an acute analysis of the fragment of Egyptian history by Manetho, preserved by Josephus, has thrown a degree of sight on the transactions of this period, as connected with the sacred narrative, of which it did not previously seem susceptible. Some of the results of this gentleman's investigations we have given in the note to Gen. ch. xlvi. 34. We must refer to his work on the Origin of Pagan Idolatry, vol. iii., Book vi., for the details of his most satisfactory elucidations of this very perplexing subject; and shall here give, as briefly as possible, the principal results which are applicable to the illustration of the present text and subsequent narrative. We have seen that a native dynasty in Lower Egypt was subverted by a race of Cushite shepherds; that after 260 years the natives succeeded in expelling the intruders; that, under the restored dynasty, Joseph acquired consequence in Egypt, and that his family came thither and settled in the pasture lands of Goshen, which the Arabian nomades had recently vacated. It is to be observed, that Manetho calls the Israelites the leprous shepherds, perhaps from some tradition concerning the leprosy of Moses. He says, that these shepherds having greatly increased in the land of Avaris (Goshen), so as to become a powerful body, began to meditate revolutionary projects, and invited the expelled shepherd-kings to return out of Palestine ; which fatal invitation led to the complete re-establishment of the pastoral tyranny. It seems that the native king and a considerable part of the priests and warriors withdrew into the Thebais and Ethiopia, while the people who remained behind were subjected to great oppression from the conquerors. This then was the new dynasty, -- the new king that knew not Joseph." That he knew not Joseph and the services he had rendered to Egypt is justly regarded by Mr. Faber as a satisfactory proof that he was a stranger. As to the invitation from the Hebrews, we are not bound to admit it; but we are rather less inclined to doubt it than Mr. Faber seems to be. It appears to us that if there had not been some understanding between them, the Hebrews would have defended the Egyptian frontier ; and that if they had done so, a fact of so much importance would probably have been mentioned by the sacred historian. The warlike shepherds must have passed through their country, and it appears, from the subsequent fears of the king himself, that they were in a condition, by their numbers and strength, to have offered a most powerful resistance to the invasion if they had been so inclined. We wonder this escaped the notice of Mr. Faber. Be this as it may, the policy of the new sovereign, as mentioned by Moses, is easily illustrated. - “ He found himself master of a land in which were two distinct races of men ; who, from a sense of mutual benefits, had generally lived in strict amity with each other: and he was fully aware, or at least he naturally suspected, that notwithstanding any temporary disgust, the Israelites would be far more likely to make common cause with their friends the Mizraim, than with himself and his intrusive warriors. Hence to a man who was restrained by no dice scruples of conscience, who considered only how he might best secure his conquest, and who neither knew nor regarded Joseph, the policy is obvious ; and the principle of it is most distinctly exposed by Moses.” See note on v. 10. ! 9. “ The people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we.”—This strongly corroborates the preceding statement. Only 109 years had at this time (a good while before Moses was born) passed since the Israelites were no more than seventy persons, and that they had so soon become more numerous than the native Egyptians, who had been a settled nation for about 650 years, it is not necessary to suppose and is not compatible with the fact that the Egyptians had so long been a nation. But the conquering tribe may easily be supposed to have been fewer in number than even the smallest of the two nations that then occupied Egypt. 10. “Come on, let us deal wisely," &c.—“Every part of this declaration throws light upon the history, and serves to
prove that the new king and his people were foreigners. With the natural feelings of a conqueror, and with the superadded remembrance of a former expulsion from this very country, he anticipated a probable rebellion of the Mizraim; and he shrewdly conjecture, that while he was engaged in reducing them to obedience, or in resisting an invasion of the dethroned' king from the Thebais, whither (according to Manetho) he had retired, the Israelites, compactly associated in the land of Goshen, would take him in the rear, and place him between two enemies."—(Faber, vol. iii. p. 553.) Thus situated, the invaders thought it necessary to compensate for their disadvantages by their courage, their strict union, constituting themselves the sole military class, and ultimately, by reducing the Israelites, and also the native Egyptians (as we learn from both Manetho and Herodotus), to a state of absolute servitude, obliging them to labour in public works, which were probably undertaken quite as much in order to break their spirits by severe labour as for any other purpose.
11. " Treasure cities.”—The original word has been variously rendered in the different versions. Store-cities, or store-houses, gravaries, fortresses, or walled towns, are the alternatives. As the proper names seem to indicate that towns are intended, and as it is expressly said they were built for Pharaoh, it may be presumed that they were for the purpose of storing up the various produce which in different districts belonged to the king. The Hebrew kings had such "store cities.” (2 Chron, viii. 4. 6, and xxxii. 27—30.) Authors do not agree in fixing the sites of Pithom and Raamses; but as the land of Goshen is also called “the land of Rameses” (Gen. xlvii. 11), there is reason to conclude that the latter town was in that land, to which it gave or from which it received its name. Michaelis seems to think that the Egyptian government obliged the Hebrews, with the view of making them a more settled people, to relinquish their habit of living in tents. It is remarkable that the Vulgate has exactly the opposite view of the text, describing the two towns as urbes tabernaculorum, “cities of tents.”
14. “ Hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field.”—There has been no small amount of conjecture as to the works on which the Israelites were employed in Egypt. Some authors contend for one thing, and some for another: without sufficiently considering that the large expressions in the present text, together with “the treasure cities” of verse ll, and the straw-compacted bricks of chap. v. 7, would imply that they were employed in every kind of public work which was in those times undertaken. This was certainly the view of Josephus, who says that they were obliged to learn mechanical arts, and to accustom themselves to hard labour; and that they were made to cut canals, to raise dykes, to erect pyramids, and to build the walls of cities. The whole subject has generally been viewed with very unnecessary limitations. Thus it appears, from chap. v. 7, that when Moses commenced his mission, the Hebrews were chiefly occupied in making those large bricks, dried in the sun and compacted with straw, such as we have already noticed in describing the remains at Babylon; and it has hence been argued, that only such structures as are formed with such bricks could have been their work. It seems rather absurd, however, to conclude that because they were making bricks at the return of Moses from Midian, they had done nothing but make bricks during the eighty or hundred preceding years; for the oppression of the Israelites commenced before Moses was born, and he was about eighty years of age when he received the divine call to his great work. Hence old writers were wont to object to the statement of Josephus about the pyramids, “ because the pyramids were all of stone." But all the pyramids are not of stone ; and, if they were, that the Hebrews worked in brick is no reason why they should not also have worked in stone. However, we have so far entered into this view that we have given a cut of a principal brick pyramid, in preference-not because we are sure that this, or any existing pyramid, was the work of the Hebrews; but because, of all the existing monuments in Egypt, pyramids of this description may, with the greatest measure of probability, be attributed to them. Accounts of the pyramids in general are so common and easy of access, that we shall not occupy our space with any descriptive statement, but shall preferably endeavour to show on what data the Israelites may be conceived to have been engaged in their erection.
In a preceding note we have stated the probability that the oppression of the Israelites was under a dynasty of shepherd-kings—that is, a tribe or tribes of Cushite nomades, from Arabia or Chaldæa. If, therefore, we conclude that the Hebrews were employed on the pyramids, we must conclude that they were not native Egyptian structures, but were formed on the soil of Egypt by a foreign people. Of this it is a remarkable corroboration—that the pyramids are confined to that part of Egypt which the shepherd-conquerors occupied ; whereas, we should rather expect to have found them, if native structures, in Upper Egypt, and in the vicinity of the “ hundred-gated Thebes," the ancient and chief seat of the Egyptian religion and of the temples and monuments connected with it. Whatever were the objects of these remarkable structures, we can discover no reason but this, which adequately accounts
finding them exclusively within a limited district. It is true that Herodotus does not assign such high antiquity to the pyramids; but he was not even aware of the existence of a dynasty of shepherd-kings: and, from his statement, it would seem that the priests of Heliopolis, from whom he derived most of his information, exhibited a degree of reserve about the period of their origin, and of concealment concerning the thraldom of their nation, which equally accounts for his ignorance of some remarkable facts, and corroborates the impressions we have stated. Their reserve was noticed even by Herodotus, though he had no notion of its cause. He does, however, state incidentally that some of the pyramids were called after the shepherd Philitis, who at that time fed his cattle in the neighbourhood; and he gives, as a reason for this, that the monarchs by whom they were built were held in such abomination by the Egyptians, that the priests were unwilling to mention their names. The reason was, that during their reign the Egyptians were subject to great oppression and calamity, and were not even permitted to worship in their temples. It is not difficult to discover, through the gloss which the priests gave to this statement, that the pyramids were erected under the rule of a foreign people, whose religion differed from that of the Egyptians, and who acted with great oppression. This inference is the stronger when we consider that the native Egyptian sovereigns could not, according to the organic laws of the government, have acted as the founders of the pyramids did ; and, above all, could not have interfered with the public worship of the people: for the Egyptian kings were in general merely the adorned pageants of authority. The priests were the real sovereigns: they managed all the affairs of state ; and all, even the smaller, movements of the monarch were subject to their direction and control. To this we may add, that various Arabian writers concur in the statement that the pyramids were built by a people from Arabia, who, after a period of dominion in Egypt, were ultimately expelled. There is every probability that although these " shepherd-kings came immediately from Arabia, their original migration was from lands farther east; and it might not be impossible to track their progress by the pyramidal structures they have left in the lands they subjected to their rule. The Indian annals record a migration from the east of a race of Pali, or shepherds—(see the Philitis above-quoted from Herodotus): they were a powerful tribe, who in ancient times governed all the country from the Indus to the Ganges. Being an active, enterprising, and roving people, they, by conquest and colonization, spread themselves westward, even into Africa and Europe. They took possession of Arabia and the western shores of the Red Sea. We may connect this with another record of an ancient king, whose empire Vishnu enlarged by enabling him to conquer Misra-stan, or “the land of Egypt;" where his immense wealth_enabled him to raise three mountains-called Ruem-adri, the mountain of gold;
Rujat-adri, the mountain of silver; and Retu-adri, the mountain of gems. These “mountains” were no doubt pyramids, and probably derived their names, as Dr. Hales conjectures, from the colour of the stone with which they were coated.
Some writers have thought that these allusions refer directly to the Israelites as the builders of the pyramids; we vould rather understand them to refer to the shepherd-kings as the founders of the same monuments. Our line of argument is based on the previous notes. It being there rendered probable that a nomade dynasty ruled in Egypt during the bondage of the Israelites, we have now endeavoured to show the further probability that the pyramids were founded by them-not with the view of weakening the inference that the llebrews worked on the pyramids, but in order to give that inference accumulated force ; for if the shepherd-kings founded the pyramids, and if those kings ruled during the oppression of the family of Israel, not only a probability but a moral certainty results, that the latter were obliged to assist in their erection. We use the word “ assist ” advisedly; for there is no reason to suppose that they were exclusively engaged on any public work. They probably assisted the Egyptians, whose enslaved condition during the period in which the pyramids were erected is attested equally by Manetho and Herodotus. Some writers regard the pyramids in the abstract as evincing the slavery of the lower orders in Egypt. This proof may be considered to apply to the period in which the pyramids were actually erected; but it can hardly be taken to evince their condition under their own princes. That the mass of the people had their civil liberties much restricted there is reason to know; but that they were liable to compulsory and unpaid labour on the public works there is no ground to believe. If it were so, it would not have been mentioned as an outrage that the pyramid-founders reduced the Egyptians to servile labour. Prisoners and slaves would seem to have been generally employed in such labours; for it was the proud toast of some of the princes, that no Egyptian hand had laboured in the greatest of their works. What masses were employed, and how profusely human life was wasted, is evinced by the statement in a previous note, that Necho worked away 100,000 lives in the attempt to cut a canal from the Nile to the Red Sea. Things are much the same now in the same country. Mehemet Ali, the Pasha of Egypt, obliged 150,000 men, chiefly Arabs from Upper Egypt, to work on his canal connecting the Nile with the sea at Alexandria : 20,000 of the number perished during the progress of the Fork. A new canal was in progress when Carne was at Alexandria. That writer says: “The bed of the canal presented a novel spectacle, being filled with a vast number of Arabs of various colours, toiling in the intense heat of the day, while their Egyptian (?) task-masters, with whips in their hands, watched the progress of their labour. It was a just and lively representation of the children of Israel forced to toil by their oppressive masters of old. The wages Mahmoud allowed to these unfortunate people, whom he had obliged to quit their homes and families in Upper Egypt, were only a penny a day and a ration of bread.” (“Letters from the East,' p. 71, 72.) Thus were the lives of the Israelites "made bitter with hard bondage.” There is an incidental statement in Herodotus which enables us to discover that, even in point of remuneration for their labour, the builders of the pyramids were much on a par with the canal-digging Arabs of our own day. He mentions an inscription on the great pyramid, stating that a sum amounting to 1600 talents had been paid in supplying the workmen with garlic and onions. He then goes on to conjecture what, at that rate, must have been paid for the whole expense of tools, food, and clothing for the 100,000 men who were twenty years engaged in the work. It is observable that he says nothing of wages as a probable item of expense, but only calculates that they received food and clothing; the recompense of slaves, for their labour. This statement brings out another corroboration of the view we have taken. Garlic and onions are mentioned as having been supplied to the workmen ; and although the circumstance would be of small weight as an isolated analogy, it does, after all that has been said, become important to remark that the Israelites, in one of their rebellious murmurings in the desert, speak with desire of the onions and garlic which they had eaten freely (that is, without expense) in Egypt. (Numb. xi. 5.)
The structure represented in our wood-cut, which is copied from the great French work on Egypt, represents a pyramid of sun-dried brick in Faioum, the ancient Arsinoe. The large bricks of which it is formed are made of black, loamy, friable earth, or Nile-mud, compacted with chopped straw, in the same way that such bricks are still made in Egypt and elsewhere in the East. There are other such pyramids at Dashour and Saccara, differing little except in size and degree of preservation. The pyramid at Faioum stands on an elevated, sandy plateau; and its base is a square of 122 yards, its present height being 197 feet. This and the other brick pyramids have not obtained the degree of notice they deserve, the attention of travellers having been too exclusively engrossed by the pyramids of Ghizeh. The French, however, discovered a subterraneous passage to this pyramid, and found within a sarcophagus and also a salt spring. It will be seen that, in common with most of the other structures of the same material, it has lost much of its pyramidal form, and approaches to that of a mound ; and if the reader turns to the cut of the Birs Nemroud near Babylon, and comrares the two, with the recollection that the material of both is sun-dried bricks, he will be led to conclude that there was much resemblance, if not identity, in form and intention between the now ruined mounds of Babylonia and the existing pyramids of Egypt. It is a remarkable confirmation of this view that Herodotus, who describes the Tower of Babylon as a pyramid with graduated stories diminishing with the ascent, mentions the pyramids of Egypt as being similarly constructed, with stories or platforms diminishing in size as they rose in height, and is understood to state that they were afterwards completed to a smooth surface by being coated with blocks of stone, which filled up the interstices between the different stories so as to obliterate the graduated by a sloping appearance. Observations on the pyramids have confirmed this account of their construction. The greatest of the pyramids at Ghizeh is built in dimirishing stages, nor does any trace remain to indicate that it ever had an outer series of stones to give it a smooth surface. We may then consider as essentially identical the pyramids of the Nile with those graduated structures which are found, in various states of preservation, not only on the banks of the Euphrates, but on those of the Indus and Ganges.
of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of
Levi. i Moses is born, 3 and in an ark cast into the flags. 5 He is found, and brought up by Pharaoh's daugh
2 And the woman conceived, and bare a ter. 11 He slayeth an Egyptian. 13 He re
son: and when she saw him that he was a proveth an Hebrew. 15 He fleeth into Midian. goodly child, she hid him three months. 21 He marrieth Zipporah. 22 Gershom is born.
3 And when she could not longer hide 23 God respecteth the Israelites' cry.
him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, AND there went 'a man of the house and daubed it with slime and with pitch,
and put the child therein ; and she laid it in him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he bethe flags by the river's brink.
came her son. And she called his name 4 And his sister stood afar off, to wit: Moses: and she said, Because I drew him what would be done to him.
out of the water. 5 And the daughter of Pharaoh came 11 | And it came to pass in those days, down to wash herself at the river; and her when Moses was grown, that he went out maidens walked along by the river's side; unto his brethren, and looked on their burand when she saw the ark among the flags, dens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an she sent her maid to fetch it.
Hebrew, one of his brethren. 6 And when she had opened it, she saw 12 And he looked this way and that way, the child: and, behold, the babe wept. and when he saw that there was no man, he And she had compassion on him, and said, slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the This is one of the Hebrews' children.
sand. 7 Then said his sister to Pharaoh's 13 And when he went out the second daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may together: and he said to him that did the nurse the child for thee?
wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow? 8 And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, 14 And he said, Who made thee *a prince Go. And the maid went and called the and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill child's mother.
me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And 9 And Pharaoh's daughter said unto her, Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is Take this child away, and nurse it for me, known. and I will give thee thy wages.
And the 15 Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, woman took the child, and nursed it. he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fted 10 And the child grew, and she brought from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the
* Heb. a man, a prince.
3 That is, drawn out,