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8 Heb. knew,
land of Midian: and he sat down by a left the man? call him, that he may eat well.
bread. 16 Now the 'priest of Midian had seven 21 And Moses was content to dwell with daughters: and they came and drew water, the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his and filled the troughs to water their father's daughter. flock.
22 And she bare him a son, and he call17 And the shepherds came and drove ed his name "Gershom: for he said, I have them away: but Moses stood up and helped been a stranger in a strange land. them, and watered their flock.
23 | And it came to pass
process of 18 And when they came to Reuel their time, that the king of Egypt died: and the father, he said, How is it that ye are come children of Israel sighed by reason of the so soon to-day?
bondage, and they cried, and their cry came , 19 And they said, An Egyptian delivered up unto God by reason of the bondage. us out of the hand of the shepherds, and 24 And God heard their groaning, and also drew water enough for us, and watered God remembered his 'covenant with Abrathe flock.
ham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 20 And he said unto his daughters, 25 And God looked upon the children of And where is he? why is it that ye have Israel, and God had respect unto them.
5 Or, prince.
Chap 18. 3. 7 Gen. 15. 14, and 46. 4. Verse 3. “ Bulrushes," NOJ, Gome, Heb.—By comparing Isaiah xviii. 2, where we have 8:22-25, “ vessels of bulrushes,”, with a passage of Theophrastus when describing the papyrus, va rugos, we at once perceive that the Cyperus papyrus and the Gome are identical: rai yèo choice Tonowow ig avroi—" they make boats and ships of it.” The cyperus is distinguished by its cluster of elegant litile spikes, which consist of a single row of scales, ranged in a straight line on each side. These clusters are "weak,” or hang down in a nodding position, and, unlike the rest of the plant, are inapplicable to any useful purpose. The root is about the thickness of a full-sized man's wrist, and more than fifteen feet in length, and so hard that all kinds of utensils were made of it. The stem is about four cubits or six feet long, was eaten raw, roasted, or boiled, and served as material for boats, sails, mats, clothes, beds, and books. Its Greek name FeTypos has imparted its derivative to our “paper," while its Egyptian designation appears in the venerable name of “ Bible.” The Arabic is bardi, and the Syriac seems to intimate that it is a plant liable to wither, as it comes from a verb signifying "to flee.” This harmonises with what is said in Job.viii. 11, “Can the rush (or papyrus) grow up without mire? can the flag (or Cyperus esculentus) grow without water ?”
“ Slime,” (Chemer, Heb.) dopuatoriood, bitumen, Vulg. mineral pitch. See the note on Gen. xi.
“ Pitch," noi, Zepheth, Pix, whence our pitch was derived from TITTA, which came ultimately, by a transposition of letters, from Zepeth. The Greek and Latin terms were applied to the solid resins obtained from the pine and fir-trees. Both the mineral and the vegetable productions were employed on this occasion for the obvious purpose of keeping out the water, and thus preserving the child from its intrusion till some kind heart should be moved to pity for him. There seems to be considerable analogy between the ark or boat in which Moses was deposited and the curious vessels which are at the present day employed in crossing the Tigris. They are perfectly circular in shape, and are made with the leaves of the date-palm, forming a kind of basket-work, which is rendered impervious to the water by being thickly coated with bitumen.
“ Flags," FID, şuph.-We are unable at present to satisfy ourselves as to what particular plant is here intended. It is more than probable, however, that suph was a general term for sea or river-weed. Theophrastus describes several plants akin to the papyrus, as common in the marshes of Egypt. Among them the Sari, which produced a root that was much used by smiths as fuel in forging their iron. The Arabic seems applicable to a species of bulrush, scirpus : the Vulgate has, “ in carecto,”——in a bed of reeds. The Red Sea is always called in the Scriptures FID-D', yam-suph, or “the weedy sea,” probably from the great variety of marine vegetables which grow in it, and which at low water are left in great quantities upon the shores. Now in Egypt this sea was, from an allusion to the same circumstance, called the "Sari-Sea," which seems to demonstrate the identity of the suph with the sari.
15. “ The land of Midian.”—There is a difficulty attending this subject, which has not yet been indisputably settled. There seem to be two lands of Midian ;-this on the Elanitic gulf of the Red Sea ; and another east and south-east of the land of Moab, which was on the east of the Dead Sea. It is therefore concluded by some good authorities, that the tribes inhabiting these lands were different people—those near the Dead Sea being the descendants of Abraham through Keturah; and those near the Red Sea being the posterity of Midian, the son of Cush. The latter conjecture is strengthened by the certainty that some of the Cushite tribes did settle in, and on the outskirts of, Arabia, which was therefore called Éthiopia in common with the different countries which the Cushites occupied. Accordingly Zipporah, the wife of Moses, is called a Cushite or Ethiopian, in Num. xii. 1; and in Habakkuk iii. 7, the Midianites are mentioned with the Cushites. There are those, however who believe that all the Midianites mentioned in Scripture are descended from Abraham; and that those near the Red Sea were merely a ramification from the same stock. That the latter were called Ethiopians, may be sufficiently accounted for by their inhabiting a country to which the name of Ethiopia was applied. We incline to this opinion ; but in order not to interfere with the other, we shall notice each branch separately as the text brings it before us; and it is the more easy to do this, as the Scripture history connects the one people little, if at all, with the other. The Midianites near Moab will be noticed in the note to Num. xxii. 4.7; while those on the Red Sea will engage our present attention. There is little to say about them, as they are scarcely noticed in the Bible, except in the early chapters of this book. One of the earliest notices of the Midianites confounds them with the Ishmaelites (Gen. xxxvii. 25, 28), with whom all the tribes springing from Abraham were in the first instance closely connected, and into whose body they were all ultimately absorbed. As that notice describes them as engaged in commercial pursuits, besides being a pastoral people, and as they seem to have become a numerous and wealthy race, it would be interesting to inquire whether their settlement on the Red Sea had not some connexion with maritime trade and navigation. We have no data on which to form distinct conclusions on this matter ; but it may fairly be conjectured, that being a trading people they would, when situated on the Red Sea, scarcely abstain from building some kind of vessels in which to explore the shores of the gulf and the contiguous coasts at the least. Josephus says the people of this part of Midian were not shepherds, which allows us to imagine that they were engaged in commerce. He adds, rather contradictorily, that they left the care of their sheep to women. This agrees with the fact of Jethro's flock being watered by his daughter; and, which is still more striking, it agrees with the existing practice in this part of Arabia, where the duty of at:ending the flocks is considered degrading by the men, and is more entirely left to the young women than perhaps in any other part of Arabia. The territory of these Midianites on the Red Sea would seem to have extended farther southward than that of the Edomites, as it is not unlikely that the latter people ultimately superseded them altogether in these parts. These were undoubtedly the Midianites who trembled for fear when they heard that the Israelites had passed through the Red Sea (Hab. iii. 7.) The Orientals do not appear to know any other land of Midian than this. Abulfeda says that the name is preserved in a ruined city, called Madyan, on the shore of the Red Sea, on the route of the pilgrims from Egypt to Mecca. This city, he says, was the capital of the tribe of Midian among the Israelites; and that there was still to be seen near it the famous well at which Moses watered the flocks of Schoaib, as the Moslems call Jethro. Josephus mentions the “ city of Madian on the Red Sea ;" and it is no doubt the same that Ptolemy calls Modianam.
flock to the backside of the desert, and came 1 Moses keepeth Jethro's flock. 2 God appeareth to
to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. him in a burning bush. 9 He sendeth him to de- 2 And the angel of the Lord appeared liver Israel. 14 The name of God. 15 His mes- unto him in a 'flame of fire out of the midst sage to Israel.
of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father bush burned with fire, and the bush was in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the not consumed.
1 Acts 7.30.
3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, , shall say to me, What is his name? what and see this great sight, why the bush is shall I say unto them? not burnt.
14 And God said unto Moses, I AM 4 And when the Lord saw that he turned | THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt aside to see, God called unto him out of the thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. hath sent me unto you. And he said, Here am I.
15 And God said morcover unto Moses, 5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: Thus shalt thou say unto the children of 'put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for Israel, The Lord God of your fathers, the the place whereon thou standest is holy God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and ground.
the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: 6 Moreover he said, I am the God of this is my name for ever, and this is my thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of memorial unto all generations. Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses 16 Go, and gather the elders of Israel hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon together, and say unto them, The LORD God.
God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, 7 | And the Lord said, I have surely of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, seen the affliction of my people which are saying, I have surely visited you, and seen in Egypt, and have heard their cry by rea
that which is done to you in Egypt: son of their taskmasters; for I know their 17 And I have said, I will bring you up sorrows;
out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land 8 And I am come down to deliver them of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hibring them up out of that land unto a good vites, and the Jebusites, unto a land flowing land and a large, unto a land flowing with with milk and honey. milk and honey; unto the place of the Ca- 18 And they shall hearken to thy voice: naanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall Jebusites.
say unto him, The LORD God of the He9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the brews hath met with us: and now let us go, children of Israel is come unto me: and I we beseech thee, three days' journey into have also seen the oppression wherewith the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the the Egyptians oppress them.
LORD our God. 10 Come now therefore, and I will send 19 | And I am sure that the king of thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring Egypt will not let you go, ‘no, not by a forth my people the children of Israel out mighty hand. of Egypt.
20- And I will stretch out my hand, and 11 | And Moses said unto God, who smite Egypt with all my wonders which I am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and will do in the midst thereof: and after that that I should bring forth the children of he will let you go. Israel out of Egypt?
21 And I will give this people favour in 12 And he said, Certainly I will be with the sight of the Egyptians : and it shall thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not that I have sent thee: When thou hast go cmpty: brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye 22 "But every woman shall borrow of her shall serve God upon this mountain. neighbour, and of her that sojourneth in
13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of when I come unto the children of Israel, gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them and shall say unto them, The God of your upon your sons, and upon your daughters; fathers hath sent me unto you; and they and ye shall spoil the Egyptians. 2 Joslı. 5. 15. Acts 7.33. 3 Matt. 22. 32. Acts 7.32. 4 Or, but by strong hand. 3 Chap. 11. 2, and 12. 35.
6 Or, Egypt. : Verse 1. “ Horeb."—We shall give some account of this mountain when tracing the course of the Israelites in their march from Egypt to the land of promise. We may here observe, that the sacred locality is under the guardianship of a body of Greek monks, who occupy an ancient convent at the foot of the mountain, called the “Convent of St. Catherine;” by whose name also the mountain, supposed to be Horeb, is now distinguished. The monks indicate, as the spot where Moses fed the flocks of Jethro, a valley at the back of the mount, between two ranges of mountains, in the centre of which is a solitary group of trees. They state that the original church, built here by the empress Helena, the mother of Constantine, was built over the spot were the Divine Presence was manifested to Moses; and where, afterwards, the present fortified convent was erected under the direction of the emperor Justinian, it was made to include the same sacred spot. (See Carne’s ‘ Letters from the East;' and Burckhardt's • Tour in the Peninsula of Sinai.')
5. “ Put off thy shoes from off thy feet.”—The reverence indicated by putting off the covering of the feet is still prevalent in the East. The Orientals throw off their slippers on all those occasions when we should take off our hats. They never uncover their heads, any more than we our feet. It would every where, whether among Christians, Moslems or Pagans, be considered in the highest degree irreverent for a person to enter a church, a temple, or a mosque, with his feet covered ; and we shall observe that the priests under the law officiated with bare feet. And not only is this form of showing respect exhibited in religious observances, but in the common intercourse of life. Few things inspire an Oriental with deeper disgust, than for a person to enter his room with shoes or boots on, regarding such conduct both as an insult to himself and a pollution to his apartment. These usages influence the costume of the head and feet. The former, being never uncovered, is in general shaven, and the head-dress generally is such that it could not be replaced without some degree of trouble ; while for the feet they have loose and easy slippers, which may be thrown off and resumed with the least possible degree of inconvenience.
forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. 1 Moses's rod is turned into a serpent. 6 His hand
And he put forth his hand, and caught it, is leprous. 10 He is loth to be sent. 14 Aaron is
and it became a rod in his hand : appointed to assist him. 18 Moses departeth from 5 That they may believe that the LORD Jethro. 21 God's message to Pharaoh. 24 Zip | God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, porah circumciseth her son. 27 Aaron is sent to the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, meet Moses. 31 The people believeth them.
hath appeared unto thee. And Moses answered and said, But, behold, 6 And the LORD said furthermore unto they will not believe me, nor hearken unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. my voice : for they will say, The Lord hath And he put his hand into his bosom : and not appeared unto thee.
when he took it out, behold, his hand was 2 And the LORD said unto him, What is leprous as snow. that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. 7 And he said, Put thine hand into thy
3 And he said, Cast it on the ground. bosom again. And he put his hand into And he cast it on the ground, and it be- his bosom again ; and plucked it out of his came a serpent; and Moses fled from before bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as it.
his other flesh. 4 And the LORD said unto Moses, Put 8 And it shall come to pass, if they will
not believe thee, neither hearken to the | Midian, Go, return into Egypt: for all the voice of the first sign, that they will believe men are dead which sought thy life. the voice of the latter sign.
20 And Moses took his wife and his sons, 9 And it shall come to pass, if they will and set them upon an ass, and he returned not believe also these two signs, neither to the land of Egypt: and Moses took the hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt rod of God in his hand. take of the water of the river, and pour it 21 And the Lord said unto Moses, When upon the dry land : and the water which thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou takest out of the river 'shall become thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, blood upon the dry land.
which I have put in thine hand: but I will 10 And Moses said unto the Lord, harden his heart, that he shall not let the O my Lord, I am not 'eloquent, neither people go. 'heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto 22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even of a slow tongue.
firstborn : 11 And the LORD said unto him, Who 23 And I say unto thee, Let my son go, hath made man's mouth ? or who maketh that he may serve me: and if thou refuse the dumb, or deaf, or the secing, or the to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, blind ? have not I the Lord?
even thy firstborn. 12 Now therefore go, and I will be *with 24 And it came to pass by the way in thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say the inn, that the Lord met him, and sought
13 And he said, O my Lord, send, I to kill him. pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou 25 Then Zipporah took a sharp "stone, wilt send.
and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast 14 And the anger of the LORD was it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody huskindled against Moses, and he said, Is not band art thou to me. Aaron the Levite thy brother ? I know that 26 So he let him go: then she said, A he can speak well. And also, behold, he bloody husband thou art, because of the cometh forth to meet thee: and when he circumcision. seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart. 27 | And the LORD said to Aaron, Go
15 And thou shalt speak unto him, and into the wilderness to meet Moses. And he put words in his mouth: and I will be with went, and met him in the mount of God, thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will and kissed him. teach
28 And Moses told Aaron all the words 16 And he shall be thy spokesman unto of the LORD who had sent him, and all the the people: and he shall be, even he shall signs which he had commanded him. be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou 29 | And Moses and Aaron went and shalt be to him instead of God.
gathered together all the elders of the chil17 And thou shalt take this rod in thine dren of Israel : hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs.
30 And Aaron spake all the words which 18-1 And Moses went and returned to the Lord had spoken unto Moses, and did Jethro his father in law, and said unto him, the signs in the sight of the people. Let me go, I pray thee, and return unto 31 And the people believed: and when my brethren which are in Egypt, and see they heard that the LORD had visited the whether they be yet alive.And Jethro children of Israel, and that he had looked said to Moses, Go in peace.
upon their affliction, then they bowed their 19 And the LORD said unto Moses in heads and worshipped. i Heb. shall be and shall be. 2 Heb. a man of words. 3 Heb. since yesterday, nor since the third day.
5 Or, shuuldest. 6 Chap. 7. 1. 7 Or, knife. Verse 25. “ Zipporah.took a sharp stone.”— Flints and other hard stones formed the tools and cutting instruments of almost all nations before the art of working iron was discovered. We find such instruments still in use among savages, and discover them cccasionally buried in different parts of Europe and Asia, showing the universality of their use when the people were ignorant of iron. They were no doubt formed, as savages form them at present; that is, they were shaped and sharpened on a kind of grindstone, until, at a great expense of time, labour and patience, they were brought to the desired figure. They were then fitted to a handle, and used nearly in the same way as we use our instruments and tools of iron. From the act of Zipporah, we are, however, not authorized to infer that instruments and tools of metal were not common at the time and in the neighbourhood before us. We shall soon have occasion to see the contrary. The fact seems to be, that Zipporah knew that sharp stones were exclusively used in Egypt and elsewhere, in making incisions on the human person ; and she therefore either used such an instrument, or employed in its room one of the flints with which the region they were traversing is abundantly strewed,
4 Matt, 10. 19. Mark 13. 11. 8 Ileb. made it touch.
Luke 12. 11.