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festation of their religion consisted in the worship of certain animals, which they carefully abstained from eating or injuring, and for whose wants they, as far as possible, provided. The usages of this worship differed in the various provinces, but there seems to be some animals which were pretty generally venerated in all or the greater part of them. Some seem to have been worshipped because they were feared, and others because they were esteemed. It seems very likely that, taking all the provinces collectively, the objects of worship comprehended nearly all the animal and some part of the vegetable creation as known in that country. But there appear to have been some that were treated with more general or more intense worship than the others. Among these the principal seem to have been the solitary bull Apis, the cow, the sheep, the goat, the cat, the dog, the ichneumon, the crocodile, and among the feathered tribe the hawk and the ibis. There were assigned lands whose profits were appropriated to providing food for the sacred animals according to their several habits. It necessarily happened sometimes that the people of one province fed their gods with the gods of another province, which was a fruitful source of strife between them. It seems that, while a general kindness and bounty to the animals left in their natural state was exercised, some individuals were kept up for more concentrated care and reverence, probably as representatives of their races. Some of the sacred animals were interred wherever they were found dead, but others were conveyed to particular places, and after undergoing an embalming process were buried with great ceremony and often at a heavy expense. Diodorus mentions that when the Egyptians went abroad in the wars, they brought home, with great lamentation, dead cats and hawks to be buried in Egypt. There was mourning in whatever house a cat or dog happened to die: for the former the inmates shaved their eyebrows, and for the l 'er their whole body. Whenever a fire happened, the great anxiety of the Egyptians was lest any cats should perish in the flames; and they took more care to prevent such a calamity than to save their houses. The punishment was death to kill a sacred animal designedly ; but if undesignedly, the punishment was referred to the discretion of the priests. But if a person killed a cat or an ibis, no distinction of intention was made; the enraged multitude hurried away the unfortunate person to his death, which was often inflicted without any formal process or trial. The just apprehensions of Moses will receive illustration from an anecdote related by Diodorus as having happened while he was in Egypt. Some Romans being in that country for the purpose of concluding a treaty with the king, the people, who were much interested in the result, and held the Roman power in great fear, treated the strangers with the utmost attention and civility. But one of them having happened undesignedly to kill a cat, the enraged mob hastened to his lodging, and neither the interference of the king nor the dread of the Romans could deter them from putting him to death. We are inclined to think that our text more especially refers to the cow. This the Hebrews would certainly sacrifice, but it does not appear that it was anywhere sacrificed in Egypt, although sheep and goats certainly were in some of the provinces. Herodotus expressly says that the Egyptians worshipped cows with more profound reverence than they did any other cattle. The ox was sacrificed, but not the cow, which was sacred to Isis. On this account, he says, no Egyptian, male or female, would kiss a Greek on the mouth, or use his cleaver, his spit, or his dish; and they even carried their scruples so far as to abstain from lawful meat that had been cut with a Grecian knife. This is almost precisely the state of things in India at this very day. Nothing more seems necessary to account for the answer of Moses to a proposal which certainly savours more of a shepherd-king than a native Egyptian prince.
7 And Pharaoh sent, and, behold, there was not one of the cattle of the Israelites dead. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people go. 8 And the LORD said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take too you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh.
9 And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt.
10 And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast.
11 And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians.
12 And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; 'as the LORD had spoken unto Moses.
13 And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus
Chap. 4. 21.
23 And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the Land of Egypt.
24 So there was hail, and fire mingled
2 Rom. 9. 17.
with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.
25 And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field.
26 Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail.
8 Heb. made thee stand.
35 And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, neither would he let the children of Israel go; as the LORD had spoken by Moses.
4 Heb. set not his heart unto. 5 Heb. voices of God. 7 Heb. hidden, or, dark. 8 Heb. by the hand of Moses.
6 Psal. 24. 1.
Verse 3. "Camels."-Here it is positively affirmed that the Egyptians had camels; and we see also in Gen. xii. 16, that camels were among the gifts of Pharaoh to Abraham. But the great French work on Egypt having stated that the figure of the camel never occurred in Egyptian sculptures and paintings, some learned persons conjectured that the camel was not known in Egypt, or even in Africa, until after the Arabian conquest. If it were true that the camel is not really figured on the Egyptian monuments, the inference against the existence of the camel in Egypt, at the time of the Mosaic history, would be exceedingly illogical and gratuitous. It would have been safer to infer, with Reynier, that the camel, however useful, was too much associated with the idea of the nomade shepherds, whom the priests detested, to be allowed to appear in their sacred places. But the fact is, that the camel does occur in the Egyptian sculptures. The head and long necks of these animals are repeated several times, two by two, upon the obelisks at Luxor. This discovery, made by Minutoli, confirms the truth of the Scripture account, which however no one had a right to question on the ground of the alleged absence of the camel from the Egyptian sculptures, which we are not bound to take as
the manual of Egyptian zoology. This negative testimony could have no legitimate weight in showing that the camel was unknown in Egypt, when we recollect that it was common among the nomade tribes which occupied the borders of Egypt, and which even found their way into the valley of the Nile: besides which, the caravans, like that of the Ishmaelites who purchased Joseph of his brethren, must often have brought under their notice the camel in a state of useful domestication.
6. "All the cattle of Egypt died."-This must be understood with some limitations, because subsequently, in the same chapter, there are cattle still threatened by the next plague of hail. We are probably to understand that all the cattle in the open fields were destroyed on this occasion; those Egyptians, who were convinced by the previous miracles, having probably, as we find them doing afterwards, taken such precautions as they judged necessary to protect them from the threatened calamity. If, however, we will take the text literally as saying that all the cattle of the Egyptians were killed by the murrain; we may account for their afterwards having cattle liable to be destroyed by the plague of hail, by supposing that they had in the meantime replenished their stock, by obtaining, either by purchase or compulsion, cattle from the Israelites, whose flocks and herds had been unaffected by the plague.
10. "A boil breaking forth with blains."-The word T, shechin, occurs as one of the indications of leprosy in Lev. xiii. 18. 20; in 2 Kings xx. 7, it is characterized as "the boil or botch of Egypt." It is also used to denote the grievous disease with which Job was afflicted. It would seem, from its root, to denote some inflamed swelling ending in an ulcer. Gesenius thinks it means the elephantiasis, which is endemic in Egypt: he understands the term elephantiasis of the thick leg to which that name is applied, whereas, if he is right in his first conjecture, we apprehend it should be rather understood to denote that tubercular affection of the whole body to which the term elephantiasis is also applied. Dr. J. M. Good (Study of Medicine) allows that the disease of Job was probably elephantiasis. This disease has generally been considered a stage or form of leprosy, and accordingly we find it forming one of the cutaneous disorders indicative of leprosy, of which the priest, under the law, was directed to take cognizance, as well as of the other indications which will require to be more particularly noticed in the notes to Lev. xiii. It seems very likely that the word here used denotes in general a boil or swelling, without determining its class or character at all.
28. "Mighty thunderings and hail."-This terrible storm of thunder, lightning, and hail, would have been awful any where; but a little consideration of the meteorology of Egypt will suffice to show how much more alarming it must have seemed in that, than in almost any other country, and will sufficiently explain why this plague brought more conviction, for the time, to the mind of the king than some others which we, in a different climate, should have thought more likely to make an impression upon his stubborn nature. Thunder and lightning are very unfrequent in Egypt, and are so completely divested, when they do occur, of the terrific qualities which they sometimes exhibit in other countries, that the Egyptians never associate the idea of destructive force with these phenomena, and are unable to comprehend how lightning can possibly inflict injury or give occasion of alarm. Thevenot indeed mentions a man who was killed by lightning at Cairo; but adds, that such a circumstance had never before been heard of. Much the same may be said of hail. It does sometimes fall, but rarely and with slight effect.
31, 32. "The flax and barley," &c.-It is interesting to observe, how exactly this agrees with the state of the crops in Egypt at the present day, at the time of the year indicated. We are thus also enabled to fix the season of the year at which these important transactions took place. Flax is ripe in March, when the plants are gathered; and it must therefore have been "bolled," or risen in stalk in February, in which month we would understand this and several of the other miracles to have been effected. Barley is expressly stated in works on Egypt to be gathered before the wheat; and as the wheat harvest takes place in May, in Lower Egypt, and in April in Upper Egypt, the barley must have been in ear in February. At the same time the wheat would hardly be grown up; and as to the "rye," it is not well determined what it denotes. These facts seem to concur in denoting the season in or about February; and accordingly we find that the month Abib, in which the Israelites departed from Egypt, and which was directed thenceforward to be the first month in the year to the Hebrews (ch. xii. 2), corresponds nearly to our March. Dr. Richardson, whose observation applies to the early part of March, says, "the barley and flax are now far advanced; the former is in the ear and the latter is bolled, and it seems to be about this season of the year that God brought the plague of thunder and hail upon the Egyptians, to punish the guilty Pharaoh who had hardened his presumptuous heart against the miracles of Omnipotence." (Travels,' vol. ii. p. 163.)
"Rie", kusemeth).—It is generally agreed that the Hebrew word does not mean rye; but it is not at all agreed what it does mean. The Septuagint renders the word by λupa, but it is almost equally uncertain what this word denotes: it is, however, commonly rendered by spelt, although the claims of rye, oats, fitches, rice, maize, and millet, have all been advocated. Spelt certainly has the majority of voices; but it does not appear that this grain
now exists in Egypt, and it is certainly not cultivated there. The existing state of agriculture in Egypt affords no data to assist our conclusions on the subject, as some important objects of ancient cultivation appear to have been abandoned for millet and maize. Whatever were the grain in question, it must, if really identical with the olyra, have occupied an important place among the cerealia of ancient Egypt, as Herodotus describes this as being that which the Egyptians principally used for bread.
1 God threateneth to send locusts. 7 Pharaoh, moved by his servants, inclineth to let the Israelites go. 12 The plague of the locusts. 16 Pharaoh sueth to Moses. 21 The plague of darkness. 24 Pharaoh sueth unto Moses, 27 but yet is hardened.
AND the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh 'for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him:
2 And that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son's son, what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that I am the LORD.
3 And Moses and Aaron came in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? let my people go, that they may serve
4 Else, if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, to morrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast:
1 Chap. 4. 21. Wisd, 16. 9.
7 And Pharaoh's servants said unto him, How long shall this man be a snare unto us? let the men go, that they may serve the LORD their God: knowest thou not yet that Egypt is destroyed?
8 And Moses and Aaron were brought again unto Pharaoh : and he said unto them, Go, serve the LORD God: but who are they that shall go?
9 And Moses said, We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and
4 Heb, who and who, &c.
3 Heb. eye.
your God, that he may take away
18 And he went out from Pharaoh, and intreated the LORD.
19 And the LORD turned a mighty strong west wind, which took away the locusts, and cast them into the Red sea; there remained not one locust in all the coasts of Egypt.
20 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go.
21 And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, 'even darkness which may be felt.
22 And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days:
23 They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.
24 And Pharaoh called unto Moses, and said, Go ye, serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed let your little ones also go with you.
25 And Moses said, Thou must give us also sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice unto the LORD our God.
15 For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they did cat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left and there remained not any green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the field, through all the land of Egypt.
16 Then Pharaoh 'called for Moses and Aaron in haste; and he said, I have sinned against the LORD your God, and against you.
17 Now therefore forgive, I pray thee, my sin only this once, and intreat the LORD
29 And Moses said, Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more.
Heb. hastened to call. 6 Heb. fastened. 7 Heb. that one may feel darkness. 8 Wisd. 18. 1. 9 Heb. into our hands.
26 Our cattle also shall go with us; there shall not an hoof be left behind; for thereof must we take to serve the LORD our God; and we know not with what we must serve the LORD, until we come thither.
27 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let them go.
28 And Pharaoh said unto him, Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die.
Verse 7. "How long shall this man be a snare unto us?"-We agree with Dr. Boothroyd, in understanding this as applying rather to the conduct of Pharaoh than to that of Moses. The king's obstinacy had already nearly ruined Egypt, and he now learns that his courtiers were not at all satisfied with his continued refusal to yield to the demand of the Israelites. We see the influence of this discovery upon his mind, in his declared unwillingness to let them go on certain conditions. First, the men might have liberty to go, if they left their families and property behind (verse 11); and then all the people might go, but the flocks and herds must remain (verse 24). The answer of Moses, that not a hoof should be left behind (verse 26), is still a proverbial expression in the East to imply an entire removal. Mr. Roberts says, that the Hindoos say "not a tail," in the same sense. When the king began to relax a little from his first absolute refusal, his wish naturally was to detain some part of their families and property as a security for their return.
12. "Locusts" (8 Arbeh).—The locust, Gryllus migratorius, belongs to the same family as the cricket and grasshopper. It is about two inches and a half in length, and is for the more part green with dark spots. The mandibles or jaws are black, and the wing coverts are of a bright brown spotted with black. It has an elevated ridge or crest upon the thorax, or that portion of the body to which the legs and wings are attached. The locusts here mentioned, are said to be unlike any that were seen before or after, in size and numbers. There is another species found in Egypt, Barbary, and the south of Europe, the Gryllus Ægyptius, which is somewhat larger than the migratorius. The voracity with which the Gryllus migratorius eats up every thing that is green and tender has rendered a visit from a