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bis resisting his return into Egypt, Moses, most skilful in astronomy, caused two images to be engraven in two precious stones; whereof the one increased memory, the other caused forgetfulness. These he set in two rings, whereof he gave the one, to wit, that of oblivion, to his wife Tharbis, reserving the other of memory for himself; which ring of forgetfulness, after she had a while worn, she began to neglect the love she bare her husband; and so Moses without danger returned into Egypt. But leaving these fancies to the authors of them ; it is true, that about the 40th year of Moses's age, when he beheld an Egyptian offering violence to one of the oppressed Hebrews, moved by compassion in respect of his brother, and stirred up by disdain against the other, in the contention he slew the Egyptian. Soon after which act, finding a disposition in some of his own nation to accuse him, for whose defence he had thus greatly endangered his own life; by the ordinance and advice of God, whose chosen servant he was, he fled into Arabia Petræa, the next bordering country to Egypt; where wandering all alone, as a man left and forsaken, in a place unknown unto him, as among a nation of barbarous strangers, and who in future times were the irreconcileable enemies of the Hebrews; it pleased God (working the greatest things by the weakest worldly means) to make the watering of a few sheep, and the assisting of the daughters of Raguel the Madianite, an occasion whereby to provide him a wife of one of those, and a father-in-law, that fed him and sustained him in a country nearest Egypt, fittest to return from ; necessary to be known, because interjacent between Egypt and Judæa, through which he was to lead the Israelites; and wherein God held him, till the occasion, which God presented, best served. And lastly, where the glory of the world shined least, amidst mountainous deserts, i there the glory of God, which shineth most, covered him over, and appeared unto him, not finding him as a king's son, or an adopted child of great Pharaoh's daughter, but as a meek and humble shepherd, sitting at a mountain foot; a keeper and commander of those poor beasts only.



In that part of Arabia, near Madian, he consumed forty years. And though (as Philo in the story of Moses's life observeth) he did not neglect the care of those flocks committed to his charge, but that he excelled all others in that pastoral knowledge; yet in that solitary desert he enjoyed himself: and being separate from the press of the world, and the troublesome affairs thereof, he gave himself to contemplation, and to make perfect in himself all those knowledges, whereof his younger years had gathered the grounds and principles ; the same author also judging, that his pastoral life did excellently prepare him for the execution of the principality which he afterwards obtained : Est enim, saith Philo, ars pastoralis, quasi præludium ad regnum, hoc est, ad regimen hominum, gregis mansuetissimi. Quemadmodum bellicosa ingenia præexercent se in venationibus, experientia in feris, quod postea in militia et bello perfectura sunt; brutis præbentibus materiam exercitii, tam belli quam pacis tempore. At vero prefectura mansueti pecoris habet quiddam simile cum regno in subditis ; ideoque reges cognominantur pastores populorum, non contumelia sed honoris gratia ; “ The art of keeping sheep is, as it were, an “ introductory exercise unto a kingdom, namely, the rule

over' men, the most gentle flock; even as warlike natures “ do beforehand exercise themselves in hunting, practis

ing on wild beasts those things which after they will ac“complish in warfare ; those brute beasts affording matter “ wherein to train themselves, both in time of war and of

peace. But the government of gentle cattle hath a kind 6 of resemblance unto a kingly rule over subjects; there“fore kings are styled shepherds of the people, not in way “ of reproach, but for their honour."

That Moses, in this time of his abode at Madian, wrote the book of Job, as Pererius supposeth, I cannot judge of it, because it is thought that Job was at that time living. Neither dare I subscribe to m Pererius's opinion, that Moses, while he lived in that part of Arabia, wrote the books of Genesis ; although I cannot deny the reason of Pererius's


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m Perer. in Exod. iii.

conjecture, that by the example of Job's patience he might strengthen the oppressed Hebrews; and by the promises of God to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, put them in assurance of their delivery from the Egyptian slavery, and of the land of rest and plenty promised.

Of his calling back into Egypt by the angel of God, and the marvels and wonders which he performed, thereby to persuade Pharaoh that he was the messenger of the Most High, the particulars are written in the first fourteen chapters of Exodus; and therefore to treat of all the particulars therein contained, it were needless. But for the first, it is to be noted, that when n Moses desired to be taught by God, by what name he should make him known, and by whom he was sent, he received from God so much as man could comprehend of his infinite and ever-being nature. Out of which he delivered him, in the first part of his answer, a name to be considered of by the wisest; and in his second, to be understood by all. For there is nothing that is or hath being of itself, but the eternal; which truly is, which is above all, which is immutable. The bodies of men are changed every moment; their substance wasteth, and is repaired by nutriment; never continuing at one stay, nor being the same so long as while one may say, Now. Likewise, whatsoever is consumed in the longest continuance of time, the same in every shortest piece of time suffereth decay; neither doth any thing abide in one state: Una est Dei et sola natura, que vere est: id enim quod subsistit non habet aliunde, sed suum est. Cætera quæ creata sunt, etiamsi videntur esse, non sunt, quia aliquando non fuerunt, et potest rursum non esse, quod non fuit ; “ It is the “ one and only nature of God, which truly is ; for he hath “ his being of himself, and not from any thing without “ him. Other things that are created, although they seem “ to be, yet they are not, for sometimes they were not; 66 and that which hath not been, may again want being.” And with this, in respect of the divine nature, the saying of Zeno Eleates excellently agreeth: Tota rerum natura u Exod. iii. 13, 14, 15.

o Hieron. ad Dam.



umbra est, aut inanis, aut fallax ; “ The whole nature of

things is but a shadow, either empty or deceitful;" in comparison of whom, saith Isaiah, xl. 17. all nations are as nothing ; less than nothing, and vanity.

Of the ten plagues wherewith the Egyptians were stricken, the first was by changing the rivers into blood; God punishing them by those waters, into which their forefathers had thrown, and in which they had drowned, the innocent children of the Hebrews. To which this place of Rev. xvi. 5,6. may be fitly applied : And I heard the angel of the waters say, Lord, thou art just, which art, and which wast; and holy, because thou hast judged these things. For they shed the blood of thy saints and prophets, and therefore hast thou given them blood to drink.

The rest of the plagues, by frogs, lice, flies, or stinging wasps ; by the death of their cattle; by leprous scabs ; by hail and fire; by grasshoppers ; by darkness ; after which Pharaoh forbade Moses his presence; moved the hardened heart of the unbelieving king no longer than the pain and peril lasted, till such time as his own first-born, and the first-born of all his nation, perished. He then, while he feared his own life, (a time wherein we remember God perforce,) stood upon no condition; whereas before, he first yielded but to the departure of the men; then of the men, women, and children, reserving their bestial; but he was now content for the present, that the Israelites should not only depart with all their own, but with a part of the silver, gold, and jewels of his own people; of which (the fear being past) he suddenly repented him, as his pursuit after them proved. For when every one of the Hebrews had (according to direction from Moses received) slain a lamb, without spot or blemish, for the passover, (a sacrament of the most clean and unspotted Saviour,) and with the blood thereof coloured the post and lintel of the doors; the angel of God, in the dead of the night, smote every firstborn of Egypt, from the son of the king, to that of the beggar and slave; the children of the Israelites excepted. At which terrible judgment of God, Pharaoh being more than ever amazed, yielded, as before is said, to their departure. The Egyptians, saith p Epiphanius, did in aftertimes imitate this colouring with blood, which the Israelites used after the passover, ascribing an exceeding virtue to the red colour; and therefore they did not only mark their sheep and cattle, but their trees bearing fruit, to preserve them from lightning and other harms.

SECT. V. Of Pharaoh's pursuit of the Israelites; and of their passage to

wards the Red sea, so far as Succoth. NOW, when the people were removed, and on their way, (his heart being hardened by God, he bethought him as well of the honour lost, as of the shame remaining after so many calamities and plagues, in suffering them to depart with the spoils of his people, and in despite of himself. And having before this time great companies of soldiers in readiness, he consulted with himself what way the Israelites were like to take. He knew that the shortest and fairest passage was through the country of the Philistines. But because these people were very strong, and a warlike nation, and in all probability of his allies, he suspected that Moses meant to find some other outlet, to wit, through the desert of Etham; and there, because the country was exceeding mountainous, and of hard access, and that Moses was pestered with multitudes of women, children, and cattle, he thought it impossible for the Israelites to escape him that way. In the mean while, having gathered together all the chariots of 9 Egypt, and 600 of his own, and captains over them, he determined to set upon them in the plains of Gosen, which way soever they turned themselves. For it was the ancient manner to fight in those chariots, armed with broad and sharp hooks on both sides, in fashion like the mower's scythe, which kind of fight in chariots, but not hooked, the Britains used against the Romans, while they made the war for the conquest of this land. Of this p Epiphan. lib. 1. cont. Hæres.

4 Exod. xiv. 7,

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