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that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, and my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them. And Moses and Aaron did as the Lord commanded them, so did they. And Moses was fourscore years old, and Aaron fourscore and three years old, when they spake unto Pharaoh. And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, shew a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, take thy, rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent. And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the Lord had commanded and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers; now the magicians of Egypt, they also I did in like manner with their enchantments. For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods. And he hardened Pharaoh's heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said. And the Lord said unto Moses, Pharaoh's heart is hardened, he refuseth to let the people go. Get thee unto Pharaoh in the morning; lo, he goeth out unto the water; and thou shalt stand by the river's brink against he come; and the rod which was turned to a serpent shalt thou take in thine hand. And thou shalt say unto him, the Lord God of the Hebrews hath sent me unto thee, saying, let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness: and, behold, hitherto thou wouldest not hear. Thus saith the Lord, in this thou shalt know that I am the Lord: behold, I will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood. And the fish that is in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall lothe to drink of the water of the river. And the Lord spake unto Moses, say unto Aaron, take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone. And Moses and Aaron did so, as the Lord commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. And the fish that was in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt. And the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, neither did he hearken unto them; as the Lord had said. And Pharaoh turned and went into his house, neither did he set his heart to this also. And all the Egyptians digged round about the river for water to drink; for they could not drink of the water of the
river. And seven days were fulfilled, after that the Lord had smitten the river."
This chapter commences with a most singular remark, "And the Lord said unto Moses, See I have made thee a God to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet." What inference can be drawn from this? Moses a god, and Aaron his prophet? Accordingly Moses begins to give Pharaoh a proof of his power in necromancy, and turns Aaron's rod into a serpent. Pharaoh to shew Moses that he is a god of equal power, sends for his prophets or magicians, and makes them do the same. But Aaron's rod swallowed all the others! This must have been a clever trick: the Indian Juggler's swallowing a sword could not be more astonishing than this. The story is not complete here, for we have no account that the serpent was re-converted to a rod, and yet we find it called a rod again when Moses goes to meet Pharaoh at the waterside, and changes all the water into blood. We are told that all the water was turned into blood, both that in the river, and all that the Egyptians had in their houses, in their wells, or in their cisterns, and that all the fish in the river died, and the river stank, and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt. Directly after we are told that the Egyptian prophets did so with their enchantments: really this is too bad even for the Bible! Where could the Egyptians find water to do it? Another circumstance would be that the lack of water for seven days in so hot a climate would have killed every animal, man or beast, except the camel, So much for these two
I proceed with the eighth chapter;/
"And the Lord spake unto Moses, go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, thus saith the Lord, let my people go, that they may serve me. And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs: And the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into thine house, and into thy bedchamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy kneading-troughs: And the frogs shall come up both on thee, and upon thy people, and upon all thy servants. And the Lord spake unto Moses, say unto Aaron, stretch forth thine hand with thy rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds, and cause frogs to come up upon the land of Egypt. Aud Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt. And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the laud of Egypt. Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, intreat the Lord, that he may take away the frogs from
me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may do sacrifice unto the Lord. And Moses said unto Pharaoh, glory over me: when shall I intreat for thee, and for thy servants, and for thy people, to destroy the frogs from thee and thy houses, that they may remain in the river only? And he said, to-morrow. And he said, be it according to thy word: that thou mayest know that there is none like unto the Lord our God. And the frogs shall depart from thee, and from thy houses, and from thy servants, and from thy people; they shall remain in the river only. And Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh: and Moses cried unto the Lord because of the frogs which he had brought against Pharaoh. And the Lord did according to the word of Moses; and the frogs died out of the houses, out of the villages, and out of the fields. And they gathered them together upon heaps: and the land stank. But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said. And the Lord said unto Moses, say unto Aaron, stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt. And they did so; for Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod, and smote the dust of the earth, and it became lice in man, and in beast; all the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt. And the magicians did so with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not: so there was lice upon man, and upon beast. Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, this is the finger of God: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said. And the Lord said unto Moses, rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh; lo, he cometh forth to the water; and say unto him, thus saith the Lord, let my people go, that they may serve me. Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses, and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are. And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end that thou mayest know that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth. And I will put adivision between my people and thy people: to-morrow shall this sign be. And the Lord did so; and there came a grievous swarm of flies into the house of Pharaoh, and into his servants houses, and into all the land of Egypt: the land was corrupted by reason of the swarm of flies. And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land. And Moses said, it is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the Lord our God: lo, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone us? We will go three days' journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to the Lord our God, as he shall command us. And Pharaoh said, I will let you go, that ye may sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness; only ye shall not go very far away; intreat for me. And Moses said, behold, I
go out from thee, and I will intreat the Lord that the swarmis of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, to-morrow: but let not Pharaoh deal deceitfully any more in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the Lord. And 'Moses went out from Pharaoh, and intreated the Lord. And the Lord did according to the word of Moses; and he removed the swarms of flies from Pharoal, from his servants, and from his people; there remained not one. And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go."
The next miracle that is présented to us, is that of the frogs, and we are told that they went into houses, the bed-chambers, and even into the ovens. Now we know that a frog is a very timid and harmless creature, that it seldom leaves the pool or river, unless by night, and that it immediately leaps into the water on any thing approaching it. They could not live long out of the water, being an amphibious creature, yet we are told that they went into the ovens of the Egyptians, whilst they were hot I presume! I should mention that the Nile, at the time of its inundation, is rubrified by the quantity of red soil which it brings down with it, and that when the waters subside from the land, they leave this red earth as a manure for the ground, which makes the land of Egypt so extremely fertile; this river also abounds with frogs, and no doubt when the waters subside and return to their channel, many are left on the ground. This I consider to be the ground of those two miracles, or an excuse for forging them. We find that the magicians could also bring up frogs from the river. Moses is put to many schemes before he does something that they cannot do. We are told again in this chapter that Moses performed two other miracles which the Egyptian prophets could not do, the plague of lice and the plague of flies. I am not aware that Egypt abounds with lice, they generally arise from a want of cleanliness, which I think cannot be charged in the present day on Mahometans, who are more particular than the Jews in their ablutions and purifications. Egypt abounds with the Musquito fly, a dreadful annoyance to those whom they bite. We find that those plagues are removed, and that God amuses himself with hardening the heart of Pharaoh, that he might indulge his appetite with a little more cruelty. We must now take our leave of the Egyptian magicians as they are represented as being foiled by Moses, but we must recollect, that it is a Jew who tells the tale, and of course he would not have any one to outwit Moses,
I proceed with the ninth chapter:
"Then the Lord said unto Moses, go in unto Pharaoh, and tell him, thus saith tlie Lord God of the Hebrews, let my people go, that they may serve me. For if thou refuse to let them go, and wilt hold them still. Behold the hand of the Lord is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be a very grievous murrain. And the Lord shall sever between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt: and there shall nothing die of all that is the children's of Israel. And the Lord appointed a set time, saying, tomorrow the Lord shall do this thing in the land. And the Lord did that thing on the morrow, and all the cattle of Egypt died: but of the cattle of the children of Israel died not one. 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. And the Lord said tinto Moses and unto Aaron, take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh. 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. 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. And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians. And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had spokeır unto Moses. And the Lord said unto Moses, rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews, let my people go, that they may serve For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants. and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth. For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth. And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my hame may be declared throughout all the earth. As yet exaltest thon thyself against my people, that thou wilt not let them go? Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now. Send therefore now, and gather thy cattle, and all that thou hast in the field; for upon every man and beast which shall be found in the field, and shall not be brought home, the bail shall come down upon them, and they shall die. He that feared the word of the Lord among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses: And he that regarded not the word of the Lord left his servants and his cattle in the held. And the Lord