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go out, fight with Amalek; to-morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek : and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And it came to pass, when Moses held up his band, ibat Israel prevailed : and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aarou and Hur stayed up his hands, the oue on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua discomfited Amalek” and his people with the edge of the sword. And the Lord said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua : for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it JEHOVAH-nissi : For he said, Because the Lord hath sworn that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.

We have very little in this chapter to comment upon : in the first part of it, we find the Israelites again in a murmuring mood for want of water, and half inclined to stone their god, Moses, for bringing them from Egypt; but however, this is only preparatory to another miracle. Moses takes his wand, waves it over a rock, and forth comes water. The whole conduct of the Israelites is illustrative of Jacob's prayer, where he says to his god, “ If thou wilt clothe my back, and feed my belly, then I will serve thee.” The Israelites are not inclined to go a step beyond this, and are scarcely contented with this. We have also in this chapter, a curious account of a battle between the Israelites and Amalek, in which the name of Joshua is first introduced to us, as Captain-General of the forces. It appears, that Moses, Aaron, and Hur, retreated to a safe place, where they could see what was going on, without incurring any danger; and we are ludicrously told, that when Moses held up his hand, the Israelites prevailed, and when his hand dropped, Amalek prevailed. At last, they were obliged to prop and support the hands of Moses, to secure the victory to the Israelites. What was the other god, Jehovah, about? Perhaps asleep. This certainly was a strange issue for the battle to depend upon. It appears, that Moses liked praying better than fighting. It is but a fair question to ask, where the Israelites got their swords and arms to fight with? It is not at all probable that Pharaoh would have suffered such an immense host of slaves to possess arms in his dominions. The chapter concludes, with telling us that Jehovah swore he would fight with Amalek from generation to ge


"neration. I suppose Amalek was one of the giants who so nearly proved a match for the gods, of old.

I proceed with the eighteenth chapter : “Wben Jetbro, the priest of Midian, Moses' father in las, heard of all that God had done for Moses, and for Israel bis people, and that the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt; Then Jethro, Moses' father in law, took Zipporah, Moses' wife, after he had sent her back, And her two sons ; of which the name of the one was Gershom: for he said, I have been an alien in a strange land: And the name of the other was Elieger; for the God of my father, said he, was mine help, aud delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh: And Jethro Moses' father in law, came with his sops and his wife unto Moses into the wilderness, where he encamped at the mount of God: And he said unto Moses, I thy father in law Jethro am come unto tbee, and thy wife, and her two sons with her. And Moses went out to meet his father in law, and did obeisance, and kissed him; and they asked each other of their welfare; and they came into the tent. And Moses told his father in law all that the Lord had done unto Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel's sake, and all the travail that bad come upon them by the way, and how the Lord delivered them. And Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness which the Lord had done to Israel, whom he had delivered out of the hand of the Egyptians. And Jethro said, Blessed be the Lord who hath delivered you ont of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh. who hath delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians, Now I know that tho Lord is greater than all gods: for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly he was above them. And Jethro, Moses' father in law, took a burnt offering and sacrifices for God; a Aaron came, and all the elders of Israel, to eat bread with Moses' father in law before Gud. And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening. And when Moses's father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? Why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even? And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to enquire of God: When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws. And Moses' father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good. Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone. Hearken now uuto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God: And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk,' and the work that they must do. Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, aad rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee. If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace. So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said. And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them beads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of teus. And they judged the people at all seasons: the bard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves. And Moses let his father in law depart; and he went his

way into his own land."

The first thing that excites our curiosity here, is how the wife and children of Moses should come with Jethro, since we travelled with them into Egypt lately, with Moses, at the time that his brother, Jehovah, sought to kill him by the way, at the inn; and when Zipporah called Moses a bloody husband. We have no account whatever of Moses having sent her back, until we come to this chapter, when the sending back is mentioned after the second meeting. There is a strange incoherence in this chapter; for in the fourth verse, we find the youngest son of Moses saying, “ the God of my father was mine help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh," and just before, the eldest son is made to say, “I have been an alien in a strange - land.” These expressions would have been very suitable for the children of Moses to have used to their grandfather on their return from Egypt, but most inapplicable under the circumstances related here. It is a strange bungle, and would not do for any other book. I must leave it to Mr. Horne to get rid of this contradiction and inconsistency. We have also an account in this chapter, of Moses administering the statutes and the laws of God, before we have read of the ordination of any thing of the kind. Jethro is made to say,

Now I know that the Lord is greater than all Gods; for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly, he was above them.” Is not this a sufficient proof that the author, or compiler of this book, could have no idea of God, as a spiritual and omnipotent being ? Throughout the Bible, he is continually contrasted with other gods, and with kings of other pations. Although Moses is imposed upon us


as a divine legislator, this chapter clearly shews us, that Jethro was better skilled in ruling a community, and Moses readily submits to his directions.

I now proceed to the nineteenth chapter:

" In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount. And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, thus slalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then


shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine. And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou slalt speak unto the children of Israel. And Moses came and called for the clders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him. And all the people answered together, and said, all that the Lord hath spoken, we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord. And the Lord said unto Moses, lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. Aud Muses told the , words of the people nnto the Lord. And the Lord said unto Moses, go unto the people and sanctify them 10-day and to-morrow, and let them wash their clothes; And be ready against the third day, for the third day the Lori will come down in ihe sight of all the people upon mount Sivai. And thou shall set bounds unto the people round about, saying, take beed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death: There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned or shot through : whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come to the mount. And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes. And he said unto the people, be ready against the third day: come uot at your wives. And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and liglitnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that a:l the people that was in the camp, trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the nether part of the mount. And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof asceuded as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the trumpet sonuded long and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by "a voice.

And the Lord came down upon mount Sinai on the top of

the mount; and the Lord called Moses up to the top of the mount, and Moses went up. And the Lord said unto Moses, go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the Lord to gaze, and many of them perish. And let the priests alse, which come near to the Lord sanctify themselves, lest the Lord break forth upon them., And Moses said unto lhe Lord, the people cannot come up to mount Sinai: for thou chargedst us, saying, set bounds about the mount and sanctify it. And the Lord said unto him, away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou and Aaron with thee: but let not the priests and the people break through, lo come up unto the Lord, lest he break forth upon them. So Moses went down unto the people, and spake unto them.”

If I could for a moment imagine, that there was a particle of truth in this narrative, I should think it a trick played off by Moses on the Israelites, and that he kept them at a proper distance from the mount, lest they should be near enough discover the fraud. But there is a strange contradiction again in this chapter, in one part we are told, that the Israelites were ordered to keep at a respectful distance from the mount, and that whoever or whatever touched it, should be shot through and killed'; and in the very same verse, we are told, that when the trumpet goundeth long they shall come up to the mount. We read also, in this chapter, of Priests before any thing of the kind had been instituted among the Israelites, as the story runs: in the early part their God is represented as saying to them, “ Ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” But this would not do for a whole community to be priests, for wherever they exist, there must be slaves to work and support them. This has been the case heretofore, and will always continue to be so, whilst they are suffered to impose upon and corrupt mankind.


I proceed with the twentieth chapter
1. And God spake all these words, saying,

2 I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

4. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in beaven above, or that is in the eartli beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

5 Thou shalt not bow dowu thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me:

6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.

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