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said unto Moses, stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt. 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. So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. 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. Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail, And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moges and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time: the Lord is righteous, and I and my people are wicked. Intreat the Lord (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty thunderings and hail; and I will let you go, and ye shall stay no longer. And Moses said unto him, as soon as I am gone out of the city, I will spread abroad my hands unto the Lord; and the thunder shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail; that thou mayest know how that the earth is the Lord's. But as for thee and thy servants, I know that ye will not yet fear the Lord God. And the flax and the barley was smitten for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was boiled. But the wheat and the rye were not smitten: for they were not grown up. And Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh, and spread abroad his hands unto the Lord: and the thunders and hail ceased, and the rain was not poured upon the earth. And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants. And the heart of Pharaoh' was hardened, neither would he let the children of Israel go; as the Lord had spoken by Moses."
In this chapter we are told, that by a cruel miracle, all the cattle in the land of Egypt were destroyed by a murrain, and they are described as consisting of horses, asses, camels, oxen, and sheep. Now we were told in the book of Genesis, that a shepherd was an abomination to the Egyptians, which led me to consider, that the Egyptians were not in the habit of keeping and breeding sheep and oxen; and commentators have ascribed two reasons for this; the first is, that a band of shepherds had once overrun and conquered the land of Egypt and committed great cruelties and excesses among the people, which, ever after, made the Egyptians loathe, and detest a shepherd: the second reason is, that as there are no pasture lands in Egypt, they cannot rear their flocks to any advantage, as but little or no rain falls in that country, and the land entirely depends on the exundation of the Nile for moisture, after which exundation, they plant their various kinds of seed
for corn, &c. I was rather surprized, though I did not think it worth notice, when I read of Pharaoh telling Joseph to select the most skilful of his brethren, and place them over his (Pharaoh's) flocks of cattle. I understand from such antient history as we possess, which can only be considered a mixture of fact and fable, the latter generally preponderating, that the early inhabitants of Egypt worshipped almost every kind of animal, and consequently, that they did not kill any animals, nor use them as food; hence, wc might, from all those circumstances, and from the former assertion in Genesis, wonder what oxen and sheep there could be in Egypt, since we are distinctly told, that none of those in the land of Goshen that belonged to the children of Israel died: which circumstance, it is further stated, hardened Pharaoh's heart still further.
The next miracle, which those cruel Gods, Jehovah and Moses, with their prophet Aaron, practised on the Egyptians, was to sprinkle handfuls of ashes, taken from a furnace, in the air, in the sight of Pharaoh, which ashes became small dust throughout the land of Egypt, and produced boils or blains upon both man and beast. And it appears, that the God Moscs spit his spite upon the magicians of Egypt, the better to convince them that they were not equal with him, for they also were covered with boils, and could not stand before him. We have a most striking instance in this chapter, that the God whom the Jews worshipped, was considered the patron of vice and cruelty. The God Jehovah, tells the God Moses to say to the Egyptian God, or Pharaoh, as follows:- For "I will at this time, send all my plagues upon thine heart, "and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou CC mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth. ર (Here is an evident contest for superiority.) For now I "will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee, and thy CC people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the "earth. And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee ર up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name 66 may be declared throughout all the earth." Can this be an omnipotent, and all-merciful God? No! This chapter conIcludes with the miracle of the thunder and the hail which killed both man and beast which were in the field, and all vegetation, and every tree was destroyed. Now, this chapter in itself is enough to destroy the authenticity of the whole Bible. The stupid inventor of those terrific plagues of Egypt has first destroyed all the cattle with a murrain, which sig
nifies a rot or wasting away, he then when they are dead, covers them with boils and blains, he kills them a second time with the hail, and lastly, we shall find that he drowns all the horses and asses in the Red Sea, and thus kills them a third time. Yet this is called the Book of Truth! The word of God! And such like lying epithets.
I proceed with the tenth chapter:-
"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: 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. 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 me. Else, if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, to morrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast: And they shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth; and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth for you out of the field: And they shall fill thy houses, and the houses of all thy servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians; which neither thy fathers' nor thy father's fathers have seen, since the day that they were upon the earth unto this day. And he turned him self, and went out from Pharaoh. And Pharaoh's servants said unto him, how long shall this man be a suare unto us? let the men go, that they may serve the Lord their God: knowest thou not yet that Egypt is destroyed? And Moses and Aaron were brought again unto Pharaoh and he said unto them, go, serve the Lord your God: but who are they that shall go? And Moses said, we will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast unto the Lord. And he said unto them, let the Lord be so with you, as I will let you go, and your little ones: look to it; for evil is before you. Not so: go now ye that are men, and serve the Lord; for that ye did desire. And they were driven out from Pharaoh's presence. And the Lord said unto Moses, stretch out thine hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come up upon the land of Egypt, and eat every herb of the land, even all that the hail hath left. And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the Lord brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. And the locusts went up over all the land of Egypt, and` rested in all the coasts of Egypt: very grievous were they; before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such. For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the
fruit of the trees which the hail had left: and there remained not aný green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the field, through all the land of Egypt. Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste; and he said, I have sinned against the Lord your God, and against you. Now therefore forgive, I pray thee, my sin only this once, and intreat the Lord your God, that he may take away from me this death only. And he went out from Pharaoh, and intreated the Lord. 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. But the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go. 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. And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. 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. 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. And Moses said, thou must give us also sacrifices
and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice unto the Lord our God. 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. But the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let them go. 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. And Moses said, thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more."
A little more cunning is displayed with respect to the locusts: the fabulist has only allowed them to destroy what the hail had not destroyed of vegetation. Those flights of locusts. are by no means uncommon in Egypt, and the countries about it, and their numbers and destructive qualities, carr only be comprehended by travellers and others, who have witnessed them. Their appearance in those countries is natural, and not miraculous. The next story, or plague, or miracle, or what else the reader likes to call it, is the darkness that might be felt. We might imagine this to have been one of our intense London fogs, did we not know, that they are not incident in Egypt, nor throughout Asia and Africa, nothing of the kind ever occurring in those parts; therefore, the fable of this miracle of darkness, must have arisen from the circumstances of a total eclipse, if any ground be sought for it: but even the darkness of an eclipse lasts but for a few minutes, and is not such a darkness as is described in this chapter; for, if the at
mosphere be clear, we have a light from the stars, similar to a star-light night. Whether the author of the book of Exodus be the author of the book of Genesis, or not, he was equally ignorant of the properties of light and darkness. They are represented as if this Jewish Deity could hold light in one. hand and darkness in the other, and scatter them just as he pleased, as we are told here; that in the houses of the Egyptians, there was darkness, and in the houses of the Israelites there was light. A proof of the miracle, cries the Jew and the Christian. I, who believe in nothing supernatural, say it is a proof of a fable.
I proceed to the eleventh chapter:
"And the Lord said unto Moses, yet will I bring one plague more. upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence: when he shall let you go, he shall surely thrust you out hence altogether. Speak now in the ears of the people, and let every man borrow of his neighbour, and every woman of her neighbour, jewels, of silver, and jewels of gold. And the Lord gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh's servants, and in the sight of the people. And Moses said, thus saith the Lord, about midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne even unto the firstborn of the maid servant, that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts., And their shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more. But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast; that ye may know, how that the Lord doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel. And all these thy servants shall come down unto me, and bow down themselves unto me, saying, get thee out, and all the people that follow thee; and after that I will go out. And he went out from Pharaoh in a great anger. And the Lord said unto Moses, Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt. And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh: and the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go ont of his land.”
The first part of this chapter makes the Jewish Deity the patron of theft; and not only the patron, but the instigator. The conclusion of the last chapter told us that Pharaoh drove away Moses, and bid him, if he wished to live, to see his face no more! To which Moses replied, "I will see thy face no more." In the present chapter, we find Moses talking to Pharaoh, in a much higher strain than usual, and