Page images
PDF
EPUB

HEADS OF PRACTICAL REFLECTION.

V. 5. In the history of the church, it is the special aim of the Spirit to present its humble beginnings in strong con trast with the abundant increase and ample prosperity. of its more advanced periods.

V. 6. Generations, as well as individuals, bow to the universal law of mortality; and in the counsels of God it is sometimes ordered that a better race should be succeeded by a worse.

V. 7. The land of enemies, and the scene of the most grinding oppression, is easily rendered in the providence of God a nursery for the increase of his church.

V. 8. Peculiar blessings from God, and fierce opposition from worldly powers, are not unfrequently connected in the lot of the church on earth.

V. 8. The people of God would have experienced less ill treatment at the hands of civil governments, were the national benefits which they are instrumental in procuring better appreciated and remembered.

V. 8. 9. The prosperity of the righteous is doubtless an eyc-sore to evil minded oppressors; but those who task their invention to devise methods of affliction are dealing wisely to compass their own destruction. Eccl. 7. 16, 'Make not thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?'

V. 10. Much of the real suffering of the saints in all ages has been inflicted on the ground of hypothetical offences. 'Lest when there falleth out,' &c.

V. 11. Counsels of wickedness ripen rapidly into acts and practices of cruelty against its objects.

V. 13. 14. The favor of God toward his children in affliction, is often the signal for their oppressors to load them with new burdens of anguish. . .

V. 15. How fiendish is the policy which would employ the tender and susceptible nature of woman in executing deeds of blood!

V. 17. The true fear of God will deter the weakest creatures who are capable of cherishing it, from the com

mission of sin, and when the command of man is put in competition with the command of God, they will boldly say with the intrepid disciples; Acts, 4. 19, 'Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more then unto God, judge ye.'

V. 19. Weak women, by the faith and fear of God are enabled to face the threatening brows of kings.

V. 20. Even in this world a supreme regard to the will of God seldom goes unrewarded. This reward is sometimes entailed as a precious legacy to generations yet

unborn.

V. 22. Relentless persecutors proceed from secret subtilty to open cruelty, and downright murder is the resource when other stratagems have failed of effecting their object.

CHAPTER II.

With the mention of what fact does the present chapter commence? v. 1.

6

"

"And there went.' The verb 'to go,' by a peculiarity of idiom in the original, is frequently employed in a sense including not the idea of locomotion, but simply that of commencing, or entering upon, an action or enterprise; thus, Gen. 35. 22, And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father's concubine.' Deut. 31. 1, And Moses went and spake these words unto all Israel.' Hos. 3. 1, 'Then said the Lord unto me, Go, yet love a woman beloved of her friend.' The word in such connexions may not improperly be considered as an expletive. Something similar occurs in the N. T. Eph. 2. 17, And came and preached peace to you' This event, though mentioned after the date off Pharaoh's bloody edict, probably took place some

time before it.

What was the name of the man here spoken of, and what that of the woman whom he married? Ex. 6. 20. Num. 26. 59.

[ocr errors]

How were the parties related to each other? Ex. 6. 20.

Was marriage between kindred thus nearly related afterward forbidden? Lev. 18. 12.

Who were the fruits of this marriage? Num. 26. 59.

Of these, Miriam was the eldest and Moses the youngest, being three years the junior of Aaron, as appears from Exodus 7. 7. Moses was born A. M. 2428; 59 after the death of Joseph, and 80 before the departure from Egypt.

What did the woman observe remarkable in her son, and how did he escape the doom of other male infants of the Hebrews? v. 2.

'Saw him that he was a goodly child;' Heb. ' saw him that he was good.' The original term is applied to the endowments both of the body and the mind. See note on Gen. 39. 6. The corresponding Gr. word, Acts, 7. 20, is rendered'exceeding fair, lit. 'fair to God.' In Heb. 11. 23, it is rendered 'proper' he was a proper child.'

What does the Apostle say of the motives by which his parents were actuated in this concealment of their child? Heb. 11. 13.

What measure did his mother adopt when it was found impracticable any longer to conceal him? v. 3.

'Took for him an ark of bulrushes; Heb. ' of bulrush.' The original term for 'bulrush' (Goma) is derived from a verb signifying to swallow, to sup up, to drink, and is so named from its remarkably absorbing the water where it grows, as appears from Job, 8. 11. Can the rush (Goma -the Egyptian reed Papyrus) grow up without mire?' It is a plant growing on the banks of the Nile, and in marshy grounds. The stalk is of a vivid green, of a triangular form, and tapering toward the top. At present it is rarely found more than ten feet long, about two feet or little more of the lower part of the stalk being covered with hollow sharp-pointed leaves which overlap each other like

scales, and fortify the most exposed part of the stem. It terminates in a tuft or crown of small grassy filaments, each about a foot long. Near the middle each of these filaments parts into four, and in the point of partition are four branches of flowers, the termination of which is not unlike an ear of wheat in form, but is in fact a soft silky husk. This singular vegetable was used for a variety of purposes, the principal of which was the structure of boats and the manufacture of paper. In regard to the first, we are told by Pliny that a piece of the acacia-tree was put in the bottom to serve as a keel, to which the plants were joined lengthwise, being first sewed together, then gathered up at stem and stern, and made fast by means of a ligature. These vessels are still to be seen on the engraven stones and other monuments of Egyptian antiquity. According to Dr. Shaw* the vessels of bulrushes or papyrus mentioned in sacred and profane history were no other than large fabrics of the same kind with that of Moses, which from the introduction of plank and stronger materials, are now laid aside. The prophet's words, Is. 18. 2. That sendeth ambassadors by the sea, even in vessels of bulrushes upon the waters,' are supposed to allude to the same kind of sailing craft. Plinyt takes notice of the naves papyraceas armentaque Nili;' ships made of the papyrus, and the equipments of the Nile; and Lucan, the poet, has, Conseritur bibula Memphitis cymba papyro,' the Memphian (or Egyptian) boat is made of the thirsty papy rus, where the epithet 'bibula,' drinking, soaking, thirsty is particularly remarkable, as corresponding with great exactness to the nature of the plant, and to its Hebrew name. The Egyptian bulrush or papyrus required much water for its growth; when therefore the river on whose banks it grew was reduced, it perished sooner than other plants. This explains Job, 8. 11, where the circumstance is referred to as an image of transient prosperity.'Daubed it with slime (bitumen) and with pitch.' The 'bitumen' cemented the rushes or reeds together, the 'pitch' served to keep out the water. See note on Gen.

6

6

11. 3.

By what means was the child discovered and again brought to his mother's arms? v. 4-8.

* Travels, p. 437.

{N. H, 1, vi. c 16.

'His sister;' doubtless his sister Miriam, as we do not read of his having any other. To wit; Heb. 'to know.' Gr. And his sister espied afar off to learn what should befall him.'-' Came down to wash (herself) at the river;' not so much for pleasure, as for purification, it being a religious rite, as the Nile, like the Ganges, was anciently worshipped as a divinity. The spot selected by the females of the court was probably at the lower end of the gardens pertaining to the royal palace, in a place provided expressly for the purpose, and concealed from public view. It will be observed that the preposition is at,' not 'in.' This is rendered in the Gr. by Epi,' which in Rev. 9. 14, ought probably to be translated in the same manner ;— The four angels which are bound at (not in) the great river Euphrates;' i. e. which have been hitherto providentially restrained and confined in the vicinity of the great river, in the region bordering upon it; where it may be remarked, that angels is but another name for the nations or people over which they are represented in prophecy as presiding. Thus Dan. 10. 13, But the prince (tutelary angel) of the kingdom of Persia withstood me.'-'She sent her maid to fetch it,' Heb. She sent her maid and took it;' i. e. she took it by the hand of her maid.-'She saw the child and behold the babe wept;' rather, 'She saw (closely contemplated) the child, and behold a male infant weeping!' 'Babe,' as it does not discriminate the sex, is not an exact or adequate rendering of the original 'Naar,' which strictly denotes a male child, and is here employed expressly for that purpose.

What did Pharaoh's daughter say on committing the child to the care of his mother, and what was his subsequent lot? v. 9. 10.

What name did she bestow upon him, and what is its import?

'Moses; Heb. 'Mosheh,' from the verb 'Mâshâ,' to draw out, occurring Ps. 18. 16, 'He sent from above, he took me; he drew me out of many waters.' The Psalmist seems to liken his preservation to that of Moses. Although the Egyptians did not speak the Hebrew language, yet as it appears from Ex. 11. 2, that the two people lived in a great measure intermingled together, the

« PreviousContinue »