« PreviousContinue »
language of each might have been to a considerable extent understood by the other; and in the present case it would not be unnatural that a Hebrew child should have bestowed upon it a Hebrew name.
What is said in the N. T. of Moses' training in the court of Egypt? Acts, 7. 22.
What remarkable circumstance occurred after Moses had attained maturity ? v. 11.
How is this circumstance related in the speech of Stephen ? Acts 7. 23.
How does the Apostle speak of the conduct and motives of Moses at this period of his history? Heb. 11. 24–26.
By what incident was his indignation aroused while • looking on the burdens' of his brethren, and what was he prompted to do? v. 11. 12. "When Moses was grown ;' not in stature only, but in repute, influence, and consideration at court. This is in several unequivocal instances the force of the original, and it is said of him by Stephen that he was mighty both in word and deed,'_ Looked on their burdens.' Gr. 'con. sidered their labor.' Verbs of the senses often imply in the Hebrew a connected working of the emotions or affec- ! tions of the heart. Here looking upon’ is viewing with sympathy and compassion, having his heart touched with the spectacle. Gen. 29. 32, 'And Leah conceived and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, surely the Lord hath looked upon my afflictions;' i. e. haih mercifully regarded. Eccl. 1. 16, My heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge ;' Heb.“my heart saw wisdom and knowledge. Eccl. 2. I. I said in my heart, go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure ;' Heb. see pleasure.' Ps. 118. 7. “Therefore shall I see (my desire) upon them that hate me ;' Heb. “therefore shall I look upon them that hate me'-Spied an Egyptian smiting;' probably one of the task-masters. As the orig. word for 'smiting,' is the same with that rendered - slew, in the next verse, it is probable that the Egyptian was actually attempting to kill the Hebrew, and that had it not been for
the intervention of Moses he would have effected his purpose. Thus, Ps. 136. 17, ‘To him which smole great kings ;' i. e. slew.
In what light is the conduct of Moses in this transaction to be viewed ? It is undoubtedly to be supposed that Moses was now acting under a divine commission, and that an iminediate impulse from the Spirit of God prompted him to the deed here recorded. This is to be inferred from the words of Stephen, Acts, 7, 25. 'For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them ;' implying that Moses himself understood this to be the fact. It is however worthy of note that Diodorus Siculus* informs us that a law existed in Egypt which might have been at this time in force, “That whoever saw his fellow.creature either killed by another, or violently assaulted, and did not either apprehend the murderer, or rescue the oppressed if he could; or if he could not, made not an information thereof to the magistrate, himself should be put to death.' For aught that can be affirmed to the contrary, Moses might have been warranted on this ground alone in proceeding to the extremity, he did. The act however cannot be pleaded as a precedent in ordinary cases. It bore perhaps a striking resemblance to the conduct of Phineas on another occasion, Num. 25. 7, 13, a conduct which was certainly approved of God. If it be objected that the secrecy observed by Moses both in performing the act and in disposing of the body, is scarceÎy consistent with the idea of his being empowered by the call and authority of God to execute his pleasure on this occasion, it may be observed, that as his calling, though clear to himself, had not yet been publicly manifested or accredited, it was fitting that a temporary concealment should be drawn over the present occurrence. Thus Ehud, Judy. 3. 21, though moved by an influence from above, slew Eglon king of Moab in a private chamber ; and Gideon, Judg. 6. 27, before his office of deliverer was publicly known, demolished the altar of Baal by night.:
What occurred when he went out from siinilar
* L. 1. p. 69.
motives on the second or succeeding day? 31, 14. That which is here rendered second day' is in Acts, 7.26. rendered next day.'—"To him that did the wrong ;' Heb. to the wicked one.' Who made thee a prince and a judge over us ?' Heb. who set thee for a man, a prince, and a judge over us ? Moses seems to have proceeded as one acting under authority, a character in which his countrymen were not yet prepared to receive him.—'Intendest thou to kill me. Heb.sayest thou to kill me.' See note on Gen. 20. 11,-Surely this thing is known;' Heb. • surely this word is known.'
What was Pharaoh prompted to do on account of this transaction, and whither did Moses flee for safety ? v. 15. "Sought to slay Moses ;' not so much perhaps with a view to avenge the death of a single individual of the Egyptian race, as because Moses had by this act discovered himself to be a friend and favorer of the oppressed Israelites, and given the king reason to suspect that he was secretly cherishing the purpose of one day attempting to effect their liberation. -Dwelt in the land of Midian;' Heb. 6 sat down;' the same word in the original with that applied in the ensuing clause to his seating himself by the well. Midian was a district of Arabia Petræa, lying to the south-east of Canaan.
How is this account of Moses' flight to be reconciled with that of the Apostle, Heb. 11. 27, who says, “ He feared not the wrath of the king ? Paul, it is supposed, alludes in this passage, not to Moses' flight into Midian, but to his final departure from Egypt at the head of the children of Israel.
From whom were the Midianites descended ? Gen. 25. 2.
With what family of distinction did Moses there become acquainted, and to what incident was it owing ? v. 16, 17. • The priest of Midian;' Chal. "prince of Midian.' The Heb. word Cohen' signifies 'prince' as well as priest,' as is shown in the note on Gen. 14. 18, and accordingly in the early ages of the world both these offices were often united in one and the same person. The humble occupation of his daughters will be no objection to this view of the title if the difference between ancient and modern customs be duly considered. As to his character of priest, being descended from Midian, the son of Abraham by Keturah, he in all probability retained and possessed the true religion; nor is it very supposable that had he been an idolater Moses would have married his daughter. - And the shepherds came and drove them away.' The Heb. term for them in this place is masculine, from which we are doubtless to understand that the daughters of Reuel were accompanied by men-servants who were under their direction. It would be strange indeed for a company of unprotected females to be thus employed, and equally strange, if they were without assistance, that such savage rudeness should be practised toward them by the shepherds.--Moses stood up and helped them ;' Heb. "Moses arose and saved them. This he probably did with the aid of the servants of Reuel, and perhaps with that of his own, as it is scarcely supposable that a person of such distinction would travel alone.—' And watered their flock;' i. e. helped them to water them. Here again the pronominal suffix 'their is in the masculine gender.
What conversation took place between Reuel and his daughters after their return home? v. 18, 20.
Reuel, their father ;' supposed by some to be the grandfather instead of the father of these young women, being the father of Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses; but more probably regarded by others as the same person with Jethro, only here designated for causes unknown by ano. ther name. Comp. Ex. 3. 1--4. 18. 18. Num. 10. 29.Come so soon ;' Heb. ‘hastened to come.'--'An Egyptian.'. This they interred from his speech and dress, or they had learned from his own month the country from which he cane.--Drew (water) enough for us; Heb. • drawing drew for us.' The word enough' is inserted in our translation in order to bring the expression somewhat nearer to the emphasis of the original.
What is said of Moses' farther continuance with the family of Reuel, and of the permanent connection which he at length formed with it? v. 21. • Moses was content;' Heb. ‘was willing, or perhaps more strictly, "prevailed upon himself, adopted the resolution. The word occurs in the following passages; Gen. 18. 27, Behold now I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord;' i. e. have persuaded myself. Josh. 7. 7. "Would to God we had been content, and dwelt on the other side Jordan;' i. e. had prevailed upon ourselves. Judg. 19. 6, · Be content, I pray thee, and tarry all night;' i. e. consent. 2 Sam. 7. 29, 'Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant;' i. c. be thou willing:• And he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter.' To this woman reference is made, Num. 12. 1. 'And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married : for he had married an Ethiopian woman. The original has Cushite' instead of
Ethiopian,' from the family of Reuel dwelling in the land. of Cush.-It may be remarked as a standing observation, that the sacred writers do not usually relate all the cira cumstances of a narrative, but only such as are most important. We may therefore suppose that a great many events intervened between Moses' entrance into Reuel's family and his marriage to his daughter; especially when we consider that his children were very young at the time of his departure into Egypt. Ex. 4. 20.
What was the fruit of this marriage, what was the name given to the child, and what its import?
"Gershom ;' i. e. desolate stranger; or, stranger there; or, stranger by name. All that is certain about the import of the name is, that the first syllable "Ger signifies stranger. The Gr. version here adds: “And she conceived again and bare a second son; and he called his name Eliezer, saying, For the God of my father is my helper, and hath delivered me from the hand of Pharaoh.' This addition was borrowed from Ex, 18. 4, where nearly the same words occur.
How long did Moses remain in the land of Midian ? Acts, 7. 30.