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it was kept up with great rigour. Ye shall no more, says the prince of the country, give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them 80 and gather straw for themselves. Exod.

V. 7.

V. 8. And the tale of the bricks which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them, &c. V. 9. Let there more work be laid upon the men.

V. 12. So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt, to gather stubble instead of straw. Such were the severities with which they were treated; yet they multiplied greatly notwithstanding. The fruitfulness of the women was wonderful: a circumstance observable in all the women of that country. For it is said, that the soil and air of that climate, and particularly the


'Strabo accordingly says, that the Nile was esteemed of a fecundifying nature; and that women had sometimes fourchildren at a birth; and that Aristotle mentioned a woman that had seven.Και τον Νειλον δ' ειναι γονιμον μαλλον ἑτερων. Τας δε γυναίκας εσθ' ότε και τετράδυμα τικτειν τας Αιγυπτίας. Αριστ τοτέλης δε και ἑπταδυμα τινα ίςορει τετοκεναι. 1 15. p. 1018. Aulus Gellius gives the same account from Aristotle; but, instead of seven children at a birth, speaks only of five. Aristoteles philosophus tradidit mulierem in Ægypto uno partu quinque enixam pueros. 1. 10. c. v. p. 503. Hence Casaubon alters

waters, co-operated greatly to this purpose. But the sojourners seem in this respect to have surpassed the natives; and to have caused a general alarm among them, for fear they might one day be outnumbered. This produced that crueledict of the king, who is said not to have known Jọseph. And the consequence of it was the destruction of numberless innocents, who were sacrificed to the jealousy of the Egyptians. And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river. Exod. ch. i. ver. 22.

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About the commencement of these calamitous times, it was the fortune of Moses to be born. His mother was too well acquainted with the fatal orders, which had been given; but her natural affection got the better of her fears, and led her to elude what she could not oppose. She therefore privately nursed her child, till it at last grew too large to be concealed. At the expiration of three months, she found that his life must be given up; and her own would at the same time be forfeited: for there was no avoiding a discovery. But, that she might not be the immediate cause of her child's

ἑπτάδυμα to πεντάδυμα Sec liis notes. See also Aristot. de Generat. Animal. 1. 4. c. 4.

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death, she formed a scheme of exposing him upon the waters. She accordingly constructed an ark, or floating machine, of rushes; and having disposed of him in it, and covered it over for security, she placed it carefully near a bank of the Nile among the flags; that it might not be carried away with the stream. At the same time her daughter stood at some distance to observe the event: and see what would become of her infant brother. It was now early in the morning; and it happened that Pharaoh's daughter, with several female attendants, came down towards the side of the river to bathe herself. As she came near, she perceived the ark among the flags, and ordered one of her maids to fetch it out of the water. She opened it herself, and to her surprise perceived the child, which immediately wept. This providentially touched the heart of the king's daughter. It is one of the Hebrew's children, says the princess: and at the same time intimated her compassion. The child's sister, who stood by, took hold of this favourable opportunity; and desired to know, if she might go for an Hebrew nurse; that the infant might be preserved, towards whom the


princess had shewn such compassion.
Pharaoh's daughter said unto her, Go. And the
maid went and called the child's mother. Here
we see an amazing concurrence of circum-
stances; and those of great moment, and
highly interesting; which could not be the
effect of chance. They were certainly brought
about by that divine wisdom, which can in-
fluence our hearts, and order our goings, and
make us subservient to the will of God.
Which often makes use of a series, and evo-
lution of events, simple in themselves and ob- !
vious, but wonderful in their texture and
combination, towards the accomplishment of
his high decrees.

When the very mother of the infant was thus covertly introduced to be his nurse, Exod. ch. ii. ver. 9. Pharaoh's daughter said unto her, Take this child away and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the woman took the child, and nursed it.

· And


V. 10. And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her And she called his name Moses: and she


Exod. ii. 8.

2 There are some very curious extracts from the ancient Egyptian histories concerning these events, which have been



said, Because I drew him out of the water. For • Mo and Mos, in the ancient Fgyptian tongue, as well as in other languages, signified water. Thus we see, through the disposition of Providence, a helpless and forlorn child rescued from a state of death; and, after having been in a wonderful manner restored to the bosom of the mother, who had exposed him, we find him at last brought to a state both of security and honour, being adopted into the family of Pharaoh. But this station, though it ensured his safety, yet was rather unfavourable to the purposes for which he was designed. He might, by these means, become learned in all the knowledge of the Egyptians; but at the same time he was liable to be initiated in their


transmitted by Artapanus. These, though mixed with fable, afford very interesting intelligence. See Eusebius Præp. Evang. 1. ix. p. 434.


Το γαρ ύδως μως ονομάζεσιν Αιγυπτιοί. Philo in Vita Mosis, v. 2. p. 83.

Το γαρ ύδως μου ονομάζεσιν Αιγυπτιοι, Clemens Αlex. 1. 1. P. 412.

Το γαρ ίδως μω οι Αιγύπτιοι καλεσι. Josephus Antig. 1. 2. c. 9. p. 100. see also contra Apion. v. 2. l. 1. p. 465. Mav. Clemens expresses it Möu; and it is to be found still in the Coptic. See Lexicon Copt. p. 57. published by Mr Woide wor. He is therefore very rightly stiled Mauros, Mousus by Artapanus. Euseb. P. E. 1. 9. p. 432.

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