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the Phenicians Alpha signifies an ox, or an head: i. e. a chief, or leader. Again---Aλon, Tμn. By Alphe, is denoted value and honour. Axonsar, ανθρωποι εντιμοι, βασιλεις. Alphesta are honourable personages: kings and princes. Plutarch tells us, that Cadmus was supposed to have given the name of Alpha to the first letter of his alphabet in honour of the sacred bull or cow of 3 Phenicia; which was distinguished by this title. For this animal was by the Phenicians, as well as the Egyptians, esteemed sacred, and oracular and therefore called alphi, () the voice of God. This is intimated by the story of Cadmus; who is said to have been directed to his place of residence by a bull or cow: which went before him, and shewed him the way. By
1 Ibid. See Scholia in Iliad. E. v. 599.
→ So the words should be placed. See Hesych.
3 (Καδμον) φασι το αλφα παντων (γραμμάτων) πρόταξας, δια το Polvixas &TMw xxλlý Toy Cuv. Plutarch. Sympos. ix. 3. p. 738. Both the Apis, and Mnevis; also the Cow at Momemphis, were esteemed oracular. These animals were stiled Alphi on this account-as being interpreters of the will of the gods.
4 Some writers speak of his conductor being a bull; others a cow. They were equally held sacred by the Phenicians; and Porphyry says, that this people would sooner have fed upon a human body than have tasted the flesh of any kine.
this was originally meant, that he formed his route in obedience to Alpha, an oracle. From these evidences it appears, that this term was used for an honourable and prophetic title and it was justly appropriated by the Egyptians to Moses: as he was appointed to be God's oracle, and Aaron his interpreter.
* I will be with thy mouth:---and he, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of a god. Again :---See Again---See I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet. What could be more apposite than for people to give to this prophetic personage the name of () Alphi̟; expressed by the Greeks Alpha; which precisely signifies--The Mouth of God. There was an account given by Helladius Besantinoüs of Moses being recorded by the Egyptians under this title: but he explained it in the same idle manner, as Ptolemy Hephæstion had done before. He also referred to Philo Judæus in support of his hypothesis; but there is nothing in Philo to his purpose.
I Exodus, iv. 15, 16.
He is therefore justly condemned by 'Photius for the falsity of his appeal. He is however a voucher, that the title Alpha was conferred, though he did not understand the purport.
Diodorus Siculus gave an ample account of Moses and the Israelitish nation, in his fortieth book; part of which is still extant. There are many things, which he has not truly represented yet the account in general is curious; and the character of the prophet well maintained. And though he does not expressly tell us, that Moses was called Alphi, yet he mentions what amounts to the same purpose, that he had a communication with the deity, and spake as he directed; so that his words were to be esteemed the voice of God; and the prophet himself his mouth. For he says, that, at the close of the laws given to the Jews, was subjoined, τάδε λέγει τοις Ιεδαίοις. is plainly---that the institutes given by the prophet were received by him immediately from the
Moons anɣous T8 Oer Μωσης ακέσας το Θεό
The purport of which
Φλυαρει και όντος τον Μωσήν Αλφα καλεῖσθαι διοτι αλφοις το σω μια κατεσήρικτος ην. και καλει το ψευδές τον Φίλωνα μαρτυρα. ibid.
The words of Photius.
* Τέτον προσαγορεύεσιν Αρχιερέα, και νομίζεσιν αυτοις αγγελον γένεσα και των τες θες προσταγμάτων. Diodori Frag. 1. xl. p. 922.
deity, whose will he made known to the people. In another place mention is made of his receiving these laws from that God---' Tov Iaw Exinansμevov, who was called Iao, the same as Jehovah.
He was represented not only as an Oracle, but as a Deity.
I have mentioned a particular passage in Exodus, where these remarkable words occur And the Lord said unto Moses, see I have made thee a God to Pharaoh. This is said by 3 Artapanus and others to have been in some measure fulfilled, and that Moses was esteemed and recorded as a deity. Philo seems to intimate the same, 4 Ηνίκα δε Αιγυπτος τας ὑπερ των ασεβηθεντων δίκας εκτινει, τε βασιλεύοντος της χώρας Φαραω (προσηγορεύθη) Θεος. But when the people of Egypt suffered the punishments due to their crimes against heaven, he was there stil ed the god of Pharaoh, the king of the country.
1 Ibid. 1. 1. p. 84.
Exodus vii. 1. also iv, 15, 16.-Thou shalt be to him (Aaron) instead of God.
3 —ύπο των ἱερεων ισοθες τιμής καταξιωθέντα, κι T. λ. Apud Euseb. P. E. 1. 9. p. 432.
Philo de Nom. Mutat. v. 1. p. 597.
Josephus speaks nearly to the same purpose. Τετον δε τον ανδρα θαυμασον μεν Αιγυπτ πιοι και θειον νομίζεσι. They to this day look upon Moses as a wonderful and divine person. Wẹ therefore need not be surprised if he had a divine title.
Of the Angel, which withstood him in his Way to Egypt.
We have hitherto perceived the doubts and diffidence of Moses, and his great backwardness towards undertaking the high office which had been enjoined him. He proceeded so far as at last to incur God's displeasure. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses. Exod. iv. 14. Alarmed at this, he timely recollects himself; and resolves upon, the performance of his duty. And Moses went and returned to Jethro his father-in-law, and said unto him, Let me go, I pray thee, and return unto my brethren which are in Egypt, and see whether they be yet alive. ver. 18. This shews that, during the time of his sojournment, he had received little or no intelligence concerning them. Jethro, who perhaps had been preCont. Ap. 1. 1. p. 464.