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Go therefore Dow and work; for there shall no straw be given you, yet shall ye deliver the tale of bricks.
And the officers of the children of Israel did see that they were in evil case after it was said, Ye shall not minish aught from your bricks of your daily task.
And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh. •
And they said unto them, The Lord look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hands to slay us. > And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil intreated this -people? Why 4s it :that rtovr-hiist sent rue?: • •: - "• ."'
Fot since-4 Came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all. " —'1 r
- The* the Lord said to Moses, Now shalt thou see what 1 will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land. : ' j
- And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord:
And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty; and by my name JEHOVAH.was I not known to them *?
And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan,' the land of thejr pilgrimage wherein they were strangers.
And I have also heard the groaning of the children o Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage ; and I have^ remembered my covenant.
* It is the opinion of Several good Critics, that this'verse should be read interrogatively; ior it is certain, that God was known to the patriarchs by the uaine of Jehovah. ;- .
O 4 . Wherefore
Wherefore say . unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you of their bondage: and I will redeem you with a stretched-out arm, and with great judgment^
And 1 will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God : and ye shall know; that i am the Lom> your Gop, which bringeth ypu out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.
And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did svyear, tp give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob ; and 1 will give id you for an heritage; I am the Lp^., . . , •
And Moses spake so unto the- children of Israel: but they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit* and for cruel bondage.
And the Lord spake unto Moses,, saying, Go in> speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, that he let the children of Israel gp out of his land.
And. Mose3 spake before thp Loud, saying, Behold the children of Israel have not hearkened (tpto me; how then shall PharaPh hear me, wh# am pf uneujOumcis.-d lips?
And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, and gave them a charge untp the children of Israel, and unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel put of the,^ land, of Egypt
And the LpRD said untp Moses, See, I have made thee a God tp Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.
Thou shall speak all that I command thee ; and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send, the children of Israel oiit of his land.
And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt.
But Phnraoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand opon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, and my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. '*
And the Egyptians shall: know* that I ant the- Lor 0, when I stretch forth mine hand' upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them.
And Moses and Aaron did as the Lord commanded them, so did they.
And Moses was fourscore years old, and Aaron fourscore and three years old, when they spake unto Pha
ANNOTATIONS And REFLECTIONS..
The attention which was at first paid to Moses and Aaron, by the Elders of Israel, strengthened their faith, and encouraged them to go to the king of Egypt.
Before we make any remarks oa the character of Pharaoh, it will be proper to observe, that there are degrees of wickedness, and that presumptuous sin, winch proceeds from wickedness of spirit, and consists* in reproaching the Loan, despising His word, and wilfully breaking His commandments, is its last stage. Presumptuous sin is in Scripture called the great offince\. A presumptuous sinner is justly regarded of God as an outcast from the race of mankind; for he is at enmity with God and man; and having broken the first law or nature, by refusing obedience to the Ckp.ator, he can have no claim to any privileges as a creature.
It is remarked by the Royal i salroistj, that the Lord made known his ways unto Moses,. His acts unto the children of Israel. The dispensations of His Providence, therefore, towards these his chosen people, demand our attentive consideration. We find, from different passages of Scripture, (which will be noticed ia their turn)
• Num. xv. 30, 31. f xix. ls- t Ps. ciii. 7.
OJ5 tha that the -way of the Lor D with presumptuous sinners, is either to strike them dead by some signal judgment, or to withdraw His grace, and give them up to " a reprobate mind, or a mind void of judgment*," and make them unwilling instruments of shewing forth to the world the greatness of that power, which they defy.
Pharaoh was a sinner of this description: he had resigned his heart to ambition and avarice, which led him first to injustice and cruelty, and then to a presumptuous defiance of the Great Creator of the universe.
When Moses and Aaron entered into the presence of Pharaoh, and delivered, in a solemn manner, a message from the Lor D Go D, he refused to listen to them, pretending that he knew of no such Being as the Lord God, and disclaimed His authority. This was an act of presumptuous defiance; and it behoved the Lord to maintain his own honour.
Pharaoh's not knowing the Lord was no excuse for him: his very ignorance was a sin, because his own reason would have taught him, that there must be a Supreme Being ; and if he had not been totally devoid of piety, he would at least have paid attention to the persons who professed to be the immediate ministers of the Supreme Being; and he would have feared to treat with rigour those whom the Lord styled his people; on the contrary, the haughty tyrant resolved to increase his cruelties to the Israelites on this very account, and commanded even the messengers of the Lord to submit to his yoke.
• The task imposed on those among the Israelites, who were styled officers, was particularly hard; for they were required to enforce on their brethren the severities of the cruel monarch. The answer which Pharaoh made to these unhappy men, when they applied to him for redress, shews that he had no clemency in his nature. * Rom. i. 28.
The The situation of the officers was truly distressing: they were enjoined to perform and exact impossibilities. They had not yet experienced the wonderful goodness of the Lor . : they had no Scriptures to support their faith, by relations of what had been done for others under the like circumstances: we cannot then wonder that they should fall into despondency, when they found their case worse, instead of better, for the interference of Moses and Aaron. This trial was so great, as to stagger the faith even of Moses himself: he could not, by his own reason, discover why the Lord should do evil to the people He had promised to deliver; or why he should delay their relief, when every human means failed. To revive his hope, the Lord graciously vouchsafed to inform Moses, what He designed to do, in order to accomplish the purpose He had before declared: and that Moses might not doubt His power to effect it, the Lord reminded him of the excellency and perfection of His Divine nature, enumerating the several titles by which He had formerly been known to the patriarchs.
The name JEHOVAH is synonymous with LORD, and the original word is frequently so translated in our version of the Old Testament; it can belong to none but God Himself; for it imports, not only eternal existence, but omnipotent power, and unchangeable truth. By this tide, the Divine Image of God was distinguished from false deities in the family of Seth*; and by this He revealed Himself to Abraham and Jacob.
That Moses might not be disheartened by the opposition of Pharaoh,- Go D intimated to him, that the proud . king would make great resistance; but that he should finally be subdued. As a farther encouragement Moses was assured, that God remembered his covenant, and attended to the distresses of His chosen people.
* Gen. iv. '26.
0 6 Wha