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venge ; Pharaoh, finding those women filled with piety and the fear of God, commanded others of his people to execute his former intent; and publicly, or howsoever, to destroy all the male Hebrew children born within his dominions.
Now besides the doubts which Pharaoh had of the multitudes of the Hebrews, the greatest part of whom he might have assured, by affording them the justice which every king oweth to his vassals, and the rest he might have employed or sent away at his pleasure, i Josephus giveth another cause of his rage against them; namely, that it was prophetically delivered him by an Egyptian priest, that among the Hebrews there should be born a child, who, growing to man's estate, should become a plague and terror to his whole nation. To prevent which, (and presuming that he could resist the ordinance of God by a mean contrary to the laws of heaven and of nature, he stretched out his bloody and merciless hand to the execution of his former intent.' The same prevention Herod long after practised, when fearing the spiritual kingdom of Christ, as if it should have been temporal, he caused all the male children at that time born to be slaughtered. And that Pharaoh had some kind of foreknowledge of the future success, it may be gathered by these his own words in Exod. i. 10. Come, let us work wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, if there be war, they join themselves also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and get them out of the land. But we see, and time hath told it us from the beginning, how God derideth the wisdom of the worldly men, when, forgetting the Lord of all power, they rely on the inventions of their own most feeble and altogether darkened understanding. For even by the hands of the dearly beloved daughter of this tyrant, was that great prophet and minister of God's marvellous works taken out of Nilus, being thereinto turned off, in an ark of reeds, a sucking and powerless infant. And this princess having beheld the child's form and beauty, though but yet in the blouth, so pierced her compassion, as she did not only preserve it,
Joseph. Ant. I. 2. c. 5.
and cause it to be fostered, but commanded that it should be esteemed as her own, and with equal care to the son of a king nourished. And for memory that it was her deed, she called the child Moses, as it were extractus, or ereptus, taken out, to wit, out of the water; or after Josephus and Glycas, Moy, a voice expressing water, and hises ; as much as to say, that which is drawn out of water, or thence taken. k Clemens Alexandrinus was of opinion that Moses was circumcised before he was put into the ark of reeds, and that Amram his father had named him Joachim. In his youth he was carefully bred, by the care and at the charge of Pharaoh's daughter, and by men of the most understanding taught and instructed: Quem regio more educavit, præfectis ei sapientibus Ægyptiorum magistris, a quibus erudiretur, saith Basil; “ Unto whom she
gave princely education, appointing over him wise mas6 ters of the Egyptians for his instructors.” Thereby, saith Josephus and Philo, he became excellently learned in all the doctrine of the Egyptians; which also the martyr Stephen, in the seventh of the Acts, confirmeth: And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. Which wisdom or sapience, such as it was, or at least so much thereof as Sixtus Senensis hath gathered, we have added, between the death of Moses and the reign of Joshua.
SECT. IV. Of Moses's flying out of Egypt; and the opinions of certain ancient
historians of his war in Ethiopia, and of his marriage there. Philo's judgment of his pastoral life, and that of Pererius of the books of Genesis and Job.
WHEN Moses was grown to man's estate, Josephus and Eusebius, out of Artapanus, tell us of ten years war that he made against the Ethiopians; of the besieging of Saba, afterwards by Cambyses called Meroe ; and how he recovered that city by the favour of Tharbis, a daughter of Ethiopia, whom he took to wife. So hath Comestor a pretty tale of Moses ; How after the end of that war, Thar* Strom. I. 1.
| Phil, de Vita Moys.
bis resisting his return into Egypt, Moses, most skilful in astronomy, caused two images to be engraven in two precious stones; whereof the one increased memory, the other caused forgetfulness. These he set in two rings, whereof he gave the one, to wit, that of oblivion, to his wife Tharbis, reserving the other of memory for himself; which ring of forgetfulness, after she had a while worn, she began to neglect the love she bare her husband; and so Moses without danger returned into Egypt. But leaving these fancies to the authors of them ; it is true, that about the 40th year of Moses's age, when he beheld an Egyptian offering violence to one of the oppressed Hebrews, moved by compassion in respect of his brother, and stirred up by disdain against the other, in the contention he slew the Egyptian. Soon after which act, finding a disposition in some of his own nation to accuse him, for whose defence he had thus greatly endangered his own life; by the ordinance and advice of God, whose chosen servant he was, he fled into Arabia Petræa, the next bordering country to Egypt; where wandering all alone, as a man left and forsaken, in a place unknown unto him, as among a nation of barbarous strangers, and who in future times were the irreconcileable enemies of the Hebrews; it pleased God (working the greatest things by the weakest worldly means) to make the watering of a few sheep, and the assisting of the daughters of Raguel the Madianite, an occasion whereby to provide him a wife of one of those, and a father-in-law, that fed him and sustained him in a country nearest Egypt, fittest to return from ; necessary to be known, because interjacent between Egypt and Judæa, through which he was to lead the Israelites; and wherein God held him, till the occasion, which God presented, best served. And lastly, where the glory of the world shined least, amidst mountainous deserts, there the glory of God, which shineth most, covered him over, and appeared unto him, not finding him as a king's son, or an adopted child of great Pharaoh's daughter, but as a meek and humble shepherd, sitting at a mountain foot ; a keeper and commander of those poor beasts only.
RALEGA, HIST. WORLD. VOL. II.
In that part of Arabia, near Madian, he consumed forty years. And though (as Philo in the story of Moses's life observeth) he did not neglect the care of those flocks committed to his charge, but that he excelled all others in that pastoral knowledge; yet in that solitary desert he enjoyed himself: and being separate from the press of the world, and the troublesome affairs thereof, he gave himself to contemplation, and to make perfect in himself all those know. ledges, whereof his younger years had gathered the grounds and principles ; the same author also judging, that his
pastoral life did excellently prepare him for the execution of the principality which he afterwards obtained : Est enim, saith Philo, ars pastoralis, quasi præludium ad regnum, hoc est, ad regimen hominum, gregis mansuetissimi. Quemadmodum bellicosa ingenia præexercent se in venationibus, experientia in feris, quod postea in militia et bello perfectura sunt; brutis præbentibus materiam exercitii, tam belli quam pacis tempore. At vero præfectura mansueti pecoris habet quiddam simile cum regno in subditis ; ideoque reges cognominantur pastores populorum, non contumeliæ sed honoris gratia ; “ The art of keeping sheep is, as it were, an “ introductory exercise unto a kingdom, namely, the rule
over men, the most gentle flock; even as warlike natures “ do beforehand exercise themselves in hunting, practis
ing on wild beasts those things which after they will ac
complish in warfare ; those brute beasts affording matter " wherein to train themselves, both in time of war and of
peace. But the government of gentle cattle hath a kind 66 of resemblance unto a kingly rule over subjects; there“ fore kings are styled shepherds of the people, not in
way “ of reproach, but for their honour.”
That Moses, in this time of his abode at Madian, wrote the book of Job, as Pererius supposeth, I cannot judge of it, because it is thought that Job was at that time living. Neither dare I subscribe to m Pererius's opinion, that Moses, while he lived in that part of Arabia, wrote the books of Genesis ; although I cannot deny the reason of Pererius's
m Perer, in Exod. iii.
conjecture, that by the example of Job's patience he might strengthen the oppressed Hebrews; and by the promises of God to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, put them in assurance of their delivery from the Egyptian slavery, and of the land of rest and plenty promised.
Of his calling back into Egypt by the angel of God, and the marvels and wonders which he performed, thereby to persuade Pharaoh that he was the messenger of the Most High, the particulars are written in the first fourteen chapters of Exodus; and therefore to treat of all the particulars therein contained, it were needless. But for the first, it is to be noted, that when n Moses desired to be taught by God, by what name he should make him known, and by whom he was sent, he received from God so much as man could comprehend of his infinite and ever-being nature. Out of which he delivered him, in the first part of his answer, a name to be considered of by the wisest ; and in his second, to be understood by all. For there is nothing that is or hath being of itself, but the eternal; which truly is, which is above all, which is immutable. The bodies of men are changed every moment; their substance wasteth, and is repaired by nutriment; never continuing at one stay, nor being the same so long as while one may say, Now. Likewise, whatsoever is consumed in the longest continuance of time, the same in every shortest piece of time suffereth decay; neither doth any thing abide in one state : Una est Dei et sola natura, quæ vere est: id enim quod subsistit non habet aliunde, sed suum est. Cætera que creata sunt, etiamsi videntur esse, non sunt, quia aliquando non fuerunt, et potest rursum non esse, quod non fuit ; 66 It is the “ one and only nature of God, which truly is ; for he hath “ his being of himself, and not from any thing without “ him. Other things that are created, although they seem “to be, yet they are not, for sometimes they were not ; 6 and that which hath not been, may again want being." And with this, in respect of the divine nature, the saying of Zeno Eleates excellently agreeth: Tota rerum natura
u Exod. iii. 13, 14, 15.
o Hieron. ad Dam.