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EXODUS ii. 5.-" And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river."
The Daughter of Pharaoh.-The traditions which give a name to this princess are probably of late origin, and merely conjectural. Josephus calls her Thermuthis, which means "the great mother," a designation of Neith, the special deity of Lower Egypt; but it does not occur as the name of a princess. The names Pharia, Merris, and Bithia are also found in Syncellus, Eusebius, and the Rabbins. It is more important to observe that the Egyptian princesses held a very high and almost independent position under the ancient and middle empire, with a separate household and numerous officials. This was especially the case with the daughters of the first sovereigns of the eighteenth dynasty; in two instances at least they were regents or coregents with their brothers.
The facts recorded in these verses, according to M. Quatremère, suggest a satisfactory answer as to the residence of the daughter of Pharaoh and of the family of Moses. It must have been in the immediate neighbourhood of the Nile, and therefore not at On or Heliopolis, at which place Amosis put down human sacrifices offered by the Hyksos. It must have been near a branch of the Nile not infested by crocodiles, or the child would not have been exposed, nor would the princess have bathed there; therefore not near Memphis, where Amosis rebuilt the great temple of Ptah, from which the city took its name. At present crocodiles are not often found below the cataracts, but under the ancient empire they were common as far north as Memphis. These and other indications, agreeing with the traditions recorded by Eutychius, point to Zoan Tanis, now San, the ancient Avaris, on the Tanitic branch of the river near the sea, where crocodiles are never found, which was probably the western boundary of the district occupied by the Israelites. Avaris was captured by Amosis, and was the most suitable place for the head-quarters of the Pharaohs, both as commanding the districts liable to incursions from Asiatic nomads, and es well adapted for carrying out the measures for crushing the Israelites. The field of Zoan was always associated by the
Hebrews with the marvels which preceded the Exodus. (See Psa. lxxviii. 43.) "To wash." It is not customary at present for women of rank to bathe in the river, but it was a common practice in ancient Egypt. The Nile was worshipped as an emanation of Osiris, and a peculiar power of imparting life and fertility was attributed to its waters, a superstition still prevalent in the country. The habits of the princess, as well as her character, must have been well known to the mother of Moses, and probably decided her choice of the place.-Speaker's Commentary.
EXODUS iii. 5.-"And He said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground."
Reverence for Sacred Places. The reverence indicated by putting off the covering of the feet is still prevalent in the East. The Orientals throw off their slippers on all those occasions when we should take off our hats. They never uncover their heads, any more than we our feet. It would everywhere, whether among Christians, Moslems, or pagans, be considered in the highest degree irreverent for a person to enter a church, a temple, or a mosque with his feet covered; and we shall observe that the priests under the law officiated with bare feet. And not only is this form of showing respect exhibited in religious observances, but in the common intercourse of life. Few things inspire an Oriental with deeper disgust than for a person to enter his room with shoes or boots on, regarding such conduct both as an insult to himself and a pollution to his apartment. These usages influence the costume of the head and feet. The former, being never uncovered, is in general shaven, and the head-dress generally is such that it could not be replaced without some degree of trouble; while for the feet they have loose and easy slippers, which may be thrown off and resumed with the least possible degree of inconvenience.-Pictorial Bible.
EXODUS iii. 8. -"A good land, and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey."
Egypt and Palestine.-Egypt as a country could not compare favourably with Palestine, notwithstanding its fertility. It was, as already shown, dependent on the laborious work of irrigation with water drawn from a single river; it was deficient in variety of climate and scenery, and it was a very small land-a mere narrow strip of fertility in the midst of drought and desert. The area of Egypt was but about one-eighth that of England and Wales, or one-half that of Palestine.-G.
EXODUS iii. 8.-"The place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites."
The Aborigines of Palestine.-The above names are not easy to explain. "Canaanites " are supposed to have been the dwellers in cities, "Perizzites the rural tribes, occupying the plain of the coast, afterwards tenanted by the Philistines (Josh. xiii. 3). The former name was afterwards applied to the whole nation attacked and subjugated by the Israelitish conquerors.
EXODUS i. 14.-"All their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour."
Egyptian Child-labour.-Great gangs of workmen are all day toiling here [at Cairo] at reconstruction. Puny children, herded in flocks by cruel taskmasters, who flog them with long sticks, are carrying on their heads straw baskets full of earth and stones. As they march they sing; but it is in a rhythm of slavery. The strongest repression of one's feelings is scarce enough to keep us from knocking that wretch over who has just belaboured with his bludgeon a tender little girl; even the meek Moses got into quarrels here, for this is Egypt, the product of idolatry, of philosophy without truth, of books without the Bible; nor is it worse than England would become if left to "philanthropy " without the love of God.
The evening brings a short relief even to the woe of these helpless little ones. They sit round in a circle with their baskets before them, while the roll-call is droned over by a taskmaster.-Macgregor's "Rob Roy on the Jordan.”
EXODUS iii. 1.-"Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest [prince] of Midian; and he led the flock to the backside of the desert."
Midian and the Kenites.-The Midianites were the descendants of Abraham by Keturah; and the Kenites, to which Jethro belonged, formed one of these tribes. They dwelt on the south of Palestine, between Samaria and Paran (1 Kings xi. 18). Why then did Moses lead Jethro's flock to the back or western side of the desert, so far away towards Egypt? Probably the answer may be found in the fact that there are traces of a Kenite settlement-they were a nomadic or wandering tribe-in the peninsula of Sinai, where a valley called Weedy Kinah exists, near a plain affording abundant pasturage.
It is well that young people should know that the descendants of these and similar tribes are the present inhabitants of Palestine.
EXODUS ii. 10.-"He [Moses] became her son.' ACTS vii. 22.-" Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians." Education of Moses. For a remarkable and most interesting sketch of the early training of Moses the reader is referred to Mr. W. R. Cooper's article in the Sunday School Teacher for 1871, pp. 51, 103. It is there shown that the Hebrew foundling, being adopted into the royal family, would be brought up not at Pharaoh's court, but in a separate locality, with a distinct palace, retinue, and domains. An old tradition states that Moses was educated by the priest of On, or Heliopolis. He would begin to learn very early. Personal cleanliness and strict temperance would be a leading part of his training. His head, we may suppose, was shaved; his food would be bread, vegetables, fruit, with eggs and cheese; and his dress consisted of a linen tunic with a blue border, slippers of papyrus for indoors, and leathern shoes for walking. Hieroglyphics were commenced at four years of age; this would be followed by transcription of select passages of native literature; and as he grew up he was doubtless instructed in astronomy, geometry, the higher arithmetic, chemistry, architecture, and botany.
EXODUS i. 8.-"Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph."
The Pharaoh who knew not Joseph.-Thothmosis III. [was] the first king of Upper Egypt that was also king of Lower Egypt; hence we naturally conclude that it was under his rule that the services of Joseph in the lower country were forgotten. The Phoenician shepherds, who had harassed the Egyptians, had been conquered and driven out by king Amosis. Soon after that, we must suppose, Joseph and his family settled in the Delta, while the shepherds were an abomination to the Egyptians (Gen. xlvi. 34). This king Thothmosis III. was the fourth successor of Amosis. During these years Egypt had been rising rapidly in wealth; and the buildings, obelisks, and statues, all covered with inscriptions, proved its high degree of civilization. The king's first name is Menophra, and he was probably the king from whom the era of Menophra of B.C. 1322 received its name. [Another view is that the king who knew not Joseph was Amosis himself, the conqueror of the Hyksos, or shepherd-kings].-Sharpe's "Texts explained by Ancient
TRUST IN DIVINE GUIDANCE.
Who dares interfere
PSALM Cvii. 30.-" So He bringeth them unto their desired haven." THERE is a great deal to be learned as to trust, obedience, discipline, and government on board ship. There is but one captain-one supreme, final, sovereign authority. Alas! in the great life-ship every man is tempted to set up as captain on his own account! We forget the holy word-a word at once of liberty and limit,- -"One is your Master." "Ye call me Master and Lord, and ye say well, for so I am." with the captain of a vessel ? To what passenger will he reveal all the secrets of his navigation ? To whom will he tell the names of the masts, and explain the network of the countless ropes ? Whose grumbling and discontent will have any effect upon his course? Yet will we repiningly speak unto the Captain of our salvation, and tell Him how to direct the vessel! Herein have I learned a lesson which I would gladly carry out evermore. Let me know myself to be but a passenger, and let me cross the billows without troubling myself about questions too difficult for me. I do not know how to order the affairs o the engine-house: I cannot undertake astronomical calculations: I know not when to command the setting of sails, the tightening of ropes, the varying movements of the wheel: the whole thing is a mystery to me: it lies beyond my thinking and my power: I sail by faith in the Captain, and, as in a common ship, so would I sail in the life-ship in which I am a passenger to eternity.Rev. Dr. Parker, in "Christian Shield."
THE WORLD'S REWARDS UNSATISFYING.
PSALM CXVIII. 8.-" It is better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in man."
Disappointed Courtiers.-The fruits of worldliness are usually as apples of Sodom, full of disappointment and remorse. When the Duke of Shrewsbury was deposed from office, in the reign of Queen Anne, he gave vent to feelings akin to those of Wolsey. "Had I a son," he wrote, "I would sooner breed him a cobbler than a courtier, and a hangman than a statesman." Hume relates of De Ruyter, who commanded the Dutch fleet during the war between them and the English in 1666, and who was defeated, that he often exclaimed bitterly, "What a wretch am I! Among the thousand bullets which fly round me, is there not one to put an end to my miserable life? Mosheim relates the death of Tetzel, the seller of indulgences, in