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but ever after on the fourteenth day of Abib, in the spring* of the year, which was made to commence at that period.
Q. How long had Israel sojourned in the land of Egypt?
A. Two hundred and fifteen years.t
From the Exodus to the Death of Moses.
Q. How did Jehovah deliver his people ?
*The Jews still observe this festival at the proper season of the year,-our Easter, when Christians commemorate the true passover. It is called the Paschal feast, from pasach, he PASSED OVER : bat in England, the pagan appellation given by our ancestors to April, is still retained; affording, with several other circumstances, a strong proof of the reluctance with which idolatry retreated before Christianity, owing to the temporizing policy of the Romish clergy. At this season of the year, a great feast was held in honour of Aestar, a Saxon goddess, who appears to have been the same as the Astarte of the Phænician idolatry; therefore April was called Easter. month.-See Gale's Court of the Gentiles, part i. b. ii. c. 2.
+ Exod. xii. 40, 41. says, “ four hundred and thirty years :” but the Samaritan version solves the difficulty: “Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, and of their fathers, who dwelt in the land of Canaan, and in the land of Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years.”_See Chronological Table, No. 2.
For at midnight, on the fourteenth day of the month, while the Israelites, having celebrated the passover, stood ready to depart, Jehovah smote all the first-born: of men and of beasts,* throughout all the land of Egypt. " And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel ; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said. Also take your
flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone ; and bless me also.”
Q. Did they depart at the king's request ?
A. Yes : they set out immediately, because the Egyptians were urgent upon them; "for they said, We be all dead men." “ And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him."
Q. What was the number of the Israelites at their Exodus from Egypt?
A. Six hundred thousand men,—besides women and children.
Q. In what condition did the Lord bring them out of Egypt?
A. “He brought them forth with silvert and gold :
* The gods of Egypt, upon whom the Lord executed judg. ment, Numb. xxxiii. 4. were most probably the animals which the people worshipped.
+ Exod. xii. 35. might have been rendered “ And they asked of the Egyptians articles of silver, and articles of gold, and
and there was not one feeble person among their tribes."*
Q. Whither did they journey?
A. They journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, where they pitched their tents ; "and they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness."
Q. Was this their nearest route ?
A. No: the direct road to Canaan was through the land of the Philistines ; but the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea was chosen to avoid war, for which they were rendered unfit by their bondage in Egypt.
Q. How were they directed in their journey?
A. “The Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud; and by night, in a pillar of fire."
Q. Whither did they journey from Etham ?
A. They turned and encamped before Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baalzephon; this position being designed, under Divine direction, to infatuate and induce Pharaoh to pursue them.
Q. Had it this effect ?
A. Yes: the Egyptians had scarcely buried their firstborn, when Pharaoh, regardless of the mighty works wrought in behalf of the Israelites, finding them entangled, and apparently without any means of escape, pursued them with six hundred chosen chariots, all his
raiment.”—The erection of the tabernacle in the wilderness, affords proof of the wealth which the Israelites carried away from Egypt, and also of the arts they had there learned.
* Psalm cv. 37,
horsemen,* and all his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea.
Q. How did the Israelites behave on the appearance of this army?
A. They cried to the Lord, but with great fear and doubt ; and at length they accused Moses of being the author of their misfortunes. Thus they provoked the Lord.
Q. How did Moses reply to them?
A. He said, “ Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to-day; for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to-day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The LORD shall fight for you, and ye
shall hold your peace.” Q. Did the Egyptians immediately fall upon Israelites ?
A. No: they were prevented by the darkness of the pillar of the cloud, which had removed from before Israel, and was interposed between the two camps.
Q. By what miracle did the Lord rescue his chosen ? A. M. 2512. A. While the cloud enveloped the EgypB. C. 1492. tians in darkness, it gave light by night to Israel ; in the mean time, Jehovah, by his mighty power, opened a passage for his people through the Red Sea, whose waters formed a wall on the right hand and
* Egypt was famous for cavalry; and in after ages the Israelites often songht aid from thence on that account. Hence the reproofs of the prophets, Isa. xxx. 16.---xxxi. 1,3. Hos. xiv. 3.
+ Psalm ci. 7.
on the left.* The Egyptians, however, followed them, but they were not permitted to get near them all the night. In the morning-watch the LORD looked through the cloud and troubled their host: their chariot wheels came off, and they were at the same time exposed to an awful storm ;t and convinced at length that God fought for Israel, they attempted to escape.
2. Did they succeed?
A. No: for the Israelites had no sooner got over, than Moses was commanded to stretch out his hand over the sea, which at the break of day, returned to its strength, and covered the chariots and horses, and all the host of Pharaoh : “there remained not so much as one of them." +
Q. Of what was the passage of the Red Sea typical ?
A. Of baptism ; “ And they were all baptized unto Moses, in the cloud and in the sea."
Q. How did the Israelites celebrate this great deliverance ?
Exod. xiv. 22.-_XV. 8. Psalm lxvi. 6.--Ixxviii. 13. + In Psalm lxxvii. 15---20. Earthquakes, thunder, lightning, and rain are mentioned.
The consideration of this, and the other wonderful dis. plays of Divine power in Egypt, in the wilderness, and in Canaan, often occupied the attention of the pious Jews, Psalm Ixvi. 5, 6.–lxxviii. 2–8.-cxlv. 4. Nehem. ix. 7—25. Dan. ix. 15. who learned thereby to “ set their hope in God,” and to look for a still greater, and a final deliverance from their spiritual enemies, Isa. li. 9--11.
See Appendix H.