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Ver. 8. And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters are gathered together ; the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths are congealed in the heart of the seu.
Ver. 9. The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil ; my lust shall be satisfied upon them, I will drace my sword, mine hand shall destroy them.
Ver. 10. Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them : they sank as lead in the mighty waters.
Moses returns to the narration, not as in the fourth and fifth verses by a mere description, but in continuing his apostrophe to God, which gives more passion to the relation, and from which the conduct of this song seems superior to human Eloquence. The farther it removes from the simple proposition which serves as an exordium to it, the stronger are its amplifications.
Thou sentest forth thy wrath. Ilow great is this figure! How noble the expression! The prophet gives action and life to God's anger; he transforms it into an ardent and zealous minister, whom the judge sends calmly froin the throne to execute the decrees of his vengeance. When kings would fight their enemies, they stand in need of infantry, cavalry, arms, and a long train of warlike instruments ; but to God, his wrath alone can punish the guilty. Thou sentest forth thy wrath. How many things are comprised in two or three words, which leave to the reader the pleasure of enumerating in his imagination the fires, the flashes of lightning, the thunderbolts, the storms, and all the other instruments of this wrath ! . The beauty of this expression is better felt than express, ed: we find a certain depth in it, a something, which employs and fills the mind. . Horace had this figure in view in the expression Iracunda fulmina, and Vira gil hit upon it in the ingenious composition of the thunder described in the eighth book of the Æneid.
- Sonitumque metumque Miscebant operi , flammisque sequacibus iras.
What was then the effect of this dreadful wrath? It consumed them as stubble! The Scripture only can furnish us with such images. Let us consider this thought attentively. We shall see the wrath of God consuming a prodigious army. Men, horses, chariots, all are dashed, consumed, overwhelmed; how weak are these synonymous terms! All these are consumed, that would be saying all; but the simile which follows, finishes the picture; for the word consume gives us the idea of an action that lasts some time ; but, as stubble, shews an instantaneous action. How! so mighty an army as this consumed like stubble! The reader should consider the force of these ideas.
But how was this effected? God, by a furious wind, assembled the waters, which swelled like two mountains in the midst of the sea. The children of Israel passed over it as on dry land; the Egyptians pursuing them into it were swallowed up by the waves. This is a plain and unembellished relation; but how beautiful, how majestic, is the turn which is given to it in Scripture! I should never have done, should I examine them particularly. I am charmed with the whole song, but this passage transports me.
With the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together. The prophet ennobles the wind by making God himself the principle of it; and animates the waters, by representing them susceptible of fear. The better to paint the divine indignation and its effects, he borrows the image of human wrath, whose lively transports are accompanied with a precipitated breathing, which causes a violent and impetuous blast. And when this wrath, in a powerful person, directs itself towards a fearful populace, it forces then, for their own security, to give way, and to fall in a tumultuous manner one upon the other. It is thus with the blast of the Lord's nostrils, the frighted waters withdrew with impetuotity from their usual bed, and crowded suddenly one upon the other, in order to give way to this wrath ; whereas the Egyptians, who came in the way of this wrath, were consumed like stubble. We often meet with such a description of divine wrath in the Scriptures : [u] The sea saw it and fled....  Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered, at thy rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.... [y] There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured; coals were kindied at it: Are we to wonder, that a wrath like this should overthrow and swallow up every thing ?
The depths were congealed in the heart of the sea. That is, the waters were bound up, and frozen like ice. The depths give us a much more dreadful idea than waters. In the heart of the sca; this circumstance is very emphatic; it fixes the imagination, and makes us conceive to ourselves mountains of solid waters in the centre of the liquid element.
The two verses that follow are inexpressibly beautiful. Instead of barely saying, as was before observed, that the Egyptians by their pursuing the Israelites, went into the sea; the prophet himself enters into the heart of those barbarians, puts himself in their place, assumes their passions, and makes them speak; not that they had really spoke, but because a thirst of vengeance, and a strong defire of pursuing the Israelites, was the language of their hearts, which Moses made them utter, in order to vary his narra. tion, and make it the more ardent.
The enemy said, instead of the Egyptians said. This singular, the enemy, how beautiful is every word !
I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil, &c. We read, and perceive a palpable vengeance in these words, as we read them. The sacred penman has not put a conjunction to any of the six words wbich compose the Egyptian soldier's discourse, in order to give it the greater spirit, and to express more naturally the disposition of a man whose soul is fired, who discourses with himself, and does not mind connecting his words with conjunctions, his thoughts requiring freedom and liberty. [w] Psal. cxiv. 3. [x] Ibid. xviii. 15. ] Ibid. ver. 8.
Another writer would have stopped here, but Moses goes farther. My lust shall be satisfied upon them. He might have said, I will divide the spoil,
. and I will fill myself with them. But, my lust shall be satisfied upon them, represents them as rioting on spoils, and swimming in joy.
I will draw my sword, mine hand shall destroy them. The Vulgate runs thus, I will unsheath my sword, and my hand shall kill them. The reflection that follows, which is very beautiful, supposes this sense. They are no less affected with the pleasure of killing their enemies, than that of plundering them. Let us see how he describes this. He might have said in one word, I will kill them ; but this would have been too quick; he gives them the pleasure of a long vengeance. I will unsheath my sword. How great is this image! it even strikes the reader's eye, Mine hand shall destroy them.
This mine hand is inexpressibly beautiful. This expression represents a soldier who is sure of victory: we see him looking about, moving up and down, and stretching forth his arm. My fear for the children of Israel makes me tremble. Great God! what wilt thou do to save them? A numberless multitude of barbarians are furiously hastening to victory and vengeance. Can all the shafts of thy wrath check the impetuosity of thine enemies? The Almighty blows, and the sea has already surrounded them. Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them.
It must be confessed, that this reflection is very strong, eloquent, and well adapted to forın the taste, for which reason I thought the reader ought not to be deprived of it. But I must be obliged to confess, that the Hebrew text, instead of Mine hand shall destroy them, has it thus : Mine hand shall again subject them to me; my hand shall triumph over them, my hand shall again put me in possession of those fugitives. And indeed, this was the real motive which prompted the Egyptians to pursue the Israelites, as
the Scriptures manifestly declare.  And it was told the king of Egypt, that the people fled; and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people ; and they said, Il'hy have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us ? Pharaoh therefore and his officers did not intend to kill and extirpata the Israelites, which would have been against their own interest; but they designed to force them sword in hand to return into captivity, and work again in the public edifices.
Methinks there is also a great beauty in this expression, Mine hand shall again subject them to me. The God of the Israelites had declared that he would free them from their Egyptian captivity, and deliver them from their hard servitude by the strength of his arm. [a] I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage; and I will redeem you with a stretched-out arm. He had often caused Pharaoh to be told, that he would stretch out his hand upon him, in his servants, in his fields, and his cattle; that he would shew him, that he was the inaster and the Lord, by stretching out his hand over all Egypt, and by rescuing his people out of their captivity. The
b Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them. Here the Egyptian, who already fancies bimself victorious, insults the God of the Hebrews. He seems to reproach him for the weakness of his arm, and the emptiness of his threats; and says to himself in the drunkenness of insolent joy, and in the transports of foolish confidence, Notwithstanding what the God of Israel hath said, mine hand shall again subject them to me.
Ver. 10. Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them, they sank as lead in the mighty waters.
Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea corered them. Could Moses have possibly given us a nobler
[-] Exod. xiv. 5.
(a) Ibid. vi. 6. ix. 3, 15.  Ibid. vii. 5.