Sunday, April 12, 2009

Out of Egypt

2. Out of Egypt (Exodus 5 to 18)

In setting forth this interesting bit of Israel's history, we may consider:

(1) The plagues
As Pharaoh, by his terrible oppressions, made Israel willing to go out of Egypt, so God, by his fearful visitations, made Pharaoh willing to let Israel go. Ten dreadful plagues, the last resulting in the death of the firstborn throughout the land, so crushed and humbled the haughty Egyptians that they were glad to send the people forth from their land. These plagues were: (1) water turned into blood, (2) frogs, (3) lice, (4) flies, (5) murrain of beasts, (6) boils upon men and beasts, (7) hail, (8) locusts, (9) darkness, (10) death of the firstborn.

(2) The departure

Extensive preparations must have been made for the removal of so great a multitude with their families and their possessions. The eight or ten months during which Moses was contending with Pharaoh offered opportunity for this needed preparation. Laden with stores of jewelry, apparel and varied wealth, the chose people marched out of Egypt.

(3) The journey to Sinai

The land of Canaan lay a little more than a hundred miles from Goshen, along the ancient caravan route, and could have been reached in a fortnight. But its inhabitants were fierce and warlike, and its cities were walled fortresses. Enervated by long slavery, Israel was wholly unprepared to meet such foes. Hence, God directed their course southeastward, and after sixty days of marching, the people entered the open plain before Mount Sinai.

(4) Miracles of the journey

This journey was marked by signs and signal deliverances. Notable among these were: (a) the pillar of cloud shielding by day and of fire lighting by night; (b) the waters of the Red Sea parted; (c) the bitter waters of Marah sweetened; (d) manna given daily; (e) water from the smitten rock.

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