History of the Hebrew and Jewish People Part 1.
The world that then was Cp 2 Peter 3:5--6
Edited by J e Bradburn.
Genesis 3:24 So He drove out the man [Adam] and He placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
The sun = flaming. sword = The sword as a pointer which hangs from Orion’s belt. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west while the constellations and earth rotate.
See the Stars also: http://godsplan.org.uk/thestarsalso2.htm to acquire an overall view of the starting point
of this fascinating subject. Also http://www.godsplan.org.uk/precessionoftheequinoxes.htm which will help enormously in your studies.
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Created: i.e., when He did create. The description of the act was postponed until 2:7, 21—24.
Image…likeness. Fig Hendiadys Ap 6 Hen-di'-a-dys; or, Two for One (Genesis 2:9. Ephesians 6:18). Two words used, but one thing meant.
One thing not two = “in the likeness of our image”, viz. of Elohim (not Jehovah), the 2nd person, who had taken creature form in order to create (Col 1:15. Heb 1:3. Rev 3;14. cp Proverbs 8:22—31, and 1 Cor 11:3—11. This refers to outward form only, and not to attributes. So He afterward took human form in order to redeem. (John 1:14). Cp Rev 4:11 with 5:9. In any case the “image and likeness” is physical, and not moral. Man fell and is a moral ruin, but some physical likeness to ’ēlohim still remains. Cp Gen 9:6 1Cor 11:7. James 3:9. There is no indication that that similitude is ever lost Gen 5:3. Note on Gen 3:7 They knew before, but their knowledge now received a new meaning. Adam becomes “naked” by losing something of ’ēlohim’s glorious likeness. The Tosephta (contemporary with the Mishnah, about A.D 200) translate Sanhedrin viii 7: “Why was man created last? It was that the Heretics might not be able to say there was a companion with Him in the work”: I.e. lest man should have claimed a share in it.
Genesis 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
formed. As a potter. Isa 64:8.
man. Hebrew ’eth-Hā’-ādhām (with the article and particle which = “this same man Adam”. Ap 14 'Adam, denotes his origin, as being made from the "dust of the Adamah" ground (Lat. homo). http://levendwater.org/companion/append14.html
“Breath [that is] life”
The world that then was Cp 2 Peter 3:5--6
Cp Ecclesiastes12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
From 2 Peter 3:5—6 to Genesis 1:1 are a little understood history, way before man appeared on this fallen earth or flesh age. It is one to be studied diligently using such links on this website which are available to those who wish to know the beginnings and history of MAN. Suffice to say that there is little room here to describe in detail such questions as:
· What led Jehovah to destroy the first earth age 2 Peter 3:5—6?
· Why did Jehovah; using ’ēlohim, have to restore His ruined Creation?
· Why was man created last? (See above).
· Who was this ’eth-Hā’-ādhām (with article, and particle).
The answers to these questions and others can be found on this website, which I have researched over a long period of time, and completes the full interpretation of the TRUTHFUL events leading to the covenant made by Jehovah with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, from which Royal lineage of David; Christ [’ēlohim] would be born to Mariam and Joseph of the house of Jesse, and known as Jesus. Who came to redeem His people, but was rejected.
Genesis 2:7, 21—24
07 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
Genesis 2:9 And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on [at] the right hand of the Majesty on high:
Revelation 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
cp Proverbs 8:22—31
22 The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.
23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:
26 While as yet He had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.
27 When He prepared the heavens, I was there: when He set a compass upon the face of the depth:
28 When He established the clouds above: when He strengthened the fountains of the deep:
29 When He gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when He appointed the foundations of the earth:
30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;
31 Rejoicing in the habitable part of His earth; and My delights were with the sons of men.
1 Corinthians 11:3—11
03 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
04 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.
05 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
06 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.
07 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
08 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.
09 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.
11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.
Theodore. H Robinson [ABC]
In continuation: History of the Hebrew and Jewish People.
Ezekiel 16:3 And say, “Thus saith the Lord God unto Jerusalem; ‘Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite. Deuteronomy
So runs Ezekiel’s judgement on the racial pedigree of Israel, and his testimony is supported by practically all that we know of the origins of the people.
thy father, &c.: i.e. thy founder. This refers to the first builders of Jebus; not to Abraham and his seed. Jebus was a Canaanite city. Thus Satan occupied in advance both land and capital as soon as the promise to Abraham was known.
It is only by the Divine specific act of creation that any created being can be called "a son of God". For that which is "born of the flesh is flesh". God is spirit, and that which is "born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6). Hence Adam is called a "son of God" in Luke 3:38. Those "in Christ" having "the new nature" which is by the direct creation of God (2Cor. 5:17. Eph. 2:10) can be, and are called "sons of God" (John 1:13. Rom. 8:14, 15. 1John 3:1). (*1)
This is why angels are called "sons of God" in every other place where the expression is used in the Old Testament. Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7. Ps. 29:1; 89:6. Dan. 3:25 (no art.). (*2) We have no authority or right to take the expression in Gen. 6:2, 4 in any other sense. Moreover, in Gen. 6:2 the Sept. renders it "angels". Angels are called "spirits" (Ps. 104:4. Heb. 1:7, 14), for spirits are created by God.
The progeny of the fallen angels with the daughters of Adam (see notes on Gen. 6, and Ap. 23) are called in Gen. 6, Ne-phil-im, which means fallen ones (from naphal, to fall). What these beings were can be gathered only from Scripture. They were evidently great in size, as well as great in wickedness. They were superhuman, abnormal beings; and their destruction was necessary for the preservation of the human race, and for the faithfulness of Jehovah's Word (Gen. 3:15).
This was why the Flood was brought "upon the world of the ungodly" (2Pet. 2:5) as prophesied by Enoch (Jude 14).
Jebus Ap 68 http://levendwater.org/companion/append68.html
THAT Zion (Heb.) or Sion (Greek) was "the city of David" is clear from 2Sam. 5:7. That Ophel and Zion are equivalent names applied to the highest point of mound of the hill ridge running due south from Mount Moriah is now generally conceded. That Zion was the name of the original Jebusite fortress on this summit, almost directly above Gihon (now known as "the Virgin's Fount") is also accepted by the majority of the authorities on the topography of Jerusalem.
1 Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
Palestine has throughout its history been a battleground of nations, and not a few of the invaders have settled down on the soil. mingling their blood with that of their predecessors, and producing one of the most mixed of the world’s races.
Deuteronomy 7:1 When the Lord thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;
To those primitive Neolithic tribes to whom the Hebrews gave the name Rephaim (“Ghosts”);
Genesis 14:5 And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that were with him, and smote the Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzims in Ham, and the Emins in Shaveh Kiriathaim,
Cubit of a man = approximately 18 inches x 9 cubits = 13:5 feet long; by 18 x 4 cubits = 6 foot wide; metric 13.5ft = 4.1148m long by 6ft = 1.8288m wide.
Giants Hebrew “Rephaim” descendants of one Rapha, a branch of the Nephilim. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/thenephilim.htm
Deuteronomy 3: 11—14
11 For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon? nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man.
12 And this land, which we possessed at that time, from Aroer, which is by the river Arnon, and half mount Gilead, and the cities thereof, gave I unto the Reubenites and to the Gadites.
13 And the rest of Gilead, and all Bashan, being the kingdom of Og, gave I unto the half tribe of Manasseh; all the region of Argob, with all Bashan, which was called the land of giants.
14 Jair the son of Manasseh took all the country of Argob unto the coasts of Geshuri and Maachathi; and called them after his own name, Bashanhavothjair, unto this day.
There succeeded in turn the Semitic stratum known as the Amorites, Genesis 14:7 Cp Genesis 15:21 The Hittites, Genesis 23:3 the Hebrews and the Philistines, Judges 3:31 each playing its part and leaving its mark on the resultant nation.
Genesis 14:7 And they returned, and came to Enmishpat, which is Kadesh, and smote all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, that dwelt in Hazezontamar.
Cp Genesis 15:21 And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.
Genesis 23:3 And Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spake unto the sons of Heth, saying,
Judges 3:31 And after him was Shamgar [Samson] the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: and he also delivered Israel.
In the earliest times Palestine was a savage “no man’s land,” lying between the two great centres of early civilisation in Mesopotamia and Egypt. The country must have been gradually settled by immigrants from the wilderness, for at the beginning of the second millennium B.C. it was a populous country, with a developed agricultural and city life in its more habitable portions. At this period it seems that Mesopotamian influence was dominant, and made itself felt in the traditions and legends of the people.
The fifteenth century B.C. is marked by the great Egyptian conquest of Trothmes III, and the land remained nominally subject to the African power until the coming of the Philistines and the establishment of the Israelite monarchy. But the authority of Egypt was intermittent, save at such points as Beth-Shean (in the valley of Jezreel), where, as at other fortified posts, archæological research shows that Egyptian occupation was practically continuous. With the decay of the 18th Dynasty under Amenhotop III and Ikhnaton (about 1400—1358 B.C.), Palestine fell largely under control of the rising empire of the Hittites, a non-Semitic people of Asia Minor, (Ancient Semitic religion the definitive bounds of the term "ancient Semitic religion" are only approximate).whose outposts were to be found in Judæn territory.as far back as the beginning of the second millennium B.C., if we may trust the historicity of the narrative in Genesis 23.
The revival of Egypt under the early kings of the nineteenth dynasty re-established her dominion, at least as far as the Lebanon, but by the beginning of the eleventh century the impulse had waned, and Egypt was once more fighting for her own existence. The last remains of the old Ægean civilisations, expelled from Asia Minor and from Crete by the invading barbarians who were later called the Greeks, tried to find fresh homes to the south, and though they failed to conquer Egypt, yet their march by land settled them on the southern coasts of Palestine, where they formed the confederacy known to history as that of the Philistines.
Amos 9:7 Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel? saith the LORD. Have not I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt? and the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir?
During the eleventh century they spread inland, and destroyed the last relics of Egyptian occupation in the fertile plains—Beth-Shean, for instance was occupied by them—and they were prevented from establishing a new empire in Palestine only by the rise of a native power which, for the first time in history, succeeded in uniting the whole country under an independent government.
Hebrew origins. In view of the varied fortunes of the country and the mingling of different races, it is curious to observe that the early traditions of the people who established that government are not those of any of the nations and empires we have mentioned, but are derived from a group of invaders from the wilderness whose immigrations have not been definitely dated (Genesis 12 forward., & Joshua 24).
These were the Hebrews, and though their contribution to the actual blood of the people may have been small, in all else they proved to be the dominant influence. When studying therefore, the history of Israel, it is with the story and traditions of these newcomers that we have to deal, interpreting as best we may records which are universally admitted to be centuries younger than the events to which they refer. (Unless the Higher or Modern critic can overcome these difficulties, by not viewing them as stumbling blocks; they may find their way out of the jungle with a better view).
Around the inner or desert rim of the fertile crescent there have ranged throughout the historic period groups of wandering tribes, partly hunting and robber clans, partly given to pastoral occupations and forming, in ancient times, the group known to us as Arameans.
Genesis 24:10 And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor.
While the settled life of agriculture and commerce, of the farm and of the city, is impossible to such a social order, people tend to group themselves in the neighbourhood of some centre of the more complicated civilisation, with which they certainly have commercial relations, and possibly form also some loose political association. They can live, it is true, on the produce of their flocks and b hunting, but they often (as in Arabia to-day) keep in touch with the city life and secure the products of the field and of the factory by bartering their own goods. The official history of the Hebrews begins with such a tribe domiciled in the region of Ur, in the far south of Mesopotamia. About the end of the third millennium B.C., a group of them moved northward, under the leadership of a chief named Terah.
Genesis 11:31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.
This migration may have been due to some political convulsion in southern Mesopotamia, which affected the status of Ur and its commercial position. It was perhaps the shifting of the centre of power from the Mesopotamian cities to the Elamite tribes which made Ur an undesirable district, and this would place the first movement somewhere between 2300—2000 B.C. Be that as it may, the migration took place, and the wandering people halted for a time in the neighbourhood of Haran, in the north of the fertile crescent.
It is worth noting (whatever be the exact significance of the fact) that both Ur and Haran were early centres of the worship of the ancient Semitic Moon-god, Sin, whose name probably meets us again in Sinai.
Portions of the tribes continued to move westward and southward. Some, finding arable land in the country between the Euphrates valley and the more fertile western hill country, settled down, founding cities of which the best known is Damascus. Another group, led by Abram, a “son” (the word “son” is often used simply in the sense of a descendant) of Terah, continued their slow march until they entered Palestine proper, which was then a country of isolated city states.
5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.
6 And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.
For some generations the wanderings continued, sometimes to the west of the Jordan and sometimes to the east, and ranging from the region of Damascus (or even further east) to the borders of Egypt. Once we have an account of direct contact between Egypt and these pastoral nomads;
and several of the narratives describe the dealings of the Hebrew patriarchs with the settled inhabitants of Canaan. (Genesis Chapters 20, 23, 26, 34, 38), while the stories of Jacob bring the ancestors of Israel into touch with both the Arameans to the north-west and the Edomites to the south. (Genesis chapters 28—33).
10 And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.
11 And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon:
12 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive.
13 Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.
14 And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair.
15 The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house.
16 And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels.
17 And the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife.
18 And Pharaoh called Abram and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife?
19 Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way.
20 And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.
The Hebrews in Egypt; the Exodus.
The Joseph chapters (Genesis 37 forward) form a transition to the next stage and explain how the early Hebrews came under Egyptian domination. There are suggestions, even in the book of Genesis, of tribes which never passed south of Canaan; Judah in chapter 38 seems to be domiciled (a place of residence) permanently in the land. But it is clear that some, at least, found their way into Goshen, the north-eastern borderland of Egypt, and were there reduced to serfdom by the Egyptians.
Genesis 46:28 And he sent Judah before him unto Joseph, to direct his face unto Goshen; and they came into the land of Goshen.
01 Then Joseph came and told Pharaoh, and said, My father and my brethren, and their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have, are come out of the land of Canaan; and, behold, they are in the land of Goshen.
02 And he took some of his brethren, even five men, and presented them unto Pharaoh.
03 And Pharaoh said unto his brethren, What is your occupation? And they said unto Pharaoh, Thy servants are shepherds, both we, and also our fathers.
04 They said morever unto Pharaoh, For to sojourn in the land are we come; for thy servants have no pasture for their flocks; for the famine is sore in the land of Canaan: now therefore, we pray thee, let thy servants dwell in the land of Goshen.
05 And Pharaoh spake unto Joseph, saying, Thy father and thy brethren are come unto thee:
06 The land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and brethren to dwell; in the land of Goshen let them dwell: and if thou knowest any men of activity among them, then make them rulers over my cattle.
07 And Joseph brought in Jacob his father, and set him before Pharaoh: and Jacob blessed Pharaoh.
08 And Pharaoh said unto Jacob, How old art thou?
09 And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.
10 And Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from before Pharaoh.
11 And Joseph placed his father and his brethren, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded.
12 And Joseph nourished his father, and his brethren, and all his father's household, with bread, according to their families.
The date of these events is uncertain, though it seems probable that the entry into Egypt took place during the period known as the Hyksos empire (roughly 18th and 17th centuries B.C.), when a Semitic wave of invasion had over-run the country.
It is with the departure from Egypt (Exodus Ch 12) that the history of Israel proper begins. The date is a matter of uncertainty, and opinions vary between the early sixteenth century and the middle of the thirteenth. If the statement in Ex 1:11 be accepted as historically accurate, the Pharaoh of the oppression must have been Rameses II, and the Pharaoh of the Exodus his son Merneptah.
Exodus 1:11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses.
The Person and Work of Moses.
Certain facts, however, are beyond dispute. The enormous influence that events connected with the Exodus had on the later thought of the people makes doubt as to its historicity impossible. The first of these is the personality of Moses himself. He bears an Egyptian name, found as one element in the names of several of the kings of the eighteenth dynasty. Hebrew tradition stated that, although an Israelite by birth Ex 2:2, he had been reared at the Egyptian court Ex 2:3—10, and had then spent many years in exile among the nomad tribe of Midian
Ex 2:15—25 with whom later Israel believed itself to be akin.
Exodus 2:2 And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months.
03 And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink.
04 And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him.
05 And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river's side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it.
06 And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews' children.
07 Then said his sister to Pharaoh's daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?
08 And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child's mother.
09 And Pharaoh's daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the women took the child, and nursed it.
10 And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.
15 Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well.
16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father's flock.
17 And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.
18 And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How is it that ye are come so soon to day?
19 And they said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew water enough for us, and watered the flock.
20 And he said unto his daughters, And where is he? why is it that ye have left the man? call him, that he may eat bread.
21 And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter.
22 And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land.
23 And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage.
24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.
It was here he had an experience of Divine revelation (Ex Chs 3—7), and returned to Egypt to bring his people out, to celebrate a festival to the God who had appeared to him. The departure was heralded by a series of catastrophes which befell the Egyptians (Exodus Chs 8—12), and the actual fight was attended by a disaster which overtook an armed force sent in pursuit of the fugitives, numbers of them being drowned in an effort to follow the Israelites in their passage across the Red Sea—probably the northern end of the Gulf of Suez.
21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.
22 And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.
23 And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.
24 And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians,
25 And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the Lord fighteth for them against the Egyptians.
26 And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.
27 And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.
28 And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them.
29 But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.
30 Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore.
31 And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses.
This event made a profound impression on Israel, and men looked back on it throughout the whole of the people’s history as the first and greatest manifestation of the national God’s power. The escape from Egypt, however, was but a preliminary to the great work of Moses. To him fell the task of binding together into a single political unit the various tribes, who, it seems, had hitherto maintained a real independence, though they had recognised a kinship of blood. the only force that could have achieved this (as Mohammed found nearly 2000 years later) was that of a new religion that Moses had to offer his people. What the earlier cults had been we do not know, but we may guess that each tribe had maintained its own worship and its own tribal deity—possibly its eponymous ancestor. (An eponym is a person or thing, whether real or fictional, after which a particular place, tribe, era, discovery, or other item is named or thought to be named).
In Midian, Moses had met a God, whose name, at least, was previously unknown to any of the tribes, and it was to the mountain sacred to this God, known as Jehovah (a more accurate form of the name Yahweh), that he led the people.
1 In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.
2 For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.
Gulf of Akabah. (The tradition which places the scene at Jebel Musa in the Sinai peninsula cannot be traced further back than the sixth century A.D.). The traditions of northern Israel seemed to have favoured the latter locality, those of southern Israel the former. But, whatever be the exact position, and whatever may have been the earlier religious situation, the main historical fact stands out: By a solemn covenant Israel and Jehovah adopted one another. He became their God and they became His People.
3 And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;
4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.
5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of this event. In the ancient world religion and politics could not be separated from one another. The god was a member of the tribe which worshipped him, and was always held to be its real leader, whether in peace or in war. This was true of all the peoples among whom Israel moved, but in this instance there was the special feature that the union of God and People was not a natural or inevitable association. On the contrary, it was a deliberate act of choice on the part of Jehovah, who could thus dictate His own terms, and of an equally deliberate acceptance on the part of Israel, who thus bound herself to observe those terms.
Other tribes too were with their deities by ties of local habitation, though Jehovah might have His proper home in the place where Israel had first met Him, He could yet go with them and take up His residence wherever they should make their home. Above all, this covenant relation with their God gave the Israelite tribes a sense of unity among themselves. and served to
distinguish from all others whom they met. Their acceptance of him was at once a domestic bond and an external barrier, consecrating them to one another, as well as to the object of their worship. The whole of the later history of Israel, political as well as religious, is based on the fundamental act of union achieved by Moses. By transmitting the Divinely given decisions to his people Moses became a lawgiver in very much the same sense in which the Sheik of the desert still settles the disputes of his group of nomads.
But when all this has been said, we are still left asking what there was to separate Jehovah, thus conceived, from the gods of other peoples surrounding Israel, and of the same Semitic stock—e.g., from Chemosh, the god of Moab. (Moabite stone).
Two things at least we may say, and they take us far:
1. The power and purpose of Jehovah had been revealed in a great act of deliverance, an act which became a constant source of inspiration to the memory of the subsequent generations (Amos 2:10. Hosea 11:1). He is a Saviour—God from the beginning, who makes history the channel of Divine Revelation. History is the sacrament of the religion of Israel, a sacrament which grew in meaning and power with the progress of history. God is known for what He is by what He does, and what He does is the history of His people.
2. The second distinctive feature of this primitive faith in Jehovah is that the relation between Him and Israel is ethically conceived from the outset. He is not merely a tribal God, so tied to Israel that His co-operation can be taken for granted. The words of Jesus, “Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you,” might be applied to the Jehovah of Moses. He acts of His own initiative, and in that freedom of Divine grace there is a necessary basis of a moral nation. Here is the germ of the later prophetic teaching, which carried this moral conception to its true issue by liberating it from nationalistic limitations.
Amos 3:2 “You only have I known of all the families of the earth:
therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.”
Part II The Conquest of Canaan.