Historical Children's Literature Collection

The history of Moses; giving an account of his birth, his being found by Pharaoh's daughter in the ark… [between 1840 and 1857?]

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  Fiie findin^of Moses.
Exodus ii. 1.
Moses was the son of Amram and Jochebed, of the
tribe of Levi, and was born in Egypt. In consequence of the decree of Pharaoh for putting the
male children of the Hebrews to death, his mother
seeing that he was a goodly child, hid him three
months. At length when she could no longer hide
him, she made for him with her own hands a little
sradle of bulrushes, which she daubed with slime
and pitch to keep out the water, and having put
the child into it, she laid it among the flags by the
edge of the river Nile. She then left his sister at
a little distance from the spot to watch the cradle,
A short time after Jochebed had left her child, the
daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe herself in
the river, and when she saw the little ark, she sent
 her maid to fetch it. And when she opened it, she
saw the child, and behold the child wept. And she
had compassion on him, and said, " This is one of
the Hebrew's children.* And the sister of the child,
who had seen all that had passed, came to the
princess, and said to her, " Shall I go and call thee
a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse
the child for thee ?" And Pharaoh's daughter said
to her, " Go :" and the maid went and called the
child's mother. And the woman took the child and
nursed it. And we read that the child grew under
the tender care of his mother, and that she took him
when he was old enough unto Pharaoh's daughter,
who brought him up as her own son. And she
called his name Moses, which-; in the Egyptian
tongue, means one saved out of the water.
As the son of Pharaoh's daughter, Moses was
educated in a magnificent and princely manner, yet
Moses did not forget his own people, or his father's
house. In his visits to his own people, Moses saw
and pitied the miseries which they had to bear from
the cruelty of King Pharaoh. He saw their sufferings, and could no longer be happy in the court of
Egypt, among the enemies of his people and of their
religion. His faith made him more proud of the
name of Israelite then he had ever been of being
called the adopted son of King Pharaoh's daughter.
Once more among his own people, he found it very
difficult to see with patience all that they had to
bear; and on one occasion we read that he saved
a Hebrew from the hand of an Egyptian who was
smitinghim, andslewthe Egyptian. When Pharaoh
heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. And
Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the
land of Midian, and lived several years with Jethro,
who gave him one of his daughters for his wife.
The burning Bush.
Exodus iii. 1.
One day, when Moses was keeping the flock of
his father-in-law, the angel of the Lord appeared
tin to him in a flame of fire, out of the midst of a
bush. " And Moses said, I will now turn aside,
and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt."
Then God called unto him out of the midst of the
bush, and said, draw not nigh hither; put off thy
shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou
standest is holy ground. And the Lord commissioned him to deliver his people Israel. But Mosefc
was afraid when he heard what God commanded
him to do ; because he thought himself unworthy
of such an office, and unfit for it. But it pleased
God to assure him, that he would be with him,
to guide and protect him.
The Plagues of Egvpt.
Exodus viii. 1.
Now Moses and Aaron went as the Lord commanded them, and told the people all that the Lord
had spoken unto Moses, and did wonders before
them. And Moses and Aaron went in and said to
King Pharaoh, " Thus saith the Lord God of Israel,
4 Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto
me in the wilderness.' " And Pharaoh said, " Who
5s the Lord that I should obey his voice to let Israel
go? I know not the.Lord, neither will I let Israel
go." And from that day Pharaoh made the children
of Israel wrork harder than they had ever done
before, desiring that they might no longer have
straw given them to make their bricks of, but that
they should from that time be obliged to find their
own straw, and at-the same time get done as much
work as they did when they had straw given them.
Then when God saw the hardness of Pharaoh's
heart, he commanded Moses to go to Pharaoh in
the morning, when he took his walk by the river,
and to take his rod in his hand, and to smite the
waters of the river before him, which should all be
turned into blood. And the fish that were in the
river died, and the river stank, and the Egyptians
could not drink of the water of the river; and there
was blood throughout all the land of Egypt. Seven
days did this sad change in the waters last; but
still Pharach would not listen to the voice of Moses
and Aaron. Then God told Moses to stretch forth
his hand over the river, and over all the waters,
and to bring frogs over all his people : and Moses
did so; and frogs came over ail the land of Egypt,
as the Lord said. Then Pharaoh sent for Moses and
Aaron, and said, " Entreat the Lord, that he may
take away the frogs from me, and from my people;
and I will let the people go, that they may so
sacrifice unto the Lord." But no sooner did the
Lord hear the voice of Moses, and take away this
evil from Pharaoh and his people, than the king
forgot what he had suffered, and would not let
the Israelites go. Great and dreadful were the
plagues that the lord brought upon the land of
Egypt before the King would let the children of
Israel go. At one time, he covered the whole land,
both man and beast, with the most disgusting
kind of insects—at another, he sent grievous
swarms of flies to torment them—now, he sent
mighty hails, and thunderings, and rains upon
the land, which were exceeding terrible, filling
the hearts of the people with fear—then, he
destroyed all the first-born of the land, both man
and beast.
The Passover,
Exodus xii.
On the evening before the Passover God commanded that every family of Israel should slay a lamb, and
sprinkle the door-posts before the houses with the
blood of the lamb ; that so, when the angel of th<~
Lord came down to destroy the first-born of Egypy.
he might know the houses of Israel from those oi^
Egypt, and pass over them, and save those that
dwelt in them from death. This lamb was to be
called the Passover, because God should pass over
those houses whose doors were sprinkled with its
blood. This was the last supper which the children
of Israel were ever to eat in Egypt, even the feast
of the Passover. They kept up this feast every
year, in order that they might remember the night
when the Lord smote the Egyptians.
The passage of Israel through the Red Sea,
Exodus xiv. 15.
We now see the children of Israel, delivered by
the almighty power of God from Egypt and from
Pharaoh, travelling towards the land that God had
promised to their fathers. The Lord went before
them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them
the way, and by night in a pillar of fire, to give
them light. When they had thus got as far as
Pi-hahiroth, which borders on the Red Sea,
they lifted up their eyes, and behold the Egyptians
marched after them. So hardened was king Pharaoh's heart, that scarcely had the Israelites gone out
of Egypt before he was sorry that he had let them
go. And he took six liimdred chosen chariots, and
all the chariots of Egym> ind captains over every
one of them, and passed after the children of Israel,
and overtook them by the sea, beside Pi-hahiroth*
Then the children of Israel were sore afraid, and
cried unto the Lord. The Red Sea before them, the
Egyptians behind, they saw no hope of safety ; and
they were full of anger against Moses, for having
brought them out of Egypt. But the Lord said
unto Moses. " Lift up thy rod, and stretch out thine
hand over the sea, and divide it; and the children
of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst
of the sea. " And the angel of the Lord, which
went before the camp of Israel, removed and went
behind them, and came between the camp of the
Egyptians and the camp of Israel; so that the one
lame not near the oilier all the night. 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. But that foolish and wicked man
Pharaoh, still set himself against God, and madly
pursued the Israelites into the midst of the sea.
But so soon as the Israelites had passed over on dry
land, and safely reached the shore, 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."
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; but the Lord overthrew them in the midst of
the sea, 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: and Israel
saw their dead bodies upon the sea shore. Thus
the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of
the Egyptians,
Israel fed from Heavenr.
Exodus xvi. 1.
We read in the Bible, that after they had crossed
the Red Sea, they came into the wilderness of Chur.
While travelling onwards through the wilderness of
Sin they suffered from hunger, and murmered against
Moses and Aaron. But again God heard their cries,
and sent them bread from heaven to eat. The
Lord said unto Moses, " Behold I will rain bread
from heaven for you ; and the people shall go out
and gather a certain rate every day—at even ye
shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled
with bread." And in the morning there lay a small
round thing, as small as the hoar-frost, on the ground.
And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one
to another, " It is manna." And Moses said, " This
is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat/1
 Moses Smiting the Rock.
Exodus xvii. 1.
We now find the children of Israel travelling
from the wilderness of Sin, and, according to the
commandment of the Lord, pitching their camp
at Rephidim. There being no water here, we
find those stubborn and rebellious people, saying
unto Moses, •« Give us water that we may drink ;
wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of
Egypt, to kill us, and our children, and our cattle,
with thirst?" The Lord had shewed them signs
and mighty wonders in the land of Egypt—he had
delivered their children from the sword of the destroying angel, when all around them was anguish
and dismay—he heard them when they cried and
groaned under the lash of the oppressor, amid the
brick-kilns of Egypt, and emancipated them from
tie same—he opened a passage for them in the
ighty waters at the Red Sea, when about to fall
prey to the rage and fury of Pharaoh king of
gypt—moreover, he had given them bread to eat
ifi the wilderness when they hungered for the same ;
md was still able to give them what they now
lesired. But they, instead of praying to the Lord
hat he would once more condescend to look down
with compassion upon them, and grant them their
request, reproached, and murmured against Moses,
the servant of the Lord. And Moses said unto
them, "Why chide ye with me? wherefore do
ye tempt the Lord?" Moses tired of their complaints and discontent, felt that he could do
nothing with the people under his care; but
knew that the Lord could either quench there
thirst, or put a stop to their rage. He, therefore, cried unto the Lord, and said, " What
shall I do unto this people ? they be almost ready
to stone me." Nor did he cry in vain, for the
Lord said unto him, " Go on before the people, and
take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy
rod wherewith thou smotest the river, take in
thine hand and go. Behold, I will stand before
thee there upon the rock in Horeb, and thou shalt
smite the rock, and there shall come water out
of it, that the people may drink." And Moses
did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. Thus
did God open streams in the desert—he clave
the hard rocks in the wilderness, and gave
them drink thereof, as it had been out of the
great depth-—he brought waters out of the
strong rock, so that it gushed out like rivers:
and this he did although his people had sinned
against him, and provoked the Most High in the
 The Law gi^en from Mount Sinai
Exodus xix. 10.
Now the children of Israel encamped bef
Mount Sinai. Then God desired that the people
would put away all their usual employments, and
spend the next two days in preparing to appear
before him. And on the third day Moses brought
forth the people out of the camp to meet with God ;
stnd Mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke; because
the Lord descended upon it in fire, and the whole
mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the
trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder,
Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.
And the Lord called Moses up to the top of the
mount. Then Moses went up and heard God himself speak the Ten Commandments which we have
in the twentieth Chapter of Exodus,
The Israelites worshippingthe&olden calf.
Exodus xxxii
Now Moses was forty days and forty nights in the
mount with God ; and the people had began to
wonder what had become of him, and to be tired of
waiting and looking for his return. Although the
glory of the Lord still rested on the mount, and the
presence of the Lord was clearly there, they pretended to think that God and Moses had left them,
and they said one to another, " Let us md,u us
gods which shall go before us." And they made
them a golden calf, and said, " These be thy gods,
O Israel, which brought thee out of the land of
Egypt/' And they worshipped the golden calf which
they had set up, although God had positively forbidden them to make any graven image to worship,
or the likeness of any thing in heaven above, or in
 the earth beneath, or in the water under the earth.
But so evil were their hearts, so ready to wander
from God, so quick to  forget  his mercies, that
having been left only for a few short days to themselves, they set up a golden calf to worship.    And
the Lord said unto Moses,    " Go, get thee down ;
for thy  people  have  corrupted themselves:   they
have turned aside quickly out of the way which
I   commanded  them;   they   have  made  them  a
molten   calf,   and  have   worshipped  it:   let   me
alone that my wrath may consume them, and I
will make of thee a great nation."    But  Moses
loved  the people  of Israel;   and he prayed earnestly for them, unto the Lord his  God.     And
the Lord who  is abundant in  mercy,  graciously
heard   his   prayer;   so  as  not to  destroy them
altogether in a moment.    And Moses went down
from  the  mount, and as soon as  he came nigh
unto the camp, he saw the calf, and the dancing;
and his anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables
out  of his hands, and  break them  beneath the
mount.    And  he took  the calf which they had
made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to
powder, and strewed it upon the water, and made
them drink of it.    And he stood in the gate of the
camp, and said, " Who is on the Lord's side ? let him
come unto me."    And all the sons of Levi gathered
themselves together unto him.    Then Moses, by
the command of God, desired the sons of Levi to
take their swords and go in amongst the people,
and kill them : and they did so ; and there fell of
the people that day about three thousand.    And to
the rest of the people Moses said, "Ye have sinned
a great sin ; and now will I go up unto the Lord;
peradventure I shall make an atonement for you?
^Tadab and Ablhu burnt by Are.
Leviticus x. 1.
Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either
of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put
incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the
Lord, which he commanded them°not. And there
went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them,
and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said
unto Aaron, " This is it that the Lord spake, saying,
I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and
before ail the people I will be glorified." And
Aaron held his peace. And Moses called Mishael
and Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel, the uncle of Aaron,
and said unto them, " Carry your brethren from before the sanctuary out of the camp." So they
carried them, as Moses had said ; And Moses said
unto Aaron, and unto his sons, " Uncover not your
heads, neither rend your clothes, lest ye die."
The Spies return from surveying Canaan.
^^^ ■ -■ --— ■
The   children of
mbers xiii. 1.
Israel were thus wonderfully
led by the Lord throughout all their journeys,
until they arrived safely on the borders of the land
of Canaan. There God desired Moses, to send men
to search the land of Canaan. And Moses sent
twelve men, one man from each of the tribes or
families of Israel, and said unto them, " Go, see
the land what it is, and the people that dwell therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many ;
and what the land is that they dwell in, whether it
be good or bad. And be ye of good courage, and
bring of the fruit of the land." Now the time was
the time of the first ripe grapes. So they went up
and searched the land ; and they came to a brook
or valley, afterward called Eshcol.   And so beauti-
ful were the fruits they found in this fertile valley
of Eshcol, that they cut down there a bunch of
grapes so large that two men were obliged to
carry it between them on a stick: they took also
of the pomegranates and the figs. After forty
days spent in searching the land, they went back
to Moses and Aaron, and all the people, and
shewed them the fruit of the land ; and they told
them that such were the fruits of the land of
Canaan, and that it was certainly a land flowing
with milk and honey; but in other respects these
men gave a very evil account of the land itself, and
a very frightful one of the people that dwelt there,
whom they called giants ; saying, " That by the side
of them they seemed to themselves as grasshoppers."
But two of the children of Israel, named Caleb
and Joshua, who were of the twelve who had
been sent into the land, declared unto all the people
that what the others had told them was not true.
But the people would not listen to Caleb and Joshua,
nor believe what they said; for their hearts were
exceedingly perverse towards God. And the anger
of the Lord was exceeding great against the children
of Israel; and because they had acted in this wicked
manner, God said they should not see the land which
he had promised them ; no, not one of them should
enter that land, excepting his servants Caleb and
Joshua ; but that the rest of the people should die in
the wilderness, and that their children should wander
there, until all those who had now and so often
before sinned against the Lord had died and were
buried. Then God said to this wicked people,
" Turn you, and get you into the wilderness, by the
way of the Red Sea." Now Moses told these sayings to the people of Israel, and they murmured
He that violated the Sabbath is stoned.
SiS^^^^weth up Korah.
Numbers xv. 32.
On one occasion some of the children of Israel
found a man gathering sticks upon the sabbath day.
And they put him in ward, because it had not been
declared what should be done to him. And the Lord
said unto Moses, " The man shall be surely put to
death: all the congregation shall stone him with
stones without the camp." And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him
with stones, and he died; as the Lord commanded
Moses. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
"Bid them make fringes in the border of their
garments, throughout their generations, and put
upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue;
that they may remember, and do all my command-
ments, and be holy unto their God "
Numbers xvi. 1,   ^^^mffiMf||
Now Korah, Dathan, and Abiram,  took men ;
land they rose up before Moses, with certain of the
'children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of
|he assembly.    And they gathered themselves together against Moses and  Aaron, and said unto
them, " Ye take too mucu upon you, seeing all the
congregation are holy, every one of them, and the
tord is among them ; wherefore then lift ye up
kmrselves above the congregation of the Lord ? "
ind when Moses heard it, he fell upon his face,*
tnd he spake unto Korah, and all his company,
aying, "Even to-morrow, the Lord will shew who
ire his, and who is holy; and will cause him to
tome near unto him,    This do ; take you censer^
fcorah and all his company ; and put fire therein,
and put incense in them before the Lord to-morrow,
and it shall be, that the man whom the Lord doth
choose, he shall be holy."   And they took every man
his censer, and put fire in them, and laid incense
thereon, and stood in the door of the tabernacle
of the congregation with Moses and Aaron.    And
Korah gathered all the congregation against them,
and the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the
congregation.    And the Lord spake unto Moses and
unto   Aaron,  saying,   " Separate yourselves from
among this congregation, that I may consume them
in a moment."    But Moses and Aaron fell upon
their faces,  and entreated the Lord to spare the
congregation.    And the Lord commanded Moses
to speak unto them, and say, " Get you up from
about   the   tabernacle   of   Korah,   Dathan,   and
Abu-am."    So Moses spake these words unto them,
and they obeyed him, and departed from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.    Then Moses
said unto them, " If these men die the common death
of all men, then the Lord hath not sent me ; but
if the   Lord  open  the  mouth of the earth, and
swallow them up, and all that pertaineth unto them,
then ye shall know that these men have provoked
the Lord."    And it came to pass, as he had made
ah end of speaking these words, that the ground
clave asunder under them ; and the earth opened
her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses,
and all the  men  that  appertained  unto   Korah.
And there came out fire from the Lord and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered
incense.    Then the congregation murmured again^
Moses, saying, " Ye have killed the people of the
Lord."    And the Lord was angry with the children
of Israel, and smote them with a plague ; which,
however, was stayed by the intercession of Aaron,
The Brazen Serpent.
Numbers xxi. 6.
The children of Israel being obliged to take a
longer journey than they expected before they were
permitted to enter the promised land, murmured
against the Lord and against Moses, Then the
t Lord in his anger sent fiery serpents among the
people, which bit them ; and much people of Israel
died. And Moses prayed for the people. And the
Lord said unto Moses, " Make thee a fiery serpent,
and set it upon a pole ; and it shall come to pass,
that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon
It, shall live." And Moses made a serpent of brass,
and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if
a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the
serpent of brass, he lived. The children of Israel
continued their journey towards the promised land;
none of them, however, who had left the land of
Egypt, save Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the
son of Jephunneh, were permitted to enter it, for
having sinned so often against the Lord. Even
Moses the servant of the Lord, though permitted
to see it from the top of Mount Nebo, was not permitted to enter; but died in the land of Moab,
when he was an hundred and twenty years of age*
And the children of Israel wept for Moses thirty


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