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p. 50



   WHEN Adam and Eve went forth from Paradise, Adam, as if knowing that he was never to return to his place, cut off a branch from the tree of good and evil--which is the fig-tree--and took it with him and went forth; and it served him as a staff all the days of his life. After the death of Adam, his son Seth took it, for there were no weapons as yet at that time. This rod was passed on from hand to hand unto Noah, and from Noah to Shem; and it was handed down from Shem to Abraham as a blessed thing from the Paradise of God. With this rod Abraham broke the images and graven idols which his father made, and therefore God said to him, 'Get thee out of thy father's house,' etc. It was in his hand in every country as far as Egypt, and from Egypt to Palestine. Afterwards Isaac took it, and (it was handed down) from Isaac to Jacob; with it he fed the flocks of Laban the Aramean in Paddan Aram. After Jacob Judah his fourth son took it; and this is the rod which Judah gave to Tamar his daughter-in-law, with his signet ring and his napkin, as the hire for what he had done. From him (it came) to Pharez. At that time there were wars everywhere, and an angel took the rod, and laid it in the Cave of Treasures in the mount of Moab, until Midian was built. There was in Midian a man, upright and righteous before God, whose name was Yathrô (Jethro). When he was feeding his flock on the mountain, he found the cave and took the rod by divine agency; and with it he fed his sheep until his old age. When he gave his daughter to Moses, he said to him, 'Go in, my son, take the rod, and go forth to thy flock.' When Moses had set his foot upon the threshold of the door, an angel moved the rod, and it came out of its own free will towards Moses. And Moses took the rod, and it was with him until God spake with him on mount Sinai. When God said to him, 'Cast the rod upon the ground,' he did so, and it became a great serpent; and the Lord said, 'Take it,' and he did so, and it became a rod as at first. This is the rod which God gave him for a p. 51 help and a deliverance; that it might be a wonder, and that with it he might deliver Israel from the oppression of the Egyptians. By the will of the living God this rod became a serpent in Egypt. By it God spake to Moses; and it swallowed up the rod of Pôsdî the sorceress of the Egyptians. With it Moses smote the sea of Sôph in its length and breadth, and the depths congealed in the heart of the sea. It was in Moses' hands in the wilderness of Ashîmôn, and with it he smote the stony rock, and the waters flowed forth. Then God gave serpents power over the children of Israel to destroy them, because they had angered Him at the waters of strife. And Moses prayed before the Lord, and God said to him, 'Make thee a brazen serpent, and lift it up with the rod, and let the children of Israel look upon it and be healed.' Moses did as the Lord had commanded him, and he placed the brazen serpent in the sight of all the children of Israel in the wilderness; and they looked upon it and were healed. After all the children of Israel were dead, save Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Yôphannâ (Jephunneh), they went into the promised land, and took the rod with them, on account of the wars with the Philistines and Amalekites. And Phineas hid the rod in the desert, in the dust at the gate of Jerusalem, where it remained until our Lord Christ was born. And He, by the will of His divinity, shewed the rod to Joseph the husband of Mary, and it was in his hand when he fled to Egypt with our Lord and Mary, until he returned to Nazareth. From Joseph his son Jacob, who was surnamed the brother of our Lord, took it; and from Jacob Judas Iscariot, who was a thief, stole it. When the Jews crucified our Lord, they lacked wood for the arms of our Lord; and Judas in his wickedness gave them the rod, which became a judgment and a fall unto them, but an uprising unto many. 1There were born to Moses two sons; the one called Gershom, which is interpreted 'sojourner;' and the other Eliezer, which is interpreted 'God hath helped me.' Fifty-two years after the birth of Moses, Joshua the son of Nun was born in Egypt2. When Moses was eighty years old, God spake with him upon mount Sinai. And the cry of p. 52 the children of Israel went up to God by reason of the severity of the oppression of the Egyptians; and God heard their groaning, and remembered His covenants with the fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to whom He promised that in their seed should all nations be blessed. One day when Moses was feeding the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, he and the sheep went from the wilderness to mount Horeb, the mount of God; and the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire in a bush, but the bush was not burnt. Moses said, 'I will turn aside and see this wonderful thing, how it is that the fire blazes in the bush, but the bush is not burnt.' God saw that he turned aside to look, and He called to him from within the bush, and said, 'Moses, Moses.' Moses said, 'Here am I, Lord.' God said to him, 'Approach not hither, for the place upon which thou standest is holy.' And God said to him, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob;' and Moses covered his face, for he was afraid to look at Him. Some say that when God spake with Moses, Moses stammered through fear. And the Lord said to him, 'I have seen the oppression of My people in Egypt, and have heard the voice of their cry, and I am come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to carry them up from that land to the land flowing with milk and honey; come, I will send thee to Egypt.' Moses said, 'Who am I, Lord, that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring out those of the house of Israel from Egypt?' God said to him, 'I will be with thee.' Moses said to the Lord, 'If they shall say unto me, What is the Lord's name? what shall I say unto them?' God said, 'אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה, {Hebrew: AeHøYeH AaSheR AeHøYeH} that is, the Being who is the God of your fathers hath sent me to you. This is My name for ever, and this is My memorial to all generations.' God said to Moses, 'Go, tell Pharaoh everything I say to thee.' Moses said to the Lord, 'My tongue is heavy and stammers; how will Pharaoh accept my word?' God said to Moses, 'Behold, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh, and thy brother Aaron a phophet before thee; speak thou with Aaron, and Aaron shall speak with Pharaoh, and he shall send away the children of Israel that they may serve Me. And I will harden the heart of Pharaoh, and I will work My wonders in the land of Egypt, and will bring up My people the children of Israel from thence, and the Egyptians shall know that I p. 53 am God.' And Moses and Aaron did everything that God had commanded them. Moses was eighty-three years old when God sent him to Egypt. And God said to him, 'If Pharaoh shall seek a sign from thee, cast thy rod upon the ground, and it shall become a serpent.' Moses and Aaron came to Pharaoh, and threw down Moses' rod, and it became a serpent. The sorcerers of Egypt did the same1, but Moses' rod swallowed up those of the sorcerers; and the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not send away the people. And God wrought ten signs by the hands of Moses: first, turning the waters into blood; second, bringing up frogs upon them; third, domination of the gnats; fourth, noisome creatures of all kinds; fifth, the pestilence among the cattle; sixth, the plague of boils; seventh, the coming of hail-stones; eighth, the creation of locusts; ninth, the descent of darkness; tenth, the death of the firstborn. When God wished to slay the first-born of Egypt, He said to Moses, 'This day shall be to you the first of months, that is to say, Nisan and the new year. On the tenth of this month, let every man take a lamb for his house, and a lamb for the house of his father; and if they be too few in number (for a whole lamb), let him and his neighbour who is near him share it. Let the lamb be kept until the fourteenth day of this month, and let all the children of Israel slay it at sunset, and let them sprinkle its blood upon the thresholds of their houses with the sign of the cross. This blood shall be to you a sign of deliverance, and I will see (it) and rejoice in you, and Death the destroyer shall no more have dominion over you;' and Moses and Aaron told the children of Israel all these things. And the Lord commanded them not to go out from their houses until morning; 'for the Lord will pass over the Egyptians to smite their firstborn, and will see the blood upon the thresholds, and will not allow the destroyer to enter their houses.' When it was midnight, the Lord slew the firstborn of the Egyptians, from the firstborn of Pharaoh sitting upon his throne down to the last. And Pharaoh sent to Moses and Aaron, saying, 'Depart from among my people, and go, serve the p. 54 Lord, as ye have said; and take your goods and chattels with you.' The Egyptians also urged the children of Israel to go forth from among them, through fear of death; and the children of Israel asked chains of gold and silver and costly clothing of the Egyptians, and spoiled them; and the Lord gave them favour in the sight of the Egyptians. The children of Israel set out from Raamses to Succoth, six hundred thousand men; and when they entered Egypt in the days of Joseph, they were seventy-five souls in number. They remained in bodily and spiritual subjection four hundred and thirty years; from the day that God said to Abraham, 'Thy seed shall be a sojourner in the land of Egypt,' from that hour they were oppressed in their minds. When the people had gone out of Egypt on the condition that they should return, and did not return, Pharaoh pursued after them to bring them back to his slavery. And they said to Moses, 'Why hast thou brought us out from Egypt? It was better for us to serve the Egyptians as slaves, and not to die here.' Moses said, 'Fear not, but see the deliverance which God will work for you to-day.' And the Lord said to Moses, 'Lift up thy rod and smite the sea, that the children of Israel may pass over as upon dry land.' And Moses smote the sea, and it was divided on this side and on that; and the children of Israel passed through the depth of the sea as upon dry land. When Pharaoh and his hosts came in after them, Moses brought his rod back over the sea, and the waters returned to their place; and all the Egyptians were drowned. And Moses bade the children of Israel to sing praises with the song 'Then sang Moses and the children of Israel' (Exod. xv. 1).

   The children of Israel marched through the wilderness three days, and came to the place called Murrath (Marah) from the bitterness of its waters; and the people were unable to drink that water. And they lifted up their voice and murmured against Moses, saying, 'What shall we drink?' Moses prayed before God, and took absinth-wood1, which is bitter in its nature, and threw it into the water, and it was made sweet. There did the Lord teach them laws and judgments. And they set out from thence, and on the fifteenth of the second month, which is Îyâr, came to a place in which there were twelve wells and seventy p. 55 palm-trees1. Dâd-Îshô` says in his exposition of Paradise2 that the sorcerers Jannes and Jambres, who once opposed Moses, lived there. There was a well in that place, and over it was a bucket and brass chain; and devils dwelt there, because that place resembled Paradise. The blessed Mâkârîs (Macarius) visited that spot, but was unable to live there because of the wickedness of those demons; but that they might not boast over the human race, as if forsooth no one was able to live there, God commanded two anchorites, whose names no man knoweth, and they dwelt there until they died. When the children of Israel saw that wilderness, they murmured against Moses, saying, 'It were better for us to have died in Egypt, being satisfied with bread, than to come forth into this arid desert for this people to perish by hunger.' And God said to Moses, 'Behold, I will bring manna down from heaven for you; a cloud shall shade you by day from the heat of the sun, and a pillar of fire shall give light before you by night.' God said to Moses, 'Go up into this mountain, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and Nadab, and seventy chosen elders of the children of Israel, and let them worship from afar; and let Moses come near to Me by himself.' And they did as the Lord commanded them, and Moses drew near by himself, and the rest of the elders remained below at the foot of the mountain; and God gave him commandments. And Moses made known to the people the words of the Lord; and all the people answered with one voice and said, 'Everything that the Lord commands us we will do.' Moses took blood with a hyssop, and sprinkled it upon the people, saying to them, 'This is the blood of the covenant,' and so forth. And God said to Moses, 'Say unto the children of Israel that they set apart for Me gold and silver and brass and purple,' and the rest of the things which are mentioned in the Tôrâh, 'and let them make a tabernacle for Me.' God also shewed the construction thereof to Moses, saying, 'Let Aaron and his sons be priests to Me, and let them serve My altar and sanctuary.' God wrote ten commandments3 on two tables of stone, and these are they. Thou shalt not make to thyself an image or a likeness; thou shalt not falsify thy oaths; keep p. 56 the day of the Sabbath; honour thy father and thy mother; thou shalt not do murder; thou shalt not commit adultery; thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not bear false witness; thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's or brother's house; thou shalt not covet the wife of thy kinsman or neighbour, nor his servants, nor his handmaidens. When the children of Israel saw that Moses tarried on the mountain, they gathered together to Aaron and said to him, 'Arise, make us a god to go before us, for we know not what has become of thy brother Moses.' Aaron said to them, 'Bring me the earrings that are in the ears of your wives and children.' When they had brought them to him, he cast a calf from them, and said to the people, 'This is thy god, O Israel, who brought thee out of Egypt;' and they built an altar, and the children of Israel offered up sacrifice upon it. God said to Moses, 'Get thee down to the people, for they have become corrupt.' And Moses returned to the people, and in his hands were the two tablets of stone, upon which the ten commandments were written by the finger of God. When Moses saw that the people had erred, he was angry and smote the tablets upon the side of the mountain and brake them. And Moses brought the calf, and filed it with a file, and threw it into the fire, and cast its ashes into water; and he commanded the children of Israel to drink of that water. And Moses reproached Aaron for his deeds, but Aaron said, 'Thou knowest that the people is stiffnecked.' Then Moses said to the children of Levi, 'The Lord commands you that each man should slay his brother and his neighbour of those who have wrought iniquity;' and there were slain on that day three thousand men. And Moses went up to the mountain a second time, and there were with him two tables of stone instead of those which he brake. He remained on the mountain and fasted another forty days, praying and supplicating God to pardon the iniquity of the people. When he came down from the mountain with the other two tablets upon which the commandments were written, the skin of his face shone, and the children of Israel were unable to look upon his countenance by reason of the radiance and light with which it was suffused; and they were afraid of him. When he came to the people, he covered his face with a napkin; and when he spake with God, he uncovered his face. And Moses said to Hur, the son of his father-in-law Reuel the Midianite, 'We will go to the land p. 57 which God promised to give us; come with us, and we will do thee good;' but he would not, and returned to Midian. So the children of Israel went along the road to prepare a dwelling-place for themselves; and they lifted up their voice with a cry; and God heard and was angry, and fire went round about them and burnt up the parts round about their camps. They said to Moses, 'Our soul languishes in this wilderness, and we remember the meats of Egypt; the fishes and the cucumbers and the melons and the onions and the leeks and the garlic; and now we have nought save this manna which is before us.' Now the appearance of manna was like that of coriander seed, and they ground it, and made flat cakes of it; and its taste was like bread with oil in it. And the Lord heard the voice of the people weeping each one at the door of his tent, and it was grievous to Him. Moses prayed before the Lord and said, 'Why have I not found favour before Thee? and why hast Thou cast the weight of this people upon me? Did I beget them? Either slay me or let me find favour in Thy sight.' God said to Moses, 'Choose from the elders of the children of Israel seventy men, and gather them together to the tabernacle, and I will come down and speak with thee. And I will take of the spirit and power which is with thee and will lay it upon them, and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, and thou shalt not bear it by thyself alone;' and Moses told them. Moses gathered together seventy elders from the children of Israel, and the Lord came down in a cloud, and spake with them; and he took of the spirit and power which was with Moses and laid it upon them, and they prophesied. But two elders of the seventy whose names were written down remained in the camp and did not come; the name of the one was Eldad, and that of the other Medad; and they also prophesied in the tabernacle. A young man came and told Moses, and Joshua the son of Nun, the disciple of Moses, said to him, 'My lord, restrain them.' Moses said, 'Be not jealous; would that all the children of Israel were prophets; for the Spirit of God hath come upon them.'

   And Moses said to the children of Israel, 'Because ye have wept and have asked for flesh, behold the Lord will give you flesh to eat; not one day, nor two, nor five, nor ten, but a month of days shall ye eat, until it goeth out of your nostrils, and becometh nauseous to p. 58 you1.' Moses said (to the Lord), 'This people among whom I am is six hundred thousand men, and hast Thou promised to feed them with flesh for a month of days? If we slay sheep and oxen, it would not suffice for them; and if we collect for them (all) the fish that are in the sea, they would not satisfy them.' And the Lord said to Moses, 'The hand of the Lord shall bring (this) to pass, and behold, thou shalt see whether this happens or not.' By the command of God a wind blew and brought out quails from the sea, and they were gathered around the camp of the children of Israel about a day's journey on all sides; and they were piled upon one another to the depth of two cubits. Each of the children of Israel gathered about ten cors; and they spread them out before the doors of their tents. And the Lord was angry with them, and smote them with death, and many died; and that place was called 'the graves of lust.'

   They departed from thence to the place called Haserôth. And Aaron and Miriam lifted up themselves against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, and they said, 'Has God spoken with Moses only? Behold, He hath spoken with us also.' Now Moses was meeker than all men. And God heard the words of Miriam and Aaron, and came down in a pillar of cloud, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and called them, and they came forth to Him. The Lord said to them, 'Hear what I will say to you. I have revealed Myself to you in secret, and ye have prophesied in a dream. Not so with My servant Moses, who is trusted in everything, for with him I speak mouth to mouth.' And the Lord was angry with them, and the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle; and Miriam was a leper, and was white as snow. Aaron saw that she was a leper, and said to Moses, 'I entreat thee not to look upon our sins which we have sinned against thee.' Moses made supplication before God, saying, 'Heal her, O Lord, I entreat Thee.' God said to Moses, 'If her father had spat in her face, it would have been right for her to pass the night alone outside the camp for seven days, and then to come in.' So Miriam stayed outside the camp for seven days, and then she was purified.

p. 59

   And God said to Moses, 'Send forth spies, from every tribe a man, and let them go and search out the land of promise.' Moses chose twelve men, among whom were Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh; and they went and searched out the land. And they returned, carrying with them of the fruit of the land grapes and figs and pomegranates. The spies came and said, 'We have not strength to stand against them, for they are mighty men, while we are like miserable locusts in their sight.' And the children of Israel were gathered together to Moses and Aaron, and they lifted up their voice and wept with a great weeping, saying, 'Why did we not die under the hand of the Lord in the wilderness and in Egypt, and not come to this land to die with our wives and children, and to become a laughing-stock and a scorn to the nations?' Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh said to them, 'Fear not; we will go up against them, and the Lord will deliver them into our hands, and we shall inherit the land, as the Lord said to us.' The children of Israel said to one another, 'Come, let us make us a chief and return to Egypt;' and Moses and Aaron fell upon their faces before the people. And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh rent their clothes and said to the children of Israel, 'The land which we have searched out is a thriving one, flowing with milk and honey, and it is in the power of God to give it to us; do not provoke God.' And the children of Israel gathered together to stone them with stones. And God was revealed in a cloud over the tabernacle openly in the sight of the children of Israel; and He said to Moses, 'How long will these (people) provoke Me? and how long will they not believe in Me for all the wonders which I have wrought among them? Let Me smite them, and I will make thee the chief of a people stronger than they.' Moses said to the Lord, 'O Lord God Almighty, the Egyptians will hear and will say that Thou hast brought out Thy people from among them by Thy power: but when Thou smitest them, they will say, "He slew them in the desert, because He was unable to make them inherit the land which He promised them." And Thou, O Lord, who hast dwelt among this people, and they have seen Thee eye to eye, and Thy light is ever abiding with them, and Thou goest (before them) by night in a pillar of light, and dost shade them with a cloud by day, pardon p. 60 now in Thy mercy the sins of Thy people, as Thou hast pardoned their sins from Egypt unto here.' God said to Moses, 'Say unto the children of Israel, O wicked nation, I have heard all the words which ye have spoken, and I will do unto you even as ye wish for yourselves. In this desert shall your dead bodies fall, and your families and your children, every one that knows good from evil, from twenty years old and downwards. Their children shall enter the land of promise; but ye shall not enter it, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun. Your children shall remain in this wilderness forty years, until your dead bodies decay, according to the number of the days in which ye searched out the land; for each day ye shall be requited with a year because of your sins.' And the spies who had spied out the land with Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh died at once, save Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh. This was very grievous to the people, and the children of Israel said to Moses, 'Behold, we are going up to the land which God promised us.' He said to them, 'God hath turned His face from you; go ye not away from your place.' And they hearkened not to Moses, but went up to the top of the mountain without Moses and the tabernacle; and the Amalekites and Canaanites who dwelt there came out against them and put them to flight. God said to Moses, 'When the children of Israel enter the land of promise, let them offer as offerings fine flour and oil and wine.' Then Korah the son of Zahar (Izhar), and Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, together with their families, and two hundred and fifty men, separated from the children of Israel; and they came to Moses, and made him hear them, and troubled him. And Moses fell upon his face before the Lord and said, 'To-morrow shall every one know whom God chooses. Is that which I have done for you not sufficient for you, that ye serve before the Lord, but ye must seek the priesthood also?' And Moses said unto God, 'O God, receive not their offerings.' And Moses said to them, 'Let every one of you take his censer in his hand, and place fire and incense therein;' and there stood before the Lord on that day two hundred and fifty men holding their censers. The Lord said to Moses, 'Stand aloof from the people, and I will destroy them in a moment.' And Moses and Aaron fell upon their faces, and said to the Lord, 'Wilt p. 61 Thou destroy all these for the sake of one man who hath sinned?' God said to Moses, 'Tell the children of Israel to go away from around the tents of Korah and his fellows;' and Moses said to the people everything that God had said to him; and the people kept away from the tent of Korah. Then Korah and his family with their wives and children came forth and stood at the doors of their tents. And Moses said to them, 'If God hath sent me, let the earth open her mouth and swallow them up; but if I am come of my own desire, let them die a natural death like every man.' While the word was yet in his mouth, the earth opened, and swallowed them up, and the people that were with them, from man even unto beast; and fear fell upon their companions. The fire went forth from their censers, and burnt up the two hundred and fifty men. Moses said to Eleazar, 'Take their censers and make a casting of them, that they may be a memorial--for they have been sanctified by the fire which fell into them--that no man who is not of the family of Aaron should dare to take a censer in his hand.'

   The children of Israel gathered together unto Moses and Aaron and said to them, 'Ye have destroyed the people of the Lord.' And God said to Moses and Aaron in the tabernacle, 'Stand aloof from them, and I will destroy them in a moment.' Moses said to Aaron, 'Take a censer and put fire and incense therein, and go to the people, that God may forgive their sins, for anger has gone forth against them from before the Lord.' And Aaron put incense in a censer, and went to the people in haste, and he saw death destroying the people unsparingly; but with his censer he separated the living from the dead, and the plague was stayed from them. The number of men whom the plague destroyed at that time of the children of Israel was fourteen thousand and seven hundred, besides those who died with the children of Korah; and Aaron returned to Moses. And God said to Moses, 'Let the children of Israel collect from every tribe a rod, and let them write the name of the tribe upon its rod, and the name of Aaron upon (that of) the tribe of Levi, and the rod of the man whom the Lord chooseth shall blossom.' And they did as God had commanded them, p. 62 and took the rods and placed them in the tabernacle that day. On the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle, and saw the rod of the house of Levi budding and bearing almonds. And Moses brought out all the rods to the children of Israel, and the sons of Levi were set apart for the service of the priesthood before the Lord.

   When the children of Israel came to the wilderness of Sîn, Miriam the sister of Moses and Aaron died, and they buried her. And there was no water for them to drink; and the children of Israel murmured against Moses and said, 'Would that we had all died with those who are dead already, and that we had not come hither to die with our beasts and our possessions! Why did the Lord bring us out from Egypt to this desert land, in which there are neither pomegranates nor grapes?' Moses and Aaron went to the tabernacle, and fell upon their faces before the Lord, and the Lord said to them, 'Gather together the children of Israel, and let Moses smite the rock with the rod, and water shall come forth and all the people shall drink;' and Moses called that water 'the water of strife.' The children of Israel gathered themselves together unto Moses and Aaron, and they murmured against them saying, 'Why have ye brought us out to this desert to die of thirst and hunger?' And the Lord was angry with them, and sent serpents upon them, and many of the people died by reason of the serpents. And they gathered themselves together unto Moses and Aaron and said to them, 'We have sinned before God and before you.' God said to Moses, 'Make a serpent of brass, and hang it upon the top of thy rod, and set it up among the people; and let every one whom a serpent shall bite look upon the brazen serpent, and he shall live and not die.' This serpent which Moses set up is a type of the crucifixion of our Lord, as the doctor saith, 'Like the serpent which Moses set up, He set Him up also, that He might heal men of the bites of cruel demons.'

   And the children of Israel came to mount Hôr, and Aaron died there; and they wept for him a month of days; and Moses put his garments upon Eleazar his son. The children of Israel began to commit fornication with the daughters of Moab, and to bow down to their idols, and to eat of their sacrifices. The Lord was angry with them, and He commanded Moses to gather together the children of p. 63 Israel, and to order every man to slay his fellow, and every one who should bow down to Baal Peôr, the idol of the Moabites. When they were all assembled at the door of the tabernacle, Zimri the son of Salô came and took Cosbî the daughter of Zûr, and committed fornication with her in the sight of Moses and all the people; and God smote the people with a pestilence. Then Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, the son of Aaron, arose, and thrust them through with a spear, and lifted them up upon the top of it; and the plague was stayed from that hour. This zeal was accounted unto Phinehas as a prayer; as the blessed David says1, 'Phinehas arose and prayed, and the pestilence was stayed; and it was accounted unto him for merit from generation unto generation, even for ever.' The number of those who died at that time was twenty-four thousand men. God commanded Moses to number the people, and their number amounted to six hundred and one thousand seven hundred and eighty souls. And God commanded Moses to bless Joshua the son of Nun, and to lay his hand upon him, and to set him up before Eleazar the priest and before all the children of Israel; and God gave him wisdom and knowledge and prophecy and courage, and made him ruler of the children of Israel. God commanded the children of Israel to destroy the Midianites. And (Moses) chose from each tribe a thousand men, and they went up against the Midianites and took them captive and spoiled them. And Moses told them to slay every man who had committed fornication with a Midianitish woman, and every Midianitish woman who had committed fornication with a son of Israel, except the virgins whom man had not known. God commanded Moses to set apart one-fiftieth part of the spoil for the sons of Levi, the ministers of the altar and the house of the Lord. The number of the flocks that were gathered together with the children of Israel was six hundred and seventy thousand, and seventy-two thousand oxen, and thirty-two thousand virgins. And the Lord commanded them that when they should pass over the Jordan and come to the land of promise, they should set apart three villages for a place of flight and refuge, that whosoever committed a murder involuntarily might flee thither and dwell in them until the high priest p. 64 of that time died, when he might return to his family and the house of his fathers. God laid down for them laws and commandments, and these are they. A man shall not clothe himself in a woman's garments, neither shall a woman clothe herself in those of a man1. If one sees a bird's nest, he shall drive away the mother, and then take the young ones2. A man shall make a fence and an enclosure to his roof, lest any one fall therefrom, and his blood be required of him3. Let him that hath a rebellious son, bring him out before the elders, and let them reprimand him; if he turn from his (evil) habit, (goad and well); but if not, let him be stoned4. One that is crucified shall not pass the night upon his cross5. He that blasphemes God shall be slain6. The man that lies with a betrothed woman shall be slain. If she is not betrothed, he shall give her father five hundred dinârs, and take her to wife7. And the other commandments.

   And Moses gathered together the children of Israel and said to them, 'Behold, I am a hundred and twenty years old, no more strength abideth in me; and God hath said to me, Thou shalt not pass over this river Jordan.' And he called Joshua the son of Nun and said to him in the sight of all the people, 'Be strong and of good courage, for thou shalt bring this people into the land of promise. Fear not the nations that are in it, for God will deliver them into thy hands, and thou shalt inherit their cities and villages, and shalt destroy them8.'

   And Moses wrote down laws and judgements and orders, and gave them into the hands of the priests, the children of Levi. He commanded them that, when they crossed over to the land of promise, they should make a feast of tabernacles and should read aloud these commandments before all the people, men and women; that they might hear and fear the Lord their God9. And God said to Moses, 'Behold thou art going the way of thy fathers; call Joshua the son of Nun, thy disciple, and make him stand in the tabernacle, and command him to be diligent for the government of this people; for I know that after thy death they will turn aside from the way of truth, and will worship p. 65 idols, and I will turn away My face from them1.' And God said to Moses, 'Get thee up into this mountain of the Amorites which is called Nebo, and see the land of Canaan, and be gathered to thy fathers, even as Aaron thy brother died on mount Hôr.' So Moses died there and was buried, and no man knoweth his grave2; for God hid him, that the children of Israel might not go astray and worship him as God. He died at the age of one hundred and twenty years; his sight had not diminished, neither was the complexion of his face changed. And the children of Israel wept for him a month of days in Arbôth Moab.

   From Adam then until the death of Moses was three thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight years3.

   When the number of the children of Israel was reckoned up, it amounted to eight hundred thousand, and that of the house of Judah to five hundred thousand. In the Book of Chronicles it is written, 'The children of Israel were a thousand thousand, one hundred thousand and one hundred men; and the house of Judah was four hundred thousand and seven hundred men that drew sword.' Now when they came out of Egypt, they were six hundred thousand6; and when they entered Egypt, they were seventy and five souls7.



p. 50

1 In the Oxford MS. chap. xxxiii.

p. 51

1 In the Oxford MS. chap. xxxiv begins here.

2 The Oxford MS. omits this sentence.

p. 53

1 The Oxford MS. adds the names of the sorcerers, Jannes and Jambres. For accounts of them see 2 Timothy iii. 8; Abulpharagius, Historia Dynast., ed. Pococke, p. 17; and Fabricius, Cod. Pseud. Vet. Test., vol. i, p. 819.

p. 54

1 See Löw, Aramäische Pflanzennamen, p. 81.

p. 55

1 I.e. Elim, Exod. xv. 27.

2 See Assemânî, Bibl. Or., t. iii, pt. i, pp. 49 and 99.

3 C reads 'ten words.'

p. 58

1 The word is explained in the text by the Arabic {word for} 'indigestion.'

p. 63

1 Ps. cvi. 30.

p. 64

1 Deut. xxii. 5.

2 Deut. xxii. 6.

3 Deut. xxii. 7 {sic Deut. xxii. 8}.

4 Deut. xxi. 18-20.

5 Deut. xxi. 23.

6 Lev. xxiv. 16.

7 Deut. xxii. 26-29 {sic Deut. xxii. 23-25}.

8 Deut. xxxi. 1-7.

9 Deut. xvi. 13.

p. 65

1 Deut. xxxi. 14-16.

2 Deut. xxxiv. 6.

3 Oxford MS. 3860 years.

6 Exod. xii. 37.

7 Seventy souls according to Gen. xlvi. 27; Exod. i. 5; Deut. x. 22.