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Exodus xxxiv.

12 Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee;

13 But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves:

14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, who is a jealous God.

15 Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice;

16 And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go after their gods, and make thy sons go after their gods.

23 Thrice in the year shall all your men children appear before the Lord God, the God of Israel.

24 For I will cast out the nations before thee, and enlarge thy borders; neither shall any man desire thy land, when thou shalt go up to appear before the Lord thy God thrice in the year.

25 Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left unto the morning.

26 The first of the first fruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk.

THE Jews did not seem to have an abiding faith in the attractions of their own religion. They evidently lived in constant fear lest their sons and daughters should worship the strange gods of other nations. They seem also to have had most exaggerated fears as to the influence alien women might exert over their sons. Three times in the year all the men were to appear before the Lord. Why the women were not commanded to appear has been a point of much questioning. Probably the women, then as now, were more conscientious in their religious duties, and not so susceptible to the attractions of alien men and their strange gods.

If the Lord had talked more freely with the Jewish women and impressed some of his wise commands on their hearts, they would have had a more refined and religious influence on the men of Israel. But all their knowledge of the divine commands was second hand and through an acknowledged corrupt medium.

"Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk." After all the learning critics have bestowed on this passage, the simple meaning, says Adam Clarke, seems to be this: Thou shalt do nothing that may have a tendency to blunt thy moral feelings, or teach thee hardness of heart. Even human nature shudders at the thought of taking the mother's milk to seethe

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the flesh of her own dead lamb. With all their cruelty towards alien tribes and all their sacrifices of lambs and kids, there is an occasional touch of tenderness for animal life among the Hebrews that is quite praiseworthy.

Exodus xxxvi.

22 And they came, both men and women, as many, as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold; and every man offered an offering of gold unto the Lord.

23 And every man, with whom was found blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats hair, and red skins of rams, and badgers' skins, brought them.

25 And all the women that were wise hearted did spin with their hands, and brought that which they had spun, both of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine linen.

26 And all the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun goats' hair.

Women were always considered sufficiently clean to beg, work and give generously for the building and decoration of churches, and the support of the priesthood. They might always serve as inferiors, but never receive as equals.

Great preparations were made for building the Tabernacle, and all the willing hearted were invited to bring all their ornaments and all manner of rich embroideries, and brilliant fancy work of scarlet, blue and purple. As usual in our own day the Jewish women were allowed to give generously, work untiringly and beg eloquently to build altars and Tabernacles to the Lord, to embroider slippers and make flowing robes for the priesthood, but they could not enter the holy of holies or take any active part. in the services.

Some women in our times think these unhappy Jewesses would have been much "wiser hearted" if they had kept their jewelry and beautiful embroideries to decorate themselves and their homes, where they were at least satellites of the dinner pot and the cradle, and Godesses {sic} at their own altars. Seeing they had no right inside the sacred Temple, but stood looking-glass in hand at the door, it would have indicated more self-respect to have washed their hands of all that pertained to male ceremonies, altars and temples. But the women were wild with enthusiasm, just as they are to-day with fairs and donation parties, to build churches, and they brought such loads of

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bric-a-brac that at last Moses compelled them to stop, as the supply exceeded all reasonable demand. But for the building of the Tabernacle the women brought all they deemed most precious, even the most necessary and convenient articles of their toilets.

Exodus xxxviii.

8 And he made the laver of brass, and the foot of it of brass, of the looking glasses of the women assembling at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

The men readily accepted the sacrifice of all their jewelry, rich laces, velvets and silks, their looking glasses of solid precious metal. These being made of metal could be used for building purposes. The women carried these with them wherever they went, and always stood with them in hand at the door of the Tabernacle, as they were the doorkeepers standing outside to watch and guard the door from those not permitted to enter.

An objective view of the manner these women were imposed upon, wheedled and deceived with male pretensions and the pat use of the phrase "thus saith the Lord," must make every one who reads indignant at the masculine assumption, even at this late day.

E. C. S.

At every stage of his existence Moses was indebted to some woman for safety and success. Miriam, by her sagacity, saved his life. Pharaoh's daughter reared and educated him and made the way possible for the high offices he was called to fill; and Zipporah, his wife, a woman of strong character and decided opinions, often gave him good advice. Evidently from the text she criticised his conduct and management as a leader, and doubted his supernatural mission, for she refused to go out of Egypt with him, preferring to remain with her sons under her father's roof--Jethro, a priest of Midian. After the destruction of Pharaoh's host, when the expedition, led by Moses seemed to be an assured success, she followed with her father to join the leader of the wandering Israelites. (Chapter xviii, 2.)

In the ordinances which follow the ten commandments.

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exact judgment and cruel punishment are ordained alike for man and woman; life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand and foot for foot (Chapter xxi, 23).

In pronouncing punishments, woman's individuality and responsibility are always fully recognized, alike in the canon and civil laws, which reflect the spirit of the Mosaic code.

Exodus xxii.

21 Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

22 Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child.

23 If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry;

24 And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless:

This special threat against those who oppress the widow and the fatherless, has a touch of tenderness and mercy, but if the vengeance is to make more widows and fatherless, the sum of human misery is increased rather than diminished. As to the stranger, after his country has been made desolate, his cities burned, his property, cattle, lands and merchandise all confiscated, kind words and alms would be but a small measure of justice under any circumstances.

In closing the book of Exodus, the reader must wonder that the faith and patience of the people, in that long sorrowful march through the wilderness, held out as long as it did. Whether fact or fiction, it is one of the most melancholy records in human history. Whether as a mere work of the imagination, or the real experience of an afflicted people, our finer sentiments of pity and sympathy find relief only in doubts of its truth.

L. D. B.

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