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Exodus 6:14-30

14. These be the heads of their fathers’ houses: The sons of Reuben, the first-born of Israel; Hanoch, and Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi: these be the families of Reuben.

14. Ista sunt capita domus patrum suorum, filii Reuben primogeniti Israel, Henoch et Phallu, Hesron et Charmi. Hae cognationes Reuben.

15. And the sons of Simeon; Jemuel, and Jamin, and Ohad, and Jachin, and Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanitish woman: these are the families of Simeon.

15. Filii Simeon, Jemuel, et Jamin, Ohad, et Jachin et Sohar, et Saul filius Chananaeae. Hae cognationes Simeon.

16. And these are the names of the sons of Levi, according to their generations; Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari. And the years of the life of Levi were an hundred thirty and seven years.

16. Et haec nomina filiorum Levi in generationibus suis, Gerson et Kehath et Merari. Anni autem vitae Levi triginta septem et centum anni.

17. The sons of Gershon; Libni and Shimi, according to their families.

17. Filii Gerson, Libni et Simei secundum cognationes suas.

18. And the sons of Kohath; Amram, and Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel. And the years of the life of Kohath were an hundred thirty and three years.

18. Filii Kehath, Amram et Ishar, Hebron et Uziel. Anni antem vitae Kehath triginta tres et centum anni.

19. And the sons of Merari; Mahli and Mushi: these are the families of Levi, according to their generations.

19. Filii vero Merari, Mahli, et Musi. Hae familiae Levi secundum generationes suas.

20. And Amram took him Jochebed his father’s sister to wife; and she bare him Aaron and Moses. And the years of the life of Amram were an hundred and thirty and seven years.

20. Accepit autem Amram Jochebed amitam suam in uxorem, quae genuit ei Aharon et Mosen. Porro anni vitae Amram triginta septem et centum anni.

21. And the sons of Izhar; Korah, and Nepheg, and Zichri.

21. Filii Ishar, Corah et Nepheg et Zichri.

22. And the sons of Uzziel; Mishael, and Elzaphan, and Zithri.

22. Et filii Uziel, Misael et Elsaphan et Sithri.

23. And Aaron took him Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab, sister of Naashon, to wife; and she bare him Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.

23. Et accepit Aharon Eliseba filiam Amminadab sororem Nahasson sibi in uxorem, quae peperit ei Nadab et Abihu, et Eleazar et Ithamar.

24. And the sons of Korah; Assir, and Elkanah, and Abiasaph: these are the families of the Korhites.

24. Filii Corah Assir et Elcanah et Abiasaph. Hae familiae Corhitarum.

25. And Eleazar, Aaron’s son, took him one of the daughters of Putiel to wife; and she bare him Phinehas: these are the heads of the fathers of the Levites, according to their families.

25. Eleazar autem filius Aharon sumpsit sibi e filiabus Putiel in uxorem, quae peperit ei Pinhas. Haec capita patrum Levitarum secundum cognationes suas.

26. These are that Aaron and Moses, to whom the Lord said, Bring out the children of Israel from the land of Egypt, according to their armies.

26. Hic est Aharon et Moses, ad quos dixit Jehova, Educite filios Israel e terra Aegypti per exercitus suos.

27. These are they which spake to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring out the children of Israel from Egypt: these are that Moses and Aaron.

27. Ipsi sunt qui loqunti suni ad Pharaonem regem Aegypti, ut emitteret filios Israel ex Aegypto. Ipse est Moses et Aharon.

28. And it came to pass, on the day when the Lord spake unto Moses in the land of Egypt,

28. Accidit autem quo die loquutus est Jehova ad Mosen in terra Aegypti,

29. That the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, I am the Lord: speak thou unto Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I say unto thee.

29. Quo loquutus est Jehova ad Mosen, dicendo: Ego Jehova: loquere ad Pharaonem regem Aegypti quaecunque ego loquor ad te:

30. And Moses said before the Lord, Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips, and how shall Pharaoh hearken unto me?

30. Tunc ait Moses coram Jehova, Ecce ego incircumcisus sum labiis, et quomodo audiet me Pharao?

14. These be the heads. The object of Moses here is to testify to all ages the origin of his race, that none may doubt that, in the free departure of the people, the promise given to Abraham was completed. For if the Israelites had gone forth under any other leader, there might have been some question as to the chief author of it; now, since Moses was chosen from that family, and from the posterity of Abraham, it more dearly appears that the whole matter was effected under the guidance of God. But although he enumerates not only the tribe of Levi, but begins with Reuben the first-born, and then subjoins Simeon, still it is easily seen that he especially refers to the tribe of Levi; yet, because the families of Reuben and Simeon came first in order, he fitly proceeds from them to the third. He does not, however, recount the others at present, because a more favorable opportunity would occur hereafter. This, then, is the point to be observed, that the minister of their deliverance, by whose hand God would ratify the truth of His promise, was chosen from the race of Abraham. And certainly we see how Satan in opposition has obscured, through profane writers, this memorable history with many fables, and especially when he cunningly endeavors to bury the race of Abraham. Moses, by divine wisdom, anticipates this subtlety, mentioning the heads of the families by name, lest there should be any obscurity about the origin of the nation.

16. And these are the names of the sons of Levi. Because it was especially desirable to know the origin of Moses and Aaron, he refers to it at greater length, and more distinctly enmnerates the families which descended from the patriarch Levi; not to attribute any peculiar dignity to his own race, but to make it appear more dearly that the people was not brought out by any stranger, but that he, who was to be the witness among his brethren of the power, and grace, and truth of God, was divinely chosen from the genuine stock of Abraham. And certainly it was right that this incomparable blessing of God, if any, should not only be celebrated, but also proved, in order that its certainty might be preserved, as well as its memory, in all ages. But how remote from any ambitious feeling was the design of Moses in this narrative, we may gather from a single part of it, where he says that he was the offspring of his father’s aunt;7676     Jeremy Taylor, on the Rule of Conscience, Book 2., Rule 3, says, “Amram, the father of Moses, begat him of his cousin-german Jochabed. That she was his aunt, is commonly supposed; but the LXX., and the vulgar Latin, report her to be his aunt’s daughter, though, by the style of the Hebrews, she was called his aunt.” — Ed. Heber. 1839, vol. 12, p. 330. Corn. a Lapide, also, in Exodus 2:1, trusting to the same authorities, and the Chaldee Paraphrast, rejects the scoff of C., as he calls it, in alleging that Moses sprang from an incestuous marriage. for although the law had not yet forbidden illicit marriages, yet did nature itself dictate, that it was improper for a nephew to have connection with his aunt, who stands in the degree of his mother. When, therefore, Moses does not hesitate to confess that he sprang from an incestuous marriage, he does not only fail to consult his own reputation, but ingenuously proclaims the disgrace of his parents, for the sake of illustrating solely the glory of God. Nor was ignorance excusable, although the law was as yet unwritten, in neglecting the distinction between right and wrong, by the violation of natural modesty. But because men are too apt to indulge in such licentiousness, it was necessary to prohibit in express terms these vile affections, which have almost always immoderately and extensively prevailed amongst Orientals. Meanwhile, we may learn that the imitation of the patriarchs is not safe, when we think that we may indiscriminately adopt whatever they did. That in their long lives, Levi, Kohath, and Amram begat so few children, viz., the first, three; the second, four; the third, two; did not occur without the design on the part of God, that, in the incredible fecundity which afterwards ensued, the miracle of His grace might appear more clearly; for who would have thought that it could happen that, in less than 200 years, so immense a multitude could spring from so few persons? Nor did it happen by human provision; but after God, according to His wont, had seemed to mock them in their humble and contemptible beginnings, His power was more brightly manifested by their sudden and unusual multiplication. I pass over some points which seem to be of little or no importance.

26. These are that Aaron and Moses. It is not without a cause that Moses so often reasserts that their office was assigned to himself and his brother by the command of God, both that the Israelites may perceive that they were rescued from their deep abyss by divine grace, and that their minds may be recalled to God’s ancient covenant, and may acknowledge that their Fathers’ hope was not in vain; and, finally, that they may hereafter altogether devote themselves to God. There seems, also, to be an indirect antithesis between the armies of the people and two vile and abject men. For they would have been far from being able to bear so weighty a burden, unless God had exceeded all their hopes in working miraculously by their hands. Therefore the Spirit magnifies elsewhere this grace, that God

“led his people, like a flock, by the hand of Moses and Aaron.” (Psalm 77:20)

For what could be less probable than that a great multitude, which would make up many nations, should obey the commands of two men, should be ruled by their counsel, and gathered into one place by their exertions, in order that they should migrate into another land against the will of a very powerful king? For what was their united authority to command twelve armies, separated in their several battalions? What no earthly kings, with all their power and wisdom, their terror and their threats, could effect, God performed by means of two unwarlike men, neither experienced nor renowned; when Moses himself, alarmed by the magnitude of the work, often deprecated the commission entrusted to him. For, at the end of this chapter, he again repeats his excuse, that he was not eloquent, but of hesitating and embarrassed speech. This, then, is the point to which all tends, viz., to assign to God the praise of His loving-kindness, and to heighten His glory. There is some ambiguity in verse 28, for it might be read separately with this sense, that “God not only spoke in the wilderness of Midian, to set Moses over the people in their deliverance, but also in Egypt after some time had elapsed;” thus “on the day,” would mean, “after some time,” but it seems better to me to read the three verses in connection with each other.


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