|« Prev||Exodus||Next »|
 Exod i. 6, 7. “And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation; and the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty, and the land was filled with them.” After the death of Christ, our Joseph, his spiritual Israel began abundantly to increase, and his death had an influence upon it. It was like the sowing of a corn of wheat, which, if it die, bringing forth much fruit. John xii. 24. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” From the call of Abraham, when God first told him he would make of him a great nation, to the deliverance of his seed out of Egypt, was 430 years, during the first 215 of which they were increased but to 70, but in the latter half, those 70 multiplied to 600,000 fighting men; so sometimes God’s providence may seem for a great while to thwart his promises, and go counter to them, that his people’s faith may be tried, and his own power the more magnified; and though the performance of God’s promises is sometimes slow, yet it is always sure; at the end it shall speak, and not lie, Heb. ii. 3. “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him?”
 Exod. ii. Concerning Moses. Clemens Alexandrinus, Strom. I. reports, out of the books of the Egyptian priests, that an Egyptian was slain by the words of Moses; and Strom. V. he relates some things belonging to Moses, out of Artapanus, though not very truly. Justin, out of Tragus Pompeius, says of Moses, “He was leader of those that were banished, and took away the sacred things of the Egyptians; which they, endeavouring to recover with arms, were forced by a tempest to return home; and Moses being entered into his own country of Damascus, he took possession of mount Sinai.” And what follows is a mixture of truth and falsehood; where we find Arvas written in him, it should be read Arnas, who is Aaron, not the son of Moses, as he imagines, but the brother, and a priest. The Orphic verses expressly mention his being taken out of the water, and the two tables that were given him by God. The verses are thus
So was it said of old, so he commands.Who’s born of water, who received of God The double Tables of the Law.
The great Scaliger, in these verses, instead of hulogenes, with a very little variation of the shape of a letter, reads hudogenes, born of the water.
The ancient writer of the Orphic verses, whoever he was, added those lines after he had said, that there was but one God to be worshipped, who was the Creator and Governor of the world.
Palemon, who seems to have lived in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, has these words: “In the reign of Apis the son of Phoroneus, part of the Egyptian army went out of Egypt and dwelt in Syria, called Palestine, not far from Arabia.” Several things are related about his coming out of Egypt, from the Egyptian writers, Monethro, Lysimachus, Chœremon. The places are in Josephus against Apion, with abundance of falsities, as coming from people who hated the Jews; and from hence, Tacitus took his account of them. But it appears from all these compared together, that the Hebrews descended from the Assyrians, and possessing a great part of Egypt, led the life of shepherds, but afterwards being burdened with hard labour, they came out of Egypt under the command of Moses, some of the Egyptians accompanying them, and went through the country of the Arabians unto Palestine, Syria, and there set up rites contrary to those of the Egyptians.
Diodorus Siculus, in his first book, where he treats of those who made the gods to be the authors of their laws, says, “Amongst the Jews was Moses, who called God by the name Greek or Hebrew. Jehovah,” which was so pronounced by the oracles, and in the Orphic verses mentioned by the ancients, and by the Syrians.
Strabo, in his sixteenth book, speaking of Moses as an Egyptian priest, (which he had from the Egyptian writers, as appears in Josephus,) says, “many who worship the Deity agreed with him, (Moses,) for he hath said that the Egyptians did not rightfully conceive of God, when they likened him to wild beasts and cattle; nor the Libyans, nor the Greeks, in resembling him to a human shape; for God is no other than the Universe which surrounds us, the earth, and the sea, and the heaven, and the world, and the nature of things, as they are called by us. Who, says he, (i. e. Moses,) that has any understanding, would presume to form any image like to those things that are about us? Wherefore we ought to lay aside all carved images, and worship him in the innermost part of a temple worthy of him, without any figure.” He adds that this was the opinion of good men He adds also that sacred rites were instituted by him, which were not burdensome for their costliness, nor hateful as proceeding from madness. He mentions circumcision, the meats that were forbidden, and the like; and after he had shown that man was naturally desirous of civil society, he tells us, it is promoted by divine and human precepts, but more effectually by divine.
Pliny, book xxx. chap. 1. says, “There is another party of magicians which sprung from Moses.” Juvenal has these lines
They learn, and keep, and fear the Jewish law,Which Moses in his secret volume gave.
Tacitus, Hist. V. according to the Egyptian fables, calls Moses one of them that were banished.
Dionysius Longinus, (who lived in the time of Aurelian the emperor, and favourite of Zenobia, queen of the Palmyrians,) in his book Of the Sublime, after he had said that they who speak of God, ought to take care to represent him as great and pure, and without mixture, adds, “Thus does he, who gave laws to the Jews, who was an extraordinary man, who conceived and spake worthy of the power of God, where he writes in the beginning of his laws, God spake, What? Let there be light; and there was light. Let there be earth; and it was so.“
Chalcidius took many things out of Moses, of whom he speaks thus, “Moses was the wisest of men; who, as they say, was enlivened, not by human eloquence, but by divine inspiration.”
Numenius, as Eusebius quotes his words, book viii. chap. 8. says, “Afterwards Jamnes and Mambres, Egyptian scribes, were thought to be famous for magical arts, about the time that the Jews were driven out of Egypt, for those were they that were chosen out of the multitude of the Egyptians, to contend with Musœus the leader of the Jews, a man very powerful with God by prayers, and they seemed to be able to repel those sore calamities which were brought upon Egypt by Musœus.” Origen against Celsus refers us to the same place of Numenius.
Artapanus, in the same Eusebius, b. ix. ch. 27. calls them the priests of Memphis, who were commanded by the king to be put to death, if they did not do things equal to Moses.
Strabo, in his 14th book, after the history of Moses, says, “that his followers for a considerable time kept his precepts, and were truly righteous and godly.” And a little after he says, “that those who believed in Moses, worshipped God and were lovers of equity.”
These things concerning Moses are taken from Grotius, de Verit. h. 1. sect. 16.
 Exod. ii. Moses in the ark upon the waters is a type of the church. The church of God is like a babe, in infirmity and weakness, in helplessness of itself, and dependence upon a superior help, and in that the members of it are all in a spiritual sense become as little children. And it is like a babe upon the waters floating through all manner of changes, dangers, and troubles, and yet upheld and preserved in Christ the ark. He was especially a type of the church of the Jews in their oppressed condition in Egypt. It was a wonder they were not swallowed up by their enemies, and drowned and lost in their afflictions, and the multitude of their adversaries. Moses in the water and not drowned, is much such another type as the bush all in a flame and not burnt. He was also herein a type of every elect soul, who is naturally all overwhelmed in sin, and misery, and danger, and is redeemed or delivered, as Moses was taken out of the water.
 Exod. ii. Moses is the same with the Egyptian Osiris; for, 1. Moses is the same with Bacchus, as has been shown before, No. 401.; and Diodorus tells us that Osiris was called by the Greeks Dionysus, the name of Bacchus.
2. Diodorus tells us that Hercules was the chief captain of Osiris’s army, who was Joshua, as has been shown, No. 402. 3. Diodorus tells us that Osiris had in his army Anubis covered over with a dog’s skin, which thence was pictured with a dog’s head, and called the dog keeper, &c.; all which seems to refer to Caleb’s name, which signifies a dog. 4. Pan is said to war under Osiris, which is the same with Christ, whom God promises should go with Moses when he says, MS ”my presence shall go with him.” See No. 404.
5. Osiris is said to have horns from the mistake of Moses’s character, who is thence pictured with horns, because of his beams of light the word in Hebrew for horns and beams being the same.
6. Moses with the princes of the tribes carried up the bones of Joseph into Canaan: hence the poets’ fable of Osiris’ bones, &c. See Gale’s Court of Gen. p. 1. b- 2. c. r. p. 94, 95.
 Exod. ii. 5. Pharaoh’s daughter became the mother of Moses, which typified the calling of the Gentile church, that is naturally the daughter of Satan, the spiritual Pharaoh, which becomes the church of Christ, and so his mother; and also is to represent that all the saints of which the whole church consists, are naturally the children of the devil, that by conversion become the spiritual mother of Christ, as Christ says that whosoever shall do the will of his Father which is in heaven, the same is his mother, &c. The whole church, which is often represented as the mother of Christ, is in her constituent parts naturally an Egyptian, and the daughter of Pharaoh. She found Moses when she came down to wash herself in the river. The river here represents the Holy Ghost, and the washing is the washing of regeneration, by which souls are brought to Christ, which is signified by baptism, by which their admission into the Christian church is declared and sealed. Pharaoh’s daughter is more than once made use of in Scripture, to signify the church, especially the Gentile. So was Pharaoh’s daughter that became Solomon’s wife, for the church is figuratively both the wife and mother of Christ.
 Exod. ii. 5. Pharaoh’s daughter came to Moses herself, into the same river into which Moses was cast. So, if we would find Christ, and be the spiritual mother of Christ, we must die with Christ, be made conformable to his death, be buried with him by baptism; must die to sin; must be crucified to the world, and die to the law, and be willing to suffer affliction and persecution with him. By such mortification and humiliation is the soul washed in the river into which Christ was cast.
 Exod. ii. 6. “And behold, the babe wept.” As Moses, in the water, was a type of the church in affliction, so his weeping a little before he is taken out of the water, seems to be typical of the spirit of repentance, mourning, and supplications often spoken of in the prophets, given to the church a little before her deliverance from adversity.
 Exod. iii. 14. “I am that I am,” &c. Some of the heathen philosophers seem to have derived notions that they had of the Deity from hence. Plato and Pythagoras make the great object of philosophy to be Greek or Hebrew, that which is; Greek or Hebrew, that which truly is: and also Greek or Hebrew, being itself. The Seventy render this place in Exodus thus: Greek or Hebrew
w, that the philosophers by their Greek or Hebrew, and Greek or Hebrew, meant God, appears by what Jamblicus saith of Pythagoras, “by Greek or Hebrew, Beings, he understood sole and self agents, immaterials, and eternals. Other beings indeed are not beings, but yet are equivocally called such by a participation with these eternals.” So Plato, in his Parrnenides, (who was a Pythagorean,) treating of Greek or Hebrew, which he makes the first principle of all things, thereby understands God. So, in his Timœus Locrus, he says, Greek or Hebrew, Being is always; neither hath it beginning. So again in his Timœus, folios 37, 38. he proves nothing properly is, but God, the eternal essence, “to which,” says he, “we do very improperly attribute those distinctions of time, was, and shall be.“ Plutarch says, Greek or Hebrew, “The true Being, is eternal, ingenerable, and incorruptible, unto which no time ever brings mutation.” Hence in the Delphic temple there was engraved “Greek or Hebrew, Thou art. Gale’s Court of Gen. p. 2. b. 2. ch. 8. p. 173, 174, 175.
That Plato by Greek or Hebrew, meant God, appears by his own words in his Epist. 6. fol. 323. “Let there,” says he, “be a law constituted and confirmed by oath, calling to witness the God of all things, the Governor of beings present, and things to come, the Father of that governing cause whom, according to our philosophy, we make to be the true Being, Greek or Hebrew” &c. This is the same with him that revealed himself to Moses by the name I am that I am, out of the bush, that was the Son of God. G. C. of Gen. p. 1. b. 3. c. 5. p. 64. Plato seems evidently to have heard of this revelation that God made of himself to Moses by the name of I am, &c. out of the burning bush in mount Sinai, and to have a plain reference to it in his Philebus, fol. 17.; he confesseth, “The knowledge of the Greek or Hebrew,” &c. was from the gods, who communicated this knowledge to us, by a certain Prometheus, together with a bright fire. G. C.of G. p. 2. b. 3. c. 2. p. 228.
 Exod. iii. 14. “And God said unto Moses, I am that I am; and he said, Thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel, I am hath sent me unto you.” “We are informed that there was an ancient inscription in the temple at Delphos, over the place where the image of Apollo was erected, consisting of these letters, Greek or Hebrew; and Plutarch introduces his disputants querying what might be the true signification of it. At length Ammonius, to whom he assigns the whole strength of the argumentation, concludes that “the word “Greek or Hebrew was the most perfect title they could give the Deity, that it signifies thou art, and expresses the divine essential Being, importing that, though our being is precarious, fluctuating, dependent, subject to mutation, and temporary; so that it would be improper to say to any of us, in the strict and absolute sense, thou art; yet we may with great propriety give the Deity this appellation, because God is independent, uncreated, immutable, eternal, always and every where the same, and therefore he only can be said absolutely To Be. Plutarch would have called this Being to Greek or Hebrew. Plato would have named him Greek or Hebrew, which he would have explained to signify Greek or Hebrew, implying to be essentially, or self-existent.” Shuckford’s Connections, vol. 2. p. 385, 386.
 Exod. iii. 18. “And you shall say unto him, The Lord God of the Hebrews hath met with us, and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.” That is, inform Pharaoh that your God that hath met with you, has instructed you to ask this of him. In this Pharaoh was not treated with any falsehood or unjust deceit. The utmost that can be supposed by any objector is, that here is an implicit promise, that if he would let them go three days’ journey into the wilderness, they would return again after they had there served their God, and received the revelation of his will, which he should there make to them. But if there had been, not only an implicit, but an express, promise of this, it might have been consistent with God’s real design, and the revelations of it that he had made to Moses, and by him to the people, without any false or unjust dealing. God knew that Pharaoh would not comply with the proposal, and that his refusal would be the very occasion of their final deliverance. He knew he would order it so, and therefore might reveal this as the event that should finally be brought to pass, and promise it to his people, though he revealed not to them the exact time and particular means and way of its accomplishment. Conditional promises or threatenings of that which God knows will never come to pass, and which he has revealed will not come to pass, are not inconsistent with God’s perfect justice and truth; as when God promised the prince and people of the Jews in Jeremiah’s time, that the city should surely be preserved, and never should be destroyed by its enemies, if they would repent and turn to God, and cleave to him, though it had been often most expressly and absolutely foretold that Jerusalem should be destroyed by the Chaldeans; and as the apostle Paul denounced unto the mariners that were about to flee out of the ship, that if they did, the ship’s crew must perish, though he had before in the name of God foretold and promised that there should be the loss of no man’s life, but only of the ship.
 Exod. iv. 6, 7. “And the Lord said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow. And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as the other flesh.” This sign is much like the foregoing, of casting the rod on the ground, and its becoming a serpent; and much the same thing is signified, but only more is signified in this latter sign than in the former. By Moses’s hand is represented the hand or arm of the Lord, which often in the Old Testament signifies the Messiah. By God’s plucking his hand out of his bosom, is meant his appearing for the salvation of his people. While God long forbears to appear for his churches salvation, while they are longing and waiting for him, he as it were hides his hand in his bosom; Ps. lxxiv. 11. “Why withdrawest thou thine hand, even thy right hand? Pluck it out of thy bosom.” There are remarkable appearances of God in the world for the salvation of his people, which are both by the coming of the Messiah, both of which are long wished and waited for before they are accomplished. The first is God’s appearing in the world for the redemption of the church, by laying the foundation of her salvation in the first coming of the Messiah, after the church had long waited for him, while God had hid his hand in his bosom. At length the arm of the Lord is made bare, the Messiah appears, but in such a manner that it was to the surprise and astonishment of those that saw him many were astonished at him, his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men. They were offended in him. He had no form or comeliness, and when they saw him, there was no beauty that they should desire him. He appears in the form of sinful flesh. He was as it were diseased with the leprosy, because himself took our infirmities, and bore our sicknesses. He was made sin for us, as though he had been all over leprous or sinful. God’s second remarkable appearance will be in the Messiah’s second coming for the actual salvation of his people, when he will appear without sin unto salvation, without the leprosy of our sin, and will appear in that glory that he had with the Father before his humiliation, which he emptied himself of at his first coming. God having answered his prayer in glorifying him with his own self, with the glory he had with him before the world was: as Moses’s hand, the second time he plucked it out of his bosom, was restored as it was at first. This type of the redemption of the Messiah was fitly given on this occasion, and as a sign of the redemption of the children of Israel out of Egypt, and the carrying them through the Red sea, the wilderness, and Jordan, into Canaan, because the redemption of the Messiah, both fundamental and actual, was variously represented and presignified in that great work of God.
[195.] Exod. iv. 20. Moses’s rod. “And Moses took the rod of God in his hand.” This rod typified the word, both the personal word, and the word of Revelation. The word of God is called the rod of God’s strength, Ps. cx. 2. It is called the rod of Christ’s mouth, Isa. xi. 4. It is expressly represented by the rod of an almond-tree, Jer. i. 11. Moses’s rod was the rod of an almond-tree. Jesus Christ is also called a rod. “There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” He is frequently called a branch, or sprout, a tender plant, &c.
If we consider this rod as representing the revealed word of God, then Moses or Aaron, who kept and used the rod, represent Christ. A rod is the instrument of a shepherd, by which he governs, directs, defends, and orders his flock, and this rod was that that Moses kept sheep with, which he was found with when he was feeding his father-in-law’s sheep, when God appeared to him in the bush. The same that a rod or staff is to a shepherd and his flock, the same is the word of God to Christ and his spiritual flock. As Moses used it in leading Jethro’s flock of sheep, so he used it in leading God’s people Israel. As the word of God is the instrument Christ uses to save his people, and to destroy their enemies, and work those wonders that are wrought in bringing them to salvation, and which belong to the application of redemption, so Moses used this rod in the temporal deliverance of his people. It is the word of God that is used to remove all obstacles, and overcome all opposition in the way of a sinner’s conversion and progress in holiness; as Moses’s rod was made use of to divide the Red sea.
If the rod be considered as representing Christ, then Moses or Aaron represent God. Moses cast his rod on the ground, and it became a serpent, and he took it up, and it became a rod again, signifying how that Christ, when he was sent down by God to the earth, and was made sin for us, became guilty for our sakes, was accursed, and appeared in the form of sinful flesh: he appeared in our stead, having our guilt imputed to him, who are a generation of vipers. Thus, when the children of Israel were bitten with fiery serpents, Christ was represented by the brazen serpent. The rod being become a serpent, swallowed the magicians’ rod or serpents; so Christ, by his being made sin for us, destroyed sin and Satan. When Moses took up his rod from the ground, it was no longer a serpent, but became a rod again, so when God took up Christ from his stroke of humiliation, he was acquitted, justified, he had no longer the guilt of sin imputed to him, he no longer appeared in the form of sinful flesh. Rulers and princes are compared to rods, Ezek. xix. 11, 12, 14. and to branches, Ps. lxxx. 15, 17. so Christ himself is often called a rod and branch.
It is by the word of God, or by Christ, that God works all his wonders in and for the church: and Moses wrought wonders by his rod. It is by Christ that all obstacles and difficulties are removed in order to our salvation. As the Red sea was divided by Moses’s rod, it is by Christ, and in his name only, that God’s people prevail over their enemies. The children of Israel prevailed while Moses held up his rod, and when he let it down, Amalek prevailed; Moses held up the rod in that battle as the banner or ensign of the armies of Israel, as is evident from Exod. xvii. 15. so Christ is lifted up as an ensign, Isa. xi. 10.
When this rod budded, and blossomed, and bare fruit, that which it brought forth was almonds, intimating this, that the spreading of the word of God in producing its effects in the world will be rapid. The almond-tree is a tree of a very sudden growth, and speedily brings its fruit to perfection. Jer. i. 11, 12. So the word of God is quick and powerful; this is the way which the powerfulness of it is shown in the suddenness of its producing its great effects, Isa. lxvi. 7, 8. “Before she travailed she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child: who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed she brought forth her children.”
As Moses and Aaron represent God, the rod represents Christ: as Moses and Aaron represent Christ, the rod represents the word: as they represent ministers, the rod represents two things, viz. the word of God which they preach, and their faith; and this rod was Moses’s staff, and this staff represents the same as Jacob’s and Elisha’s staves. See note on Numb. xxi. 18.
 Exod. iv. 20. Moses’s rod. One thing at least typified by this rod is faith, the same that was signified by Jacob’s staff with which he passed over Jordan, and that he leaned upon in his last sickness, that the apostle speaks of in Heb. xi. and Elisha’s staff that he bid the servant lay on the dead child, and the staves of the princes with which they digged the well, and David’s staff he took in his hand when he went against Goliath. The word properly signifies a staff as well as rod, such a staff as persons walk with, or lean upon: the word comes from a root, one signification of which is, to lean.
The word translated bed. Gen. xlvii. 31. (Jacob bowed himself upon the bed’s head,) comes from the same root, and therefore the apostle renders it staff, in Heb. xi. The word is not the same in the original with that used to signify Elisha’s staff that was laid on the child, but it is a word of the same signification, and therefore both words are used to signify the stay of bread, the latter in Isa. iii. 1. and the former in Levit. xxvi. 23. This word is used to signify Judah’s staff, that he gave to Tamar as a pledge, Gen. xxxviii. 19.
 Exod. v. to xiv. inclusive. Concerning Pharaoh’s hardness of heart and obstinacy in refusing to let the children of Israel go, and the manner of God’s dealing with him. In Pharaoh’s behaviour is very lively represented the behaviour of impenitent sinners when the subjects of reproofs and corrections for their sins, and under convictions of conscience and warnings, and fears of future wrath, with respect to parting with their sins, or letting go the objects of their lusts. Indeed it is an instance of this very conduct; for Pharaoh in refusing to let the people go, refused to let go the objects of his lusts: in keeping them in bondage, he kept his sins. His pride was gratified in his dominion over that people. He was loth to let them go, because he was loth to part with his pride. His covetousness was also gratified by the profits he had by their slavery; he would not let them go because he would not part with the object of his covetousness.
God commanded him to let the people go, he sent his commands from time to time by the hand of Moses and Aaron, and warned him of the ill consequence if he refused: so God counsels and warns sinners by his word, by his ministers. God first made known his will to Pharaoh in a mild and gentle manner, chap. v. at the beginning; but that was so for from being effectual, that he was only the worse for it. Instead of letting the people go, he only increased their burdens: so God is wont in the first place to use gentle means with sinners. But impenitent sinners are not the better, but the worse, for the gracious calls and counsels of the word of God; they sin with the greater contempt for it: as Pharaoh took God’s command in disdain. He said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice?” Then God proceeded to lay greater matter of conviction before Pharaoh, and to warn him of the mischief that would come upon him by his refusal, by turning the rod into a serpent; (see notes on that miracle, Exod. vii.) and when he still hardened his heart, then God began to chastise him, by turning the water into blood, which was not only a chastisement, but also a clear and loud warning of the future destruction he would bring upon himself by his obstinacy. (See notes on that plague.) So God is wont to give sinners fair warning of the misery and the danger of their sins before he destroys them. After this, when God’s hand pressed Pharaoh, and he was exercised with fears of God’s future wrath, he entertained some thoughts of letting the people go, and promised he would do it; but from time to time he broke his promises when he saw there was respite. So sinners are often wont to do under convictions of conscience and fears of wrath; they have many thoughts of parting with their sins; but there is never a divorce actually made between them and their lusts; it is common for sinners when under affliction and threatening dispensations of providence, to make promises of amendment, as in times of sore sickness, and when in danger of death and damnation, but soon to forget them when God’s hand is removed, and future damnation more out of sight. In such cases sinners are wont to beg the prayers of ministers, that God would remove his hand and restore them again, as Pharaoh begs the prayers of Moses and Aaron, Exod. viii. 8. “Then Pharaoh called 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 sacrifice unto the Lord;” and so ver. 28. so ch. ix. 27, 28. and x. 16, 17. Pharaoh was brought by God’s judgments and terrors to confess his sin with seeming humility, as Exod. ix. 27. “And Pharaoh sent and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time, the Lord is righteous, and I and my people are wicked.” This was when there were mighty thunderings; and it follows in the next verse, “Entreat the Lord that there may be no more mighty thunderings. 542542 Exod. ix. 28 ” So chap. x. 16, 17. “And he said, I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you; now therefore forgive, I pray thee, my sin only this once.” So sinners oftentimes under affliction and danger of future wrath, and when God thunders upon their consciences, seem very penitent and humble, and are much in confessing their sins, but yet have not their lusts divorced from them, have no thorough disposition to forsake them. Pharaoh, in the struggle that was between his conscience and his lusts, was contriving that God might be served, and he enjoy his lusts, that were gratified by the slavery of the children of Israel. Moses kept insisting upon it that God should be served, and sacrificed to; Pharaoh was willing to consent to that, but he would have it done without his parting with the children of Israel. Exod. viii. 25. “And Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land.” So it is oftentimes with sinners under fear of divine wrath; they are for contriving to serve God and enjoy their lusts too; they are willing to be very devout in many duties of religion, but without parting with their beloved sins. How do some wicked men amongst the papists and elsewhere seem to abound in acts of devotion! how much pains do they take, how much trouble and loss are they at! they are like the Samaritans that worshipped the God of Israel, and served their own gods too. So did the Jews, Jer. vii. 9, 10. “Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal; and come and stand before me in this house?” And Ezek. xxiii. 39. “For when they had slain their children to their idols, then they came the same day into my sanctuary to profane it, and lo, thus have they done in the midst of mine house.” Moses objected against complying with Pharaoh’s conscience, and proposed in this matter that serving God and continuing in the land of Egypt among the Egyptians in slavery to them, did not agree together, and were inconsistent one with another. The Egyptians, their taskmasters, would abhor that service that God required, and would not tolerate it, but would kill God’s worshippers; and therefore there was a necessity of a separation to be made between Israelites and Egyptians, in order to God’s being served. So the service of God and our still continuing in the service of our lusts, are inconsistent one with another, as Christ says, “ye cannot serve God and Mammon.” There is a necessity of forsaking one in order to cleave to the other. If we retain our sins, if we do not part from them, they will kill those duties wherewith God is served.
When Pharaoh saw that it would not be consented to that the people should only sacrifice to their God in the land, then he consented to let them go, provided they would not go far away. He was not willing to part with them finally, and therefore would not let them go clear, but would have them within reach, that he might bring them back again. So it is often with sinners, with respect to their sins; they will refrain a while from them, but will not wholly part with them, taking an everlasting leave of them, quitting all hopes or expectations of ever having any thing more to do with them. Afterwards, when God’s plagues came still harder upon Pharaoh, he consented to let the men go, if they would leave the women and children, Exod. x. 8, 9, 10. and then after that, when God’s hand pressed him still more sorely, he consented that they should go, even women and children, provided that they would leave their cattle behind them; but he was not willing to let them go and all that they had, Exod. x. 24. So it oftentimes is with sinners, when pressed with God’s judgments, or fears of future wrath; they are brought to be willing to part with some of their sins, but not all; they are brought to part with the more gross acts, but not so to part with their lusts in lesser indulgencies of them; whereas we must part with all our sins, little and great, and all that belongs to them, even women and children, and cattle; they must all be let go, with their young and with their old, with their sons and with their daughters, with their flocks and with their herds. There must not be a hoof left behind. At last, when it came to extremity, Pharaoh consented to let the people all go, and all that they had; but he was not stedfastly of that mind; he soon repented and pursued after them again; and then, when he was guilty of such backsliding, he was destroyed without remedy, which is often the case with sinners. Note, when there is only a forced parting with sin, though it be universal, yet it is not sincere, nor is it like to be persevering.
God exercised abundance of patience with Pharaoh before he destroyed him, and the warnings that were given him were louder and louder, and God’s judgments upon him greater and greater, and God’s hand and design in them became more and more manifest. First, God only sends a command from him, directing Moses to deliver it, and let it be accompanied with humble entreaties, paying him the honour due to a king, Exod. iii. 18. and v. 3. After that, Moses spake with more authority; God made him a god to Pharaoh, and he no more besought him as a subject, Exod. vii. 1. and his word was confirmed by miracles. But in the first place, the miracles were such as did not hurt them, but only warn them, as that turning the rod into a serpent; and then God proceeded to miracles that were hurtful, which yet were imitated by the magicians; but then God proceeded further, to do things that the magicians could not imitate, but themselves confessed manifested the finger of God. And then, that the evidence might be still clearer, and God’s meaning in those plagues plainer, God proceeded to sever between the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel dwelt, and the rest of Egypt; and then in the next plague God severed even between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt; and then in the next plague, the plague of boils and blains, was not only beyond what the magicians could do, but the magicians themselves were the subjects of the plague, and were grievously tormented, so that they could not stand before Moses. And this plague was brought upon them by the ashes of the furnace, wherein they employed the children of Israel in their slavery in burning the brick they made, that Pharaoh might see wherefore God was angry, and did so chastise him. After this, Pharaoh was more particularly and fully warned of God by his word than ever before, and was forewarned what those plagues would at last come to if he continued still obstinate, Exod. ix. 13., &c. And then after this God brought the plague of hail and thunder, that was more terrifying and threatening than any heretofore; and then to complete the destruction caused by the hail, the locusts were sent to eat up what the hail had left. Then came the plague of darkness, with frightful apparitions of evil angels, (see Note,) which was more terrifying still than any that had gone before, and the distinction made in it between the children of Israel and the Egyptians was more remarkable, for they had light in their dwellings where they dwelt mingled with the Egyptians. And then before that great destruction by the last plague, Pharaoh was again particularly warned of what was coming, and when, and in what manner, it would come, much more fully and particularly than ever, Exod. xi. 4., &c. And then came the last and greatest plague that preceded Pharaoh’s own destruction, attended with the greatest tokens of God’s wrath, and a remarkable distinction between the Israelites and the Egyptians; and last of all, Pharaoh himself, with all the prime of Egypt, was destroyed in the Red sea.
 Exod. vii. 9-12. Moses’s rod, when cast unto the earth, became a serpent. So Christ, when sent down to the earth, appeared in the form of sinful flesh; he was made sin for us. So Christ was represented by the brazen serpent that was made in the form of the fiery serpents that bit the people. Moses’s rod, when on the ground in the form of a serpent, swallowed up the serpents of the magicians. So Christ, by being made sin, he swallowed up the devils, the parents of sin, when he appeared in the form of sinful flesh, and for sin he condemned sin in the flesh; by being made a curse he destroyed the curse; by suffering the punishment of sin he abolished the punishment of sin; and at the same time that, being made sin, he destroyed sin and the devil, and so swallowed the serpents in that sense. So he received and embraced sinners, (that are in themselves serpents) by his love and grace, so that they became as it were his pleasant food, and so he swallowed down serpents. In this sense God’s people are represented as his pleasant food; they are represented as the wheat in opposition to tares, and as his good grain in opposition to chaff. See Isa. vi. 13. “But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return and shall be eaten; as a teil-tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them when they cast their leaves, so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof.”
 Exod. vii. 9, 10. Moses’s rod, that had been a shepherd’s staff, to lead, protect, and comfort a flock of sheep, and by which Moses led and comforted Israel as a flock when cast upon the land of Egypt, became a serpent, a terrible, hurtful, and destructive creature. So Christ, that is a shepherd to his people, their protection and comfort, is destructive to unbelievers, a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence: his salvation is poison to them through their rejection of it. They have a greater fall by the second Adam than by the first, and Christ will at last be a lion to destroy them, as that pillar of cloud of fire that gave light to the Israelites was a cloud and darkness to the Egyptians. So the word of God, (which is another thing signified by the rod,) which is a means of the salvation of Israel, is a sword to destroy the Egyptians.
Christ was represented by a serpent in the wilderness, because he was made sin for believers, but he will be made sin to unbelievers; he was made a curse for Israel, a serpent for them, but he will be the greatest curse to sinners, a terrible serpent to the Egyptians. So the Saviour of Israel proved the most dreadful destroyer of the Egyptians; and the word of God by Moses, which proved the salvation of his people, was their destruction. This seems to be one thing intended by this miracle, for there seems to be something threatening to the Egyptians, for the serpent had a very terrible appearance and motion, as appears by Moses’s fleeing before it, when he first tried the experiment at mount Sinai. It was something threatening of the plagues that were coming. God was pleased first to threaten the Egyptians, and give them warning of approaching judgments, before he began to execute them.
 Exod. xii. 2. “This month shall be unto you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year unto you.” Because in this month God wrought out for them that great typical redemption out of Egypt, representing the redemption of Jesus Christ, and also because he intended at the same time of year actually to complete the work of spiritual and eternal redemption of his church by the death, resurrection, and ascension of the great Redeemer. It is probable that the Israelites, as well as other nations, had till now begun the year in autumn, about the autumnal equinox, about which time of year there is reason to think the world was created. But as now God at the time of the redemption changed the day of their sabbath, (as Mr. Bedford in his Scripture Chronology makes probable,) so he changed the beginning of this year from the autumnal equinox, the time when the old creation was wrought, to the spring, about the vernal equinox, the time of the new creation. The old creation was wrought in the fall of the year, the time when things are just going to decay, and to a kind of ruin, and winter approaching, that shuts up the whole face of the earth as it were in a state of death; the Orderer of all things probably thus signifying that the old creation was not to continue, the heavens and the earth that then were should be shaken, and soon begin to decay, as it did by the Son of man; the curse which that brought, which was in effect its ruin, as it were, brought all to its chaotic state again, and laid a foundation for its actual total destruction. But the work of redemption was wrought in the spring, signifying that as in the spring the world as it were revives from a state of death, and all things are renewed, and all nature appears in blooming beauty, and as it were in a state of joy; so, by the redemption of Christ, a new world should be created, and the spiritual world, the elect creation, should be restored from death, and brought to a new, glorious, and happy life.
 Exod. xii. 15. Concerning leaven. It was a most fit type of the corruption of the heart by reason of its sourness, and because of its infecting spreading nature, so that a little leaven leavens the whole lump, (in which respect also it is a fit type of false doctrine, as Matt. xvi. 6, 11, 12.,) and because of its swelling nature, for the nature of corruption is to swell self, it radically consists in inordinate self-love, and primarily is manifest in pride and self-exaltation. The swelling nature of leaven represents the nature of corruption with respect to its principle, viz. inordinate self-love; and the sourness of it represents its nature with respect to its tendency, which is enmity.
But especially is leaven a fit type of original sin, by reason of the manner of its propagation; for as original sin is propagated from father to son, and so from generation to generation, so it is with leaven, one lump leavens the next, and that the next, and so leaven is propagated from lump to lump, for ever. The old lump leavens the new, and therefore is called the old leaven.
 Exod. xii. 35, 36. “And they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and the Lord gave the people favour in the eyes of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required, and they spoiled the Egyptians.” The treasures that the children of Israel by this means carried forth out of Egypt were very great, even so as in a great measure to leave Egypt empty of its wealth, and so as to enrich the Israelites. Psal. cv. 35. “He brought them forth also with silver and with gold.” Gen. xv. 14. “They shall come out with great substance.” When a person is redeemed by Christ out of spiritual bondage, at the same time they are set at liberty they are also enriched, they have great substance given, as it were gold tried in the fire, and those riches are the spoils of their enemies, all that spiritual wealth, glory, and blessedness, and even heaven itself, is in some sort the spoils of Satan; that which God has deprived him of to give to the saints, as the earthly Canaan was taken away from the Canaanites and giants of the land, the enemies of the Israelites, and given to them. So heaven was taken from the fallen angels; they were driven out thence by the spiritual Joshua, to make room for the saints. The devils left heaven, in all probability, by their opposition and envy towards the saints, and rising up in open hostility against Christ as their head, revealed to be such in God’s decrees; and so their hostility against the spiritual Moses, and Joshua, and their seed, and seeking to keep them down: these spiritual Egyptians and Canaanites left their spiritual and heavenly possessions, riches, and honours, and inheritance, and God took it from them and gave it to them that they opposed and sought to impoverish and destroy, and impoverished them to make those they hated rich with their riches. Yea, they themselves, though their enemies, are made in some sense to give them their own riches to enrich them and impoverish themselves, for they are made by Divine Providence the occasions of their being brought to their spiritual and eternal riches and glory. Satan has been the occasion of the saints’ heavenly riches and glory in tempting man to fall, and so giving occasion for the work of redemption, and then in procuring the death of Christ, and oftentimes is made the occasion of particular advantages that the church obtains at one age and another, and his opposition to the nature of particular elect souls, is always turned to be an occasion of their riches and fulness; so that all the wealth and glory that the church has, is in a sense, and indeed in many ways, from Satan, though he seeks nothing but her destruction.
Another thing signified, is that the church of Christ, when redeemed from her enemies and oppressors, especially from Rome, heathen and antiChristian, that is spiritually called Egypt, should have their wealth and glory given into their hands, as is foretold by the prophets, Psal. lxviii. 30. “Rebuke the company of spearmen, the multitude of the bulls, with the calves of the people, till every one submits himself with pieces of silver.” Zech. xiv. 14. “And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem, and the wealth of the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel in great abundance.” Isa. lx. 5, 6, 9, 10, 13, 16, 17. and chap. lxi. 6. which was fulfilled in the days of Constantine the Great, and will be more gloriously fulfilled at the fall of antichrist. Thus the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just, and Christ shall have a portion divided to him with the great, and shall divide the spoil with the strong.
It is to be noted that the tabernacle in the wilderness was made of these spoils the children of Israel took from the Egyptians. It was made of those jewels of silver, and gold, and raiment; so all the utensils and holy vessels of the tabernacle, the ark, and the mercy-seat, and the cherubim, and the candlestick, and table of shew-bread, and altar of incense and laver, and his seat, and also the priests’ vestments, the twelve precious stones of the breastplate, as afterwards the temple, was built chiefly of these vast treasures that David took from his enemies; whereby is signified several things.
1. That God’s church, that in Scripture is represented as Christ’s house or temple, and as his raiment and ornament, and as a golden candlestick, &c. is wholly constituted of those saints that are his jewels, that are the spoils of his enemies, that were once his enemies’ possession, but that he has redeemed out of their hands. Those precious gems that are near his heart, and are as it were his breastplate.
2. That Christ himself, that is the antitype of the tabernacle and temple, and especially of the ark and the altar, is one that has been rescued out of Satan’s hands, and comes to be an ark and altar, no other ways than by his resurrection and ascension, whereby he was delivered from captivity to Satan.
3. Hereby is signified that the church of Christ, when it shall be fully redeemed from the tyranny of Rome, that is spiritually called Egypt, shall be adorned and beautified with the wealth of her enemies; that vast wealth that has hitherto been improved to gratify the avarice and pride of the church’s enemies, shall then be improved to holy purposes, to build up the church of Christ, to beautify the place of God’s sanctuary, and to make the place of his feet glorious, and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory and honour into the church. Thus Satan shall be spoiled of his wealth and glory, and that which used to be improved in his service, shall be taken from him, and shall be improved in the service of Christ; so that what he hath swallowed down he shall vomit up again.
 Exod. xiii. 2. Concerning the pillar of cloud and fire, or the cloud of glory. This pillar of cloud and fire, and also the cloud of glory on mount Sinai, and in the tabernacle and temple, was a type of Christ in the human nature. The cloud was a fit representation of the human nature, being in itself a dark body, a vapour, a weak light thing, easily driven hither and thither by every wind, or the least breath of air; while it continues, is a most mutable thing, sometimes bigger, and sometimes less, constantly changing its form, puts on a thousand shapes, and it quickly vanishes away, is easily dispersed and brought to nought; a little change in the air destroys it, a little cold condenses it, and causes it to fall and sink into the earth. See 2 Sam. xiv. 14. A little increase of heat rarifies and causes it wholly to disappear. A cloud is a most fit representation of the human nature of Christ, because it is derived from the earth, but yet is a heavenly thing.
The bright, glorious, and inimitable fire or light that was in the midst of the cloud, represented the divine nature united to the human. The cloud was as it were a veil to this fire, as Christ’s flesh was a vest to the glory of the divinity. When Christ took the human nature upon him he veiled his glory, the bright and strong light of the glory within, which otherwise would have been too strong for the feeble sight and frail eyes of men, was moderated, and as it were allayed and softened, to make it tolerable for mortals to behold. Thus the glory of God is exhibited in such a manner in our incarnate Saviour, so as it were to moderate, soften, and sweeten the rays of divine glory, to give us a greater advantage for free access to God, and the full enjoyment of him.
 Another thing signified by God’s glorious appearing in a cloud, was probably the mysteriousness of the divine essence and subsistence, and of the person of Christ, and of the divine operations. Thus it is said, Psal. xcvii. 2. “Clouds and darkness are round about him, righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.” 1 Kings viii. 12. “The Lord said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.” Psal. xviii. 11. “He made darkness his secret place. His pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.” Prov. xxx. 4. “What is his name, and what is his Son’s name, if thou canst tell?” Isa. ix. 6. “His name shall be called Wonderful.” Judg. xiii. 18. “Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?” God’s nature is unsearchable, ‘tis high as heaven; what can we do? ‘Tis deeper than hell; what can we know? His judgments are a great deep, which we cannot fathom, and a cloud that we cannot see through; we cannot order our speech by reason of darkness.” Job xxxvii. 19. In the cloud of glory there was an excellent lustre, but it was veiled with a cloud; there was a darting forth of glorious light, and an inimitable brightness. But if any over-curious eye pried into it, it would find it just lost in a cloud. God clothes himself with light as with a garment, but yet he makes darkness his pavilion. Thus the blessed and only Potentate dwells in the light which no man can approach unto, and is he whom no eye hath seen nor can see, 1 Tim. vi. 16.
 Exod. xv. 25, 26. “And the Lord showed him a tree which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet,” &c. “I am the Lord that healeth thee.” This tree is the tree of life, and signified Jesus Christ; it signifies God himself, and the waters are God’s people, as it is here explained in the 26th verse; the trees being cut down, represented the death of Christ, and being cast into the water, his uniting himself to his people by coming down from heaven, by taking our nature, and by his Spirit.
 Exod. xv. 27. “And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm-trees; and they encamped there by the waters.” These twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm-trees, are a representation of the church. The twelve wells of water answer to the twelve tribes, twelve patriarchs, twelve heads of the tribes, and twelve apostles. They signify the church itself, and then they answer to the twelve tribes. The church is compared to a fountain or spring of water, Cant. iv. 12. The hearts of believers are like wells of living water, the water being the grace of the Spirit. Or they signify the ministry of the church, and so they answer to the twelve patriarchs, and twelve apostles; the twelve patriarchs were the fathers and fountains of Israel, according to the flesh; and the twelve apostles, and gospel ministers, are the fathers of Israel, spiritually. Through the twelve apostles, Christ delivered his pure doctrine to the world, as through so many fountains of pure water, and through gospel ministers in general, Christ communicates the living water of his Spirit to the church, as through so many springs, or pipes, or conveyancers, Zech. iv. 12. The twelve fountains signify Christ himself; he is represented by twelve fountains, as the Holy Ghost is represented by seven lamps, Rev. iv. and he is called twelve wells, according to the number of the instruments by which he communicates himself. However, in which sense soever we take it, the water represents the Holy Spirit. Christ communicates himself to his church only by his Spirit; he dwells in their hearts by his Spirit, the ministers of the gospel are instruments of the conveyance of the Spirit, the hearts of particular believers are fountains of living water, that is, of the Spirit.
The seventy palm-trees signify the church, which is compared to a palm-tree. Cant. vii. 7, 8. Deborah, the type of the church, dwells under the palm-tree. Believers are compared to palm-trees, 1 Kings vi. 29. “And he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubims, and palm-trees, and open flowers, within and without;” which represented saints and angels: the number seventy answers to the seventy elders which were representatives of the whole congregation of Israel, and are called the congregation, Numb. xxxii. 12. Josh. xx. 6. or church, which is a word of the same signification.
It is probable the palm-trees grew so about these twelve fountains, that their roots were watered and received nourishment from them.
 Exod. xvi. 19, 20. “Let no man leave of it till the morning,” &c. Hereby perhaps we are designed to be taught our absolute dependence every day upon God, for the supplies of his grace and spiritual food. We not only depend on him for the first conversion of the soul, but daily depend on him for grace afterwards. This manna must be given us every day, or we should be without food. We are taught not to rest in and live upon past attainments, but to be continually looking to God, and by faith fetching from him fresh supplies. We must not lay up in store the grace of this day for to-morrow, to save us the trouble of seeking and gathering more. We never have any to spare; hereby we shall make a righteousness of what we receive and do; and when we make that use of it, it is like manna that breeds worms and stinks.
 Exod. xvii. 9. “I will stand on the top of the hill, with the rod of God in my hand.” Moses’s rod, as has elsewhere been observed, signifies three things, each of which it signifies in this case. 1. It signifies faith, by which God’s people overcome their enemies: “for this is the victory that overcomes, even our faith.”
Mr. Henry says this rod was held up to God by way of appeal to him. Is not the battle the Lord’s? Is not he able to help, and engaged to help? Witness this rod, the voice of which thus held up was that of Isaiah li. 9, 10. “Put on thy strength, O arm of the Lord. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab?”
2. It represents the word of God, the rod of his strength, which is the weapon by which Christ, the antitype of Moses, overcomes his church’s enemies. This is the sword which proceeds out of his mouth.
3. Christ himself lifted up as the banner of his militant church. Christ is prophesied of in Isa. xi. as a rod, “a rod out of the stem of Jesse;” arid in the same place it is said, “He shall stand for an ensign of the people,” and their ensign as an army brought out of Egypt, and fighting and conquering their enemies; the children of Edom, in particular, are mentioned, ver. 1-10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16. This ensign and banner is Jehovah-Nissi, Jehovah our banner, agreeable to the name of the altar Moses built on this occasion, ver. 15. Moses stood on the top of a hill, and there lift up this ensign, the wonder-working rod, which had brought such plagues on their enemies, and such marvellous deliverance for them before, that the people at the sight of it might be animated in the battle. Christ himself, when he was lifted up on the cross, that he might draw all men to him, was lifted up on a hill. He stood and cried on the top of a hill, even the mountain of the temple at the feast of tabernacles. God hath exalted him to heaven, set him on his holy hill of Zion; caused him to ascend a high hill, as the hill of Bashan; hath set this rod in the mountain of the height of Israel, and from thence his glory is manifested to gather men to him, and to animate his church to fight his battles. From thence his glory was manifested on the day of Pentecost after his ascension, and from thence it will be manifested to his church, when they shall go forth to their victory over antichrist and all their enemies. He will shine forth on that mountain of the house of the Lord, from behind the veil, from between the cherubim; and all flesh shall behold it, and so all nations shall flow together to the mountain of the Lord shall be gathered to this ensign and then shall that be fulfilled, in Isa. xi. 10. “At that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek;” ver. 12. “And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah, from the four corners of the earth.”
 Exod. xvii. 15. “And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-Nissi.“ (i. e. The Lord my banner). Altars were types of Christ, and therefore were sometimes called by the name of God, as Jacob called the altar he built in Bethel, El Bethel, or the God of Bethel. The special reason of Moses’s calling this altar, that he built on occasion of their victory over Amalek, the Lord my Banner, was that Christ in that battle was in a special type represented as the banner of his people, under which they fought against their enemies, to which they should look, and by which they should be conducted as an army were by their banner or ensign, viz. in Moses holding up the rod of God in his hand on the top of the hill, as verses 9, 10, 11, 12. That rod was a type of Christ, as has been shown, No. 195. Moses, while the people were fighting with Amalek, held up this rod as the banner under which the people should fight: while Moses held up this rod, Israel prevailed, and when he let it down, Amalek prevailed.
This is agreeable to what God commanded when the children of Israel were bitten with fiery serpents. Num. xxi. 8. “Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole;” in the original it is, “set it for a banner,” or “ensign,” or “upon an ensign.” In all likelihood, the brazen serpent was set up on one of the poles of the standards or ensigns of the camp, and probably on the standard of the tribe of Judah, which was a lion, and was a type of Christ, who is the lion of the tribe of Judah: so it is prophesied that Christ should stand for an ensign. Isa. xi. 10, 12. “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel.”
 Exod. xx. 24, 25, 26. “An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me And if thou wilt make an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone; for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it: neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar.” These rules have respect to what was to be done now immediately, the altars they were to erect, and the sacrifices that were to be offered in the wilderness before the building of the tabernacle. God’s altar was to be very plain and very low, so that they might have no occasion to go up to it by steps. The heathen greatly adorned their altars with the curious works of their own hands, and worshipped in high places, and built their altars very high, thinking hereby to put great honours on their gods, and make their services very acceptable to them. But God lets his people know that their seeming adorning, by their own art and handy work, will be but polluting, and their recommending themselves by their high altars will be dishonouring themselves, and showing their own nakedness: perhaps typifying this, that whenever men ascend high and exalt themselves in their own works or righteousness in God’s service, they show their own nakedness, and pollute his worship, and render the services they offer abominable to God. Mr. Henry has this note on this rule for plain affairs: “This rule being prescribed before the ceremonial law was given, which appointed altars much more costly, intimates that after the period of that law, plainness should be accepted as the best ornament of the external services of religion, and that gospel worship should not be performed with external pomp and gaiety.”
 Exod. xxiii. 26. “Behold, I send an angel before thee,” &c. This does not seem to be the same angel spoken of in the 33d chap. which was a created angel, but the Son of God; for what was spoken here before was in the name of the Father.
 Exod. xxiv. 18. “And Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.” Moses being so long in the mount with God when he received his mind and will to reveal to Israel, represents Christ’s being in heaven with his Father to receive his mind and will to reveal to his church his being from all eternity in the bosom of the Father; and it may be particularly forty days, because Christ came down from heaven, signified by this mount; it was four thousand years from the beginning of time, and from the creation and fall of man, and since the covenant of grace first took place, and Christ actually became the Mediator between God and man; which, putting ten for a thousand, and every age or century for a day, answers to forty days. That mount, when Moses was in it with God, typified heaven, as the apostle teaches, Heb. viii. 5.
 Exod. xxv. 10., &c. “And they shall make an ark of shittim-wood,” &c. The ark was upon many accounts a lively type of Jesus Christ. The ark was united to the Godhead, it had the cloud of glory over it and upon it, which was the symbol of God’s immediate presence. The ark was the throne of God; Jer. iii. 17.; i. e. it was that that was his immediate seat, and where he was present in a higher manner than he was in any other place, or to which his presence was united in a more immediate manner than to any thing else. God was present in the land of Canaan, or the holy land, more than in any other part of the face of the earth. God was present in Jerusalem, the holy city, or city of God, above all other places of the land of Canaan, and he was present in his temple above all other places in that city, as a king is more immediately present in his own house than in any other part of the royal city. But God was present with the ark, which was his throne, more than in any other part of his house. So the human nature of Christ is as it were the throne of God, where God is present, more than in any other part of the whole universe. It is of all created things the highest and most immediate seat of the divine presence; that in which God resides in a higher and more eminent manner than in any other part of the highest heaven itself, that is his temple. The ark, in itself, was in some respects a mean thing for the throne of God and for the symbol of God’s most immediate presence. It was only a wooden chest; it appeared without that form and pomp which the heathen images had, on which account the heathens despised it, and the children of Israel were often ashamed of it, and had a mind to have images in the stead of it, as the heathen had. So the human nature of Christ is in itself a mean thing; man is but a worm; the human nature has no glory in itself; it is but a vessel, that must receive its fulness from something else. As this chest in itself was empty, its fulness was what was put into it. Christ, when he was on the earth, appeared without form or comeliness, without external pomp and glory. The Jews, when they saw him, saw no beauty wherefore they should desire him, and he was despised by the Gentiles; he was to the Jews a stumbling-block, and to the Greeks foolishness. Though the ark was in some respect mean, yet it was exceeding precious; though it was made of wood, yet it was over-laid with gold. So the man Jesus Christ was exceeding excellent; though he was a man, one of the mean race of mankind, yet he was a holy man, perfectly holy, endowed with excellent graces and virtues. Christ God man, Mediator, is wonderful; his name is secret, his person and offices are full of unfathomable mysteries. Hence Christ’s name is called Wonderful, as the prophet Isaiah says; and the angel that wrestled with Jacob says, “Why askest thou after my name, seeing it is secret, or wonderful?” and Isa. chap. liii. says, “Who shall declare his generation?” and again, in Prov. xxx. “What is his Son’s name, if thou canst tell?” As an ark is a thing shut up, what is in it is secret; hence secret things are called arcana. The mercy-seat was upon the ark, and never was separated from it, which shows that God’s mercy is only in and through Jesus Christ. The ark was God’s chest, or cabinet. Men’s cabinets contain their most precious treasure: which denotes the infinite dignity and preciousness of Christ in the sight of God the Father, and the infinite love the Father hath to him, and delight he hath in him. The beloved Son of God is his most precious treasure, in which God’s infinite riches, and infinite happiness and joy, from eternity to eternity, does consist. Cabinets are made to contain a treasure; so the ark contained the precious treasure of the law of God, and the pot of manna: the one signifying divine holiness, of which the law of God is an emanation and expression; and the other signifying divine happiness, for manna was spiritual and heavenly bread, or food; but food is the common figure in Scripture to represent happiness, delight, and satisfaction; or in one word, those two things that were contained in this cabinet, signified the Holy Spirit, which is the same with the divine good or fulness of God, his infinite holiness and joy. Christ is the person in whom is the Spirit of God, and therefore he is called the Anointed. In him dwells this fulness of the Godhead: he is the cabinet of God the Father in which is contained all his treasure. In him the Father beholds infinite beauty, (or holiness, which is the beauty of the divine nature,) and in him the Father has his food, or infinite delight and satisfaction.
The ark in the temple was not only God’s cabinet, containing his treasure, but it was also Israel’s cabinet; it contained the greatest treasure of the children of Israel. (See Note on Isa. iv. 5.) So Christ is the greatest treasure of his church; he is their pearl of great price; he is the church’s portion and chief good; in him is contained all the church’s fulness; of his fulness she receives, and grace for grace; all her happiness, all the covenant blessings that she hath, are bound up in Christ. The church hath the Holy Spirit, which is the sum of all her good, no other-wise than through Christ and in Christ. God hath given the Spirit not by measure unto him and from him; it flows to his members as the oil on Aaron’s head went down to the skirts of his garments: particularly it is only in and through Christ that the church hath holiness expressed in the law of God, and happiness expressed by the pot of manna.
The ark itself, considered separately from the things it contained, was only a repository and vehicle to contain other things more precious than itself. So the human nature of Christ is only a repository or vehicle to contain and convey that which is infinitely excellent and precious. In this human nature of Christ dwelt God himself. The divine Logos dwelt in it by his Spirit, signified by the law and manna. The Spirit of God never dwelt in any other creature in anywise as it dwells in the man Christ Jesus; for in him he dwells without measure, on which account also he is called Christ, or Anointed. By the Spirit of God dwelling in so high and transcendent a manner, the human nature is united to the divine in the same person. And as that human nature of Christ is as it were the container or repository of the Deity, a vessel full of the divine nature, so is it as it were the vehicle of it, by which it is conveyed to us, in and through which it might be as it were ours in possession; for it is by the Godhead being united to the nature of man, that it becomes the portion of men, as the ark of old was as it were the vehicle of the Deity to the children of Israel. It was that by which they had the Deity, whose dwelling-place is heaven, dwelling among them as their God, and by which God maintained a gracious communication with them.
The human nature of Christ had the Logos, or the Word of God, dwelling in it, as the divine eternal person of the Son is often called. This was typified by the ark’s containing the word of God in it, written in tables of stone, and in the book of the law. Christ is the light of the world, as that law contained in the ark is represented as the light of the congregation of Israel, Deut. xxxiii. 2. From his right hand went a fiery law for them. Christ is the bread of life that came down from heaven; he is that that was signified by the manna in the wilderness, as Christ teaches in the 6th chap. of John; and he is so by the Spirit that dwells in him, and that he communicates, which was typified by the ark’s containing manna, the bread from heaven.
The law that was put into the ark signified the righteousness of Christ, including both his propitiation and obedience. Christ’s preparedness for both, is signified in the 40th Psalm by that law, Thy law is within mine heart. God’s law was put within Christ’s heart, as the law was put within the ark. Hence he satisfied the law by his sufferings; for it was out of regard to the honour of God’s law, that when he would save them that had broken it, he had rather himself suffer the penalty of the law, than that their salvation should be inconsistent with the honour of it; and it was also because God’s law was within his heart that he perfectly obeyed it.
God was wont to manifest his glory from above the ark in the holy of holies, so it is only by Christ that God manifests his glory to his church; they see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ; he is the effulgence or the shining forth of his Father’s glory. So God was wont to meet with the children of Israel over the ark, and there speak with them, and give forth his oracles and answers; so it is by Christ only that God reveals himself to his church. “No man hath seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son that is in the bosom of his Father, he hath declared him.”
The ark is called the ark of the covenant; the covenant that God made with the people was contained in it. The covenant that God hath made with mankind, is made in Christ. The covenant was made with him from eternity; the covenant was then committed to him from us. The promises were given us in Christ; it is he that reveals the covenant, and he is the Mediator and surety of the covenant. The book of the covenant was shut up in the ark, which denotes the mysteriousness of the things contained in this covenant, as was said before; things shut up in an ark are secret, or arcana; and especially hereby seems to be signified that the great things of the covenant were in a great measure hidden under the Old Testament, they were covered as with a veil. As Moses put a veil over his face, so he hid the covenant in the ark. The ark itself was hidden by the veil of the temple, and the book of the covenant was hid by the cover of the ark, i. e. they were as it were hidden under Christ’s flesh: the carnal typical ordinances of the Old Testament are in Scripture represented as Christ’s flesh, Rom. ii. 1, 2, 3, 4. Colos. ii. 14. The veil signified the flesh of Christ; Heb. x. 20. and so doth the cover of the ark, or the ark considered as distinct from what was contained in it. The covenant of grace was, and the glorious things of the gospel were, contained in that book that was laid up in the ark; but it was as it were shut up in a cabinet, hid under types and dark representations. Christ rent the veil from the top to the bottom; so he opened the cabinet of the ark. The faces of the cherubims were towards this ark, and the mercy-seat upon it, to pry into the mysteries of the person of Christ and of this covenant of grace; for “these things,” as the apostle Peter says, “the angels desire to look into. 543543 1 Peter i. 12. ”
The ark was carried on staves, on the Levites’ shoulders; so Christ is brought to his church and people in the labours of the ministers of the gospel.
It seems, by Jer. iii. 16, 17. as if the ark were a type of the church as well as of Christ; but no wonder: the church hath such a union and communion with Christ, that almost all the same things that are predicated of Christ, are also in some sense predicated of the church. Christ is the temple of God, and so is the church; believers are said to be his temple, and they together are said to be built up a spiritual house, &c. The law is in Christ’s heart, Psal. xl. As the law was in the ark, so God promises to put his law into the hearts of his people. Christ is the pearl of great price; he is the Father’s treasure, his chief delight; so the church is his cabinet, and believers are his jewels. The ark represents the human nature of Christ especially, or the body of Christ, and the church is called the body of Christ.
 Exod. xxv. 23-40 to the end. Concerning the shew-bread table, and the golden candlestick. These both were to stand continually in the holy place, before the veil of the holy of holies, one on the north side, and the other on the south. Each of these seems to represent both a divine person and also the church. Each represents a divine person; the shew-bread represents Christ, and was set on the south side at God’s right-hand, as Christ is often represented as being set at God’s right-hand in heaven, being next to God the Father in his office, and above the Holy Spirit in the economy of the persons of the Trinity. The candlestick, or at least the oil and lamp of it, represent the Holy Spirit, and is set at the left-hand of God’s throne. Christ is as it were the bread of God. He is so called, John vi. 33. He is the portion of God the Father, in whom is his infinite delight and happiness, and as our Mediator and sacrifice. He is as it were the bread of God; as the ancient sacrifices, that were only typical of Christ, are often called the bread of God. This bread is called the shew-bread, in the Hebrew Lechem Plannim, the bread of God’s face, or presence. So Christ, in Isa. lxiii. 9. is called Malak phannim, the angel of God’s face, or presence. This bread had pure frankincense set on it, which undoubtedly signifies the merits of Christ, and so proves the bread, that had this pure frankincense on it, to be a type of Christ. And besides this, the bread and frankincense are called an offering made by fire unto the Lord, Lev. xxiv. 7, 9. which is another proof that this bread and incense were a type of Christ offered in sacrifice to God; the bread was prepared to be as it were the food of God, by being baked in the fire, and the frankincense, when removed for new to be set on, was probably burnt in the fire on the altar of incense. There were twelve cakes of shew-bread, according to the number of the tribes of Israel, to signify that Christ, as offered up in sacrifice to God, is offered as representing his people and church, and presenting himself to God in their name. This bread represents Christ not only as presented in the presence of God as the bread of the saints, for this bread was eaten by the priests in the temple, Lev. xxiv. 9. So Christ is often spoken of as the bread of the saints. He is the bread they will feed upon in heaven, which is the holy temple of God, where the saints are all kings and priests.
This bread also represents the church, who are spoken of not only as partaking of Christ, the divine bread, but as being themselves the bread of God, 1 Cor. x. 17. God’s people are very often, in both the Old Testament and the New, spoken of as God’s food, his fruit, his harvest, his good grain, his portion, &c. This seems to be one reason why the shew-bread was to be in twelve cakes, representing the twelve tribes of Israel, because the bread represented the church, as the twelve precious stones in the breastplate did. These loaves had frankincense set on them, to represent that God’s people are not acceptable food to God, any otherwise than as rendered so by the incense of Christ’s merits; the loaves of shew-bread were to be set on the table anew every sabbath, representing these several things.
1. That in God’s finishing the work of redemption, or in Christ’s finishing of it, when he rested from it Christ especially became the bread or sweet food of God, wherein he was refreshed; as God is said to have rested, and to have been refreshed, when ht finished the work of creation, so much more when Christ finished the work of redemption.
2. As the sabbath day especially is the day of the worship of Christ’s church, so on that day especially does Christ present himself as their Mediator, and present his merits as their sweet food and incense of God to recommend them and their worship to the Father.
3. Christ is, on the sabbath day, especially set forth as the bread of his church in the preaching of the word, and administration of the sacrament. On the sabbath day, the disciples came together to break bread, and it is then especially that his saints do feed upon him, in meditation, hearing his word, and partaking of the sacrament of the Lord’s supper, as the priests ate the shew-bread on the sabbath.
4. The sabbath is that time wherein especially God’s people do present themselves to God as his portion through Christ.
5. The time wherein in a most eminent manner they shall be presented by Christ, and will present themselves to God as his portion, is on the time of their eternal rest (the antitype of the sabbath) in heaven.
6. This is also the time wherein they will in the highest degree feed and feast on Christ as their bread, as the priests ate the shew-bread in the temple on the sabbath.
In the golden candlestick that stood before the throne, on the left side was a representation both of the Holy Spirit and of the church. The pure oil olive that fed the lamps is indisputably a type of the Holy Ghost; and it is evident, from Rev. iv. 5. compared with chap. i. 4. and v. 6. and Zech. iii. 9. and iv. 2, 6, 10. The burning of the lamp represents that divine, infinite, pure energy and ardour wherein the Holy Spirit consists. The light of the lamps filling the tabernacle with light which had no windows, and no light but of those lamps, represents the divine, blessed communication and influence of the Spirit of God, replenishing the church, and filling heaven with the light of divine knowledge in opposition to the darkness of ignorance and delusion, with the light of holiness in opposition to the darkness of sin, and with the light of comfort and joy in opposition to the darkness of sorrow and misery. This light being communicated from a candlestick, represents the way in which these benefits are communicated to the church, viz. the way of God’s ordinances, which are called a candlestick, Rev. ii. 5.
It is evident that the candlestick represents the church from the 4th chap. of Zech. and the 1st of Rev. and Matt. v. 13, 14, 15. and 1 Tim. iii. 15. The matter was gold, as the church is constituted of saints, God’s precious ones. The candlestick was like a tree of many branches, and bearing flowers and fruit, agreeable to the very frequent representations of the church by a tree, an olive-tree, a vine, a grain of mustard-seed that becomes a tree, the branch of the Lord, a tree whose substance is in it, &c. The continuance and propagation of the church is compared to the propagation of branches from a common stock and root, and of plants from the seed. In this candlestick, every flower is attended with a knop, apple, or pomegranate, representing a good profession attended with corresponding fruit in the true saints. Here were rows of knops and flowers one after another, beautifully representing the saints’ progress in religious attainments, their going from strength to strength. Such is the nature of true grace and holy fruit, that it bears flowers that promise a further degree of fruit, the flower having in it the principles of new fruit; and by this progress in holiness, the saint comes to shine as a light in the world. The fruit that succeeds the uppermost flower, is the burning and shining lamp, representing several things:
1. That the fruit of a true saint, or his good works and holy life, is as it were a light by which he shines before men, Matt. v. 13, 14, 15.
2. That in a way of holy practice, and by progress in holiness, the saints obtain the light of spiritual comfort.
3. That in the way of going from strength to strength, and making progress in holiness, they come at last to the light of glory.
The lamps were fed wholly by oil constantly supplied from the olive-tree, representing that the saints’ holiness, good fruits, and comfort, are wholly by the Spirit of God, constantly flowing from Christ. The oil that was burnt in the lamps before God, was an offering to God; so God is the prime object of the grace and holiness of the saints, their divine love flows out chiefly to him, as Mary’s precious ointment was poured on the head of Christ, but ran down to the skirts of his garments. Their good works are acceptable sacrifices to God through Christ, and are not of the nature of Christian works, if not offered to God, as if there be nothing of a gracious respect to God in them. The saints’ light shines before God, their gracious and holy practices are pleasant to him, and of great price in his sight, as the light is sweet; and the light shone around and filled the temple, as the odour of Mary’s box of ointment filled the house. The inhabitants of the temple had the benefit of the light of the candlestick, as the saints of God have especially the benefit of the good works of the saints.
The propagation of the church through successive generations is sometimes represented in Scripture by the gradual growing of a tree, and shooting forth its branches. And when the church is represented as bringing forth fruit as a tree, by her fruit is sometimes meant her children, or converts; and therefore one thing that may be intended by fruit and flowers succeeding one another in this candlestick, may be the continuance of the church and gradual increase, her bringing forth fruit, and that in order to the bringing forth more fruit, until she hath reached the latter-day glory, when God shall bring forth her righteousness as the light, and her salvation as a lamp that burneth; then shall she come to a state of glorious light, of truth, knowledge, holiness, and joy.
 Exod. xxviii. 30. “And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment, the Urim,” &c. Called the breastplate of judgment, because in matters of judgment that were too hard for the judges, they were to come to the priest, who was to inquire of God by Urim and Thummim, in the breastplate, for a determination, according to Deut. xvii. 8, 9.
 Exod. xxx. 7, 8. When the high priest lighted and dressed the lamp, then was he to burn incense on the golden altar of incense; signifying; that the sweet and infinitely acceptable incense of Christ’s merits was by the Holy Spirit signified by the lamp, (see No. 475.) It was by the eternal Spirit that Christ offered up himself without spot to God. It was by the Holy Spirit many ways. It was by the Holy Spirit that the human nature of Christ was united to the divine Logos, from which union arises the infinite value of his blood and righteousness. It was by the eternal Spirit that Christ performed righteousness. It was by the Spirit of God that Christ was perfectly holy, and performed perfect righteousness. It was by the Holy Spirit not only that his obedience was perfect, but performed with such transcendent love. It was by this Spirit that his sacrifice of himself was sanctified, being an offering to God in the pure and fervent flame of divine love which burnt in his heart, as well as in the flame of God’s vindictive justice and wrath into which he was cast. And it was by this that his obedience and sacrifice were offered with such a love to his people, for whom he died, as implied a perfect union with them, whereby it was accepted for them.
 Exod. xxxii. xxxiii. xxxiv. There are many things in the circumstances of this second giving of the law that we have an account of in these chapters, that are arguments that these two transactions did represent the two great transactions of God with mankind in the covenant of works and covenant of grace.
It was in this last covenanting of God with the people, especially, that Moses appeared as a mediator, to which the apostle has respect, Gal. iii. 19. It was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator, when the people had broken the covenant given at first with thunder and lightning; the law then was made use of as a school-master to convince them of sin. God threatened to leave them, and not go up with them, and when the people were overwhelmed by it, and mourned when they heard the evil tidings, God then further awakened them and terrified them, sending such a message as this to them, “Ye are a stiff-necked people; I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee; therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee.” Thus this awful threatening was given forth with some hope and encouragement that peradventure they might live, given in that last clause, that I may know what to do unto thee. By thus applying the terrors of the law, God brought the people to put off their ornaments, which were typical of their own righteousness. chap. xxxiii. 5, 6.
Moses now acted as a mediator, and not merely as an intermessenger, as he did in the first giving of the law. He offers his life for theirs; he offers up himself to be accursed and blotted out of God’s book for them, after he had told the people that they had sinned a great sin, and peradventure he should make atonement for their sin, which is to do the part of a mediator. See chap. xxxii. 30, 31, 32.
On this occasion, the Lord speaks to Moses face to face as a man speaketh unto his friend, when he came to speak to God in behalf of the people; well representing the intercourse of our Mediator with the Father, chap. xxxiii. 11. And on this occasion God made all his goodness pass before Moses, and proclaimed himself “the Lord, the Lord God, gracious and merciful, forgiving iniquity,” &c. Chap. xxxiii. 19. and xxxix. 5, 6, 7.
The covenant the first time was written on tables that were the workmanship of God, as the soul and heart of man in innocency was; which workmanship of God was destroyed by man’s apostacy: so, upon the children of Israel’s apostacy, Moses brake the tables that were the workmanship of God. The covenant now was written in tables that were the workmanship of Moses, the mediator, as the law of God after the fall is written in the fleshly tables of the heart renewed by Christ.
God promises, that in fulfilment of the covenant he now the last time enters into with his people, he will do wonders, such as have not been done in all the earth, and that all the people should see the work of the Lord. So God in the way of the new covenant that he entered into with Christ, did those great things by Christ in the work of redemption which are so often spoken of in Scripture as being so exceeding wonderful.
God made this covenant with Moses, the typical Mediator, as the head and representative of the people, and with the people in him or under him as his people, that he showed mercy to for his sake. Chap. xxxiv. 27. “And the Lord said unto Moses, Write these words, for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel;” and verse 10. “Behold, I make a covenant before all thy people; I will do marvellously.”
Before Moses came down from the mount in wrath with the tables broken; so Christ comes as God’s Messenger to execute wrath for the breaking of the covenant of works. Now he comes down with the tables of the testimony in his hand, with his face shining. This being typical of the light of grace with which Christ’s face shines in God’s Israel. See Note on Exod. xxxii. 19. and xxxiii. 1.
 Exod. xxxiii. 14, 15. “And he said, My presence shall go with thee (in the original Greek or Hebrew ). And he said, if thy presence go not with us, carry us not up hence.” Hence probably the heathen Pan and Faunus, the god of shepherds the shepherds were the Israelites that were by the Egyptians called the shepherds, because a shepherd was a strange thing in their country. Hence Pan is supposed to be one of Bacchus’s principal commanders, because God’s presence is here promised to be with Moses and the people, to help them in their wars. And Pan going with Bacchus to war, is said to have put astonishing fears on all their enemies, which arises from the great terrors with which the God of Israel (whose shepherd) brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, with which he terrified the Egyptians and Israel themselves, and all nations, by what appeared when God gave the law; and so the great terrors sent into the hearts of their enemies in Canaan, so very often spoken of. See Gen. xxxv. 5. Exod. xv. 14, 15, 16. Deut. ii. 25. and xi. 25. xxxiv. 12. and Josh. ii. 9. and Exod. xxxiv. 10. and Ps. cvi. 22. Deut. vii. 27. and x. 17, 21. xxvi. 8. Exod. xxiii. 27. God never manifested himself so much to the heathen nation in his awful terrors, as he did in the affair of leading Israel as their shepherd out of Egypt through the wilderness into Canaan, and settling them there. Those fears and terrors are spoken of as from the presence of the Lord. Ps. lxviii. 7, 8. “O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people, when thou didst march through the wilderness; Selah: The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence, Greek or Hebrew, of the Lord, (the Pan or Faunus of the heathen,) even Sinai itself was moved at the presence of the God of Israel,” (the shepherds,) and Ps. xcvii. 4, 5. “His lightnings enlightened the world; the earth saw and trembled. The hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.” For terror and trembling is often spoken of as what properly arises from the presence of the Lord. Isa. lxiv. 1-3. “O that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence, as when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations might tremble at thy presence! When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at thy presence.” So Isa. xix. 1. Jer. v. 22. Ezek. xxxviii. 20. Whence that proverbial expression, panic fears. Bochart says that Faunus among the Latins is the same god, and of the same original, with Pan. Pan is said to be an Egyptian god, to come up with Bacchus (i. e. Moses) to fight against the giants. That which God promised Moses when he said, “my presence shall go with thee,” was his Son; the same with the angel of his presence, spoken of Isa. lxiii. and therefore when Christ was crucified. Hence the relation of Plutarch touching the mourning of the demoniac spirits for the death of their great god, Pan, and the ceasing of their oracles thereupon. Bochart says, “The Hebrew Greek or Hebrew, Pan, one that is struck, or strikes with astonishing fears.“ See Court of Gen. p. 1. b. 2. c. 6, 7, 70,71.
 Exod. xxxiii. 18-23. Moses, when he beseeches God to show him his glory, seems to have respect to a visible glory; something to be seen with his bodily eyes, yet not exclusive of an inward sweet sense of those glorious perfections, of which the external glory by which God manifests himself is a semblance, which was wont to accompany the external discoveries of divine glory that God made to the prophets, the external glory being made by the Spirit of God accompanying being made a means of a sense of the spiritual glory, as the music of a song of praise is the means of a sense of the excellency of divine things. But by the context it is manifest that it was a visible glory that Moses had a most immediate respect to. Moses seems to have apprehended from what he had seen of the visible manifestations which God had made of himself to him; and it may be from the apprehensions which other holy men before him had entertained concerning God, from what God had revealed to them; that there was some transcendent external majesty and beauty, some immensely sweet and ravishing brightness, the sight of which would exceedingly fill the soul with delight, that was immensely above all that he had yet seen. And God, in his answer to Moses, and in what he did in compliance with his request, seems to allow Moses’s apprehension to be just, which probably was because it was God’s design to all eternity to appear to the bodily eyes of his saints in such an external glory in the person of Christ God man; and Moses’s acquired right from the visible manifestations of an external glory which God had often made. These were indeed an intimation that there was such a transcendent external glory in some sort belonging to God, even to the second person of the Trinity, in that it was established in God’s gracious decree and eternal agreement of the persons of the Trinity; on the foot of which establishment were all God’s proceedings with the church of Israel, that Christ should everlastingly be united to an external nature, and in that be manifested to his church in an external glory. The external manifestations which he had made of himself to Moses and other holy men, were presages and prelibations of this. Moses longed to see and enjoy that of which they were specimens and prelibations. Christ is the glory of God in his image, and no man hath seen God at any time, but it is he that always manifested himself by visible appearances. God granted to Moses to see something of this glorious brightness, as he passed by, so much from a view as it were of his back, but not of his face. Probably this, as he passed by in a visible form, shone with an ineffably sweet and glorious brightness, far exceeding all the brightness that is ever seen in the world, for glory and delightfulness. (Vid. No. 265.) But God tells him that he cannot see his face, for no man should see him and live; i. e not only could they not see that spiritual glory in which he manifests himself in heaven; but there is evidently a respect to an external glory: no man should see that external glory of God’s face, in which God intended to manifest himself to his saints in heaven to all eternity, in the face of Jesus Christ.
Corol. Hence the glory of Christ at his transfiguration was not that glory in which the human nature of Christ appears in heaven, and especially that in which it will appear after the day of judgment; only a shadow and faint resemblance of it; for that glory, God says, is such as no man can see and live; and so, of the appearances of Christ’s visible glory that Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and the apostle Paul, and the apostle John had.
 Exod. xxxiii. 18, 19. “And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee, and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.” Moses, from his finding his great acceptance and favour with God in the power that his prayers and intercessions had with him, so as it were to appease God’s wrath against the congregation of Israel, which was so great for their making the golden calf; and from his obtaining, by prayer, the promise of so great a favour as that God’s presence should go with them, which promise was made with this gracious declaration made of God’s favour to him; “For thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name;” and from God having in all this spoken to Moses, as a man speaks to his friend: this great mercy of God to him has two effects on Moses.
1. It gives him a sense of God’s excellency and glory, especially the excellency of his mercy and free goodness from this manifestation of it to him and his people after their great sin, and makes him long for a full sight of the glory of so excellent and good a being.
2. It encourages him to ask for this exceeding great mercy of seeing God’s glory. God’s mercy and favour being so very great in past instances, encourages him to ask yet farther and more exceeding favour; and we do not find that God rebukes Moses as being too forward and presumptuous in such a request, or as not being content with so great mercy as he had received already, but on the contrary seems to manifest an approbation of his making such an improvement of mercy already received, for he grants his request so far as is consistent with his present state. Several things are observable, concerning the manner of God’s showing Moses his glory, wherein, though it was extraordinary, it is agreeable to the manner of God’s discovering himself to the souls of his people in this world.
1. It was not face to face, which is reserved for the heavenlystate; 1 Cor. xiii. 12.; but it was as it were a view of the back instead of the face.
2. It was as passing by. Herein is a great difference in the manner in which the saints have the discoveries of God’s glory, and that wherein they shall see him hereafter. Hereafter they shall dwell in his presence, they shall be fixed in an everlasting view of the glory of God, their eye shall be perpetually feasted with a full vision of his face; but here, when the saints have extraordinary discoveries of the glory of God, they are transient and short; sometimes it is only a glance; Christ stands behind the wall for the most part, and when he shows himself it is through the lattice as passing by a window, but hereafter they shall be in his presence-chamber with him. Here the saints see God as passing by before them, and then he is gone.
3. Hereby is properly represented how imperfect are the spiritual discoveries which the saints have of God here. They see God as it were when he is gone by, they have somewhat of a sight of him, but yet very imperfect, as of the back of one that is just gone by, giving of them a sense that he is indeed an infinitely glorious being if they could but have a full sight of him: they can see so much as to give an idea of what might be seen, if they could but come at it. They seem to be as it were on the borders of seeing it, and their appetite is excited to see it; but while they are admiring and longing, and reaching after it, it is gone and passed away.
4. The discovery of God’s spiritual glory is not by immediate intuition, but the word of God is the medium by which it is discovered: it is by God’s proclaiming his name. So God reveals himself to the saints in this world, by proclaiming his name in the joyful sound of the gospel.
5. It is by causing his goodness to pass before him, which is agreeable to the way in which God discovers himself to his saints by the gospel, which in a peculiar manner is a manifestation of the glory of divine grace or goodness. Divine grace is the leading attribute in that discovery, which God makes of his glory by the gospel, wherein God’s goodness is revealed more than any; wherein, and wherein especially, it is revealed as free and sovereign; and which is another thing that is a peculiar glory of the gospel, it is a mutation of free and infinite grace, as consistent with strict justice in punishing the Son; and therefore both are mentioned together in that proclamation God makes of his name to Moses, as in the 5th, 6th, and 7th verses of the following chapter.
6. While God draws nigh to Moses, and he is in God’s presence, Moses is commanded to hide himself in the clefts of the rocks, that God may not be a consuming fire to him, and that he may be secured from destruction, while the burning blaze of God’s glory passes by, (as Watts expresses himself,) which typifies the same Redeemer who is as the munition of rocks, and as a strong rock, and the hiding-place of his people; who is compared to a great rock to secure from the burning heat of the sun by its shadow, and was typified by the rock out of which water was fetched for the children of Israel. God’s people can be secured from destruction when they are in the presence of God, and in his approaches and converse, no other way than by being in Christ, and sheltered by him from being consumed by the flames of God’s pure and spotless holiness.
7. God covered him with his hand while he passed by, not only that he might not see more of the glory of God than he could bear, but also that his deformity and pollution might not be discovered, to bring on him destruction from the presence of that infinitely pure and holy God, and from the glory of that power that passed by. So in Jesus, God covers our deformity and pollution, he beholds not iniquity in Jacob, nor sees pollution in Israel; he turns away his eye from beholding our transgression; therefore it is that we are not consumed in our intercourse with God.
8. Moses beholds God’s glory through a crevice of the rock, as through a window at which he looked out; which represents the manner of God’s discovering himself to his people in this world, which is as standing behind a wall and showing himself through the lattice.
Another reason why God makes all his goodness to pass before Moses, seems to be, that this was the attribute that God had wonderfully been exercising towards Moses, and the congregation of Israel, whereby Moses was now especially affected with that attribute, and especially longed to see the glory of it, as was before observed. And at the same time God tells Moses that he will be gracious to whom he will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom he will show mercy, because he had wonderfully manifested the sovereignty of his mercy in forgiving, as he had done, a people that had so exceedingly transgressed as the congregation of Israel had done in making the golden calf; and also that Moses might not be lifted up by God’s bestowing such unspeakable favours on him as he had done, and now promised to do in answer to his request, but might be sensible that it was not for his worthiness, but his own sovereign pleasure. And another reason is, that the glory of God’s goodness is that part of God’s glory, of which such a poor, feeble, corrupt creature as man is can best bear the sight, while he lives and remains such; for it is the most mild and gentle attribute, and the manifestation of it affords a cordial and support to enable him to bear it.
|« Prev||Exodus||Next »|