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Another writer would have stopped here, but Moses goes farther. My lust shall be satisfied upon them. He might have said, I will divide the spoil, and I will fill myself with them. But, my lust shall be satisfied upon them, represents them as rioting on spoils, and swimming in joy.
I will draw my sword, mine hand shall destroy them. The Vulgate runs thus, I will unsheath my sword, and my hand shall kill them. The reflection that follows, which is very beautiful, supposes this sense. They are no less affected with the pleasure of killing their enemies, than that of plundering them. Let us see how he describes this. He might have said in one word, I will kill them ; but this would have been too quick; he gives them the pleasure of a long vengeance. I will unsheath my sword. How great is this image! it even strikes the reader's eye, Mine hand shall destroy them.
This mine hand is inexpressibly beautiful. This expression represents a soldier who is sure of victory: we see him looking about, moving up and down, and stretching forth his arm. My fear for the children of Israel makes me tremble. Great God! what wilt thou do to save them? A numberless multitude of barbarians are furiously hastening to victory and vengeance. Can all the shafts of thy wrath check the impetuosity of thine enemies? The Almighty blows, and the sea has already surrounded them. Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them.
It must be confessed, that this reflection is very strong, eloquent, and well adapted to forin the taste, for which reason I thought the reader ought not to be deprived of it. But I must be obliged to confess, that the Hebrew text, instead of Mine hand shall destroy them, has it thus: Mine hand shall again subject them to me ; my hand shall triumph over them, my hand shall again put me in possession of those fugitives. And indeed, this was the real motive which prompted the Egyptians to pursue the Israelites, as
the Scriptures manifestly declare.  And it was told the king of Egypt, that the people fled; and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people; and they said, Il'hy have we done this, that we hace let Israel go from serving us? Pharaoh therefore and his officers did not intend to kill and extirpate the Israelites, which would have been against their own interest; but they designed to force them sword in hand to return into captivity, and work again in the public edifices.
Methinks there is also a great beauty in this expression, Mine hand shall again subject them to me. The God of the Israelites had declared that he would free them from their Egyptian captivity, and deliver them from their hard servitude by the strength of his arın. [a] I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage; and I will redeem you with a stretched-out
Ile had often caused Pharaoh to be told, that he would stretch out his hand upon him, in his servants, in his fields, and his cattle; that he would shew him, that he was the inaster and the Lord, by stretching out his hand over all Egypt, and by rescuing his people out of their captivity. [b] The Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them. Here the Egyptian, who already fancies himself victorious, insults the God of the Hebrews. He seems to reproach him for the weakness of his arm, and the emptiness of his threats, and says to himself in the drunkenness of insolent joy, and in the transports of foolish confidence, Notwithstanding what the God of Israel hath said, mine hand shall again subject them to me.
Ver. 10. Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them, they sank as lead in the mighty waters.
Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them. Could Moses have possibly given us a nobler  Exod. xiv. 5. (a) Ibid. vi. 6. ix. 3, 15.  Ibid. vii. s.
sex I ME could
idea of the power of God? He only blows, and he at once overwhelms a numberless multitude of forces. This is the true sublime. Let there be light, and there was light. Can any thing be greater ?
The sea covered them. How many ideas are included in four words ! How easy are the words ? But what a crowd of ideas ! It is to this passage we may apply what Pliny says of Timanthus the painter : In omnibus ejus operibus plus intelligitur quàm pingitur ... ut ostendut etiam quæ occultat. “In all
his works more is understood than is painted, so " that he shews what he seems to hide.”
Any other writer but Moses would have let his fancy take wing He would have given us a long detail, and a train of useless insipid descriptions; he would have exhausted his subject, or impoverished it, and tired the reader by an empty pomp of words, and a barren abundance. But here God blows, the sea obeys, it pours upon the Egyptians, they are all swallowed
up. Was ever description so full, so lively, so strong, as this ! There is no interval between God's blowing, and the dreadful miracle he performs in order to save his people. Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them.
They sank as lead in the mighty waters. Reflect attentively on this last stroke, which assists the ilnagination, and finishes the picture.
Ver. 11. Who is like unto thee, O Lord, amongst the gods ? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? 10. Thou stretcheust out thy right-hand, the earth swallowed them.
To the wonderful relation above-mentioned, succeeds a wonderful expression of praise. The greatness of this miracle required this vivacity of sentiment and gratitude. And how, indeed, could it be possible for the writer not to be transported, and, as it were, out of himself, at the sight of such a wonder? He employs the interrogation, the coinparison, the repetition, all which figures are naturally expressive of admiration and rapture.
Glorious in holiness, &c. It is impossible to imitate the lively, concise style of the text, which is composed of three little members, detached from each other, without a copulative, and of which each consists of two or three words short enough, Glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders. It is difficult to render the sense of it, how diffusive soever the version may be made, which besides makes it flat and languid, whereas the Hebrew is full of fire and vivacity.
Ver. 13. Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people ... thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation, &c.
This, and the four following verses, are a prophetic declaration of the glorious
protection which God was to grant his people after having brought them out of Egypt. They abound every where with the strongest and most affecting images. The reader does not know which to admire most ; [C] God's tenderness for his people, whose guide and conductor he himself will be, by preserving them during the whole journey like the apple of his eye, as he declares in another place; and carrying them on his shoulders, as an eagle bears her young ones : or his formidable power, which causing terror and dread to walk before it, freezes, with fear, all such nations as should presume to oppose the passage of the Israelites through the Red Sea, and strikes those nations so, * that they become motionless as a stone : or, lastly, God's wonderful care, to settle them in a fixed and permanent manner in the promised land, or rather to plant them in it: Thou shalt plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance; an emphatic expression, and which alone recals all that the Scriptures observe in so many places, of the care which God had taken to plant this beloved vine; to water it, inclose it with fences, and to multiply and extend its fruitful branches to a great distance.
Ver. 18, 19. The Lord shall reign for ever and ever. For the horse of Pharaoh went in with his chariots, and with his horsemen, into the sea; and the Lord brought again the waters of the sea upon them; but the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea.
This concludes the whole song, by which Moses promises God, in the name of all the people, to bear eternally in their minds the signal delivery which God had wrought in their favour.
Possibly this conclusion may appear too simple, when compared to the verses which before it. But methinks there is as much art in this simplicity as in the rest of the song. And indeed, after Moses had moved and raised the minds of the people by so many great expressions, and violent figures, it was proper, and agreeable to the rules of Rhetoric, to end his song with a plain siinple exposition, not only to unbend the minds of his hearers, but also to give them an idea, without employing figures, turns, or a pomp of words, of the greatness of this miracle, which God had just before wrought in their favour.
The delivery of the Jewish people out of Egypt is the most wonderful prodigy we read of in the Old Testament. God mentions it a thousand times in the Scriptures; he speaks of it, if I may be allowed the expression, with a kind of complacency; he relates it as the most shining proof of the strength of his allpowerful arm. And indeed it is not a single prodigy, but a lony series of prodigies, each more wonderful than the other. It was fit that the beauty of a song, which was written to perpetuate the remembrance of this miracle, should equal the greatness of the subject: and it was impossible but this should do so, as the same God, who wrought those wonders, dictated
But what beauty, grandeur, and magnificence, should we discover in it, were we permitted to pierce the mysterious sense which is concealed beneath the veil of this great event? For it must be allowed, that
also the song.