Story Twenty

 •  9 min. read  •  grade level: 5
THE children of Īś̝ ra-el stayed in the land of Egypt much Ḗ ġy̆pt longer than they had expected to stay. Vey were in that land about four hundred years. And the going down to É̄ ġy̆pt proved a great blessing to them. It saved their lives during the years of famine and need. After the years of need were over, they found the soil in the land of Gṓ shen, that part of Ḗ ġy̆pt where they were living, very rich, so that they could gather three or four crops every year.
Then, too, some of the sons of Īś̝ ra-el, before they came to É̄ ġy̆pt, had begun to marry the women in the land of Cā́ năan, who worshipped idols, and not the Lord. If they had stayed there, their children would have grown up like the people around them, and soon would have lost all knowledge of God.
But in Gṓ shen, they lived alone and apart from the people of É̄ ġy̆pt. They worshipped the Lord God, and were kept away from the idols of Ḗ ġy̆pt. And in that land, as the years went on, from being seventy people, they grew in number, until they became a great multitude. Each of the twelve sons of Jā́ cob was the father of a tribe, and Jṓ s̝eph was the father of two tribes, which were named after his two sons, Ḗ phră-ĭm and Ma̞-năś seh.
As long as Jṓ s̝eph lived, and for some time after, the people of Ĭś̞ ra-el were treated kindly by the Ē˗ġy̆ṕ tians̞, out of their love for Jṓ s̝eph, who had saved É̄ ġy̆pt from suffering by famine. But, after a long time another king began to rule over Ḗ ġy̆pt, who pared nothing for Jṓ s̝eph or Jṓ s̝eph's people. He saw that the Ĭś̝ ra-el-ītes (as the children of Īś̝ ra-el were called) were very many: and he feared lest they would soon become greater in number and in power than the Ē-ġy̆ṕ tians̞.
He said to his people, "Let us rule these Īś̝ ra-el-ītes more strictly. They are growing too strong.”
Then they set harsh rulers over the Ĭś̝ ra-el-ītes, who laid heavy burdens on them. They made the Ĭś̝ ra-el-ītes work hard for the Ḗ ġy̆ṕ tians̞, and build cities for them, and give to the Ē̇-ġy̆ṕ tians̞ a large part of the crops from their fields. They set them at work in making brick, and in building store-houses. They were so afraid that the Ĭś̝ ra-el-ītes would grow in number, that they gave orders to kill all the little boys that were born to the Ĭś̝ ra-el-ītes; though their little girls might be allowed to live.
But in the face of all this hate, and wrong, and cruelty, the people of Īś̝ ra-el were growing in numbers, and becoming greater and greater.
At this time, when the wrongs of the Ĭś̝ ra-el-ītes were the greatest, and when their little children were being killed, one little boy was born. He was such a lovely child that his mother kept him hid, so that the enemies did not find him. When she could no longer hide him, she found a plan to save his life, believing that God would help' her and save her beautiful little boy She made a little box like a boat, and covered it with something that would not let the water into it. Such a boat as this, covered over, was called "an ark." She knew that at certain times the daughter of King Phā́ raōh, all the kings of Ḗ ġy̆pt were called Phā́ raōh,—would come down to the river for a bath. She placed her baby boy in the ark, and let it float down the river where the princess, Phā́ raōh’s daughter, would see it. And she sent her own daughter, a little girl named twelve years old, to watch close at hand. How anxious the mother and the sister were as they saw the little ark floating away from them on the river.
Phā́ raōh's daughter, with her maids, came down to the river; and they saw the ark floating on the water, among the reeds. She sent one of her maids to bring it to her, so that she might see what was in the curious box. They opened it, and there was a beautiful little baby, who began to cry to be taken up.
The princess felt kind toward the little one, and loved it at once. She said: "This is one of the Hḗbrews̝' children." You have heard how the children of Ĭś̝ ra-el came to be called Hḗ brews̝. Phā́ raōh’s daughter thought that it would be cruel to let such a lovely baby as this die out on the water. And just then a little girl came running up to her, as if by accident, and she looked at the baby also, and said:
"Shall I go and find some woman of the Hebrews to be a nurse to the child for you, and take care of it?”
"Yes," said the princess, "go and find a nurse for me.”
The little girl,—who was Mĭŕ ĭ-am, the baby's sister,—ran as quickly as she could, and brought the baby's own mother to the princess. Mĭŕ ĭ˗am showed in this act that she was a wise and thoughtful little girl. The princess said to the little baby's mother:
"Take this child to your home and nurse it for me, and I will pay you wages for it.”
How glad the Hḗ brew mother was to take her child home! No one could harm her boy now, for he was protected by the princess of Ḗ ġy̆pt, the daughter of the king.
When the child was large enough to leave his mother, Phā́ raōh's daughter took him into her own home in the palace. She named him "Mṓ s̝es̝," a word that means "Drawn out," because he was drawn out of the water.
So Moses, the Hebrew boy, lived in the palace among the nobles of the land, as the son of the princess. There he learned much more than he could have learned among his own people; for there were very wise teachers among the Ē˗ġy̆ṕ tians̞. Mṓ s̝es̝ gained all the knowledge that the Ē˗ġy̆ṕ tians̞ had to give. There in the court of the cruel king who had made slaves of the Ĭś̝ ra-el-ītes, God's people, was growing up an Ĭś̝ ra-el-īte boy who should at some time set his people free.
Although, Mó̄ s̞es̞ grew up among the Ē-ġy̆ṕ tians̞, and gained their learning, he loved his own people. They were poor and were hated, and were slaves, but he loved them, because they were the people who served the Lord God, while the Ē-ġy̆ṕ tians worshipped idols and animals. Strange it was that so wise a people as these should bow down and pray to an ox, or to a cat, or to a snake, as did the Ē-ġy̆ṕ tians!
When Mṓ s̝es̝ became a man, he went among his own people, leaving the riches and ease that he might have enjoyed among the E-ġy̆ṕ tians̝. He felt a call from God to lift up the Ĭś̝ ra-el-ītes, and set them free. But at that time he found that he could do nothing to help them. They would not let him lead them, and as the king of Ḗ ġy̆pt had now become his enemy, Mṓ s̝es̝ went away from Ḗ ġy̆pt, into a country in Ā-rā́ bĭ˗ȧ called Mĭd́ ĭ-an.
He was sitting by a 'well, in that land, tired from his long journey, when he saw some young women come to draw water for their flocks of sheep. But some rough men came and drove the women away, and took the water for their own flocks. Mó̄ s̝es̝ saw it, and helped the women, and drew the water for them.
These young women were sisters, the daughters of a man named Jĕthrō̇, who was a priest in the land of Mĭd́ ĭ-an. He asked Mṓ s̝es̝ to live with him, and to help him in the care of his flocks. Mṓ s̝es̝ stayed with Jĕth́ rō̇, and married one of his daughters. So from being a prince in the king's palace in Ḗ ġy̆pt, Mṓ s̝es̝ became a shepherd in the wilderness of Mĭd́ĭ-an.
Lesson 9. The Youth of Moses.
(Tell Story 20.)
1. How long did the Israelites stay in Egypt? More than four hundred years.
2. How did the Egyptians treat the Israelites while Joseph lived, and for a time afterward? They were kind to the Israelites.
3. What became of the Israelites in Egypt? They grew into a great people.
4. How did the King of Egypt who ruled many years after Joseph’s time treat the Israelites? He was very cruel to them.
5. How did the King treat the Israelites cruelly? He made them work very hard.
6. What order did the King give, to keep the Israelites from growing in number? That all their boy babies should be killed.
7. What did one Israelite mother do with her little baby-boy? She left him in a little boat on the river.
8. Who found the baby floating in the river? The daughter of Pharaoh the King.
9. What did the daughter of Pharaoh do with the baby? She made him her own son.
10. What was the name of this boy? Moses.
11. To what land did Moses go after he grew up? To the land of Midian.