Gods Man - Moses - RR171B4

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Lesson[edit]

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Gods Man Moses
Course: Course - Exodus; Unity of Law and Grace
Subject: Subject:Pentateuch
Lesson#: 4
Length: 0:37:57
TapeCode: RR171B4
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Exodus Unity of Law and Grace.jpg

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission.


Let us worship God. Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made the heaven and the earth. The hour cometh and now is, when the true worshiper shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a spirit, and they that worship Him must worship him in spirit and in truth. Let us pray.

Oh Lord, our God, we pray that indeed thy church the world over may worship in spirit and in truth. We pray that, as the darkness of lies and of unclean spirits surrounds us the world over, that by trust in thee and by thy word and by thy spirit we may be more than conquerors. That by thy light we may see light, and that we may dispel the darkness that covers the earth. Grant that, in thy truth, and with holy boldness, we face the enemy and in thy power bring all things into captivity to Christ, our king. In His name we pray. Amen.

Our scripture this morning is Exodus 2:1-9. God’s Man Moses. Exodus 2:1-9. God’s Man Moses. “And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi. And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. And when she could no longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink. And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him. And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river's side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it. And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews' children. Then said his sister to Pharaoh's daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee? And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child's mother. And Pharaoh's daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the women took the child, and nursed it.”

The birth of Moses came after the beginning of the persecution, after the decision to kill all male, Hebrew babies on birth. Prior to that time, Moses’ parents, Amram and Jocabed, had become the parents of Miriam and Aaron, so this was their third child. Moses was given his name by Pharaoh’s daughter, because she said, “I drew him out of the water.” The name Moshe has an important meaning. Mo or Mu means “seed,” that is, a male seed, a child or son. She in Egyptian means “pond,” “lake” and also the Nile because it was so wide it was like a lake. The name thus means a child or a son of the Nile, and the name tells us plainly that he was found in the Nile. Since Hebrew children were to be thrown into the Nile and drowned, Pharaoh’s daughter opening identified that Moses was a Hebrew child, a child saved from the Nile. [00:05:48]

Moreover, given the plain speaking of antiquity, there...[edit]

Moreover, given the plain speaking of antiquity, there is another connotation here. Before childbirth, the fluid in the womb breaks and the child comes forth, and Pharaoh’s daughter said that her son, because she made Moses her son, came out of the waters of Egypt’s live-giving stream. So, she gave it a religious symbolism since the Nile had religious significance for the Egyptians. There is a grim note however, in verses 2 and 2, and Robert Young’s literal translation makes this clearer for us. We read, “And the woman conceiveth and beareth a son, and she seeth him that he is fair, and hideth him three months, and she hath not been able anymore to hide him and she taketh for him an ark of rushes.”

Every male child born required a decision on the part of the mother. Would she surrender the child to be thrown into the Nile or would she attempt to save it? Now, both Jewish and Christian commentators routinely overlook the fact that infanticide was a routine option for Hebrew mothers. Would they do it rather than to see the Egyptians do it? To surrender the child was infanticide and probably many Hebrew women either gave up their child or allowed it to be killed by someone close to them on birth. But the more conspicuous position of a Hebrew, the more difficult would concealment be, and no doubt many did practice some form of concealment. Moses’ mother apparently decided to save Moses, not to kill him or have him killed, on seeing how fine, robust, or fair, that’s the meaning, he was.

But she found she could not conceal him too long, there were apparently inspections, and perhaps she and her husband were somewhat conspicuous. After three months, some solution had to be sought. We have here an incident of evil, the murder of babies. Very common in antiquity and even more common now. Out of this evil comes forth God’s covenant witness and God’s power, the giving of His law and the cleansing of Canaan. At the time when Egypt’s tyranny comes sharply into focus, God prepares the means for deliverance by the birth of a baby. A baby with a very poor life expectancy. And this amazing story begins with a very, very simple statement, “And there went a man of the house of Levi and took to wife a daughter of Levi.” [00:09:50]

Now, Joseph Parker, commenting on this a century ago...[edit]

Now, Joseph Parker, commenting on this a century ago wrote, and I quote, “There is nothing extraordinary in this statement. From the beginning, men and women have married and have been given in marriage. It is therefore but an ordinary event which is described in this verse. Yet we know that the man of Levi and the daughter of Levi were the father and mother of one whose name was to be associated with that of the lamb. May no renown have obscurity for a pedestal?”

Biblical history stresses very strongly that total providence of God in all events, and God, again and again, in scripture, as in the birth of Moses, a baby who was to die, how He takes insignificant incidences and great evils, and yet out of them brings forth His great changes in history. God’s purposes transcend our understanding because they are inclusive of, and they govern every strand in creation. Gustav (Eyler?) wrote, and I quote, “God, by reason of his power over the world, can never be unjust. For the world is not a thing alien to him a thing entrusted to Him by another, but His own possession. And all life therein is derived from His breath. God cannot be unjust to that which He himself called into existence and maintains therein. It is because He is the creator and governor of the world that he is also the only source of right therein.” Here was Egypt, with all its depravity, and Israel after many, many generations becoming a part of Egypt. Forgetting God and His covenant. And the Egyptians compel the Hebrews to recognize that they are different, and finally, well after Moses’ birth, they turn to their God and call upon Him.

Now Moses’ mother was well aware of the fact that Pharaoh’s daughter bathed in the Nile. Josephus tells us that Pharaoh’s daughter was named Thermuthis, meaning “The Great Mother.” She held a very high and religious position in Egypt. She had her own palace, her own household. The Nile was worshipped as an emanation of Osiris, and as life-giving. The daughter of Pharaoh thus bathed ritually periodically in the Nile, and this was a fact that was well-known to Moses’ mother. As a result, she prepared for this event. She had an ark constructed out of bulrushes, or papyrus, which is not like reeds as we imagine it. In fact, our association of papyrus with our word “paper,” and our word paper comes from the word papyrus, gives us the wrong idea. We fail to realize that sea vessels were built out of papyrus, and these sea vessels could cross the ocean. The ark was a miniature Nile boat in its construction. It was placed in the reeds close to shore where Pharaoh’s daughter would find it and also it would not drift downstream when it was surrounded by reeds. [00:14:20]

The word “ark” is only used twice in the Old Testament, with regard to Noah’s ark and Moses’ ark. In both instances, it refers to a very dramatic step in God’s plan of salvation and judgment. We are told that Pharaoh’s daughter recognized that the abandoned baby was Hebrew, and that she had compassion on him, and this was an important fact. However, there is another aspect of this which may be inferred. It was an unusual incident; no other Hebrew woman had tried it. Their sons had been drowned in the Nile. Jocabed had prepared her son for discovery during a religious ritual of the Egyptians, because most actions of our time are secular and profane. We fail to recognize that, at one time, all actions were religiously governed, whether for good or ill, whether by a good faith or a bad faith. As a result, for the life-giving Nile to manifest a male child during a religious bathing ceremony would be seen by Pharaoh’s daughter as a very happy omen. Perhaps after that, Pharaoh’s men were there along the banks to make sure no other Hebrew baby were left. But in this episode, the Hebrew origin of the child is acknowledged, and he is still made a member of the royal household with a religious name, Moshe or Mushe.

Now, one scholar, (Coorvil?), believes that is it possible that Moses was groomed to be a co-regent, and he sees a hint of this in Paul’s words, “Hebrew 11:24-26, “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.” In other words, he made a choice; he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, which apparently would have made him co-regent.

When Moses’ mother had placed him in this little ark in the reeds, she had stationed her daughter nearby to see what happened. And so, Miriam came forward at this point, and volunteered to find a nurse for the baby. Now Pharaoh’s daughter was under no illusion as to who the nurse was, the baby’s mother. She told her, “I will give you your wages,” or more literally, “I will give you your reward, the life of your child.” A child then was commonly nursed until three or four years of age, and Pharaoh’s daughter maintained a contact with Jonahed to that point, at least. Then the child, in verse 9, we are told, became her son and was educated accordingly. This would mean instruction in astronomy, in theology, Egyptian theology, medicine, mathematics, and much more. Virtually everything that was part of the intellectual domain of the civilized world of that time. [00:18:50]

It’s interesting to speculate on the young Moses as...[edit]

It’s interesting to speculate on the young Moses as he grew up because, in many respects, Egypt was surprisingly modern. And, while the people dressed very lightly, in very light garb, they had what we would call a top hat, comparable to formal evening wear. So, you can imagine Moses as a young man, dressed especially well as a part of the royal family with a top hat going hither and yon in the palace area. He was born of his people in a time of deadly persecution; he is separated from that very early. In his rearing, he was a prince of Egypt. He was alien, yet to both Israel and Egypt. And later, he was treated with suspicion by both the Egyptians and the Israelites.

Now this is an important fact. God separated his servant from his own people and from his adopting people, in subtle ways Moses was made to know, we are sure, that he was different. It comes out in subsequent history. He was never really liked by the Israelites, although they followed him. It took very little to bring out the sense of difference on the part of the Egyptians; they knew that he was not one of them. And this was in the providence of God. He prepared Moses to be His man, God’s man. Not Israel’s nor Egypt’s. And this is what God does to us very often. When he is going to make us His servant, in particular, he will often separate us from our own kind, our own people. He will make us aware of the differences and the gaps, so that even as Moses served Israel, he knew always how they felt about him, and how they saw him as a stranger. Now that was important, and it is important. When we are converted, when we serve the Lord with all our heart, mind, and being, and as we realize that we are now set apart, we are not as we once were, and our connections are not as they once were that this is in the providence of God. Those ties are weakened because there is another tie that must be strengthened, another loyalty that must gain priority. This is especially the case with Moses because his work was so very great. Let us pray.

Oh Lord, our God, we give thanks unto thee that, even as thou didst call Moses of old to be called thy man, so thou hast called each of us and separated us, sometimes painfully, from those near and dear. From friends of years, because thou hast ordained that we be closer to thee and to others in thee. Make us mindful, our Father, that all things work together for good to them that love thee, to them who are the called according to thy purpose. Make us joyful in our separation, and triumphant in thy grace. In Christ’s name. Amen. [00:23:51]

Are there any questions about our lesson now? Yes?...[edit]

Are there any questions about our lesson now? Yes?

[Audience] The Bible puts a great emphasis on names and naming of children, and do you have any suggestions for biblical principles of how a parent might go about naming their child?

[Rushdoony] I think Bible names certainly are a good place to begin. It used to be that names were not necessarily a fixed name. In other words, a person might have two or three names depending upon their character as they developed. We know that Abraham had two names, we don’t know what his name was before God changed it to Abram, because names were to represent character, and many non-biblical names set forth the good premise on character, too. What we need to do when we name a child is to seek to conform that child to God’s requirements and to a recognition of the meaning of the name, and the history of the name. That’s why saints’ names were a very good idea. They were once required that one of the names be a saints’ name, so that there would be someone to emulate, a pattern of faith to follow. I think, step by step, we need to go back to that premise, of names that have significance in terms of the faith, and of our history. Yes?

[Audience] There appears to be a debate ongoing in Christianity today about this matter of separation. There are those of who argue for separation of Christians from the culture around about them, and then there are those who argue, based on Jesus’ admonition that we should be salt, salt and separation that goes on. How can we reconcile those two conflicts?

[Rushdoony] Yes, it’s because when various groups talk about separation, they are altogether humanistic in their emphasis. One of the most common motifs in this century has been separation from churches that are departing from the faith, and that, for a long time, was very extensively proclaimed as the meaning of separation. Well, it is true, we don’t belong in a church that is not preaching the faith, but that’s not separation, that’s one aspect of it. Separation is to God. It is first and foremost a positive thing, and we’ve turned it into something negative. And, it was summed up in the old rhyme, how did it go? “I don’t smoke, and I don’t chew, and I don’t go with the girls that do,” something like that. [laughs] Well, that summed up the perversion of separation, that it was turned into something negative, as though negation constituted holiness. But, when it is separation to God, then anything that we need to be separation from on the negative side followed, logically and naturally. But the positive aspect of separation must predominate, always, so that must be our stress. You separate yourself to God, to His service, to an obedience to His word, to a readiness to apply it across the boards, to making your faith count in your area of life. [00:29:05]

Any other questions or comments? Yes?...[edit]

Any other questions or comments? Yes?

[Audience] You know Freud considers himself the new Moses?

[Rushdoony] Who does?

[Audience] Freud.

[Rushdoony] Yes, that’s right. I should know that, having done such extensive reading in Freud. And it’s interesting in the process, he had to make Freud, uh Moses into an Egyptian. He denied that Moses was an Egyptian. Uh, was a Hebrew, he was Egyptian, and his book is really a weird thing. I read it twice when I read it to write my book on Freud, because the reasoning was so contorted. He had to dispense with God and God’s Law by making Moses a foreigner who had gotten the Torah out of Egyptian sources, so he was saying, “Away with that.” He actually, although he knew Hebrew very well, routinely denied that he had any knowledge of it, because he was going to create, as it were, a new Mosaic ordinance, psychoanalysis, and he had to separate himself from the other, and it was more important to be German-speaking than to be knowledgeable of Hebrew. Yes, that’s a curious fact. And, yes?

[Audience] While it did follow {at the passion he?} created, resulted in a diminution mention of Moses.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Audience] You seldom hear about Moses and not most but the biblical base, which were popular up to, through the 30’s, curiously enough, omitted Moses.

[Rushdoony] Yes, that’s very, very true, and both in the synagogue and the church Moses has disappeared. By the 30’s, the most popular kind of book, as far as purchases by the clery was concerned, was psychology. It had become the new gospel, and I don’t know what the picture is now but I know well into the 60’s and early 70’s, the psychological books, counseling, that sort of thing, were the best sellers to the clergy. And there used to be a pastoral psychology books club, is it still in existence? Yes. Well, it’s probably thriving as it always did in the past. Because basically, they were preaching another faith. It was not based on Moses, which means not based on Christ, because the two are inseparable. It was based on Freud and Rogers, and all the various schools of modern psychological thinking. As a matter of fact, seminaries began to stress departments of psychology or counseling, or whatever they wanted to call them, and at conferences, such speakers have been very, very popular.

[Audience] Well, the whole story of Moses, conversations with God, the miracles, run counter to the modern grain, especially to the Freudian and psychological school. [00:33:30]

[Rushdoony] Yes, we have...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Yes, we have. It would be worthwhile doing a paper on that sometime, because we have seen such a revolution. The judgments on Egypt, the whole story of Moses’ life, everything connected with Moses, as with Christ, was once familiar to everyone in Christendom. It was a part of the common language, and now Moses especially is a forgotten figure, and Christ is a word of profanity and hate. Yes?

[Audience] I’m a little curious of this when the mother of Moses placed him in a basket in the water that really was a form of, I think, civil disobedience, but at the same time civil obedience. She was doing , her son was to be cast into the water and said the daughter saved alive, and that’s literally what she did.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Audience] Placed him in the water.

[Rushdoony] She had apparently reached the point, after three months, and we are told she could no longer hide him, so that it was either going to be to throw the child into the Nile or use some kind of stratagem. And she could say if anyone questioned her, “I gave my child to the Nile.” So, it was a very subtle thing, but she also knew the religious ceremony, and she utilized it, so it was an act of faith. She undoubtedly did it prayerfully, she undoubtedly knew a little bit about Pharaoh’s daughter, because there were, no doubt, Hebrew women who were servants in the household and could tell her something about the character of this woman.

[Audience] I just thought that it was a lesson for us and how we deal with civil authority, because in some sense Christians, to put it bluntly, are stupid in how we approach the civil government. We don’t use our heads in how we approach them.

[Rushdoony] Yes, she obviously put a great deal of thinking into it, and we are told that she took the initiative. Her husband, apart from helping conceive the child, is not mentioned in any of this. So, she was a very wise and thoughtful mother. Any other comments or, uh questions? Well, if not, let us conclude with prayer. [00:36:31]

Our Lord and our God, it has been good for us to be...[edit]

Our Lord and our God, it has been good for us to be here. Thy word is truth, and thy word enables us to meet our burdens and problems and be more than conquerors through Christ. We thank thee that though hast separated us unto thyself, and in that separation given us strength, made us fit for thy service, and by thy mercy provided us with all things needful for thy kingdom.

And now, go in peace. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost bless you and keep you, guide and protect you this day and always. Amen. [00:37:46]