Front Matter The Garden of Eden The First Great Crime The Flood The Tower of Babel Abraham Moves into Canaan Sodom and Gomorrah The Trial of Abraham's Faith Searching for a Wife for Isaac Isaac and Rebekah Esau Sells his Birthright Jacob Serves for Rachel Jacob Returns to Canaan Joseph is Sold into Egypt Pharaoh's Dream Joseph's Brethren Buy Corn Jacob Moves into Egypt The Early Life of Moses Egyptians Smitten with Plagues Egyptians Drowned in Red Sea The Lord Provides for Israel Plan to Build the Tabernacle The Golden Calf Wanderings of the Israelites Spying Out the Land of Canaan Punishing the Israelites Balaam is Made to Prophesy Border of the Promised Land Last Days of Moses Rahab Saves the Spies The Destruction of Jericho The Capture of Ai Joshua Conquers Canaan Gideon is Given a Sign Gideon Overcomes Midianites The Punishment of Abimelech Jephthah's Daughter The Young Samson Samson and the Philistines The Death of Samson Naomi and Ruth Ruth and Boaz The Young Samuel Philistines Capture the Ark Philistines Return the Ark Saul in Anointed King Jonathan and the Philistines The Disobedience of Saul Samuel Anoints David David and Goliath Saul is Jealous of David David and Jonathan The Madness of Saul David Spares the Life of Saul The Last Days of King Saul David Becomes King The Rebellion of Absalom The Death of Absalom Solomon Becomes King The Wisdom of Solomon Solomon Builds the Temple Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon Revolt of the Ten Tribes The Wickedness of Jeroboam Elijah Begins His Ministry Elijah Destroys the Prophets Elisha is Made a Prophet Death of Ahab Sickness of Ahaziah Last Days of Elijah Miracles of Elisha Naaman is Cured of Leprosy Flight of the Syrians Jehu is Appointed King The Story of Joash Last days of Elisha Destruction of Sennacherib Judah Led into Captivity Destruction of Jerusalem Daniel Interprets the Dream The Fiery Furnace Madness of Nebuchadnezzer Handwriting on the Wall Daniel in the Lion's Den Jonah Swallowed by a Fish Jonah Warns Nineveh Esther Becomes Queen The Vengeance of Haman Esther Saves Her People The Return from Captivity Nehemiah Rebuilds Jerusalem

Heroes of Israel - Lawton Evans

The Early Life of Moses

The children of Israel were living in the land of Egypt. They increased rapidly in numbers until after many years, the land was filled with them. Joseph died when he was one hundred and ten years old and was embalmed and put in a coffin.

All of his brethren had died but their children continued to increase in numbers.

After a while there was a new king or Pharaoh over Egypt who forgot the promises made to Joseph and who looked with fear upon the numbers of the children of Israel. He said unto his people: "The children of Israel are more mighty than we; it might be if we should go to war they would join our enemies and fight against us." And Pharaoh turned his heart against the children of Israel and made up his mind to deal strictly with them.

He set taskmasters over them who made them bear heavy burdens. The lives of the children of Israel were made hard with bondage. They were compelled to work in the fields and to make brick for the building of houses. But the worst thing of all that the king did was to issue a terrible order that every son that was born of the women of Israel should be cast into the river and only the daughters should be saved alive.

One of the women of the children of Israel had a beautiful baby boy, whom she hid for three months from those who sought the child's life. Fearing that she could no longer hide him in her own house, she made an ark of bulrushes like a little boat or cradle and she daubed it with slime and put the child in it and laid it in the flags by the river's brink. Then the child's sister was made to stand a little way off so that she could watch the ark and see that no harm came to the little boy.

The daughter of Pharaoh came down to the river to bathe and her maidens were walking along by her side. Looking into the river she saw the ark among the flags and sent one of her maids to bring it to her.

When she opened it she saw the child, and the boy held up its hands to her and cried as little children will. "This is one of the Hebrew's children," said the daughter of Pharaoh.

The sister of the little boy came to Pharaoh's daughter and said: "Let me go and call a nurse of the Hebrew women that she may nurse the child for you." And Pharaoh's daughter told her to go.

The girl went and called her mother and brought her to the daughter of Pharaoh. Pharaoh's daughter did not know that the woman was the mother of the child and she said to her: "Take this child and nurse it for me and I will pay you wages." And the woman took the child and nursed it.

After a while the child grew up to be large and strong and Pharaoh's daughter took him into her house and treated him like her son, and named him Moses. The boy lived in the court of Egypt surrounded by a great deal of wealth. He became learned in all the schools of Egypt, though he never forgot that he was a Hebrew and never ceased to sorrow for the hardships of his people.

When Moses was grown, he went out one day and looked at the burdens laid upon his people. He saw an Egyptian smite a Hebrew. He looked around and saw that no one was watching and then he slew the Egyptian and hid his body in the sand. The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting and asked them what they were fighting about.

One of the Hebrews said to Moses: "Who made you a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?" When Moses heard this he was afraid because he did not want it to be known that he killed an Egyptian.

Pharaoh heard what Moses had done and sought to slay him. But Moses fled into the land of Midian and sat down by a well. As he sat there some women came to draw water for their sheep. The other shepherds, however, came and tried to drive the women away, but Moses stood up and drove the shepherds away and watered the women's sheep. The women who were all daughters of the same man took Moses with them to their home. He married one of them and continued to dwell in the land of Midian.

The father-in-law of Moses was named Jethro, and Moses kept the flock of his father-in-law. One day he led the flock near to a mountain called Horeb. Suddenly he saw before him a bush that burned with fire but was not consumed. "I will see why the bush is not burned," said Moses, and he came near to the bush.

The voice of God spoke to him out of the bush and said: "Draw not near, but put off your shoes from your feet for the place where you stand is holy ground." Then Moses hid his face for he was afraid to look upon God.

God then told Moses that He had heard the cry of the children of Israel and had seen the oppression put upon them by the Egyptians. He told Moses that He was going to send him to Pharaoh and that he should tell Pharaoh that he should allow the children of Israel to go out of the land of Egypt into the land of their fathers. Moses told the Lord that they would not believe him nor would they listen to his voice; they would say: "The Lord has not appeared unto you," and Pharaoh would not let the people of Israel go.

The Lord said unto Moses: "What is that you have in your hand?" Moses answered: "It is a rod.

"Cast it on the ground," said the Lord. And he cast it on the ground and it turned into a serpent and Moses fled before it.

"Put out your hand and take the serpent by the tail," again said the Lord. Moses put out his hand and took the serpent by the tail and it became a rod again in his hands.

"Put your hand into your bosom," the Lord told Moses. And he put his hand into his bosom and when he took it out it was white as snow and covered with leprosy.

"Put your hand into your bosom," said the Lord. And he put his hand into his bosom and when he took it out it was turned again and was like his other flesh.

Then the Lord told Moses that if Pharaoh did not believe him and did not do as he said, that he should take the water of the river and pour it upon the dry land and it would become blood upon the land.

Moses went to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him: "Let me go and return unto my brethren in Egypt and see if they are alive." Jethro told him to go in peace, and Moses began his journey toward the land of Egypt.

On his way he met his brother Aaron, and Aaron kissed him because he had not seen his brother for a long time.

Moses told Aaron of the words that the Lord had spoken unto him and of all the signs that had been given to him. Then Moses and Aaron gathered together all the elders of the people of Israel and told them what the Lord had said. When the people heard these things they bowed their heads and worshiped.