The Baldwin Library
MOSE6 IN THE BUtLRUSEEf Pa Os.
AMERICAN BAPTIST PUBLICATION SOCIETY,
118 ARCH STREET.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1852, by the
AMERICAN BAPTIST PUBLICATION SOCIETY,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, in
and for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
BTEREOTYPED BY GEORGE CHABLEB.
PRINTED BY KING A BAIBD.
MY DEAR CHILDREN: The BIBLE is God's own book,
given to teach us all, whether little children or grown
people, the way to please Him, and be happy forever.
Some children never find out how beautiful the
Bible is. They think it is a book for grown people,
but not for them. But if they would begin and read
it, I think they would all be like the little boy, who
said, God knew what would please little children,
when He put so many pretty stories in the Bible.'
Now you all ought to know what is in the Bible,
and I hope as soon as you are old enough, you will
read it every day. To persuade you to do so, I have
written this little book about the PATRIARCHS. They
were holy men, whom God had called out from the
rest of the world, to be his chosen friends on earth,'
and to train up their families in his fear and love. It
is from this last fact, indeed, that they have the name
of PATRIARCHS, which signifies the founders, heads
or princes of families.
No pains have been spared to make this book easy
to be understood by little children. I hope it will
please you very much. By reading it carefully, you
may know for yourselves, and remember when and
where every thing took place.
Remember, dear children, that the stories in the
Bible are not told merely to please, and instruct you,
but also to make you wise unto salvation. Pray to God
to help you so to use them. These holy men are our
examples. We are to love God as they loved Him,
and serve God as they served Him, early, sincerely,
and fully, to the end of life. Then we shall be sure
when we die, to go to heaven, and live in love and
joy without end.
May the blessing of the Almighty rest upon each
dear child who reads this little book.
Philadelphia, April 2, 1852.
THE CREATION, OR BEGINNING OF THE
W ORLD ................................... 7
CAIN AND ABEL, OR THE FRUITS OF EVIL
PASSIONS .................................. 16
THE FLOOD, OR THE END OF A WICKED
W ORLD................................... 20
BABEL, OR THE FOLLY OF RESISTING GOD... 24
JOB, OR THE MAN OF PATIENCE............. 28
ABRAHAM, OR THE MAN WHO BELIEVED GOD 37
JACOB, OR THE MAN WHO HAD POWER WITH
GoD ...................................... 54
JOSEPH, oR THE MAN WHO LOVED HIS BRETH-
REN ....................................... 83
MOSES, OR THE GREAT MAN OF MEEKNESS... 86
OR BEGINNING OF THE WORLD.
SHE Bible is God's
word. And it tells us
that in the beginning
God created the
world, that is, He
made it out of noth-
ing. No one besides God can make
things out of nothing, but He can.
At first the world was without form.
It was empty and dark. Then God
shaped it and said, "Let there be light."
8 BIBLE HISTORIES.
And the light came at his word. And
God called the light Day, and the
darkness he called Night. The second
day he made the sky, and called it Hea-
ven. The third day he gathered all the
water together into one place and called
it Sea, and the dry land he called Earth.
And the same day he caused the grass
and trees to grow out of the earth. The
fourth day God made the sun and moon
and all the stars, and put them in their
places. The fifth day he made all the
birds and winged creatures. He also
made the great whales and all the dif-
ferent kinds of fishes and animals that
live in the sea.
The sixth day God made all the beasts
and cattle and all the creeping things.
And last of all He made man. God
made man in his own image and like-
ness, that is, He made him holy. At
first He made one man out of the dust
of the earth and breathed into him a
living soul. God called his name Adam.
Then God brought all the animals to
Adam to see what he would call them,
and whatever Adam called any animal
that was its name. But when he had
seen all the animals that God had made,
he did not find one that could love him
or talk to him, and he must have felt
Then God said He would make a
companion for Adam. So He caused
him to fall into a deep sleep, and while
he slept, God took one of his ribs and
made a woman and brought her to the
man. When Adam saw her he loved
her, and said, This is now bone of my
bones and flesh of my flesh. And he
called her Woman, because said he, she
was taken out of man. And he called
her name Eve, because she was to be
the mother of all living.
After this God made a beautiful gar-
den and caused all sorts of trees to
grow in it, such as bore fruit for their
food, and such as were pleasant to look
at for their flowers, and to shade them
from the heat of the sun. He then
placed Adam and Eve in the garden,
and told them that they might eat of
the fruit from any of the trees that
pleased them, except one which he
showed them. Of the fruit of this God
said they must not eat, and should they
disobey this command and eat of that
fruit they should die.
Thus God finished all the work which
He had intended to make, in six days.
THE CREATION. 11
And when he looked at it he saw that
it was all good. Then God rested from
his work on the seventh day. He
called it the Sabbath and ordained that
man should rest on the Sabbath day,
and keep it holy to God.
Now as God gave but one command
to Adam and Eve, it would seem no
very hard matter for them to obey.
But we never know what we shall do
until we are tempted. Satan who had
already been cast out of heaven for his
pride and rebellion against God, wished
to destroy these His creatures. He
knew he could only do this by making
So one day he put on the form of a
serpent and drew Eve's attention to the
forbidden tree. Perhaps the fruit was
in itself beautiful to look at, and when
he saw that she was pleased, he said
that God was unjust in forbidding them
to eat it; for said he God knows that
ye shall not die, but become like Gods
knowing good and evil. At first, Eve
resisted him, but she did not go away
from the tree. She kept looking at it,
and thinking how beautiful it was, and
wishing she dared to eat some of it.
Now all this was wrong. When we
are tempted, we ought immediately to
go away from the thing which tempts
us, and pray to God for strength to
resist it, and attend to something else.
If Eve had done so, she would not have
sinned; but she began at last to think,
the serpent might be right; he seemed
to know more than she did, and perhaps
after all no harm would follow if she
eat it, and she would try. So she took
THE CREATION. 16
some of the fruit and tasted it. But
alas, she soon found that she knew evil
which she had not known till then.
Now she was frightened and did not
know what to do. But she hardened
herself in her sin; and instead of being
sorry for it she wished Adam also to
taste, and so persuaded him to eat of
the fruit also.
As it almost always happens to us
since, after they had done the wrong,
they were ashamed and afraid, and
when God came to talk with them, as
he often did in the cool of the evening,
they hid themselves among the trees.
But God called Adam, and he was
obliged to come: and so we may be
sure that we shall be called some time,
if not immediately, to answer for our
sins. Then Adam said, I heard thy
14 BIBLE HISTORIES.
voice in the garden, and I was ashamed
because I was naked and hid myself.
As long as they were innocent they
did not even know that they were
naked. God therefore said to him, Who
told thee that thou wast naked?-
Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I
said to thee thou shalt not eat of it,
neither shall ye touch it lest ye die?
Adam, willing to excuse himself, said,
The woman whom thou gavest to be with
me, she gave me of the fruit and I did eat.
Then God asked Eve why she had
done this; and she followed Adam's
example in trying to throw the blame
on somebody else, and said, The serpent
tempted me, and I did eat. But it
never makes our wickedness any less,
because somebody tempted us to do
THE CREATION. 15
Then God made them garments of
the skins of beasts, and drove them out
of the garden where they had been so
happy, and cursed the earth that it
should no longer bring forth its fruit
without the labor of men. So you see
that all the sickness, and sorrow, and
death that is in the world, came because
CAIN AND ABEL,
OR THE FRUITS OF EVIL PASSIONS.
FTER Adam and
Eve were driven
by God out of their
they found them-
selves obliged to
work hard to get
food enough to eat. Things would not
grow out of the earth without trouble
as they did in the garden. But instead
of pleasant fruits and flowers, there
came up thorns and thistles, which were
to be pulled up, and wholesome plants
put in their places and taken care of.
CAIN AND ABEL.
Hard work would not have made
them unhappy though, if they had not
had a guilty conscience. It is when
we have done wrong and fear being
punished, that we feel miserable, and
every thing becomes troublesome to us.
After their sin they lived all the time
in anxiety. God had told them they
should die, and they knew now that his
word was true.
After a time God gave them children.
We do not know how many. But we
are told the history of two of them.
Their names were Cain and Abel. Cain
was the oldest. He seems always to
have been of a sullen, unkind temper,
and I suppose gave his father and
mother a great deal of trouble by his
naughty actions. But Abel was mild
and obedient, and feared God.
Now because Cain was stubborn and
wilful, and did not try to correct his
faults, he of course grew worse and
worse. By and by he came to feel
angry with Abel because he tried to do
right; and he hated his brother. How
unhappy he must have been all the
time, with such unkind, wicked feelings
in his heart. One day when his bad
feelings were very strong, he asked Abel
to go with him out in the field, and
while they were talking together he got
in such a passion that he killed Abel.
Little boys that do not try to over-
come their evil tempers while they are
young, may grow up to be murderers
Cain thought that he was all alone
and no one saw him kill his brother;
but God always sees us, and knows not
CAIN AND ABEL. 19
only our actions but the wicked thoughts
we have in our hearts. Then God
called to him from heaven and said,
Where is thy brother? He wickedly
and sullenly answered, 'I know not; am
I my brother's keeper?' But God said,
' What hast thou done? The voice of
thy brother's blood crieth from the
ground. Henceforth the earth shall not
yield to thee her increase. A fugitive
and a vagabond shalt thou be in the
earth.' So God set a mark upon Cain
and he was driven out from among men.
A poor unhappy wicked being!
OR THE END OF A WICKED WORLD.
OW when the world
had been created
years; the Bible
tells us that the
wickedness of man
was great in the
earth. Men had gone on from bad to
worse, until they had become so exceed-
ing wicked that God could not endure
them, and determined to destroy the
earth with all its inhabitants.
But amid all this wickedness there
was one man who feared God, and
THE FLOOD. ZI
brought up his children to fear him.
This was Noah. Then God, who is long
suffering and of tender mercy, being
willing to give them opportunity to
repent, told Noah that he had deter-
mined to bring a flood upon the earth'
and destroy it. He also told him to set
about building an ark, or floating house,
in which he and his family might be
Noah was to be a hundred and twenty
years building this ark. He was all
that time warning the men around him
to repent, that they might be saved.
But they did not believe that a thing
so unlike any thing they had ever seen
or heard of, could possibly happen, and
so they went on. Some of them even
laughed at Noah because he believed it.
But Noah believed that what God had
said, he would surely do; and so he did
not mind them, but kept on and built
his ark exactly as God had told him
he must do.
When it was finished, he put into it
pairs of all the different kinds of ani-
mals. Then he took his wife, and his
three sons and their wives with him
into the ark, and God shut him in.
That same day that Noah went into the
ark, it began to rain very fast. And
the rain poured down without stopping
forty days and forty nights, so that the
land was all covered even to the tops
of the highest mountains, and those
wicked men all died. But Noah was
safe, because the ark rose with the water
and floated like a boat.
God always keeps His promises and
He took care of Noah and his family, as
He said he would. For a whole year
they lived in the ark, before the earth
was dry enough for them to come out.
When the water had all run off into the
sea and dried away, Noah came out with
his family. We may suppose they were
all very glad to be out upon the dry land
The first thing that Noah did was to
build an altar, and offer sacrifices, and
return thanks to God, who had so merci-
fully taken care of him. And this is
what we all ought to do, when we have
been preserved in any danger, or made
well when we have been sick. We
should return thanks to God, for it is He
who takes care of us.
OR THE FOLLY OF RESISTING GOD.
HEN Noah came
out of the ark, and
had built an altar
to serve God and
teach his family to
serve him, God
made a covenant,
or sacred agreement, with Noah. God
promised Noah that he would never
again destroy the world with a flood
such as he had just seen. And that
they might all have some sign that he
meant to keep this promise, He set the
rainbow in the clouds as a token or
proof, and now you know very often
when it rains we see the beautiful bow
in the cloud, and so remember God's
For a time I suppose men feared God
and tried not to offend Him. But they
did not really love Him with all their
hearts, and by and by, as they partly
forgot this dreadful proof of His hatred
of sin, they grew bolder and bolder.
Children were born and grew up, until
the earth was again filled with men.
Now you must know that after the
Flood they all spoke the same language.
Some of the most daring among them
formed a plan to build a strong city and
a high strong tower in it, in order as
they said to make a name for themselves,
and prevent their being scattered over
the earth. So they made bricks and
26 BIBLE HISTORIES.
burned them very hard in the fire, and
got a kind of pitchy slime which they
used for mortar, to make their bricks
hold together. Then they laid a large
foundation, and began to build the walls
of their city.
But their pride and rebellion dis-
pleased God. So, though he would not
destroy them, he determined to confound
their speech. That is, to make them
talk different languages. They could
not tell how it was, but they all began
to have different names for the same
thing, so when a man called for bricks
they handed him mortar, or a shovel or
something else that he did not want at
all. This made him angry, and then he
would storm and scold, but the other
could not understand this either; and so
from quarrelling they got to fighting,
THE TOWER OF BABEL. PaWOO.
and of course their work stopped. So
they went off one after another to dif-
ferent places, because they could not live
together. Thus you see the very thing
they undertook to do to prevent their
being scattered, was the means of their
being separated from each other. God
can always find ways enough to punish
the folly and wickedness of men.
This is called the dispersion of man-
kind. And the city which they began
is called Babel, or confusion. This was
the beginning of the many different
languages which you know are spoken
in the world.
OR THE MAN OF PATIENCE.
OME time after the
building of Babel,
there lived in Idu-
mea, a country in
Arabia, a man
This man though
living in the midst of idolaters, feared
and loved the true God. He was a
prince among his people, and much re-
spected. Indeed he was the greatest
man in all that country. He was also
very rich, in camels, and oxen, and asses,
and sheep. He had seven sons and
When he was about one hundred and
forty years old, one day his oldest son
made a feast and invited all his brothers
and sisters. While they were gone, one
of Job's servants came to him in a great
hurry, and told him that the Sabeans
(a tribe of lawless robbers, such as still
exist in Arabia) had come unexpectedly,
and taken away all his oxen and asses,
and killed the servants which were
taking care of them. This one only
While he was telling Job this, another
came and told him, the fire of God had
fallen from heaven, and burned up the
sheep, and the servants; I only, said he,
have escaped. He had scarcely finished
when another came, and said the Chal-
deans made out three bands, (or compa-
nies,) and came and took away all the
sU BIBLE HISTORIES.
camels, and killed all the servants. I
only am escaped to tell thee.
While he was yet speaking there came
another and said, Thy sons and thy
daughters were eating, and drinking wine
in their oldest brother's house; and
behold there came a great wind from the
wilderness and smote the four corners
of the house, and it fell upon the young
men and they are dead.
Thus did Job lose in one day all his
riches and all his children. But he did
not fret and murmur, he did not even
think that God was unkind to afflict
him so much. He mourned, for how
could he help it? but he said with sweet
and beautiful submission,
Naked came I out of my mother's womb,
And naked shall I return thither,
The Lord gave-and the Lord hath taken away:
Blessed be the name of the Lord."
We are told that God suffered Satan
to afflict Job in this way, to prove that
he really loved God, which Satan pre-
tended to doubt. When God told Satan
that Job had shown himself to be really
a good man, even when so deeply af-
flicted, he could not deny it, but said,
if he was tried with great pain, then he
would curse God. Then God gave Satan
leave to do to him whatever he pleased;
only so that he saved his life.
And Satan, whose delight it is to
torment, smote Job with a dreadful
disease, called in that country black
leprosy. It made him break out in
dreadful sores, like biles all over his
body. Then his wife said to him, Dost
thou still retain thine integrity? Curse
God and die !" She thought it was no
use to serve God if He did not keep him
Perhaps while they were rich and
prosperous she had been proud of her
husband, because he was so just and
benevolent, and pious; and now that he
was poor and all loathsome with this
horrid disease, she was mortified, and
thought life was not worth having. But
Job said "Thou speakest as one of the
foolish women speaketh. What! shall
we receive good at the hand of the Lord,
and shall we not receive evil? In all
this did not Job sin with his lips.
Job had three particular friends
among the princes who were his neigh-
bors, and when they heard of his great
trouble they agreed to go together and
see him, and try to comfort him. When
they came near, he was so altered, that
at first they did not know him. And
when told that this was he, sitting down
in the ashes, and scraping himself with
a piece of broken dish, they were so
overcome that they wept aloud. And
they sat down with him upon the ground,
and his agony was so great that for days
they did not even speak to him, but sat
and wept with him. -
After this they began to talk with
him; but though they had known him
so long and so well, they could not help
thinking he had in secret been guilty of
some great wickedness, or God would
not have so dreadfully afflicted him.
When Job denied this, and told them to
remember how he had all his life been
just to his servants, kind to the poor,
upright in all his dealings; they said he
talked against God. They could not
34 BIBLE HISTORIES.
understand how God could be just, and
let a good man suffer so much. The
longer they talked, the more sure they
were that they were right, and they
went on to say some very cruel reproach-
ful things to Job. He might well say
as he did at one time, "Miserable com-
forters are ye all."
But though Job did not himself
understand, why he should be thus
sorely afflicted, he yet believed that
God had some wise purpose, which if
he did not see now in this world, he
should see in a future life. For said he,
"Though God kill me, yet will I trust
in him. For I know that my Redeemer
liveth. And though after my death
worms devour this body, yet in my flesh
shall I see God."
While one of Job's friends was yet
speaking, there was the appearance of
a great whirlwind coming up from the
desert. The greatness and darkness of
the cloud drew their attention. But
before it came where they were sitting,
God spoke from the cloud to Job. He
reproved him, because though it was
true he had been upright in his dealings
with men, and steadfast in his piety
toward God, yet in his affliction he
hlad been proud of his goodness. He
had forgotten that in the sight of a holy
God, no man is pure. HIe had chal-
lenged God himself to find iniquity in
him. But in the sight of God, he was
weak, ignorant, and sinful, and could
not for a moment stand before His
Then Job humbled himself before
God, and confessed, "I have uttered
36 BIBLE HISTORIES.
that I understood not. I abhor myself
and repent in dust and ashes."
God spake then to Job's friends, tell-
ing them that His wrath was kindled
against them, for they had not spoken of
Him the thing which was right as Job
had. God told them also, that unless
they would have Him destroy them in
His anger, they must offer sacrifice, and
ask Job to pray for them; for, said He, I
will hear Job's prayers.
After this the Lord gave Job twice as
much wealth as he had before. So that
he became by far the richest and most
powerful man in all the east. He also
gave him seven sons and three daugh-
ters, the same as he had before. And
Job lived after this one hundred and
forty years. He lived to see his sons,
and his sons' sons, even four generations.
OR THE MAN WHO BELIEVED GOD.
ET me now tell my
little friends about
Abraham. He was
called the Friend of
God: and I am sure
you will all like
to know something
about such a good and great man.
His name at first was Abram. He
was the son of Terah, and lived in the
city of Ur, in a country called Chaldea.
This country was in the western part
of Asia, and is nearly the same with
what is now called Turkey in Asia.
Vol. I.-4 (37)
;S BIBLE HISTORIES.
You can find it by looking on the map.
Ur was in the northern part.
When Abram was seventy-five years
old, the Lord appeared to him and told
him to leave his country and friends, and
travel wherever He should show him.
At the same time God promised that He
would prosper him and bless him, so
much that his children should be a great
nation, although at this time Abram had
no child at all.
He had a wife whom he loved very
much, and her name was Sarai. He
believed God, that everything would be
just as He said, and began to get ready
for his journey.
He was not a poor man, but had
already flocks of sheep, and herds of
camels, and asses: he had also many
servants and much money. But he
gathered it all together and went towards
the north, as the Lord directed him.
Now his father Terah, and Lot, his bro-
ther's son, went with him. And they
came to a place called Haran. They
staid in Haran some time, and Terah
died and was buried there.
After that, they journeyed still further
north, until they came into the land of
Canaan. Here the Lord appeared to
him and told him that he had deter-
mined to give that land to his children.
Then he built an altar to the Lord, and
Now all the people of that land were
idolaters, that is, they made images of
gold and silver, of wood and stone, and
called them gods, and worshiped them.
It was a great mercy therefore in God
to send Abram among them to teach
40 BIBLE HISTORIES.
them about the true God. After a
while he moved to a place called Bethel,
and here he built another altar to God,
and taught the people in this place.
After this he journeyed into Egypt,
and then to Gerar. And now for a little
while his trust in God seems to have
been weakened. For in both these
places he was afraid that the kings of
the country would come and take Sarai
his wife away from him, because she
was very beautiful. And he said, They
will kill me, that they may have my
He could think of no better plan to
avoid this danger than to say to every
body, She is my sister. Now this
was not really a falsehood, for Sarai was
Abram's half-sister, that is she was the
daughter of the same father, but not of
the same mother. This way of telling
a thing, which, though it may be true,
is so told as to deceive people and make
them believe what is not true, is called
Children are often tempted to this
sort of story telling, and are apt to think
if they do not tell a downright lie there
can be no harm in it. But God does
not think so, and he showed his love of
truth by allowing this very prevarica-
tion to bring Abram into some very dis-
But as he was truly a child of God,
and sincerely desirous of serving Him
and doing right, God delivered him from
these troubles, when He had by means
of them brought him to repentance.
It is well for us when God leads us to
42 BIBLE HISTORIES.
repentance and faith in Jesus, though
it be through great sorrow.
After this he journeyed back again to
Bethel, where you remember he had
built an altar. And here he worshipped
God. Now God had blessed him, so
that he was very rich in cattle, in silver
and in gold. Lot also, his nephew, had
become the owner of a great many cat-
tle and servants.
In that country it is sometimes diffi-
cult to get water enough for the cattle
and sheep. And the men that took care
of the cattle for Abram, quarrelled with
the men that took care of Lot's cattle,
because they said there was not room
enough for so many to live together.
Then Abram, though he was the oldest
and the richest, and had the best right
to choose, yet told Lot that he might
choose which part of the land he would
have, and they would separate from
each other rather than to have any diffi-
culty. Then Lot, as he only thought
about his own convenience, went into
the plain of Sodom, because he saw that
it was well-watered and very fruitful.
But he only got into trouble by his sel-
fishness. For very soon there was an
invasion of that country by some wicked
kings, and they carried Lot and all his
family, and all his riches, off with them.
When Abram heard of it, he gather-
ed all his servants together and went
after them, and took Lot away from
them, and brought him and all his goods
back to their home. After the battle,
Melchizedec, who is supposed to be a
Canaanitish prince who feared the Lord,
and who had perhaps been brought to
know the true God, through Abram's
means, came out to meet them, and
blessed him, saying,
" Blessed be Abram of the Most High God,
Preserver of Heaven and Earth!
And blessed be the Most High God,
Which hath delivered thine enemies into thine hand I
Then Abram gave tithes (or a tenth
part) of what he had taken in the bat-
tle to Melchizedec. Melchizedec also,
gave food to Abram and the men that
were with him, after which Abram
returned to his home, which at this time
was in the plain of Mamre.
Now though God had so often pro-
mised Abram that he should be the
father of a great nation, yet he had
never said that Sarai should be a mother.
And as she was growing old and had no
children, she thought it would be better
for Abram to have another wife. It
was thought right in those days for a
man to have several wives at one time,
if he chose.
So she took her favorite maid whose
name was Hagar, and gave her to
Abram to be his wife. And he had a
child by her, and called his name Ish-
mael. But Sarai was not happy; she
was all the time grieved because Hagar
had a son and she had not. Hagar also
grew proud, for she thought though she
was now Sarai's servant, yet in her
children she should be greater than she.
After this, God appeared again to
Abram, and made him greater promises
than he had before. Abram was now
ninety-nine years old. God made with
him at this time the covenant of cir-
cumcision, as it is called. By this every
male child that was born in Abram's
family was to be circumcised, as a proof
that Abram meant to obey God, and
that he believed His word.
At this time also God changed his
name to Abraham which means the
father of the faithful. He also changed
his wife's name to Sarah, or princess,
and told him that the next year the
long promised son should be born, and
that his name must be Isaac. At the
same time God promised him that Ish-
mael also should become the father of
a great nation, but His peculiar cove-
nant should be made with Isaac.
The next year, when Abraham was
a hundred years old, Sarah brought
him a son. What great rejoicing there
was then! Sarah said, "God hath
made me to laugh, so that all that hear
shall laugh with me." When Isaac
was eight days old, Abraham circum-
cised him according to the command of
God. And he grew, and was a fine
When he was old enough to wean,
Abraham made a great feast, and they
were all very happy. But in the course
of the day, Sarah saw Ishmael teazing
and mocking her darling Isaac, and this
so highly offended her that she insisted
upon Abraham's sending him, with his
mother Hagar, away out of the house.
So they were sent away, and travelled
into the country which is now called
Arabia. Here Ishmael grew up and
married, and had a great many children,
so that he became as God had promised,
the father of a great nation.
But after this God, in order to try
48 BIBLE HISTORIES.
Abraham's faith still further, comman-
ded to take Isaac, and go three days'
journey from the place where he then
was, to a mount called Moriah, and
there offer up Isaac for a burnt offering.
This was a hard command. To take
Isaac, now his only son; Isaac whom he
had waited for so long, whom he loved
so dearly, and whose life was more pre-
cious than his own! To kill him too
with his own hands, and offer him in
sacrifice, how dreadful this must have
been to Abraham!
But we do not hear that Abraham
made the smallest objection. He had
trusted in God a great many times, and
always found Him true to His word.
He knew that God has a right to take
from us our dearest comforts, if He sees
best. He knew too that God had pro-
mised that Isaac should be the father
of a great nation, and though it seemed
impossible to him, yet he knew that all
things are possible to God.
So he rose up early in the morning,
and saddled his ass, and cut the wood
for the fire, and took two of his young
men-servants, and Isaac, and set out on
his journey. When they came within
sight of the mount, Abraham told the
two young men to stay where they were,
with the ass, while he went with Isaac
up the mountain to worship God. Then
he took the wood and laid it on Isaac's
shoulders, and took the knife and went
As they went along Isaac said, Father,
here is the wood and the fire; but where
is the lamb, for a burnt offering ?" But
Abraham, whose faith was still strong,
Vol. I.-5. 5
U0 BIBLE HISTORIES.
answered, "My son, God will provide
the lamb for a burnt offering."
All this time, I suppose Abraham
was silently praying in his heart to God,
to strengthen him for this great trial.
When they came to the place which
God had showed him, he built an altar
and laid the wood in order upon it,
and took his son and laid him on the
But just as he had raised the knife
to slay him, the Angel of God called to
him from heaven to stop. And he said,
"Lay not thine hand upon the lad,
neither do thou any thing to him; for
now I know that thou fearest God, since
thou hast not withheld thy son, thine
only heir, from me." Then Abraham
looked around, and saw a ram caught
by his horns in some bushes. So he
easily caught him and offered him up
in the place of his son.
By this transaction God showed Abra-
ham a type of Christ, who was offered
up for our sins on that very mount,
eighteen hundred years after this time.
I suppose the Saviour refers to this when
he said to the Jews, Your father Abra-
ham saw my day, and was glad."
Then the Lord called to Abraham a
second time and said, "By myself have
I sworn, because thou hast done this
thing, and hast not withheld thy son,
thine only son from me, that in bless-
ing I will bless thee, and in multiplying
I will multiply thy seed, as the stars
of heaven, and as the sand upon the
sea-shore; and thy seed shall possess the
gate of his enemies; and in thy seed
shall all the nations of the earth be
blessed, because thou hast obeyed my
Upon the whole, I think this must
have been one of the happiest days of
Abraham's life. It is always best to
obey God's commands, let them be what
About twelve years after this, Sarah
died. She was an hundred and twenty
seven years old. She died in Hebron,
and Abraham bought a sepulchre for
her of the Canaanites. And this was
the first land which Abraham ever
owned in that country which God had
promised to give to his children.
About seven years after this, Abra-
ham married another wife whose name
was Keturah. By her he had six sons.
Abraham lived to be a hundred and
ninety-five years old. When he died,
his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him
in the cave of Machpelah, by the side
of Sarah his wife.
OR THE MAN WHO HAD POWER WITH GOD.
N reading the life of
Abraham, the friend
of God, you observe
that he had a son,
Isaac, whom he dear-
ly loved. Isaac was
called the son of
promise, because God saw fit to try
Abraham's faith, by making him wait a
long time for him to be born, and be-
cause he was to be the father of God's
chosen people, to keep alive the know-
ledge of Himself in the world.
When Isaac was about forty years old
he married Rebekah, and after some
years she became the mother of two
sons. They were named Esau and
Jacob. In those days the oldest son
was lord or ruler over his brethren. He
had a double portion of his father's
property at his death, and many other
privileges. These all should have be-
longed to Esau. And in the family of
Abraham the promise of being the father
of all God's chosen people, and of the
Saviour himself, also belonged to him.
But as the children grew up, Esau
despised these blessings. He became
careless of his parents' wishes, and
married a heathen woman, showing by
all his conduct, that he thought very
little of his birthright, and of all the
great promises that God had made to
his father. But Jacob desired very
tU BIBLE HISTORIES.
much to have this birthright, and to
inherit these promises, and was often
thinking how he might get it.
Esau was a great hunter. He liked
to go off into the woods, with his bow
and arrow, and kill wild animals. Jacob
was more quiet and peaceable in his
disposition, and he kept his father's
One day when Esau had been hunt-
ing, he came home very hungry and tired,
and saw Jacob just going to eat his
dinner. He had made some red pottage
of which it seems Esau was very fond.
When he saw it he wanted it very much,
and asked Jacob to give it to him.
Then Jacob offered to give it to him for
his birthright, and Esau, as a great many
people do every day, thought more of
his present pleasure, than of his future
good, and he agreed that Jacob should
have the birthright for the pottage.
Some years after this, when Isaac,
their father, had come to be very old,
he thought his death might be near, and
wished to settle up his affairs, and take
a solemn leave of his sons, giving them
his last charge and blessing.
As he loved Esan best of the two, he
wished to give him the peculiar bless-
ing which was to descend from genera-
tion to generation, and which included
the promise of the Saviour. So forget-
ting the word of God, who had foretold
at the time of their birth that the elder
should serve the younger, he called
Esau, and sent him out into the field,
to kill a deer and cook the venison as
he liked to eat it, and he would bless
58 BIBLE HISTORIES.
I suppose he wanted the meat to
strengthen him to sit up, and perhaps
he thought he should feel more love to
Esau, while he was eating the venison
which he had taken pains to get for
Now Rebekah heard Isaac tell Esau,
and she knew that God had promised
this blessing to Jacob. She forgot that
God was able to give it to him without
her help, and that the best way is
always to trust in Him.
Then she went out quickly and told
Jacob to kill a young kid out of the
flock, and she would cook it, so that
Isaac should never know but it was
venison, and Jacob could take it to him
before Esau got home; and so his father
would give him the blessing instead of
Esau. Then Jacob agreed to deceive
his father and killed the kid. What a
dreadful thing it is when a mother
teaches her child to do wrong!
Now you must know Esau's skin was
covered with hair, so Jacob was afraid
that Isaac would feel of him and know
him by his smooth skin. But Rebekah
took some of the skin of the kid and put
it on his neck and on his hands, and he
put on Esau's garments and carried the
meat to his father.
Now Isaac was blind from his great
age, and when he heard Jacob, he said,
Who art thou?
Then Jacob told a lie, and said, I am
thy son Esau.
But Isaac knew his voice, and said,
Come near that I may feel thee.
Then Jacob went close to him, and
he felt of his hands and of his neck, and
60 BIBLE HISTORIES.
they were hairy. Still the poor old
man was but half deceived, for he said,
The hands are Esau's hands, but the
voice is the voice of Jacob.
Then he asked him again, Art thou
my very son Esau? and Jacob said, I am.
Then Isaac sitting up in his bed, eat of
the meat which Jacob had brought, and
He had only just finished when Esau
came in, and when his father heard his
voice he trembled exceedingly, for now
he knew that he had been deceived.
Then he told Esau that the blessing was
gone, for Jacob had come in his absence,
and by deceit obtained it.
Then Esau was very angry, for
though he had despised and sold his
birthright, and did not care for the
religious privileges joined with it, he
knew that this peculiar blessing gave
Jacob the dominion, or rule over all his
family or tribe. This he wanted him-
self, and it may be, he had expected
from his father's fondness for him, that
he should finally get it.
Perhaps, if he had known that it was
Jacob's children that should rule over
his children, and that in his life-time it
would make no difference, he would not
have cared so much, for he seems to
have been a very selfish man. As it
was, he hated Jacob so much, that he
threatened to kill him as soon as his
father should die, which he thought
must be very soon.
When Rebekah heard of this, she was
much alarmed, for she knew too well
what a bad man Esau was. So she
persuaded Isaac to send Jacob away to
6U BIBLE HISTORIES.
her brother Laban's in Syria, that he
might get him a wife there, and not
marry a heathen woman, as Esau had
done. Then Isaac called Jacob, and
blessed him again, and sent him away.
Thus we see that sin always brings
sorrow with it. Jacob had sinned
against God in deceiving his father, and
though he got the blessing, he was
obliged to go alone, among strangers,
away from all he loved, and did not
know when, if ever, he should see them
again. In fact he never did see his
mother after this.
As Jacob walked along after he had
left his father's house he must have felt
very lonely, and I think he must have
repented bitterly of the sin he had com-
mitted in deceiving his father.
When night came he was all alone in
the desert. He lay down upon the
bare earth, with only a stone for his
pillow, and very likely went to sleep
thinking of the home he had left, of
the kind mother who had so many years
watched to supply his smallest want, of
the indulgent father whom he had so
wickedly deceived, and the brother
whose birthright he had taken away.
I think in his distress he must have
turned to his Heavenly Father, who
alone could help him. And God, who
is ever more ready to hear than we are
to pray, appeared to him in his sleep.
He saw what looked to him like a
ladder, reaching from the spot where he
was lying, up to heaven. The angels
were going up and down the ladder, and
God himself appeared at the top.
While Jacob was wondering what
this might mean, God spake to him and
said, "I am the Lord God of Abraham
thy father, and the God of Isaac: the
land whereon thou liest, to thee will I
give it, and to thy seed; and thy seed
shall be as the dust of the earth, and
thou shalt spread abroad to the west,
and to the east, to the north, and to the
south: and in thee, and in thy seed
shall all the families of the earth be
blessed. And behold! I am with thee,
and will keep thee in all places whither
thou goest, and will bring thee again
into this land: for I will not leave thee
until I have done that which I have
spoken to thee of."
And Jacob awaked out of his sleep,
and he said, Surely the Lord is in this
place and I knew it not. And he was
afraid and said, How dreadful is this
place! this is none other but the house
of God, and this is the gate of Heaven.
And Jacob took the stone which he had
used for a pillow, and set it up for a
pillar, and poured oil upon the top of
it. And he called the place Bethel, or
the house of God.
Then he made a vow or solemn pro-
mise to God, and said, "If God will be
with me, and will keep me in this way
that I go, and will give me bread to eat
and raiment to put on, so that I come
again to my father's house in peace;
then shall the Lord be my God: and
this stone which I have set for a pillar,
shall be God's house; and of all that
thou shalt give me, I will surely give
the tenth unto thee."
He felt himself so weak and helpless,
and so undeserving of such mercy, that
6 BIBLE HISTORIES.
though God had just promised him all
those things, he could scarcely believe
it would be so; and he said, If God will
indeed do all this for me, then I will
surely be his servant. But we shall see
by and by, that though God fulfilled his
promise, Jacob was too careless about
keeping his vow, when he ought.
Then Jacob went on toward the east,
and after a long and painful journey,
he came to the house of Laban, his
mother's brother. When he told Laban
that he was the son of his sister Re-
bekah, he was glad to see him and hear
of his sister's welfare. When he had
staid with him about a month, Laban
told him one day that he should like to
hire him to take care of his cattle and
sheep, and asked what wages he should
Now Laban had two daughters, Leah
and Rachel. Rachel, the youngest, was
very beautiful, and Jacob loved her.
So he told Laban he would work for
him seven years if at the end of that
time he might marry Rachel. To this
Laban agreed. At the end of the seven
years, which it is said seemed to Jacob
but a few days, because he loved Rachel
so much, he claimed her as his wife.
Then Laban made a great feast and
called all his friends to the wedding.
Now you must know that in that coun-
try it was the custom that the bride
should be almost entirely covered with
a veil, so that no one could see her at
all during the ceremony.
After the wedding, when the lady
came to take off her veil, behold it was
Leah whom Jacob had married and not
Rachel. And now we may well think
that by this cruel deceit of Laban, Jacob
would be painfully reminded of the time
when he deceived his father, and per-
haps this was suffered by God, to happen
to him to keep that sin in remembrance,
though this does not at all excuse
When Jacob complained, Laban ex
caused himself by saying that in that
country it was not allowed to marry the
younger sister before the elder. But if
he would stay another seven years he
might have Rachel also. So Jacob
And the Lord prospered him in all
that he undertook, and Laban's property
greatly increased under his care. At
the end of the fourteen years they made
a new bargain, which was, that Jacob
should have all among the cattle and
sheep that were ring-streaked, spotted
or brown. So he staid six years longer,
and during this time the Lord continued
to prosper him, so that he had large
flocks and herds of his own.
About this time, the Lord appeared
to him again in a dream, and told him
to return to his own country, and pro-
mised to be with him. He told Leah
and Rachel what the Lord had said to
him, and they were willing to go with
But Jacob was afraid that Laban
would not let him go; so he waited
until the time of sheep-shearing when
Laban would be gone from home, and
then he got together his flocks and herds,
and set his wives and children on
70 BIBLE HISTORIES.
camels, and set out to go to the home
of his childhood.
When he had been gone three days
Laban heard of it, and he took his scr-
vants and pursued him. After travelling
seven days he came up with Jacob, but
God appeared to him in the night and
told him not to hurt Jacob in any way.
So he dared not, but told Jacob that he
was wrong to steal away without letting
him take leave of his children; for, said
he, I would have sent you away with
feasting and music. But Jacob knew
well enough what was in his heart, and
that if God had not prevented it he
would have taken away his flocks and
obliged him to go back.
As it was, they made a covenant with
each other, promising that they would
never on any account fight against, or
injure each other. Then they set up
a heap of stones as a monument of their
agreement, and called it Galeed, or the
stone of witness. Then Jacob offered
sacrifice to God on the mount, and he
and Laban eat together as a token of
friendship, and they staid there that
You know when Jacob went away
from his home at first, it was because
Esau had threatened to kill him. And
now as he came near where Esau lived
he found that he would try to kill him
and his family.
It was at this time, he was permitted
to see the angels of God. I suppose
this must have been that host of God
which is said to encamp round about
them that fear him, and they showed
themselves to Jacob at this time of great
72 BIBLE HISTORIES.
trouble, that he might know that God,
who is stronger than all men, was
taking care of him. Then he called
the name of that place Mahanaim,
which means two hosts.
But though Jacob knew from this,
that God would take care of him, yet
he did not neglect to use means to
soften Esau's feelings towards him.
He first sent some of his servants with
a message to Esau, telling him that he
and his family were coming. They
soon returned, saying that they had met
Esau, and he was coming towards them
with four hundred men.
This news greatly distressed Jacob,
and he divided the servants and the
flocks into two bands; thinking that if
Esau should come and destroy one band,
the other might perhaps escape.
When he had done this he again
prayed to God, and said, 0, God of my
father Abraham, and God of my father
Isaac, the Lord, which saidst unto me,
Return unto thy country, and to thy
kindred, and I will deal well with thee!
I am not worthy of the least of all thy
mercies, and of all the truth, which
thou hast showed unto thy servant; for
with my staff I passed over Jordan, and
now I am become two bands. Deliver
me, I pray thee, from the hand of my
brother. For I fear him, lest he will
come and smite me, and the mother
with the children."
Then he chose out from his flocks
several hundred camels, and sheep, and
asses, and cows, and divided them into
droves. And he gave each drove to the
care of a servant, and directed him
when he met Esau, to say that they
were a present from Jacob, and that he
was coming behind them. When he
had done this he took his wives and
children, and carried them over the ford
Jabbok, which is a small river emptying
into the river Jordan.
And now that he had done all that
he could, he returned by himself alone
that he might again pray to God.
While he was thus engaged in weeping,
and prayer, and supplication, God ap-
peared to him in the form of a man.
Jacob of course could not know that it
was God, and perhaps supposed it might
be a spy from Esau. Then Jacob
wrestled with, and overcame him.
But just as Jacob thought he had
beaten the man, He touched the hollow
of Jacob's thigh, and the sinew shrank
and drew up his foot so as to make him
lame. Then Jacob knew that it could
not have been a man with whom he had
Just as He touched Jacob's thigh the
day broke, and He said, "Let me go,
for the day breaketh." But Jacob,
encouraged by his success, said, I will
not let thee go until thou bless me.
Then said He, What is thy name ? And
he said, Jacob. Then said God, "Thy
name shall no more be called Jacob, but
Israel, (which means prince,) for as a
prince hast thou power with God and
man, and hast prevailed." And Jacob
called the name of the place Penuel,
(or face of God,) for said he, "I have
seen God face to face and my life is
Then he passed over Jabbok to join
his family. As he came near them he
saw Esau coming with his four hundred
men. So Jacob placed his family in
order, and went forward to meet Esau.
When he came near to Esau he bowed
before him, calling him My Lord Esau,
as it was customary to speak to the
elder brother of the family. And God
turned away the anger that was in
Esau's heart, and he came and fell on
his neck and kissed him. Thus you
see Jacob, by uniting prudent means
and a soft answer which turneth away
wrath, with his trust in God, escaped
all danger from the hand of Esau, and
proved the truth of the proverb that
when a man's ways please the Lord, He
maketh even his enemies to be at peace
Then Jacob's wives and children
came forward and were introduced to
Esau, who spoke kindly to them all,
and invited Jacob to bring his family
and make him a visit at Mount Seir.
But Jacob knew that although God had
inclined his brother to be kind to him,
yet that in his heart Esau did not fear
God, nor worship him, and he did not
like to expose his children to the influ-
ence of an irreligious family. And
Jacob came to Succoth, where he built
him a house, and made booths for his
Now Succoth was not in the land of
Canaan, to which the Lord had directed
Jacob, but in Gilead. But he and his
family and his flocks were tired and
worn out with their long journey, and
as this was a very pleasant, fertile place
he thought best to stop here, and staid
70 BIBLE HISTORIES.
about three years. After that he passed
over the Jordan into Canaan, and
pitched his tent near the city of She-
You will recollect that when Jacob
first left his father's house, he promised
God at Bethel, that if he would keep
him safely and bring him back, he
would build an altar in that spot, and
pay the tenth of all his possessions to
Him. But now that he was brought
back, and with great riches, he staid
seven years without going to Bethel at
all, thus neglecting to pay the vow
which he had made in the day of trou-
It would seem too as if he had not
been as careful as he should have been
in teaching his children the fear of God;
for while they lived near Shechem, we
read of some of them doing very wick-
edly and causing Jacob a great deal of
We do not know how long Jacob
might have continued to put off going
to Bethel, had not the Lord appeared to
him again and commanded him to go.
But now he dared not disobey, and
calling together his family, he told them
of the command of God, and bid them
to put away all the idols, and heathenish
superstitions, which they had taken up
since living among a people that knew
not God, and prepare to go up with him
When they came there, he built an
altar, and called the place El-Bethel,
which means the God of Bethel, because
there God appeared to him when he fled
from Esau. He tarried here some time
80 BIBLE HISTORIES.
and then went back toward Bethlehem,
and when they were near that place,
Rachel, Jacob's beloved wife, died. A
son was born to him at this time which
was called Benjamin. He was the
youngest of Jacob's children.
Jacob mourned greatly for the death
of Rachel. And her two sons Joseph
and Benjamin, who seem to have inher-
ited their mother's beauty and amiable
disposition were always his favorites.
He had now twelve sons, (who gave
names to the twelve tribes of Israel,) and
one daughter. We read of a dreadful
famine which extended after this, over
a great part of the world, and many
people died for want of food. But in
Egypt grain had been laid up, and Jacob
sent his sons there, to buy some for
After several interesting events which
I shall tell you more about in the life of
Joseph, they found that he was gover-
nor over Egypt. And he sent them to
bring his father and all the family to
live in that country.
When Jacob came down into Egypt,
Joseph brought him in, and introduced
him to king Pharaoh. And Pharaoh
asked him his age. And he said, The
days of the years of my pilgrimage, are
an hundred and thirty years; few and
evil have the days of the years of my
life been, and have not attained unto
the days of the years of my fathers in
the days of their pilgrimage." Then he
blessed Pharaoh and went out.
Then Pharaoh gave a part of Egypt
called Goshen to the family of Jacob, to
live in by themselves. Jacob lived
after this about seventeen years. When
he found that the time of his death was
near, he made Joseph promise not to
bury him in Egypt, but to carry his
body to Canaan. Then he called his
sons together, and gave to each his dying
In this he foretells some of the most
important events that shall befall their
descendants, and points more clearly to
the coming of the Saviour. Soon after
this he died, and his sons carried him
up to Canaan, and buried him in the
sepulchre which Abraham bought to
bury Sarah in. Many of the Egyptians
also went up with them, and made a
great mourning for him. Jacob was one
hundred and forty-seven years old when
OR THE MAN WHO LOVED HIS BRETHREN.
Y dear children,
when I came to
read again the life
of Joseph, that I
might write it out
for you, it was so
beautiful that I
could not bear to shorten it. I wanted
you to read every word of it. And in
such a little book as this must be, there
was not room to tell you all the par-
ticulars of his beauty, innocence and
wisdom while he was yet a child; of
his hatred of all wickedness as he grew
84 BIBLE HISTORIES.
up; of his mysterious dreams, and the
envy and hatred of his brethren.
I could not tell you how they wick-
edly sold him for a slave, and how by
his faithfulness to his master, and great
prudence, he won for himself favor.
How afterwards by the wickedness of
his master's wife, he was cast into prison,
and again raised, by his wisdom and
prudence, and the fear of God, to be
ruler over all Egypt.
By the wisdom and foresight which
God gave him, he foretold,years before
it came a dreadful famine, and saved
Egypt in a great measure from the dis-
tress which it brought on other coun-
tries. During this famine his wicked
brethren came down to Egypt to buy
food, and found Joseph next to the king
the greatest man in all Egypt. At first
they did not know him, but afterwards he
told them he was Joseph their brother.
Then comes the account of his tender
affection for his little brother Benjamin,
and his aged father Jacob. His kind
forgiveness of his brethren who had so
shamefully abused him, you must ad-
All this and much more about Joseph,
you will find in the last part of the
book of Genesis, beginning at the thirty-
seventh chapter, and reading to the end
of the book, only leaving out the thirty-
eighth chapter. It is all told in such
a plain beautiful way, that you can
understand it, and will be sure to like
it. Before you go on to read the life of
Moses, I hope you will get your mother,
or some kind friend to find it for you in
the Bible, and read it all.
OR THE GREAT MAN OF MEEKNESS.
OU have read the life
S of Joseph, and have
learned how the
children of Israel
came to go into
n Egypt to live.
For many years
after Joseph died they continued to
multiply, until from being a family of
seventy-two persons, they had become
a tribe of many thousands. Then the
king of Egypt began to fear that they
would be a greater nation than the
Egyptians, and he determined to make
slaves of them.
So he set task-masters over them and
made them work very hard, but still
they increased more and more. Then
this cruel king made a law that all the
boys which were born among the He-
brews, (as they were called in Egypt)
should be thrown into the river.
Not long after this, Moses was born.
He was an exceedingly beautiful child,
and his mother thought she saw some-
thing uncommon in him, and determined
to keep him. She kept him hid about
three months, and then finding she could
not hide him any longer, she made him
a little ark, or box of bulrushes, and
pitched it inside and out, so that it
could not leak, and put her babe in it,
and laid it among the flags by the side
of the river.
Soon after it was put there Pharaoh's
88 BIBLE HISTORIES.
daughter, Thermeutis, came down to
bathe in the river. She saw the little
ark, and sent a maid to fetch it to her.
When it was opened the babe wept, and
the Lord opened the heart of Therme-
utis, so that although she knew it was
one of the Hebrews' children, she said
she would adopt it and bring it up as
Then seeing his sister Miriam who
had been watching at a little distance,
Thermeutis sent her to bring a nurse,
and she went and brought her own
Jochebed did not tell that she was
the babe's mother, but we may well
think how grateful she must have been
to have her child returned to her.
When Moses was old enough to wean,
his mother took him to Thermeutis and
he became her son. He was brought
up in the king's palace, and instructed
in all the learning of the Egyptians.
But he was allowed to visit his mother,
who did not neglect to tell him the
circumstances of his birth, and the
sufferings of his brethren the Hebrews.
And as Moses grew up he determined
to serve God, though it brought upon
him Pharaoh's displeasure, and obliged
him to be poor and despised in the
world, instead of living in ease and
When he was about forty years old,
it was made known to him that he
should deliver Israel. And one day
when he was in the field, he saw an
Egyptian smiting a Hebrew, and he
killed him. Moses thought his brethren
would understand from this that he
JU BIBLE HISTORIES.
was to deliver them, but they did not.
When Pharaoh heard of it, he was
very angry, and would have killed Mo-
ses. But he fled into the land of Midian.
Here he married Zipporah, daughter of
Jethro, priest of Midian, and lived with
him forty years.
One day as he was tending his flocks
he was struck by the appearance of a
bush which was all in flames, but did
not burn down. While he looked upon
it the Lord spake to him, and told him
that the time had come when He would
deliver Israel from their cruel bondage
in Egypt. And that he would deliver
them by the hand of Moses.
After many objections on the part of
Moses who feared the power of Pharaoh;
God gave him power to work miracles,
and told him to take Aaron his brother
Then Moses and Aaron went down
into Egypt and called together the
elders of Israel and told them that God,
even the God of their Fathers Abraham
Isaac and Jacob, had sent him to them
to say that they must go up out of
Egypt three days journey and sacrifice
to Him. Then he showed the miracles
which God had given him power to
perform, and they believed.
Moses and Aaron then went before
Pharaoh, and showed him these mira-
cles, and told him that God had com-
manded him to let the Israelites go.
But Pharaoh answered, I know not the
Lord, neither will I let Israel go. And
Pharaoh was angry and made the peo-
ple's burdens greater than before. And
92 BIBLE HISTORIES.
the Israelites were discouraged, and
would not listen to Moses, for they said
they were worse off than before he
Moses prayed to God to show him
why the people were not delivered, as
He had promised. And God told him
that Pharaoh should let them go, but
first he should be punished for his ill
treatment of them. God told him to
go again to Pharaoh and if he refused,
(as God said He knew he would,) He
would send a plague upon the land.
Then as Pharaoh still rebelled, God
sent ten plagues, each one more terrible
than the last, upon the people of Egypt,
but none of them touched the Israelites.
While the plague was upon them Pha-
raoh would seem to repent, and said he
would let them go, but when at the
prayer of Moses it was taken away, he
would become stubborn as before and
would not keep his promises. Last of
all God told Moses that He would send
forth His destroying angel, and slay all
the first born of Egypt.
He ordered Moses to have every fami-
ly among the Israelites kill a lamb, and
mark the posts of their doors with the
blood; and wherever the Angel should
see the blood, he would pass by that
house; but where he did not see the
blood upon the doors, he would slay the
The children of Israel were to eat the
lamb standing ready for a journey, and
eat with unleavened bread and bitter
herbs. This was called the Passover,
and was always kept as a great feast
94 BIBLE HISTORIES.
among the Israelites, in remembrance of
It must have been a thrilling sound
when at midnight out of every house of
the Egyptians, the whole family that
were left by the destroying angel, rushed
with terrific screams bewailing the dead.
For there was not a house where there
was not at least one dead.
Then all the people surrounded the
palace, and besought Pharaoh to send
away the Israelites. And he sent his
officers to tell them to be gone quickly.
They were all ready, as God had com-
manded them to be, and as they went,
they asked gifts of the Egyptians, who
in their hurry to be rid of them, gladly
gave them gold and silver, ear-rings and
jewels. So that though they had been
poor slaves they went out of Egypt with
As under the command of Moses they
journeyed, they saw before them as it
were a pillar of fire, and as day-light
came it seemed a pillar of cloud. This
was to them a token of God's presence,
who thus led them through the wilder-
When they had gone as far as the
Red Sea and were encamped on its
borders, word was brought that Pharaoh
was pursuing them with a great army.
Now they thought they should all be
destroyed, or made slaves again. But
Moses said Stand still, and see the salva-
tion of God.
Then the pillar which had been before
them went behind and came between
them and the Egyptians. To the Egyp-
96 BIBLE HISTORIES.
tians it was a cloud and darkness, but
to the Israelites it was a pillar of fire to
give light and gladness.
Then, at God's command, Moses
stretched out his rod over the sea, and
the Lord caused a strong east wind to
blow all that night, and the waters of
the Sea stood up like a wall on each
side, and the Israelites passed over the
Sea as if it had been dry land. Then
Pharaoh, having his heart hardened
against God, was not at all awed by this
miracle, but drove boldly in after them.
When the Israelites had all reached the
other side in safety, and the Egyptian
army was in the midst of the sea, Moses
again stretched out his rod, and the
waters flowed back, and of all that great
army not one was left.
If you will look in the Bible at the