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Chapter XVI

1. THE Voice of Jehovih came to Moses, saying: Have the king give thee commissioners who shall go in advance and examine the countries whither I will lead thee; and when the commissioners have returned, thou shalt proclaim to My people what the commissioners say, and the people will be convinced, and rise up and follow thee. So Moses asked the king for a commission of Eguptians, and the king appointed thirty-three men, and allotted to them seven months to accomplish the inspection; and he gave to the commission camels and asses to ride upon, and to carry food to eat on the journey.

2. Meanwhile, Moses sent Aaron around about through Egupt, to inform the people of the commission, and also as to how they should make their outfits. And Aaron said unto the rab'bahs: Be ye circumspect as to the outfits of our people; observing that they carry not away with them anything that is another's, even to a fraction; for thus hath Moses commanded me to say unto you.

3. When the commissioners returned and made their report, which was favorable, Moses had the report sent amongst the Israelites; and Moses added: For there be such, as, having little faith in Jehovih, will have faith in the words of the commissioners.

4. The Gods of the Eguptians were not idle, and they sent word by way of the oracles to the courtiers and nobles to the effect that Moses had persuaded the king to hand the kingdom over to the foreign nations, knowing the king had no son eligible to the throne.

5. The courtiers and nobles, therefore, importuned the king to choose one of two things: Either to banish Moses out of the country, and put aside all arrangements for the migration of the Israelites; or, on the other hand, to abdicate the throne in favor of Nu-ghan. In the meantime, a whole year's drouth came upon Egupt, and the rivers overflowed not, so that a famine was sure to fall upon many parts of the country.

p. 508b

6. The king answered the demand of the courtiers and nobles with these words: I am Pharaoh, king of Egupt! Look ye to the threatened famine; provide the stores for my people. I declare to you all, a new thing is come unto the world, which is: MIGRATION FROM BONDAGE! Nor is it in the power of nobles or courtiers or kings to stay this invention.

7. When the courtiers received this answer they said to one another: These are Moses' words, fashioned for the king's mouth. Certainly he hath lost the fear of the Lord, and hearkeneth to the Great Spirit of the Israelites!

8. Jehovih, through His angels, spake to Moses, saying: Now is thy time. Go to the Heads whom thou has chosen and appoint a time unto them of one place, and a time unto others of another place, and so on unto all the Heads. And thou shalt make the armies going forth so numerous that the Eguptians will be overwhelmed.

9. These, then, are Heads, the chief rab'bahs appointed by Moses, and the places in Egupt whence they were to depart from:

10. Rasak, son of Ubeth, of the place Hagor; Ashimel, son of Esta, of the place Ranna; Gamba, son of Hanor, of the place Nusomat; Bothad, son of Nainis, of the place Palgoth; Amram, Son of Yoth, of the place Borgol; Lakiddik, son of Samhad, of the place Apau; Jokai, son of Keddam, of the place Hasakar; Jorvith, son of Habed, of the place Oeda; Sattu, son of Bal, of the place Harragatha; Tussumak, Son of Aban, of the place Ra; Makrath, son of Filatti, of the place Nabaoth; Hijamek, son of Tor, of the place Nu'joram; Fallu, son of Hagan, of the place Ennitz; Shutta, of the place Romja; Jokkin, son of Rutz, of the place Moan; Tudan, son of Barrahha, of the place Hezron; Osharrak, son of Libni, of the place Raim; Thammas, son of Rodaad, of the place Sakaz; Misa, son of Tiddiyas, of the place Tessam; and Sol, son of Zakkaas, of the place Annayis.

11. Jehovih said: And the Heads shall have notice seventy and seven days; and they shall notify the rab'bah of their places, that due preparation shall be made for the start. Nevertheless, the time appointed unto thy people shall be kept secret with the Heads and the rab'bahs. And p. 509b whatever number the rab'bah can send forth, he shall notify the Head; and when all things are in readiness, that number shall go forth on the day appointed, every one on the same day.

12. And Moses appointed the month Abib and the tenth day thereof, when all the people should start; and moreover, he said unto the Heads: Ye shall see to it that the night before they start, even at the hour of sunset, and the moment thereof, every family shall offer a lamb in sacrifice, and every man, and every woman, and every child that can speak, shall covenant unto Jehovih in the blood of the lamb.

13. When the time of the slaughter is at hand, the family shall stand around, and the lamb shall be in the midst, bound head and foot; and when the knife is raised for the blow, no one shall speak, for that which is to be shall be the covenant of the blood of the lamb against Egupt. And when the throat is cut across and the blood flowing, they shall all say: In Egupt the lamb of Jehovih is dead; His God shall go hence with Israel, but Egupt shall be accursed from this night! Accept this, my covenant, with thee, O Jehovih (E-O-Ih!), for innocent blood hath been shed as a testimony before Thee that, with to-morrow's rising sun, I rise to lie not down again in Egupt forever!

14. Thus went Aaron and Akad, bearing this message in secret to the Heads of the Houses of Israel, saying unto them: Thus saith Moses: This is the commandment of Jehovih, Who is Almighty!

15. And now, on the eve of success to the Israelites, the king of Egupt, being at the point of death, sent for Moses, and Moses went to him. The king said: If it should be the Lord's will to take me off before they people are gone, thou wilt have great bother; for my successor, Nu-ghan, hath a great hate toward Israel.

16. Moses said: What, then, shall be done? The king said: Behold, the pestilence hath overspread Najaut and Arabenah. Thy people will be cut off from traveling by that way. Nu-ghan and his courtiers dwell in Harboath. Moses replied: My people shall march through Najaut and Arabenah; neither shall the pestilence come upon them, for the hand of the Almighty is in this matter.

p. 510b

17. Leotonas, learning that Moses was with the king, went in to see him. She said: O my son and brother, thou art welcome. Behold, the trials of the royal court, and the persistence of the nobles, are the death of the king. To this the king said: And still I live, Leotonas! But, alas, these were his last words, for he laughed, and the blood bursted through his heart, and he died then and there, even in Moses' arms.

Next: Chapter XVII