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Chapter XVII

1. JEHOVIH, through His angels, said unto Moses: When the body of the king is embalmed and put away, thou shalt go quickly to thy people; for he who cometh to the throne is under the voice of the Lord, Baal, and he will try to prevent the departure of My chosen. So, Moses left the capital and did as commanded.

2. On Nu-ghan's being crowned he at once issued the following decree: Behold me, I am Pharaoh, King of Egupt, and Ruler of the World. God hath raised his voice in my dominions saying: Hail thou, Sun King of the corporeal world: Behold, I gave to thee all the living that are on the face of the earth, and in the waters of the earth, to be thine, to keep forever. And I say unto thee, what is thine own is thine own, and thou shalt have dominion in thine own way, for I made all that are alive on the earth to be thine forever!

3. Whether of beasts of the field, or fish in the waters, or man on the earth; all the living I created for thee, and thou shalt possess them from everlasting to everlasting. And the life of the living gave I into thy keeping; and I said unto thee: The house of Pharaoh have I created, and it is my house also.

4. And whoever ruleth on the throne of this land, the same is my son, and is the possessor whilst the breath of life is in him. But when he dieth, and the throne fall to his successor, the rights and the powers and possessions of thy kingdom shall not die nor be set at naught. But the successor shall be my Pharaoh whom I raised upon unto my dominions; thus saith the Lord.

5. Now, therefore, I, Pharaoh, who am king and possessor of all the world by commandment of God, and by his son p. 511b (Osiris), who is dead and risen, being myself God of the earth, into whose hands are bequeathed all the living, am today, yesterday, and forever, the same everlasting king and Lord of all. And I decree unto my people, who are mine by virtue of my authority from God, that only by my gracious indulgence hath any man or people right to put one foot before the other, on this my sacred earth.

6. And whoso goeth here or there, save by the sign of the signet of my seal, shall surely be put to death.

7. Any any multitude of my people, who are my servants, whom the God of Gods hath given into my hands to do my works, to till my earth, or to build my houses, or dig ditches, or make bricks, or gather harvest, or make cloth, or attend flocks, and to do all works whatsoever, who may design to escape out of Egupt, to go to my enemies, the foreign kings, shall be deemed guilty unto death. And if such people start forth, to quit my service, to go out of my holy land, then shall my loyal slaves fall upon them and slay them, right and left, sparing neither man, woman nor child. For thus commandeth the Lord God, whose son I am.

8. Jehovih, through His angels, spake to Moses, saying: Go thou; take Aaron thy brother, and go before the king and plead thy cause. Moses said: O Jehovih, Thou Almighty, why hast Thou said this unto me? I have no argument in me, like other men? nor have I courage to face a man or woman. My tongue is slow to find words till after the opportunity. From my youth up I have known this man, Nu-ghan, who is king, and if he but stomp his foot at me I am helpless before him.

9. Jehovih said: For that reason, My son, I can give thee My words. Go and fear not.

10. Then Moses went before Pharaoh, taking Aaron with him. The king asked: What is thy will? And Moses said: I am come to beseech thee to suffer my people to depart out of Egupt. The king replied: The Lord is with me; he saith thou shalt not go; and I repeat the words of my God.

11. Then spake Moses, the power of Jehovih being upon him: Think not, O king, that bondage is for this world only; here doth not the matter end. Thou hast here said in thy decree, even p. 512b from the Lord hast thou spoken, saying: The life of the living gave I into thy keeping. Saidst the Lord this to thee? Wherein, then, is justice, since pestilence and death are coming upon thy people? Callest thou this keeping them? I declare unto thee, that even in the words of thine own God thou hast failed utterly, and this sin is upon thee. Suffer, then, my people to depart, that thine own shortness may not be magnified unto thee, in the afflictions which will surely overspread this land.

12. The king said: Thou hast no authority; thou art a frozen serpent that was taken into the house of the king; and being thawed out, thou turnest to bite thy benefactors. Thou art outlawed by men and accursed by the oracles. It is said of thee, thou hast been to Hored, and there wed for sake of alliance with my high priest, Jethro, for conveyance of my lands unto thy people. Who art thou, that pretendest to hear a voice, and to be led by the Unseen? Thou slave!

13. Moses said: I am not here to plead mine own cause O king, but my people's. Suffice it, though, that even as thy Lord God standeth upon miracles, I bow not down before him. For these are evidence that thy God and thy Lord are but angels of the dead, who labor for thee and thy aggrandizement, and not for all men's welfare.

14. For I have miracles also; and whatsoever thy magicians can do, that can I do also; have I not eyes and ears, even as the oracles? Now I declare a miracle unto thee, which is that thou thyself shalt yet not only consent to my people going out of Egupt, but thou shalt send armies to drive them out. To turn a rod into a serpent, or water into wine; or to show the spirits of the dead, alas, O king, even they that are of rotten flesh can do such things!

15. Pharaoh said: If the oracle hear God, is not this the greatest? Moses replied: He who uttereth what an angel bid him is that angel's servant; he who uttereth a good truth hath spoken with Jehovih's voice. Pharaoh asked: Sayest thou thy words are the Creator's?

16. Moses replied: I am as all good men who speak truth; all that is good, and all truth, are Jehovih's words. In a rose He findeth expression in perfume; p. 513b in the lightning His words are thunder; in a bird His words are songs; but in man, His voice is in man's words; for every living creature, and every dead thing on the earth, or in the waters, or in the air above the earth, giveth expression in its own way; because the Father's hand is the foundation of all that is good and true. He is the I AM Who sent me to thee; by His command open I my mouth before thee. And in His name declare I unto thee thou shalt not only suffer my people to depart out of Egupt, but thou shalt send thy armies to drive them out.

17. The king said: Moses, Moses, thou art mad! For though all Egupt run blood, yet will I not do as thou hast said. Then Moses replied: I tell thee, O king, there be two powers in heaven: that which is for Justice and Goodness, even Jehovih; and that which is for sin and death. And if the Creator lift off His protecting hand from Egupt, she shall in that day become the plague spot of the earth. Thou dost remember, when in the ancient days, great Thothma built the first pyramid, thy forefathers decried the power of heaven; and straightway all the land, and the great pyramid itself, was flooded over by evil spirits. And then came foreign kings, and robbed and plundered Egupt. Think not, O king, these legends are but idle tales; there be Gods and Lords in heaven who could sweep the sea up, and drown all this country. Behold, a day is set; a night is marked out when the lamb of peace shall die. And in that night the first-born of every woman, and the first-born of every beast in the fields, shall die for all the Eguptians; and in that same night not one of the Israelites shall go down in death. Jehovih saith: I will show My power through My people in the time of My covenants.

18. Pharaoh said: Were these things to be, God had come to more noble quarters. Thou art beside thyself. And I banish thee; nor will I again look upon thy face.

19. Moses said: Whether in this world or the next, thou shalt yet call unto me to deliver thee from torments. Nevertheless, I do thy bidding; neither will I come to thee again, nor shalt thou look upon my face for a long season. With that, Moses and Aaron saluted the king and departed.

Next: Chapter XVIII