He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas better than any man I ever met. — Abraham Lincoln

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.


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