Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XI:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Works of Sulpitius Severus.: Chapter XIII.
It is almost incredible to relate how the Hebrews who had come down into Egypt so soon increased in numbers, and filled Egypt with their numerous descendants. But on the death of the king, who kindly cherished them on account of the services of Joseph, they were kept down by the government of the succeeding kings. For both the heavy labor of building cities was laid upon them, and because their abounding numbers were now feared, lest some day they should secure their independence by arms, they were compelled by a royal edict to drown their newly-born male children. And no permission was granted to evade this cruel order. Well, at that time, the daughter of Pharaoh found an infant in the river, and caused it to be brought up as her own son, giving the boy the name of Moses. This Moses, when he had come to manhood, saw a Hebrew being assaulted by an Egyptian; and, filled with sorrow at the sight, he delivered his brother from injury, and killed the Egyptian with a stone. Soon after, fearing punishment on account of what he had done, he fled into the land of Midian, and, taking up his abode with Jothor the priest of that district, he received his daughter Sepphora in marriage, who bore him two sons, Gersam and Eliezer. At this epoch lived Job, who had acquired both the knowledge of God and all righteousness simply from the law 273 of nature. He was exceedingly rich, and on that account all the more illustrious, because he was neither corrupted by that wealth while it remained entire, nor perverted by it when it was lost. For, when, through the agency of the devil, he was stripped of his goods, deprived of his children, and finally covered in his own person with terrible boils, he could not be broken down, so as, from impatience of his sufferings, in any way, to commit sin. At length he obtained the reward of the divine approval, and being restored to health, he got back doubled all that he had lost.
This somewhat remarkable statement is supported by the text of Halm, who reads, “lege naturæ.” But other editions have “legem naturæ,” and the meaning will then be “who had learned the law of nature, and the knowledge of God,” &c.
Next: Chapter XIV.
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