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The Truth Shall Make You Free



CHAPTER XV

A FREE NATION IS BORN

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A NAME placed upon a man by God, who knows the end from the beginning, throws light upon the part such man will play in the purpose of Almighty God. This rule holds true of Jacob. "And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel. And God said unto him, I am God Almighty : be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins." —Genesis 35:10,11.

The nation of Israel was foretold, composed of Israelites, or descendants of the man Israel. It was to be a free nation, not a part of this world and its religion, commerce and politics, but free of the world and subject only to the law of Jehovah, the God of Israel. Its king was to sit representatively upon the throne of Jehovah God and to rule as His servant and in the fear of God. The nation was to be a typical Theocracy, that is, a nation administered by God and governed by his commandments. Thus it would foreshadow a greater nation to come and its King, namely, the kingdom of God by his Seed. This latter nation is the everlasting Theocratic Government by which obedient men

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of all nations and families will be for ever blessed. How God proceeded to fulfill this covenant promise to Jacob is of universal interest.

God's great opponent, Satan the Devil, set himself to cause the divine covenant to collapse and thereby prove God unable to make good his word. Noting the special favor that Jacob, or Israel, bestowed upon his beloved son Joseph, the Devil stirred up jealousy in his ten half brothers. This was aggravated when God favored Joseph with dreams foretelling his exaltation in God's due time and way. To defeat the divine purpose Joseph's brethren sold him into slavery in Egypt, the first world power of Bible record.

The enmity of the Devil further pursued Joseph as a slave in the land of Ham, and the young man was framed, falsely accused, and thrown into the dungeon of the state's prison. Joseph, however, did not lose faith in God, who had sent him the dreams. He maintained his integrity toward Jehovah and was given the privilege of being a witness for Jehovah. After a number of years God caused Joseph to be brought forth from the prison and before the mighty ruler of Egypt to interpret Pharaoh's dreams. By God's power Joseph interpreted the dreams, foretelling seven years of plenty upon all Egypt, followed by seven years of dire famine. The situation required to be taken in hand immediately, and Pharaoh appointed Joseph as his prime minister to prepare for famine relief and to safeguard Egypt's freedom from want.

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When the seven years of abundance were up, the seven-year famine set in. But Egypt was ready.

The famine affected the rest of the earth, and Joseph's ten half brothers came to Egypt for supplies, but failed to recognize Joseph in his exalted position. Using his power, Joseph obliged them to bring his young brother, Benjamin, on their return trip for provisions. Then after feasting his eleven brothers Joseph privately revealed to them who he was. They were in fear for their lives, but Joseph assured them that Jehovah God had permitted all things for good of his faithful servants and had defeated the Devil's purposes. Then Joseph sent them back to Canaan to bring their father and all their households down to Egypt, to live in that land for the remainder of the famine period. Joseph arranged with Pharaoh for them to be settled in the land of Goshen, and there they were well taken care of. The Egyptians, however, ran out of money and of other things to give in exchange for foodstuffs and finally sold themselves and their lands to Pharaoh for life sustenance. Consequently the people were now dependent upon their ruler by his prime minister for living support, and Joseph disposed them and their matters throughout Egypt for their security against want and unemployment. All the outside countries also came to Joseph for living supplies. —Genesis, chapters 37 to 47.

Almighty God, who staged this powerful prophetic drama and preserved the record of it till

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now, purposed that it should mark out for men the course that leads to everlasting life in this supreme world crisis. All who seek freedom from death, want and fear must obey the instructions and laws of the Supreme Ruler, greater than Pharaoh. They must come to God's Chief Servant, the Seed of his "woman", Christ Jesus. They must "sell" or devote themselves to Jehovah God and accept at the hands of his great Servant the life-giving supplies of the truth now released through God's Word, the Bible. Unless this is done, any world conference on material food and any machinery established by world rulers to deal with the food problem and other postwar problems are vain. Such human expedients will not usher in permanent relief, social security, good order, peace, prosperity, and the desired freedoms. "Man doth not live by bread only, but by everything that proceedeth out of the mouth of Jehovah doth man live." The One who is greater than Joseph repeated that truth. —Deuteronomy 8: 3, A.R.V.; Matthew 4: 3, 4.

In Egypt Israel's relationship grew to number seventy souls. The time came for him to die, at an age of 147 years, the last seventeen years thereof being spent with Joseph in Egypt. Under God's guidance Israel assembled his twelve sons about his bed and gave them a witness concerning Jehovah and his covenant. Then as God's instrument he bestowed the divine blessing upon these twelve pillars of the coming nation of Israel, made up of twelve tribes.

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With God's spirit of inspiration upon him Israel indicated the tribe through which the promised ruler of the kingdom of God, The Theocratic Government, should come. He said: "Judah is a lion's whelp: . . . The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be." (Genesis 49: 9,10) The coming King should be "The Lion of the tribe of Juda". Of the twelve channels issuing forth from Jacob, the royal Seed of promise would proceed through Judah, whose name means "praise", praise to God. Judah and his brethren are now spoken of as tribal heads: "All these are the twelve tribes of Israel: and this is it that their father spake unto them, and blessed them; every one according to his blessing he blessed them." (Genesis 49: 28) Twelve is a Scriptural symbol of complete, balanced organization; and the twelve tribes of Israel are used as a type of the complete organization of the coming great Theocratic nation under the Seed, Shiloh, "the Prince of Peace." —Revelation 7: 4-8; 5: 5; Isaiah 9: 6, 7.

The twelve tribes of the children of Israel enjoyed freedom of worship and freedom from want, fear and oppression till the death of Joseph, Egypt's prime minister. Under God's blessing in harmony with his irresistible purpose they multiplied greatly. With Joseph dead, Satan thought he had God's chosen people now where he wanted them. Egypt had not taken up the worship of Joseph's God, Jehovah, but

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continued in religion, doing homage to the demons. Satan tried to pollute the Israelites with such religion and by it turn them to unfaithfulness toward Jehovah. Then he raised up a Pharaoh on Egypt's throne who knew not or acknowledged not the debt the nation owed to Joseph and his God Jehovah. Moved by nationalism and ideas that the Egyptians were a master race, this Pharaoh served the Devil well by issuing decrees of state for the wiping out of the alien Israelites and to work them to death as slaves. Not all the Israelites became defiled by religion, but some few held to their faith in Jehovah and resisted such mischief framed by law against Jehovah and his people. Under these devilish conditions in Egypt Moses was born to a man of the tribe of Levi, named Amram, and his wife, Jochebed.

Jehovah, moving ahead with his purpose, preserved this Levite child from Pharaoh's bloody sword, and even caused him to be adopted into Pharaoh's household and brought up by Pharaoh's own daughter. Until turning him over to his adopted mother, Moses' parents raised the child up in the nurture and admonition and faith of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. At Pharaoh's court Moses grew to manhood, while his people ceased not to multiply in spite of the cruel oppression of Nazified Egypt. Moses did not adopt Egypt's religion, but clung to his faith in Jehovah and sought the freeing of his people. In his effort to start their deliverance an Egyptian slave-driver was killed. In

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danger now of his own life and seeing that the time was not ripe, Moses left Egypt and took refuge in Arabia with a Midianite prince, who was a descendant of Moses' own forefather, Abraham. Moses married the prince's daughter and took up shepherding. Forty years passed thus.

Jehovah's foretold time came to make his chosen people a free nation. From the time of Abraham's entrance into the promised land and becoming party to God's covenant 430 years had passed, and the groaning of the Israelites under oppression of a new Pharaoh increased. One day, at a miraculously burning bush at the foot of Mount Horeb, God's angel called to Moses tending his flocks and ordered him to return to Egypt and lead the Israelites out of bondage and bring them to this mountain to worship God. Moses asked in whose name he was to go on this mission. "And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM : and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, Jehovah, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. Go." (Exodus 3:14-16, A.R.V.) Moses must be Jehovah's witness in Egypt.

Moses then met with the Israelites in Egypt and presented his credentials and God's declaration of purpose, symbolized by the name

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"Jehovah". With his brother Aaron Moses next appeared before Pharaoh and demanded in Jehovah's name the release of the Israelites and their freedom to worship Jehovah at the holy mountain. In defiance Pharaoh retorted: "Who is Jehovah, that I should hearken unto his voice to let Israel go? I know not Jehovah, and moreover I will not let Israel go." (Exodus 5:2, A.R.V.) Thereupon Jehovah through Moses as his servant and prophet afflicted Egypt with ten plagues demonstrating Jehovah's supremacy and all-power. Pharaoh's priests of religion resisted, but in vain. Pharaoh was serving the Devil, and thus stood as a symbol of the Devil. Hence, in a message to Pharaoh Jehovah told why He has permitted the Devil to continue existing and wickedly opposing God. Jehovah said: "But for this cause have I allowed thee to remain, in order to show thee my power; and in order that they [my witnesses] may proclaim my name throughout all the earth." (Exodus 9:16, Leeser) The last four plagues followed this revelation.

The tenth plague was the destruction of all of Egypt's firstborn children and beasts. In order to have their firstborn children passed over during this last plague the Israelites were commanded to kill the passover lamb and to eat it in their houses behind doors sprinkled with its blood. In God's ancient typical arrangements his covenants became in force and active over the blood of a sacrificial victim. The sprinkling of the passover lamb's blood was therefore the

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beginning of God's special covenant of the law with the nation of Israel. Thereby they definitely came into covenant relationship with him and subject to his law. So they became a Theocratic nation, and their birth or bringing forth to freedom immediately followed. All this was a prophetic drama, in which the passover lamb became a symbol or type of a greater Sacrifice by which a new covenant with God is brought about. This Sacrifice is the antitypical Isaac, "the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world" and which is Christ Jesus. —John 1:29,36.

That passover night, the fourteenth day of the first month according to God's calendar, Pharaoh was bereaved of his firstborn and he



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sent and begged Moses and his people to get out of Egypt. The Israelites congregated together and moved out. As they went Jehovah's pillar of cloud appeared before them and led them. It became a pillar of fiery illumination by night. To the shore of the Red sea they were led. In hardened bitterness Pharaoh and his armed hosts took up the pursuit of them, hoping to trap them at the seashore and drag them back to bondage. Then Moses raised the staff in his hand, and Jehovah parted the waters of the Red sea and His people marched through dryshod. When Pharaoh's hosts rashly advanced into the seabed in hot chase, God caused their military equipment to drag and bog down. He brought the parted waters together and engulfed Pharaoh's elite troops. Safe on the other side Moses led God's people in singing the song of victory: "I will sing unto Jehovah, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. Jehovah is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: this is my God, and I will praise him; my father's God, and I will exalt him." (Exodus 15:1,2, A.R.V.) Thus Israel became a nation of Jehovah's witnesses, obligated to publish his name throughout the earth.

On their journey now as a free nation it became necessary to provide food miraculously to feed the Israelites in the wilderness of Arabia. It was called "manna", and was provided each morning for six days, but not on the seventh day. When the people asked why not, Moses

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told them: "Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none." "So the people rested on the seventh day." (Exodus 16:26,30) This is the first record where a people observed a weekly sabbath or rest day. It is the first time that God commanded his servants to keep a sabbath day. This proves that the Israelites were now under the Law Covenant with Jehovah. For forty years thereafter, while in the wilderness, they were faithfully fed with this miraculous manna.

In the third month after leaving Egypt the Israelites reached the foot of Mount Horeb or Sinai. There Jehovah said to the newborn nation: "Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation." (Exodus 19:4-6) The Israelites agreed to keep covenant. The third day thereafter God caused a terrific demonstration of power and glory on Mount Sinai. Then he called Moses up the mountain and declared to him the basic law, the Ten Commandments, and also many other detailed laws of the covenant. The first four of the Ten Commandments commanded His covenant people to have no other than Jehovah as God and to make no idols and worship them, and not to take his name upon them in vain, and to keep the seventh day of

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each week holy as a sabbath to Him. The other commandments declared how they must conduct themselves aright toward their fellow man, especially those in the covenant with God.

Moses came down from the mountain. As mediator between God and the nation of Israel, he inaugurated the law covenant toward the Israelites over the blood of sacrificial animals, and sprinkled both the written book of the law and also the people with the blood. Again Jehovah called Moses into the mountain and detained him there forty days without food or drink. He gave Moses two stone tablets engraved with the Ten Commandments and also a larger statement of the law. He also instructed Moses to induct the family of Aaron as a priesthood and the entire tribe of Levi as servants of the priest. Moses must also have a sacred tabernacle made and set up where sacrifice to God could be offered and where atonement for the sins of the entire nation could be made on a yearly atonement day.

During Moses' absence of forty days the Devil weakened the faith of the people and induced them to break the Ten Commandments and set up a golden calf for worship. Moses came down upon them amidst their wanton idolatry and broke the two tablets of the law in displeasure, and then ordered the idol destroyed. The whole tribe of Levi took the side of Jehovah in the matter and executed three thousand idolaters. Then Moses again ascended the mountain to intercede as mediator in behalf of the people

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whom Jehovah had taken out of the world for his name. So the Lord God withdrew from destroying the nation of Israel. When Moses descended this time with a new set of stone tablets, his face shone with God's glory, and he was obliged to veil his face when speaking to the people.

Promptly preparation went ahead to provide all things for the tabernacle of worship. On the first day of the second year after leaving Egypt they set up the tabernacle, and Moses as God's servant installed Aaron as high priest and his sons as priests and the Levites as helpers. Both God's law to the nation and all the ceremonies performed in and about the tabernacle were typical; that is, they were shadows or patterns of good things to come to humankind through Jehovah's great Theocracy by the Seed of promise. (Colossians 2:16,17; Hebrews 10:1) That is why it is necessary for Christians to study and heed these things written aforetime.



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