flock: “Why do ye,” said he, “thus?” They said “We shall not water till the shepherds shall have driven off; for our father is very aged.”
So he watered for them—then retired to the shade and said, “O my Lord, of the good thou hast caused me to meet with I stand in need.”
And one of them came to him, walking bashfully, Said she, “My father calleth thee, that he may pay thee wages for thy watering for us.” And when he came to him and had told him his STORY, “Fear not,” said he, “thou hast escaped from an unjust people.”
One of them said, “O my father, hire him: for the best thou canst hire is the strong, the trusty.”
He said, “Truly to one of these my two daughters I desire to marry thee, if for eight years thou wilt be my hired servant: and if thou fulfil ten, it shall be of thine own accord, for I wish not to deal hardly with thee. Thou wilt find me, if God will, one of the upright.”
He said, “Be it so between me and thee: Whichever of the two terms I fulfil, there will be no injustice to me. And God is witness of what we say.”
And when Moses had fulfilled the term, and was journeying with his family, he perceived a fire on the mountain side. He said to his family, “Wait ye, for I perceive a fire. Haply I may bring you tidings from it, or a brand from the fire to warm you.”
And when he came up to it, a Voice cried to him out of the bush from the right side of the valley in the sacred hollow, “O Moses, I truly am God, the Lord of the Worlds:
Throw down now thy rod.” And when he saw it move as though it were a serpent, he retreated and fled and returned not. “Moses,” cried the Voice, “draw near and fear not, for thou art in safety.
Put thy hand into thy bosom; it shall come forth white, but unharmed: and draw back thy hand to thee without fear. These shall be two signs from thy Lord to Pharaoh and his nobles; for they are a perverse people.”
- That is, of a wife.
- The compact (Gen. xxix. 15–39) between Laban and Jacob must have been present to the mind of Muhammad when composing this tale.
- Lit. he was cried to. According to Muhammad, Moses had resolved to quit Madian previously to the Vision of the Bush, which, according to Ex. iii., was the real occasion.
- Lit. thy wing.