gave the cup to Moses, that he might drink it and burst asunder. Take, said they, this wine which the King of Egypt sends thee, and drink it, for to this pinnacle of honour he will have thee raised, as he hath long ago desired; and this wine itself is like the desire of the King, for it is old, and by reason of length of time is become muddy and dark.
"At this Moses smiled, and took the cup and signed it in the name of God and drank the wine without any hurt. But that they might know that their deceit was not hidden from him, he turned to them and said: Come, tell the King, who hath sent me to drink wine mingled with the poison of serpents, that none of these things do any hurt to the servants of God.
"Thus far concerning Moses and the Magicians."
The elegancies of the poetic form are not so excessive as to disguise the story, and it is one which I do not find elsewhere. The drinking of the poison is like, or has been made like, the famous miracle of St. John the Evangelist: the "signing" of the cup may well be a touch of the poet's; it is the only one that is obviously Christian. I should not be at all surprised to find that we had here a paraphrase of part of the story of Jannes and Mambres. Note that the unsuccessful attacks of the demons are just such as occur in the Penitence of Cyprian, which is linked with that of the Egyptian wizards. The (Latin) Acts of St. James the Great contain something similar, in the tale of Hermogenes and Philetus.
Eldad and Medad
Eldad and Medad (Modat) was a short book of 400 lines, longer than Ephesians (312), shorter than 2 Corinthians (590). Of it we have one certain fragment. Hermas, who in the Shepherd makes many unacknowledged borrowings, quotes a scripture by name once and once only. In Vision ii. 5 he says: "The Lord is near unto them that turn to Him, as it is written in Eldad and Medad, who prophesied to the people in the wilderness."
We cannot doubt that the matter of the book was the