Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 6.djvu/277

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Ⅶ, 99-113.
the chapter of al aarâf.

These cities, we do relate to thee their stories. There came to them our apostles with manifest signs ; but they did not at all believe in what they called a lie before. — Thus doth God set a stamp upon the hearts of those who misbelieve.

100 Nor did we find in most of them a covenant; but we did find most of them workers of abomination.

Then we raised up after them Moses with our signs to Pharaoh and his chiefs; but they dealt unjustly therewith, and see what was the end of the evildoers !

Moses said, ‘ O Pharaoh ! verily, I am an apostle from the Lord of the worlds ; it is not right for me to speak against God aught but the truth. I have come to you with a manifest sign from my Lord ; send then the children of Israel with me.’ Said he, ‘ If thou hast come with a sign, then bring it, if thou art of those who speak the truth.’ Then he threw his rod down, and lo ! it was an obvious snake ; 105 and he drew out his hand, and lo ! it was white to the beholders. Said the chiefs of Pharaoh′s people, ‘ Verily, this is surely a knowing magician ; he desires to turn you out of your land ; — what is it then ye bid?’ They said, ‘Give him and his brother some hope ; and send into the cities to collect and bring you every knowing magician.’ 110 And the magician came to Pharaoh and said, ‘Is there indeed a reward for us if we are conquerors ?’ He said, ‘ Yea ! and ye shall be of those who draw nigh unto me.’ They said, ‘ O Moses ! wilt thou cast down (thy rod) or shall we be (first) to throw?’ Said he, ‘Throw down;’ and when they threw down, they did enchant the people′s eyes, and made them dread, and brought a