Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 9.djvu/52

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ⅩⅩ, 19-39.
the qurʼân.

wherewith I beat down leaves for my flocks, and for which I have other uses.’

20 Said He, ‘ Throw it down, O Moses !’ and he threw it down, and behold ! it was a snake that moved about.

Said He, ‘ Take hold of it and fear not; we will restore it to its first state.

‘ But press thy hand to thy side, it shall come forth white without harm, — another sign ! to show thee of our great signs !

25 ‘ Go unto Pharaoh, verily, he is outrageous !’

Said he, ‘ My Lord ! expand for me my breast ; and make what I am bidden easy to me ; and loose the knot from my tongue[1], that they may understand my speech ; 30 and make for me a minister[2] from my people, — Aaron my brother; gird up my loins through him[3], and join him with me in the affair; that we may celebrate Thy praises much and remember Thee much.

35 ‘ Verily, Thou dost ever behold us !’ He said, ‘ Thou art granted thy request, O Moses ! and we have already shown favours unto thee at another time. When we inspired thy mother with what we inspired her, “ Hurl him into the ark, and hurl him into the sea; and the sea shall cast him on the shore, and an enemy of mine and of his shall take him ;” — for on thee have I cast my

  1. The Muslim legend is that Moses burnt his tongue with a live coal when a child. This incident is related at length, together with other Mohammedan legends connected with Moses and the Exodus, in my ‘ Desert of the Exodus,’ Appendix C. p. 533. Transl.
  2. Literally, vizîr, ‘ vizier,’ ‘ one who bears the burden ’ of office.
  3. I.e. ‘ strengthen me.’ The idiom is still in common use amongst the desert Arabs.