And in the city at noon he was full of fear, casting furtive glances round him: and lo! the man whom he had helped the day before, cried out to him again for help. Said Moses to him, “Thou art plainly a most depraved person.”

And when he would have laid violent hands on him who was their common foe, he said to him, “O Moses, dost thou desire to slay me, as thou slayedst a man yesterday? Thou desirest only to become a tyrant in this land, and desirest not to become a peacemaker.”

But a man came running up from the city’s end. He said, “O Moses, of a truth, the nobles consult to slay thee—Begone then—I counsel thee as a friend.”

So forth he went from it in fear, looking warily about him. He said, “O Lord, deliver me from the unjust people.”

And when he was journeying toward Madian, he said, “Haply my Lord will direct me in an even path.”

And when he arrived at the water of Madian, he found at it a company of men watering.

And he found beside them, two women8 keeping back their 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.”9

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:10 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 him11 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. “O 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 hand12 to thee without fear. These shall be two signs from thy Lord to Pharaoh and his nobles; for they are a perverse people.”

He said, “O my Lord! truly I have slain one of them, therefore fear I lest they slay me.

My brother Aaron is clearer of speech than I. Send him, therefore, with me as a help, and to make good my cause, for I fear lest they treat me as an impostor.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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