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, that they may understand my speech; 30 and make for me a minister from my people,—Aaron my brother; gird up my loins through him, 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
- 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.
- Literally, vizîr, ‘vizier,’ ‘one who bears the burden’ of office.
- I.e. ‘strengthen me.’ The idiom is still in common use amongst the desert Arabs.