During this appeal, which rose from the inmost depths of the maiden’s heart, the light wind which precedes the coming of dawn had risen, and the foliage in the thick crown of the sycamore above Miriam’s head rustled; but Hosea fairly devoured with his eyes the tall majestic figure, half illumined, half veiled by the faint glimmering light. What he heard and saw seemed like a miracle. The lofty future she anticipated for her people, and which must be realized ere she would permit herself to yield to the desire of her own heart, he believed that he was hearing to them as a messenger of the Lord. As if rapt by the noble enthusiasm of her soul, he rushed toward her, seized her hand, and cried in glad emotion: “Then the hour has come which will again permit you to distinguish months from days and listen to the wishes of your own soul. For to I, Joshua, no longer Hosea, but Joshua, come as the envoy of the Lord, and my message promises to the people whom I will learn to love as you do, new prosperity, and thus fulfils the promise of a new and better home, bestowed by the Most High.”
Miriam’s eyes sparkled brightly and, overwhelmed with grateful joy, she exclaimed:
“Thou hast come to lead us into the land which Jehovah promised to His people? Oh Lord, how measureless is thy goodness! He, he comes as Thy messenger.”
“He comes, he is here!” Joshua enthusiastically replied, and she did not resist when he clasped her to his breast and, thrilling with joy, she returned his kiss.
Fear of her own weakness soon made Miriam release herself from her lover’s embrace, but she listened with eager happiness, seeking some new sign from the Most High in Joshua’s brief account of everything he had felt and experienced since her summons.
He first described the terrible conflict he endured, then how he regained entire faith and, obedient to the God of his people and his father’s summons, went to the palace expecting imprisonment or death, to obtain release from his oath.
He told her how graciously the sorrowing royal pair had received him, and how he had at last taken upon himself the office of urging the leaders of his nation to guide them into the wilderness for a short time only, and then take them home to Egypt, where a new and beautiful region on the western bank of the river should be allotted to them. There no foreign overseer should henceforward oppress the workmen, but the affairs of the Hebrews should be directed by their own elders, and a man chosen by themselves appointed their head.
Lastly he said that he, Joshua, would be placed in command of the Hebrew forces and, as regent, mediate and settle disputes between them and the Egyptians whenever it seemed necessary.
United to her, a happy husband, he would care in the new land for even the lowliest of his race. On the ride hither he had felt as men do after a bloody battle, when the blast of trumpets proclaim victory. He had indeed a right to regard himself as the envoy of the Most High.