VII. (32) But Moses, having now reached the very highest point of human good fortune, and being looked upon as the grandson of this mighty king, and being almost considered in the expectations of all men as the future inheritor of his grandfather’s kingdom, and being always addressed as the young prince, still felt a desire for and admiration of the education of his kinsmen and ancestors, considering all the things which were thought good among those who had adopted him as spurious, even though they might, in consequence of the present state of affairs, have a brilliant appearance; and those things which were thought good by his natural parents, even though they might be for a short time somewhat obscure, at all events akin to himself and genuine good things. (33) Accordingly, like an uncorrupt judge both of his real parents and of those who had adopted him, he cherished towards the one a good will and an ardent affection, and he displayed gratitude towards the others in requital of the kindness which he had received at their hands, and he would have displayed the same throughout his whole life if he had not beheld a great and novel iniquity wrought in the country by the king; (34) for, as I have said before, the Jews were strangers in Egypt, the founders of their race having migrated from Babylon and the upper satrapies in the time of the famine, by reason of their want of food, and come and settled in Egypt, and having in a manner taken refuge like suppliants in the country as in a sacred asylum, fleeing for protection to the good faith of the king and the compassion of the inhabitants; (35) for strangers, in my opinion, should be looked upon as refugees, and as the suppliants of those who receive them in their country; and, besides, being suppliants, these men were likewise sojourners in the land, and friends desiring to be admitted to equal honours with the citizens, and neighbours differing but little in their character from original natives. (36) The men, therefore, who had left their homes and come into Egypt, as if they were to dwell in that land as in a second country in perfect security, the king of the country reduced to slavery, and, as if he had taken them prisoners by the laws of war, or had bought them from masters in whose house they had been bred, he oppressed them and treated them as slaves, though they were not only free men, but also strangers, and suppliants, and sojourners, having no respect for nor any awe of God, who presides over the rights of free men, and of strangers, and of suppliants, and of hospitality, and who beholds all such actions as his. (37) Then he laid commands on them beyond their power to fulfil, imposing on them labour after labour; and, when they fainted from weakness, the sword came upon them. He appointed overseers over their works, the most pitiless and inhuman of men, who pardoned and made allowance for no one, and whom they from the circumstances and from their behaviour called persecutors of work. (38) And they wrought with clay, some of them fashioning it into bricks, and others collecting straw from all quarters, for straw is the bond which binds bricks together; while others, again, had the task allotted to them of building up houses, and walls, and gates, and cutting trenches, bearing wood themselves day and night without interruption, having no rest or respite, and not even being allowed time so much as to sleep, but being compelled to perform all the works not only of workmen but also of journeymen, so that in a short time their bodies failed them, their souls having already fainted beneath their afflictions. (39) And so they died, one after another, as if smitten by a pestilential destruction, and then their taskmasters threw their bodies away unburied beyond the borders of the land, not suffering their kinsmen or their friends to sprinkle even a little dust on their corpses, nor to weep over those who had thus miserably perished; but, like impious men as they were, they threatened to extend their despotism over the passions of the soul (that cannot be enslaved, and which are nearly the only things which nature has made completely free), oppressing them with the intolerable weight of a necessity beyond their powers.