History of Plymouth Plantation Questions and Answers
by William Bradford

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Locate And Analyze Two Examples Of Bradford's Use Of Allusions To The Bible

In William Bradford's History of Plymouth Plantation (1620-1647, originally titled Of Plymouth Plantation), what are two examples of Bradford's use of allusions to the Bible and of references to God's intervention in events?

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In Chapter three of Of Plymouth Plantation, Bradford makes a biblical allusion when he compares the Puritans leaving the Netherlands to the Israelites leaving Egypt. The Puritans are like:

Moses and the Israelites when they went out of Egypt.

This is a reference to the Israelites being led by God out of slavery in Egypt in the biblical book of Exodus. Bradford is making the point that the Puritans were not driven out of the Netherlands, as their critics claimed, but left because God led them to go, just as the Israelites were not "driven" out by the Egyptians but left because they were obedient to God. However, beyond the narrow context of the allusion, Bradford is positioning the Puritans as in a special relationship with God and as specially protected by God—just like the Israelites. Over and over again in the history, Bradford will imply that the Puritans were miraculously saved from destruction because they were faithful to God.

One example of God's special providence to the Puritans...

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