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themselves and their posterity to God (xxix.) ;—promises of pardon to the repentant (xxx. 1-14.) ;-good and evil set before them. (xxx. 15-20.)
PART IV. The Personal History of Moses, until his Death; containing,
SECT. 1. His appointment of Joshua to be his successor (xxxi. 1-8.); and his delivery of a copy of the law to the priests, to be deposited in the ark, and publicly read every seventh year (xxxi. 9-14.) ;-a solemn charge given to Joshua, &c. (xxxi. 15-27.)
SECT. 2. The people convened to hear the prophetical and historical ode of Moses (xxxi. 28-30.), which occupies nearly the whole of chapter xxxii.
SECT. 3. His prophetic blessing of the twelve tribes, and their peculiar felicity and privilege in having Jehovah for their God and protector. (xxxiii.)
SECT. 4. The death and burial of Moses. (xxxiv.)
V." The book of Deuteronomy and the Epistle to the Hebrews contain the best comment on the nature, design, and use of the law: the former may be considered as an evangelical commentary on the four preceding books, in which the spiritual reference and signification of the different parts of the law are given, and given in such a manner as none could give, who had not a clear discovery of the glory which was to be revealed. It may be safely asserted that very few parts of the Old Testament Scriptures can be read with greater profit by the genuine Christian than the book of Deuteronomy."
The prophetic ode of Moses is one of the noblest compositions in the sacred volume; it contains a justification on the part of God against the Israelites, and an explanation of the nature and design of the divine judgments. The exordium, Bishop Lowth remarks, is singularly magnificent: the plan and conduct of the poem is just and natural, and well accommodated to the subject, for it is almost in the order of an historical narration. It embraces a variety of subjects and sentiments; it displays the truth and justice of God; his paternal love, and his unfailing tenderness to his chosen people; and, on the other hand, their ungrateful and contumacious spirit. The ardour of the divine indignation, and the heavy denunciations of vengeance, are afterwards expressed in a remarkable personification, which is not to be paralleled from all the choicest treasures of the muses. The fervour of wrath is however tempered with the mildest beams of lenity and mercy, and ends at last in promises and consolation. The subject and style of this poem bear so exact a resemblance to the prophetic as well as to the lyric compositions of the Hebrews, that it unites all the force, energy, and boldness of the latter, with the exquisite variety and grandeur of the former.2 The following useful TABLE or HARMONY of the entire Jewish law, digested into proper heads, with references to the several parts of the Pentateuch where the respective laws occur, will assist the Bible student in investigating the tenor and design of the Mosaic Institutes, and also facilitate his references to every part of them. It is copied from Mr. Wilson's "Archæological Dictionary," article Law; where it is stated to be "taken from a manuscript in the Library of St. John Baptist's College" (Oxford), "given by Archbishop Laud," and probably either compiled by him or by his direction. It is divided into three classes, exhibiting the Moral, Ceremonial, and Political Law.
THE FIRST CLASS.
The Moral Law written on the Two Tables, containing the
The first Table, which includes
THE SECOND CLASS.
The Ceremonial Law may be fitly reduced to the following
Exod. Levitic. Numb, Dentchap. chap. chap. chap. 17.
Of the matter and structure of the 25,26,27.
Of the instruments of the same; viz.
The altar of burnt-offering,
of the priests and their vestments for
Of the choosing of the Levites,.
Of their office in blessing,
Of their office in offering, which func-
of the manner of the burnt-offerings,
-of the sacrifices accord-
For sin committed through ignorance
of the law,
of the fact,
For sin committed wittingly, yet not
The special law of sacrifices for sin,.
Of the sweet incense,
Of the use of ordinary oblations, where
of there were several kinds observed
Of the consecration of the high-priests
and other priests,
Of the consecrations and office of the
instruments of the tabernacle,
18. 3. 8.
23, 34. 12,13-25.
*៩ ៩៩៩៩ ៨ | | | |៩៩ | |
6. 17. 19.
THIS division of the Sacred Writings comprises twelve books; viz. from Joshua to Esther inclusive: the first seven of these books are, by the Jews, called the former prophets, probably because they treat of the more ancient periods of Jewish history, and because they are most justly supposed to be written by prophetical men. The events recorded in these books occupy a period of almost one thousand years, which commences at the death of Moses, and terminates with the great national reform effected by Nehemiah, after the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity.
It is evident, from an examination of the historical books, that they are collections from the authentic records of the Jewish nation; and it should seem, that though the substance of the several histories was written under divine direction, when the events were fresh in memory, and by persons who were evidently contemporary with the transactions which they have narrated, yet that under the same direction they were disposed in the form, in which they have been transmitted to us, by some other person, long afterwards, and probably all by the same hand, and about the same time. Nothing, indeed, is more certain than that very ample memoirs or records of the Hebrew republic were written from the first commencement of the theocracy, to which the authors of these books very frequently refer. Such a practice is necessary in a well constituted state: we have evidence from the Sacred Writings that it anciently obtained among the heathen nations (compare Esther ii. 23. and vi. 1.); and there is evident proof that it likewise prevailed among the Israelites from the very beginning of their polity. (See Exod. xvii. 14.) Hence it is that we find the book of Jasher referred to in Josh. x. 13. and 2 Sam. i. 18., and that we also find such frequent references to the Chronicles of the Kings
On the Jewish Divisions of the Canon of Scripture, see Vol. I. p. 203.
of Israel and Judah in the books of Samuel and Kings, and also to the books of Gad, Nathan, and Iddo. This conjecture is further strengthened by the two following circumstances, namely, first, that the days when the transactions took place are sometimes spoken of as being long since past, and, secondly, that things are so frequently mentioned as remaining to this day (as stones, names of places, rights and possessions, customs and usages); which clauses were subsequently added to the history by the inspired collectors in order to confirm and illustrate it to those of their own age. The learned commentator Henry, to whom we are indebted for these hints, thinks it not unlikely that the historical books, to the end of Kings, were compiled by the prophet Jeremiah, a short time before the captivity: he founds this opinion upon 1 Sam. xxvii. 6., where it is said of Ziklag, that it "pertaineth to the kings of Judah to this day," which form of expression, he very justly remarks, commenced after the time of Solomon, and consequently terminated at the time of the captivity. The remaining five books, from 1 Chronicles to Esther, he thinks it still more probable, were compiled by Ezra the scribe, some time after the captivity; to whom uninterrupted testimony ascribes the completion of the sacred canon.
But, although we cannot determine with certainty the authors of the historical books, "yet we may rest assured that the Jews, who had already received inspired books from the hands of Moses, would not have admitted any others as of equal authority, if they had not been fully convinced that the writers were supernaturally assisted. Next
2 Thus in 1 Sam. ix. 9., "he that is now called a prophet was beforetime called a seer."
3 See Josh. iv. 9. vii. 26. viii. 29. x. 27. 1 Sam. vi. 18.
4 See Josh. v. 9. vii. 26. Judg. i. 26. xv. 19. xviii. 12. 2 Kings xiv. 7. See Judg. i. 21. and 1 Sam. xxvii. 6.
• See 1 Sam. v. 5. and 2 Kings xvii. 41.
to the testimony of Christ and his apostles, which corrobo- | denominated, because it contains a narration of the achieverates all our reasoning respecting the inspiration of the Old ments of Joshua the son of Nun, who had been the minister Testament (and, when distinct arguments for any particular of Moses, and succeeded him in the command of the chilbook cannot be found, supplies their place), we must de- dren of Israel; but by whom this book was written is a pend, in the case before us, upon the testimony of the Jews. question concerning which learned men are by no means And although the testimony of a nation is far from being, in agreed. every instance, a sufficient reason for believing its sacred 1. From the absence of Chaldee words, and others of a books to be possessed of that divine authority which is later date, some are of opinion, not only that the book is of ascribed to them; yet the testimony of the Jews has a pe- very great antiquity, but also that it was composed by Joshua culiar title to be credited, from the circumstances in which himself. Of this opinion were several of the fathers, and it was delivered. It is the testimony of a people, who, having the talmudical writers, and among the moderns, Gerhard, already in their possession genuine inspired books, were the Diodati, Huet, Alber, Bishops Patrick, Tomline, and Gray, better able to judge of others which advanced a claim to and Dr. A. Clarke, who ground their hypothesis principally inspiration; and who, we have reason to think, far from be- upon the following arguments:ing credulous with respect to such a claim, or disposed precipitately to recognise it, proceeded with deliberation and care in examining all pretensions of this nature, and rejected them when not supported by satisfactory evidence. They had been forewarned that false prophets should arise, and deliver their own fancies in the name of the Lord; and, while they were thus put upon their guard, they were furnished with rules to assist them in distinguishing a true from a pretended revelation. (Deut. xviii. 20-22.) We have a proof that the ancient Jews exercised a spirit of discrimination in this matter, at a period indeed later than that to which we refer, in their conduct with respect to the apocryphal books; for, although they were written by men of their own nation, and assumed the names of the most eminent personages,-Solomon, Daniel, Ezra, and Baruch,-yet they rejected them as human compositions, and left the infallible church to mistake them for divine. The testimony, then, of the Jews, who without a dissenting voice have asserted the inspiration of the historical books, authorizes us to receive them as a part of the oracles of God, which were committed to their care."
(1.) Joshua is said (ch. xxiv. 26.) to have written the transactions there recorded "in the book of the law of God," so that the book which bears his name forms a continuation of the book of Deuteronomy, the last two chapters of which they think were written by Joshua. But, if we examine the context of the passage just cited, we shall find that it refers, not to the entire book, but solely to the renewal of the covenant with Jehovah by the Israelites.
(2.) In the passage (ch. xxiv. 29. et seq.) where the death and burial of Joshua are related, the style differs from the rest of the book, in the same manner as the style of Deut. xxxiii. and xxxiv. varies, in which the decease and burial of Moses are recorded; and Joshua is here called, as Moses is in Deuteronomy, the servant of God, which plainly proves that this passage was added by a later hand.
(3.) The author intimates (ch. v. 1.) that he was one of those who passed into Canaan.
(4.) The whole book breathes the spirit of the law of Moses, which is a strong argument in favour of its having been written by Joshua, the particular servant of Moses.
The last three of these arguments are by no means destiThe historical books are of very great importance for the tute of weight, but they are opposed by others which show right understanding of some other parts of the Old Testa- that the book, as we now have it, is not coeval with the ment: those portions, in particular, which treat on the life transactions it records. Thus, we read in Josh. xv. 63. that and reign of David, furnish a very instructive key to many the children of Judah could not drive out the Jebusites, the of his psalms; and the prophetical books derive much light inhabitants of Jerusalem, "but the Jebusites dwell with the from these histories. But the attention of the sacred writers children of Judah at Jerusalem to this day." Now this joint was not wholly confined to the Jewish people: they have occupation of Jerusalem by these two classes of inhabitants given us many valuable, though incidental, notices concern- did not take place till after Joshua's death, when the children ing the state of the surrounding nations; and the value of of Judah took that city (Judg. i. 8.), though the Jebusites these notices is very materially enhanced by the considera- continued to keep possession of the strong hold of Zion, tion, that, until the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, the two whence they were not finally expelled until the reign of latest Jewish historians, little or no dependence can be David. (2 Sam. v. 6-8.) The statement in Josh. iv. 9. placed upon the relations of heathen writers.2 But these (that the stones set up as a memorial of the passage of the books are to be considered not merely as a history of the Israelites over Jordan are standing to this day) was evidently Jewish church: they also clearly illustrate the proceedings added by some later writer. The same remark will apply of God towards the children of men, and form a perpetual to Josh. xv. 13-19. compared with Judg. i. 10-15. Josh. comment on the declaration of the royal sage, that "Right- xvi. 10. with Judg. i. 29. and to Josh. xix. 47. collated with eousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any peo- Judg. xviii. 29. Since, then, it appears from internal eviple." (Prov. xiv. 34.) While they exhibit a mournful but dence that the book was not written by Joshua himself, the impartial view of the depravity of the human heart, and thus question recurs again, by whom was the book composed or prove that "man is very far gone from original righteous-compiled? Dr. Lightfoot ascribes it to Phineas; Calvin ness;" they at the same time show "the faithfulness of God thinks their conjecture most probable, who refer the writing to his promises, the certain destruction of his enemies, and of this book, or at least the compilation of the history, to the his willingness to extend mercy to the returning penitent. high-priest Eleazar (whose death is recorded in the very last They manifest, also, the excellency of true religion, and its verse of the book); because it was the high-priest's duty tendency to promote happiness in this life, as well as in that not only to teach the people orally, but also by writing to which is to come; and they furnish us with many propheti-instruct posterity in the ways of God. Henry, as we have cal declarations, the striking fulfilment of which is every way calculated to strengthen our faith in the word of God."
ON THE BOOK OF JOSHUA.
1 Author, genuineness, and credibility of this book.-II. Argument.-III. Scope and design.-IV. Synopsis of its contents. -V. Observations on the book of Jusher mentioned in
Joshua x. 13.
I. THE book of Joshua, which in all the copies of the Old Testament immediately follows the Pentateuch, is thus
Dick's Essay on the Inspiration of the Scriptures, pp. 184. 186. Herodotus and Thucydides, the two most ancient profane historians extant, were contemporary with Ezra and Nehemiah, and could not write with any certainty of events much before their own time. Bishop Stillingfleet has admirably proved the obscurity, defects, and uncertainty of all ancient profane history, in the first book of his Origines Sacræ, pp. 1-65. 8th edit. folio.
already seen, ascribes it to Jeremiah; and Moldenhawers and Van Til, to Samuel. But, by whatever prophet or inspired writer this book was composed, it is evident from comparing Josh. xv. 63. with 2 Sam. v. 6-8. that it was written before the seventh year of David's reign, and, consequently, could not have been written by Ezra.
Further, if the book of Judges were not written later than the beginning of Saul's reign, as some eminent, critics are disposed to think, or later than the seventh year of David's reign, which is the opinion of others, the book of Joshua must necessarily have been written before one or other of those dates, because the author of the book of Judges not only repeats some things verbatim from Joshua, and slightly also, in two several instances (Judg. i. 1. and ii. 6—8.), touches upon others which derive illustration from it; but
Calvin, Proleg. in Jos. op. tom. i. in fine. This great reformer, however, leaves the question undetermined, as being at most conjectural and uncertain. 4 See p. 213. supra. • Introd. ad Libros Biblicos, p. 36. Opus Analyticum, vol. i. p. 410. Judg. ii. 6-9. is repeated from Josh. xxiv. 28-31. and Judg. i. 29. from Thus Judg. i. 10-15. 20. derives light from Josh. xv.
Josh. xvi. 10.
commences his narrative from the death of Joshua, which was related in the close of the preceding book. If the book of Joshua had not been previously extant, the author of Judges would have begun his history from the occupation and division of the land of Canaan, which was suitable to his design in writing that book.
2. Whoever was the author of the book of Joshua, it is manifest, from the following considerations, that it was compiled from ancient, authentic, and contemporary docu
(1.) The example of Moses, who committed to writing the transactions of his own time, leads us to expect that some continuation would necessarily be made, not only to narrate the signal fulfilment of those promises, which had been given to the patriarchs, but also to preserve an account of the division of the land of Canaan among the particular tribes, as a record for future ages; and thus prevent disputes and civil wars, which in process of time might arise between powerful and rival tribes."
(2.) This remark is corroborated by express testimony: for in Josh. xviii. we not only read that the great captain of the Israelites caused a survey of the land to be made and described in a book, but in xxiv. 25. the author relates that Joshua committed to writing an account of the renewal of the covenant with God; whence it is justly inferred that the other transactions of this period were preserved in some authentic and contemporaneous document or commentary. (3.) Without some such document the author of this book could not have specified the limits of each tribe with so much minuteness, nor have related with accuracy the discourses of Caleb (Josh. xiv. 6-12.); neither could he have correctly reJated the discourses of Phinehas and the delegates who accompanied him, to the tribes beyond Jordan (Josh. xxii. 16-20.), nor the discourses of the tribes themselves (xxii. 21-30.), nor of Joshua (xxiii. and xxiv.); nor could he have so arranged the whole, as to be in perfect harmony with the law of Moses.
(4.) Without a contemporaneous and authentic document, the author would not have expressed himself, as in ch. v. 1., as if he had been present in the transactions which he has related, nor would he have written, as he has done in vi. 25., that "she dwelleth in Israel unto this day;" and this document he has expressly cited in x. 13, by the title of the "Book of Jasher," or of the Upright. To these proofs may be added the two following, viz:
(5.) "The absence of any traces of disputes or civil wars among the tribes, concerning their respective boundaries. "Some document of acknowledged authority, accurately settling the bounds of the several tribes, must have existed from the very partition, by reference to which disputes of this kind might be settled, or the peaceful state of the growing tribes would have been entirely without any example in the history of mankind.
(6.) "Without the existence of contemporaneous and authoritative records, the allotment of thirteen cities to the priests (ch. xxi. 13-19.) would have been nugatory. Aaron's family could not have been, at the time of the allotment, sufficiently numerous to occupy those cities. But it is altogether unlikely that these, with the adjoining lands, were left entirely unoccupied in expectation of their future owners. To afford security, therefore, to the sacerdotal family for their legitimate rights, when they should be in a condition to claim them, some document contemporaneous with the appropriation must have existed. Without such a document, innumerable disputes must have arisen, whenever they attempted to claim their possessions."2
3. Equally clear is it that the author of this book has made his extracts from authentic documents with religious fidelity, and, consequently, it is worthy of credit: for,
mention of Joshua until after his death; whence it is highly probable that the commentary, from which this book was compiled, was originally written by Joshua himself.
(2.) This book was received as authentic by the Jews in that age when the original commentary was extant, and the author's fidelity could be subjected to the test of examination; and,
(3.) Several of the transactions related in the book of Joshua are recorded by other sacred writers with little or no material variations; thus, we find the conquest and division of Canaan, mentioned by Asaph (Psal. lxxviii. 53-65.compared with Psal. xliv. 2-4.); the slaughter of the Canaanites by David (Psal. Ixviii. 13-15.); the division of the waters of Jordan (Psal. cxiv. 1-5. Hab. iii. 8.); the terrible tempest of hailstones after the slaughter of the southern Canaanites (Hab. iii. 11-13.) compared with Josh. x. 9-11.); and the setting up of the tabernacle at Shiloh (Josh. xviii. 1.), in the books of Judges (xviii. 31.) and Samuel. (1 Sam. i. 3. 9. 24. and iii. 21.)
(4.) Lastly, every thing related in the book of Joshua not only accurately corresponds with the age in which that hero lived, but is further confirmed by the traditions current among heathen nations, some of which have been preserved by ancient and profane historians of undoubted character. Thus there are ancient monuments extant, which prove that the Carthaginians were a colony of Tyrians who escaped from Joshua; as also that the inhabitants of Leptis in Africa came originally from the Sidonians, who abandoned their country on account of the calamities with which it was overwhelmed.4 The fable of the Phoenician Hercules originated in the history of Joshua ; and the overthrow of Og the king of Bashan, and of the Anakims who were called giants, is considered as having given rise to the fable of the overthrow of the giants." The tempest of hailstones mentioned in Josh. x. 11. was transformed by the poets into a tempest of stones, with which (they pretend) Jupiter overwhelmed the enemies of Hercules in Arim, which is exactly the country where Joshua fought with the children of Anak.'
The Samaritans are by some writers supposed to have received the book of Joshua, but this opinion appears to have originated in mistake. They have indeed two books extant, bearing the name of Joshua, which differ very materially from our Hebrew copies. One of these is a chronicle of events from Adam to the year of the Hijra 898, corresponding with A. D. 1492;8 and the other is a similar chronicle badly compiled, from the death of Moses to the death of Alexander Severus. It consists of forty-seven chapters, filled with fabulous accounts, written in the Arabic language, but in Samaritan characters.9
II. The book of Joshua comprises the history of about seventeen years, or, according to some chronologers, of twenty-seven or thirty years: it is one of the most important documents in the old covenant; and it should never be separated from the Pentateuch, of which it is at once both the continuation and the completion." The Pentateuch contains a history of the acts of the great Jewish legislator, and the laws upon which the Jewish church was to be established: and the book of Joshua relates the history of Israel under the command and government of Joshua, the conquest of Canaan, and its subsequent division among the Israelites; together with the provision made for the settlement and establishment of the Jewish church in that country.
III. From this view of the argument of Joshua, we may easily perceive that the SCOPE and DESIGN of the inspired writer of this book were to demonstrate the faithfulness of God, in the perfect accomplishment of all his promises to
See particularly Justin, lib. xxxvi. c. 2. and Tacitus, Hist. lib. v. cc. 2, 3. On the falsely alleged contradictions between the sacred and profané
historians, see Vol. I. Part VI. chap. vii.
(Bishop Watson's Collection of Theological Tracts, vol. i. p. 354.) 4 Allix's Reflections upon the Books of the Old Testament, chap. ii.
5 Procopius (Vandal. lib. ii. c. 10.) cites a Phoenician inscription; con"taining a passage which he has translated into Greek, to the following purJoshua) the robber, the son of Nave." Suidas cites the inscription thus:port:-"We are they who flee from the face of Jesus (the Greek name of "We are the Canaanites whom Jesus the robber expelled." The difference between these two writers is not material, and may be accounted for by the same passage being differently rendered by different translators, or being quoted from memory,-no unusual occurrence among profane writers. 6 Polybius, Frag. cxiv. Sallust. Bell. Jugurthin. c. xxii.
(1.) In the first place he has literally copied the speeches of Caleb, Phinehas, of the tribes beyond Jordan, and of Joshua, and in other passages has so closely followed his authority, as to write in v. I. "until we were passed over, and in vi. 25. that Rahab "dwelleth in Israel unto this day." Hence, also, the tribes are not mentioned in the geographical order in which their respective territories were situate, but according to the order pursued in the original document,namely, according to the order in which they received their tracts of land by lot. (Josh. xv.-xix.) Lastly, in conformity to his original document, the author has made no honourable 1 Jahn and Ackermann, Introd. in Libros Sacros Vet. Fœd. part ii. §§ 25-38. 2 For the two preceding remarks, the author is indebted to the Rev. Dr. Turner's and Mr. Whittingham's translation of Jahn's Introduction, p. 227. New York, 1827.
Allix's Reflections. ut supra. Huet, Demonstratio Evangelica, vol. i.
pp. 273-282. Amstel. 1680. 8vo. Some learned men have supposed that the poetical fable of Phaeton was founded on the miracle of the sun standing still (Josh. x. 12-14.); but on a calm investigation of the supposed resem blance, there does not appear to be any foundation for such an opinion. 8 Jahn and Ackermann, Introd. in Libros, Vet. Foed. part ii. § 27. note. • Fabricii Codex Apocryphus Veteris Testamenti, p. 876. et seq.
the patriarchs, Abraham (Gen. xiii. 15.), Isaac (xxvi. 4.), Jacob (xxxv. 12.), and Joseph (1. 24.), and also to Moses (Exod. iii. 8.), that the children of Israel should obtain possession of the land of Canaan. At the same time we behold the divine power and mercy signally displayed in cherishing; protecting, and defending his people, amid all the trials and difficulties to which they were exposed; and as the land of Canaan is in the New Testament considered as a type of heaven, the conflicts and trials of the Israelites have been considered as figuratively representing the spiritual conflicts of believers in every age of the church. Although Joshua, whose piety, courage, and disinterested integrity are conspicuous throughout his whole history, is not expressly mentioned in the New Testament as a type of the Messiah, yet he is universally allowed to have been a very eminent one. He bore our Saviour's name; the Alexandrian version, giving his name a Greek termination, uniformly calls him Inocus-Jesus; which appellation is also given to him in Acts vii. 45. and Heb. iv. 8. Joshua saved the people of God (as the Israelites are emphatically styled in the Scriptures) from the Canaanites: Jesus Christ saves his people from their sins (Matt. i 21.)
A further design of this book is to show the portion which was allotted to each tribe. With this view, the author more than once reminds the Israelites that not one thing had failed of all the good things which the LORD spake concerning them; and that "all had come to pass unto them, and not one thing had failed thereof." (ch. xxiii. 14. with xxi. 45.) Further, the historian does not notice any subsequent alteration of the division: for the conquest of the cities of Hebron and Debir, mentioned by Caleb in ch. xv. 13-19., took place under Joshua, and is introduced in Judg. i. 10 15. 20., only as a retrospective notice of an event of a preceding age. What is said of the tribes of Judah, Ephraim, and Manasseh (Josh. xv. 63. xvi. 10. xvii. 12.), does not prove that the book is of recent origin; although, as the passages are not connected with the series of the narration, they may possibly be interpolations. Lastly, the places (xv. 9. xviii. 25.), in which Kirjath-jearim is ascribed to the tribe of Judah and Gibeon, Beeroth and Kephira to that of Benjamin, although they were cities of the Gibeonites, have no relation to the transaction mentioned in 2 Sam. iv. 2. and xxi. 6., for Gibeon was afterwards given (Josh. xxi. 17.) to the priests: whence it is evident that these cities were left in possession of the Gibeonites, who were servants of the sanctuary, and merely subjected to the jurisdiction of the tribes to which they are ascribed.1
IV. The book of Joshua may be conveniently divided into three parts: viz.
PART 1. The History of the Occupation of Canaan by the Israelites (cc. i.-xii.); comprising,
SECT. 1. The call and confirmation of Joshua to be captaingeneral of that people. (i.)
SECT. 2. The sending out of the spies to bring an account of the city of Jericho. (ii.) SECT. 3. The miraculous passage of the Israelites over Jordan (iii.), and the setting up of twelve memorial stones. (iv.) SECT. 4. The circumcision of the Israelites at Gilgal, and their celebration of the first passover in the land of Canaan; the appearance of the "captain of the Lord's host" to Joshua near Jericho. (v.)
SECT. 5. The capture of Jericho (vi.) and of Ai. (vii. viii.) SECT. 6. The politic confederacy of the Gibeonites with the children of Israel. (ix.)
SECT. 7. The war with the Canaanitish kings, and the miracle of the sun's standing still. (x.)
SECT. 8. The defeat of Jabin and his confederates. (xi.) SECT. 9. A summary recapitulation of the conquests of the Israelites both under Moses in the eastern part of Canaan (xii. 1-6.), and also under Joshua himself in the western part. (xii. 7--24.)
PART II. The Division of the conquered Land; containing, SECT. 1. A general division of Canaan. (xiii.) SECT. 2. A particular apportionment of it among the Israelites, including the portion of Caleb (xiv.); the lot of Judah (xv.); of Ephraim (xvi.); of Manasseh (xvii.); of Benjamin (xviii.); and of the six tribes of Simeon, Zebulun, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, Dan, and of Joshua himself. (xix.) SECT. 3. The appointment of the cities of refuge (xx.) and of the Levitical cities. (xxi.)
1 Jahn's Introduction by Prof. Turner, p. 221.
The circumstances observed in the division of the promised land be speak a most wise and careful provision for a constant and uninterrupted distinction of tribes, families, and genealogies among the Hebrews; thence to preserve and clearly to ascertain the genealogy of Christ, theirs and our great Messiah; "the end of the law for righteousness;" in whom were to apparent completion of remarkable prophecies relating thereto, to make be completed all the purposes of this dispensation: it pleasing God, by the this one of the satisfactory and convincing evidences of his divine mission. SECT. 4. The dismission from the camp of Israel of the militia of the two tribes and a half who settled on the other side of Jordan, their consequent return, and the transactions resulting from the altar which they erected on the borders of Jordan in token of their communion with the children of Israel. (xxii.)
PART III. The Dying Addresses and Counsels of Joshua, his Death and Burial, &c.
SECT. 1. Joshua's address to the Israelites, in which he reminds them of the signal benefits conferred on them by God, and urges them to "cleave unto the LORD their God." (xxiii.)
SECT. 2. Joshua's dying address to the Israelites, and renewal of the covenant between them and God. (xxiv. 1--28.) These valedictory speeches of Joshua to the Israelites, like those of Moses, give us an idea of a truly great man, and of a wise and religious governor, the only aim of whose power is the glory of God, and the lasting hap piness of the community over which he presides.-An admirable example to be imitated in due proportion by all the princes of the earth.3 SECT. 3. The death and burial of Joshua, the burial of Joseph's bones, and the death of Eleazar the high-priest. (xxiv. 29-33.)
It is, however, necessary to remark, that there is some accidental derangement of the order of the chapters in this book occasioned, probably, by the ancient mode of rolling up manuscripts. If chronologically placed, they should be read thus: first chapter to the ninth verse; then the second chapter; then from the tenth verse to the end of the first chapter; after which should follow the third and consecutive chapters to the eleventh; then the twenty-second chapter, and the twelfth to the twenty-first chapter, inclusive; and, lastly, the twenty-third and twenty-fourth chapters.
V. A considerable difference of opinion subsists among learned men concerning the book of Jasher, mentioned in Josh. x. 13. In addition to the observations already offered,4 we may remark, that Bishop Lowth is of opinion, that it was a poetical book, no longer extant when the author of Joshua and Samuel lived and wrote.5
ON THE BOOK OF JUDGES.
I. Title.-II. Date and author.-III. Scope, chronology, and synopsis of its contents.-IV. Observations on some difficult passages in this book.
1. THE book of Judges derives its name from its containing the history of the Israelites from the death of Joshua to the time of Eli, under the administration of thirteen JUDGES, whom God raised up on special occasions to deliver his people from the oppression of their enemies, and to manage and restore their affairs. Concerning their powers and func
2 Pyle's Paraphrase on the Old Testament, vol. ii. p. 3.
5 The book of Jasher is twice quoted, first in Josh. x. 13. where the quo. tation is evidently poetical, and forms exactly three distiches.
"Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon,
And thou moon, in the valley of Ájalon:
And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed her course,
The second passage where the book of Jasher is cited is in 2 Sam. i. 18., where David's lamentation over Saul is said to be extracted from it. The custom of the Hebrews, in giving titles to their books from the initial word is well-known: thus Genesis is called Bereshith, &c. They also sometimes named the book from some remarkable word in the first sentence; thus the book of Numbers is sometimes called Bemidbar. We also find in their writings canticles which had been produced on important occasions, introduced by some form of this kind: az jashar (then sang), or vejushur peloni, &c. Thus az jashir Mosheh, then sang Moses" (Exod. xv. 1. the Samaritan Pentateuch reads jasher); ve-thashar Deborah, "and Deborah sang." (Judg. v. 1.) See also the inscription of Psal. xviii.) Thus the book of Jasher is supposed to have been some collection of sacred songs, composed at different times and on different occasions, and to have had this title, because the book itself and most of the songs began in general with this word, ve-jashar. Lowth's Prælect. pp. 306, 307. notes; or Dr. Gregory's translation, vol. ii. pp. 152, 153. notes. The book of Jasher, published at London in 1751, and reprinted at Bristol in 1829, is a shameless literary forgery. An account of it will be found in the Bibliographical Appendix to Vol. II.