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Containing an interval of Four Hundred and Seventy-six Years.
FROM THE DEATH OF MOSES TO THE DEATH OF ELI.
OF THE WAR CARRIED ON BY JOSHUA AGAINST THE CANAANITES,
AND THE SIGNAL SUCCESSES OF THE HEBREWS.
seh, (for half of this tribe had been permitted to have their habitation in the country of the Amor
ites, which was the seventh part of the land of WHEN Moses had been taken from among men, Canaan ;) he put them in mind what they had in the manner already described, and when all the promised Moses, and exhorted them that for the solemnities belonging to the mourning for him sake of the care that Moses had taken of them, were finished, Joshua commanded the multitude who had never been weary of taking pains for to get themselves ready for an expedition. He them, no not when he was dying; and for the also sent spies to Jericho,* to discover what forces sake of the public welfare, they would prepare they had, and what were their intentions. But he themselves, and readily perform what they had put his camp in order, as intending to pass over promised. So he took fifty thousand of them, and Jordan at a proper season. And calling to him the marched with them, from Abila to Jordan, sixty rulers of the tribe of Reubel, and the governors furlongs. of the tribe of Gad, and the half tribe of Manas When he had pitched his camp, the spiest came
* Josh. ii. 1. Jericho was a city of Canaan, which afterwards + The Amorites were one of the seven nations of Canaan. fell to the lot of the tribe of Benjamin, about seven leagues dis Hence Reland is willing to suppose, that Josephus did not here tant from Jerusalem, and two from Jordan. Moses calls it like. mean that their land beyond Jordan was a seventh part of the wise the city of palm-trees, Deut. xxxiv. 3, because there were whole land of Canaan, but meant the Amorites as a seventh nagreat numbers of them in the plains of Jericho; and not only of tion. His reason is, that Josepbus, as well as our Bible, genepalm-trees, but as Josephus tells us, (Antiq. lib. 4. c. 5.) balsam- rally distinguish the land beyond Jordan, from the land of trees likewise, which produced the precious liquor in such high Canaan. Nor can it be denied, that in strictness they were esteem among the ancients. The plain of Jericho was watered different. Yet after two tribes and a half of the twelve tribes with a rivulet, which was formerly salt and bitter, but was after came to inherit it, it might in a general way be included under wards sweetened by the prophet Elisha, 2 Kings ii. 21, 22; the land of Canaan, Palestine, or Judea. Of which we have a whereupon the adjacent country, which was watered by it, became clear example before us in Josephus, whose words evidently not only one of the most agreeable, but most fertile spots in all imply that, taking the whole land of Canaan, or that inhabited that country. As to the city itself, after it was destroyed by by all the twelve tribes together, and parting it into seven parts; Joshua, it was, in the days of Ahab, king of Israel, rebuilt by the part beyond Jordan was in quantity of ground one seventh Hiel the Bethelite, 1 Kings xvi. 24, and in the times of the last of the whole. And this agrees with Reland's map of that counkings of Judea, yielded to none except Jerusalem. For it was try. Although this land beyond Jordan was so peculiarly fruitadorned with a royal palace, wherein Herod the Great died; ful, and good for pasturage, as the two tribes and a half took with an hippodromus, or place where the Jewish nobility learned notice, Numb. xxxii. 1, 4, 16, that it maintained about a fifth to ride the great horse, and other arts of chivalry, with an am part of the whole people. siege of Jerusalem,
the treachery of its inhabitants provoked the make to be Caleb and Phineas) were valiant and religious men, Romans to destroy it. After the siege was over, there was and in the prime of their youth; that to pass unobserved, they another city built, but not upon the same place where the two changed their habits, as if they had come from a distant counformer stood, for the ruins of them are seen to this day. Of try; and if any one asked them any questions, their reply was what account and bigness it was we have no certain information; to this effect: “We are people from the east, and our companbut some later travellers inform us, that at present it is no more ions have heard of this powerful people, who were forty years than a poor nasty village of the Arabs. Weil's Geog. of the Old in the wilderness, without either guide or provision; and it was and New Testament; and Maundrell's Journey from Aleppo. B. | reported to us, that they had a God whom they called the King
to him immediately, well acquainted with the whole | brought the men down, and desired them, as soon state of the Canaanites. For at first, before they as they should have obtained possession of the land were all discovered, they took a full view of the city of Canaan, when it would be in their power to make of Jericho without disturbance, and saw which parts her amends for her preservation of them, to rememof the walls were strong, and which parts were in-ber what danger she had undergone for their sakes; secure, and which of the gates were so weak as might for, that if she had been caught concealing them, afford an entrance to their army. Now those that she could not have escaped a terrible destruction, met them took no notice of them when they saw she and all her family; and so bid them go 'home, them, and supposed they were only strangers, who and desired them to swear to her, to preserve her used to be very curious in observing every thing in and her family when they should take the city, and the city, and did not take them for enemies. At destroy all its inhabitants, as they had resolved to even they retired to a certain inn that was near the do. For, so far, she said, she had been assured by wall, whither they went to eat their supper, but when those divine miracles of which she had been informed. they had finished their repast, and were considering So these spies acknowledged that they owed her how to get away, information was given the king, thanks for what she had done already, and withal that there were some persons come from the He- swore to requite her kindness, not only in words, brews' camp to view the city, as spies; and that but in deeds; but they gave her this advice, that they were in the inn kept by Rahab, and were very when she should perceive that the city was about to solicitous that they might not be discovered. So he be taken, she should put her goods and all her family, sent immediately and commanded to catch them, by way of security, in her inn ; and hang out scarlet and bring them to him, that he might examine them threads before her doors or windows, that the comby torture, and learn what their business was there. mander of the Hebrews might know her house, and As soon as Rahab understood that these messengers take care to do her no harm. “For,” said they, were coming, she hid the spies under stalks of flax, “ we will inform him of this matter, because of the which were laid to dry on the top of her house, and concern thou hast had to preserve us; but if any of said to the messengers that were sent by the king, thy family fall in the battle, do not blame us; and we that certain unknown strangers had supped with her, beseech that God by whom we have sworn, not then a little before sun-setting, and were gone away; who to be displeased with us, as though we had broken might easily be taken, if they were any terror to the our oaths." So these men, when they had made city, or likcly to bring any danger to the king. So this agreement, went away; letting themselves down these messengers being thus* deluded by the woman, by a rope from the wall, and escaped ; and came and suspecting no imposition, went their ways, with- and told their own people whatsoever they had done out so much as searching the inn; but they imme- in their journey to this city. Joshua also told Eleadiately pursued them along those roads which they zar the high-priest, and the senate, what the spies most probably supposed them to have gone, and had sworn to Rahab, who confirmed what had been those particularly which led to the river ; but could sworn. hear no tidings of them; so they left off any further Now while Joshua, the commander, was in fear pursuit. But when the tumult was over, Rahab about their passing over Jordan, for the river ran
of Heaven and earth, and who (as they say) hath given them * It plainly appears by the history of these spics, and the innboth your and our country. Our principals have therefore sent keeper Rahab's deception of the king of Jericho's messengers, us to find out the truth hereof, and to report it to them. We by telling them what was false, in order to save the lives of the have likewise heard of their captain, whom they call Joshua, the spies, and yet the great commendation of her faith and good son of Nun, who put the Amalekites to flight, who destroyed works in the New Testament, Heb. xi. 32. Jam. ii. 25, as well Sihon and Og, the kings of Midian and Moab. Woe therefore as by many other parallel examples, both in the Old Testament be to us, and you, and all that flee to us for shelter! They are and in Josephus, that the best men did not then scruple to dea people who pity none, leave none alive, drive all out of their ceive those public enemies, who might justly be destroyed ; as country, and make peace with none. We are all accounted by also to deceive ill men, in order to save life, and deliver them. them infidels, profane, proud, and rebellious. Whoever of us or selves from the tyranny of their unjust oppressors; and this by you, therefore, that intend to take care of themselves, let them telling direct falsehoods. I mean all this where no oath was take their families, and be gone, lest they repent of their stay, demanded of them; otherwise they never durst venture on such when it is too late.”. By this means they imposed upon the a procedure. Nor was Josephus himself of any other opinion people; and, as Josephus informs us, went whither they would, or practice; as I shall remark in the note on Antiq. IX. 4, 3. and saw whatever they had a mind to, without any stop or ques. And observe, that I still call this woman Rahab an innkeeper, tion. They took a view of the walls, the gates, the ramparts, not a harlot; the whole history, both in our other copies, and and passed the whole day for men of curiosity only, without any especially in Josephus, implying no more. It was indeed so design. So that if any credit may be given to this account, it frequent a thing that women, who were innkeepers, were also was but just that they who thus imposed upon the Canaanites, harlots, or maintainers of harlots, that the word commonly used should, in the same manner, be imposed upon by the Gibeon for real harlots was usually given them. See Dr. Bernard's note ites. Chronicon Samaritanum Arabice scriptum, page 65. B. bere, and Judg. xi. 1. and Josephus, Antiq. V. 7.
with a strong current, and could not be passed over went forward, blowing with their seven trumpets, and with bridges, for there never had been bridges laid exhorted the army to be of good courage, and went over it hitherto; and while he suspected that if he round the city with the senate following them, and should attempt to make a bridge, the enemies would when the priests had only blown with their trumpets, f not afford him time to perfect it; and ferry-boats for they did nothing more at all, they returned to the they had none; God promised so to dispose of the camp. And when they had done this for six days, river that they might pass over it, and that by taking on the seventh Joshua gathered the armed men, and away the main part of its waters. So Joshua, after all the people together, and told them the city should two days, caused the army and the whole multitude now be taken ; since God would on that day give it to pass over in the following manner :-The priests them, by the falling down of the walls; and this of went first, having the ark with them; then went the their own accord and without their labour. . HowLevites, bearing the tabernacle and the vessels that ever, he charged them to kill every one whom they belonged to the sacrifices; after which the entire should take; and not to abstain from the slaughter multitude followed, according to their tribes, having of their enemies, either for weariness or for pity; their children and their wives in the midst of them, and not to fall on the spoil and be thereby diverted as being afraid for them lest they should be borne from pursuing their enemies as they ran away; but away by the stream. But as soon as the priests had to destroy all the animals, and to take nothing for entered the river first, it appeared fordable; the their own peculiar advantage. He commanded them depth of the water being restrained, and the sand also to bring together all the silver and gold, that it appearing at the bottom, because the current was might be set apart as first fruits unto God, out of neither so strong nor so swift, as to carry it away this glorious exploit, as having gotten them from the by its force; so they all passed over the river with- first city they took; only that they should save out fear, finding it to be in the very same state as Rahab and her kindred alive, because of the oath God had foretold he would put it in. But the priests which the spies had sworn to her. stood still in the midst of the river, till the multitude When he had said this, and had set his army should be passed over, and should get to the shore in order, he brought it against the city; so they in safety; and when all were gone over, the priests went round the city again, the ark going before came out also, and permitted the current to run freely them, and the priests encouraging the people to as it used to do before. Accordingly, the river, as
Accordingly, the river, as be zealous in the work; and when they had gone soon as the Hebrews were gone out of it, arose round it seven times, and bad stood a little, the again presently, and came to its proper height as wall fell down; while no instruments of war, nor before.*
any other force, was applied to it by the Hebrews. So the Hebrews went on farther fifty furlongs, and So they entered into Jericho, and slew all the pitched their camp at the distance of ten furlongs men that were therein, while they were affrighted from Jericho. But Joshua built an altar of those at the surprising. overthrow of the walls, and stonest which all the heads of the tribes, at the their courage was become useless, and they were command of the prophet, had taken out of the river; not able to defend themselves; so they were slain, to be afterward a memorial of the division of the and their throats cut, some in the ways, and others stream, and upon it offered sacrifice to God; and in as caught in their houses; nothing afforded them that place celebrated the passover, and had great assistance, but they all perished, even to the woplenty of all things which they had wanted hitherto. men and the children, and the city was filled with For they reaped the corn of the Canaanites, which dead bodies, and not one person escaped. They was now ripe; and took other things as prey; for also burnt the whole city, and the country about then it was that their former food, which was manna, it, but they saved alive Rahab, with her family, and of which they had eaten forty years, failed them. who had fled to her inn; and when she was brought
While the Israelites did this, and the Canaanites to him, Joshua owned that they owed her thanks did not attack them, but remained quiet within their for her preservation of the spies. He also said he own walls, Joshua resolved to besiege them. So on would not appear to be behind her in his benefacthe first day of the feast of the passover, the priests tion to her, and therefore he gave her certain carried the ark, round about which was some part lands immediately, and held her in great esteem of the armed men to be a guard to it. These priests ever afterwards.
* Josh. iv. 10.
where they lay which was not at all stony, was sufficient to sig. † It has been a custom in all nations to erect monuments of nify some memorable thing, which posterity would not fail to stone, in order to preserve the memory of covenants, victories, hand down from one generation to another. Patrick's Com. and other great transactions; and though there was no inscrip-mentary on Joshua, iv. 7. B. tion upon these stones, yet the number of them, and the place # Josh. vi. 13.
If any part of the city escaped the fire, he over- | what spoils he, by running some hazard, had threw it from its foundation, and denounced a found, he must give away, and offer them to God, curse* against its inhabitants, if any one should who stood in no need of them, made a deep ditch desire to rebuild it; how upon his laying the found in his tent, and laid them up therein, as supposing ations of the walls he should be deprived of his he should not only be concealed from his fellow eldest son, and upon finishing it he should lose his soldiers, but from God also. youngest son ;t but what happened hereupons Now the place where Joshua pitched his camp we shall speak of hereafter.
was called Gilgal,** which denotes liberty ;tt for Now there was an immense quantity of silver since they had now passed over the river Jordan, and gold, and besides those of brass also, that was they looked upon themselves as freed from the heaped together out of the city when it was taken; miseries which they had undergone from the no one transgressing the decree, nor purloining Egyptians, and in the wilderness. for their own peculiar advantage ; which spoils A few days after the calamity that befell Jericho, Joshua delivered to the priests, to be laid up Joshua sent three thousand armed men to take among their treasures ; and thus did Jericho Ai, a city situate above Jericho, but upon the perish.
fight of the people of Ai with them, they were But there was one Achar, the son of Charmi, driven back, and lost thirty-six of their men.II the son of Zebedias, of the tribe of Judah, who, When this was told the Israelites, it made them finding a royal garment woven entirely of gold ;|| very sad, and exceeding disconsolate; not so much and a piece of gold that weighed two hundred because of the relation the men that were destroy. shekels, T and thinking it a very hard case that ed bare to them, though those that were destroyed
Upon occasion of this devoting of Jericho to destruction, tolic Constitutions, VII. 2. and elsewhere, is evident by the and the exemplary punishment of Achar, who broke that cherem allusion to that name in the curse of Joshua, “Why hast thou or-anathema, and of the punishment of the future breaker of it, troubled us? The Lord shall trouble thee.” Where the Hebrew Hiel, 1 Kings xvi. 34, as also of the punishment of Saul for words allude only to the name Achar, but not to Achan; acbreaking the like cherem or anathema against the Amalekites, cordingly this valley of Achar or Achor, was and is a known 1 Sam. xv. we may observe what was the true meaning of that place, a little north of Gilgal, so called from the days of Joshua law, Levit. xxvii. 28. None devoted, which shall be devoted of to this day. See Josh. vii. 24, 26, Is. Ixv. 10. Hos. ii. 15, and men, shall be redeemed, but shall surely be put to death, i. e. Dr. Bernard's notes here. Whenever any of the Jews' public enemies had been for their || In the original, this robe is called a garment of Shinar, i.e. wickedness solemnly devoted to destruction, according to the of Babylon; and the general opinion is, that the richness and divine command, as were generally the seven wicked nations of excellency of it consisted not so much in the stuff whereof it Canaan, and those sinners the Amalekites, 1 Sam. xv. 18. (see was made, as in the colour whereof it was dyed, which most the note on IV. 7.) it was utterly unlawful to permit those ene suppose to have been scarlet, a colour in high esteem among the mies to be redeemed, but they were to be all utterly destroyed. | ancients, and for which the Babylonians were justly famous. See also Numb. xxi. 2, 3. The words of Joshua's execration Bochart, however, maintains, that the colour of this robe was are these :-Cursed be the man before the Lord, that raiseth up | various, and not all of one sort; that the scarlet colour the and buildeth this city Jericho; he shall lay the foundation there. Babylonians first received from Tyre, but the party-colour, of in his first-born, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates whether so woven or wrought with the needle, was of their own of it, Josh. vi. 26. “ This anathema (says Maimonides) was pro- invention, for which he produces many' passages out of Heathen nounced, that the miracle of the subversion of Jericho might be authors. Such as kept in perpetual memory; for whosoever saw the walls sunk
Non ego prætulerim Babylonica picta superbe deep in the earth, as he understands it,) would clearly discern,
Texta, Semiramia quæ variantur acu.
Mart. Ep. lib. 3. that this was not the form of a building destroyed by men, but
Hæc mihi Memphitis tellus dat munera, victa est miraculously thrown down by God.” Hiel, however, in the reign
Pectine Niliaco jam Babylonis acus.
Toid. lib. 14. of Ahab, either not remembering, or not believing this denunciation, was so taken with the beauty of its situation, that he with many more citations out of several other writers. However rebuilt Jericho, and, as the sacred history informs us, laid the this be, it is certain, that the robe could not fail to be a very foundation thereof in Abiram, his first-born, and set up the gates rich and splendid one, and therefore captivated either Achar's thereof in his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the pride, or rather covetousness; since his purpose seems to have Lord, which he spake to Joshua, the son of Nun, 1 Kings xvi. been, not so much to wear it himself, as to sell it for a large 34. However, after that Hiel had ventured to rebuild it, no | price. Bochart's Phaleg. lib. 1. c. 9. Saurin, lib. 3. dissertation scruple was made of inhabiting it; for it afterwards became fa 3. B. mous upon many accounts. Here the prophet sweetened the 1 Here Dr. Bernard justly observes, that a few words are waters of the spring that supplied it, and the neighbouring coun- dropped out of Josephus's copies, on account of the repetition tries. Here Herod built a sumptuous palace; it was the dwell of the word shekels, and that it ought to be read thus, A piece ing.place of Zaccheus, and was honoured with the presence of of gold that weighed 50 shekels, and one of silver, that weighed Christ, who vouchsafed likewise to work some miracles here. 200 shekels, as in our other copies. Josh. vii. 21. Univer. Hist. lib 1. c. 7. B.
** Josh. y. 9. + Josh. vi. 26. # This is now wanting in Josephus.
tt I agree with Dr. Bernard, and approve of Josephus's interThat the name of this thief was not Achan, as in the com- pretation of Gilgal, for liberty. mon copies, but Achar, as here in Josephus, and in the Apos # Josh. vii. 5.
were all good men, and deserved their esteem, as | posed the lot to the several families thereto be. by the despair it occasioned; for while they be- longing, so it was found to belong to the family lieved that they were already in effect in posses- of Zachar; and when the inquiry was made man sion of the land, and should bring back the army by man, they took Achar, who, upon God's reout of the battle without loss, as God had promis- ducing him to a terrible extremity, could not deny ed beforehand, they now saw unexpectedly their the fact, but confessed the theft, and produced enemies bold with success; so they put sackcloth what he had taken in the midst of them; so this over their garments, and continued in tears and man was immediately put to death,* and attained lamentation all the day, without the least inquiry no more than to be buried in the night, in a disafter food, but laid what had happened greatly to graceful manner, and such as was suitable to a heart.
condemned malefactor. When Joshua saw the army so much afflicted, When Joshua had thus purified the host, he and possessed with forebodings of evil, as to their led them against Ai; and having by night laid an whole expedition; he used freedom with God, ambush round about the city, he attacked the and said, “We are not come thus far out of any enemies as soon as it was day; but as they adrashness of our own, as though we thought our- vanced boldly against the Israelites, because of selves able to subdue this land with our own their former victory, he made them believe he reweapons, but at the instigation of Moses thy ser- tired, and by that means drew them a great way vant, because thou hast promised us by many from the city, they still supposing that they were signs, that thou wouldst give us this land for a pursuing their enemies, and despised them, as possession, and that thou wouldst make our army though the case had been the same with that in always superior in war to our enemies, and ac- the former battle; after which Joshua ordered his cordingly some success has already attended upon forces to turn about, and placed them against their us, agreeably to thy promises; but because we front.
front. He then made the signals agreed upon to have now unexpectedly been foiled, and have lost those that lay in ambush, and so excited them to some men out of our army, we are grieved at it, fight; so they ran suddenly into the city, the inas fearing what thou hast promised us, and what habitants being upon the walls, nay others of them Moses foretold us cannot be depended on; and being in perplexity, and coming to see those that our future expectation troubles us the more, be- were without the gates. cause we have met with such a disaster in this took the city, and slew all that they met with ;
first attempt. But do thou, O Lord, free us from but Joshua forced those that came against him to - these suspicions, for thou art able to find a cure come to a close fight, and discomfited them, and
for these disorders, by giving us victory, which made them run away; and when they were driven will both take away the grief we are in at present, towards the city, and thought it had not been and prevent our distrust at what is to come.” touched, as soon as they saw it was taken, and
These intercessions Joshua put up to God, as perceived it was burnt, with their wives and chilhe lay prostrate on his face; whereupon God dren, they wandered about in the fields in a scatanswered him, that he should rise up, and purify tered condition, and were nowhere able to defend his host from the pollution which was got into it
, themselves, because they had none to support for that consecrated things had been impudently them. Now when this calamity was come upon stolen, and that this was the occasion which this the men of Ai, there were a great number of childefeat had happened to them, and that when they dren, and women, and servants, and an immense should search out and punish the offender, he quantity of furniture. The Hebrews also took would ever take care they should have the victory herds of cattle, and a great deal of money, for this over their enemies. This Joshua told the people'; was a rich country; so when Joshua came to and calling Eleazar, the high-priest, and the men Gilgal, he divided all these spoils among the solin authority, he cast lots, tribe by tribe ; and when diers. the lot showed that this wicked action was done But the Gibeonitest who inhabited very near by one of the tribe of Judah, he then again pro- to Jerusalem, when they saw what miseries had
* Josh. vii. 25. Since the law against sacrilege condemns | It is a question among the casuists, whether the Gibeonites transgressors to the flames, and God commanded the person could, with a good conscience, pretend that they were foreign. here guilty to be burnt accordingly, Josh. vii. 18, the Jews ers, and tell a lie to save their lives? And to this Puffendorf affirm, that Achar was actually burnt, and whereas it is said in (Droit de la Nature, lib. 4. c. 2.) thus replies, “ The artifice of the text, that he was stoned, they think that this was done, not the Gibeonites,” says he, “ had nothing blamable in it, nor judicially, but accidentally, by the people, who were so highly does it properly deserve the name of a lie; for what crime is provoked, that they could not forbear casting stones at him as there in any one's making use of an innocent fiction, in order he was led to execution. Vid. Munst. on Joshua vij. B. to elude the fury of an enemy that would destroy all 'verore