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happened to the inhabitants of Jericho, and to favour of God, and his gift to them, they were to
them? Nor did the Israelites, indeed, properly receive any are come, because of the name of the Lord thy God, for we have
that they had pitched their camp at a certain foun- || the morning he fell upon the enemies as they were tain not far from the city, and were getting ready going up to the siege, and when he had discomfor the siege, they called upon Joshua to assist fited them, he followed and pursued them down them; for such was their case, as to expect to be the descent of the hills. The place is called Bethdestroyed by these Canaanites, but to suppose horon, where he also understood that God assisted that they should be saved by those that came for him, which he declared by thunder and thunderthe destruction of the Canaanites, because of the bolts, as also by the falling of hail* larger than league of friendship that was between them. Ac- usual. Moreover it happened that the day was cordingly Joshua hastened with his whole army lengthened,f that the night might not come on too to assist them, and, marching day and night, in soon, and be an obstruction to the zeal of the He
* Josh. X. 11.
the miracle in terms more suitable to it, this would have been a + This miracle is thus related in holy writ: “Joshua said, in plain contrariety to all the rules of science then in use. The the sight of all Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, and people who heard him utter the words, Earth, rest upon thy thou Moon in the valley of Ajalon; and the sun stood still, and axis, would have thought him distracted, and those who read the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves of his account of what had happened, if related in suitable exprestheir enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher ? So sions, would have decried it as false in fact, or passed it by the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hastened not to with contempt and disregard, as a wild fancy or blunder of his go down about a whole day; and there was no day like that, before it or after it, that the Lord hearkened unto the voice II. In relation to the places over which the two heavenly of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel.” (Josh. x. 12, &c.) bodies were to stand, the sun over Gibeon and the moon over Now, for the better understanding of these words, we must the valley Ajalon, we must observe, that (even upon the suppoobserve,
sition of the sun's motion) the Jewish general cannot be thought 1. That nothing is more common in Scripture, than to ex to speak in a proper and philosophical sense. For since the press things, not according to the strict rules of philosophy, but | sun is almost a million of times bigger than the earth, and 95 according to their appearances, and the vulgar apprehension millions of miles distant from it, to justify the strict sense concerning them. The sun and moon, for instance, are called of the words, a line drawn from the centre of the sun to two great lights; (Gen. i. 16.) but however that title may agree that of the earth, must exactly pass by Gibeon, which we know with the sun, it is plain that the moon is but a small body, the it cannot do, because no part of the Holy Land lies within the least that has yet been discovered in the planetary system, and tropics; and therefore we must conclude, that Joshua here that it has no light at all, but what it borrows, and reflects from speaks according to the outward appearance of things, which the rays of the sun; and yet, because it is placed near us, it ap- makes the sense of his words plain and intelligible. pears to us larger than other heavenly luminaries, and from that Wherever we are, (if so be we are not hindered by objects appearance the holy Scriptures give it such an appellation. immediately surrounding us,) we can cast our eyes upon part
And in like manner, because the sun seems to us to move, of the surface of the earth, and at the same time take into our and the earth to be at rest, the Scriptures speak a great deal of prospect some small extent of the firmament of heaven, which the pillars, and basis, and foundations, of the earth, and of the seems, as it were, to cover the other; and each celestial body sun's rejoicing, like a giant, to run its race, (Psalm xix. 5,) which we perceive in this extent above, appears to us to be diand of his arising, and going down, and hasting to the place rectly over such and such part of the earth, as we alternately where it arose, foc. (Eccles. i. 5.) Whereas it is certain, that turn our eyes to: and it is thus, that the sun, when Joshua if the sun were made to revolve round about the earth, the spake, seemed to him, and to those that were with him, to be general law of nature would thereby be violated; the harmony over Gibeon, and the moon to be over the valley of Ajalon. This and proportion of the heavenly bodies destroyed; and no small valley, in all likelihood, took its name from some adjacent confusion and disorder brought into the fraine of the universe; l town; but then, as there are three Ajalons mentioned in Scrip. but, on the contrary, if the earth turned upon its own axis every | ture, one in the tribe of Ephraim, (1 Chron. vi. 69,) another day, be made to go round the sun in the space of a year, it will in Zabulon, (Judg. xii. 12,) and another in Dan, (Josh. xix. then perform its circulation, according to the same law which 42,) it is reasonable to think, that the place here spoken of the other planets observe; and, without the least exception, there was in Dan, the most remote province in Gibeon ; for we must will be a most beautiful order and harmony of motions every- | suppose that these two places were at some considerable dis. where preserved through the whole frame of nature. As there. tance, otherwise Joshua could not see the sun and moon both fore the Scriptures were designed to teach us the art of holy appear at the same time, as it is probable they were both in his living, and not to instruct us in the rudiments of natural know eye, when be uttered these words. ledge, it can be deemed no diminution either to their perfection, III. In relation to the time when this miracle began, and how or divine authority, that they generally speak according to the long it lasted, the Scripture's expression is, that the sun stood common appearance of things, and not according to their reality still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a or philosophic truth. The plain matter of fact is, that in the whole day; which words can import no less, than that the sun early ages, both before, and long after the days of Joshua, the stood still in the meridian, or much about noon, and that in this most learned astronomers had no notion of the improvements position it continued for the space of a civil or artificial day, which our modern professors have since attained to. They | i. e. for twelve hours. But Maimonides is of opinion, (More never once dreamed of the earth's rotation upon its own axis; || Nevoch. part 2, chap. 39,) and in this he is followed by some but according to common appearance, were fully persuaded, Christian writers, Grotius and Masius, in locum,) that there was that the sun and moon had their respective courses. Upon this no such cessation of the sun and moon's motion, but that the supposition they formed their schemes, and thought themselves whole purport of the miracle was this :-" That God, at Joshua's able to answer every phenomenon by them. And therefore, if request, granted him and bis soldiers such a degree of spirits, God had prompted Joshua to desire the prolongation of the day activity, and dispatch, as enabled them to gain a complete vic. in a manner more agreeable to our new astronomy, or to record | tory, and as much execution in one day as might otherwise have
brews in pursuing their enemies, insomuch that of courage upon these promises of God, and went Joshua took the kings, who were hidden in a cer out suddenly against the enemies; and after five tain cave at Makkedah, and put them to death. days' march he came upon them, and joined battle Now that the day was lengthened at this time, with them; and there was a terrible fight, and such and was longer than ordinary, is expressed in the a number were slain, as could not be believed by books laid up in the temple.
those that heard it. He also went on the pursuit a These kings, who made war with and were ready great way; and destroyed the entire army of the to fight the Gibeonites, being thus overthrown; enemies: few only escaped ; and all the kings fell in Joshua returned again to the mountainous parts of the battle; insomuch that when there wanted men Canaan. And when he made a great slaughter of to be killed, Joshua slew their horses, and burnt the people there, and took their prey, he came to the their chariots, and passed all over their country camp at Gilgal.* And now there went a great fame without opposition; no one daring to meet him in abroad among the neighbouring people of the cour- battle; but he still went on, taking their cities by age of the Hebrews; and those that heard what a siege, and killing whatever he took. number of men were destroyed, were greatly af The fifth year was now past ;f and there was not frighted at it. So the kings that lived about mount one of the Canaanites remained any longer; exLibanus, who were Canaanites; and those Canaan- cepting some that had retired to places of great ites that dwelt in the plain country, with auxiliaries strength. So Joshua removed his camp to the out of the land of the Philistines, pitched their camp mountainous country, and placed the tabernacle in at Beroth, a city of the Upper Galilee, not far from the city of Shiloh ;f for that seemed a fit place for Cadesh ; which is itself also a place in Galilee. The it, because of the beauty of its situation; until such number of the whole army was three hundred thou- times as their affairs would permit them to build a sand armed footmen, ten thousand horsemen, and temple. And from thence he went to Shechem, twenty thousand chariots. So that the multitude together with all the people, and raised an altar of the enemies alarmed both Joshua himself, and where Moses had previously directed. Then did the Israelites ; and they, instead of being full of hope he divide the army, and placed one half of them on of success, were superstitiously timorous, with the mount Gerizim, and the other half on mount Ebal; great terror with which they were stricken. Where- on which mountain the altar was; he also placed upon God upbraided them with the fear they were there the tribe of Levi, and the priests. And when in; and asked them, whether they desired a greater they had sacrificed, and denounced the blessings and help than he could afford them? and promised them the curses, and had left them engraven upon the that they should overcome their enemies; withal altar, they returned to Shiloh. charging them to make their enemies' horses useless, And now Joshua was old, and saw that the cities and to burn their chariots. So Joshua became full of the Canaanites were not easily to be taken; not
taken up two:" but this is a construction so repugnant to the mandment, &c.) inspired the Hebrew general with that wish or genuine sense of the words as to need no formal confutation. prayer, which otherwise perhaps would never have come into
There is something more, however, to be said to the notion his head. Keil's Astronomical Lectures. of other learned men, who with regard to the time when Joshua Besides this general argument of Mr. Keil's, Mr. Whiston has might send up his request, and the miracle begin, think it more one, which he accounts no less than a demonstration : “If the probable that he should pray for a longer day, when he perceived earth,” says he, “ have an annual revolution about the sun, it the sun just going to leave him, than when it was in its height. must affect the apparent motion of all the other planets and But Joshua, no doubt, had reasons for what he did. He was an comets ; and notwithstanding the regularity of their several old experienced general, eager for a complete victory, and able motions in their own orbits, must render these regular motions, to compute what time it would take to achieve it; so that his to us, as living upon the moving earth, sometimes direct, and fear of losing any part of the present advantage, might make him that swiftly and slowly; sometimes stationary, and sometimes pray that the day might be thus prolonged, until he had obtained retrograde, and that swiftly or slowly also; and all this, at such the whole. If the sun, in its declension, had stopped its course, certain periods, in such certain places, for such certain durations, it might have answered his purpose perhaps ; but then it had and according to such certain circumstances, (as geometry and given a juster handle to the suggestions of those who would arithmetic will certainly determine,) and not otherwise. Now deny the whole merit of the miracle. For, if the retardation that this is the real case in fact, and that every one of these parof the sun had not happened until it was going to set, Spinosa | ticulars are true in the astronomical world, all that are skilful in might, with a much better grace, have attributed the extraordi that science do freely confess, even those who do not think fit nary length of this day to the refraction of its rays from the to declare openly for this annual revolution of the earth, which clouds, which at that time were loaded with hail; (Tract. Theol. yet is the natural and certain consequence of that concession.' Politic.c. 2.) or Peirerius, to some aurora borealis, or parhelion, Whiston's Astron. Princ. of Relig. The reader that is desirous which, after the setting of the sun, might appear about the ter- to know more both of the annual and diurnal motion of the ritories of Gibeon, and so be mistaken for the sun's standing earth, may consult Mr. Denham’s Prelim. Diss. to his Astrostill; but now, by fixing it in its meridian point, all the cavils Theol. B. are effectually silenced ; (Prædam. lib. 4. c. 6.) and God, no
* Josh. X. 15.
† An. 1487. doubt, who beard bim so readily, (Calmet's Disser, sur le Com Josh. xviii. 1.
only because they were situated in such strong of this sort of land, and that it is in general mounplaces, but because of the strength of the walls tainous also, yet does it not come behind other parts themselves; which being built round about, the on account of its exceeding goodness and beauty. natural strength of the places on which the cities For which reason, Joshua thought that the land for stood, seemed capable of repelling their enemies the tribes should be divided by estimation of its from besieging them. For when the Canaanites had goodness, rather than its extent, it often happening learned, that the Israelites came out of Egypt, in that one acre of some sort of land was equivalent order to destroy them, they were busy all that time to a thousand other acres. Now the men that were in making their cities strong. So he gathered sent, which were in number ten, travelled all about, the people together at Shiloh; and when they, with and made an estimation of the land; and in the great zeal and haste, were come thither, he observed seventh month they returned to the city of Shiloh, to them, what prosperous successes they had already where they had set up the tabernacle. had, and what glorious things had been done; and Joshua now took both Eleazar, and the senate, those such as were worthy of that God who enabled and with them the heads of the tribes, and distribthem to do those things, and worthy of the virtue uted the land to the nine tribes, and to the half tribe of those laws which they followed. He took notice of Manasseh; appointing the dimensions according also, thats thirty-one of those kings that ventured to the largeness of each tribe.f So when he had to give them battle were overcome; and every army, cast lots, Judah had assigned him by lot, the upper how great soever it were, that confided in their power, part of Judea, reaching as far as Jerusalem, and its and fought with them, was utterly destroyed; so that breadth, extending to the lake of Sodom; and the not so much as any of their posterity remained. lot of this tribe included the cities of Ascalon and And as for the cities, since some of them were Gaza. The lot of Simeon, which was the second, taken, but the others must be taken in length of comprehended that part of Idumea which bordered time by long sieges; both on account of the strength upon Egypt and Arabia. As to the Benjamites, their of their walls, and of the confidence the inhabitants lot fell so, that its length reached from the river Jorhad in them; he thought it reasonable that those dan to the sea; but in breadth, it was bounded by tribes that came along with them from beyond Jor- Jerusalem and Bethel; and this lot was the narrowdan, and had partaken of the dangers they had est of all, by reason of the goodness of the land; undergone, being their own kindred, should now be for it included Jericho, and the city of Jerusalem. dismissed and sent home; and should have thanks The tribe of Ephraim had the land that extended for the pains they had taken together with them. in length, from the river Jordan, to Gezer; but in As also he thought it reasonable, that they should breadth, as far as from Bethel to the great plain. send one man out of every tribe, and he such as had The half tribe of Manasseh had the land from Jorthe testimony of extraordinary virtue, who should dan to the city of Dora ; but its breadth was at measure the land faithfully, and without any fallacy Bethshan, which is now called Scythopolis. And or deceit should inform them of its real magnitude. after these was Issachar, which had its limits, in
Now Joshua, when he had thus spoken, found that length, mount Carmel and the river; but its limit, the multitude approved of his proposal. So he sent in breadth, was mount Tabor. The tribe of Zabumen to measure their country, and sent with them lon's lot included the land which lay as far as the some geometricians, who could not easily fail of lake of Gennesareth, and that which belonged to ascertaining the truth, on account of their skill in Carmel and the sea. The tribe of Aser had that that art. He also gave them a charge to estimate part which was called The Valley, for such it was; the measure of that part of the land
that was most and all that part that lay over against Sidon. The fruitful, and what was not so good. For such is the city Arce belonged to their share, which is also nature of the land of Canaan, that one may see named Actipus. The Naphthalites received the large plains, and such as are exceedingly fit to pro- eastern parts, as far as the city of Damascus, and duce fruit, which, if they were compared with other the Upper Galilee, unto mount Libanus, and the parts of the country, might be reckoned exceeding fountains of Jordan, which arise out of that mounfruitful ; yet, in comparison with the fields about tain: that is, out of that part of it, whose limits Jericho, and those that belong to Jerusalem, they belong to the neighbouring city Arce. The Danites? will appear to be of no account at all. And although lot included all that part of the valley which respects it happen, that these people have but very little the sun-setting, and were bounded by Azotus and
* Josh. xii. 8-24.
but in this version it shall suffice to refer the English reader to # If I were writing to the learned, I must have made particu- | my map of Palestine. lar notes on this and the rest of Josephus's geography of Canaan;
Dora ; they also had all Jamnia and Gath, from || not tire you out so much now, as may make you Ekron to that mountain where the tribe of Judah slower in assisting us another time. We therefore begins.
return you thanks for the dangers you have underAfter this manner did Joshua divide the six na- gone with us; and we do it not at this time only, tions that bear the names of the sons of Canaan, but we shall always be disposed to remember our with their land, to be possessed by the nine tribes friends, and to preserve in mind what advantages and a half; for Moses had prevented him, and had we have had from them, and how you have put off already distributed the land of the Amorites, which the enjoyment of your own happiness for our sakes, was so called from one of the sons of Canaan, to and have laboured for what we have now, by the the two tribes and a half, as we have showed al- | good-will of God, obtained; and resolved not to ready; but the parts about Sidon, as also those that enjoy your own prosperity till you had afforded us belonged to the Arkites, the Amathites, and the Ara- that assistance. However, you have, by joining your bians, were not yet regularly disposed of.
labours with ours, gotten great plenty of riches, and But now Joshua was hindered by his age, from will carry home with you much prey, with gold and executing what he intended, and those who succeeded silver, and, what is more than all these, our goodhim in the government took little care of what was will towards you, and a mind willingly disposed to for the advantage of the public; so he gave it in make a requital of your kindness, in what case socharge to every tribe to leave none of the race of ever you shall desire it; for you have not omitted the Canaanites in the land that had been divided to any thing which Moses previously required of you, them by lot; for, that Moses had assured them nor have you despised him, because he was dead and beforehand, and they might rest fully satisfied, that gone from you, so that there is nothing to diminish their own security, and their observance of their that gratitude which we owe you. We therefore disown laws, depended wholly upon it. He also enjoined miss you joyful to your own inheritances, and entreat them to give thirty-eight cities to the Levites, for you to suppose that there is no limit to be set to the they had already received ten in the country of the intimate relation that is between us; and that you Amorites; and three of these he assigned to fugitive' will not imagine, that because this river is interposed man-slayers, who were to inhabit there; for he was between us, that you are of a different race from us, very solicitous that nothing should be neglected and not Hebrews; for we are all the posterity of which Moses had ordained. These cities were, of Abraham, both we that inhabit here, and you that the tribe of Judah, Hebron; of that of Ephraim, inhabit there, and it is the same God who brought Shechem; and that of Naphthali, Cadesh, which is our forefathers, and yours, into the world; whose a place of the Upper Galilee. He also distributed worship and form of government we are to take among them the rest of the prey not yet distributed, care of, which he has ordained, and are most carewhich was very great, whereby they had an afllu- fully to observe; because, while you continue in ence of great riches, both all in general, and every those laws, God will also show himself merciful and one in particular; and this of gold, vestments, and assisting to you; but if you imitate the other naother furniture, besides a multitude of cattle, whosetions, and forsake_those laws, he will reject your number cannot be told.
nation."* When Joshua had spoken thus, and had After this, he gathered the army together, and saluted them all
, both those in authority, one by one, spake thus to those tribes that had their settlement and the whole multitude in common, he himself in the land of the Amorites beyond Jordan; for fifty stayed where he was; but the people conducted these thousand men of them had armed themselves, and tribes on their journey, and that not without tears had gone to the war along with them: “Since that in their eyes: and, indeed, they hardly knew how to God, who is the Father and Lord of the Hebrew part one from the other. nation, has now given us this land for a possession, Now when the tribe of Reubel, and that of Gad, and promised to preserve us in the enjoyment of it and as many of the Manassites as followed them, as our own for ever: and since you have with alac- were passed over the river, they built an altart rity offered yourselves to assist us, whenever we on the banks of Jordan, as a monument to poswanted that assistance, according to his command; terity, and as a sign of their relation to those that it is but just, now all our difficulties are over, that should inhabit on the other side. But when those you should be permitted to enjoy rest, and that we on the other side heard that those who had been should trespass on your alacrity to help us no longer; dismissed had built an altar, but did not hear with that so, if we should again stand in need of it, we what intention they built it, but supposed it to be may readily have it on any future emergency, and by way of innovation, and for the introduction of