Page images
[graphic][merged small][merged small]


NOTE 21, p. 2.—The view taken by Dr Kitto of the character and plan of the Book of Judges, requires some modification; and we propose to give in this note a brief statement with regard to these points, as also some remarks on the chronology, supplementary of those in the text. The Book of Judges naturally divides itself into three parts. The first part (chap. i.-ii. 5) contains a brief statement of the results of the war between the Israelites and the former inhabitants of Canaan, carried on by the individual tribes after their dispersion over the land. In this section we are informed, not so much of what was accomplished, as of what remained unaccomplished: we are told how far short the tribes fell of the entire conquest of those possessions whose allotment and boundaries are narrated in the Book of Joshua. For this shortcoming, they were rebuked by God, who sent his angel down to Bochim, to remonstrate with them for failing to execute the Divine commands in regard to the nations of Canaan (chap. ii. 1-5). Such are the contents of the first part: it exhibits in detail the extent to which each tribe failed in the performance of its duty, and relates how God remonstrated with them on account of their delinquency. The second part of the book extends from chap. ii. 5 to the end of chap. xvi. The scope of this part is to illustrate, by historical examples, the operation of the principle so forcibly stated in the introductory section (chap. ii. 11-19)_namely, that so long as Israel sought the Lord, they prospered ; and when they forsook him, they fell into the hands of the oppressor. It is important, however, to observe, that it is expressly stated (chap. ii. 18, 19), that the periods of Israel's faithfulness to God were coincident with, and terminated by, the lives of the judges who ruled them; so that 'it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers.' It follows from this circumstance, that there is no large gap in the chronology of the period whose history is contained in the second portion of the book. To shew what we mean, let us consider the narrative of the first deliverance (chap. iii. 8–12). Israel served Chushan-rishathaim eight years, was delivered by Othniel, the son of Kenaz, and enjoyed rest (during his lifetime) for forty years. After his death, the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord,' in consequence of which they became the subjects of Eglon, king of Moab, and continued in this condition for eighteen years. Now, we might not unnaturally suppose, that between the forty years of rest and the eighteen years of servitude, a considerable space of time intervened, during which the people only gradually fell away from God; and, indeed, we might even suppose, that the good example of their judges would sometimes operate on them so salutarily, as to keep them comparatively free from idolatry for many years. According to chap. ii. 18, 19, this could not have been the fact. Of course, we are not entitled to press that general and preliminary statement

2 R

so far as to infer, that the relapse into idolatry, and consequent subjection to foreign dominion, followed on the very day, or even within the year, of the judge's death; but we are entitled to infer, that the change took place in a short space of time—short absolutely, and short in comparison with the periods of rest and servitude. It is, in fact, doubtful whether we should not regard the transition period as included in the numbers which represent the duration of the periods of subjection. Be this as it may, we conclude that, since the whole of the second part consists of the narrative of a series of deliverances and rests, alternating with periods of subjection to foreign powers (see the end of each of the sections of this part), the history is strictly continuous; and the chronological data, if they do not collectively represent the entire duration of the time of the Judges, are, at all events, not separated from each other by any undetermined interval of import

A corroborative proof of the continuity of the history may be found in the circumstance, that in the case of five out of the twelve judges (Tola, Jair, see x. 2, 3; Ibzan, Elon, Abdon, see xii. 8_15), our information is almost confined to the length of time during which each ruled. If the object of the writer was merely to give illustrations of God's method of dealing with Israel, without any ulterior regard to historical completeness, why should he have introduced such notices as those referred to, which have no value except what arises out of the chronological data which they contain ?

The third part of the book is generally viewed as forming an appendix, supplementary of the preceding historical sketch. It consists of two interesting narratives, which throw great light upon the character of the time when they were transacted, but which, being entirely unique in their nature, could not well be incorporated with the history of the judges, and were consequently appended by themselves at the end of the history, without regard to chronological order. The existence of such an appendix argues strongly in favour of a regular plan pervading the Book of Judges; for he who has no method in writing, cannot be anxious to preserve unity in his materials.

The idea, then, which pervades and gives unity to the Book of Judges, is the following :-God had commanded the Israelites to drive out the Canaanites, and to take possession of the land, according to the boundaries defined in the Book of Joshua ; to keep themselves separate from those heathen nations, and remain faithful to the God of their fathers. How far had they complied with these commands ? To answer this question is the grand object of our book; and the answer which it affords contains a continuous, though very summary, history of the Israelitish commonwealth throughout several centuries.

We come now to speak of the chronology of the Book of Judges. It has been stated that the history contained in our book is continuous; it remains to state that it is also consecutive. In order to get rid of the difficulties attending



the adjustment of the chronology of the period, several during its course. The latter fact, that the period was writers have had recourse to the expedient of making some bounded by the life of the judge, suggested the idea of of the judges contemporaneous; ruling not in succession a generation; and the idea of a generation suggested that over all Israel, but at the same time over parts of the of 40 years. This view of the use of the number 40 is nation, The judges certainly exercised their authority confirmed by the consideration that, with one exception, and influence more particularly in individual tribes, and it is applied only in reference to the times of peace; and only indirectly over the whole nation; but it is decidedly that, too, only in the case of those judges whose history is contrary to the meaning of the book, to represent any two given at length. The periods of oppression are evidently of the judges as ruling in different parts at the same time. strictly determined by the numbers 8, 18, 20, 7, 18; and At the commencement of each new section, it is always the the duration of the rule of the judges who are little nation collectively which is spoken of. (See, for examples, more than mentioned, by the numbers 23, 22, 7, 10, 8. chap. iii. 12; iv. 1; vi. 1; and more particularly chap. According to the above view, the chronology of the x. 1-3, where Tola, a man of Issachar, is said to have period of the Judges is in itself indeterminate; and it judged Israel 23 years, and Jair, a Gileadite, is also must be fixed by reference to the historical number in said to have judged Israel for 22 years.) The history 1 Kings vi. 1, in the following way - From the Exodus to being both continuous and successive, it would at first the beginning of the period of the Judges, we must reckon sight appear as if all that was necessary, in order to fix 65 years-namely, 40 till the death of Moses, and 25 till with tolerable accuracy the duration of the entire period the death of Joshua. From the building of the Temple to of the judges, were to sum up the various chronological the anointing of Saul, we must reckon backwards 63 yearsitems. This done, there results 410 or 430 years (according 3 of Solomon's reign, 40 to David's reign, and 20 to Sani's. as Samson ruled 20 or 40 years), plus an unknown number Adding these two numbers together, we get 128, which of years during which Shamgar ruled. But this result is taken from 480, leaves 352 years for the time of the inconsistent with the datum of 1 Kings vi, 1, according to Judges, including Samuel in that period. Again: the which the whole period from the Exodus to the building of statement made by Jephthah, contained in Judges xi. 26, the Temple was only 480 years. This is the great difficulty presents a chronological datum of some importance in to be removed. Some, and amongst these Dr Kitto, have this inquiry, Reckoning backwards from Samuel to sought the solution in rendering suspicious the authority Jephthah, and allowing 20 years for the time during which of i Kings vi. 1 (see Dr Kitto's note at page 80), or in the former ruled Israel, we obtain in all 111 years—6 for altering the number of years, so as to correspond with the Jephthah, 7 for Ibzan, 10 for Elon, 8 for Abdon, 20 for numbers in Judges. This method, however, must always Samson, 40 for Eli, and, as already stated, 20 for Samuel. remain unsatisfactory. Accordingly, others have turned This number taken from 352, leaves 241 years as the their attention to the numbers in Judges, and have sought, time intervening between the beginning of Jephthah's role by arbitrary combinations, to force the two chronological and the death of Joshua. Now, the territory east of the sources into agreement. Such a procedure, as already Jordan was in the possession of the Israelites before the stated, is out of the question; but although nothing can death of Moses, and therefore the whole period of their be gained by mere arbitrary combinations, the nature of occupation could not, at the time of Jephthah, be less than the numbers themselves suggests a probable solution. It is 266, or, in round numbers, 270 years. Jephthah stated it certainly very remarkable, that the number 40 should as 300 years sufficiently accurate for a general statement recur so often, not only in the Book of Judges, but also in of time, and especially so when we consider that it was application to other periods of the history of Israel. We Jephthah's interest to exaggerate the length of time during find 40 years assigned as the period of the Wandering; which the Israelites held the territory in question. If, 40 years for the rest under Othniel ; 80, or twice 40, for however, we take all the numbers before Jephthah literally, the rest under Ehud; 40 for the peace under Deborah and we will have from the death of Moses to the end of the Barak; 40 for the peace under Gideon; 40 years for the oppression by Ammon at least 350 years, in which case it servitude under the Philistines ; 40 years during which Eli is impossible to account for Jephthah's limiting it to 800 exercised the office of judge in Israel ; and, finally, 40 years years, otherwise than by supposing that he really did not for the respective reigns of Saul (see Acts xiii. 21), know how long the time was, but spoke very much at David, and Solomon. This so frequent recurrence of random.

This supposition, of course, is inadmissible ; the number 40 suggests the thought, that the latter is not and the statement made by Jephthah to the Ammonites employed to indicate a precise number of years, but some must be regarded as a confirmation of the views above natural period of time, which, on the whole, is fairly repre- indicated. sented by the number 40. There cannot possibly be any The other methods of treating the chronology of our objection on principle to this view of the matter, for it is book recently propounded-for example, by Bertheau a very generally received opinion amongst commentators, (Das Buch der Richter und Rut Erklärt), Lepsius (Egypt, that there are at least two distinct classes of cases in Ethiopia, and Sinai), and Bunsen (Egypt's Place in Uniwhich the numbers employed to indicate time are not to versal History)-need only be generally referred to Berbe taken strictly and literally. We refer to the use of the theau applies the view that the number 40 is used to number 7 as the perfect or sacred number, and to the represent generation to 1 Kings vi. 1; and accounts for prophetic practice of indicating a period of years by a the number 480, by supposing that it is founded on a number of days. What natural period, then, may we suppose calculation of 12 generations, from the Exodus to the 40 years to represent? The duration of one generation of building of the Temple. In order to make out 12 forties, men naturally suggests itself to one's thoughts. No doubt, he is obliged to reckon the generation after Joshua (see we are accustomed in our own time to reckon only 30 Judges ii. 10) as one of them (see on this point note 23, years to a generation; but that the Israelites did actually below), and to reckon twice 20 years to Samson (see assign 40 years as the natural duration of a generation, we chaps. xv. 20, and xvi. 31). Those who desire to see at know from the history of the Wandering in the Wilderness. length Bertheau's ingenious, but somewhat forced calculaThe children of Israel were to wander, and actually did tion, are referred to the above-mentioned commentary. wander, until all the generation that came out of Egypt The investigations of Lepsius and Bunsen, on the other had perished; and the time during which that took place is hand, are not confined to the data of Scripture; their stated as 40 years. It may be assumed, therefore, that in object being to correct the Scriptural chronology by the Book of Judges 40 years has been reckoned for periods reference to that of Egypt-a very uncertain method of time of considerable, or what might be called long truly, as may be seen from the fact, that the former of duration, whose continuance was not determinately known; these illustrious men finds it necessary to allow only the general reason for the adoption of this number being about 90 years from the entrance of Jacob to the that it represented the period of a generation, and the exodus of Moses,' whilst the latter allows an interval of particular reason, in most cases, that the time in question 1440 years ! (See Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sinai, p. 475, and was co-extensive with the life of the judge who ruled | the note there.)

NOTE 22, p. 10.-We propose in this note to make 3. In verse 13, Othniel is called the son of Kenaz, and some observations on several points connected with this younger brother of Caleb. An epithet similar to the son chapter which require explanation.

of Kenaz,' is likewise applied to Caleb in Numbers xxxii. 1. From the beginning of the 1st verse of the chapter: 12; Joshua xiv. 6, 14, where he is called the son of Now after the death of Joshua,' &c., it would seem to Jephunneh the Kenezite. In Genesis xxxvi, 11, Kenaz is follow, that all the transactions therein narrated took place mentioned as a descendant of Esau; and therefore neither subsequently to the death of that distinguished servant of he nor his posterity belonged to the children of Israel. the Lord. On examination, however, it is found that the Caleb was thus, at the same time, the head of a tribe in chapter contains several accounts, which are found in Israel, and somehow connected with a people who did not nearly identical terms in the Book of Joshua. The account belong to the Israelitish community. Doubtless, this contained in Judges i. 10–15, is given also in Joshua xv. points to an intermixture of the families of Judah with 14–19; the statement in v. 21 appears likewise in Joshua those of the Kenezites, of which, indeed, the narrative xv. 63; that in vv. 27, 28, is substantially the same with before us presents an interesting example. Joshua xvii. 12, 13; and v. 29, with Joshua xvi. 10. The 4. The clause, 'for thou hast given me a south land,' in reader is here reminded also of the conquest of Leshem by verse 15, would be more correctly rendered, 'for thou Dan, contained in Judges xviii., and referred to in Joshua xix. hast given me away into the land of the south. The 47. In order to account for the appearance of these sections Kenezites dwelt in the southern country, about the bounin both books, some have supposed that they were taken daries of Judah. As this region was an unfruitful wilderout of the Book of Joshua by the author of the Book ness, Achsah thought with regret of leaving her father's of Judges; others, as Bertheau, Hävernick, &c., have fertile and well-watered territory for such a home as she upheld the reverse opinion; whilst a third party have tried was about to go to, and urged her husband to ask 'the to account for the phenomenon, by supposing the existence field' (not a field) from her father. He refused to do so, of a third historical authority, which the authors of both however; and therefore she asked this portion from her books consulted in common. All these are violent, and father herself, and obtained from him the field with the therefore unsatisfactory expedients, and contrast unfavour-two springs, the upper and the nether. ably with the simple view set forth by Keil (in the introduction to his Commentar über das B. Josua). That view NOTE 23, p. 11.—The passage, chap. ii. 11. to chap. iii. 6, regards the sections as independent of each other, although has been generally regarded as a sort of introduction to referring to the same events, and represents these events the second part of the Book of Judges. Bertheau, however, as having happened before either book was written. From maintains that the section in question refers to one partithis it follows, that the Book of Joshua cannot have had for cular generation—that, namely, referred to in verse 10: its author the individual from whom it received its name, 'And there arose another generation after them, which for, as already hinted, we must regard the entire contents knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done of the 1st chapter of Judges as referring to events which for Israel.' It seems to favour this opinion, that verse 6 happened after the death of Joshua. The author of Joshua, begins the history anew from the death of Joshua, and gives however, was certainly a contemporary of the events which a simple historical account of the latter event, and of the he narrates, as appears from the occasional use of the religious condition of the contemporary and following first personal pronoun (see, for example, Joshua v. 1, 6); generations of the Israelites. But not to mention that, and in all probability was one of those "elders that on the supposition of Bertheau, Othniel would be made to outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the die at a greater age than he probably attained, see chap. Lord that he did for Israel, Judges ii. 7. Regarding, then, iii, 11, compared with chap. i. 13, the whole character of the incidents in question as having happened after Joshua's the section militates against the idea of a special genedeath, but before the composition of the two historical ration being described throughout it. We must rather books in which they are narrated, everything becomes understand the matter as follows :—The writer does proceed, immediately clear. The sections in question were intro- in verse 10, to mention the generation after Joshua, and to duced in the Book of Joshua, as it were, parenthetically, contrast it with the generation which preceded it; but in because, though not strictly belonging to the general con- characterising its degeneracy, he was conscious that he nection of the narrative, they were of too much intrinsic was merely describing the first exhibition of a phenomenon interest (enhanced by their recent occurrence) to be entirely that was continually repeated in all its leading features ; omitted. In Judges, these same incidents fell to be noticed, and, consequently, his account of that generation forthwith not merely as interesting facts, but as forming part of a merges into a picture of the general character of the whole group of facts collected into one view for a special purpose. period of the judges. This is clearly seen in verses 16–19,

2. After the death of Joshua, symptoms of renewed which evidently depict the general facts underlying every hostility on the part of the enemies of Israel soon made part of the succeeding history. their appearance. The Canaanites--not the inhabitants of Palestine in general, but those who dwelt by the sea, NOTE 24, p. 16.—These verses, taken in connection and by the coast of Jordan' (see Numbers xiii. 29)-muster with verses 3 and 21-23 of the preceding chapter, reveal their forces at Bezek, and the tribe of Judah is appointed the various designs of God in permitting the Canaanites by God to lead the attack against them. Having defeated still to remain in the land. 1. He wished to try Israel. the enemy there assembled, and taken captive their king, the Had there been none of the former inhabitants of Palestine Judahites next proceed southward to Jerusalem. (Verse 8 left behind, it would have been put out of the power of the should be translated : ' And the children of Judah fought,' Israelites to disobey God's injunction to keep themselves &c., in the imperfect and not pluperfect tense. The pre- from intercourse with these peoples, and to eschew their sent translation has arisen from the circumstance, that the idolatrous practices. 2. The presence of these nations succeeding part of the narrative is contained in Joshua.) | acted as a punishment (chap. ii. 3) to Israel. Whenever They take Jerusalem, and thence proceed, still southward, they turned their hearts from God, and were unfaithful, to complete the conquest of their own territory, by fighting they invariably were allowed to fall into the hands of their against the Canaanites that dwelt in the mountain, and in enemies. 3. But God wished not only to make provision the south, and in the valley'-the three natural divisions for punishing disobedience, He desired also to have an of the lot of the children of Judah (see Joshua xv. 21, &c.), opportunity of doing Israel good when it turned its face arranged in order from north to south. The course followed towards Him. This is shewn in chap. iii. 2, which we thus by the children of Judah in this expedition, shews that render: 'Only that He [Jehovah] might know the children Bezek was not a town in the territory of that tribe, and we of Israel (how they stood towards him—this is the first cannot do otherwise than identify it with the Bezek men- design, trial], and might teach them war—that is, those tioned by Jerome as lying seven miles from Shechem, on who before had not known them' (from experience]. The the road to Neapolis (Bethshan). (See Kitto's note to them, which we have put instead of thereof, as the original 1 Sam. xi. 8.)

requires, evidently refers to the wars of Canaan' spoken of in the first verse. What wars were these ?-doubtless the regarded as defiled by being consecrated to Baal. Although, great wars, the celebrated wars of Joshua. God designed, however, the latter could not be used in sacrifice, it might therefore, to cause the after-generations of Israel to know be used as a beast of burden, and was probably employed these renowned wars. What does this mean? It means to transport the materials from the place where the altar that God desired to have an opportunity of displaying His of Baal stood to the spot where the new altar was about power again in behalf of the people of Israel, as He had to be erected. done in times bygone in behalf of their fathers; that He might be to them, when they turned to Him unfeignedly, NOTE 27, p. 52.-There is one argument, advanced the same powerful deliverer, the same God of battles, as first by Hengstenberg, to prove that Jephthah did not take He had been in the days of old.

away the life of his daughter, which we shall here state,

particularly as it refers to a subject on which, so far as we NOTE 25, p. 34.-The Ophrah mentioned here (verse know, Dr Kitto has made no remarks in his notes. Heng11) and in other parts of Gideon's history, must be stenberg shews, from several passages of Scripture, that there distinguished from the Ophrah in Benjamin, enumerated existed among the Israelites an institution of holy women of amongst the cities of that tribe in Joshua xviii. 23, and a strictly ascetic order, who had relinquished worldly cares, mentioned in 1 Samuel xiii. 17 as situated in the land of and devoted themselves to the Lord. The first passage is Shual; which last is probably identical with the land of in Exodus xxxviii. 8: 'And he made the laver of brass, and Shalim,' spoken of in 1 Samuel ix. 4. The present Ophrah | the foot of it of brass, of the looking-glasses of the women was in the tribe of Manasseh, in the district which belonged assembling, which assembled at the door of the tabernacle to the family of Abiezer (see Joshua xvii. 2), and was of the congregation. These services, according to the called, by way of distinction, Ophrah of the Abi-ezrites, as ancient Jews, and the Alexandrian Septuagint (which tranappears from chap. vi. 24, and viii. 32, and also Gideon's slates the Hebrew by Tây MnOTEUTUTÔ, the mirrors of the city, as in chap. viii. 27. The exact position of both these fasting women), were not of an external kind, but entirely towns is unknown.

spiritual or devotional. That they were of an ascetic It is worthy of notice, that in verse 1], the original character, is shewn by the fact, that the freewill-offering Hebrew speaks not of an oak, but of the oak (97887), of these women consisted in the brazen mirrors which were which was in Ophrah. This implies that the oak was

employed by females to direct them in the decoration of still to be seen at that place in the days of the writer of

their persons. The giving up these mirrors was an act of Judges, and in accordance with this, we find it ac

similar significance to that of allowing the hair to grow on tually stated respecting the altar which was built under

the part of the Nazarite. Both indicated, by the neglect the oak, that 'unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the

of the personal appearance, a disregard of the means of Abi-ezrites.'

pleasing the world, and established a palpable separation We note also on this verse, that at first the angel institution is referred to again in 1 Samuel ii. 22, and a

between the parties and the general community. This appeared to Gideon as being only a wayfaring-man, with

third time in Luke ii. 37, where it is said of Anna that she a staff in his hand (verse 21), who had sat down under the shadow of the oak to snatch some refreshment and repose.

departed not from the temple, but served God with fastirgs He enters into conversation with Gideon on the topic that

and prayers night and day. This last passage indicates is uppermost in the minds of all the people dwelling in that clearly the nature of the occupations of these female part of the land-the grinding oppression of the plundering of a similar institution in Egypt, referring to Herodotus's

servants of the Lord. Hengstenberg points out the existence Midianites; and urges him to exert his well-known valvur in the behalf of his country. Gideon, in reply (verse 13),

account of the founding of the two oracles in Egypt and

in Greece; and the account, by the same author, of the calls the angel 95%; which is equivalent to sir, or my

bed-chamber in the Temple of Belus, at Babylon, in which master. In verse 15, however, he addresses him as in; a woman always slept, &c. (For further particulars on which is generally applied only to God.

this head, see Hengstenberg--Egypt and the Books of

Moses, section on the ‘Institution of the Holy Women.") NOTE 26, p. 35.-The expression #s, need not Hengstenberg contends that Jephthah's daughter really

became a member of this order of sacred females. His mean the bullock to whom the epithet 'second' belonged; proofs, however, are very unsatisfactory; and after what is but merely a second bullock, in addition to the first men

said in the text by Dr Kitto on the general subject, it will tioned. The following view of the matter gives the most

be sufficient here to remark, that the argument from the probable explanation of the various points requiring notice.

use of a word meaning to celebrate, in regard to the yearly On the night of the same day on which the previously related transaction took place, the Lord appeared again indeed, tells in favour of the opinion that she was sacrificed.

commemoration of the virgin, is utterly futile, or rather, unto Gideon, to give him more particular instructions in

It is evident that the Israelites were excessively prone, regard to the commencement of the work of deliverance. Idolatry was the cause of the people's sufferings; that, idolatrous practices of their heathen neighbours. Now,

throughout the whole period of the judges, to adopt the therefore, must first be publicly and signally denounced by human sacrifices were actually performed by the latter, Gideon. His father had an altar consecrated to Baal, with an Asherah attached, which at the same time served

and may, as readily as any other bad practice, have become

customary among the Israelites. In such a case, their as altar for the whole city (verses 28, 29), Joash being the

view of the transaction would be very different from ours; head of the community. This altar, with the Asherah, and though they might not certainly celebrate the death of must be destroyed, and, raised on high so as to be in the Jephthah's daughter for its own sake, or viewed by itself, view of all, an altar must be erected to Jehovah on the they might quite well celebrate the praises of the virgin summit of the fortress of the city (verse 26).

heroine who had freely offered herself up as a thank-offering The occasion chosen for the accomplishment of these

for the deliverance of her country. We might well ask, designs is one on which Joash is about to offer up a

generally, Why so much ado about the matter?----why sacrifice to Baal-doubtless in order to obtain from that false divinity protection for the city against the impending festival, if all that took place was merely the trifling and

relate it at such length, and commemorate it by an annual attack of the Midianites (verse 33). For that solemnity, common-place occurrence of a virgin passing from the Joash has a bullock set apart—thy father's young bullock;' ordinary occupations of the world into a religious retireand the materials necessary for the sacrifice are lying ready

ment? The whole tone and contents of the narrativeat the altar. (nonym, in verse 26, refers to the prepared the very fact of its being thought worthy of such promimaterials; these Gideon was to take away, and with them nence in the history-produce an irresistible conviction in to build an altar to the Lord.) Gideon is instructed to our mind that the virgin daughter fell a sacrifice to the take a second bullock, in order to offer up a sacrifice to blind and heathenish zeal of her fatally conscientious God; probably because the bullock of his father was parent.

[ocr errors]

p. 158.

NOTE 28, p. 72.-In these two chapters, mention is If these analogies in themselves do not amount to actual made of four sacred thingsman ephod, a massekah, a proof that the teraphim of Scripture are identical with the pesel, and teraphim. What were these? Hengstenberg secreted idols of the Assyrian palace, they are, at all events, (Genuineness of the Pentateuch, vol. ii.) makes the pesel curious and plausible; but when supported by what we a graven image; massekah, its pedestal; the ephod, its know of the existing characteristics and superstitions of clothing or covering; and the teraphim, the substitute for Eastern nations of the pertinacity with which all Orientals the twelve stones in the breastplate, occupying the same adhere to ancient traditions and practices—of the strongly place, and serving the same purpose. Except the first, implanted prejudices entertained in the court of Persia these interpretations are extremely doubtful, and the respecting the going out and coming in of the shah to his grounds on which they are founded are far-fetched and palace—and of the belief in unseen agencies, and the unsatisfactory. There is no reason why we should not influences of the Evil Eye, which has prevailed in all here, as in Exodus xxviii., regard the ephod as the itwués, countries, and still exists in some, more especially in those or shoulder-garment, which was the high-priest's badge of of Asia and the south of Europe—our conjecture seems office. Instead of serving as a garment to cover Micah's to amount almost to certainty.'—Nineveh and its Palaces, graven image, the ephod mentioned in these chapters was doubtless the official garment of his household priest.

On the whole, then, we may reasonably conclude, that As for the massekah, it is to be observed that the same the teraphim, so frequently mentioned in Scripture, were word is applied to the golden calf in Exodus xxxii. tutelary gods of the household. This view, besides being madan buy, and in Deuteronomy (npor simply). It is also borne out and illustrated by the remarks

just quoted from used in reference to the calves set up by Jeroboam, as in

Bonomi, suits very well the passages in which teraphim are

mentioned. We must not be surprised if we find these 1 Kings xiv. 9; 2 Kings xvii. 16. Hence it may be inferred, that massekah here denotes a molten image of images spoken of in the Bible as being used by those who some creature; but whether of a calf, as the symbol of God substantially the same thing may be found among ourselves.

were worshippers of the one true and living God, for (as Bertheau and others allege, founding on the passages

The influence which some persons attribute to charms, is just cited), or of some other animal, must remain doubtful. The pesel was evidently closely connected with the ephod, tutelary images; and

therefore, practically, he who bears

of the same kind as that which was supposed to reside in as in chap. xviii. 18 it is spoken of as next Sob ng; that

charms about his person may be said to believe in strange is, the graven image of the ephod. It may not improbably gods. have been a small image carved upon the surface of the ephod, presenting to the eye a prominent object on the breast NOTE 29, p. 107.-Sculptures representing this Dagon of the priest, and serving an analogous purpose with the god have been found amongst the ruins of Nineveh, both image of the goddess Thinei, which was worn suspended at Khorsabad by M. Botta, and at Kouyunjik by Mr from the neck, by the persons who filled the office of chief Layard. The representation of this monster, which judge in ancient Egypt. In addition to what Dr Kitto has

appears among the sculptures of Khorsabad, is nearly written regarding the teraphim (see his note at Gen. xxxi.), identical with that given by Dr Kitto in the text as the following explanation of them, given by Bonomi appearing on medals of Philistine towns. The sculptures (Nineveh and its Palaces, Illustrated London Library, 1852), at Kouyunjik present a somewhat different appearance : may not be unacceptable. In a certain part of the ruins at each of two entrances into one of the chambers of of Khorsabad-namely, the King's Court-in front of the the Kouyunjik palace, Mr Layard found two colossal bassdoors of a porch, were found holes in the pavement, the size reliefs of the so-called fish-god, of which the upper part of one of the bricks of which the latter is composed, and had been destroyed, so that what remained could only give about 14 inches in depth. * These holes are lined with tiles, an idea of the form of the lower parts of the body. Means and have a ledge round the inside, so that they might be of restoring the entire form, however, were fortunately covered by one of the bricks of the pavement without obtained by the discovery of an agate cylinder on which the betraying the existence of the cavity. In these cavities,

same form reappeared. The form of a fish was so combined Botta found small images of baked clay, of frightful aspect, with that of a human being, that 'the head of the fish sometimes with lynx head and human body, and sometimes formed a mitre above that of the man, while its scaly back with human head and lion's body; and, in short, exhibiting and fan-like tail fell as a cloak behind, leaving the human a variety of hideous shapes and attitudes.

limbs and feet exposed. The figure wore a fringed tunic, The thresholds of the entrances, before which these holes and bore the two sacred emblems--the basket and the cone.' were found, consisted of single slabs of gypsum, covered Mr Layard identifies this mythic form with the Oannes of with long cuneatic inscriptions. What purpose were these the Chaldeans, referred to in Dr Kitto's note. Certainly cavities and inscriptions designed to subserve? Bonomi the form on the cylinder, and on the broken slabs, corresuggests that they were designed for the protection of the sponds exactly with the description given in the fragment apartments into which the entrances led. "We find of Berosus, according to which the monster had the entire the principal doorways guarded either by the symbolic body of a fish ; but under the head of the fish, was that bulls, or by winged divinities. We next find upon the of a man, and attached to the tail were human feet. In bulls themselves, and on the pavement of the recesses of the ruins at Nimroud, at the entrance to a small temple, Mr the doors, long inscriptions, always the same (and containing Layard found sculptures of fish-gods, of a different form the same name), probably incantations or prayers; and, from that of those above described. The fish's head here finally, these secret cavities, in which images of a compound also formed (part of) the cap of the figure, but the tail character were hidden. Thus the sacred or royal precincts reached no further than the waist of the man.

This figure were trebly guarded by divinities, inscriptions, and hidden also held in its left hand a basket, and in its right a cone. gods, from the approach of any subtle spirit, or more With regard to the significance of these mythic forms, a palpable enemy, that might have escaped the vigilance of recent writer in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society the king's body-guard,' p. 157. Bonomi further identifies (vol. xvi., part 1, 1854) advances the view, that the fishthe clay images with the teraphim, founding partly on the god represented the constellation of Pisces. This view is meaning of the root of the latter word—to terrify, coupled connected with a system of interpreting the symbolical with the hideous aspect of the images; partly on the plural figures from Nineveh, according to which the Assyrian form of the word, in connection with their compound form ; mythology is made to rest upon an astronomical basis. also following a different etymology, on the signification of This system will be more fully explained in a subsequent the Arabic word ‘tarf, which means a boundary or note on 2 Kings xxi., and the reader is referred to that margin (if derived from this word, teraphim would be the note for some additional observations on the Dagon god. guardians of the thresholds); and, lastly, on the evident identity of teraphim with telefin, the name by which the NOTE 30, p. 110.-In this note we shall make a few modern Persians call their talismans. Bonomi concludes: remarks on certain parts of this chapter which require

« PreviousContinue »