« PreviousContinue »
themselves, though weeping still towards one in understanding, and made the best use of another. All those who accompanied him what that understanding suggested to him. were the senate, and Eleazar the high-priest, He had a very pleasing way of speaking, and and Joshua their commander. Now, as soon addressing the multitude : and, as to his other as they were come to the mountain called qualifications, he had such a full command Abarim, which is a very high mountain situ over his passions, as if be hardly had any ate over against Jericho, and one that affords such in bis soul, and only knew them by their to such as are upon it a prospest of the great- names ; as rather perceiving them in other est part of the excellent land of Canaan, he men than in himself. He was also such a dismissed the senate; and, as he was going general of an army as is seldom seen, as well to embrace Eleazar and Joshua, and was still as such a prophet as was seldom known; § and discoursing with them, a cloud suddenly over this to such a degree, that whatsoever he proshadowed him, and be disappeared, in a cer- nounced,
nounced, you would think you heard the voice tain valley;* although he wrote in the holy of God himself. So the people mourned for books that he died : which was done out of him thirty days. fear lest they should venture to say, that be Nor did ever any grief so deeply affect cause of his extraordinary virtue he went to the Hebrews as did this upon the death God.
of Moses. Nor were those that had expeNow Moses lived in all one hundred and rienced his conduct the only persons that twenty years,ť a third part of which time, | desired him; but those also that perused the ahating one month, he was the people's ruler. Il laws he left behind him bad a strong desire And he diedi in the last month of the year, after him, and by them gathered the extrawhich is called by the Macedonians Dystrus ; ordinary virtue he was master of. And this but by us Adar; on the first day of the shall suffice for the declaration of the manner month. He was one that exceeded all men of the death of Moses.
NNNNNNNNNN. * Deut. xxxiv. 6. But notwithstanding all this pre Nothing can be plainer from the text, than that Mo. caution of God, the Christians boast, that they have dis ses did die, and was really buried; nay, Josephus tells us, covered the sepulchre, which had been kept secret that the Scripture affirms, that he died lest people should for so many ages. For, in the year 1655, some goats think, because of the excellency of his person, that.be that were separated from the rest of the flock went to was still alive, and with God. And yet, notwithstanding feed in a certain place, in the mountain Nebo, and re. this, some of the Jewish doctors do positively affirm, turned from thence so odoriferous and perfumed, that the that he was translated into heaven, where he stands and shepherds, astonished at so wonderful a prodigy, ran pre ministers before God: and of those who admit of his sently to consult with the patriarch of the Maronites, death, and that his soul and body were really separated, who sent thither two monks from Mount Lebanon, and the major part will not allow that he died a common death; they discovered a monument, on which was this inscrip for their notion is, that his soul departed with a kiss, be tion, Moses, the servant of the Lord. But there is 100 cause he is said to die, al pi, at the mouth (as it is literally much reason to think that this is all a fiction, on purpose in the Hebrew, i. e, according to the word of God; but to raise the reputation of the Maronites; as Basnage, in if there be any sense in the expression, it must be, that he his History and Religion of the Jews, has sufficiently parted with his soul with great cheerfulness and serenity proved, lib. 4. cap. 17.
of mind; Witsius's Miscel. Sacra. B. + Deut. xxxiv. 7. B.
§ Deul. xxxiv. 10.
Containing an Interval of Four Hundred and Seventy-six Years.
FROM THE DEATH OF MOSES TO THE DE ATH OF ELI.
OF THE WAR CARRIED ON BY JOSHUA AGAINST THE CANAAN
ITES, AND THE SIGNAL SUCCESSES OF THE HEBREWS.
of Manasseh (for half of this tribe had been permitted to have their habitation in the country of the Amorites, which was thef seventh
part of the land of Canaan), he put them in THEN Moses had been taken from among mind what they had promised Moses, and ex
men, in the manner already described, || horted them that, for the sake of the care that and when all the solemnities belonging to the Moses had taken of them, who had never been mourning for him were finished, Joshua com- weary of taking pains for them, no not when manded the multitude to get themselves ready | he was dying, and for the sake of the public for an expedition. He also sent spies to Jeri- || welfare, they would prepare themselves, and cho,* to discover what forces they had, and readily perform what they had promised. So what were their intentions. But he put his he took fifty thousand of them, and marched camp in order, as intending to pass over Jor- | with them, from Abila to Jordan, sixty furdan at a proper season. And, calling to him | longs. the rulers of the tribe of Reubel, and the go When he had pitched his camp, the spiest vernors of the tribe of Gad, and the half tribecame to him immediately, well acquainted
* Josh. ii. 1. Jericho was a city of Canaan, which || village of the Arabs; Wells Geog. of the Old and New afterwards fell to the lot of the tribe of Benjamin, about ij Testament; and Maundrell's Journey from Aleppo. B. seven leagues distant from Jerusalem, and two from Jor + The Amorites were one of the seven nations of Cadan. Moses calls it likewise the city of palm-trees, Deut. Hence Reland is willing to suppose, that Josephus xxxiv. 3. because there were great numbers of them in did not here mean that their land beyond Jordan was a the plains of Jericho; and not on!y of palm-trees, but, || seventh part of the whole land of Canaan, but meant the as Josephus tells us, (Antiq. lib. 4. c. 5.) balsam-trees like- || Amorites as a seventh nation. His reason is, that Josewise, which produced the precious liquor in such high phus, as well as our Bible, generally distinguish the land esteem among the ancients. The plain of Jericho was beyond Jordan, from the land of Canaan. Nor can it be watered with a rivulet, which was formerly salt and bitter, || denied that, in strictess, they were different. Yet after but was afterwards sweetened by the prophet Elisha, 2 Kin. two tribes and a half of the twelve tribes came to inherit ii. 21, 22; whereupon the adjacent country, which was it, it might in a general way be included under the land watered by it, became not only one of the most agreeable, | of Canaan, Palestine, or Judea. Of which we have a clear but most fertile, spots in all that country. As to the city example before us in Josephus, whose words evidently itself, after it was destroyed by Joshua, it was, in the days imply that, taking the whole land of Canaan, or that inof Ahab king of Israel, rebuilt by Hiel the Bethelite, 1 habited by all the twelve tribes together, and parting it Kings, xvi. 24. and in the times of the last kings of Judea into seven parts; the part beyond Jordan was in quantity yielded to none except Jerusalem. For it was adorned with of ground one seventh of the whole.
And this agrees à royal palace, wherein Herod the Great died : with an with Reland's map of that country. Although this land hippodromus, or place where the Jewish nobility learned || beyond Jordan was so peculiarly fruitful, and good for to ride the great horse, and other arts of chivalry, with an | pasturage, as the two tribes and a half took notice (Num. amphitheatre and other magnificent buildings; but, during | xxxii. 1, 4, 16), tbat it maintained about a fifth part of the siege of Jerusalem, the treachery of its inhabitants the whole people. provoked the Romans to destroy it. After the siege was The eastern writers tell us, that these spies (whom over, there was another city built, but not upon the same they make to be Caleb and Phineas) were valiant and replace where the two former stood, for the ruins of them | ligious men, and in the prime of their youth; that, to pass are seen to this day. Of what account and bigness it was unobserved, they changed their habits, as if they had we have no certain information : but some later travellers
come from a distant country; and, if any one asked them inform us, that at present it is no more than a poor nasty Il any questions, their reply was to this effect: “ We are peo
with the whole state of the Canaanites, For || before sun-setting, and were gone away ; who at first, before they were all discovered, they might easily be taken, if they were any terror took a full view of the city of Jericho without to the city, or likely to bring any danger to disturbance, and sa'w which parts of the walls | the king. So these messengers being thus were strong, and which parts were insecure, || *deloded by the woman, and suspecting no and which of the gates were so weak as might imposition, went their ways, without so much afford an entrance to their army. Now those | as searching the inn: but they immediately that met them took no notice of them when they pursued them along those roads which they saw them, and supposed they were only stran most probably supposed them to have gone, gers, who used to be very curious in observing and tho e particularly which led to the river ; every thing in the city, and did not take them but could hear no tidings of them, so they for enemies. At even they retired to a certain left off any farther pursuit. But, when the tuinn that was near the wall, whither they went mult was over, Rahab brought the men down, to eat their supper ; but when they had finish- and desired them, as soon as they should have ed their repast, and were considering how to obtained possession of the land of Canaan, get away, information was given the king, when it would be in their power to make her that there were some persons come from the amends for her preservation of them, to reHebrews' camp to view the city, as spies; member what danger she had undergone for and that they were in the inn kept by Rahab, | their sakes ; for, that if she had been caught and were very solicitous that they might not concealing them, she could not have escaped be discovered. So he sent immediately and a terrrible destruction, she and all her family: commanded to catch them, and bring them and so bid them go home, and desired them to him that he might examine them by torture, to swear to her, to preserve her and her family and learn what their business was there. As | when they should take the city, and destroy soon as Rahab understood that these messen- | all its inhabitants, as they had resolved to do. gers were coming, she bid the spies under For so far, she said, she had been assured by stalks of fax, which were laid to dry on the those divine miracles of which she had been top of her house ; and said to the messengers informed. So these spies acknowledged that that were sent by the king, that certain un- | they owed her thanks for what she had done known strangers had supped with her, a little already, and withal swore to requite ber kind
ple from the east, and our companions have heard of this Gibeouites ; Chronicon Samaritanum Arabice scriptum,
, and especially in to, without any stop or question. They took a view of Josephus, implying no more. It was indeed so frequenta the walls, the gates, the ramparts, and passed the whole thing that women who were innkeepers were also bar day for men of curiosity only, without any design. Soluls, or maintainers of harlots, that the word commonly
credit may be given to this account, it was used for real harluts was usually given them. See but just that they who thus imposed upon the Canaanites Dr. Bernard's note here, and Judg. xi. 1. and Josephus, should, in the same manner, be imposed upon by the | Antiq. V. 7.
ness not only in words; but in deeds; hut || water being restrained; and the sand appearthey gave her this. advice, that when she ing at the bottom, because the current was should perceive that the city was about to beneither so strong nor so swift, as to carry it taken, she should put her goods, and all her away by its force; so they all passed over the family, by way of security, in: her inn; and river without fear, finding it to be in the
very hang out scarlet threads before her doors, or same state as God had foretold he would put it windows, that the commander of the Hebrews in. But the priests stood still in the midst of might know her house, and take care to do the river, till the multitude should be passed her no harm. “For," said they, “ we will over, and should get to the shore in safety; and inform him of this matter, because of the con- when all were gone over, the priests came out cern thou hast had to preserve us.; but if any also, and permitted the current to run freely as of thy family fall in the battle, do not blame it used to do before. Accordingly, the river, us : and we beseech that God, by whom we as soon as the Hebrews were gone out of it, have sworn, not then to be displeased with us, arose again presently, and canie to its proper as though we had broken our oaths.” So these height as before.* men, when they had made this agreement, So the Hebrews went on farther fifty furwent away; leiting themselves down by a longs, and pitched their camp at the distance rope from the wall, and escaped; and came of ten furlongs from Jericho. "But Joshua built and told their own people whatsoever they had an altar of those stones † which all the heads done in their journey to this city. Joshua also of the tribes, at the command of the prophet, toid Eleazar the high-priest, and the senate, bad taken out of the river; to be afterward a what the spies had sworn to Rahab, who con- memorial of the division of the stream ; and firmed what had been sworn.
upon it offered sacrifice to God: and in that Now while Joshua, the commander, was in place celebrated the Passover, and had great fear about their passing over Jordan, for the plenty of all things which they had wanted river ran with a strong current, and could not hitherto: For they reaped the corn of the Cabe passed over with bridges, for there never | naanites, which was now ripe; and took other had been bridges laid over it hitherto; and things as prey; for then it was that their forwhile he suspected that if he should attempt mer food, which was manna, and of which to make a bridge, the enemies would not af- they had eaten forty years, failed them. ford him time to perfect it; and ferry-boats While the Israelites did this, and the Ca. they had none : God promised so to dispose of | naanites did not attack them, but remained the river that they might pass over it, and that quiet within their own walls, Joshua resolved by taking away the main part of its waters. to besiege them. So on the first day of the So Joshua, after two days, caused the army feast of the Passover, the priests carried the and the whole multitude to pass over in the ark, round about which was some part of the following manner: The priests went first, armed men to be a guard to it. These priests having the ark with them; then went the Le- went forward, blowing with their seven trumvites, bearing the tabernacle and the vesselspets, and exhorted the army to be of good that belonged to the sacrifices; after which the courage, and went round the city with the seentire multitude followed, according to their nate following them; and when the priests had tribes, having their children and their wives in only blown with their trumpets, Ķ for they did the midst of them, as being afraid for them, nothing more at all, they returned to the camp. lest they should be borne away by the stream. And when they had done this for six days, on Bot as soon as the priests had entered the river the seventh Joshua gathered the armed men first, it appeared fordable; the depth of the and all the people together, and told them
* Josb. iv. 10.
ber of tbem, and the place where they lay, which was not + It has been a custom in all nations to erect monu at all stony, was sufficient to signify some memorable ments of stone, in order to preserve the memory of cove-thing, which posterity would not fail to hand down from nants, victories, and other great transactions: and though one generation to another. Patrick's Commentary on there was no inscription upon these stones, yet the num- | Joshua iv. 7. B. I Josh, vi. 13. VOL. 1.—(13.)
the city should now be taken ; since God would || so they were slain, and their throats cut, some on that day give it them, by the falling down in the ways, and others, as caught in their of the walls; and this of their own accord and houses ; nothing afforded them assistance, but without their labor. However, he charged they all perished, even to the women and the them to kill every one whom they should take; children, and the city was filled with dead boand not to abstain from the slaughter of their | dies, and not one person escaped. They also enemies either for weariness or for pity; and burnt the whole city, and the country-about.it, not to fall on the spoil, and be thereby diverted but they saved alive Rahab, with her family, from pursuing their enemies as they ran away; who had fled to her inn; and when she was but to destroy all the animals, and to take brought to him, Joshua owned that they owed nothing for their own peculiar advantage. He her thanks for her preservation of the spies. commanded them also to bring together all He also said he would not appear to be behind the silver and gold, that it might be set aparther in his benefaction to her; and therefore he as first fruits unto God, out of this glorious ex- gave her certain lands immediately, and held ploit, as having gotten them from the first city her in great esteem ever afterwards. they took ; only that they should save Rahab If any part of the city escaped the fire,.he and her kindred alive, because of the path overthrew it from its foundation, and denouncwhich the spies had sworn to her.
ed a curse * against its inhabitaots, if any one When he had said this, and had set his army should desire to rebuild it; how upon his layin order, he brought it against the city; so ing the foundatious of the walls he should be they went round the city again, the ark going deprived of his eldest son, and upon finishing before them, and the priests encouraging the it he should lose his youngest son ; † but what people to be zealous in the work; and when happened hereupon I we shall speak of hereafter. they had gone round it seven times, and had Now, there was an immense quantity of silstood a little, the wall fell down; while no in- ver and gold, and, besides those, of brass also, struments of war, nor any other force, were ap- that was heaped together out of the city when plied to it by the Hebrews.
it was taken; no one transgressing the decree, So they entered into Jericho, and slew all nor purloining for their own peculiar advanthe men that were therein, while they were tage : which spoils Joshua delivered to the affrighted at the surprising overthrow of the priests, to be laid up among their treasures; walls, and their courage was become useless, and thus did Jericho perish. and they were not able to defend themselves ; But there was one À char, the son of Char
* Upon occasion of this devoting of Jericho to destruc- the wall sunk deep in the earth, (as he understands it,) tion, and the exemplary punishment of Achar, who broke would clearly discern that this was not the form of a that cherem, or anathema, and of the punishment of the building destroyed by men, but miraculously thrown future breaker of it, Hiel, 1 Kings xvi. 34. as also of the down by God.' Hiel, however in the reign of Ahab, punishment of Saul, for breaking the like cherem or ana either not remembering, or not believing this denunciathema against the Amalekites, 1 Sam. sv. we may observe tion, was so taken with the beauty of its situation, that he what was the true meaning of that law, Leviticus xxvii. rebuilt Jericho, and, as the sacred history informis us, laid 29. None devoted, which shall be devoted of men, shall the foundation thereof in Abiram his first-born, and set be redeemed, but shall surely be put to death; i.e. When- up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub, according ever any of the Jews' public enemies had been for their to the word of the Lord, which he spake unto Joshua, the wickedness solemnly devoted to destruction, according to son of Nun, 1 Kings xvi. 34. However, after that Iliel the Divine command, as were generally the seven wicked had ventured to rebuild it, no scruple was made of inhanations of Canaan, and those sinners the Amalekites, 1 biting it; for it afterwards became famous upon many Sam. xv. 18. (see the note on IV. 7.) it was utterly un
Here the prophet sweetened the waters of the lawful to permit those enemies to be redeemed, but they spring that supplied it and the neighbouring countries. were to be all utterly destroyed. See also Num. xxi. 2, Here Herod built a sumpluous palace: it was the dwelling3. The words of Joshua's' execration are these :-Cursed place of Zaccheus, and was honored with the presence of be the man before the Lord, that raiseth up and buildeth Christ, who vouchsafed likewise to work some miracles this city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his here Univer. Hist. I. 1. c. 7. B. first born, and in his youngest shall he set up the gates of + Josh, vi. 26. it, Josh, vi. 26. • This anathema (says Maimonides) was # This is now wanting in Josephus. pronounced, that the miracle of the subversion of Jericho § That the name of this thief was not Achan, as in the might be kept in perpetual memory; for whosoever saw