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1. This section gives us the formal assumption of the leadership by Joshua. Prepare you victuals : this of course refers to the cessation of the manna which would take place as soon as the Israelites had crossed from the wilderness into Canaan.
4. Part of the purpose of this section is to connect events with local names in Canaan. Gibeath-ha-araloth is the hill of foreskins'; and Gilgal is connected with the 'rolling' away of reproach. This purpose has been pointed out in several sections of previous books.
vi. Took of the devoted thing: for this idea compare the provision in the Deuteronomic covenant (page 57 of that volume) and the vow of Israel at Hormah (Exodus volume, page 246).
ix. Page 32 : footnote. This portion of the Bible History does not, like the Books of Kings, make regular reference to authorities or other literature; hence such references as this, or the similar cases in Numbers (see Exodus volume, pages 247-9) are best put in the form of footnotes.
10-12. The first section summarises the conquests in the south, the next those in the north, while section 12 takes a general survey
1, 2. Two important sections introductory to the Book of Judges. The first is negative, showing the failure of the people in zeal against the nations of Canaan. The second speaks of positive transgressions against the LORD. Both unite in the common result, that the nations are left by God as a trial to the Israelites. The second section further describes the Judges as temporary saviours raised up by God. Note in i that at this point the tribe of Judah has a sort of leadership.
vi. The hegemony has here passed to the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali, and the enemy is in the northern part of Canaan.
Deborah's Song. This important ode, foundation of so much of the future poetry of Israel, is in ' Antique Metre' (see Introduction to the Genesis volume, page 153). It has further an elaborate antiphonal structure, which can be caught at once from the arrangement in the text. The opening words suggest an antiphony between Deborah leading a chorus of Women, and Barak leading a chorus of Men (compare the Song of Moses and Miriam, Exodus volume, pages 46, 297). This arrangement is confirmed by the details of the poem, which as given in the text often show special fitness to the respective performers. Antiphonal structure is closely allied to antistrophic structure, but is not identical with it, because the strophes may not be equal. In the present case the latter part of the poem is strictly antistrophic, and is so marked in the text; the earlier part may be so described if allowance be made for the passages assigned to the Men and Women singing
together, which passages are analogous to the epodes or mesodes in antistrophic poetry.
vii-ix. Throughout the events of these sections the tribe of Ephraim seems to claim an hegemony; the leaders in these episodes do not come from that tribe, but the Ephraimites make it a grievance that they have not been summoned as a matter of course. Gideon succeeds in soothing their offended pride, but in the case of Jephthah a civil war ensues.
The importance of these sections as bringing to a focus the floating idea of kingship, which is the link binding together all this portion of the sacred history, has been pointed out in the Introduction, pages vii-x.
xvii-xxii. The stories of Samson make a continuous'cycle'; compare the Elisha Cycle in the Books of Kings. The Danites now seem in the forefront, as also in the next section (xxiii); but Samson appears as the representative of the Nazirites even more than the representative of his own tribe.
xxiii. Besides being representative of the tribal history of Dan, this section has a place in the book as illustrating the general state of lawlessness, when there was no king and every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
xxiv. In this final episode of Book VI, we see an approach towards national unity, in the fact that, though it is a case of civil war, yet all Israel is united against a single tribe. In the civil wars of Abimelech, and of Jephthah with the Men of Ephraim, the disturbance was much more confined in its area.
Page 145: footnote. The sentence So the children of Benjamin saw that they were smitten is evidently continued in the
words but six hundred men turned and fled, etc. What comes between is a comment on saw that they were smitten, explaining this by repeating what has already been related.
i-iii. These sections contain the birth and call of Samuel, who is the centre of the whole transitional stage which makes Book VII (see Introduction, page x). It will be observed that an approach towards national unity, in advance of anything in previous books, is suggested by the position of Shiloh as a recognised national centre, and the ark as the symbol to which all look for the emblem of national safety. Eli is however only described as a judge.
Song of Hannah. This is in Antique Metre, without any further structure. Like the thanksgivings of Zacharias and of Mary in St. Luke, it is a personal thanksgiving merged in a hymn of general character.
4. In this incident the authority of Samuel appears as fully established.
v. Incidentally this story supplies a link in the development of the idea of kingship. The notion seems to have vaguely established itself, that the authority of a judge descended in his family; and the unworthiness of the sons both of Eli and Samuel gives an impetus to the demand for a kingly family.
This section is of course the pivotal incident of the whole book : Samuel the judge appoints (with Divine sanction) a king, and retires, retaining his prophetic position as a check upon the kingship in the name of the old theocracy.
6. This historic section first evidences the success of the new king in uniting the whole nation against the foe; and then brings out the first breach between the kingly and prophetic authorities.
ix. This story brings out the second and final breach between king and prophet; in the next section the kingship is transferred to the house of David. In him the prophetic spirit is to be united with the kingly.
xi, xiii. The two (interrupted by a story personal to Saul) make the epic history of the Feud of Saul and David. There is the epic interest of a sacred story of adventure; historically the fulness of the story is justified by the struggle between the rejected and chosen royal families, with the beautiful unifying effect of the recognition of David by Jonathan.
David's Lament over Saul and Jonathan. In the note on Traditional Poetry (Genesis volume, page 154) this has been mentioned as an exception to the law of Antique Metre: its structure showing parallel couplets of which both lines are strengthened, which is of course one way of developing quatrains. It has the further structural interest of an augmenting refrain. This beautiful refrain seems to rest for its effect upon the bringing together two ideas, like a crescendo and decrescendo in music: How are the mighty<>Fallen! This fragmentary refrain as it appears at the beginning is enlarged at the passage from the section on Saul to that on Jonathan, and still further enlarged at the close of the whole.