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name JEHOVAH, then Moses must have used it in Genesis by prolepsis or anticipation. But probably we should, with Mr. Locke and others, read it interrogatively, for the negative particle 5, lo, not, has frequently this power in Hebrew: "I appeared unto Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob by the name of God Almighty, and by my name JEHOVAH was I not also made known unto them?'+
Exod. xii. 40. “Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years." The Samaritan Pentateuch,
ומושב בני ישראל ואבותם : in all its manuscripts and printed copies, reads -Now the sojourn • אשר ישבו בארץ כנען ובארץ מצרים שלשים שנה וארבע מאות שנה:
ing of the children of Israel, and of their fathers in the land of Canaan and in the land of Egypt was 430 years.' The Alexandrine copy of the Septuagint has the same reading; and the same statement is made by the Apostle Paul, in Gal. iii. 17, who reckons from the promise made to Abraham to the giving of the law. That these three witnesses have the truth, the chronology itself proves; for it is evident that the descendants of Israel did not dwell 430 years in Egypt; while it was equally evident that the period from Abraham's entry into Canaan to the Exodus is exactly that number. Thus from Abraham's entrance into the promised land to the birth of Isaac was twenty-five years; Isaac was sixty at the birth of Jacob; Jacob was 130 at his going into Egypt; where he and his children continued 215 years more; making in the whole 430 years. See Kennicott's Dissertation on the Hebrew Text.†
Num. iv. 39. "All that were numbered of the Levites, which Moses and Aaron numbered at the commandment of the Lord, throughout their families, all the males from a month old and upward were twenty and two thousand." This total does not agree with the particulars; for the Gershonites were 7500, the Kohathites, 8600, and the Merarites, 6200, which make a total of 22,300. Several methods of solving this difficulty have been proposed by learned men. Houbigant supposes there is an error in the enumeration of the Kohathites in ver. 28; the numeral ww, shesh, 'six,' being written instead of ww, shalosh, 'three,' before hundred. Dr. Kennicott's mode of reconciling the discrepancy, however, is the most simple. He supposes that an error has crept into the number of the Gershonites in ver. 22, where instead of 7500, we should read 7200, as 7 caph final, which stands for 500, might have been easily mistaken for resh, 200. (Dr. Kennicott on the Hebrew Text, vol. ii. p. 212.) Either of these modes will equally reconcile the difference.*
Num. viii. 24. "This is it that belongeth unto the Levites: from twenty and five years old and upward they shall go in to wait upon the service of the tabernacle of the congregation:" In ch. 4. 3, the Levites are appointed to the service of the tabernacle at the age of thirty years; and in chap. 23, 24, they are ordered to commence their work at twenty years of In age. order to reconcile this apparent discrepancy, it is to be observed, 1. At the
time of which Moses speaks in ch. 4. 3, the Levitical service was exceedingly severe, and consequently required full grown, robust men to perform it the age of thirty was therefore appointed as the period for commencing this service, the weightier part of which was probably there intended. 2. In this place God seems to speak of the service in a general way; hence the age of twenty-five is fixed. 3. In David's time and afterwards, in the fixed tabernacle and temple, the laboriousness of the service no longer existed, and hence twenty years was the age appointed.* Num. xxv. 9. "And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand." St. Paul reckons only twenty-three thousand; though some MSS. and versions, particularly the latter Syriac and the Armenian, have, as here, 24,000. Allowing the 24,000 to be genuine, and none of the Hebrew MSS. exhibit a various reading here, and the 23,000 of St. Paul to be also genuine, the two places may be reconciled by supposing, what is very probable, that Moses includes in the 24,000, the 1000 men who were slain in consequence of the judicial examination (v. 4.), as well as the 23,000 who died of the plague; while St. Paul only refers to the latter.*
Num. xxvi. 11. “Notwithstanding the children of Korah died not." It seems to be intimated in ch. 16. 27, 31-33, that not only the men, but the sons and the little ones of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram were swallowed up by the earthquake; but the text here expressly affirms, that the children of Korandied not;' and their descendants were famous even in David's time. On a close inspection, however, of verse 27 of the abovementioned chapter, we shall find that the sons and the little ones of Dathan and Abiram alone are mentioned. There is no mention of the children of Korah; they, therefore, probably either not consenting to their father's crime, or speedily repenting, were preserved when he was cut off; while it appears that those of Dathan and Abiram perished with their
Num. xxxi. 3, 17, 18. "And Moses spake unto the people, saying, Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the Lord of Midian. Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves." It was God's quarrel, not their own, that they were now to take up. These people were idolaters, and had seduced the Israelites to practise the same abominations; idolatry is an offence against God; and the civil power has no authority to meddle with what belongs to Him, without especial directions, certified as in this case, in the most unequivocal manner. Private revenge, ambition, or avarice were to have no place in this business: Jehovah is to be avenged; and through Him, the children of Israel, (ver. 2.) because they were nearly ruined by their idolatries. If Jehovah, instead of punishing sinners by
* Comprehensive Bible, Note in loco.
earthquakes, pestilence, or famine, is pleased expressly to command any person or people to avenge his cause, this commission justifies, nay, sanctifies, war, massacre, or devastation. Though none can at present shew such a commission, yet the Israelites could; and it is therefore absurd to censure Moses, Joshua, and Israel, for the dreadful slaughter made by them. God himself passed sentence of condemnation, and employed them merely as ministers of his vengeance; and unless it could be proved that the criminals did not deserve their doom, or that God had no right to punish his rebellious creatures, such objectors only shew their enmity to God by becoming the unsolicited advocates of his enemies.*
The sword of war should spare women and children, as incapable of resisting; but the sword of justice knows no distinction, except that of guilty or not guilty, or more or less guilty. This was the execution of a righteous sentence upon a guilty nation, in which the women were the greatest criminals; and it may safely be said, that their lives were forfeited by their personal transgressions. With respect to the execution of the male infants, who cannot be supposed to have been guilty, God, the author and supporter of life, who has a right to dispose of it when and how he thinks proper, commanded it and shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?'*
It has been groundlessly asserted, that Moses here authorised the Israelites to make concubines of the whole number of female children; and a formidable objection against his writings has been grounded upon this monstrous supposition. But the whole tenor of the law, and especially a statute recorded in Deut. 21. 10-14, proves most decisively to the contrary. They were merely permitted to possess them as female slaves, educating them in their families, and employing them as domestics; for the laws concerning fornication, concubinage, and marriage, were in full force, and prohibited an Israelite even from marrying a captive, without delays and previous formalities; and if he afterwards divorced her, he was to set her at liberty, because he had humbled her'.*
2 Sam. i. 6-10. compared with 1 Sam. xxxi. 3-6. The story of this young man appears to be wholly a fiction, formed for the purpose of ingratiating himself with David, as the next probable successor to the crown. There is no fact in the case, except the bringing of the diadem and bracelets of Saul, as a sufficient evidence of his death, which, as he appears to have been a plunderer of the slain, he seems to have stripped from the body of the unfortunate monarch. It is remarkable, that Saul, who had forfeited his crown by his disobedience and ill-timed clemency with respect to the Amalekites, should now have the insignia of royalty stripped from his person by one of those very people.*
In 2 Sam. xxiii. 13, we read, " And three of the THIRTY chiefs went down, and came to David in the harvest time unto the cave of Adullam: and the troop of the Philistines pitched in the valley of Rephaim, &c."
From the number of self evident that oww,
But by the enumeration, and from verse 39, we learn that instead of THIRTY they amount to "thirty and seven in all." these officers then being thirty-seven, it is almost cannot denote the thirty, as rendered in verse 13, &c., but some particular description of men, or officers; for it can scarcely be said, with propriety, that we have thirty-seven out of thirty; and besides in the parallel place in 1 Chronicles there are sixteen added!* ww, should most probably be read, instead of shaloshim, thirty, shalishim, as it is in verse 8, and ch. 11. 11, and Exod. 14. 7, captains: where lxx. render rporaras, which Jerome (on Ezek. 33.) says among the Greeks is the name of the second rank after the royal dignity.*
2 Sam. xxiv. 9. "And Joab gave up the sum of the number of the people unto the king: and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the sword; and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men." In the parallel place in Chronicles xxi. 5, 6, the men of Israel are said to be 1,100,000, and the men of Judah 470,000; to reconcile which, it has been observed, that the embodied troops of the Israelites were not reckoned here; and that, there being twelve companies of 24,000 each, and allowing to each 1,000 officers, the deficiency is exactly supplied. So to account for the deficiency in Judah, some are of opinion that the legionary soldiers are included in the one account and not in the other.* It should, however, be observed, that the Syriac in Chronicles has 800,000, as in the parallel passage of Samuel.*
1 Kings v. 11. "And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat for food to his household, and twenty measures of pure oil: thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by year." Twenty thousand baths of oil' are mentioned in Chronicles (ch. 2. 10); and the Syriac, Arabic, and Septuagint also have here twenty thousand measures.' But as barley and wine are also spoken of there, it is probable, that the wheat mentioned here, and the small quantity of fine oil, was intended for the use of Hiram's own family, while that in Chronicles was for his workmen.*
1 Kings 5. 16. "Beside the chief of Solomon's officers which were over the work, three thousand and three hundred, which ruled over the people that wrought in the work." In the parallel passage of Chronicles (ch. 2. 18), it is three thousand six hundred,' which is also the reading of the Septuagint here, and which is probably the true reading.*
1 Kings viii. 65, 66. "And at that time Solomon held a feast, and all Israel with him, a great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt, before the Lord our God, seven days and seven days, even fourteen days. On the eighth day he sent the people away: and they blessed the king, and went unto their tents joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that the Lord had done for David his servant, and for Israel his people." In the parallel passage of Chronicles (ch. 7. 10), this is termed the three and twentieth day of the seventh month,'
* Comprehensive Bible, Note in loco.
that is, the ninth day of the dedication; which Jarchi reconciles by supposing that Solomon gave them leave to return on the eighth day, and many of them did then return; and that he dismissed the remainder on the ninth, or 23d of the seventh month.*
1 Kings xiii. 20-22. "And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of the Lord came unto the prophet that brought him back: And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the Lord, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the Lord, and hast not kept the commandment which the Lord thy God commanded thee, but camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which the Lord did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers." "A great clamour," says Dr. Kennicott," has been raised against this part of history, on account of God's denouncing sentence on the true prophet by the mouth of the false prophet; but, if we examine with attention the original words here, they will be found to signify either, 'he who brought him back,' or, 'whom he had brought back ;' for the very same words, w¬x, asher heshivo, occur again, ver. 23, where they are now translated, 'whom he had brought back;' and where they cannot be translated otherwise. This being the case, we are at liberty to consider the words of the Lord as delivered to the true prophet, thus brought back; and then the sentence is pronounced by God himself, calling to him out of heaven, as in Gen. 22. 11. And that this doom was thus pronounced by God, not by the false prophet, we are assured in ver. 26. 'The Lord hath delivered him unto the lion, according to the word of the Lord, which He spake unto him.' Josephus [and also the Arabic] asserts, that the sentence was declared by God to the true prophet.” *
1 Kings xv. 6. "And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life." Instead of Rehoboam, fourteen MSS., the Arabic, and some copies of the Targum, read Abijam. The Syriac has, 'Abia, the son of Rehoboam;' and the Editio Princeps of the Vulgate has Abia. This is doubtless the true reading, as otherwise it would be an unnecessary repetition of ch. 14. 30, and a repetition which interrupts the history of Abijah. This then agrees with 2 Chr. 13. 3, &c.*
2 Kings xv. 23. "And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days." That is, there was a constant spirit of hostility kept up between the two kingdoms, and no doubt frequent skirmishing between the bordering parties; but there was no open war till Baasha king of Israel began to build Ramah, which was, according to 2 Chr. 15. 19; 16. 1, in the thirty-sixth year of Asa; but according to ch. 16. 8, 9, Baasha was killed by Zimri in the twenty-sixth year of Asa, and consequently he could not make war upon him in the thirty-sixth year of his reign. Chronologers endeavour to reconcile this, by saying that the years should be reckoned, not from the beginning of Asa's reign, but, from the