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Israel requires a national and spiritual restoration of imitated Hebrew of the latest prophets. While there the Jews.
are undoubted archaisms in Deuteronomy (the words It is worth while to observe that the whole Decalogue for “he” and “she” are not distinguished in the is, literally and verbally, a prediction of its own fulfil- Pentateuch, and similarly the word for “ damsel” of ment. The ten commandments, with the exception of Deut. xxii. 15 to end, is not to be distinguished from the fifth, are all in the future indicative. The two great the common word for a “boy," except by the pointing), commandments are both future indicative.
yet the diction throughout is that of a highly-educated shalt love the Lord thy God . . . and thy neighbour," and cultivated mind. There is no difference whatever contains “thou wilt love him," as the stronger contains between the Hebrew of the middle portion and that the weaker form of speech. “Ye shall be therefore of the rest of the book. And the occurrence of Deuperfect,” in Matt. v. 48, contains, Ye will be. If “one teronomic phrases, in Jeremiah or elsewhere, does not jot or one tittle shall in no wiso pass from the law, touch the argument. Quotations from the Bible in a until it is all done,” all carried out in fact (Matt. v. 18), volume of sermons do not prove the Bible to have been then clearly He who gave it signified in the same breath made up from them. The setting of the phrases is a His intention that men should keep it; and, if His word matter of quite as much importance, as the occurrence shall not pass away, the Law will
one day be kept, not of the phrases themselves. Even when judged by the merely in those literal details which must vary with concordance, the Hebrew of Deuteronomy will be every change of times and manners, but in spirit and found distinct from that of the prophets. And it must in truth.
be remembered that no concordance ever exhibits a Actual predictions in the laws of Deuteronomy are writer's style. The most it can do is to analyse his not wanting More especially we may refer to the vocabulary It can tell us little or nothing of the prophecy of the prophet like unto Moses in chap. xviii., structure of his thoughts. Further, the application of and the well-known prophecies in chaps. xxviii, xxxii., one uniform system of vowel-pointing, accentuation, and xxxij. I do not think the law concerning the and division, to the whole of the prose of the Old king in chap. xvii. is necessarily a prediction. It seems Testament, has tended greatly to obscure the characterto me that any thoughtful man who had watched the istic differences of the Hebrew writers. No one who has development of the nations descended from Terah, as not read
passages from several Hebrew writers without Moab, Ammon, Edom, or Midian, must have foreseen vowel-points, could at all imagine what a difference the that Israel would not remain long in Palestine without absence of these makes to the perceptibility of the feeling the necessity for a form of government which style. It is to be feared that too much of the attention other nations could recognise, and by which national of modern commentators has been absorbed by the intercourse could be maintained—a government em. external dress and uniform of the Hebrew of the Old bodied in some responsible and perpetual representative Testament to allow them to perceive what the style of head. So far from feeling any difficulty in the mention a Hebrew writer really is. Unless some excuse of this of a king in Deuteronomy, I apprehend that no man kind may be made, I find myself wholly unable to who attempted to frame a constitution for the people conceive how the Hebrew of Deuteronomy can be atin the country which God was about to give them, tributed by scholars to any known writer among the could possibly have avoided the question whether there later prophets. The style of Joshua alone bears any should be a king or not. And if the king was men. resemblance to it. The ruggedness of Samuel and tioned, some sketch of his anthority and its limitations David, notwithstanding all David's commaud of lancould not be left out. What more do we actually find guage, exhibits a most remarkable diversity. in Deuteronomy xvii.? That the relation of the Church The culture of the prophets is wholly different from to the written Word of God should be there delineated that which we find in the Pentateuch. At the same for all time (see Note on chap. xvii. 8—12) seems to time it is very possible that the Hebrew style of Moses me a very much more remarkable indication of pro- was peculiarly his own. It may well be supposed to phetic insight, and of the mind of a “man of God.' have been above the level of the common language of
the nation. The early Egyptian education and varied III. Unity of the Book of Deuteronomy.- experience of Moses would tend to produce a somewhat Upon the whole, the result of this examination and special mode of thought and expression. analysis of the several parts of Deuteronomy, is to produce a strong impression of the unity and symmetry V. Commentaries on Deuteronomy.-I regret of the whole. The middle portion is found to be quite
that the time allotted to me for this work has not peras suitable to the date of the Exodus, in respect of its mitted me to make use of modern commentaries to any subject matter, as the earlier and later portions of the appreciable extent. Canon Espin's notes in the Speaker's book. But when we come to consider the
Commentary I found useful. I thought it my duty
to pay special attention to modern critical theories IV. Style of the language in which it is written, about later authorship, and in order to test them I and especially of the Hebrew original, the probability found it necessary to ascertain somewhat precisely already established rises almost to the certainty of what the Jewish view of the various enactments in demonstration. The style of the Hebrew of Deuter- Deuteronomy was.
I therefore read Rashi's commenonomy is unique. It is to all other Hebrew what the tary carefully throughout, and in all cases of difficulty, Latin of the Augustan age and the purest Attic Greek consulted other Jewish writers also. The references to are to later stages and imitations of those two classic the Talmud in Rashi are numerous; and these, in many tongues. The poetry of David, the proverbs of Solomon, instances, I verified. In particular the alleged dis. the visions of Isaiah, the lamentations of Jeremiah, and crepancy concerning the laws of tithe was entirely the polished Hebrew of Ezekiel, all have their separate cleared up to my mind by this means. I am satisfied beauties. The style of Deuteronomy bears no resem. that no contradiction between Deuteronomy and the blance whatever to any of them—far less to the mixture carlier books of the Pentateuch can be reasonably of Hebrew and Chaldee which we find in Ezra, or the maintained.
THE FIFTH BOOK OF MOSES, CALLED
CHAPTER 1.-(1) These be the words which Moses spake unto all Israel on this side Jordan in the wilderness, in 1 or, Zuph. the plain over against the Red sea, be
tween Paran, and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Dizahab. (2) (There are eleven days' journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir unto Kadesh
golden calf. And it is not inconceivable that the
place where that object of idolatry was “burned with (1) These be the words which Moses spake fire,” and “stamped” and “ground very small,” till unto all Israel.- The first two verses and the three it was as “small as dust,” and cast into the brook that follow form a kind of double introduction to that descended out of the mount” (chap. ix. 21), was the book, and perhaps more especially to the first called “gold enough” from the apparent waste of portion of it, which ends with chap. iv. 40.
the precious metal that took place there ; possibly On this side Jordan.-Literally, on the other also because Moses made the children of Israel drink side Jordan from the writer's or reader's point of of the water. They had enough of that golden calf view.
before they had done with it. If this view of the In the wilderness.-These words define still geography of this verse be correct, it defines with further the expression which precedes: “on the wil. considerable clearness the line of march from Sinai derness side of Jordan,” or “ before they crossed the to Kadesh-barnea. It lies between the mountains Jordan, while they were still in the wilderness.” on the edge of the wilderness of Paran upon the Strictly speaking, the words “ in the wilderness west, and the Gulf of Akabah on the east, until that cannot be connected with what follows, for “the gulf is left behind by the traveller going northward. plain” described is on neither side of Jordan, but It then enters the desert of Zin, called here the plain, below the southern end of the Dead Sea.
or 'Arâbah. This desert is bounded by ranges of In the plain-i.e., the 'Arâbah. Usually the plain mountains on both sides, and looks down to the Gulf of Jordan; here the valley that extends from the lower of Akabah. Behind the western range we still have end of the Dead Sea to the head of the Gulf of the wilderness of Paran. On the east are the Akabah.
mountains of Edom, which Israel first had on their Over against the Red Sea.-Heb., opposite right in the march to Kadesh-barnea, and then on Súph. In all other places in the Old Testament, their left in a later journey, in the last year of the when we read of the Red Sea, it is Yam Sûph. Here exodus, when they compassed the land of Edom. we have Saph only. On these grounds some take it Tophel lies on the east of this range, just before as the name of a place. (Comp. Vaheb in Sûphah, the route becomes level with the southern end of Num. xxi. 14, margin.) But we do not know the place; the Dead Sea. and as the Jewish paraphrasts and commentators find But the whole of the route between Paran on the no difficulty in accepting Sûph by itself as the sea, we left and those other five places on the right belongs may take it of the Gulf of Akabah. The plain be. to Israel's first march from Sinai to Kadesh. It tween Paran and Tophel looks straight down to that takes them up the desert of Zin, and, so far as these gulf.
two verses are concerned, it keeps them there. Between Paran, and Tophel . . :-Literally, (2) Eleven days' journey from Horeb between Paran, and between Tophel and Laban, &c.: In our English Version this verse forms a separate that is, between Paran on the one side, and Tophel sentence; but there seems nothing to prevent our and Laban and Hazeroth and Dizahab on the other. taking it as completing the first verse. The route This is the literal meaning, and it suits the geography between Paran on the one side and the line from so far as the places are yet identified. The small map Tophel to Hazeroth on the other is still further at p. 239 of Conder's Handbook to the Bible shows defined as “a distance of eleven days' journey from the desert of Paran stretching northward from Sinai Horeb in the direction of Mount Seir, reaching to on the left, and on the right, Tophel and Hazeroth Kadesh-barnea.” The position of this last place is (the only other places identified among these five) not yet determined with certainty. But the require. at the two extremities of a line drawn from the south- ments of the text seem, upon the whole, to demand east end of the Dead Sea in the direction of Sinai. that it should be placed high up in the wilderness Tophel is taken as Tufileh, and Hazeroth is 'Ain of Paran, not far from the border of the wilderness Hadra. Laban must be some “white” place lying of Zin. It must be close to some passage out of between, probably named from the colour of the the wilderness of Zin into the Negeb, or south of rocks in its neighbourhood. Dizahab should be nearer Judah. Sinai than Hazeroth. The Jewish commentators, from Kadesh-barnea.-In the regular narrative of the its meaning, "gold enough,” connected it with the exodus we read of the place to which the twelve
spies returned as Kadesh (Num. xiii. 26), and of been acquainted with the places mentioned (three of the place at which the period of unrecorded wander- which are not named in the previous books); he ing closed (Num. xx. 1), in the first month of the could not have drawn his knowledge from the earlier fortieth year, as Kadesh. The name Kadesh-barnea part of the Pentateuch. And so entirely has the first appears in Moses' speech (Num. xxxii. 8), where geography of Deut. i. 1 been lost by tradition, that all he refers to the sending of the twelve spies. And the Targums and Jewish commentators agree in with the exception of three places where the name spiritualising the passage, and say, “ these are the is used in describing boundaries, Kadesh-barnea is words of reproof which Moses spake to all Israel in always found in speeches. This first chapter of respect of their behaviour at these various places.” Deuteronomy is the only one which contains the Laban points to their murmuring at the white manna. name both with and without the appendage .barnea, Dizahab to the golden calf, and so on. Even Rasbi, which connects it with the wanderings of Israel usually a most literal commentator, says, “ Moses has (verse 32). Upon the whole, it seems most likely enumerated the places where they wrought provothat only one place or district is intended by the cation before the PLACE”-a Rabbinical name for
Jehovah: for “the whole world is His place, though We have now obtained the following view of this His place is more than the whole world.” This infirst short introduction to the Book of Deuteronomy. troduction to Deuteronomy seems the work of one It consists of words spoken (in the first instance) to who had known the wilderness, and yet wrote from all Israel on their march from Sinai to Kadesh-barnea. Palestine. Joshua, the next writer to Moses, and But the following verses show that the Law was further possibly also his amanuensis, may have prefixed it " declared” to Israel in the plains of Moab, at
to the book. If he did not, it is wholly impossible the close of the fortieth year of the exodus and of
to say who did. Moses' life. It does not seem possible for us to (3) And it came to pass in the fortieth year, separate entirely what was spoken earlier from what in the eleventh month. The "and" is the real was declared later. In several places we have the beginning of Deuteronomy, and connects it with the record of words spoken: for example, in this very previous books. The moral of these words has been chapter (verses 9, 16, 18, 20, 29, 43), and chap. v. 5, well pointed out by Jewish writers. It was but eleven &c. And the very name Deuteronomy implies the re- days' journey from Sinai to Kadesh-barnea—the place petition of a law previously given. Further, the ex- from whence Israel should have begun the conquest hortations contained in this book are all enforced by of the promised land; but not only eleven days of the immediate prospect of going over Jordan and the second year of the exodus, but eleven months of entering the promised land. But when Israel marched the fortieth year found them still in the wilderness. from Sinai to Kadesh-barnea, it was with this very “We see that they could not enter in because of same prospect full in view. It does not appear, by unbelief.” what Moses “said” at that time (verse 20), that he (3, 4) Moses spake unto the children of Israel had any thought of their turning away from the after he had slain Sihon . and Og.enterprise. But if so, what supposition is more The conquest of these two kings and their territories natural than this—that he delivered the same kind was one of the exploits of the fortieth year. (See of exhortations in the course of that earlier journey Num. xxi. 21–35.) Before the eleventh month of which he afterwards delivered in the plains of Moab? that year, not only Sihon and Og, but also the five And although the distance is but eleven days' march, princes of Midian," who were dukes of Sihon, dwellthe Israelites spent something like three months on ing in the country” (Josh. xii. 21), had also been the way, and in waiting for the spies to return from slain (Num. xxxi.). This completed the conquest, and Canaan.
was the last exploit of Moses' life. In the period We conclude, then, that the first two verses of of repose that followed he found a suitable time Deuteronomy are an editorial introduction, stating to exhort the children of Israel, “according unto that the substance of this book was first delivered all that the Lord had given him in commandment to Israel by Moses between Sinai and Kadesh-barnea. unto them." From chap. xxxiv. 8, we learn that The further introduction which follows (in verses 3—5) the children of Israel wept for Moses thirty days.” shows the words to have been re-delivered in the These days would seem to be the last month of the plains of Moab, and preserved in their later rather fortieth year, for“. on the tenth day of the first than their earlier form. But it is also possible that
month (probably of the next year, Josh. iv. 19) the two first verses of Deuteronomy are an introduc. they passed over Jordan. Thus the last delivery of tion to the first discourse above. (See Note on chap. the discourses recorded in Deuteronomy would seem
to lie within a single month. Is it possible to advance a step further, and conjecture (5) On this side Jordan, in the land of Moab. with any degree of probability to what hand we owe - This would be on the other side of Jordan from the the first two verses of the book ? The expression stand-point of the writer, or of the readers for whom "on the other side Jordan ” (which some take to be the book was intended, which is Palestine. a technical term) seems strictly to mean on the oppo. Began Moses.—“ Began," i.e., “determined” or site side to the writer. The writer must also have "assayed."
The Promise of the
Lord to Israel.
(6) The LORD our God spake unto us - Pichi coll his go in and possess the land which the in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long
Lord sware unto your fathers, a Abraenough in this mount: (7) turn you, and
ham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto take your journey, and go to the mount
them and to their seed after them. of the Amorites, and unto lall the places
(9) And I spake unto you at that time, nigh thereunto, in the plain, in the hills, 2 Heb., given. saying, I am not able to bear you myand in the vale, and in the south, and
self alone : (10) the LORD your
God by the sea side, to the land of the Ca
hath multiplied you, and, behold, ye naanites, and unto Lebanon, unto the
are this day as the stars of heaven for great river, the river Euphrates. (8) Be
multitude. (11) (The LORD God of your hold, I have a set the land before you : a Gen. 15. 18. & 17. fathers make you a thousand times so
To declare.-The emphatic reiteration of what church militant, an army encamped around the taberhad been already received from God and delivered nacle of God. This year and its institutions fill up to Israel may be intended. But the Hebrew word exactly one-third of the text of the Pentateuch. here employed occurs in two other places only, and (7) Enter the mount of the Amorites-i.e., in both is connected with writing. (See chap. xvii. 8, the southern part of Judah, from which the five kings " thou shalt write upon the stones all the words of of the Amorites, the southern confederacy of Josh. x. this law very plainly” (bâér hétéb, in writing and in (which see), arose to attack Gibeon. Israel would have making good). Again, in Hab. ii. 2,"
write the vision, marched into the heart of this territory had they and make it plain upon tables.” The etymological entered from Kadesh,“ by the way of the spies." affinities of the word also suggest the idea of writing. And unto all the places nigh thereunto.It would seem, then, that at this period Moses began The rest of the promised land is thus described : In the to throw the discourses and laws that he had delivered plain-of Jordan. In the mountain-the hill.country into a permanent form, arranging and writing them of Judah in the south, Mount Ephraim in the centre, with the same motive which influenced the Apostle and the mountainous district further north. In Peter (2 Pet. i. 15), “Moreover, I will endeavour the Shephelah-Philistia. In the Negeb—the land that ye may be able after my decease to have these afterwards assigned to Simeon, in the far south of things always in remembrance."
Judah. And by the sea side to the north of Carmel In this discourse the history of Israel, from the (see Josh. ix. 1; Judges v. 17), the coasts of the time of their departure from Sinai, is briefly reca- Great Sea over against Lebanon, and in the territory pitulated (chap. xi, 29), and with a short practical of Asher and Zebulun, as far as Phænicia (Gen. xlix. 13). exhortation. This portion of history comprises three The land of the Canaanites, and unto Lebaperiods of the exodus : (1) The march from Sinai non.-The Canaanites held the plain of Esdraelon to Kadesh-barnea, with the sending of the twelve spies and the fortresses in the north. From Lebanon, the and its results, related more at length in Num. x. 11 conquest would extend ultimately to the north-east, -end of chap. xiv. The characteristic feature of this even to the great river, the river Euphrates. period is failure on the part of both leaders and (8) To give unto them.-Note that the land is people to rise to their high calling. Moses (Num. xi.), promised to Abraham, and to Isaac, and to Jacob, not Aaron and Miriam (Num. xii.), Joshua (Num. xi. 28), only to their seed. The promise is not forgotten, the spies, who were also rulers (chaps. xiii., xiv.), and though the three patriarchs are in another world. the people throughout, all in turn exhibit the defects (Comp. Acts vii. 5, and Heb. xi. 16. See also Note of their character. In the end the enterprise is aban- on chap. xi. 21.) doned for the time. (2) The thirty-seven and a half years that follow are a period of disgrace, as appears (9—18) In these words Moses appears to combine the by the absence of all note of time or place in the recollection of two distinct things: (1) the advice of direct narrative between Num. xiv. and Num. XX. Jethro (Exod. xviii.), by following which he would be Certain places are mentioned in Num. xxxiii. which relieved from the ordinary pressure of litigation ; (2) must belong to this period, but nothing is recorded the still further relief afforded him by the appointment of them beyond the names. A single verse (Deut. of the seventy elders. These last received the gift of ii. 1), is all that is assignable to that period in this prophecy, and were thus enabled to relieve Moses from discourse of Moses. This long wandering was also some of the higher responsibilities of his office by reprea period of training and discipline. (3) The fortieth senting his mind and reproducing his personal influence year of the exodus, in which the conquest of Sihon in many parts of the camp at once. Jethro's advice and Og was effected, and Israel reached the banks was given on their first arrival in Horeb: when it was of Jordan. The sentence of death pronounced against carried into effect we are not told. The seventy elders their elder generation having been executed, a new were appointed (Num. xi.) between Sinai and Kadeshlife was now begun.
barnea, shortly after they left Sinai.
It is quite pos. (6) The Lord our God spake unto us in sible that both institutions came into existence at the Horeb.-The “ Lord our God," “ Jehovah our Elo.
me. The seventy elders would have been of him," is the watchword of the whole book.
great service in the selection of the numerous judges Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount. and officers who were required. - From the beginning of the second month of the first year of the exodus (Exod. xix. 1) to the twentieth (9) I am not able to bear you myself alone.day of the second month of the second year (Num. Repeated almost exactly from Num. xi. 14. x. 11). This was the period of organisation, in which (îl) The Lord God of your fathers ... bless the people received the Law and were organised as a you.—This appears to belong distinctly to the Book of
a John 7. 24.
16. 19; 1 Sam. 16.
many more as ye are, and bless you, as |1 Heb., give. reb, we went through all that great and he hath promised you !) (12) How can I
terrible wilderness, which ye saw by the myself alone bear your cumbrance,
way of the mountain of the Amorites, and your burden, and your strife ?
as the LORD our God commanded us; (13) 1 Take you wise men, and under- 2 Heb., gave. and
came to Kadesh-barnea. standing, and known among your tribes,
(20) And I said unto you, Ye are come and I will make them rulers over you.
unto the mountain of the Amorites, (14) And ye answered me, and said, The
which the LORD our God doth give unto thing which thou hast spoken is good
us. (21) Behold, the LORD thy God hath for us to do. (15) So I took the chief of
set the land before thee: go up and your tribes, wise men, and known, and
possess it, as the LORD God of thy made them heads over you, captains
fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, over thousands, and captains over hun- Lev. 19:15: ch, neither be discouraged. dreds, and captains over fifties, and
(22) And ye came near unto me every captains over tens, and officers among
and said, We will send men your tribes. (16) And I charged your
before us, and they shall search us judges at that time, saying, Hear the
out the land, and bring us wor] causes between your brethren, and is the face acknor- again by what way we must go up, and o judge righteously between every man
into what cities we shall come. (23) And and his brother, and the stranger that is
the saying pleased me well: and I took with him. (17) Ye shall not 3 respect
twelve men of you, one of a tribe : persons in judgment; but ye shall hear
(24) and a they turned and went up into the small as well as the great; ye shall
the mountain, and came unto the valley not be afraid of the face of
of Eshcol, and searched it out. (25) And the judgment is God's : and the cause
they took of the fruit of the land in that is too hard for you, bring it unto
their hands, and brought it down unto me, and I will hear it. (18) And I com
us, and brought us word again, and manded you at that time all the things
said, It is a good land which the LORD which ye should do.
our God doth give us. (19) And when we departed from Ho
(26) Notwithstanding ye would not go
c Num. 13. 3.
d Num. 13. 24.
Deuteronomy. It can hardly be a record of what was verse 20, “Ye are come unto the mount of the spoken long before. It brings the living speaker before Amorites." as in a way that precludes imitation.
(21) Fear not, neither be discouraged.–The (12) Your cumbrance.-The original word is found last clause of this verse reappears in St. John xiv. only here and in Isa. l. 14: “ They are a trouble unto me, 27,“ Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be I am weary to bear them.”
(22) And ye came near . . . and said, We will Verses 13–15 recall very exactly what is said in Exod. xvii.
send.-A new aspect is here given to the sending of
the twelve spies. In Num. xiii. 1 the incident is intro. (16) And I charged your judges saying. duced thus : " And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, - These instructions given by Moses are
Send thou men.” We learn here that the proposal in mirable expansion, but only an expansion, of those of the first instance came from the people. Moses would Jethro (Exod. xviii. 21), that the judges must be "able naturally refer it to Jehovah, and, when approve the men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetous. scheme was carried out.
<a sentence older than the Decalogue itself. They shall search us out the land, and bring (17) The judgment is God's.-Comp. St. Paul us word again by what way we must go up, in Rom. xii. 1-4, which is, again, only an expansion of and into what cities we shall come.-We read this sentence. For the latter part of this verse comp. in verse 33 that the Lord "went in the way before Exod. xviii. 22–26.
them to search out a place” for them to encamp (18) And I commanded you at that time all in. But here the spies and Israel proposed to take the things which ye should do.—“At that time,” the guidance of their march into their own hands. It i.e., after your departure from Horeb. This is as much is noticeable that in the campaigns of Joshua, not one as to say that the exhortations given in Deuteronomy step was taken without Divine direction. Thus the had already been given on the way from Sinai to sending of the twelve spies, in the light in which the Kadesh-barnea. Comp. what has been said above on people intended it, was an act of unbelief. “In this the two first verses of this chapter.) This verse goes thing (verse 32) ye did not believe the Lord your God.” far to justify the view taken there.
(See also Note on Josh. ii. 1.) (19) By the way of the mountain of the (24) The valley of Eshcol.-See Num. xiii. 24. Amorites.-Rather, in the direction of the mount. (25) It is a good land.-In Num, xiii. 27 they all They did not pass the Mount of the Amorites, but say, "Surely it floweth with milk and honey, and this is went throngh the “ great and terrible wilderness” the fruit of it.” In Num. xiv. 7 Joshua and Caleb from Sinai to Kadesh-barnea. So Moses says in describe it as an “exceeding good land."