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23 And it came to pass, when ye heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, (for the mountain did burn with fire,) that ye came near unto me, even all the heads of your tribes, and your elders;
24 And ye said, Behold, the LORD our God hath shewed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth.
25 Now therefore why should we die? for this great fire will consume us: if we "hear the voice of the LORD our God any more, then we shall die.
26 For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?
27 Go thou near, and hear all that the LORD our God shall say: and "speak thou unto us all that the LORD our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it, and do it.
28 And the LORD heard the voice of your words, when ye spake unto me; and the LORD said unto me, I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken unto thee: they have well said all that they have spoken.
29 O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!
30 Go say to them, Get you into your tents again.
31 But as for thee, stand thou here by
4 Heb. servants.
5 Exod. 34. 7. 12 Exod, 19, 19.
1 Rom. 7.7.
6 Jer. 32. 18.
7 Gen. 2. 2. Heb. 4. 4. 13 Chap. 4, 33. 14 Heb, add to hear.
me, and I will speak unto thee all the com- | mandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which thou shalt teach them, that they may do them in the land which I give them to possess it.
32 Ye shall observe to do therefore as the LORD your God hath commanded you:
ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.
33 Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.
Verses 8, 9.-" Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing.... Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them."—Are these and other similar prohibitions, coupled, as they always are, with "thou shalt not bow down to them," to be understood as wholly interdicting every kind of sculpture and painting, or only as forbidding images and paintings to be made for idolatrous purposes, or for any purpose connected with religion? This is a question of some difficulty, and the first is the decision at which most commentators, both Jewish and Christian, have arrived. There seem, however, to be very good grounds for disputing this conclusion. Michaelis strongly advocates the second opinion, and contends that we have no right to separate the interdiction from the context, which context shows that representations of Deity, or idolatrous figures, only were intended. We might, with as much reason, in his opinion, separate the first portion of Deut. iv. 19, from its conclusion, and then declare it to mean that a man should not raise his eyes to heaven to contemplate the sun, moon, and stars. He then directs attention to instances which show that Moses did not himself understand the prohibition as it has been commonly understood-such as the cherubim, which, under divine direction, he caused to be made for the most holy place; the figures of cherubim, with fancy work, embroidered upon the "vail," and upon the hangings of the tabernacle; the ornaments of fruits and flowers on the golden candlestick; to which may perhaps be added the brazen serpent. He also shows, we think satisfactorily, that the Jews themselves did not so understand the prohibitions in question. We need but refer to the account of the works in Solomon's Temple to be convinced of this. Besides the cherubim in the holy of holies, the walls were profusely ornamented with figures of cherubim, and of flowers, palm-trees, and pomegranates. The brazen sea also was supported on twelve oxen, its rim was ornamented with flower-work, and the ledges with figures of "lions, oxen, and cherubim." (1 Kings vii.) If such figures were allowable even in the works of the Temple, we have no ground to conclude that they were thought to be prohibited for regal or domestic ornament. Indeed, we know that the steps of Solomon's throne were guarded by twelve lions of gold. (1 Kings x. 19, 20.) We also observe that similar ornaments of cherubim and palm-trees appeared among the ornaments of the Temple which Ezekiel saw in his famous prophetic vision. Even in the times of the second Temple, when a general disposition arose to overstrain the enactments of the law, such a prohibition was not dreamt of. Michaelis instances the golden vines, with pendent clusters, which, according to Josephus, ornamented the roof and gate of the second Temple. He also instances the animal figures on the base of the golden candlestick, as represented in the arch of Titus; but on this we are not disposed to lay much stress, as Josephus seems to say that the Romans tampered with its base when it came into their possession. A strong illustration also, which might be derived from the Jewish coins of this period, as well as from their using coins bearing "the image and superscription" of Cæsar, has escaped the notice of the learned commentator. We see that the shekels and parts of shekels, from the time of the return from captivity, do not contain any animal figures; but they do contain almond and palm trees, ears and sheaves of corn, and vine leaves, and bunches of grapes-not to mention representations of artificial objects. What the Jews thought on the subject after their dispersion, it is of little consequence to inquire; but our opinion upon the whole is, that until the captivity they did not believe that their law prohibited ornamental animal figures; and that after the captivity they did incline to think that representations of animate creatures were prohibited, but not those of inanimate objects. Josephus, who lived in the last days of the Hebrew polity, distinctly intimates this as the opinion of his own time. All the stories which we read at this period, of the aversion of the Jews to images and paintings, will, when examined, be found to refer to idolatrous figures. Thus their marked aversion to the Roman ensigns was probably not so much owing to their being adorned with images, as to the fact that these images were idolatrous. We have indeed admitted that at this period they were disinclined to tolerate animal figures, and may have objected to the standards on that accounf. But as we see they did tolerate the image of Cæsar on the coins in common use among themselves, we incline to think that, while they admitted representations of inanimate objects, without distinction, inasmuch as such were not usually deified, they did, with regard to the latter, distinguish those that were deified from those that were not, admitting the latter and rejecting the former. It is clear that, even at this superstitious time, there were exceptions; but it is difficult to determine what they were. And it is still more clear that, to whatever extent animal figures were thought to be forbidden, inanimate representations certainly were not.
It was undoubtedly from the practice among the Jews of his time, that Mohammed derived his prohibition of painting and sculpture. He no doubt thought that he was following the law of Moses, when he was only following the construction which the Jews of that late day put upon it. His law therefore may be cited, not as illustrating the law of Moses, but as illustrating the practice of the Jews of Arabia in his time. We cite the authentic and received traditions which are more full on this subject than the Koran. Mohammed professed that Gabriel told him that angels would not enter any house in which there were pictures; after which he would not allow a single thing to be in his house with a picture on it, but would break it. The substance of all the traditions on the subject is, that, at the day of resurrection, God will require the painter to put a soul into every picture he has drawn, and as he cannot do that, God, for every such picture, shall appoint a tormentor to burn him with hell-fire. It appears, however, that this restriction was only applied to figures of animate objects; "trees and things without souls" were expressly permitted to be drawn. Mohammed's most trusted wife, Aayeshah, and one of his personal friends, Abuhurairah, concur in relating, with some simplicity, that the former put up a fine door-curtain, on which were "images." He ordered the heads of the figures to be cut off, and as they then looked like trees, he made no further objection to them; but, on the contrary, the same curtain being then used to cover a mattress, he did not hesitate to sit and recline upon it. An anecdote is also related of a painter, who went to Ibn Abbas ("the prince of commentators") and said, O Ibn Abbas! verily I have no livelihood but from the workmanship of my hands; verily I make pictures; what am I to do?" Ibn Abbas replied, "I will relate to you nothing but what I heard from the Prophet, who said, Whoever makes a picture, verily God is his punisher, until he blows a soul into it; and this is not possible." Then the man was alarmed, and turned pale; when Ibn Abbas added, "Alas upon thee! if thou wilt not leave off drawing, draw trees and the likenesses of those things that have no souls." In existing practice, the orthodox Moslems follow the practice here enjoined
confining themselves to représentations of trees, plants, fruits, and other inanimate objects, which they employ profusely in ornamenting their apartments; but some of the more rigid people think it necessary to abstain even from these. But the sectaries of Ali-the Persians and others-allow themselves full latitude in this matter, and are particularly addicted to portrait painting and representations of the human figure in various circumstances of repose and action. Even they, however, think with horror of attempts to represent God, or indeed to paint the figures of their saints and holy persons. The Moslems, as well as the Oriental Christians, concur in regarding sculpture as far more objectionable than painting.
14. "That thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou."-This is alleged to be at variance with the motive assigned for the observance of the sabbath in Exod. xx. 11, where it is declared to be a memorial of the creation. To this Horne well answers, that the enforcement of the same precept, by two different motives, does not constitute two discordant motives. It seems, however, doubtful to us whether any motive at all is here assigned for the sabbatic observance. The primary motive, after so many years' attention of the day, must already have been familiarly known to all; but some misunderstanding or irregularity in their observance might have required Moses to remind them that their servants also were to participate in the sabbatic rest. The "that" or "so that," expressing consequence, may refer to what immediately precedes; namely, that the cattle were to rest to enable the servants to rest, which they could not otherwise do.
5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes..
9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
10 And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not,
11 And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; 'when thou shalt have eaten and be full;
16 Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.
17 Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee.
2 Chap. 10. 12. Matth. 22. 37. Mark 12. 30. Luke 10. 27. 6 Heb. bondmen, or servants. 7 Chap. 10. 12, 20, and 13. 4.
18 And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the LORD: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the LORD Sware unto thy fathers,
19 To cast out all thine enemies from before thee, as the LORD hath spoken.
20 And when thy son asketh thee 1oin time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD our God hath commanded you?
21 Then thou shalt say unto thy son, We were Pharaoh's bondmen in Egypt: and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand:
22 And the LORD shewed signs and wonders, great and "sore, upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his houshold, before our eyes:
23 And he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers.
24 And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.
25 And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us.
3 Chap. 11. 18. 8 Matth. 4.7.
4 Heb. whet, or sharpen. 5 Chap. 9. 10. &c. 9 Exod. 17. 2. 10 Heb. to-morrow. 11 Heb. evil.
Verse 8. "For a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes."-A very ingenious interpretation of this is, that it refers to a man tying something upon his hand as a token to prevent him from forgetting what he desires to remember. But this does not seem to agree very well with the other clauses. It seems to us that there is throughout a reference to existing usages, as well with regard to the sign on the hand as to the frontlets between the eyes, and the writing on the door-posts. The last item we shall consider in the following note. We believe that the Hebrews at this time were in the habit of wearing certain ornaments on the forehead and the arm, to which Moses referred; but whether he so referred with the intention of saying, "as these are, so let the law be to you;" or, "let the law be to you in the place of these," is a matter of doubt. It is very likely that the Hebrews were in the habit of wearing amulets and other superstitious appendages, which are still much used in the East, and which consist sometimes of jewels and other ornaments, and at other times of certain lines and sentences, with Abracadabra and other superstitious figures written on scrolls or embroidered on linen. If the Jews had such, it may easily be conceived that Moses intended, by the present injunction, to supersede them. We rather incline to this opinion. The Jews in general have understood this law as permanently binding; and the manner in which it has been observed is this. They call these things tephilim, and they are the same which are called phylacteries in the New Testament. They consisted, and still do, of a certain small square box of carefully prepared and stiff skin, attached at the open end to a thick border, which gives it considerable resemblance to a hat. This box has impressed on one side, in a raised character, the letter w, and on the other the same letter, with the singularity of having four prongs instead of three: but these letters are omitted in the box intended for the arm. In this box are placed long and narrow slips of parchment, rolled up, on which are written the texts, Exod. xiii. 1—10, xiii. 11-16; Deut. vi. 4–9, xi. 13-21, all inclusive. In that intended for the arm, these texts are written on two slips of parchment, but for the head on four. The parchment is most carefully prepared for the occasion, and the ink also is made on purpose. When the scrolls are inserted in the box, a flap connected with the brim is drawn over the open end and sewed firmly down, leaving however a loop, through which is run the thong by which the box is fastened to the forehead or the arm. Every particular, even the most minute, in the preparation and use of the tephilim, is regu