Page images
[graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]


mandments, which I command thee, thou,

and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days | The end of the law is obedience. 3 An exhortation thereto

of thy life; and that thy days may be pro

longed. Now these are the commandments, the sta- 3 Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe tutes, and the judgments, which the LORD to do it; that it may be well with thee, and your God commanded to teach you, that ye that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD might do them in the land whither ye 'go to God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in possess it :

the land that'floweth with milk and honey. 2 That thou mightest fear the LORD thy 4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is God, to keep all his statutes and his com

one LORD :

1 Heb. pass over.

5 And 'thou shalt love the LORD thy God 16 | Ye shall not tempt the LORD your with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, God, 'as ye tempted him in Massah. and with all thy might.

17 Ye shall diligently keep the com6 And these words, which I command mandments of the Lord your God, and his thee this day, shall be in thine heart: testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath

7 And thou shalt 'teach them diligently commanded thee. unto thy children, and shalt talk of them 18 And thou shalt do that which is right when thou sittest in thine house, and when and good in the sight of the LORD: that it thou walkest by the way, and when thou may be well with thee, and that thou mayest liest down, and when thou risest up.

go in and possess the good land which the 8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign Lord sware unto thy fathers, upon thine hand, and they shall be as front- 19 To cast out all thine enemies from lets between thine eyes.

before thee, as the Lord hath spoken. 9 And thou shalt write them upon the 20 And when thy son asketh thee in posts of thy house, and on thy gates. time to come, saying, What mean the testi

10 And it shall be, when the Lord thy monies, and the statutes, and the judgments, God shall have brought thee into the land which the LORD our God hath commanded which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, you? to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great 21 Then thou shalt say unto thy son, and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, We were Pharaoh's bondmen in Egypt: and

11°And houses full of all good things, the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a which thou filledst not, and wells digged, mighty hand: which thou diggedst not, vineyards and 22 And the Lord shewed signs and wonolive trees, which thou plantedst not; 'when ders, great and "sore, upon Egypt, upon thou shalt have eaten and be full;

Pharaoh, and upon all his houshold, before 12 Then beware lest thou forget the LORD,

our eyes : which brought thee forth out of the land of 23 And he brought us out from thence, Egypt, from the house of Rbondage.

that he might bring us in, to give us the 13 Thou shalt "fear the LORD thy God, land which he sware unto our fathers. and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. 24 And the LORD commanded us to do

14 Ye shall not go after other gods, of all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, the gods of the people which are round for our good always, that he might preserve

us alive, as it is at this day. 15 (For the LORD thy God is a jealous 25 And it shall be our righteousness, if God among you) lest the anger of the LORD we observe to do all these commandments thy God be kindled against thee, and de- before the LORD our God, as he hath comstroy thee from off the face of the earth.

manded us.

about you;

9 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.

3 Chap. 11, 18. 8 Matth: 4.7.

4 Heb. whet, or sharpen. 5 Chap. 8. 10, ốc. 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. xii. 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

lated by careful and strict rules, which it would be tiresome to enumerate—how they are to be tied to the arm and forehead, how they are to be kept when not actually worn, and every other the most minute circumstance is a matter of equally precise regulation. Leo of Modena says, that the men ought in strictness to wear their tephilim for the head continually; but adds, “notwithstanding at present, partly to avoid the scoffs of the nations among whom they live, and also because they account these holy things, and such as ought to be used with great discretion, and not upon every trivial occasion, they put them on only at the time of prayer.” This also, it seems, they do only at morning prayer; and although some of the more devout put them on also at the afternoon prayer, they are not bound to do so. Our Saviour severely animadverted on the abuse of the phylacteries by the Pharisees, whose ostentatious hypocrisy led them to wear them of larger size than usual; and it may illustrate his complaint, that the law of God had been made of no effect by their traditions, to mention the rabbinical maxim that “the single precept of the tephilim is equivalent to all the commandments!” There is a very full account of the tephilim in Allen's Modern Judaism :' see also Leo of Modena; Calmet's Dictionary,- arts. • Phylacteries' and 'Tephilim;' and Michaelis's Commentaries,' vol. iii., p. 370. We have described from a specimen in our possession, in which the text is beautifully written, in small characters, on slips of fine parchment, two of which are unequal to the others and to each other in length; but they are all of the same breadth, that is, about three-fourths of an inch.

9. Write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.”—It is at this day customary in Mohammedan Asia for sentences from the Koran, and moral sentences, to be wrought in stucco over doors and gates, and as ornamental scrolls to the interior of apartments. The elegant characters of the Arabian and Persian alphabets, and the good taste with which they are applied in running scrolls, the characters being usually white, raised on a blue ground, and inter mixed with gilding, have a very pleasing effect, particularly in interior ornament. This custom must have been very ancient, for Moses here very evidently alludes to it. We understand the injunction not asi mperative upon the Hebrews to write on their doors, but as enjoining them, if they did write at all, to write sentences of the law. He suggests this as a means of inculcating the law upon their children ; whence it seems that he took it for granted that the children would be taught to read. “ Among us," says Michaelis, "where, by the aid of printing, books are so abundantly meltiplied, and may be put into the hands of every child, such measures would be quite superfluous; but if we would enter into the ideas of Moses, we must place ourselves in an age when the book of the law could only come into the hands of a few opulent people.” The later Jews have exercised their usual ingenuity in misunderstanding this injunction. They conceive the observance to be imperative, and they act on it as follows. Their mezuzoth, or doorschedules, are slips of parchment, on which are written the passages Deut. vi. 4—9, and xi. 13—20: these slips are rolled up, and on the outside is written the Hebrew word 970 (shaddai), or “the Almighty," one of the names appropriated to God. This roll they put into a reed or hollow cylinder of lead, in which a hole is cut for the word shaddai to appear; and the tube is then fastened to the door-post by a nail at each end. As the injunction is in the plural form, they conceive that a mezuza should be placed on every door of a house. It is usually fixed to the right-hand door-post ; and those Israelites who wish to be considered particularly devout, usually touch or even kiss it as they pass. The Talmud ascribes great merit to having the mezuzu fixed on the door-post, and describes it as a preservation from sin.

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small]
[ocr errors]


slack to him that hateth him, he will repay 1 All communion with the nations is forbidden, 4 for

him to his face. fear of idolatry, 6 for the holiness of the people,

11 Thou shalt therefore keep the com. 9 for the nature of God in his mercy and justice, mandments, and the statutes, and the judg

17 for the assuredness of victory which God wil ments, which I command thee this day, to give over them. When the 'Lord thy God shall bring thee / 4912 Wherefore it shall come to pass, if into the land whither thou goest to possess ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, it, and hath cast out many nations before and do them, that the LORD thy God shall thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the which he sware unto thy fathers : Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebu- 13 And he will love thee, and bless thee, sites, seven nations greater and mightier and multiply thee: he will also bless the than thou;

fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, 2 And when the Lord thy God shall de- thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the liver them before thee; thou shall smite increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy them, and utterly destroy them ; 'thou shalt sheep, in the land which he sware unto thy make no covenant with them, nor shew fathers to give thee. mercy unto them:

14 Thou shalt be blessed above all peo3 Neither shalt thou make marriages with ple: "there shall not be male or female barthem; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto ren among you, or among your cattle. his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take 15 And the LORD will take away from unto thy son.

thee all sickness, and will put none of the 4 For they will turn away thy son from evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, following me, that they may serve other upon thee; but will lay them upon all them gods : so will the anger of the LORD be kin- that hate thee. dled against you, and destroy thee sud- 16 And thou shalt consume all the people denly.

which the Lord thy God shall deliver thee; 5 But thus shall ye deal with them; ye thine eye shall have no pity upon them: shall destroy their altars, and break down neither shalt thou serve their gods; for that their ’images, and cut down their groves, will be 'a snare unto thee. and burn their graven images with fire. 17 If thou shalt say in thine heart, These

6 *For thou art an holy people unto the nations are more than I ; how can I disposLORD thy God: the 'LORD thy God hath

sess them? chosen thee to be a special people unto him- 18 Thou shalt not be afraid of them: but self, above all people that are upon the face shalt well remember what the LORD thy God of the earth.

did unto Pharaoh, and unto all Egypt; 7 The Lord did not set his love upon 19 The great temptations which thine you, nor choose


ye were more eyes saw, and the signs, and the wonders, and in number than any people; for ye were the the mighty hand, and the stretched out arm, fewest of all people :

whereby the LORD thy God brought thee 8 But because the Lord loved you, and out: so shall the LORD thy God do unto all because he would keep the oath which he the people of whom thou art afraid. had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD 20 Moreover the LORD thy God will send brought you out with a mighty hand, and the hornet among them, until they that are redeemed you out of the house of bond-left, and hide themselves from thee, be demen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of stroyed. Egypt.

21 Thou shalt not be affrighted at them: 9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, for the Lord thy God is among you, a mighty he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth God and terrible. covenant and mercy with them that love him 22 And the LORD thy God will "put out and keep his commandments to a thousand those nations before thee by little and little: generations;

thou mayest not consume them at once, lest 10 And repayeth them that hate him to the beasts of the field increase upon thee. their face, to destroy them : he will not be 23 But the Lord thy God shall deliver 3 Heb. statues, or pillars. Chap. 14.2, and 26. 19.


Chap 31, 3. 6 Heb. because.

11 Heb. pluck of

2 Exod. 23. 39, and 34. 12. 7 Exod, 23, 26, &c. 8 Exod. 9. 14, and 15, 26.

9 Exod. 23. 33.

3 Exod. 19. 5. 1 Pet. 2. 9. 10 Exod. 23, 28. Josh, 94. 12,

them unto thee, and shall destroy them ye burn with fire: thou ''shalt not desire the with a mighty destruction, until they be silver or gold that is on them, nor take it destroyed.

unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for 24 And he shall deliver their kings into it is an abomination to the LORD thy God. thine hand, and thou shalt destroy their 26 Neither shalt thou bring an abominaname from under heaven: there shall no tion into thine house, lest thou be a cursed man be able to stand before thee, until thou thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest have destroyed them.

it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; ''for it is 25 The graven images of their gods shall a cursed thing.

19 Heb. before thy face. 18 Chap 19.3. 16 Josh. 7. 1, 21. 2 Mac. 12. 40. 15 Chap 18, 17.

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

Verse 1. Hittiles," &c.—Compare this list with that in Gen. xv. 19, and see the note there. The nations named in the promise to Abraham were ten; here there are only seven, and in the seven there is one that does not occur in the previous list, so that this list wants four names which we find in Genesis. The new name is that of the Hivites, and the four wanting names are those of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, and Rephaim. We have seen that the latter tribe seems to have become extinct, Og being mentioned as the last of the Rephaim. In the lapse of about four hundred years, the same lot may have befallen the others not here enumerated; or some of them may very probably have become mixed up with and lost in some of the nations that are named. We incline, however, to think that these omitted nations were situated east of the Jordan, and had been already conquered, whence, of course, they would not be mentioned as yet to be conquered ; and besides, from their geographical position east of the Jordan, they would not be named among the nations of Canaan proper, or west of the Jordan, of which Moses now seems particularly to speak. In Genesis, the lands of the people there mentioned are promised ; here the names of the people who now occupied the land are mentioned. There is no discrepancy. Of the omitted nations, it is only necessary to notice the Kenites. These were by no means extinct, as they are mentioned before and after the time of Moses: his father-in-law is called

« PreviousContinue »