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Ged-gad, and from thence in Jotbatha, which is a valley of rivers of waters: and from thence they journeyed, and pitched in Ebronah; from thence they journeyed, and pitched in Eziongaber; from thence they journeyed, and pitched in the wilderness of Zin, which is Kadesh; from thence they journeyed, and pitched in Mount Hor; where Aaron died." From this we may gather, that either this is the true reading, or else that the interpolation took place very early, and its incongruity being perceived by the Samaritans, they meaded it to make it agree with the text of Numbers xxxiii.; the latter is most probable, as the passage seems to be copied almost literally from thence.


1 An exhortation to obedience, 2 by their own experience of God's great works, 8 by promise of God's great blessings, 16 and by threatenings. 18 A careful study is required in God's words. 26 The blessing and curse is set before them.

THEREFORE thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, alway.

2 And know ye this day: for I speak not with your children which have not known, and which have not seen the chastisement of the LORD your God, his greatness, his mighty hand, and his stretched out arm,

3 And his miracles, and his acts, which he did in the midst of Egypt, unto Pharaoh the king of Egypt, and unto all his land;

4 And what he did unto the army of Egypt, unto their horses, and to their chariots; how he made the water of the Red sea to overflow them as they pursued after you, and how the LORD hath destroyed them unto this day;

5 And what he did unto you in the wilderness, until ye came into this place;

6 And what he did unto Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, the son of Reuben: how the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their housholds, and their tents, and all the 'substance that was in their possession, in the midst of all Israel:

7 But your eyes have seen all the great acts of the LORD which he did.

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8 Therefore shall ye keep all the commandments which I command you this day, that ye may be strong, and go in and possess the land, whither ye go to possess it;

9 And that ye may prolong your days in the land, which the LORD Sware unto your fathers to give unto them and to their seed, a land that floweth with milk and honey.

10 For the land, whither thou goest in to possess it, is not as the land of Egypt, from whence ye came out, where thou sowedst❘ thy seed, and wateredst it with thy foot, as a garden of herbs:

11 But the land, whither ye go to possess

1 Num. 16. 31, and 27.3. Psal. 106. 17.

14 That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.

15 And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full.

16 Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them;

17 And then the LORD's wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you.

18Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.

19 And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

20 And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates:

21 That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.

22 For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him;

2 Or, living substance which followed them. 3 Heb. was at their feet. 5 Heb. give. Chap. 6. 8. 7 Chap. 4. 10, and 6. 7.

Heb. seeketh.

23 Then will the LORD drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than your


24 Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be your's: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be.

25 There shall no_man be able to stand before you for the LORD your God shall lay the fear of you and the dread of you upon all the land that ye shall tread upon, as he hath said unto you.

26 Behold, I set before you this day a ¶ blessing and a curse;

27 A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day:

28 And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but

8 Josh. 1. 3. 9 Chap. 28. 2. 10 Chap. 28. 15.

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11 Chap. 27. 12, 13. Josh. 8. 33. 12 Chap. 5. 32.

Verse 10. "Wateredst it with thy foot."-There is certainly no intention here to compare the two countries as to fertility-Egypt being perhaps, without exception, the most fertile country in the world; but there is an interesting comparison as to the process of irrigation. Of Canaan it is said that it is watered, without human labour, by the rain of heaven; which rarely or almost never falls in Egypt, where the fertility of the country depends upon the Nile and its annual inundation, which is made available for the purposes of irrigation, in the fullest extent, only by means of the numerous canals and trenches, which require every year to be cleaned out, and the dykes carefully repaired. The word rendered "foot" is probably here, as in other places, used metaphorically to denote "labour;" and the force of the comparison is, that Egypt was watered with labour, and Canaan without any, or with comparatively little. There may be a particular point in this reference if, as many suppose, the digging and lining of canals, for the purposes of irrigation, was among the "hard bondage in mortar and in brick" with which the lives of the Israelites were "made bitter" in Egypt. In this case, it must have been a great satisfaction to them to learn that no such labours, even as voluntarily undertaken, would be required in Canaan, or were indeed at all applicable to that country. But besides this metaphorical sense, of labour necessary for equalizing the inundation and extending its benefits to places which would not naturally partake of them, there are other senses in which it may literally be described as "watered by the foot." Although the saturation of the ground by the inundation may, in ordinary circumstances, be sufficient to produce the crop of corn without any further irrigation, it is not so with the gardens and plantations, which require afterwards to be watered every three or four days. The water for this purpose is obtained either from the Nile itself, or from cisterns which were filled during the inundation. Hence engines of various kinds for raising water are placed all along the Nile, from the sea to the cataracts, and also at the cisterns in which the water is reserved. Philo, who lived in Egypt, describes one of these machines, which was used by the peasantry in his time, as being worked by the feet-that is, so far as his account may be understood, the machine was worked by the men ascending revolving steps, something on the principle of the tread-mill. Niebuhr also mentions such an engine as used by the Egyptians for watering their lands, and conjectures that Moses here alludes to something similar. This machine is called by the Arabs sakki tdir beridsjel, that is, an hydraulic machine worked by the feet. Then, when the water is raised, by whatever machine, it is directed in its course by channels cut in the ground, which convey the water to those places where it is wanted; and when one part of the ground is sufficiently watered, a person closes that channel by turning the earth against it with his foot, and at the same time opening a new channel by striking back with his foot, or with a mattock, the earth with which its entrance had been closed. A considerable number of illustrations of the custom of watering and of raising water by the foot might be adduced from China, India, and other Oriental countries; but as such good ones are afforded by Egypt itself, it seems scarcely necessary to look further.

11. “A land of hills and valleys.”—This points out another contrast to Egypt, which is an exceedingly low and level country.

14. "The first rain and the latter rain."-This doubtless refers to the rains of spring and autumn, between which-that is, from spring to autumn-there is the long interval of a dry and hot summer, almost never refreshed with rains. It is not, however, agreed whether the "first rain" means the spring or autumn rain. It might be easy to determine this, if it were not that the Jews had two seasons for beginning their year, one in spring and the other in autumn. But as the spring year was the common civil year, it is reasonable to conclude that the autumnal rain is that distinguished as the first or former rain. Accordingly, the Rabbins, and the generality of interpreters, are of opinion that the (771, joreh) “first” or “former" rain means that of autumn; and the (p, malkosh) "latter rain" that of spring. We concur in this also, because, in point of fact, the autumn rains are the first rains, and the spring rains the last. It is a very great mistake, which we see even now generally stated, that rain seldom falls except at these two seasons; that is, in September or October for the autumn, and in March or April for the spring. It is true that the rains may be the most copious at those seasons, but still it continues to rain occasionally throughout the winter months; and thus it

seems probable that the rains of autumn are "the early rains," as commencing, and the spring rains "the latter rains," as terminating, the period in which rain falls. The former and latter rains are spoken of in Scripture, as of the highest importance to agriculture, not because they were the only rains, but because, from their copiousness and the critical time of their occurrence, the prosperity of the crops depended almost entirely upon them.

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1 Monuments of idolatry are to be destroyed. 5 The place of God's service is to be kept. 15, 23 Blood is forbidden. 17, 20, 26 Holy things must be eaten in the holy place. 19 The Levite is not to be forsaken. 29 Idolatry is not to be enquired after. THESE are the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the LORD God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the


2 Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green


1 Chap. 7. 5.

3 And ye shall 'overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves

2 Or, inherit. 3 Judg. 2.2.

with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place.

4 Ye shall not do so unto the LORD your God.

5 But unto the place which the LORD your God shall 'choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt


6 And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks:

7 And there ye shall eat before the LORD your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your housholds,

4 Heb. break down. 51 Kings 8. 29. 2 Chron. 7. 12.

wherein the LORD thy God hath blessed thee.

8 Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes.

9 For ye are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which the LORD your God giveth you.

10 But when ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the LORD your God giveth you to inherit, and when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety;

11 Then there shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the LORD:

12 And ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God, ye, and your sons, and your daughters, and your menservants, and your maidservants, and the Levite that is within your gates; forasmuch as he hath no part nor inheritance with you.

13 Take heed to thyself that thou offer not thy burnt offerings in every place that thou seest:

14 But in the place which the LORD shall choose in one of thy tribes, there thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, and there thou shalt do all that I command thee.


15 Notwithstanding thou mayest kill and eat flesh in all thy gates, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee the unclean and the clean may eat thereof, as of the roebuck, and as of the hart. 16 Only ye shall not eat the blood; ye pour it upon the earth as water. 17 Thou mayest not cat within thy gates the tithe of thy corn, or of thy wine, or of thy oil, or the firstlings of thy herds or of thy flock, nor any of thy vows which thou vowest, nor thy freewill offerings, or heave offering of thine hand:


18 But thou must eat them before the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD thy God shall choose, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates and thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God in all that thou puttest thine hands unto.

Heb. the choice of your vows. 11 Gen. 28. 14. Chap. 19. 3.

19 Take heed to thyself that thou forsake not the Levite "as long as thou livest upon the earth.

20 When the LORD thy God shall enlarge thy border, "as he hath promised thee, and thou shalt say, I will eat flesh, because thy soul longeth to eat flesh; thou mayest eat flesh, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after.

21 If the place which the LORD thy God hath chosen to put his name there be too far from thee, then thou shalt kill of thy herd and of thy flock, which the LORD hath given thee, as I have commanded thee, and thou shalt eat in thy gates whatsoever thy soul lusteth after.

22 Even as the roebuck and the hart is eaten, so thou shalt eat them: the unclean and the clean shall eat of them alike.

23 Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh.

24 Thou shalt not eat it; thou shalt pour it upon the earth as water.

25 Thou shalt not eat it; that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the LORD.

26 Only thy holy things which thou hast, and thy vows, thou shalt take, and go unto the place which the LORD shall choose:

27 And thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, upon the altar of the LORD thy God: and the blood of thy sacrifices shall be poured out upon the altar of the LORD thy God, and thou shalt eat the flesh.

28 Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD thy God.

29 When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou 13succeedest them, and dwellest in their land;

30 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.

31 Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done

7 Chap. 10. 9.

12 Heb. be strong. 18 Heb. inheritest, or possessest them. 14 Heb. after them.

* Chap. 15. 23.

Chap. 14. 27. Ecclus. 7. 31.

10 Heb. all thy days.

15 Heb. abomination of the.

unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.

16 Chap. 4. 2. Josh. 1. 7. Prov. 30. 6. Rev. 22. 18.

Verse 2. "Destroy all the places wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods."-Then follows an enumeration of such places-altars, high places, groves; but it is very remarkable that, neither here nor elsewhere in the five books of Moses, is there any mention of temples. It is scarcely credible that, in this and parallel texts, temples would have been omitted if any at this time existed. It is probable that they did not, and that the passage before us specifies all the places consecrated to worship which were then known. It is certain that, in the most ancient times, people were content to consecrate to their gods altars of rough stone or turf, set up in the open fields; or else high places," the summits of hills and mountains; or the interior of thick groves planted with particular trees. Temples were of later origin; and the books of Moses afford not the least indication that in his time they existed even in Egypt, from whence other nations profess to have derived them. The tabernacle erected by the Hebrews in the wilderness was the first thing of the kind that is known. It was a kind of portable temple; and it is conjectured by some good authorities to have been the model on which other nations formed theirs, exposed as it was to the view of many nations, during the period in which the Hebrews wandered on their borders. There are some analogies of form also, which seem to sanction this conclusion-such as the resemblance of the adyta, or most sacred places, of the heathen temples to the "holy of holies" in the tabernacle. Be this as it may, all profane history-which is all of it modern compared with the Pentateuch-attests that there were no temples in the most early times; and, from the complete silence of Scripture, it is safe to infer, that such times are those now under our notice. The first temple mentioned in Scripture does not occur till, according to Hales, nearly 500 years after the exode. This was the temple of Dagon, which Samson pulled down, and concerning which we are, after all, left in doubt whether it was really a temple or a sort of theatre in which public games were exhibited. Judging from the use to which it was applied, the latter would seem the more probable opinion. The Philistines "made merry" there, and Samson " made sport" there; and although the festival was certainly in honour of Dagon, the building is not called his temple, nor even his house, but only a house. Not long after, however, we do read of the "house of Dagon" at another place (Ashdod), in which the ark of God was deposited when captured by the Philistines; and this was unquestionably a temple, and is as unquestionably the first that is mentioned in the most ancient book in the world. We are persuaded that it will be difficult to assign a much earlier date, if so early a date, to any temples. The date of their origin is confessedly most uncertain, and being so, the silence of Moses and Joshua as to any existing in Egypt or Palestine is very strong evidence as to the time when they had not begun to exist. If there had been any in Egypt, we may be almost sure that Moses would have mentioned them as infested by the frogs and other plagues which the Lord brought upon that country; but while every place is particularly specified-the house, the palace, the bed-chamber, the oven-not a word is said about temples. Still more unquestionably would the temples of the Canaanites have been mentioned in the present text, if there had been any; and there is at least a strong probability that some slight allusion to temples would have been found in the book of Joshua and the early part of Judges, if they had then been known. Upon the whole we imagine, that, up to the time of the exodus, there were no temples in Egypt, but after that they may have existed there earlier than in Palestine. We are quite aware that Herodotus assigns the origin of the magnificent temple of Vulcan to Menes, who, according to Hales, reigned more than 300 years before Abraham's visit to that country. But, to our minds, the marked silence of Moses is of more weight than the assertion of the Greek writer, who lived more than a thousand years later, and who derived his account from the priests, who, as he himself observes on other occasions, manifested a desire to impress on strangers the most extravagant ideas concerning the antiquity of their institutions.

32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

5. "The place which the LORD your God shall choose."-That is, the place where the Lord should manifest his invisible presence in the cloud of glory over the ark. This was at various places before the foundation of the Temple, but principally at Mizpeh and Shiloh. The ultimate reference is doubtless to Jerusalem, where, when the Temple was built, God said to Solomon, "I have chosen this place to myself for a house of sacrifice." (2 Chron. vii. 12.) It is observable that the name of no place is ever mentioned in the law; and for this Maimonides and other Jewish writers assign several reasons, which seem good in themselves, but whether they are the true ones it is impossible to say. 1. Lest, if it were known, the Gentiles should seize upon it, and make war for the sake of it, when they understood its importance to the Hebrews. 2. Lest those in whose hands it was at the time the precept was delivered, should, from ill-will, do their best to lay it waste and destroy it. 3. But principally, lest every tribe should so earnestly desire to have the place within its own lot, that such strife and discontent might arise on the subject as had actually happened concerning the appointment to the priesthood.


15. "Kill and eat flesh in all thy gates."-See the note on Lev. xvii. 5.

"Roebuck" (y, Tzebi, dogxas, Antilope Dorcas).-This light and elegant creature, which is the "roe" in the Song of Solomon, and the gazelle of the Arabians, is very common in northern Africa and Western Asia. The gazelle is about two feet in height; the hair on the back is of a delicate fawn colour, passing into a brown band along the sides, which is suddenly interrupted by the white of the under surface of the body. The horns, which are variegated by twelve or fourteen rings, stand diverged like the horns of an antique lyre. Its beautiful form and large beaming eye are favourite objects of comparison in Oriental poetry and compliment.

22. "Even as the roebuck and the hart is eaten."-The roebuck and the hart were not animals fit to be offered in sacrifice, but they were allowed for food. The meaning of this therefore is, that whereas the Hebrews had been for


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