« PreviousContinue »
“ the daughter of Sidon,” it having been in its origin a settlement of the Sidonians. Whether the historical Tyre at this time existed is a question that occasions some discussion. The text of verse 29 is certainly by no means conclusive on this subject, into which we shall not at present enter further than to observe that if the old continental Tyre of history did at this time exist, it was evidently in its infant state, in which it could not be mentioned in comparison with that “great Sidon,” which it was in the end destined to overshade. In support of the negative, much stress has been laid upon the silence of Homer, who so frequently mentions Sidon, but never Tyre. As we have just been quoting Homer, we may observe that there is nothing in this argument to rescue it from the suspicion which usually rests on arguments drawn from mere silence. Tyre existed and had a king in the time of David, and in the time of Solomon was a great commercial city; and the time of Homer is from one to two centuries later than the times of David and Solomon. Hereafter Tyre will come much under our notice: meanwhile we give a cut exhibiting its present condition.
Although Sidon lost its superiority under the predominating influence of Tyre, it long remained a place of very cousiderable importance. Its general history is so much connected with that of Tyre, that we shall not here inention it separately: Tyre is now a complete desolation ; but Sidon still subsists as a town, and carries on some traffic with the neighbouring coasts. It is now called Saide or Seide. The inhabitants are estimated at about 15,000, who are chiefly occupied in spinning cotton, which with silk and boots, shoes, and slippers of morocco leather, form the principal articles of their trade. The port is now nearly choked up with sand. The town rises immediately from the strand, and presents a rather imposing appearance as viewed from a distance; but the interior is wretched and gloony, illbuilt, dirty, and full of ruins. Outside the walls, fragments of columns and other remains of the ancient city may still be discovered. As we give a cut of a part of the coast between Tyre and Sidon, the following remarks from Mr. Jowett’s ‘ Christian Researches in Syria,' will be interesting :-“ About halfway between Saide (Sidon) and Sour (Tyre) are very extensive ruins of towns which once connected these two cities; but of these ruins, there is scarcely one stone left upon another. They consist chiefly of lines which show, rased even with the soil, the foundation of houses-many stones irregularly scattered—a few cisterns with half-defaced sculpture on them; and, at a considerable distance from the path, there are at one spot several low columns, either mutilated or considerably sunk in the earth. These relics show, what it needed indeed no such evidence to prove, that in peaceable and flourishing times, on this road between two such considerable cities as Tyre and Sidon, there must have been many smaller towns for business, pleasure, or agriculture, delightfully situated by the sea-side ; but peaceful security has long been a blessing unknown to these regions; and we may apply to them the language of Judges v. 7, “ The villages ceased; they ceased in Israel”
31. " These cities.”—In the above list of names of places belonging to this tribe, there are none of any consequence that have not already passed under our notice. Mount Carmel will be noticed under 1 Kings xviii. 19.
39. “ Naphtali.”—The chief of the towns mentioned as belonging to this tribe are those of Hazor, Cinnereth, and Kadesh, which have already been noticed. The list here given, does not, however, include several which are in future parts of Scripture mentioned as belonging to this tribe. These will, in due course, come under our consideration.
48. “ Dan.”-Scarcely any cities in the above list claim particular notice, as some of them have been mentioned under the lot of Judah, from which a considerable part, if not the greatest part, of Dan's was taken ; and others were
retained by the Philistines. Japho (in verse 46) is unquestionably the same that is called Joppa in other parts of Scripture, and now Jaffa. An account of it will be found in the note to Jonah i. 3. The circumstance alluded to in verse 47, is more particularly detailed in Judges xviii. (See the note there.) As this event did not take place till after the death of Joshua, its appearance here has been used as an argument against Joshua's being the author of the book. We are not certain that he was ; but this is no argument against it, as the verse may have been afterwards inserted by Samuel, Ezra, or some other authorised person, to complete the account of the possessions of the Danites.
slayer up into his hand; because he smote 1 God commandeth, 7 and the children of Israel ap- his neighbour unwittingly, and hated hiin point the six cities of refuge.
not beforetime. The Lord also spake unto Joshua, saying, 6 And he shall dwell in that city, until
2 Speak to the children of Israel, saying, he stand before the congregation for judg'Appoint out for you cities of refuge, where- ment, and 'until the death of the high priest of 1 spake unto you by the hand of Moses: that shall be in those days: then shall the
3 That the slayer that killeth any person | slayer return, and come unto his own city, unawares and unwittingly may flee thither : and unto his own house, unto the city from and they shall be your refuge from the whence he fled. avenger of blood.
7 | And they ’appointed Kedesh in Ga4 And when he that doth flee unto one lilee in_mount Naphtali
, and Shechem in of those cities shall stand at the entering of mount Ephraim, and Kirjath-arba, which is the gate of the city, and shall declare his Hebron, in the mountain of Judah. cause in the ears of the elders of that city, 8 And on the other side Jordan by Jerithey shall take him into the city unto them, cho eastward, they assigned Bezer in the and give him a place, that he may dwell wilderness upon the plain out of the tribe of
Reuben, and Ramoth in Gilead out of the 5 And if the avenger of blood pursue tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan out of after him, then they shall not deliver the the tribe of Manasseh.
2 Num. 35. 25.
3 Heb. sanctified
1 Exod. 21. 13, Num. 35, 6, 11, 14, Deut, 19. 2.
* Deut, 4. 43. 1 Chron. 6. 78.
9 These were the cities appointed for all thither, and not die by the hand of the the children of Israel, and for the stranger avenger of blood, until he stood before the that sojourneth among them, that whosoever congregation. killeth any person at unawares might flee
Verse 2. “ Appoint out for you cities of refuge.”—See the notes on Num. xxxv. 12, and Deut. xix. 3. The Hebrew writers inform us that all the cities of the Levites were, in point of fact, cities of refuge, but not in the same sense with the six properly so called. The difference was, that the six cities were bound to receive the fugitive; but in the other forty-two, the Levites exercised their discretion, whether to allow or refuse admittance to him. Also, in the six cities, the refugee was provided with a house to reside in gratuitously ; but in the other towns he was obliged to pay for his lodging. The same authorities furnish us with some other information concerning the manner in which the exile lived in the cities of refuge. A convenient habitation being assigned him, the citizens were obliged to instruct him in some trade, by which he might earn his own living; the pursuits of agriculture, which occupied the great body of the people, being no longer open to him. It is added, that as the death of the high-priest enabled these persons to leave the city without any further fear from the blood-avenger, and as it was natural enough, under such circumstances, that they should not feel very anxious for the long life of that high personage, the mother of the existing pontiff usually gave them supplies of food and clothing, and otherwise endeavoured to promote their comfort, that their impatience might not lead them to pray for the death of her son. It is also said, that if the manslayer happened to die in the city, before the time of release arrived, his bones were delivered to his relations, after the death of the high-priest, to be interred in the sepulchre of his fathers. This last intimation is exceedingly characteristic. (See more on this subject in Lewis's • Origines flebrææ,' b. ii. ch. 13.)
The law having conceded something to rooted habits in the matter of blood-revenge, regulations became necessary to obviate the evil effects which this concession was calculated to produce. The establishment of sanctuaries was a necessary consequence of this concession. In countries where individuals possess irresponsible power of punishment, whether that power be hereditary, or official, or arise from circumstances, there must be a sanctuary of some kind or other to afford protection to the weak against the strong, or to save the involuntary offender from the hasty vengeance of the offended. In the same proportion that individuals are dispossessed, by the progress of civilization, of powers beyond the laws, sanctuaries come to be considered as evils, and the law directs its power towards their extinction, in which it alm st never succeeds without a vehement struggle with popular prejudices. These principles have been illustrated in the history of almost every country under the sun-our own not excepted. Sanctuaries, however useful at first, and in their primary intention, have, in the end, operated as premiums on crime by the impunity which they offered, and have become nests of abomination where all crime and iniquity might safely harbour, and from whence hardened criminals might laugh with scorn at the feebleness of the law.
Now, the law of Moses having established the right of sanctuary on the one hand, because it had conceded the exercise of an irresponsible power on the other, it is highly interesting to observe the regulations which were framed in order to prevent those abuses of sanctuary to which we have adverted. These regulations at once obviated all the enormous evils which, in ancient nations, attended the allowance of sanctuary--which, until within these few centuries, attended it in civilized Europe-and which do still attend it in many nations. The period had almost arrived when the Jews ceased to have a country, before the Romans could correct the evils which the law of Moses, given before the Jews had a country, prevented by the first act of legislation. We have seen (Num. xxxv.) how the establishment of sanctuary prevented the abuse of blood-revenge ; let us now see how the right of sanctuary was itself prevented from abuse.
1. Among most other nations, the sanctuaries generally afforded a refuge to all homicides, without distinction ; and as the refuge which was conceded to homicides could not well be refused to inferior offenders, they commonly offered impunity to criminals of every sort. But, by the law of Moses, such protection was afforded only to those who were in fact guilty of no crime; and was intended to protect the innocent from the punishment due only to the guilty. The only persons entitled to remain in a city of refuge were-a person who had slain another unintentionally, or who had killed a person who had unjustly attempted his life, or who had slain a thief in the night-time.
2. Among other nations, a criminal who had fled to a place of refuge could not be brought to trial against his will. But, among the Hebrews, the asylum was only designed to protect a person from private vengeance till his cause could be fairly heard ; and to afford him such protection permanently, if, after trial, he should be proved to deserve it. The Jewish writers, whose statement is, in the main, supported by the text of Num. xxxv., say, that when the manslayer came to the gates of the city of refuge, he was there examined, before admission, by some persons appointed for the purpose, but who, however, were not judges, and had no power to examine witnesses. But if the avenger pursued him so closely as to endanger his safety, he was at once admitted, and the merits of his case afterwards examined. The only point to be ascertained was, whether the manslayer could make out any good claim for the admission he demanded. He was afterwards sent to the town where the homicide was committed, to take his trial before the proper tribunal ; and, if found innocent of murder, was sent back to the city of refuge, there to remain till the death of the high-priest. This was something very different indeed from the practice among other nations.
3. It being determined that sanctuaries should be granted, they were fixed in distinct cities, and not at the tabernacle, the temple, or the altar. This was diametrically opposite to the universal practice in all nations, among whom the temple or the altar was pre-eminently a place where the offender might find refuge. The law of Moses guarded the worship of God from the pollutions of crime and from the assaults of avengers. The results of the contrary practice are explained by Tacitus, who says that, in the time of Augustus and Tiberius, the licence of asylum was so abused, that at Rome and in the cities of Greece, the temples were full of debtors, fugitives, and criminals, whom the magistrates could not control, and who were protected by the furious prejudices of the people, who regarded the right of asylum as a popular privilege, and who imagined that any infraction of its inviolability was sure to bring down upon the community the vengeance of the god whose sanctuary had been profaned. This state of things could not exist in a nation or city where the law had acquired strength; but it was no where without great difficulty that the
leges of the asylum were retrenched, and ultimately confined to involuntary delinquents and minor oftenders. was thought a great thing when the law dared to force great offenders from the altars and the statues of the gods, and bring them to trial and punishment. Yet this great thing the law of Moses did at once :-"If a man lie not in wait, but God deliver him into his hand, then I will appoint thee a place whither he shall flee. But if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbour, to slay him with guile, thou shall take him from mine altar, thal he may die." (Exod. xxi. 13, 14.) This was efficient legislation. That which the Gentile nations regarded as the most awful profanation,
was not only permitted but commanded by Jehovah. _In practice, also, we see that it was deemed lawful to kill at the altar a criminal who refused to leave its protection. Thus when Joab fled to the tabernacle and took hold of the horns of the altar, Benaiah, who was sent to slay him, commanded him, in the king's name, to come forth. He refused, saying, “ Nay, but I will die here." Benaiah went to the king for further instructions, and Solomon told him to “Do as he hath said, and fall upon him and bury him ; that thou mayest take away the innocent blood which Joab shed.” (1 Kings ii. 28, &c.) In all this there is a healthiness of principle-a freedom from any thing like superstition, which we should look for vainly among other ancient nations, or find only as a sentiment of some philosophers and poets.
The ancient sanctuaries were not, however, exclusively places consecrated to the worship of the gods. Towns, and parts of towns, and even islands, had this privilege. The whole island of Samothracia was a sanctuary, according to Livy. The whole city of Smyrna was made a sanctuary by Seleucus. The people of Hierocæsarea held the right of asylum to extend for two miles around their temple, dedicated to the Persian Diana ; and indeed it was not unusual for the sanctuary to include a considerable extent of ground around a temple. It seems indeed to have been a favourite device of antiquity to people a new founded city by declaring it an asylum for all the criminals and fugitives who wanted refuge. Thus Cadmus is said to have attracted a population to Thebes; and thus Romulus, when he built Rome, left a place, covered with wood, between the capital and the Tarpeian rock, which he promised to make a safe asylum to all who fled thither. All these were however very different indeed from the Hebrew cities of refuge. One rather remarkable analogy exists among the North American Indians, and is noticed by Adair, whose statements are generally entitled to credit, although mostly adduced to support a favourite hypothesis—which is, that the North Americans are descended from the Jews. He says, “ The North American Indian nations have most of them either a house or town of refuge, which is a sure asylum to protect a manslayer or an unfortunate captive. The Cheerake, though now exceedingly corrupt, still observe that law so inviolably, as to allow their beloved town the privilege of protecting a wilful murderer, but they seldom allow them to return home afterwards in safety: they will revenge blood for blood, unless in some very particular case where the eldest can redeem. In almost every Indian nation there are several peaceable towns, which are called old, beloved, ancient, holy, or white towns, (white being their fixed emblem of peace, friendship, prosperity, happiness, purity, &c.) They seem to have been formerly towns of refuge, for it is not in the memory of their oldest people that ever human blood was shed in them, although they often force persons from thence and put them to death elsewhere."
half tribe of Manasseh in Bashan, thirteen
cities. 1 Eight and forty cities given by lot, out of the
other tribes, unto the Levites. 43 God gave the 7 The children of Merari by their families land, and rest unto the Israelites, according to his had out of the tribe of Reuben, and out of promise.
the tribe of Gad, and out of the tribe of Then came near the heads of the fathers of Zebulun, twelve cities. the Levites unto Eleazar the priest, and
8 And the children of Israel gave by lot unto Joshua the son of Nun, and unto the unto the Levites these cities with their heads of the fathers of the tribes of the child suburbs, as the LORD commanded by the dren of Israel;
hand of Moses. 2 And they spake unto them at Shiloh in 9. And they gave out of the tribe of the the land of Canaan, saying, 'The LORD com- children of Judah, and out of the tribe of manded by the hand of Moses to give us the children of Simeon, these cities which cities to dwell in, with the suburbs thereof are here 'mentioned by name, for our cattle.
10 Which the children of Aaron, being 3 And the children of Israel gave unto of the families of the Kohathites, who were the Levites out of their inheritance, at the of the children of Levi, had : for their's was commandment of the LORD, these cities and the first lot. their suburbs.
11 And they gave them the city of Arba 4 And the lot came out for the families the father of Anak, which city is Hebron, in of the Kohathites : and the children of Aaron the hill country of Judah, with the suburbs the priest, which were of the Levites, had by thereof round about it. lot out of the tribe of Judah, and out of the 12 But the fields of the city, and the viltribe of Simeon, and out of the tribe of Ben- lages thereof, gave they to Caleb the son of jamin, thirteen cities.
Jephunneh for his possession. 5 And the rest of the children of Kohath 13 Thus they gave to the children of had by lot out of the families of the tribe of Aaron the priest Hebron with her suburbs, Ephraim, and out of the tribe of Dan, and to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and out of the half tribe of Manasseh, ten Libnah with her suburbs, cities.
14 And Jattir with her suburbs, and Esh6 And the children of Gershon had by temoa with her suburbs, lot out of the families of the tribe of Issa- 15 And Holon with her suburbs, and char, and out of the tribe of Asher, and out Debir with her suburbs, of the tribe of Naphtali, and out of the 16 And Ain with her suburbs, and Juttah 1 Num, 35 2.
8 Or, Kirjath-arba *Chap. 14. 14. 1 Chron, 6, 56.
with her suburbs, and Bethshemesh with 32 And out of the tribe of Naphtali, Keher suburbs; nine cities out of those two desh in Galilee with her suburbs, to be a city tribes.
of refuge for the slayer ; and Hammoth-dor 17 And out of the tribe of Benjamin, with her suburbs, and Kartan with her Gibeon with her suburbs, Geba with her suburbs; three cities. suburbs.
33 All the cities of the Gershonites ac18 Anathoth with her suburbs, and Almon cording to their families were thirteen cities with her suburbs; four cities.
with their suburbs. 19 All the cities of the children of Aaron, 34 9 And unto the families of the chilthe priests, were thirteen cities with their dren of Merari, the rest of the Levites, out suburbs.
of the tribe of Zebulun, Jokneam with her 20 | And the families of the children of suburbs, and Kartah with her suburbs, Kohath, the Levites which remained of the 35 Dimnah with her suburbs, Nahalal children of Kohath, even they had the cities with her suburbs; four cities. of their lot out of the tribe of Ephraim. 36 And out of the tribe of Reuben, Bezer
21 For they gave them Shechem with her with her suburbs, and Jahazah with her suburbs in mount Ephraim, to be a city of suburbs, refuge for the slayer; and Gezer with her 37 Kedemoth with her suburbs, and Me suburbs,
phaath with her suburbs; four cities. 22 And Kibzaim with her suburbs, and 38 And out of the tribe of Gad, Ramoth Beth-horon with her suburbs; four cities. in Gilead with her suburbs, to be a city of
23 And out of the tribe of Dan, Eltekch refuge for the slayer; and Mahanaim with with her suburbs, Gibbethon with her her suburbs, suburbs,
39 Heshbon with her suburbs, Jazer with 24 Aijalon with her suburbs, Gath-rim- her suburbs; four cities in all. mon with her suburbs; four cities.
40 So all the cities for the children of 25 And out of the half tribe of Manasseh, Merari by their families, which were remainTanach with her suburbs, and Gath-rimmon ing of the families of the Levites, were by with her suburbs; two cities.
their lot twelve cities. 26 All the cities were ten with their 41 All the cities of the Levites within the suburbs for the families of the children of possession of the children of Israel were Kohath that remained.
forty and eight cities with their suburbs. 27 And unto the children of Gershon, 42 These cities were every one with their of the families of the Levites, out of the suburbs round about them; thus were all other half tribe of Manasseh they gave Golan these cities. in Bashan with her suburbs, to be a city of 43 And the LORD gave unto Israel all refuge for the slayer; and Beesh-terah with the land which he sware to give unto their her suburbs; two cities.
fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt 28 And out of the tribe of Issachar, Ki- therein. shon with her suburbs, Dabareh with her 44 And the LORD gave them rest round suburbs,
about, according to all that he sware unto 29 Jarmuth with her suburbs, Engannim their fathers: and there stood not a man of with her suburbs; four cities.
all their enemies before them ; the LORD 30 And out of the tribe of Asher, Mishal delivered all their enemies into their hand. with her suburbs, Abdon with her suburbs, 45 "There failed not ought of any good
31 Helkath with her suburbs, and Rehob thing which the Lord had spoken unto the with her suburbs; four cities.
house of Israel ; all came to pass.
• Chap 23. 14, 15. Verse 4. “ Thirteen cities.”_We must not here overlook a remarkable instance of arrangement, with so distinct a reference to future circumstances as could only have taken place under the direction of One whose cognizance of things is not memory or foresight, but to whose infinite mind all the events of eternity and time are simultaneously present. We observe that the priestly division of the family of Kohath have all their cities in the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Simeon. None in any other tribe ;—not even in that of Ephraim in which the tabernacle then stood. Indeed, we may almost say that they were all in Judah and Benjamin ; for only one was in the tribe of Simeon, and that one (Ain) is supposed to have been on the frontier of Judah, and subject in some degree to its control. We cannot reasonably doubt that this arrangement had a prospective reference to the ultimate establishment of the Temple and the services of religion at Jerusalem, when this distribution of their towns placed the priests in the most advantageous situation for that attendance at the capital which their duty required. Dr. Hales has also a very probable idea as to the ulterior intention of this arrangement; namely, that it had a reference to the division which ultimately took place,