Page images

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 intermixed 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 multiplied, 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 (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 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 mezuza fixed on the door-post, and describes it as a preservation from sin.

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


1 All communion with the nations is forbidden, 4 for fear of idolatry, 6 for the holiness of the people, 9 for the nature of God in his mercy and justice, 17 for the assuredness of victory which God will give over them.

WHEN the 'LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;

2 And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shall smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:

3 Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.

4 For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kinåled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.

[blocks in formation]

slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face.

11 Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to

do them.

12 ¶ Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the LORD thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers:

13 And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee.

14 Thou shalt be blessed above all people: "there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle.

15 And the LORD will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee.

16 And thou shalt consume all the people which the LORD thy God shall deliver thee; thine eye shall have no pity upon them: neither shalt thou serve their gods; for that will be a snare unto thee.

17 If thou shalt say in thine heart, These nations are more than I; how can I dispossess them?

18 Thou shalt not be afraid of them: but shalt well remember what the LORD thy God did unto Pharaoh, and unto all Egypt;

19 The great temptations which thine eyes saw, and the signs, and the wonders, and the mighty hand, and the stretched out arm, whereby the LORD thy God brought thee out: so shall the LORD thy God do unto all the people of whom thou art afraid.

20 10Moreover the LORD thy God will send the hornet among them, until they that are left, and hide themselves from thee, be destroyed.

21 Thou shalt not be affrighted at them: for the LORD thy God is among you, a mighty God and terrible.

22 And the LORD thy God will "put out those nations before thee by little and little: thou mayest not consume them at once, lest the beasts of the field increase upon thec. 23 But the LORD thy God shall deliver

2 Exod. 23. 32, and 34. 12. 3 Heb. statues, or pillars. 4 Chap. 14. 2, and 26. 19. 7 Exod. 23, 26, &c. 8 Exod. 9. 14, and 15, 26. 9 Exod. 23, 33. 10 Exod. 23, 28.

5 Exod. 19. 5. 1 Pet. 2. 9. Josh, 24. 12. 11 Heb. pluck of.

ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the LORD thy God.

26 Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing.

14 Josh. 7. 1, 21. 2 Mac. 12. 40. 15 Chap. 13. 17.

them "unto thee, and shall destroy them with a mighty destruction, until they be destroyed.

24 And he shall deliver their kings into thine hand, and thou shalt destroy their name from under heaven: there shall no man be able to stand before thee, until thou have destroyed them.

25 The graven images of their gods "shall 19 Heb. before thy face. 13 Chap. 12.3.

[graphic][merged small]

Verse 1. "Hiltiles," &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

a Kenite in Judg. i. 16; and as he is also called a Midianite, it would seem that the Kenites were a branch of the Cushite Midianites, who, in the time of Abraham, were in Canaan, but afterwards migrated southward from thence. This is sufficient to account for their not being mentioned. Jethro's clan seems to have returned to Canaan in the train of the Israelites, and to have settled in the lot of Judah (see the above-cited text, also the note on Numb. xxiv. 21). In time, however, we find them living among the Amalekites, from whom Saul, out of remembrance of the ancient connection, warned them to depart when he contemplated the destruction of their then protectors (1 Sam. xvi. 6). They had probably left the Israelites on account of their being involved in the oppressions with which the Hebrews were, in the time of the Judges, punished for their frequent idolatries. It would seem, from 1 Sam. xxvii. 10, that the Kenites after this re-attached themselves to Judah, for we see that David, when with Achish the Philistine king, an enemy of Israel, thought to recommend himself by pretending that he had made an assault "against the south of Judah...and against the south of the Kenites;" when he had really attacked the Amalekites, the enemies of Judah, with whom the Kenites had lately been connected. Had the Kenites not rejoined the Israelites, it could have been no satisfaction to Achish to learn that they had been molested. This is the last we know of them. They were most probably carried into captivity by the Assyrians, as Balaam foretold (Numb. xxiv. 22).


"Hittites," &c.—All these small nations are called generally "Canaanites," as being descended from Canaan, the son of Ham; while, at the same time, one branch of the family retained the same denomination as a patronymic, as in the present list. Thus all the seven were “ Canaanites," in a general sense, and one of them in a particular sense. With reference to the restricted sense, as the Canaanites are mentioned as being settled on the sea-coast (Numb. xiii. 29), and as the name is in Scripture used to denote merchants generally, and is particularly applied to the merchants of Tyre (compare Isa. xxiii. 8, and Ezek. xvii. 4), it is possible that the distinction was assumed by the branch of Canaan's family descended from his eldest son, Sidon, the father of the enterprising commercial people called Phoenicians in profane history. This is confirmed by the fact that Canaan was the domestic name of this people, as appears by Phoenician medals, on which the word "Canaan" () is found. Nothing can be more natural than that the eldest branch of Canaan's family should have assumed the prerogative of being called by his name. It will really obviate many difficulties to suppose that the name "Canaanite," in the restricted sense, means the descendants of Sidon in general, and to understand that the term Sidonians does not in Scripture denote all Sidon's descendants, but only those occupying the city and district of Sidon. So far as distinct from the Sidonians, we may understand them as occupying the coast between theirs and that of the Philistines. They had also some inland territory, reaching, it would seem, from the coast in question nearly to the Jordan (Deut. xi. 30). As to the Hittites, they were descended from Heth, the second son of Canaan, and seem to have resided in the southern part of the Promised Land, about Hebron, and were "the people of the land, even the children of Heth," with whom Abraham treated about a sepulchre for Sarah. (Gen. xxiii.) Esau married two wives of this nation; and from their situation they seem in general to have been well known to the patriarchs.


Girgashites."-The whole of the seven nations are mentioned only in three lists; in ten others, only six are mentioned; and in nine of the ten cases, the omitted name is that of the Girgashites; in the remaining case, where these are mentioned, the Hivites are omitted: from which facts, taken together, Dr. Wells infers that the Girgashites were probably a very small nation, and as such are most frequently either wholly omitted or comprehended under some other name, probably either that of the Hivites or Perizzites. As to the Girgashites themselves, their name is thought to be found in that of the Gergesenes, mentioned in Matt. viii. 28, as being on the eastern side of the sea of Tiberias; and it has therefore been assumed that the Girgashites resided in that part of the country. To this there are only two objections: one is, that the word read "Gergesenes" in Matt. is "Gadarenes" in Mark and Luke, and in many copies of Matthew, and, in modern versions, is admitted as the true reading; and the other is, that Joshua expressly places the Girgashites with the other nations on the west of Jordan (Josh. xxiv. 11); but what part of the country they there occupied, we have no materials which enable us to determine with any precision.

The "Amorites" were descended from the fourth son of Canaan. Their territory beyond Jordan had already been conquered, but their original settlements in Canaan remained to be acquired; as they afterwards were, and given to Judah. They seem to have been the most considerable of the Canaanitish nations, and are sometimes put for the whole. The cis-Jordanic Amorites are described in Numb. xiii. 29, and Josh. xi. 3, as occupying the mountainous parts of Canaan, but which parts of all the mountainous country they respectively occupied is not there intimated; but, from other passages, it would seem that they occupied the hill country to the west of the Dead Sea and part of the Jordana position which facilitated their encroachment upon the territories of the Moabites and Ammonites, from which they were only separated by the Jordan,

"Canaanites" are noticed above.

"Perizzites."-Canaan had no son from whom this name could be derived, and it is not easy to determine to which of the families of Canaan this people belonged. The word probably is not a patronymic, but a name expressing situation or manner of life. The word (perazoth) means villages or unwalled places, as distinguished from walled towns (as in Est. ix. 19, Ezek. xxxviii. 11), and hence, the inhabitants of such towns: it includes also the idea of dispersion, instead of compact residence, as in cities; whence-as we learn from Josh. xi. 3, xvii. 15, 16, that the Perizzites dwelt in the hilly country-we may infer that such persons who lived not in cities and towns, but dispersed in the woods and mountains, and other comparatively unfrequented parts, were mentioned generally under this name to whatever tribe they belonged. A people thus circumstanced must at all times be difficult to subdue, whence perhaps it was that they seem to have maintained their independence till the time of Solomon, when they were rendered tributary. "Hivites."-This is the tribe not mentioned in the grant to Abraham. The people are thought to be the same as the Avims, described in ch. ii. 23, and formerly occupying the south-west of Canaan, and who were driven out by the Caphtorim, or Philistines. This supposition seems well enough to account for the dispersed manner in which they appear to have lived in the land in the time of Joshua. We see some in the centre of Canaan, for the Gibeonites are repeatedly called Hivites (Josh. ix. 7; xi. 19). We also learn from Judges iii. 3, that the Hivites dwelt in Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal-hermon unto the entering in of Hamath," from which, as compared with Josh. xi. 3, where mention is made of "the Hivite under Mount Hermon in the land of Mizpeh," we may infer that their principal settlement was in the north-eastern part of the country, in and near that part of Lebanon which was called Mount Hermon, in the most extensive of the senses which we have explained in a previous note.


"Jebusites.”—This people, descended from the third son of Canaan, occupied Jerusalem and the surrounding district. They seem to have been a warlike people, from the length of time they were able to maintain their post, although their city was in the lot of the brave tribe of Benjamin, and bordered on the very powerful one of Judah. It seems from Judges i. 8, that Jerusalem was taken by Judah and burnt with fire; but it must have been afterwards rebuilt, as in verse 21, it is said, "the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem; but the

Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem unto this day." But in ch. xix. 11, 12, Jerusalem seems to be spoken of as principally, if not wholly, occupied by the Jebusites, "the city of a stranger," where the Levite for that reason did not like to take up his night's lodging. From all this we may infer that "the stronghold of Zion," as distinguished from the city, was never taken by the Israelites, and that the possession of it gave the Jebusites the command of the city till the time of David, when they were expelled from the stronghold, and that monarch made Jerusalem the capital of his kingdom.

2. "Utterly destroy them.”—For some remarks on this war of extermination, see the notes on ch. xx.

3. Neither... make marriages with them."-Lest the wife or husband of a strange nation should seduce the husband or wife to the worship of idols, and bring up the children in idolatry. The Scripture itself does in the sequel afford forcible examples of the importance and necessity of this injunction. Solomon is one of these unhappy instances: "Fair idolatresses

- beguil'd the heart
Of wisest Solomon, and made him build,

And made him bow to the gods of his wives."-MILTON.

The Rabbins extend this and many other of these rules to all other heathen nations, besides the seven particularly specified. They differ on the point whether marriage with proselytes was permitted; but those who deny that it was lawful, permit marriages with the children of proselytes. We should think the law did not intend to interdict such marriages. A man might marry his proselyte captive taken in war, and we have instances of other marriages_with proselytes, as that of Salmon with Rahab the woman of Jericho; and that of the son of Naomi, and afterwards Boaz, with Ruth, the Moabitish damsel-both of which marriages are the more remarkable as the sons they produced were among the progenitors of David, and ultimately of our Lord.

15. "The evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest."-Probably the plague and leprosy are particularly meant. These are to this day pre-eminently Egyptian diseases. As the priests of Isis in Egypt were wont to threaten the people who neglected her worship with the grievous diseases which are common in that country, the learned Spencer conjectures that, by opposition, exemption from such diseases is here promised to those who kept themselves pure from the idolatries of Egypt. The passage is, however, obviously intended to apply to all idolatry, whether Egyptian or not.

22. "Lest the beasts of the field increase upon thee.”—The Targum of Jonathan explains this by saying that if the Canaanites were at once destroyed, great numbers of them would be left unburied which would invite the beasts of prey into the country to feed on their carcases. It is however quite sufficient to know that if the country were too suddenly thinned of its inhabitants, much of the land must be left desolate, and would naturally soon be overrun with wild beasts. This is actually the case in the present thinly peopled condition of Palestine, and of other countries of Western Asia, which once teemed with inhabitants, towns, and cultivation, but through which wild animals, injurious to man or to vegetation, now roam almost unmolested.

25. "Thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them."-This probably refers not only to the ornaments of precious metal, as chains and bracelets, which might be upon idolatrous statues, but also to the gold and silver with which such statues were sometimes overlaid. Some of the Jews interpreted this not to mean that statues of massive metal might not be melted down for use, since the phrase "on them" is used. But the literal bearing of other precepts, and the proceeding of Moses with the golden calf, give no sanction to this interpretation. Since the captivity, however, it has not been the disposition of the Jews to interpret this or any other statute with too great latitude, but rather the contrary. They understood this and the following verse in the strictest sense as forbidding them to apply to any use whatever any thing which had, however remotely, belonged to an idol or to idolatrous service.


An exhortation to obedience in regard of God's dealing with them.

ALL the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers.

2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.

3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth 'not live by bread only,

Matth. 4. 4. Luke 4.4.

[blocks in formation]

2 Neh. 9. 21. 3 Heb. of olive-tree of oil.

« PreviousContinue »