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“Know therefore that Jehovah thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations.”—Chap. vii. 9.
Behold the heaven and the heaven of heavens is Jehovah's thy God, the earth also with all that therein is."
“For Jehovah your God is God of Gods, and Jehovah of Jehovahs, a great God, a mighty and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh rewards. He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.”—Chap. x. 14, 17, 18.
“ They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not. Of the rock that begat thee, thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.”
They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not
Chap. xxxii. 17, 18, 21, “ Ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there
that can deliver out of my hand.”—Chap. xxxii. 2, 3, 39.
There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky. The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms."-Chap. xxxiii. 26, 27. It has been contended that Moses himself recognised, and worshipped the One Eternal God, but found it necessary to accommodate his descriptions of Jehovah to the ignorant notions of the Hebrews, and the prevailing belief in a national-God. We think it impossible that a believer in the divine unity could give such false and imperfect representations of the Deity as those which we have cited. It may not indeed be difficult to imitate Philo, and many other theologians, and to allegorise such portions of the history as will not harmonise with our own views; and thus give to the words a meaning they never were intended to express ; but, to us, it appears sufficiently evident, that the purer notions found in the Book of Deuteronomy, and in other parts of the Pentateuch, are not Mosaic; that they must be referred to the writers who lived long after the time of Moses; and that they became interwoven with existing Mosaic documents and records by the arranger of the Pentateuch, perhaps in the reign of David, but certainly not earlier.*
One part of the Book of Deuteronomy—the account of the death of Moses--cannot be genuine. The relation given in Deuteronomy of events recorded in the preceding Books, frequently differs from, and sometimes contradicts, the Mosaic narrative;t a proof that both accounts could not have been written by the same author. Reference is also made to the city of Jerusalem, I to the established priesthood, ş to the reign of kings, and to the dominion of the prophets.|| These are evidences that the writer was acquainted with the condition of the Jewish nation long subsequent to the death of Moses.
* For a full confirmation of the opinions here given, the reader is referred to the more recent investigations of this subject, to be found in the writings of Vater, De Wette, Gramberg, Hartmann, and Vatke.—Tr. + Deut. i.
Numb. xiii. 2. 42
xiv. 41. 44
45. ii. 3-8, 29
14, 21. 24
xxi. iii. 26
xxvii. 1. 1
Exod. xxxiv. 1. 6
Numb. xx. 22, 24., xxxiii. 30-38. xxv. 17
Exod. xvii. 8.
Exod. xxi. 2-11.
Numb. xxxv. 24, 30.
See Deut. xii. ; xvi. 1-7. $ See Deut. xii. 12, 18, 19.
xiv. 22-29. xyi. 11-14. xviii. 1-8. xxvi. 12, compare with Numb. xxxv. and xviii. 21-24. xvii. 8-13. xix. 17. xxi. 5. xvii. 18. Xxxi. 9.
Il See Deut. xvii. 14-20; xiii. 1-5; xviii. 9-22.
THE BOOK OF JOSHUA.
The Book of Joshua is a continuation of the history of the Israelites, from the death of Moses. It confesses to have been written after the events it records had taken place, and the narrations accord with the religious notions, and with the whole mode of thinking of Joshua and his times. The compiler seems to have arranged the existing ancient materials, without introducing any of the later views of his own age.
Representations of God. However valuable this book may be as an historical record, it is far from possessing either religious or moral worth ; on the contrary, it is calculated to produce an injurious effect upon the minds of its readers. It sanctions an unjust and sanguinary warfare, under the conduct of God himself. It represents Jehovah as fighting for Israel, and as commanding the Israelites to take forcible possession of Canaan, and totally annihilate all the inhabitants of that land, which he had sworn to give to his chosen people. The best description of Jehovah which occurs in this book is spoken by Rahab the harlot:
“ Jehovah your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath."-Chap. ii. 11. The God of Joshua is a national-God. When speaking of Jehovah to the Israelites, Joshua almost invariably says, « Jehovah
God.” Joshua exhorts the people to cleave to Jehovah their God, and not to serve the gods of other nations, but he does not deny the existence of other gods.
“ Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left; that ye come not among these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear by
them, neither serve them, nor bow yourselves unto them : but
“ Thus saith Jehovah the God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt
“Now therefore fear Jehovah, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye Jehovah. And if it seem evil unto you to serve Jehovah, choose
this day whom ye will serve ; whether the gods which your
fathers served, that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell : but as for me and my house, we will serve Jehovah. And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake Jehovah, to serve other gods; for Jehovah our God, he it is who brought us up, and our fathers, out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed : and Jehovah drave out before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land : therefore will we also serve Jehovah, for he is our God. And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve Jehovah: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. If ye forsake Jehovah, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good. And the people said unto Joshua, Nay, but we will serve Jehovah. And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you Jehovah, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses. Now therefore put away (said he) the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto Jehovah the God of
Israel.”—Chap. xxiv. 2, 14-24. This passage throws much light upon the religious notions of the Hebrews. Joshua calls upon them to choose among the gods which god they will serve. Had they regarded Jehovah as the only god, the choice between his service and that of other gods could not have been proposed to them. When we find the Hebrews required by their leader to decide which among the gods they will select for their peculiar Deity, the conclusion that they believed in the actual existence of other gods besides Jehovah, is inevitable. They agree to adopt the worship of Jehovah, because, as he
had brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and wrought many wonders for them in the wilderness, they consider his service the most likely to prove advantageous.
Attributes of God. Jehovah is called “an holy God;" he is likewise a jealous God. He will not forgive the transgressions of those who serve other gods, but will consume them.
“ He is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. If ye forsake Jehovah and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and con
sume you, after that he hath done you good.”—Chap. xxiv. 19, 20. Jehovah would not be portrayed as jealous of gods whose being was positively disbelieved.
Jehovah is a warrior God, and a cruel God. He fights for Israel. He casts down hailstones from heaven, in order to secure them the victory. He listens to the voice of Joshua, and causes the sun and the moon to stand still, until his people are avenged of their enemies. Joshua, who was a revengeful, cruel, and bloodthirsty man, does not hesitate to ascribe the attributes of cruelty and vengeance to his God.
Jehovah said unto Joshua, Fear them not: for I have delivered them into thine hand ; there shall not a man of them stand before thee. Joshua therefore came unto them suddenly, and went up from Gilgal all night. And Jehovah discomfited them before Israel, and slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and chased them along the way that goeth up to Bethhoron, and smote them to Azekah, and unto Makkedah. And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Beth-horon, that Jehovah cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword. Then spake Joshua to Jehovah in the day when Jehovah delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon ; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher ? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. And there was no day like that before it or after it, that Jehovah hearkened unto the voice of a man : for Jehovah fought for Israel.”—Chap. x. 8-14.
And all these kings and their land did Joshua take at one