Cross - the death of the cross was the most dreadful of all others, both for the shame and pain of it; and so scandalous, that it was inflicted as the last mark of detestation upon the vilest of people. The form of a cross being such as has been already described, the body of the criminal was fastened to the upright piece by nailing the feet to it, and on the other transverse piece generally by nailing the hands on each side. Now, because these parts of the body, being the instruments of action and motion, are provided by Nature with a much greater quantity of nerves than others have occasion for; and because all sensation is performed by the spirit contained in the nerves; it will follow, as Stanhope observes, that whereever they abound, the sense of pain must needs in proportion be more quick and tender. The worshippers of Baal-peor, and the king of Ai were hung up alive; as were also the descendants of Saul, who were put into the hands of the Gibeonites, 2 Samuel 21:9 . After this manner, we find Christ was compelled to bear his cross; and as he sunk under the burden, Simon the Cyrenian was constrained to bear it after him and with him. the long and transverse part both, this seems to be a thing impossible; and therefore Lipsius (in his treatise De Supplicio Crucis) has set the matter in a true light, when he tells us that Jesus only carried the transverse beam; because the long beam, or the body of the cross, was either fixed in the ground before, or made ready to be set up as soon as the prisoner came; and from hence he observes, that painters are very much mistaken in the description of our Saviour carrying the whole cross. This way, it is said, Peter chose, out of respect to his master, Jesus Christ, not thinking himself worthy to be crucified like him; though the common way of crucifying was by fastening the criminal with nails, one through each hand, and one through both feet, or one through each of them; for this was not always performed in the same manner; the ancients sometimes represent Jesus Christ crucified with four nails, and sometimes with three. The text of the gospel shows clearly that Jesus Christ was fastened to the cross with nails, and the Psalmist (Psalms 22:16 , ) had foretold long before, that they should pierce his hands and his feet; but there are great disputes concerning the number of these nails. The Greeks represent our Saviour as fastened to the cross with four nails; in which particular Gregory of Tours agrees with them, one on each hand and foot. But several are of opinion that our Saviour's hands and feet were pierced with three nails only, viz. one on each hand, and one through both his feet: and the custom of the Latins is rather for this last opinion; for the generality of the old crucifixes made in the Latin church have only three nails. ...
Nonnus thinks that our Saviour's arms were besides bound fast to the cross with chains; and St. Eusebius speaks of certain martyrs in Egypt who were kept upon the cross till they were starved to death. Pilate was amazed at Jesus Christ's dying so soon, because naturally he must have lived longer, if it had not been in his power to have laid down his life, and to take it up again. The thighs of the two thieves, who were crucified with our Saviour, were broken, in order to hasten their death, that their bodies might not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day, John 19:31 ; John 19:33 ; and to comply with the law of Moses, which forbids the bodies to be left there after sun-set. But, among other nations, they were suffered to remain upon the cross a long time. The Adoration of the Cross seems to have been practised in the ancient church, in as much as the heathens, particularly Julian, reproached the primitive Christians with it; and we do not find that their apologists disclaimed the charge. Cyril, but could not support his allegation at the conference of Fontainbleau. Helena is said to have reduced the adoration of the cross to its just principle, since she adored Christ in the wood, not the wood itself. It was the wood; the wood they were to adore! Imbert replied, it was Christ, not the wood; for which he was cited before the archbishop of Bourdeaux, suspended from his functions, and even threatened with chains and perpetual imprisonment. It little availed him to cite the bishop of Meaux's distinction; it was answered that the church allowed it not
- When Achan broke the law by taking some of the spoil from Jericho, the whole Israelite army was defeated at Ai
). For example, Assyria was seen as the Lord's rod of wrath (Isaiah 10:5
The third command prohibited taking Yahweh's name in vain (Exodus 20:7
; Leviticus 19:12
; cf. ...
The fifth command entails respect for parents (Exodus 20:12
). In the case of seduction, the result was the same except that no mention is made of divorce and the father could still be paid the marriage present though he disallowed the wedding (Exodus 22:16-17
). Incest was proscribed (Leviticus 20:11,12
, 14,17 , 19-21 ; Deuteronomy 27:20,22
-23 ) for which the penalty in certain cases was death by burning (Leviticus 20:11,14
). If one believer sinned against another, the offended party was to confront the guilty party. If that failed, he was to bring the accusation to the church, which may then excommunicate the sinner (Matthew 18:15-17
). This may refer to excommunication (if cast out of the church one is under the domain of Satan) or to a mortal illness invading the sinner's body. Isaiah 66:24
speaks of an undying worm and unquenchable fire—the same imagery Jesus uses to warn about hell ( Mark 9:42-43,47
Sea, the Salt
- "The sea of the plain" (Arabah): Deuteronomy 3:17
; Deuteronomy 4:49
; Joshua 3:16
. The saltness is due to masses of fossil salt in a mountain on its S. At the southern end the fords between Lisan and the western shore are now impassable, though but three feet deep some years ago; again the causeway between the Rijm el Bahr and the mainland has been submerged for 12 years, though previously often dry. The area was filled by a chain of large lakes reaching to the sea. The depression continuing, the heat and the consequent evaporation increased, until there remained only the present three lakes, Merom, Galilee, and the Dead Sea which depends on evaporation alone for maintaining its level. It occupies probably what was originally the plain of Jordan, the vale of Siddim. Genesis 13:10
is not to be pressed further than to mean that Lot from between Bethel and Ai
saw enough to arrive at the conclusion that the Ciccar ("circuit") of the Jordan, i. It holds in solution ingredients six times those contained in common salt water: one third common salt (chloride of sodium) and two thirds chloride of magnesium. Sulphur springs abound around, and sulphur lies over the plains in layers or in fragments. Only in the district near wady Zurka have igneous rocks been found; the lake basin's formation is mainly due to the action of water. It receives the Jordan at the northern end; Zurka Main on its E. side (anciently Callirrhoe , and perhaps the older Εn Εglaim ), also the Mojib (Arnon) and the Beni Hemad; on the S. Ai
n Jidy. The mountain walls on either side run nearly parallel; the eastern mountains are higher and more broken by ravines than the western. above the lake, where the Jewish zealots made their last stand against Sylva the Roman general, and slew themselves to escape capture, A. The lower part, the salt rock, rises abruptly from the plain at its eastern base. , draining about 6,000 square miles, bring down the silt and shingle which have filled up the southern part of the estuary. The lake is said to resemble Loch Awe, glassy, blue, and transparent, reflecting the beautiful colours of the encircling mountains; but the sterile look of the shores, the stifling heat, the sulphureous smell, the salt marsh at the S
- Soon after this, for some reason not mentioned, he removed his tent to the mountain district between Bethel, then called Luz, and Ai
, towns about two miles apart, where he built an altar to "Jehovah. " He again moved into the southern tract of Palestine, called by the Hebrews the Negeb; and was at length, on account of a famine, compelled to go down into Egypt. Sarai was restored to him; and Pharaoh loaded him with presents, recommending him to withdraw from the country. ) He chose the well-watered plain in which Sodom was situated, and removed thither; and thus the uncle and nephew were separated. Immediately after this Abram was cheered by a repetition of the promises already made to him, and then removed to the plain or "oak-grove" of Mamre, which is in Hebron. ...
Some fourteen years before this, while Abram was still in Chaldea, Palestine had been invaded by Chedorlaomer, King of Elam, who brought under tribute to him the five cities in the plain to which Lot had removed. Sarai, now seventy-five years old, in her impatience, persuaded Abram to take Hagar, her Egyptian maid, as a concubine, intending that whatever child might be born should be reckoned as her own. When Ishmael was thirteen years old, God again revealed yet more explicitly and fully his gracious purpose; and in token of the sure fulfilment of that purpose the patriarch's name was now changed from Abram to Abraham (Genesis 17:4,5
), and the rite of circumcision was instituted as a sign of the covenant. It was then announced that the heir to these covenant promises would be the son of Sarai, though she was now ninety years old; and it was directed that his name should be Isaac. At the same time, in commemoration of the promises, Sarai's name was changed to Sarah. The next time we see him his faith is put to a severe test by the command that suddenly came to him to go and offer up Isaac, the heir of all the promises, as a sacrifice on one of the mountains of Moriah. His faith stood the test (Hebrews 11:17-19
). He proceeded in a spirit of unhesitating obedience to carry out the command; and when about to slay his son, whom he had laid on the altar, his uplifted hand was arrested by the angel of Jehovah, and a ram, which was entangled in a thicket near at hand, was seized and offered in his stead. " The promises made to Abraham were again confirmed (and this was the last recorded word of God to the patriarch); and he descended the mount with his son, and returned to his home at Beer-sheba (Genesis 22:19
), where he resided for some years, and then moved northward to Hebron. He is called "the friend of God" (James 2:23
), "faithful Abraham" (Galatians 3:9
), "the father of us all" (Romans 4:16
- The ancient Israelites, in imitation of the Heathen, from whom they borrowed the practice, frequently cut themselves with knives and lancets, scratched their faces, or pricked certain parts of their bodies with needles. " The bereaved Greeks tore, cut off, and sometimes shaved, their hair; they reckonded it a duty which they owed to the dead, to deprive their heads of the greatest part of their honours, or, in the language of Scripture, made a baldness between their eyes. The same custom prevailed among the ancient Persians, and the neighbouring states. Shaving, however, was, on some occasions, a sign of joy; and to let the hair grow long, the practice of mourners, or persons in affliction. Joseph shaved himself before he went into the palace, Genesis 41:14
; and Mephibosheth let his hair grow during the time David was banished from Jerusalem, but shaved himself on his return. In ordinary sorrows they only neglected their hair, or suffered it to hang down loose upon their shoulders; in more poignant grief they cut it off; but in a sudden and violent paroxysm, they plucked it off with their hands. Such a violent expression of sorrow is exemplified in the conduct of Ezra, which he thus describes:...
"And when I heard this thing I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head, and of my beard, and sat down astonied,"...
. The Greeks, and other nations around them, expressed the violence of their sorrow in the same way; for in Homer, Ulysses and his companions, bewailing the death of Elpenor, howled and plucked off their hair. Mourners withdrew as much as possible from the world; they abstained from banquets and entertainments; they banished from their houses as unsuitable to their circumstances, and even painful to their feelings, musical instruments of every kind, and whatever was calculated to excite pleasure, or that wore an Ai
r of mirth and gaiety. Oriental mourners divested themselves of all ornaments, and laid aside their jewels, gold, and every thing rich and splendid in their dress. Long after the time of Moses, that rebellious nation again received a command of similar import: "Strip you, and make you bare, and gird sackcloth upon your loins," Isaiah 32:11
. Progne, having notice of Philomela's death, lays aside her robes, beaming with a profusion of gold, and appears in sable vestments; and Althaea, when her brethren were slain by Meleager, exchanged her glittering robes for black:—...
"Et auratas mutavit vestibus atris. " In Judea, the mourner was clothed in sackcloth of hair and by consequence, in sable robes; and penitents, by assuming it, seemed to confess that their guilt exposed them to death. Some of the eastern nations, in modern times, bury in linen; but Chardin informs us, that others still retain the use of sackcloth for that purpose. To sit in sackcloth and ashes, was a frequent expression of mourning in the oriental regions; and persons overwhelmed with grief, and unable to sustain the weight of their calamities, often threw themselves upon the earth, and rolled in the dust; and the more dirty the ground was, the better it served to defile them, and to express their sorrow and dejection. In this way Tamar signified her distress, after being dishonoured by Amnon, "She put ashes on her head;" and when Mordecai understood that the doom of his nation was sealed, he "rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes. " Our Lord alludes to the same custom, in that denunciation: "Wo unto thee, Chorazin! wo unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon. When the armies of Israel were defeated before Ai
, "Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads. " The mourner sometimes laid his hands upon his head; for the prophet, expostulating with his people, predicts their humiliation in these words: "Yea, thou shalt go forth from him, and thine hands upon thine head; for the Lord hath rejected thy confidences, and thou shalt not prosper in them," Jeremiah 2:37
. When they return from the grave to the house of the deceased, the chief mourner receives them with his jaws tied up with a linen cloth, in imitation of the manner in which the face of the dead is covered; and by this the mourner is said to testify that he was ready to die for his friend. This allusion is perhaps revolved in the charge which Ezekiel received when his wife died, to abstain from the customary forms of mourning: "Forbear to cry; make no mourning for the dead; bind the tire of thy head upon thee, and put on thy shoes upon thy feet, and cover not thy lips, and eat not the bread of men,"...
. It is remarkable, that we find Judea represented as a sorrowful woman sitting on the ground, in a passage of the prophet, where the same calamity which was recorded on the medals of these Roman emperors is foretold: "And she being desolate shall sit upon the ground," Isaiah 3:26
. If the conjecture of that intelligent traveller be well founded, the venerable prophet had been forced by the established etiquette of the court to retire from the management of public affairs at the death of Nebuchadnezzar; and had remained in a private station for twenty- three years, neglected or forgotten, till the awful occurrence of that memorable night rendered his assistance necessary, and brought him again into public notice. But it appears from an incident in the narrative of the raising of Lazarus, that in Judea they were accustomed to visit the graves of their deceased relations after the third day, merely to lament their loss, and give vent to their grief
Joshua, Theology of
- Joshua the Faithful Warrior and Leader . When he reappears in Exodus 24:13
, Joshua climbs Mount Sinai alongside Moses. It only remains for Joshua to be recognized as leader by the Israelites, something he achieves through completion of the divinely appointed tasks involved in crossing the Jordan River. An alternative, or perhaps complementary, explanation focuses on the exceptions of Rahab's family and of the Gibeonites, who escaped divine wrath through confession of faith in Israel's God (2:8-13; 9:9-10,24-25). Does this imply that such an option was always open to those who would renounce idolatry and submit themselves to Israel and to Israel's God? Although the Israelites seem reluctant to allow any who live in Canaan to survive (9:7) and the Gibeonites are saved only by deceit, it remains true that we are never told of any Canaanites who confessed the lordship of Israel's God and who subsequently were put to death. The accounts of Jericho's defeat and of the massacre at Ai
mention men and women, as well as young and old, but they do not specify children (as opposed to "youth, young man" in 8:30-35
and in the whole of chapter 24. Indeed, the circumcision and Passover celebration in chapter 5, as well as the theological role of the tribal allotments as part of Israel's covenantal inheritance from God, suggest that fulfillment of the covenant remains an integral part of the whole book. The people agree to this and bear witness against themselves if they forsake God and serve foreign deities. ...
The saving Acts of God are clearly represented in the military victories of the people against their enemies, especially in the miraculous collapse of Jericho's walls (6:20) and the divine control of the sun and the hailstones in such a manner as to Ai
d Israel (10:11-14). In addition, they occur in notes of how the enemies of Israel hear of the Israelite victories and how their courage melts (5:1); how God's presence with Joshua leads to his fame spreading throughout the land (6:27); and how the armies of Canaan learn of God's Acts but still refuse to accept God's sovereignty and signify this by perpetrating war against Israel (9:1-2; 10:1-5; 11:1-5). As a book that provides a transition from the Pentateuch and the lawgiving of Moses to the settled society and rule of the judges and the kings of Israel, this work presents a past ideal in which a leader like Moses brought the people into the promised land and proceeded on faith to lay claim to it. God's gracious gift of the land and his provision for the people as their leader and guide bear witness to later generations of divinely willed leadership for Israel and of how the faithful fulfillment of the covenant could bring upon God's people all the blessings involved in their occupation of the land. The later failures of Israel's leadership and of the people brought divine judgment, which revoked these blessings by uprooting the people from that land and sending them into exile. Even so, the prophetic promises looked forward to a return to the promised land and to a full claim of these blessings under a messianic leader who would rule the people in perfect fulfillment of the covenant and in a renewal of the rich blessings of the land to which Joshua had led the people so long ago
Archaeology And Biblical Study
- Archaeology is a study of the past based upon the recovery, examination, and explanation of the material remains of human life, thought, and activity, coordinated with available information concerning the ancient environment. In the past, archaeology has Ai
ded Old Testament studies especially, but its value to the student of the New Testament also is now being recognized more fully. The basic affirmations of the Bible—that God is, that He is active in history, and that Jesus is His Son raised from the dead—are not subject to archaeological verification. That claim is not open to archaeological verification. Biblical students are often remiss, and many commentaries are deficient, in making use of what materials are available. ), contained hundreds of feet of wall space lined with sculptured reliefs depicting the exploits of the king. Also among the discoveries was the Taylor Prism which contains a written Assyrian version of their invasion of the kingdom of Judah in 701 B. Although Sennacherib does not claim to have captured Jerusalem, he makes no mention of the calamity suffered by his troops as described in the biblical account. People chose to live at a site for certain reasons. This process, along with the ordinary accumulation of debris and rebuilding that occurs in any area of human occupation, gradually over the centuries and millennia resulted in the site becoming higher and higher—a “tell” was formed, containing many strata (layers). The ostraca from Samaria contain the records of supplies, including grain, oil, and wine, which had been sent in for the support of the royal palace by persons living in various towns. In addition, the presence of names of several persons containing Baal as a component (e. The list includes such important places as Babylon and Ur in ancient Mesopotamia and Ai
, Bethel, Hazor, Jericho, Jerusalem, Lachish, Megiddo, Shechem, and many other sites in ancient Israel. ...
During the second stage of archaeology, primary attention had been paid to art, architecture, pottery and written sources, with little or no thought given to the investigation of other possible windows of information to the past. In the previous stage much of the labor of digging had been done by persons living in the region who were paid for their services. ...
All of this permits a much more complete picture than is available from buildings, pottery forms, and even from many written sources. Now there seems to be a real possibility that information about the everyday life of ordinary men and women during the biblical period can be gained. Also, some words in the Bible, particularly in the Old Testament, are obscure—their meaning is not certain. ...
Archaeology, through the recovery of ancient Hebrew and Greek copies of the Scripture, plus the discovery of other old literature written in related languages has helped scholars to determine a more exact text of the Bible than was available previously. ...
At the end of the last century in a rubbish room (now known as the Cairo Geniza) of an old synagogue in Cairo, Egypt, an invaluable find of Hebrew materials was made. A complete copy of the Book of Isaiah was written about 100 B. In a handful of cases, however, minor problems which had crept into the text of Isaiah could be corrected by use of the older scroll. Many clay tablets containing ancient writing were unearthed. A study of Ugaritic has helped Old Testament scholars better understand the nature and development of the Hebrew language, and it has been of particular value in the clarification of some of the ancient Hebrew poetry contained in the Bible. Discovery and decipherment of previously unknown ancient Middle Eastern languages like Sumerian, Akkadian, Hittite, Ugaritic, Aramaic, and Eblite give a wider base for definition of words, making (by the study called Comparative Semitics) for a substantial reorientation of Old Testament vocabulary. ...
With reference to the New Testament, during the last one to two centuries, numerous old papyrus manuscripts have been found, mainly in Egypt, which contain portions of the biblical text. It contains John 18:31-33
:37-38 . New Greek critical texts are being prepared to make all the material available to students, and already English translations are reflecting the new finds. Though it is recognized today that some advocates carried the theory too far, this insight did change New Testament study and has laid the basis for modern speech Bible translation efforts. Scrolls containing the Book of Psalms have been found in cave eleven which differ in several ways from the Book of Psalms as it was finalized by the Jews about A. The Qumran material contains some psalms that eventually were left out of the Bible and omit some that were finally included. Although some locations still remain in doubt, biblical maps and atlases testify eloquently to the success of archaeology in the realms of geography. Twenty-eight jar handles found in the cistern at El Jib made certain the location of ancient Gibeon; six stone carvings with the name “Gezer” identify that place, and “Arad” seven times scratched on a potsherd confirms its location. Aharoni
stated that 262 places out of the 475 mentioned in the Old Testament had with a degree of certainty been identified. The material included in the Bible was carefully selected under the guidance of God, and the history contained therein is theologically interpreted. ...
Leonard Woolley excavated the site of Ur (1922-1934) whose location had been determined by discovery of a cylinder describing repairs carried out in Ur by Nabonidus. A monument found in his mortuary chamber at Thebes contains a record of this venture and includes the oldest reference to Israel outside of the Bible. Merneptah claimed to have utterly destroyed them. Though the claim was earlier made on inadequate basis, evidence of cities built by the Israelites in Egypt has not actually been found. Nelson Glueck's claim that there was no evidence of settled habitation in the areas of Edom and Moab at a date that could be harmonized with an early Exodus is now called in question. Interesting comparisons in the “eye for an eye” law, the case of rape on the mountain as contrasted with in the city, possession of the goring ox, kidnapping, killing a thief in the house, and matters of deposited property can be made between these laws and those of Moses. While these codes have both similarities and differences from the laws of Moses, the claim of borrowing cannot be established. ...
Though searched for in the Jericho area, the location of Gilgal, the Israelites' camping place, remains elusive. Despite what now seems to have been unfounded claims earlier made for Jericho by John Garstang, archaeological evidence for the conquest of Jericho, Ai
, and Gibeon, after excavation of the sites, remains debated. Cities on the Palestinian hill country like Shiloh, Bethel, Gibeah, Bethzur, Debir, and Hazor underwent destruction in the late Bronze Age, and poorer cities rose on their mounds; but the destroyer and rebuilder remain unidentified. Thutmoses III won a major victory at Megiddo in 1490 of which he left a record claiming that Megiddo is worth a thousand cities. However, the Tell Amarna letters show that respect for Egypt was weakening as the petty kings struggled with each other while begging Egypt for Ai
Interesting sidelights on the general period of the Judges and Kings include the Egyptian custom of counting the victims of a campaign from stacks of severed hands (compare Judges 8:6
), the putting out of an eye (1 Samuel 11:1-11
), or both eyes (2 Kings 25:7
), and depiction of circumcised men on a Megiddo ivory
where the subject described his ordeal. The Danites migrated north to Laish (Judges 18:1-31
), the site known as Tel Dan. 200 in Greek and Aramaic, “To the god who is in Dan
- By that time both Mephibosheth and Ziba and David had long passed away; and already their motives and their mainsprings may well have become a sacred riddle in Israel. Given the story of Mephibosheth, and the story of Ziba, first at the flight of David and then at his victorious return, and then-was Mephibosheth a heartless, selfish, contemptible time-server, while Ziba, his servant, was a prince beside him? Or, was Ziba a lying scoundrel, and Mephibosheth a poor, innocent, ill-used, lameter saint? Let us see the surface of the story. And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake? And there was of the house of Saul a servant whose name was Ziba. And when they had called him unto David, the king said unto him, Art thou Ziba? And he said, Thy servant is he. And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God to him? And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet. And the king said unto him, Where is he? And Ziba said unto the king, Behold, he is in the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lo-debar. And David said unto him, Fear not, for I will surely show thee kindness for Jonathan, thy father's sake, and will restore thee all the lands of Saul thy father, and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually. ...
Years passed on again, till Absalom by fair speeches and skilful courtesies had stolen the hearts of all Israel, of all of which Mephibosheth was a silent student, eating at David's table continually. And David said unto his servants, and to them that sat at his table, Arise, let us flee. And when David was a little past the top of the hill, behold, Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth, met David with a couple of asses saddled, and upon them two hundred loaves of bread, and an hundred bunches of raisins, and an hundred of summer fruits, and a bottle of wine. And the king said to Ziba, What meanest thou by these? And Ziba said, The asses be for the king's household to ride on, and the bread and the summer fruits for the young men to eat, and the wine that such as be faint in the wilderness may drink. And the king said, Where is thy master's son? And Ziba said to the king, Behold, he abideth in Jerusalem; for he said, Today shall the house of Israel restore to me the kingdom of my father. Then the king said to Ziba, Behold, thine are all that pertained to Mephibosheth. A few days after that the great battle was set in the wood of Ephraim, and of Absalom's side there was a great slaughter of twenty thousand men. And it was on that day that David went up to the chamber over the gate of Mahanaim, and wept; and as he went there he said, O my son Absalom; my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!...
So the king returned and came to Jordan. And Shimei fell down before the king and said, Let not my lord impute iniquity unto me, neither do thou remember that which thy servant did perversely the day that my lord the king went out of Jerusalem, that the king should take it to his heart. And the king said to Shimei, Thou shalt not die. Four hundred years before, just at the same place, when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and to Ai
, they did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles old and rent and bound up, and old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them, and all the bread of their provisions was dry and mouldy. And Joshua said, Who are ye, and whence come ye? And they said, From a very far country thy servants are come, because of the name of the Lord thy God. For Mephibosheth had not dressed his wooden feet, nor trimmed his beard, nor washed his clothes for grief, so he said, from the day that the king departed. Nor had he taken time today to make himself decent for such a journey, such was his joy that the king was coming back again to Jerusalem. I looked for thee, I was afraid that in the overthrow some evil had befallen thee. My lord, said Mephibosheth-but 'the tale was as lame as the tale-bearer. Say no more, Mephibosheth, said David, as he saw Jonathan's son crawling so abjectly before him. Kitto complains of David's tart answer to Mephibosheth. But if David was too tart, then with what extraordinary and saintly sweetness Mephibosheth received the over-tartness of the king. 'Let Ziba take all my estates today, forasmuch as my lord the king is come again in peace to his own house. But Solomon, as he moralises in one place on fathers and sons with Jonathan and Mephibosheth before him, tells us to rejoice with trembling when our sons are born to us, for who knoweth whether they shall be wise men or fools?...
Rarely into the branches of the treeDoth human worth mount up: and so ordainsHe who bestows it, that as His free giftIt may be called. I do not know that the other side has been so often brought out-that great bodily infirmity and disability, alongside of a renewed and a humble heart, will sometimes result in a sweetness and a saintliness of a most uncommon kind. But such was Mephibosheth at the bottom of his heart that, as he continued to eat at David's table, Satan entered into Mephibosheth and said to him in his heart that all this was his own by original and divine right. ' And the ingratitude of Mephibosheth grew at David's table to this high injustice, that he waited for both David and Absalom to be chased out of Jerusalem, that he might take their place. I am afraid to lose life or estate. Shall I forbear to hear that honest minister, James Urquhart, for a time, seeing the stone is like to fall on me if I do so?' And then our modern Mephibosheth has the grace to add in his diary, 'A grain of sound faith would easily answer all these questions. I think I shall die still but minting and Ai
ming to be a Christian man!'...
This, then, is the prize for finding out that enigma of motive, Mephibosheth's hidden heart. To see him also as he waits on providence in Jerusalem to hear how the battle is to go. Till at last-O blessed hope!-every tang and taint of Mephibosheth's heart shall be taken out of us, and till truth, and righteousness, and fidelity, and gratitude, and courage, and love shall for ever reign in us and around us and over us
The treatment of the stone used for fortifications and other masonry of importance varied considerably in the successive periods, gradually advancing from that of the imposing but primitive ‘cyclopean’ walls characteristic of the early architecture of the Levant, to the carefully dressed stones with drafted margins, laid in perfect courses, of the Herodian period. The thickness of the walls varied from city to city, and even in the same city, being to a certain extent dependent on the required height at any given point. 2 Chronicles 26:15 , Zephaniah 1:16 , both RVm 1 Kings 21:23 ) or bulwark ) Isaiah 26:1 ). In addition to its walls, every ancient city of importance possessed a strongly fortified place, corresponding to the acropolis of Greek cities, which served as a refuge from, and a last defence against, the enemy when the city itself had been stormed (cf. ), the castle in Tirzah ( 1 Kings 16:18 RV , however, is hold or strong hold , as the ‘strong hold’ of Zion ( 2 Samuel 5:7 ), the acropolis of the Jebusite city, which AV 2 Chronicles 11:9 , cf. In such cases two gates were provided, an outer and an inner, at either end of the passage, as was the case at Mahanaim, where David is found sitting ‘between the two gates’ ( 2 Samuel 18:24 ). Here we further learn that it was usual to have a stair leading up to an upper storey in the gate-tower ( 2 Samuel 18:33 ), the roof of which was apparently on a level with the top of the city wall ( 2 Samuel 18:24 ). In place of a straight passageway through the tower, a passage bent at a right angle like the letter L increased the possibilities of defence. The average width of the numerous gateways laid bare by recent excavation is about nine feet. ...
The gate itself, called the ‘door of the gate’ in Nehemiah 6:1 , consisted ordinarily of two parts or leaves ( Isaiah 45:1 ) of wood. For greater security against fire these were often overlaid with bronze, the ‘gates of brass’ of Psalms 107:16 , Isaiah 45:2 . It remains to deal briefly with the siegecraft of the Hebrews and their contemporaries. The assault was directed against the weakest points of the enceinte , particularly the gates (cf. Isaiah 28:6 ). Before the Hebrews learned the use of the battering-ram, entrance to an enemy’s city or fortress was obtained by setting fire to the gates ( Judges 9:49 ; Judges 9:52 ), and by scaling the walls by means of scaling-ladders, under cover of a deadly shower of arrows and sling-stones. In early times, as is plain from the accounts of the capture of Ai ( Joshua 8:10 ff. ), by which the defenders’ main water-supply was cut off. ...
( c ) In conducting a regular siege , which of course included both blockade and assault, the first step was to ‘cast up a bank ’ (AV 2 Samuel 20:15 , 2 Kings 19:32 , Isaiah 37:33 ) or mount (AV Ezekiel 4:2 ; Ezekiel 17:17 RV Joab is represented as, at the same time, ‘battering’ or, in RVm Ezekiel 26:9 RV ; AV 2 Kings 25:1 , cf. Ezekiel 4:2 ), but the original term is obscure, and is rather, probably, to be understood in the sense of a siege-wall or circumvallatio the ‘bank’ of Luke 19:43 RV 1 Samuel 20:40 AV Egypt - a country of Africa, called also in the Hebrew Scriptures the land of Mizraim, and the land of Ham; by the Turks and Arabs, Masr and Misr; and by the native Egyptians, Chemi, or the land of Ham. Faber derives the name from Ai-Capht, or the land of the Caphtorim; from which, also, the modern Egyptians derive their name of Cophts. Egypt was first peopled after the deluge by Mizraim, or Mizr, the son of Ham, who is supposed to be the same with Menes, recorded in Egyptian history as the first king. Manetho, the Egyptian historian, has given a list of thirty dynasties, which, if successive, make a period of five thousand three hundred years to the time of Alexander, or three thousand two hundred and eighty-two years more than the real time, according to the Mosaic chronology. But this is a manifest forgery, which has, nevertheless, been appealed to by infidel writers, as authority against the veracity of the Mosaic history. "...
Astronomy, which probably, like that of the Chaldeans, comprehended also judicial astrology, physics, agriculture, jurisprudence, medicine, architecture, painting, and sculpture, were the principal sciences and arts; to which were added, and that by their wisest men, the study of divination, magic, and enchantments. Of all this knowledge, good and evil, and of a monstrous system of idolatry, Egypt was the polluted fountain to the surrounding nations; but in that country itself it appears to have degenerated into the most absurd and debased forms. But the earliest times had a purer faith. " A similar inscription still remains at Capua, on the temple of Isis: "Thou art one, and from thee all things proceed. " Plutarch also informs us, that the inhabitants of Thebais worshipped only the immortal and supreme God, whom they called Eneph. A superstitious reverence for certain animals, as propitious or hurtful to the human race, was not peculiar to the Egyptians. These they entertained at great expense, and with much magnificence. Lands were set apart for their maintenance; persons of the highest rank were employed in feeding and attending them; rich carpets were spread in their apartments; and the pomp at their funerals corresponded to the profusion and luxury which attended them while alive. In the midst of innumerable superstitions, the theology of Egypt contained the two great principles of religion, the existence of a supreme Being, and the immortality of the soul. We counted the number of stalks which sprouted from single grains of seed; carefully pulling to pieces each root, in order to see that it was but one plant. Their composition was necessarily perishable, and explains why it is that no remains of the ancient cities of Egypt are to be found. Jowett, speaking of Tentyra, "built of unburnt brick, crumbling into ruins, and giving place to new habitations, have raised the earth, in some parts, nearly to the level of the summit of the temple. ' Still more touching is the allusion, in Job 4:19 , where the perishing generations of men are fitly compared to habitations of the frailest materials, built upon the heap of similar dwelling-places, now reduced to rubbish: ‘How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust!'"...
6. It comes, however, again into an interesting connection with the Jewish history under Alexander the Great, who invaded it as a Persian dependence. So great, indeed, was the hatred of the Egyptians toward their oppressors, that they hailed the approach of the Macedonians, and threw open their cities to receive them. Egypt, indeed, was about to see better days; and, during the reigns of the Ptolemies, enjoyed again, for nearly three hundred years, something of its former renown for learning and power. It formed, during this period, and before the rapid extension of the Roman empire toward the termination of these years, one of the only two ancient kingdoms which had survived the Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, and Macedonian empires: the other was the Syrian, where the Seleucidae, another family of one of the successors of Alexander, reigned; who, having subdued Macedonia and Thrace, annexed them to the kingdom of Syria, and there remained out of the four kingdoms into which the empire of Alexander was divided these two only; distinguished, in the prophetic writings of Daniel, by the titles of the kings or kingdoms of the north and the south. But still, in Egypt, the Jews continued in the enjoyment of their privileges, so late as the reign of the sixth Ptolemy, called Philometor, who committed the charge of his affairs to two Jews, Onias and Dositheus; the former of whom obtained permission to build a temple at Heliopolis. A mode of government, the most singular and surprising that ever existed on earth, was established and maintained. Each successive ruler was raised to supreme authority, from being a stranger and a slave. When Egypt became tributary to the Turks in 1517, the Mamelukes retained much of their power; and every pasha was an oppressor and a stranger. A...
universal Air of misery, manifest in all the traveller meets, points out to him the rapacity of oppression, and the distrust attendant upon slavery. " The systematic oppression, extortion, and plunder, which have so long prevailed, and the price paid for his authority and power by every Turkish pasha, have rendered the country "desolate of that whereof it was full," and still show both how it has been "wasted by the hands of strangers," and how it has been "sold into the hand of the wicked. ...
Yet this fact, instead of militating against the truth of prophecy, may, possibly at no distant period, serve to illustrate other predictions. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land," &c, Isaiah 19:22-25
- Balak's gold had long before now brought Balaam the soothsayer across the plains of Mesopotamia, and the gold and silver of Jericho had also drawn toward that city the travelling dealers in the woven work of the Babylonian looms. Who is that stealing about among the smoking ruins? Is that some soldier of Jericho who has saved himself from the devouring sword? When the night wind wakens the embers again these are the accoutrements and the movements of one of Joshua's men. But the men of Israel fled before the men of Ai
, wherefore the hearts of the people melted and became as water. And the Lord said to Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou upon thy face? Up, sanctify the people, for there is an accursed thing in the midst of them. My son, said Joshua, give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession to Him; and tell me what thou hast done; hide it not from me. And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed, I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: When I saw among the spoil a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it And all Israel raised over him a great heap of stones to this day. But when once Achan's eyes lighted on that rich garment he never could get his eyes off it again. In his despair to get the devil out of his heart Job swore a solemn oath and made a holy covenant with his eyes. He pulls down His own best handiwork at its finest part so that He may get the devil's handiwork destroyed and rooted out of it; and then He will let us have all our eyes back again when and where we are fit to be trusted with eyes. 'True,' says that fine writer, 'all our lives long we shall be bound to refrain our soul, and to keep it low; but what then? For the books we now forbear to read, we shall one day be endued with wisdom and knowledge. For the companionships we shun, we shall be welcomed into angelic society and the communion of triumphant saints. ' Yes, it is as certain as God's truth and righteousness are certain, that the mortified man who goes about with his eyes out; the man who steals along the street seeing neither smile nor frown; he who keeps his eyes down wherever men and women congregate,-in the church, in the market-place, at a railway-station, on a ship's deck, at an inn table,-where you will; that man escapes multitudes of temptations that more open and more full-eyed men and women continually fall before. O sons and daughters of discovered Achan! O guilty and dissembling sinners! It is all in vain. It is all utterly and absolutely in vain. Wait till you see! Go on sowing as you have begun, and come and tell us when the harvest is reaped how it threshes out and bow it tastes. Every son has his father's grey hairs and his mother's anxious heart in his hands, and no possible power can alter that. Lay it out and say,-Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done. And then say this,-...
The dying thief rejoiced to seeThat Fountain in his day-and see what the true Joshua will stand over you and will say to you. Look at your Bible again, and see. 'And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the Valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for the people that have sought Me,' And, again,-'And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the Valley of Achor for a door of hope; and she shall sing there, as in the day of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me; I found trouble and sorrow. O the Hope of Israel, the Saviour thereof in the time of trouble! You will sing that song in your Valley of Achor till this song shall be taken up over you by saints and angels,-These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb
Of the remaining historical books 1 Maccabees is a first-rate historical authority, having been composed by an author contemporary with the events described. The other apocryphal works contain much legendary material. The Mishna and Talmud are compilations of traditions containing in some cases an historical kernel, but valuable for the light they throw upon Jewish life in the early Christian centuries. ...
The tenth chapter of Genesis contains a genealogical table in which nations are personified as men. Thus the sons of Ham were Cush (Nubia), Mizraim (Egypt), Put (East Africa?), and Canaan. (For the classification as to origin see Paton, AJTh , 658 ff. ) tells how Joseph was divided into two tribes, Ephraim and Manasseh. In Genesis, Moab and Ammon are said to be the children of Lot, probably because they settled in the country of Luten. (See KIB document, which originated among the Ephraimites, is the first one that remembers that the name Jahweh was, until the Exodus, unknown to them (cf. ...
Probably we shall not go far astray, if we suppose that the Leah tribes were roaming the steppe to the south of Palestine where Menephtah defeated them, while the Rachel tribes, enticed into Egypt by the opportunity to obtain an easier livelihood, became entangled in trouble there, from which Moses emancipated them, perhaps in the reign of Menephtah himself. The J , E , and P documents agree in their main picture of the Exodus, although J and P , at Horeb or Sinai, Jahweh’s holy mount, Moses first learned to worship Jahweh, who, he believed, sent him to deliver from Egypt his oppressed brethren. After various plagues (J gives them as seven; E , five; and P ; six) Moses led them out, and by Divine Aid they escaped across the Red Sea. J and E with a few additions from J claims that Og, the king of Bashan, was conquered at this time, but it is probable that the conquest of Bashan by a part of the tribe of Manasseh was a backward movement from the west after the conquest of Palestine was accomplished. The Arabic historian Nuwairi tells of a land-slide of one of the clay hills that border the Jordan, which afforded an opportunity to the Arabs to complete a military bridge. The account of this was published with translation in the PEFSt ’s account and E and P strata of the book of Joshua, which form the main portion of it, represent Joshua as gaining possession of the country in two great battles, and as dividing it up among the tribes by lot. The J Judges 1:1-36 ) that the conquest was not complete, but that two lines of fortresses, remaining in the possession of the Canaanites, cut the Israelitish territory into three sections. Taanach, Ibleam, and Beth-shean, and gave the Canaanites control of the great plain of Jezreel. while, holding as they did Jerusalem, Aijalon, Har-heres (Beth-shemesh), and Gezer, they cut the tribe of Judah off from their northern kinsfolk. J tells us (Judges 1:34-35 ) that the Danites struggled for a foothold in the ShephÃ§lah, where they obtained out an insecure footing
- Four different documents, each the work of a school of writers, have been laid under tribute to compose it. These documents are quoted so literally that they can still be separated with practical certainty one from another. The documents are the Jahwistic (J
), composed in Judah by J
2 ; the Elohistic (E
2 ; the Deuteronomic code (D
), composed by D
2 prefixed a second preface about ninety years later; the Code of Holiness, compiled by P
is older than D