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the second and thirty-eighth years : the dates of the facts related in the middle of the book cannot be precisely ascertained.
VI. According to the Jewish division, this portion of Holy Writ contains ten parasches or chapters; in our Bibles it consists of thirtysix chapters, which comprise four principal parts or sections. Part I. The census of the Israelites, and the marshalling of them into a regular camp
“ each tribe by itself under its own captain or chief, distinguished by his own peculiar standard, and occupying an assigned place with reference to the tabernacle.” (Numb. i. ii.) The sacred census of the Levites, the designation of them to the sacred office, and the appointment of them to various services in the
tabernacle, are related in Numb. iii. and iv. PART II. The institution of various legal ceremonies, -as, SECT. 1. The purification of the camp, by the removal of all un
clean persons from it, and the trial of the suspected adulteress
by the waters of jealousy. (Num. v.) Sect. 2. The institution of the Nazareate. (vi.) Sect. 3. An account of the oblations made to the tabernacle by
the princes or heads of tribes. (vii.) Sect. 4. The consecration of the Levites. (vii.) Sect. 5. The celebration of the passover. (ix.) SECT. 6. Regulations concerning the moving or resting of the
camp of Israel during their progress. (x.) Part III. The history of their journey from mount Sinai to the land
of Moab, which may be described and distinguished by their eight remarkable murmurings in the way; every one of which was visited with severe chastisement, viz. Sect. 1. On account of the length of the way; which was punished
by fire at Taberah. (xi. 1–4.) Sect. 2. Their murmuring for flesh and loathing of manna, punish
ed by the sending of quails and a pestilence. (xi. 5-35.) Sect. 3. The murmuring of Aaron and Miriam at Moses, for which
Miriam was smitten with a leprosy. (xii.) Sect. 4. The murmuring of the people at Kadesh, in consequence
of the unfavourable report of the spies who had been sent to explore the promised land ; for which those of the spies who had brought an evil report died of the plague ; and the murmuring congregation were deprived of seeing the promised land. This was the occasion of the Israelites wandering so long in the wilderness, until the whole of that generation, that is, all who were twenty years old and upwards, was destroyed. (xiii. xiv.) In ch. xv. some ordinances are given for conducting the worship
of Jehovah in the land of Canaan. Sect. 5. The murmuring and rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abi
ram, and their followers, with their punishment. (xvi. 1-40.) Sect. 6. The murmuring of the people against Moses and Aaron, on
account of the preceding judgment, and their punishment. (xvi. 41–50.) The miraculous budding of Aaron's rod among the rods of the tribes, which was deposited in the tabernacle as a confirmation of his priesthood, and as a testimony against the murmurers (xvii.) ; which was succeeded by some directions concerning the dignity and superiority of the priestly office over that of the Levites, and respecting the maintenance of both (xviii.), together with regulations concerning the water of se
paration made with the ashes of a red cow. (xix.) Sect. 7. Their murmuring in the desert of Zin for water, the un
belief of Moses, the perfidy of the Edomites, and Aaron's death.
(xx.) Sect. 8. Their murmuring while they compassed the land of Edom,
on account of their discouraging way, light bread, and want of:
water; for which they were punished with fiery serpents. (xxi.) Part IV. A history of the transactions which took place in the plains
of Moab (xx-xxxvi.); including, Sect. 1. The machinations of their enemies against them, their
frustration, and the prophecies of Balaam respecting the Jews and their enemies, the ensnaring of the Israelites to commit idolatry by the Moabites, with their consequent punishment.
(xxii-xxv.) Sect. 2. A second enumeration of the people (xxvi.) ; in which
are displayed the singular providence of God, and the further accomplishment of his promise to the patriarchs, in multiplying the people of Israel so exceedingly, that in all the tribes there were only 61,020 men less than at the first census, notwithstanding the whole of that murmuring generation (with the ex
ception of Joshua and Caleb) perished in the wilderness. Sect. 3. The remaining chapters relate the appointment of Joshua
to be the successor of Moses, regulations concerning sacrifices, and the partition of the promised land. (xxvii-xxxvi.) VII. Few passages in the Pentateuch have more exercised the ingenuity of biblical critics, than the Book of the Wars of the Lord mentioned in Numb. xxi. 14. Aben-Ezra, Hottinger, and others,
1. On the accomplishment of all these prophecies delivered by Balaam, consult Bishop Newton's Dissertations, vol. i. diss. v _“Though God had probably rejected Balaam as an apostate prophet, he deigned to employ him on this signal occasion as the herald of the divine oracles ; to illustrate the impotency of the hea. then arts, and to demonstrate the power and foreknowledge of the Divine Spirit." (Dr. Gray.) Bishop Butler has a fine discourse on the character of Balaam, Works, vol. i. serm. vii.
2. The following comparative statement will show how much some of the tribes had increased, and others had diminished, since the enumeration in chap. i.
2,770 decrease Simeon
37,100 decrease Gad
5,150 decrease Judah
1,900 increase Issachar
9,900 increase Zebulon
3,100 increase Manasseh
20,500 increase Ephraim
8,000 decrease Benjamin
1,700 increase Asher 53,400 41,500
11,900 increase Naphtali
1,820 decrease on the
whole in 3 years. Decrease in all 61,020. Increase in all 59,200.
Dr. A. Clarke on Numb. xxvi. 51.
are of opinion that it refers to this book of the Pentateuch, because in it are related various battles of the Israelites with the Amorites : Hezelius, and after him Michaelis, think it was an Amoritish writing, containing triumphal songs in honour of the victories obtained by Sihon king of the Amorites, from which Moses cited the words that immediately follow. Fonseca, and some others refer it to the book of Judges. Le Clerc understands it of the wars of the Israelites who fought under the direction of Jehovah, and, instead of book, he translates it, with most of the Jewish doctors, narration ; and proposes to render the verse thus : - “Wherefore, in the narration of the wars of the Lord, there is, (or shall be mention of what he did in the Red Sea, and in the brooks of Arnon." - Lastly, Dr. Lightfoot considers this book to have been some book of remembrances and directions written by Moses for Joshua's private instruction, for the prosecution of the wars after his decease. (See Exod. xvii. 14–16.) This opinion appears to us the most simple, and is in all probability the true one. On this subject, see also Vol. I. p. 123.
ON THE BOOK OF DEUTERONOMY. Title, date, and chronology. - II. Scope. - III. Predictions of
the Messiah. - IV. Synopsis of contents. - V. Observations. 1. THIS fifth book of Moses derives its name from the title (AETTEPONOMION) prefixed to it by the translators of the Septuagint version, which is a compound term, signifying the second law, or the law repeated; because it contains a repetition of the law of God, given by Moses to the Israelites. In Hebrew it is, from the same circumstance, called njena misnen or Repetition ; but, most usually 097577 ob Alen Hadebarım, i. e. these are the words, or simply 09727 DEBARIM, the Words. From a comparison of Deut. i. 5. with xxxiv. 1. it appears to have been written by Moses in the plains of Moab, a short time before his death; and this circumstance will account for that affectionate earnestness with which he addresses the Israelites. The period of time comprised in this book is five lunar weeks, or according to some chronologers, about two months, viz. from the first day of the eleventh month of the fortieth year after the , exodus of Israel from Egypt, to the eleventh day of the twelfth month of the same year, A. M. 2553, B. c. 1451. From the account of Moses's death recorded in the thirty-fourth chapter of this book, and the insertion of some explanatory words in other parts of Deuteronomy, it has been insinuated that Moses could not have been its author : but the following remark will clearly prove this notion to be unfounded. The words of Moses (as we have already had occasion to remark) evidently conclude with the thirty-third chapter : the thirty-fourth was added to complete the history, the first eight verses probably immediately after his death by his successor Joshua, the last four by
some later writer, probably Samuel or Ezra, or some prophet that succeeded him. They were admitted by Ezra as authentic, and we have no reason to question the fidelity of this account. Another and equally satisfactory solution of this difficulty is the following: viz. that what now forms the last chapter of Deuteronomy, was formerly the first of Joshua, but was removed thence, and joined to the former by way of supplement. This opinion will not appear improbable, when it is considered that sections and other divisions, as well as points and pauses, were invented long since these books were written : for, in those early ages, several books were connected together, and followed each other on the same roll. The beginning of one book might therefore be easily transferred to the end of another, and in process of time be considered as its real conclusion, as in the case of Deuteronomy; especially as this supplemental chapter contains an account of the last transactions and death of the great author of the Pentateuch.
II. The scope of the book of Deuteronomy is, to repeat to the Israelites, before Moses left them, the chief laws of God which had been given to them; that those who were not born at the time when they were originally delivered, or were incapable of understanding them, might be instructed in these laws, and excited to attend to them, and consequently be better prepared for the promised land upon which they were entering. With this view the sacred historian recapitulates the various mercies which God had bestowed upon them and their fore-fathers, from their departure out of Egypt; the victories which by divine assistance they had obtained over their enemies; their rebellion, ingratitude, and chastisements. The moral, ceremonial, and judicial laws are repeated with additions and explanations : and the people are urged to obedience in the most affectionate manner, from the consideration of the endearing promises made to them by God, which he would assuredly perform, if they did not frustrate his designs of mercy by their own wilful obstinacy. That no person might thereafter plead ignorance of the divine law, he commanded that it should be read to all the people at the end of every seventh year; and concluded his ministerial labours among the Israelites by a most admirable ode, which he commanded every one to learn, and by giving his prophetic benediction to the twelve tribes.
III. This book contains only one PROPHECY RELATIVE TO THE MESSIAH, viz. Deut. xviii. 15. 15, 19. which was fulfilled fifteen hundred years after it had been delivered, and is expressly applied to Jesus Christ in Acts iii. 22, 23. and vii. 37.; it also comprises several very remarkable predictions relative to the Israelites, some of which are fulfilled before our eyes. “These prophecies,” it has
1 Alexander's Hebrew and English Pentateuch, cited by Dr. Clarke on Deut. xxxiv. who is of opinion that this chapter should constitute the first chapter of the book of Joshua.
2 On the accomplishment of this prediction, see Vol. I. pp. 604-606, Bishop Newton's Sirth Dissertation, and Dr. Jortin's Remarks on Ecclesiastical History, vol. i. pp. 130—149. edit. 1768.
been justly remarked, “ become more numerous and distinct towards the close of his life. His denunciations with respect to the future state of the Israelites; the sufferings, the dispersions, and the devastations to which they were to be subject; the prophetic blessings which he pronounced on the different tribes by name; the clear foresight which he had of the rapid victories of their invaders, and of the extreme miseries which they were to experience when besieged ; his express predictions relating to the future condition of the Jews, which we see accomplished in the present day :- all these circumstances, when united, bear ample testimony to the truth and authenticity of this sacred book, and present to our minds a memorable instance of the divine justice."
IV. The Jews divide this book into ten parasches or chapters : in our Bibles it consists of thirty-four chapters, the contents of which may be arranged under the four following heads : PART I. A repetition of the history related in the preceding books,
comprising, Sect. 1. A relation of the events that took place in the wilderness,
from their leaving mount Horeb until their arrival at Kadesh.
(Deut. i.) Sect. 2. Their journey from Kadesh till they came to the land of
the Amorites, and the defeat of Sihon their king, and of Og king of Bashan, together with the division of their territories among the tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half tribe of Ma
nasseh. ii. iii.) Sect. 3. An exhortation to obey the divine law, and to avoid idola
try, founded on their past experience of the goodness of God. (iv.) PART II. A repetition of the moral, ceremonial, and judicial law;
containing, Sect. 1. A repetition of the moral law or ten commandments (v. I
22.) and its effect upon the people of Israel (v. 22–33.); exposition of the first commandment, with an exhortation to love God with all their hearts (vi.) ; – an exposition of the second commandment against idolatry, prohibiting any intercourse with the idolatrous nations, and enjoining the extirpation of the Canaanites and every vestige of their idolatry (vii.); - strong motives to obedience, arising from a review of their past mercies, and from the consideration that Jehovah was about to conduct them into the promised land, not on account of their
own righteousness, but of his great mercy. (viii. ix. x. xi.) SECT. 2. A repetition of the ceremonial law (xii-xvi.);
mand to abolish all idolatry, and regulations for the worship of God (xii.) ; — laws against false prophets, and idolatrous cities (xiii.) ; – prohibition against disfiguring themselves in mourning (xiv. 1-2.); - a recapitulation of the law concerning clean and unclean animals (xiv. 3—21.), — and the payment of tithes to the Levites (xiv. 22-29.); --regulations concerning the year of release (xv.) ;
concerning the stated annual feasts, the Passover, Pentecost, and Feast of Tabernacles (xvi, 1–17.), 1 By Mr. Hewlett, Introd. to Deut. in vol. i. of his Commentary on the Bible,