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sojourned in the land of Canaan and in the land of Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years.' All here is truly consistent, and worthy the pen of Moses. This same sum is given by St. Paul, (Gal. iii. 17,) who reckons from the promise made to Abraham (when God commanded him to go into Canaan) to the giving of the law, which soon followed the exodus of the Israelites : and this apostolical chronology is exactly concordant with the Samaritan Pentateuch. For, from Abraham's entering Canaan to the birth of Isaac was twenty-five years. (Gen. xii. 4 ; xvii. 1, 21.) Isaac was sixty years old at the birth of Jacob. (Gen. xxv. 26.) Jacob was one hundred and thirty at his going down into Egypt ; (Gen. xlvii. 9 ;) which three numbers make two hundred and fifteen years; and then Jacob and his children having continued in Egypt two hundred and fifteen years more, the whole sum is regularly completed.” (“Dissertations,” p. 398.)
N, page 50.-Route of the Israelites from Egypt, and miraculous
Passage of the Red Sea. Many conflicting opinions have been put forward respecting the route of the Israelites from Egypt; and these necessarily involve the question of the situation of the Land of Goshen. Dr. Robinson places this district in the present province of Eth-Shặrkiyeh, on the east of the Delta, along the Pelusiac arm of the Nile. On the contrary, Major Rennell, who is followed by Dr. Wilson, supposes Goshen to have been “in the district of Heliopolis, on the apex of the Delta, on the east extending as far as Cairo." It is not necessary to attempt a decision between these opposing authorities, inasmuch as it appears sufficiently evident, that in either case the neighbourhood of Suez must have been in their line of march. Dr. Wilson supposes them to have passed through the Wady Ramliyah, to the south of Jebel Mukattam and Jebel Reibun ; but there appear to be insuperable objections to this hypothesis : while, on the contrary, Etham, which is said to have been on the edge of the wilderness, was, in all probability, very near Suez; for after the Israelites had passed the Red Sea, they are said to have travelled through the desert of Shur; but in the Book of Numbers the same tract is called the desert of Etham : a fact which seems to prove that Etham was not far from Suez, and therefore gave its name to a part of the wilderness beyond the Red Sea. Thus far, whether the Hebrews came from the neighbourhood of Heliopolis or of Zoan, their course would have been that which was likely to have been taken ; but at Etham their course was altered by divine command: instead of passing into the wilderness by leaving Suez to the right hand, they turned to the south; and, leaving Suez to the left hand, took their way between the Red Sea and Jebel ’Atákah. By this movement they were perfectly enclosed as in a net; a range of mountains lay before them, a valley on their right led back to Egypt, and might have been full of Egyptians, while Pharaoh followed in their rear. Here the Lord wrought deliverance for his people ; and it is remarkable, that at this place, Ras 'Attákah, where the Red Sea is about ten or twelve miles wide, every circumstance seems to favour the opinion that the passage was made. Here the valley expands into a considerable plain, bounded by lofty precipitous mountains on the right and left, and by the sea in front; and is sufficiently ample to accommodate the vast number of human beings who composed both armies. An east wind would act almost directly across the gulf. It would be unable to co-operate with an ebb tide in removing the waters : no objection, certainly, if we admit the exercise of God's miraculous agency; but a very great impediment in the way of any rationalistic hypothesis. The channel is wide enough to allow the movements described by Moses ; and the time, which embraced an entire night, was sufficient for the convenient march of a large army over such a distance; while the depth of the waters, and all the other circumstances, exactly harmonize with the scripture account. And, "so far as aversion to miracle has had an influence in the hypotheses which have been given, all we shall remark is, that in a case which is so evidently represented as the sphere of miracle, there is but one alternative : they who do not admit the miracle must reject the narrative; and far better would it be to do so frankly than to construct hypotheses, which are for the most part, if not altogether, purely arbitrary. A narrative obviously miraculous (in the intention of the writer) can be explained satisfactorily on no rationalistic principles : this is not to expound, but to • wrest,' the scriptures." (KITTO'S “Biblical Cyclopædia.")
HISTORY AND RELIGION
THE HEBREW PEOPLE.
THE HISTORY OF THE HEBREWS IN THE WILDERNESS. PECULIARITIES of Hebrew Nationality at the Exodus--State of the People
—Their rational Expression of Joy—Their Journeying—MarahElim-Wilderness of Sin—The Quails and Manna-Miraculous Supply of Water-Amalekites—The Hebrews arrive at Sinai—Glorious Revelation of God-He delivers his Law to the People-Moses called up into the Mount-The golden Calf—The People punished and pardoned-Moses again called into the Mount–The Levitical ecclesiastical Economy promulged—The Tabernacle and its Furniture prepared-Its sacred Service begun and divinely accepted-Sin and Punishment of Nadab and Abihu- The People numbered and organized-Their Order of March-The People murmur for Flesh-Quails sent-And seventy Prophets appointed-Rebellion and Punishment of Miriam-The Israelites arrive at KadeshBarnea—The Purpose of God in their Wandering-Spies sent out -The Object and Results of their Mission—The existing Generation doomed to perish in the Wilderness—They wander thirtyeight Years—The Return of the Israelites to Kadesh—The Rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram-Their miraculous Punishment-The Sin and Doom of Moses and Aaron—The Edomites refuse Israel a Passage through their Country-Death of AaronPlague of fiery Serpents---Conquest of two Kings of the Amorites--Balaam-Sin and Punishment of Baal-peor-Second Census—Joshua appointed the Leader-Conquest of the MidianitesThe Death of Moses—Order of Encampment. NOTES. Song of Moses—The Healing of the Waters-- Laws given at MarahQuails—The Manna a Miracle—The smitten Rock-AmalekJethro's Visit to Moses—The Meekness of Moses—Situation of Kadesh-Absurdity of rationalistic Interpretation-Miriam-The Sin of MosesThe brasen Serpent-The Plains of Moab---Numbering of the People.
RESCUED from the house of bondage, and delivered from their Egyptian enemies, the Hebrews appear before us,
not only as a separate and distinct people, but as an independent nation. With a population of two or three millions, and a body of six hundred thousand men capable of bearing arms ; possessing considerable wealth in flocks and herds, and also in jewels and gold ; they must be regarded as invested with all the attributes of a political community, independent of every earthly power, and prepared to assert and maintain their nationality. • In these circumstances the Israelites are distinguished by two grand peculiarities. Although they possessed numbers, power, and wealth, superior to many of the independent nations of that day, they had no country. Standing on the barren soil of the deserts of Sinai, from whose rocks and sands no sustenance could possibly be elicited, they had yet to obtain a territorial location. A country had indeed been promised them by God, and had, for ages previously, been regarded by their forefathers as the divinely-appointed inheritance of their posterity; and this people had now left Egypt under the high hope of obtaining it ; but all this was to be achieved. In another respect they were unlike every other people,—they had no earthly head, no recognised governor. Moses acted as their chief magistrate ; but he did not assume this office as having any natural title or claim to it, or as being appointed thereto by the suffrages of the people ; but as one who exercised authority in the name, and by the special appointment, of Jehovah. Nor did Moses act as one to whom God had delegated the government of this people, but rather as the servant and representative of God, who retained this government in his own hand. The Hebrew commonwealth was, therefore, from the beginning a theocracy. As they passed from the tyrannical yoke of the Egyptians, they were at once regarded as the specially elected people of Jehovah. He led them ; he was their protection; he gave them not only their religious economy, but also their civil and political laws.
Yet, although the Hebrew people at this time had no human governor, nor any national constitution, and had
just emerged from a slavish vassalage, it must not be supposed that they marched as an unconnected, disorderly crowd, or manifested their joy at this great deliverance in unmeaning ebullitions of ecstasy, licentious mirth, or wild and lawless action. They appear to have possessed a simple and perfect bond of union in their family arrangements and connexion. The people were divided into tribes, the tribes into families, and these were further subdivided ; so that, according to regular family descent, the multitudes of the Hebrew people were arranged in an orderly and systematic manner. This mode of arrangement not only produced order, but created, what was essential to its maintenance, gradations of rank. The hereditary heads of the tribes, according to the well-known usage of patriarchal life, exercised authority as princes ; the chiefs of the several families were next in subordinate rank; and so on, for the further subdivisions. Thus throughout this immense host an universally ramified paternal authority was every where exercised, producing a unity and order which to a great extent supplied the place both of formal civil polity, and regular military organization. This mode of family arrangement existed among the Hebrews whilst in Egypt, and those hereditary chiefs were the “elders” whom God commissioned Moses to address. (Exod. iii. 16.)
The manner in which this people rejoiced at their deliverance, while it illustrates the orderly state of the multitude, also exhibits their intellectual and moral cultivation. They had escaped from evils as weighty in aggravated affliction, as humiliating and debasing in their effects, as had ever pressed upon any people. This state of abject woe had continued so long, that most of the people delivered at the exodus must have been born into it, as their inheritance. Yet how did these men manifest their joy, after having suddenly obtained a great accession of wealth, seen their tyrant foes destroyed, and felt themselves restored to perfect freedom ? Much as is implied in the statement, it may be safely answered, that they did so in a manner worthy of the great occasion. Moses composed a thanksgiving-ode, which the thousands of Israel, both men and women,