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THE DELIVERY OF THE LAW.

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at the foot of Sinai. But here they were threatened | Jewish leader proceeded to organize the body of the with destruction by thirst, as they had been before by people, under more appropriate regulations, with the hunger-a circumstance which called forth new mur- necessary sub-rulers and judges. When these arrangemurs and complaints. The recent experience of the ments were completed, they came to the plain which divine interposition seems to have been perfectly un- spreads out before the lofty peak of Sinai.* heeded, through the sort of madness produced by raging thirst. But the ingrates were speedily furnished with the liquid element. Moses struck the rock, and water gushed out. Massah and Meribah were the names given to the place, from the discontents of the people. Here, also, occurred the first collision they had with an enemy in the desert. The camp was suddenly surrounded by one of the wild, marauding clans, the Amalekites; but, after a long and strenuous fight, they were repulsed by Joshua, at the head of a chosen band of warriors.

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When Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, heard of these great events, he joined the camp of the Israelites, in company with Zipporah, the wife, and Gershom and Eliezer, the sons, of Moses. He was received with proper respect, and, by his discreet advice, the

"Here, after the most solemn preparations, and under the most terrific circumstances, the great lawgiver of the Jews delivered to his people that singular constitution and code which presupposed their possession of a rich and fertile territory, in which, as yet, they had not occupied an acre, but had hitherto been wandering in an opposite direction, and not even approached its borders. The laws of a settled and civilized community were enacted among a wandering and homeless horde, who were traversing the wilderness, and more likely, under their existing circumstances, to sink below the pastoral life of their forefathers, than to advance to the rank of an industrious, agricultural community. Yet at this time the law must have been enacted."

The circumstances of the giving of the law, with

Moses delivering the Law.

The result, however, of such strange and impious conduct, and of the forgetfulness of the God who had brought them out of slavery, was such as might have been expected. Three thousand

the presence of the Deity, and all the astounding phe- | Egyptian festival.
nomena, could be narrated with due effect only in the
simple and sublime language of the Bible, to which
the reader is referred. The continuance of Moses on
the mountain, day after day, seems at length to have
awakened a suspicion among the people that he had
either abandoned them, or else had himself perished.
What would become of them without their leader?
Even Aaron is in the same ignorance as to the designs
and fate of his brother. Their fears caused them to
sink back to the superstitions of the country they had
left. They insisted, and Aaron consented, that an
image of gold should be cast, similar to the symbolic
representations of the principal deity of the Egyptians,
under the form of an ox or calf. To this god, in their
madness, they paid divine honors, as if mingling in an

* Dr. Edward Robinson, in his "Biblical Researches," supvast circular assemblage of summits, cleft and surrounded by poses that, in the Scriptures, the name Horeb is applied to a a labyrinth of passes, and that Sinai is the name of the particular summit from which the law was given - exactly contrary to the present application of these names by most commentators. That summit itself he and his fellow-travellers determined to their satisfaction, by the existence of the great plain Er-Rahah, there being no other area in all the region capable of holding such a multitude as the assembled tribes of Israel. The almost inaccessible peak, which appeared to It is described as a place of awful grandeur, and befitting the impend over the plain, is called, by the Arabs, Es-Sufssafeh. solemnities once enacted there.

156

JOURNEY OF THE ISRAELITES.

of the offenders perished by the sword of the tribe of Levi, without regard to kindred or relationship. The national crime having been thus punished, the intercourse between the Deity and Moses was renewed. From this period, the preparations for the religious ceremonial of the Jews were commenced, particularly for the sacred tabernacle or pavilion, a temple which was to occupy the central place of honor; for no religious impressions, in such an age, and upon such a people, would be lasting, which were not addressed to the

senses.

"Thus the great Jehovah was formally and deliberately recognized by the people of Israel, as their God the sole object of their adoration. By the law to which they gave their free and unconditional assent, he became their king, the head of their civil constitution, and the feudal lord of all their territory, of whom they were to hold their lands, on certain strict but equitable terms of vassalage. The tenure by which they held all their present and future blessings,-freedom from slavery, the inheritance of the land flowing with milk and honey, the promise of unexampled fertility, was the faithful discharge of their trust, the preservation of the great religious doctrine, the worship of the one great Creator. Hence any advantage to be derived from foreign commerce, or a large intercourse with the neighboring tribes, wealth, or the acquisition of useful arts,could not, for an instant, come into competition with the great danger of relapsing into polytheism. This was the great national peril, as well as the great national crime." It was, in fact, treason and rebellion.

At length, the Israelites broke up their

encampment

in the vicinity of Sinai. The particular stations can-
not all be determined, though the probable general
course of travel can be indicated. The physical char-
acter of a supposed station, expressly described or
implied in the sacred narrative, its distance from some
known point, the similarity of the Arabic name to the
ancient Hebrew, or a concurrence of all these partic-
ulars, goes to determine a few localities. These points
being fixed, the progress of the Israelites from one to
another is sometimes limited to certain roads by the
physical character of the country
the mountains and
passes. Thus Sinai and Kadesh Barnea are two
points whose relative position is known; and from the
former there are two great routes leading in the direc-
tion of the latter place. The western route leads over
the elevated desert, and the eastern through the wady
el Arabah.

It is altogether probable that the wanderers took the eastern route, since the sacred writer seems to imply that their course led along Mount Seir, and since, if they had taken the western route, they would have arrived on the borders of Palestine, at Beersheba, instead of Kadesh Barnea, which lay on the borders of Edom. A year and a month had elapsed since their departure from Egypt. They again commenced their march, in improved order and under military discipline. The supernatural cloud, which had been presented to their view in passing over the Red Sea, as their guide and encouragement, still led the way.

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With few incidents, they arrived, at length, at Ka- | inhabitants of Canaan, so it was resolved that they desh Barnea; but now a great crisis was at hand. The should never enter that land. The decision was inreport of the spies, sent forward into the land which they were expected to subdue, completely paralyzed the people with fear. They felt incompetent to grapple with foes of a gigantic stature, and to attack strongly fortified cities. Their long slavery had debased their minds to cowardice, and their confidence in the divine protection gave way, at once, before their sense of physical inferiority. The general wish expressed was to return to the "house of bondage."

All that the lion-hearted Joshua and Caleb could do was done to inspire a better feeling in the minds of the multitude, but in vain. The die was cast. As they feared to attack, even under the divine auspices, the

stantaneously formed, the plan of immediate conquest at once abandoned, and, by the command of God, the people are required to retreat directly from the borders of the promised land. They are, moreover, given to understand that all of them, with the exception of Joshua and Caleb, from twenty years old and upwards, would perish in these barren regions, after wandering in them for a definite period of forty years. Even Moses was required to acquiesce in this divine appointment, in regard to his personal anticipations of the rest of Canaan. He was only to see the glorious land at a distance, from the heights of Pisgah. A dangerous and widely organized rebellion soon followed this man

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ifestation of the divine will respecting their protracted | continuance in the desert. There were two hundred and fifty engaged in the insurrection, headed by Korah, a Levite, and Dathan, Abiram, and On. The last three were descendants of Reuben, and rested their claim to preeminence on the primogeniture of their ancestor. But the conspirators, and thousands joining with them, were overwhelmed by the most fearful punishment.

Of the Hebrew history during the remaining period of thirty-eight years passed in the wilderness, nothing is known except the names of their stations. Most of these were probably in the elevated country around Mount Sinai or Horeb, which included an extent of about thirty miles in diameter. This district, as being the most fruitful part of the peninsula, would supply the tribes with water and pasture for their flocks and cattle. When, near the expiration of the set time, the former generation had gradually passed away, and a new race, of better habits and more rigid discipline, had arisen, the Hebrew nation suddenly appeared again at Kadesh, the extreme point which they had reached many years before. From this point they pushed forward, taking a circuit southward around Mount Seir,- but not without resistance from some of the native tribes that dwelt on the confines of Canaan. Two decisive battles, however, made the Israelites masters of the whole eastern bank of the Jordan and the Lake of Gennesaret. These battles were fought with Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, the chieftain of Bashan. Still the promised land remained unattempted, and the conquerors drew near the river, at no great distance from its entrance into the Dead Sea, in a level district belonging to the Moabites, nearly opposite to Jericho. From this latter people resistance was also experienced in the form of religious fanaticism; but the imprecations of Balaam, intended to bear upon the chosen people of God, were turned upon their enemies; and the tribes of Midian in alliance with the Moabites, by corrupting a portion of the Israelites through their impure and flagitious rites, paid at length a dreadful forfeiture for their crimes. Their country was wasted by fire and sword, and nearly the whole population cut off.

After this conquest, some of the tribes sought re-
Those of Reuben and Gad, addicted to a

pose.

pastoral life, and rich in flocks and herds, found the region on the east side of the Jordan well suited to their purpose. They demanded, therefore, their portion of the land in that quarter; Moses assented to their request on the condition that their warriors, leaving their women and children behind, should cross the river and assist their brethren in the conquest of the western country. Accordingly the region on the east of Jordan was assigned to Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh. But before Palestine could come into the possession of the Israelites, their great lawgiver must yield up his spirit to his Maker. He had, in one instance, sinned from want of confidence in the divine aid, and the penalty affixed to his offence was exclusion from the promised land, though he was graciously indulged in a sight of it. The concluding scene of his life, as given in the Bible, is suited to his lofty character. After this single-minded and selfdenying sage had poured out his pious and patriotic emotions in a song of great beauty and sublimity, the Lord spake to him, saying,

"Get thee up into this mountain Abarim, unto Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, that is over against Jericho; and behold the land of Canaan which I give unto the children of Israel for a possession: and die in the mount whither thou goest up, and be gathered unto thy people; as Aaron thy brother died in Mount Hor, and was gathered unto his people."

"And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho and the Lord showed him all the land, of Gilead, unto Dan, and all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost sea, and the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palmtrees, unto Zoar. And the Lord said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither."

"So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-Peor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day. And Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not

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PRIMITIVE TRIBES.

dim, nor his natural force abated. And the children | Moses. And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, in all the signs and the wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land; and in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses showed in the sight of all Israel."

of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days so the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended. And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the Lord commanded

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CHAPTER XCI.

Moses on Mount Nebo.

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tines. It is proper, in order to a clear understanding of the history of the Jews, to give a sketch of the native tribes in and around Canaan. By reference to a map on a previous page, it will be seen that Syria, of which Canaan is a part, is about equidistant from the snowy wastes of the arctic and the burning heats of the torrid zone; from the United States, the focus of Occidental civilization, on the west, and China, the focus of Oriental civilization, on the east. It is as it were an island, having its sea of sand on the east, and of water on the west, of mountains on the north, and of rocks on the south. Or it may be deemed the isthmus connecting Europe, Asia, and Africa. Whether approaching from the Mediterranean, or from the Syrian desert, the traveller first beholds a long line of fleecy clouds upon the horizon; these gradually assume a more determinate shape, till Lebanon is distinctly traced the most conspicuous mass of the ridge that stretches across the horizon like a wall. The beautiful Lebanon, once forested with cedars, and still full of delicious valleys, is described in Arab poetry as having winter crowning its head, spring mantling its shoulders, autumn nestling in its bosom, while summer lies smiling at its feet.

Of the south part of Syria, called Canaan, the earliest inhabitants known seem to have been a large, powerful, and vigorous race, whose stature quite distinguished them from the Canaanites and Hebrews. Of these we shall give a brief account.

The Avites, in the south-west, were partly extermi nated and partly driven south by the Philistines, a colony from Crete.

The Horites, "Cave-dwellers," or Troglodytes, seem to have been invaded by, and to have mingled with, the Canaanites. They inhabited Mount Seir also, whence they were exterminated by the Edomites.

The Rephaim were a very ancient people of East Canaan, tall of stature, divided into several families, and having many cities, which were, in the sequel, destroyed, founded anew, or occupied by the later Canaanites. Connected with them were the Emims,

or

"Terribles," so called by the Moabites, and a wealthy people of high stature, whose territory was afterwards called the Land of Moab; the Zamzummims, also, as the Ammonites called them, a rich people, and of extraordinary stature. Their territory was called the Land of the Rephaim, and, after their extirpation, the Land of the Ammonites. A plain and valley contiguous to Jerusalem, on the south-west, bore the name of these "giants." The Rephaim of the kingdom of Bashan, called the Land of the Rephaim, probably the only remnants of this people, were exterminated by Moses.

The Anakim, that is, "Giants," were a mountain race very formidable to the Israelites. Like the Rephaim, they were divided into several families, as the Nephilim, about Hebron, of whom were, probably, Arba, Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai; the Anakim of the mountains, not only of Hebron, but of Debir, Anab, and most of the mountains of Judah and Israel, both in the north and south of Canaan: these were all destroyed by Joshua. The Anakims of Gaza, and Ashdod, and Gath, were alone left. Of the last named was Goliath.

The Kenites dwelt in the land in Abraham's time, and seem to have been driven southward by the Canaanites, and to have settled among the Midianites, as Hobab is said to have been their father. In the time of Moses, they resided in the mountains, near

PRIMITIVE TRIBES IN AND AROUND CANAAN.

159

Moab and Amalek. Saul, when about to invade | halves the valley from the Sea of Galilee to the Gulf
Amalek, warns the Kenites to depart from among the
Amalekites, lest they be destroyed with them.

The Kenizzites are thought to have dwelt in Edom, because Kenaz is named as a duke of Edom. The Kadmonites, that is, "Easterns," or "Orientals," resided about Mount Hermon, and were probably Hivites. The Perizzites, that is, "Dwellers in the Plain," were between Bethel and Ai, and about Shechem; also in the lot of Ephraim and Manasseh, and in South Judah. The Canaanites were descended from the eleven sons of Canaan, son of Ham. The descendants of five of these sons, named, respectively, Sidon, Arki, Arvadi, Hamathi, and Sini, settled in Syria and Phonicia; and their history will be given with that of the Syrians and Phoenicians.

The descendants of the other six sons of Canaan, namely, of Heth, Jebusi, Amori, Gergashi, Zemari, and Hivi, settled in Canaan Proper. We shall now proceed to give an account of these Canaanites proper, in their order; first premising that they are sometimes spoken of as a subdivision, part of whom dwelt on the sea-coast, and part by the River Jordan, and so are called, in Joshua, eastern and western.

The children of Heth, or Hittites, dwelt among the Amorites, in the mountains of Judah; they possessed Hebron in Abraham's time, and he bought of them the cave of Machpelah, which was made the family tomb of the patriarchs. It is still shown beneath the mosque of Abraham, at Hebron. As Esau married two Hittites, while his father resided at Beersheba, they are thought also to have resided in that neighborhood; but on the entrance of the Israelites into Canaan, they seem to have removed northward. Sculptures on the Egyptian monuments show that, in patriarchal times, they were waging a continual war with the Egyptians. In Judges the country around Bethel is called the Land of the Hittites. Uriah, the Hittite, was one of David's officers; Solomon was the first to render them tributary and we find Hittites in his harem. Before this, they must have continued to maintain themselves in the land, as we read of Hittite kings in both the first and second book of Kings. The last we hear of them is, on the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity, when they are mentioned as one of the heathen tribes from which the Jews unlawfully took wives.

The Jebusites dwelt in the city and mountains of Jerusalem, and were neither exterminated nor driven out by the Benjamites. After David took the place, they seem also to have still dwelt there under his laws, for he bought the temple area, on Mount Moriah, of a Jebusite. These people often warred with Egypt, as appears on the ancient monuments.

The Amorites are found in Abraham's time, about Engedi, a fertile spot, with a tropical climate, lying on the western coast of the Dead Sea, improved afterwards by Solomon for a botanic garden. Spreading thence over the mountainous country which forms the south part of Canaan, they gave their name to it. Jacob speaks of a piece of ground he got from them, by force of arms, as far north as Shechem.

In the fifteenth chapter of Genesis, the name is used for Canaanites in general; and in Joshua, it is applied to the mountaineers of the regions above noted. In Judges, they are said to have obliged the Danites, in the north, to remain in the mountains; while in the middle of the land, they established themselves in Ajalon, and had the hill Akrabbim a bluff which

of Akaba - for their southern boundary. Before the time of Moses, they had founded two kingdoms, Bashan on the north, and another south to the Arnon, driving out the Ammonites and Moabites from between that river and the Jabbok. This latter territory Israel took from the Amorite king Sihon.

The Gergeshites dwelt between the Canaanites and Jebusites; and a region east of the Sea of Galilee is called the Land of the Gergesenes. It is the only tribe we miss in the subsequent history, except the Žemarites, who are mentioned but once, namely, in Gen. x.; though a city, Zemaraim, is noticed in Joshua.

The Hivites were in the northern part of the land, at the foot of Anti-Lebanon, or Hermon, in the land of Mizpeh. Some yet remained in Lebanon, between Baal Hermon and the boundary of Hamath, for their cities are named in David's time; and the remnant of Hivites, as well as Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, and Jebusites, were taxed for bond service by Solomon. The Gibeonites and Shechemites were of this race. As the Kadmonites were probably of this race, and as the word Hivite is said to mean "serpent," we are reminded of Cadmus and his dragon brood, who carried the alphabet from Syria to Greece; and some suppose he migrated thither when the Danites conquered the region at the foot of Hermon.

A brief account of the Amalekites, Moabites, Ammonites, and Philistines, not generally reckoned as Canaanites, will close the catalogue of tribes in and around Palestine. The history of the important nation of the Edomites, or Nabatheans, is treated at large in another part of this work.

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The Arabian poets consider Arabia to have been the original country of the Canaanites, under the name of Amalekites, who anciently held the country around Mecca, descendants of Ham's son Amalek. Amalek is called, in Numbers xxiv. 20, the oldest of the nations, whose king was the most powerful known to Balaam; though some think the phrase "first of the nations means the nation that first fought against Israel. Chedorlaomer warred against the Amalekites in Abraham's time. According to the above mentioned poetical authority, some emigrated from Arabia to North Canaan and built Zidon, their most ancient capital, whence Herodotus says the Phoenicians, whose native name was Canaan, that is, "merchant,” originally dwelt on the Red Sea, whence they migrated to the Mediterranean; and that others took possession of the interior of Canaan.

The Amalekites, however, are generally thought to have sprung from Esau's grandson, a duke of Edom; there seems, however, to have been a mutual aversion between the Edomites, or Gebalites, and the Amalekites. They occupied from South Canaan to the very angle of the Sinaitic peninsula. They attacked the rear of the Israelites, on their march from Rephidim to Horeb, and inflicted some loss upon them, but, after a hard fought battle, were put to flight. At Hormah, they, in conjunction with the Canaanites, repulsed the Israelites from the southern slope of Judea. They also allied themselves with Eglon, king of Moab, and the Ammonites; and afterwards with the Midianites, under Zeba and Zalmunna, to root out the Israelites, but, by a stratagem of Gideon, were made to destroy each other. We do not hear of them again till the time of Saul.

The sentence of extermination pronounced against them by Joshua, when their deadly hostility to Israel

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