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being, and capable of making a formidable resistance, the second, and even the third time.
De Wette says, this is a contradiction; and the inference is, that the book is unworthy of confidence. Our interpretation, as will be inferred, is different. Looking at the subject closely, and limiting the terms and expressions by the nature of the circumstances, we shall see that both parts of the history are true; and that the apparent contradiction is due to the interest and enthusiasm of the writer.
Again, in dividing the land of Canaan, a certain tract is given to the tribe of Judah. The boundaries are defined, and the chief cities are named. But, at length, two other tribes, Simeon and Dan, are assigned portions out of the same tract; and then we have many of the same names repeated. The plain inference is, that the portion of Judah was described in writing, and the names of the cities recorded, at the time the appropriation was made; for if there had been any delay, even till all the tribes were supplied, this repetition of names would not have occurred. The fact is significant, as showing that important transactions were written down, at the time; and as going to prove that the entire history was so written.
Other considerations, more or less important, may be added:
It is common with De Wette, and other German Ra tionalistic authors, to refer the writing of nearly all the ancient books of the Bible, to the Babylonian Captivity, or to a still later period. It is claimed, as proof of this, that they have many Chaldaisms, and Hebraisms of a modern type, that fix their date at this late period. On the contrary, we urge the freedom from these peculiarities, as proof that these books belong far back of the captivity. They have no Chaldaisms, or modern Hebraisms, that would not be likely to be inserted by redactors and transcribers, at the time of the captivity and later. Again, it is quite certain that portions of these books
were written down at the time. We have mentioned the division of the land. What was true of the tribe of Judah, was equally true of the other tribes. The boundaries were written down, and the cities of the priests described; as is clearly evinced by the absence of strifes and contentions, on this account, among the tribes, and of complaints among the priests.
Besides, the author of Joshua reports the speeches of sundry parties of Caleb, to the children of Israel, concerning his inheritance of Phinehas, to the two tribes and half tribe; and theirs in return of Joshua, to the people, on two different occasions, &c. And this is done with too much exactness and particularity, to admit of a long interval between them and his report. Jos. xiv. 6-12; xxii. 16-20; xxii. 21-29; xxiii. 2-16; xxiv. 2-23.
It may be added, that Joshua wrote the words of the covenant, in the book of the law. xxiv. 26. And the men sent out to survey the land, wrote out its divisions, as instructed by Joshua. xviii. 9. Why, then, may we not conclude that other important things were written down, it being evident, from the foregoing instances, that Joshua and the other leaders of the people, saw the necessity of recording important transactions?
The writer of the book of Joshua, makes use of the first person as if he were among the people that passed the Jordan. v. 1. It is farther said, that Rahab dwelt with Israel, when the book was written. vi. 25.
That round numbers are made use of, in these books, with no mention of fractional parts, where, doubtless, fractional parts existed, has been urged as evidence of the late origin of the books. But this feature is common with writers, when reporting what is taking place, at the time, unless something important requires greater particularity. And it would be impossible to point out any advantage of giving more exact numbers.
We will now, in the second place, give some reasons for believing that these books have undergone revision,
since the first writing, and that some changes and additions have been made.
The arguments that are urged against the early writing of these books, are valid only, when it is claimed that they have existed, as they are, from an early date.
The late revision is proved by references in the books. And, if we deny this revision, the only alternative is, the admission of the late writing of the books, in the first place. The stones that were set up, on the banks of the Jordan, remained there, the writer tells us, "unto this day." Jos. iv. 9, 20. Joshua burnt Ai, and made it a heap forever, even unto this day. viii. 28.
There are several such passages as these; both in Joshua, and the other books; but all we can determine from them, is, that a considerable period must have elapsed, between the time of these occurrences, and the writing of these passages. They determine nothing concerning the body of the book. The passages are not such as the original writers would be likely to indite; but they are precisely what might be expected of some one compiling, or perhaps even copying, the books. They were written by the same hand that gave us the frequent explanation of towns. When giving the modern name, the author is careful to add, that once
the name was different. Hebron was once Kirjath-arba, or Arba. Debir was Kirjath-sepher. Bethel was Luz, &c., &c.
Some of the references are more definite; and they fix the time of the writing, within certain limits. "And they drave not out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer; but the Canaanites dwell among the Ephramites, unto this day, and serve under tribute. Jos. xvi. 10. In substance this is repeated in Judges:-"Neither did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites, that dwelt in Gezer; but the Canaanites dwelt in Gezer among them" i. 29.
At the time these passages were written, both in Joshua and Judges, Gezer was yet standing; and the Canaanites and Ephramites dwelt there together. This,
then, was before the following occurrence recorded in Kings. "Pharaoh had gone up and taken Gezer, and burnt it with fire, and slain the Canaanites that dwelt in the city, and given it, for a present, unto his daughter, Solomon's wife." 1 K. ix. 16.
Singularly enough, De Wette quotes these passages to prove that these books were not written, till after the time of Solomon, when they prove the very opposite. If the author of the book, wrote the passages, quoted from Joshua and Judges, then the books were written before the time of Solomon. If the redactor, or copyist, wrote them, then these passages belong back of the time of Solomon; and the original writing much further back.
There is a reference to Jerusalem, that is similar to the references to Gezer; and it is sometimes quoted to prove the same thing, but without good reason. In Jos. xv. 63, it is said, that the Jebusites, and the Israelites dwelt together in Jerusalem. The same is repeated in Judges. i. 21. But in 2 Sam. v. 7-9, we read that David got possession of Jerusalem, and made it his seat of government.
One might infer that the Jebusites were destroyed, and no longer dwelt with the Israelites. But David did not get possession of the whole city, but only a part of it, namely Sion, which he called the "city of David," and the rest of the city was still occupied by the Jebusites. One prominent man of this tribe, denominated a "king, and probably the chief of the tribe, was, at a late day in the life of David, the owner of a threshing floor, which he sold to the latter; and on which the renowned temple of Solomon was afterwards built. 2 Sam. xxiv. 23. This passage, therefore, is not to the point; while the others remain in all their force, and are indeed sufficient for the purpose had in view.
In Judges xviii. 30, it is said, that Jonathan and his sons were priests, in the tribe of Dan, until the day of the captivity of the land. This, being taken as the lan
guage of the original writer, has been used for proof that the book was not written till the captivity at Babylon. And if the original writer is the author of it, the proof is conclusive. But since we know that such passages were often added, at a later period, (and this has a similar appearance,) the proof fails.
The next verse, (31st,) would suggest an earlier date. "And they set them up Micah's graven image which he made, all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh. The house of God, that is, the tabernacle, was in Shiloh, only till about the time of Solomon; if indeed, it was not removed thence to Nob anterior to the reign of David. It was evidently at the latter place, when David was a fugitive from Saul. 1 Sam. xxi. 1–6.
The book of Judges was written before the books of Samuel; for the latter make allusions to the former. There is a reference to the war with Sisera, and the hosts of Hazor, with the Philistines and Moabites. There is reference to their chief captains, namely, Jerubbaal or Gideon, Jephthah and Samuel. 1 Sam. xii. 9-11.
The indications of the date of Samuel, are no more satisfactory, than those we have quoted from Joshua and Judges. Certain things are said to remain unto this day; but generally there is no telling what day is meant. See 1 Sam. v. 5; vi. 18; xxvii. 6; xxx. 25. 2 Sam. iv. 3; vi. 8. That the time referred to, was before the captivity, is a reasonable inference, from the expression, în one of the above passages, that Ziklag remained to Judah unto this day; and from another, that the Beerothites were sojourners in Gittaim, unto this day. Considerable time is implied, as intervening between the events and the history of them, in the statement, that it was customary to call a prophet a seer; but the custom had now passed out of use. Also that the conduct of Saul had passed into a proverb, "Is Saul also among the prophets?" 1 Sam. ix. 9; x. 12.
The references to Israel and Judah, show that these passages were written after the separation of the two