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once as the name of a well, and is twice descriptive of an angel of God. Gen. xxvi. 21; Num. xxii. 22, 32.
The first of these passages reads as follows: "And they digged another well, and strove for that also; and they called the name of it Sitnah," the word for satan, with a feminine ending. This term expresses abstractly the quality that most distinguishes Satan in the concrete. The Vulgate has the term inimicitiæ ; (enmity ;) and the Septuagint ExOpra, which has the same meaning. This name was given to the well, on account of the strije about it, and the hostility of the Philistine shepherds.
In Numbers, the term is applied to the angel that appeared to Balaam, as he was on his way to curse the Israelites. In verse 22d, it is rendered adversary. "The angel of the Lord stood in the way, as an adversary against him." In verse 32d, it is rendered to withstand. "I went out to withstand thee." These passages
show us that the term satan is not necessarily indicative of evil. It may express an evil quality, as in the name of the well; but it is equally well fitted to express a good quality, provided it comes in the form of opposition. It denotes opposition to evil, as well as opposition to good.
The Vulgate omits the word in Num. xxii. 22; but in verse 32, it has adversarer, that I might be an adversary The Septuagint uses the word diabalein, from which the term diabolos, devil, of the New Testament, is derived.
The term satan, as we find it in 1 Sam. xxix. 4, (the next passage where it occurs,) is applied to David. Da. vid was with the Philistines, with a view to escape from Saul, who was seeking his life. The Philistines were about to proceed against Saul in battle. It was a question with the Philistine chiefs, whether David would fight with them against Saul, or desert them in the day of the battle, and go over to his own people. In the latter case, he would become an adversary to them. Surely this is no approximation to the usage of satan, as denoting the great adversary of God and man.
In a similar way, and with the same rendering, we find the term in 2 Sam. xix. 22: “What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah, that ye should this day be adversaries unto me?” The words are those of Dăvid; and they are addressed to his most distinguished officers, who were that moment burning with zeal for his
At the same time, what they had proposed would not be best, under the circumstances; and he presses this idea in the foregoing terms.
1 K. v. 4, David says:— “Now the Lord hath given me rest on every side; so that there is neither adversary, nor evil occurrent.
1 K. xi. 14, 23, 25. “And the Lord stirred up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad, the Edomite. And God stirred him up another adversary, Reson the son of Eliadah.* * * * And he was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon."
This term has a most remarkable application in 1 Chr. xxi. 1. “And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. We
this is a remarkable application, because we learn from a parallel passaza, that the being referred to, as a satan to Israel, is no other than God himself. See 2 Sam. xxiv. 1. It reads as follows:- “And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel; and he moved David against them, to say, Go, number Ísrael and Judah.”
This is not so strange, when we consider that the term is applied to God's angels. They were adversaries to Balaam, when he was doing what was wrong. And God was an adversary to Israel, when he influenced David to number them contrary to their true interest. The passage admits of other interpretations; but this seems most in harmony with the two passages taken together.
The term is found but once more in these books. This is Ezra iv. 6, where it is applied to a writing, which is called an accusation, the Hebrew being satan. It was not till a later period, that the word was used as an appellative, denoting an evil being that puts himself con.
stantly in opposition to what is good, and is therefore an enemy of God and man.
SECTION VIII. — Kopher.—7 This term occurs very often in connection with the laws of Moses. The most common rendering is atonement. It occurs a few times in the books now under review, sometimes with the same rendering, and sometimes with others. In the first passage where it is found, it helps to form a proper name, that is Chephar-haam
Jos. xviii. 24. It has the sense of villages in 1 Sam. vi. 18; Neh. vi. 2; 1 Chron. xxvii. 25. It is rendered basins in Ezra i. 10, and it occurs twice in this
Also in viii. 27; 1 Chron. xxviii. 17. As in the laws of Moses it is rendered mercy-seat, and atonement, so here; mercy-seat, 1 Chron. xxviii. 11; Atonement, 2 Chr. xxix. 24; Neh. x. 33; 2 Sam. xxi. 3. The other renderings are purged, 1 Sam. iii. 14; pardon, 2 Chron. xxx. 18; bribe, 1 Sam. xii. 3. The use of this term, in its moral applications, requires about the same remarks as those we made in volume second ; and it is not necessary to repeat them. Once only the term is used in a bad sense as denoting a bribe by which justice is perverted. It is hardly to be presumed that the Lord requires that, as a duty, which Samuel repudiated as a crime; and yet the common views on the subject of atonement imply this.
CONTENTS:-- Human Nature; Character of God: Unity; Rewards and Punishments.
There are but few passages in this part of the Bible, that can be considered, in any proper sense, doctrinal. These books are historical, not ethical nor theological. And yet, many of the facts of history, here recorded, are such that we may deduce from them a sound system of ethics, and some of the fundamental doctrines of theology. The bearing of history, even sacred history, on morals or religion, is indirect, but not less important.
History shows us man in all his most interesting conditions and relations; and it is not difficult for the caresul and steady observer to judge of his conduct, and determine its character as good or bad, worthy of imitation, or open to condemnation. It is not difficult to form a correct judgment of human nature, whether it is originally corrupt; or whether it becomes so, by the influence of its surroundings
Not less valuable is true history, as showing the dealings of God with men; and enabling us to form correct conclusions concerning the divine character. Taking the view here presented, of the history contained in these books, we may learn from them valuable truths, affecting our moral relations.
SECTION I.-Human NATURE. We see men here, as we see them everywhere, in the history of the world. There is no evidence of original depravity in human nature; though there is conclusive proof of acquired depravity in human character. If Adam could become sinful, though originally pure, by the power of temptation, surely there is no good reasori why his descendants cannot become so, by the influence of similar temptations; though at first as pure as him. self.
The Hebrews, with a revelation from God; and the Gentiles, without any, so far as we know, stand on the same footing, in regard to this subject. Both seem to have had a law written upon their hearts, that reproached them for whatever wrongs they committed, and commended whatever they did that was right and good. They all show that they possessed a moral constitution, that was disturbed by sin; and that they must have received this constitution from the hand of the Creator.
It is evident, therefore, that the heathen, as well as the Jews, were amenable to the divine law. Those that had no written law, as well as those that had, were a law unto themselves. The written law is not another law, but simply another edition of the natural law.
The fact of a natural law in men is not only a proof of their original purity; it is also a proof of the integrity and inherent righteousness of the Creator. He is known by his work; or more properly, we may judge of the Parent by looking at his children. He does not leave them in ignorance of his will, and then punish them for not obeying him. He does not expect us to do right, without knowing what is right. He expects us to live up to the requirements of his law, so far, and only so far, as we understand them.
SECTION II. -CHARACTER OF GOD. The character ascribed to the Divine Being, in this part of the Scriptures, is worthy the Creator and Governor of the universe. A few passages will make this evident. David says of God: 1 Chron. xvi. 8-9; 23-34; “Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. Sing