Daniel 3:15
Now if you be ready that at what time you hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, you fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if you worship not, you shall be cast the same hour into the middle of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?
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(15) Well.—The word is not in the Chaldee, where an aposiopesis is to be observed, as in Exodus 32:32. Comp. Luke 13:9.

Who is that God?—Nebuchadnezzar has so little belief in his own gods that he ranks himself as far above them as above Jehovah. He defies all supernatural powers. Very different is the boast of Sennacherib (Isaiah 36:18-20), who pits his own god Assur against Jehovah.

3:8-18 True devotion calms the spirit, quiets and softens it, but superstition and devotion to false gods inflame men's passions. The matter is put into a little compass, Turn, or burn. Proud men are still ready to say, as Nebuchadnezzar, Who is the Lord, that I should fear his power? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not hesitate whether they should comply or not. Life or death were not to be considered. Those that would avoid sin, must not parley with temptation when that to which we are allured or affrighted is manifestly evil. Stand not to pause about it, but say, as Christ did, Get thee behind me, Satan. They did not contrive an evasive answer, when a direct answer was expected. Those who make their duty their main care, need not be anxious or fearful concerning the event. The faithful servants of God find him able to control and overrule all the powers armed against them. Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst. If He be for us, we need not fear what man can do unto us. God will deliver us, either from death or in death. They must obey God rather than man; they must rather suffer than sin; and must not do evil that good may come. Therefore none of these things moved them. The saving them from sinful compliance, was as great a miracle in the kingdom of grace, as the saving them out of the fiery furnace was in the kingdom of nature. Fear of man and love of the world, especially want of faith, make men yield to temptation, while a firm persuasion of the truth will deliver them from denying Christ, or being ashamed of him. We are to be meek in our replies, but we must be decided that we will obey God rather than man.Now, if ye be ready, that at what time ... - At the very time; on the very instant. It would seem probable from this that the ceremonies of the consecration of the image were prolonged for a considerable period, so that there was still an opportunity for them to unite in the service if they would. The supposition that such services would be continued through several days is altogether probable, and accords with what was usual on festival occasions. It is remarkable that the king was willing to give them another trial, to see whether they were disposed or not to worship the golden image. To this he might have been led by the apprehension that they had not understood the order, or that they had not duly considered the subject; and possibly by respect for them as faithful officers, and for their countryman Daniel. There seems, moreover, to have been in the bosom of this monarch, with all his pride and passion, a readiness to do justice, and to furnish an opportunity of a fair trial before he proceeded to extremities. See Daniel 2:16, Daniel 2:26, Daniel 2:46-47,

And who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? - That is, he either supposed that the God whom they worshipped would not be "able" to deliver them, or that he would not be "disposed" to do it. It was a boast of Sennacherib, when he warred against the Jews, that none of the gods of the nations which he had conquered had been able to rescue the lands over which they presided, and he argued from these premises that the God whom the Hebrews worshipped would not be able to defend their country: "Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? Where are the gods of Hamath, and of Arphad? where are the gods of Sepharvaim? and have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? Who are they among all the gods of these lands, that have delivered their land out of my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?" Isaiah 36:18-20. Nebuchadnezzar seems to have reasoned in a similar manner, and with a degree of vain boasting that strongly resembled this, calling their attention to the certain destruction which awaited them if they did not comply with his demand.

15. who is that God—so Sennacherib's taunt (2Ki 18:35), and Pharaoh's (Ex 5:2). Prodigious pride and blasphemy! for he doth not only insult over all gods in general, but particularly against the only true God, whom he lately confessed, Daniel 2:47, to be

a God of gods, and a Lord of kings. So the king of Assyria, 2 Kings 18:30,33. Thus all the tyrants of the East, Turk, Mogul, Kham, whose very titles are blasphemy. It is a wonder why these men worship any god, seeing they set up themselves above all. Reason of state makes them set up somewhat to keep the people in awe; they themselves are exempt, and care for none. The root of Nebuchadnezzar’s arrogance lay chiefly here, he had burnt the temple of the Jews’ God, and made slaves of his people, and he did not deliver either, and therefore thought he could not; and so presumes the same now; but God will make him quickly of another mind. Now if ye be ready that at what time ye shall hear,.... The meaning is, that if they were disposed in mind, which the king was very desirous they should, both for his own honour, and for their safety, for whom he had a regard; and were willing to comply with his orders, and readily yield obedience to his will, and worship his idol; the following would be a signal to them, and all would be well with them: or it may be rendered, "when now ye shall be, that at what time ye shall hear" (q); for the word signifies future, as well as "ready", and is by some so translated; and the sense is, when it shall be, or for the future, that they should hear

the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music; which was played not once only, but perhaps at certain times every day, and designed to be continued:

ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; it is well; so doing the king's wrath would be appeased, their lives would be preserved, and they continued in his favour, and in their honourable posts:

but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; immediately, without any delay; no reprieve will be granted, and much less a pardon:

and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? he knew their confidence in the God of Israel, which he attempts to break and remove; he foresaw the objection they would make, which he endeavours to anticipate by this proud and vain boast, forgetting what he himself had said, Daniel 2:47.

(q) "si futuri estis", Gejerus.

{f} Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?

(f) Signifying that he would receive them to grace if they would now obey his decree.

15. sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer] trigon, psaltery, and bagpipe.

well] an aposiopesis, as e.g. Genesis 30:27, Exodus 32:32, Luke 13:9; Il. i. 135 f. (von Lengerke).

who is the God] The sense is not appreciably affected; but ‘that’ is not philologically correct (comp. on Daniel 2:38). The question is a defiant challenge, like those of Sennacherib, and the Rab-shakeh, Isaiah 36:19 f., Isaiah 37:11 f.Verse 15. - Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be east the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? The differences between the Septuagint and the Massoretic text are not great. The last clause is rendered," but if not, know." It inserts the epithet "golden" after "image." The insertion of "know ye" makes the sentence run more easily, but it is not to be accepted. Here, as before, "midst" is omitted. Theodotion is very close to the Massoretic, but agrees with the Septuagint in its omission of "midst" and its insertion of "golden." The Peshitta is in yet closer agreement with the Massoretic text, save in regard to the musical instruments - p'santerin, as in the other cases, being omitted. It seems clear from this that the festival of the dedication of this new idol of the Babylonian king occupied several days. Nebuchadnezzar, willing to save those Jews, is ready to condone their first failure to obey his command if, probably at the sunrise of the following day, they were willing when they heard the sound of the musical instruments to fall down and worship this golden image which he had set up to the honour of his god. The latter clause does not seem in perfect harmony with the tone of the earlier part of the verse. There has been no reference in the conversation as reported to any other god to explain Nebuchadnezzar's demand, "Who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?" Moreover, there is in the beginning a desire apparent to give these Jewish officials a way of escape, but in the last clause there is contempt as well as anger expressed. The fact is that while the simple structure of Shemitic lends itself to direct narration, the reader is not to suppose that, though speeches are reported in the oratio recta, they any more record or claim to record the ipsissima verba than if the speeches had been recorded in the oratio obliqua of more Western tongues. The presumption is that merely the main heads of the conversation are recorded. These very jolts and leaps are in themselves indirect evidences of the truth of the document with which we have to do. It would have been easy to insert a question and answer to bridge over the hiatus. Only one recording facts would be regardless of this. The attitude of mind expressed by these last words of Nebuchadnezzar are natural to a heathen, and especially to monarchs of the Assyrian type. Sennacherib's words of defiance (2 Kings 18:33) are quite in the same line, "Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the King of Assyria?" The capture of Jerusalem by his arms was regarded by Nebuchadnezzar as a demonstration that the God of Israel was inferior to the gods of Babylonia. To Nebuchadnezzar this belief would not in the slightest degree contradict his previous declaration (Daniel 2:47), that this same God was "a God of gods, and a Lord of kings." He might be great as a Revealer of secrets, but not in might to deliver - in that he was clearly inferior to the gods of Babylon, as the events of recent campaigns had abundantly proved. It is this declaration, with the idea behind it of the ]imitation of Jehovah, that gives the event narrated in this chapter its importance. Excursus on the Musical Instruments in this Chapter. The names of the musical instruments which occur in the fifth, seventh, tenth, and fifteenth verses of this chapter are supposed to afford a demonstrative proof of the late date of Daniel. Thus Canon Driver, by no means an extreme critic, declares that, while "the Hebrew and Aramaic permit" a late date, these Greek words "demand" that the date of Daniel be placed as late as the period of the Syrian power. The words in question are - qathros, pesanterin, sum-phonya. The first of these, קַתְרוס (qath'ros), appears to be transferred from the Greek κίθαρις (κιθὰρα), from its resemblance to the older form, κίθαρις, which occurs in Homer: we may deduce that the word, if borrowed from the Greek, was borrowed at an early period. Canon Driver would not, in view of the intercourse between Greece and Babylon, press this word as proof of the recent date of Daniel. The intercourse between Babylon and Greece was sufficiently great to have rendered the conveyance of this name at least not impossible. It has been shown, moreover, by Professor Whitehouse, that the word is probably derived from the East; indeed, he fixes on Phoenicia as its source. It must be observed that he maintains that, while originally Phoenician, the form it assumes in Daniel proves it to have come to the author of Daniel from Greek The word may have been modified from its more ancient to its more recent form, for the sake of readers. One of the suggestions of those who oppose the antiquity of the Book of Daniel is that כִּלֺנּר (kinnor) is the word that would have been used by a genuine Aramaic writer of Daniel's period, as kinder and qitharos (or qathros) represent one and the same instrument; but, unfortunately for this, in the Peshitta we have both terms, the one after the other. The other words, סוּמפונְיָא, συμφωνία, and פְסַנְתֵּרִים (pesanterin), supposed to be equivalent to ψαλτηρίον, are on a different footing. In the first place, any one who has studied the apocalyptic writings, must see how peculiarly liable they are to interpolation. There is hardly one that is not largely and obviously interpolated. No one can deny that this has taken place with. Daniel. The apocryphal additions are too well known for any one to maintain the opposite opinion. When, moreover, one begins to compare the Massoretic text with the more ancient versions, the Septuagint, the Peshitta, and that of Theodotion, we at once see that the changes which the text has undergone have not been confined to large interpolations, but all through there are words and phrases where the versions differ from the Massoretic text and from each other. The text especially from which the Septuagint translation has been made, must have presented many and important verbal differences from that adopted by the Massoretes. Even Theodotion, though his version agrees more closely with the Massoretic text than does the Septuagint, differs from it in ways and in a degree than can at times be explained only on the supposition that the text before him was not identical with that adopted by the Massoretes. The supposition that Theodotion has been altered from the Septuagint has been hazarded, and in a few cases it may have some semblance of probability, but in other cases it is destitute of every shadow of likelihood. The Peshitta is another source of various readings. Its variations are independent of either of the other two versions. In some chapters these variations are more marked than in others, but in every case they are numerous enough to make any stress on individual words highly hazardous. While these variations are known and chronicled, there is no security that no variations occurred even before the types of the text separated from each other. In such a case as this, although it would be unscientific, on the ground of this uncertainty, to proceed to change the text to what seems to make better sense, it is equally unscientific to lay any evidential weight on single words. But, further, no words are, in one respect, less evidential than musical terms. They are changed and modified with a freedom applied to few other things. Thus we have "cornet-a-piston" figuring also as "cornopean," two words like each other in sound, of the same meaning, but of widely different derivation. They pass from country to country with greater freedom than most other terms. To infer, then, that the writer of Daniel wrote under Greek domination, because certain Greek musical terms occur in the present Massoretic text, is rash in the extreme, and would, it seems to us, be universally regarded so, were there not an object to be gained by assuming that evidence drawn from them was liable to no doubt. New Testament critics have taught us to suspect what are called tendenz documents, i.e. documents that have an overweening bias towards one side of a controversy: there is such a thing as a tendenz judgment. The judgment of the critics in regard to the evidential value of these musical terms is a tendenz judgment, which we should say is even more to be suspected than the contents of a tendenz document. The history of the argument from the alleged presence of Greek terms in Daniel is also instructive. The number of Greek terms that Hitzig and some earlier critics saw was large. Gradually they had to abandon all but those coming in the list of musical instruments here. Of these only four could be claimed as really Greek. However, one of these had soon to go, שַׂבְכָא; it was maintained to be derived from the σαμβύκη. It was found that this Greek word was really derived from an Eastern, probably an Assyrian, source. Next, it has been acknowledged by Canon Driver, as above stated, that much stress cannot be laid on קַתְדֹס (κιθὰρα), seeing it is an instrument of such ancient date in Greece, that it might easily have drifted eastward, name and thing, to Babylon. The matter is further complicated by the fact that the word, in all probability, is not Greek, to begin with, but Eastern, probably Phoenician. In regard to the remaining words - sumphonya and pesanterin - it is argued that they are of Greek origin, and that, while Babylonian intercourse with Greece is not denied, the origin of these words is maintained to be late, at all events, in the sense in which they appear in this passage. Thus, pesanterin is declared to be the Greek ψαλτηρίον, and it is further said that ψαλτηρίον is not a term applied to musical instruments till late, Aristotle and Theophrastus being the earliest authors that use the word. That this word pesanterin is derived from ψαλτηρίον is supposed to be proved by an argument which shows that the Greek letter ψ is resolved, in passing into Aramaic, into פ and ס; second, that ל may be changed into נ, and that -ιον becomes not infrequently ־ין Even though all these points be admitted, it does not follow that pesanterin is derived from psalterion; as fair a case might be made out for deriving "mystery" from "mist" While ־ין sometimes represents -ιον, it much more frequently is simply the sign of the plural; and while פְ may be at times the first half of ψ resolved, it also does represent at times the Coptic article πε. While it is not impossible that santer may represent the remaining letters of the name of the Greek instrument, σαπτωρε has a meaning in Coptic also; it may mean a chorus - "those singing to an instrument." This, then, would show that pesanter,'n might mean those singing in accompaniment to the previously named instruments. Confirmatory of this is the fact that in Lower Egypt, at the present day, there is a musical instrument called the santeer. When one remembers the great intercourse that existed between Assyria and Egypt when Esarhaddon and Asshur-bani-pal held possession of Egypt - the former of whom frequently held his court in Babylon - that Egyptian words should come into Babylon would not be extraordinary. We admit readily that possibility is not proof of actuality, yet it weakens the force of the other argument, which also is merely from possibility. A prior question has to be settled before we deduce anything from the origin of this word pesanteria. Is it really part of the original text? There are in this third chapter of Daniel four distinct lists of what purport to be musical instruments. And these are arranged in such a way that the reader expects them to be identical. Each of these may thus be regarded as separate manuscripts. We have further three old versions, as already mentioned, as well as the Massoretic text: the Septuagint dated about B.C. 200; Theodotion and the Peshitta, dated about A.D. ; the Massoretic text, being fixed somewhere about A.D. , and represented by manuscripts, the earliest of which is of the tenth century - the Qri and K'thib represent two forms of reading. Of these authorities the latest is the Massoretic text. To begin with the Massoretic text, the first thing that meets us is that, while in the fifth, tenth, and fifteenth verses, the word is פסנתרין, in the seventh verse it is פסנמרין. This is not so insignificant as at first sight seems, for ת and ט do not appear to have been pronounced in the same way originally, any more than the Greek θ and τ. But further, it is an acknowledged canon of criticism that when a passage has many variations of reading in different manuscripts, that itself raises a suspicion that it has come from the margin into the text. This variation of ט and ת in a word is an instance similar to that of varying words in the case of a passage; a varying letter is, in the case of a word, a note conveying suspicion. When we turn to the versions, we find that while the Greek - the Septuagint and Theodotion - have it, the word is quite omitted from the Syriac Peshitta. If it had dropped into the text from the margin, it would be most likely to do so in the Greek versions first, and then find its way into the Massoretic text afterwards. Hence the positive value of the evidence of the Greek versions is comparatively small, although their negative value is considerable. On the other hand, the word is not present at all in the Peshitta, which originated beyond the sphere of Greek domination. That being the state of the matter, we venture to maintain that the word pesanterin does not belong to the genuine text of Daniel. The case against סומפניא is yet stronger. In regard to this word there is a divergence between the Q'ri and the K'thib. Hence we may regard this as a case in which we have twenty manuscripts. If we now examine the evidence supplied by these, we shall find that the evidence for the presence of סומפביא in the original text is very weak. In the K'thib, which represents in general the better text, we have sumphonya only in two cases, in one case we have siphonya, in the fourth case nothing at all. In the Q'ri we have three cases of sumpboaya. When we turn to the Greek texts, we find that symphonia occurs in the Septuagint in two cases, in Theodotion only in one case. When we turn to the Peshitta, we have no case of sumphonia, but we have in all cases tsiphoaia, a form akin to what we find in the tenth verse in the Massoretic text. If, then, we take these various cases together, and sum them up, we lind eight cases of symphonia, five cases of siphonia, and seven cases of nothing at all. As the word as we have it now is distinctly Greek, the evidence of the Greek versions, while strong negatively, is weak positively. We mean by this that a Greek word put on the margin might easily slip into the text of the Septuagint, and thence into the Palestinian recension - the Massoretic. Moreover, the case against sumphonya is strengthened when we compare the instances in which it occurs with those in which it does not occur. If we looked at the matter apriori, the cases where a word would most likely be dropped is in a conversational repetition of such a list of instruments. But the best supported case of the occurrence of this word is in the offer made by Nebuchadnezzar, that if even yet they would yield, they would be forgiven. The word in question occurs here in the two texts represented by the Massoretic in the Septuagint and Theodotion. It does not appear in the Peshitta - its place being represented by tzipbonia, as we said above. On the other hand, the place where we might most readily find a marginal note like sumphonia is precisely the last occurrence of a frequently recurring list. But, again, the place where we should most certainly expect to find every word of such a list given with scrupulous exaetness, is what purports to be the record of a proclamation. But in Theodotion the word in question is not present in his record of the proclamation. In the seventh verse, where the proclamation is repeated to show the obedience it received, the word sumphonya is absent in the Massoretic text and the versions. Further, next to the record of a proclamation in likelihood for an accurate repetition of all the words of such a list, is, where a case is being founded on this proclamation. This, again, is a case in which sumphonya does not occur save in the Q'ri. When those who are about to accuse to Nebuchadnezzar the three Hebrews, repeat to him his proclamation, according to the Greek versions they leave out the word before us altogether, according to the K'thib and Peshitta they insert another word altogether. To us the argument seems conclusive that the word in question was not part of the original text of Daniel. We cannot leave this question without adverting to some other aspects of it. The intercourse between the Hellenic peoples and Assyria seems to have been considerable We know from Strabo, 13:2. 3, under the title of Lesbos, that Antimenidas, the brother of the poet Alcaeus, was in the Babylonian army at the time when Nebuchadnezzar was king. Strabo quotes Alcaeus, Ἀντιμενιδαν ὅν φησίν Ἀλκαῖος Βαβυλωνὶοις συμμαχοῖντα ( "fought along with the Babylonians as their ally." The Assyrians possessed Cyprus - another source of Hellenic influence. The later Sargonids, Esarhaddon and Asshur-bani-pal, those who had the closest relationship with Babylon, had also the supremacy in Egypt, and now we know from Flinders Petrie and others, in the accounts they have given us of their explorations at Dapine, that there was, before the time of the Babylonian power, a Greek colony of old standing. To meet this contention it is urged that the words in question are much later than the time of Nebuchadnezzar. Certainly we shall admit that the earliest instance of ψαλτηρίον is in Aristotle, but the date of the word is not to be limited by its occurrence in Aristotle (Arist., 'Problem.,' 19:23. 2). It occurs in a definition of a trigon as a triangular psaltery - a mode of speech which implies that "psaltery" was already relatively a common designation. We could not define a "trichord" as a piano in which each note was produced by three wires of the same length stretched to the same degree of tension - unless pianos were comparatvely common. That it does not occur earlier is probably due to the word beginning possibly as a localism, and then becoming common in literature. Thus many of the phrases denounced as recent Americanisms are proved by more careful investigation to be old provincialisms that have attained literary rank, or at all events semi-literary rank, in a new country. Hence, even though it were proved that psanterin is of Greek origin, and that it belongs to the original text of Daniel, which is more than doubtful, it would yet be no great strain to imagine the name and the instrument had passed over to Babylon before the traditional date of Daniel. The case for sumphonya is even weaker. Even should it be granted to be in the text of Daniel, and further that it is a Greek word, it is not an instrument until at all events a much later date than any one pretends Daniel to have been written. Yet Canon Driver lays the main stress of his argument on the fact that in the passage before us it means an instrument, and in this view he is supported by Mr. Bevan. The whole stress of this statement really depends on a passage in Polybius (Polyb., 26:10), in which it is alleged the word in question means a musical instrument of some sort. The view that the word before us in the passage means a musical instrument can only be maintained on reading the word preceding συμφωνία as κεράτιον, not κεράμιον, and on the further assumption that κεράνιον means a musical instrument, of which there is no proof. It is true that κέρας means not only the horn of an animal, but also a musical horn; it is also true that κεράτιον is the diminutive from κέρας; but it is not to be assumed that all the senses of the original word are retained by the diminutive. A "lance" is the name given both to a medical instrument and to a weapon used by cavalry: it does not follow from this that since "a lancet" is a medical instrument, it is also a military weapon. There is certainly no instance to support the assertion t,,at there ever was such a usage. As naturally it might be used of a drinking-horn. If the reading κεραμίον is adopted, the meaning assigned to συμφωνία loses even the limited plausibility it had. This view was presented years ago by Dr. Pusey, yet Canon Driver and Professor Bevan have repeated their exploded statements without the faintest attempt at answering the counter-arguments. Were any defender of Daniel to be guilty of anything similar, his ignorance would be sneered at, and his arguments hustled out of court. But there is a further question - Is siphonia the same word as συμφωνία? That the m (μ) might disappear and the upsilon of the Greek might be represented by yod in Aramaic, is not impossible, but the fact that, on the one side, there is the Greek word σίφων, on the other there is the Eastern Aramaic word tzgphonia, throws grave doubt on this. With regard to צ, Strack ('Lehrbuch,' p. 15) declares that it is interchanged צ with ס before t sounds, and at the end of words; from this we deduce that tziphonia cannot be derived etymologie-ally from sumphonya. On the other hand, siphonya may readily be the product of tzi-phonia, through the intervention of the Greek σίφων, and perhaps the Hebrew סוּפ (suph), "a reed." Changes otherwise impossible are rendered possible when they lead to a word with an intelligible sound. There is a verb סוּפ, both Chaldee and Hebrew, which, however, does not seem to have any close connection with סוּפ, "a reed," or to have any musical meaning. It is used in Biblical Chaldee for the fulfilment of a prophecy (Daniel 4:30), in Targumic Chaldee "to have an end," "to cease" (Onkelos, Leviticus 26:20). The same verb with the same meaning occurs in Syriac (Luke 9:54). This is an additional evidence that tziphonia is the original form of the word. In transferring the word to Chaldee, they gave it a form intelligible to those who used that tongue. If Syriac were the language in which Daniel was written, then the meaning of the word in that language is important. Castelli - on what authority we know not - gives the meaning of tzephonya, a word all but identical with that before us, as tibia, tuba. Altogether, not only is the genuineness of the word extremely doubtful, but even were it granted that there was a word there, it is not at all certain that it was a word connected with the Greek συμφωνία. As the assailants of the authenticity of Daniel have laid the great stress of their argument on these words, and, as we have seen, these words afford but dubious evidence, we may consider ourselves to have a right to demand from them to abandon their opposition, or show reason why they do not. The division of the land, like the definition of the boundaries (Ezekiel 47:15), commences in the north, and enumerates the tribes in the order in which they were to receive their inheritances from north to south: first, seven tribes from the northern boundary to the centre of the land (Ezekiel 48:1-7), where the heave for the sanctuary, with the land of the priests and Levites and the city domain, together with the prince's land on the two sides, was to be set apart (Ezekiel 48:8-22; and secondly, the other five tribes from this to the southern boundary (Ezekiel 48:23-29). Compare the map on Plate IV.

Ezekiel 48:1. And these are the names of the tribes: from the north end by the side of the way to Chetlon toward Hamath (and) Hazar-Enon the boundary of Damascus - toward the north by the side of Hamath there shall east side, west side belong to him: Dan one (tribe-lot). Ezekiel 48:2. And on the boundary of Dan from the east side to the west side: Asher one. Ezekiel 48:3. And on the boundary of Asher from the east side to the west side: Naphtali one. Ezekiel 48:4. And on the boundary of Naphtali from the east side to the west side: Manasseh one. Ezekiel 48:5. And on the boundary of Manasseh from the east side to the west side: Ephraim one. Ezekiel 48:6. And on the boundary of Ephraim from the east side to the west side: Reuben one. Ezekiel 48:7. And on the boundary of Reuben from the east side to the west side: Judah one. Ezekiel 48:8. And on the boundary of Judah from the east side to the west side shall be the heave, which ye shall lift (heave) off, five and twenty thousand (rods) in breadth, and the length like every tribe portion from the east side to the west side; and the sanctuary shall be in the midst of it. Ezekiel 48:9. The heave which ye shall lift (heave) for Jehovah shall be five and twenty thousand in length and ten thousand in breadth. Ezekiel 48:10. And to these shall the holy heave belong, to the priests, toward the north, five and twenty thousand; toward the west, breadth ten thousand; toward the east, breadth ten thousand; and toward the south, length five and twenty thousand; and the sanctuary of Jehovah shall be in the middle of it. Ezekiel 48:11. To the priests, whoever is sanctified of the sons of Zadok, who have kept my charge, who have not strayed with the straying of the sons of Israel, as the Levites have strayed, Ezekiel 48:12. To them shall a portion lifted off belong from the heave of the land; a most holy beside the territory of the Levites. Ezekiel 48:13. And the Levites (shall receive) parallel with the territory of the priests five and twenty thousand in length, and in breadth ten thousand; the whole length five and twenty thousand, and (the whole) breadth ten thousand. Ezekiel 48:14. And they shall not sell or exchange any of it, nor shall the first-fruit of the land pass to others; for it is holy to Jehovah. Ezekiel 48:15. And the five thousand which remain in the breadth along the five and twenty thousand are common land for the city for dwellings and for open space; and the city shall be in the centre of it. Ezekiel 48:16. And these are its measures: the north side four thousand five hundred, the south side four thousand five hundred, the east side four thousand five hundred, and the west side four thousand five hundred. Ezekiel 48:17. And the open space of the city shall be toward the north two hundred and fifty, toward the south two hundred and fifty, toward the east two hundred and fifty, and toward the west two hundred and fifty. Ezekiel 48:18. And the remainder in length parallel with the holy heave, ten thousand toward the east and ten thousand toward the west, this shall be beside the holy heave, and its produce shall serve the workmen of the city for food. Ezekiel 48:19. And as for the workmen of the city, they shall cultivate it from all the tribes. Ezekiel 48:20. The whole of the heave is five and twenty thousand by five and twenty thousand; a fourth of the holy heave shall ye take for the possession of the city. Ezekiel 48:21. And the remainder shall belong to the prince on this side and on that side of the holy heave and of the city possession; along the five and twenty thousand of the heave to the eastern boundary, and toward the west along the five and twenty thousand to the western boundary parallel with the tribe portions, it shall belong to the prince; and the holy heave and the sanctuary of the house shall be in the midst. Ezekiel 48:22. Thus from the possession of the Levites (as) from the possession of the city shall that which lies in the midst of what belongs to the prince between the territory of Judah and the territory of Benjamin belong to the prince. Ezekiel 48:23. And the rest of the tribes are from the east side to the west side: Benjamin one. Ezekiel 48:24. And on the boundary of Benjamin from the east side to the west side: Simeon one. Ezekiel 48:25. And on the boundary of Simeon from the east side to the west side: Issachar one. Ezekiel 48:26. And on the boundary of Issachar from the east side to the west side: Zebulon one. Ezekiel 48:27. And on the boundary of Zebulon from the east side to the west side: Gad one. Ezekiel 48:28. And on the boundary of Gad on the south side toward the south, the boundary shall be from Tamar to the water of strife from Kadesh along the brook to the great sea. Ezekiel 48:29. This is the land which ye shall divide by lot for inheritance to the tribes of Israel; these are their portions, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah.

The new division of the land differs from the former one effected in the time of Joshua, in the first place, in the fact that all the tribe-portions were to extend uniformly across the entire breadth of the land from the eastern boundary to the Mediterranean Sea on the west, so that they were to form parallel tracts of country; whereas in the distribution made in the time of Joshua, several of the tribe-territories covered only half the breadth of the land. For example, Dan received his inheritance on the west of Benjamin; and the territories of half Manasseh and Asher ran up from the northern boundary of Ephraim to the northern boundary of Canaan; while Issachar, Naphtali, and Zebulon received their portions on the east of these; and lastly, Simeon received his possession within the boundaries of the tribe of Judah. And secondly, it also differs from the former, in the fact that not only are all the twelve tribes located in Canaan proper, between the Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea; whereas previously two tribes and a half had received from Moses, at their own request, the conquered land of Bashan and Gilead on the eastern side of the Jordan, so that the land of Canaan could be divided among the remaining nine tribes and a half. But besides this, the central tract of land, about the fifth part of the whole, was separated for the holy heave, the city domain, and the prince's land, so that only the northern and southern portions, about four-fifths of the whole, remained for distribution among the twelve tribes, seven tribes receiving their hereditary portions to the north of the heave and five to the south, because the heave was so selected that the city with its territory lay near the ancient Jerusalem. - In Ezekiel 48:1-7 the seven tribes which were to dwell on the north of the heave are enumerated. The principal points of the northern boundary, viz., the way to Chetlon and Hazar-Enon, the boundary of Damascus, are repeated in Ezekiel 48:1 from Ezekiel 47:15, Ezekiel 47:17, as the starting and terminal points of the northern boundary running from west to east. The words אל־יד חמת fix the northern boundary more precisely in relation to the adjoining territory; and in 'והיוּ the enumeration of the tribe-lots begins with that of the tribe of Dan, which was to receive its territory against the northern boundary. לו refers to the name דּן which follows, and which Ezekiel already had in his mind. פּאת קדים היּם is constructed asyndetôs; and פּאת is to be repeated in thought before היּם: the east side (and) the west (side) are to belong to it, i.e., the tract of land toward its west and its east side. The words which follow, דּן אחד, are attached in an anacoluthistic manner: "Dan (is to receive) one portion," for "one shall belong to Dan." To אחד we are to supply in thought the substantive חבל, tribe-lot, according to Ezekiel 47:13. "The assumption that one tribe was to receive as much as another (vid., Ezekiel 47:14), leads to the conclusion that each tribe-lot was to be taken as a monas" (Kliefoth). In this way the names in Ezekiel 48:2-7, with the constantly repeated אחד, must also be taken. The same form of description is repeated in Ezekiel 48:23-28 in the case of the five tribes placed to the south of the heave. - In the order of the several tribe-territories it is impossible to discover any universal principle of arrangement. All that is clear is, that in the case of Dan, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, and Ephraim, regard is had to the former position of these tribe-territories as far as the altered circumstances allowed. In the time of the Judges a portion of the Danites had migrated to the north, conquered the city of Laish, and given it the name of Dan, so that from that time forward Dan is generally named as the northern boundary of the land (e.g., as early as 2 Samuel 3:10, and in other passages). Accordingly Dan receives the tract of land along the northern boundary. Asher and Naphtali, which formerly occupied the most northerly portions of the land, follow next. Then comes Manasseh, as half Manasseh had formerly dwelt on the east of Naphtali; and Ephraim joins Manasseh, as it formerly joined the western half of Manasseh. The reason for placing Reuben between Ephraim and Judah appears to be, that Reuben was the first-born of Jacob's sons. The position of the termuah between Judah and Benjamin is probably connected with the circumstance that Jerusalem formerly stood on the boundary of these two tribes, and so also in the future was to skirt Benjamin with its territory. The other tribes had then to be located on the south of Benjamin; Simeon, whose territory formerly lay to the south; Issachar and Zebulon, for which no room was left in the north; and Gad, which had to be brought over from Gilead to Canaan.

In Ezekiel 48:8-22, the terumah, which has already been described in Ezekiel 45:1-7 for a different purpose, is more precisely defined: first of all, in Ezekiel 48:8, according to its whole extent - viz. twenty-five thousand rods in breadth (from north to south), and the length the same as any one ( equals every one) of the tribe-lots, i.e., reaching from the Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea (cf. Ezekiel 45:7). In the centre of this separated territory the sanctuary (the temple) was to stand. בּתוכו, the suffix of which refers ad sensum to חלק instead of תּרוּמה, has not the indefinite meaning "therein," but signifies "in the centre;" for the priests' portion, in the middle of which the temple was to stand, occupied the central position between the portion of the Levites and the city possession, as is evident from Ezekiel 48:22. The circumstance that here, as in Ezekiel 45:1., in the division of the terumah, the priests' portion is mentioned first, then the portion of the Levites, and after this the city possession, proves nothing so far as the local order in which these three portions followed one another is concerned; but the enumeration is regulated by their spiritual significance, so that first of all the most holy land for the temple and priests is defined, then the holy portion of the Levites, and lastly, the common land for the city. The command, that the sanctuary is to occupy the centre of the whole terumah, leads to a more minute description in the first place (Ezekiel 48:9-12) of the priests' portion, in which the sanctuary was situated, than of the heave to be lifted off for Jehovah. In Ezekiel 48:10, לאלּה, which stands at the head, is explained by לכּהנים which follows. The extent of this holy terumah on all four sides is then given; and lastly, the command is repeated, that the sanctuary of Jehovah is to be in the centre of it. In Ezekiel 48:11, המקדּשׁ is rendered in the plural by the lxx, Chald. and Syr., and is taken in a distributive sense by Kimchi and others: to the priests whoever is sanctified of the sons of Zadok. This is required by the position of the participle between לכּהנים and מבּני צדוק (compare 2 Chronicles 26:18, and for the singular of the participle after a previous plural, Psalm 8:9). The other rendering, "for the priests is it sanctified, those of the sons of Zadok," is at variance not only with the position of the words, but also with the fact, namely, that the assignment to the priests of a heave set apart for Jehovah is never designated as קדּשׁ, and from the nature of the case could not be so designated. The apodosis to Ezekiel 48:11 follows in Ezekiel 48:12, where לכּהנים is resumed in להם. תּרוּמיּה is an adjective formation derived from תּרוּמה, with the signification of an abstract: that which is lifted (the lifting) from the heave, as it were "a terumah in the second potency" (for these formations, see Ewald, 164 and 165). This terumiyah is called most holy, in contrast with the Levites' portion of the terumah, which was קדשׁ (Ezekiel 48:14). The priests' portion is to be beside the territory of the Levites, whether on the southern or northern side cannot be gathered from these words any more than from the definition in Ezekiel 48:13 : "and the Levites beside (parallel with) the territory of the priests." Both statements simply affirm that the portions of the priests and Levites were to lie side by side, and not to be separated by the town possession. - Ezekiel 48:13 and Ezekiel 48:14 treat of the Levites' portion: Ezekiel 48:13, of its situation and extent; Ezekiel 48:14, of its law of tenure. The seemingly tautological repetition of the measurement of the length and breadth, as "all the length and the breadth," is occasioned by the fact "that Ezekiel intends to express himself more briefly here, and not, as in Ezekiel 48:10, to take all the four points of the compass singly; in 'all the length' he embraces the two long sides of the oblong, and in '(all) the breadth' the two broad sides, and affirms that 'all the length,' i.e., of both the north and south sides, is to be twenty-five thousand rods, and 'all the breadth,' i.e., of both the east and west sides, is to be ten thousand rods" (Kliefoth). Hitzig has missed the sense, and therefore proposes to alter the text. With regard to the possession of the Levites, the instructions given in Leviticus 25:34 for the field of the Levites' cities - namely, that none of it was to be sold - are extended to the whole of the territory of the Levites: no part of it is to be alienated by sale or barter. And the character of the possession is assigned as the reason: the first-fruit of the land, i.e., the land lifted off (separated) as first-fruit, is not to pass into the possession of others, because as such it is holy to the Lord. The Chetib ya`abowr יעבור is the correct reading: to pass over, sc. to others, to non-Levites.

Ezekiel 48:15-18 treat of the city possession. As the terumah was twenty-five thousand rods in breadth (Ezekiel 48:8), after measuring off ten thousand rods in breadth for the priests and ten thousand rods in breadth for the Levites from the entire breadth, there still remain five thousand rods על, in front of, i.e., along, the long side, which was twenty-five thousand rods. This remnant was to be חל, i.e., common (not holy) land for the city (Jerusalem). למושׁב, for dwelling-places, i.e., for building dwelling-houses upon; and למגרשׁ, for open space, the precinct around the city. The city was to stand in the centre of this oblong. Ezekiel 48:16 gives the size of the city: on each of the four sides, four thousand five hundred rods (the חמשׁ, designated by the Masoretes as כתיב ולא קרי, has crept into the text through a copyist's error); and Ezekiel 48:17, the extent of the open space surrounding it: on each side two hundred and fifty rods. This gives for the city, together with the open space, a square of five thousand rods on every side; so that the city with its precinct filled the entire breadth of the space left for it, and there only remained on the east and west an open space of ten thousand rods in length and five thousand rods in breadth along the holy terumah. This is noticed in Ezekiel 48:18; its produce was to serve for bread, i.e., for maintenance, for the labourers of the city (the masculine suffix in תּבוּאתה refers grammatically to הנּותר). By עבדי העיר Hitzig would understand the inhabitants of the city, because one cultivates a piece of land even by dwelling on it. But this use of עבד cannot be established. Nor are עבדי העיר the workmen employed in building the city, as Gesenius, Hvernick, and others suppose; for the city was not perpetually being built, so that there should be any necessity for setting apart a particular piece of land for the builders; but they are the working men of the city, the labouring class living in the city. They are not to be without possession in the future Jerusalem, but are to receive a possession in land for their maintenance. We are told in Ezekiel 48:19 who these workmen are. Here העבד is used collectively: as for the labouring class of the city, people out of all the tribes of Israel shall work upon the land belonging to the city. The suffix in יעבדוּהוּ points back to הנּותר. The transitive explanation, to employ a person in work, has nothing in the language to confirm it. The fact itself is in harmony with the statement in Ezekiel 45:6, that the city was to belong to all Israel. Lastly, in Ezekiel 48:20 the dimensions of the whole terumah, and the relation of the city possession to the holy terumah, are given. כּל־התּרוּמה is the whole heave, so far as it has hitherto been described, embracing the property of the priests, of the Levites, and of the city. In this extent it is twenty-five thousand rods long and the same broad. If, however, we add the property of the prince, which is not treated of till Ezekiel 48:21-23, it is considerably longer, and reaches, as has been stated in Ezekiel 48:8, to the boundaries of the land both on the east and west, the Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea, as the several tribe-territories do. But if we omit the prince's land, the space set apart fro the city possession occupied the fourth part of the holy terumah, i.e., of the portion of the priests and Levites. This is the meaning of the second half of Ezekiel 48:20, which literally reads thus: "to a fourth shall ye lift off the holy terumah for the city possession." This is not to be understood as meaning that a fourth was to be taken from the holy terumah for the city possession; for that would yield an incorrect proportion, as the twenty thousand rods in breadth would be reduced to fifteen thousand rods by the subtraction of the fourth part, which would be opposed to Ezekiel 48:9 and Ezekiel 48:15. The meaning is rather the following: from the whole terumah the fourth part of the area of the holy terumah is to be taken off for the city possession, i.e., five thousand rods for twenty thousand. According to Ezekiel 48:15, this was the size of the domain set apart for the city.

In Ezekiel 48:21-23 the situation and extent of the prince's possession are described. For Ezekiel 48:21, vid., Ezekiel 45:7. הנּותר, the rest of the terumah, as it has been defined in Ezekiel 48:8, reaching in length from the Jordan to the Mediterranean. As the holy terumah and the city possession were only twenty-five thousand rods in length, and did not reach to the Jordan on the east, or to the sea on the west, there still remained an area on either side whose length or extent toward the east and west is not given in rods, but may be calculated from the proportion which the intervening terumah bore to the length of the land (from east to west). אל־פּני and על־פּני, in front of, or along, the front of the twenty-five thousand rods, refer to the eastern and western boundaries of the terumah, which was twenty-five thousand rods in length. In Ezekiel 48:21 the statement is repeated, that the holy terumah and the sanctuary were to lie in the centre of it, i.e., between the portions of land appointed for the prince on either side; and lastly, in Ezekiel 48:22 it is still further stated, with regard to the prince's land on both sides of the terumah, that it was to lie between the adjoining tribe-territories of Judah (to the north) and Benjamin (to the south), so that it was to be bounded by these two. But this is expressed in a heavy and therefore obscure manner. The words בּתוך אשׁר לנשׂיא יהיה, "in the centre of that which belongs to the prince," belong to העיר... וּמאחזּת, and form together with the latter the subject, which is written absolutely; so that מן is not used in a partitive, but in a local sense (from), and the whole is to be rendered thus: And as for that which lies on the side of the possession of the Levites, and of the possession of the city in the centre of what belongs to the prince, (that which lies) between the territory of Judah and the territory of Benjamin shall belong to the prince. Hitzig's explanation - what remains between Judah and Benjamin, from the city territory to the priests' domain, both inclusive, shall belong to the prince - is arbitrary, and perverts the sense. The periphrastic designation of the terumah bounded off between the prince's land by the two portions named together without a copula, viz., "possession of the Levites and possession of the city," is worthy of notice. This periphrasis of the whole by two portions, shows that the portions named formed the boundaries of the whole, that the third portion, which is not mentioned, was enclosed within the two, so that the priests' portion with the sanctuary lay between them. - In Ezekiel 48:23-27 the rest of the tribes located to the south of the terumah are mentioned in order; and in Ezekiel 48:28 and Ezekiel 48:29 the account of the division of the land is brought to a close with a repetition of the statement as to the southern boundary (cf. Ezekiel 47:19), and a comprehensive concluding formula.

If now we attempt, in order to form a clear idea of the relation in which this prophetic division of the land stands to the actual size of Canaan according to the boundaries described in Ezekiel 47:15., to determine the length and breadth of the terumah given here by their geographical dimensions, twenty-five thousand rods, according to the metrological calculations of Boeckh and Bertheau, would be 1070 geographical miles, or, according to the estimate of the Hebrew cubit by Thenius, only 975 geographical miles.

(Note: According to Boeckh, one sacred cubit was equal to 234-1/3 Paris lines equals 528.62 millimtres; according to Thenius equals 214-1/2 P. l. equals 481.62 millim. Now as one geographical mile, the 5400th part of the circumference of the globe, which is 40,000,000 metres, is equivalent to 7407.398 metres equals 22, 803.290 old Paris feet, the geographical mile according to Boeckh is 14, 012-1/10 cubits equals 2335-1/2 rods (sacred measure); according to Thenius, 15, 380-1/6 cubits equals 2563-1/3 roads (s. m.), from which the numbers given in the text may easily be calculated.)

The extent of Canaan from Beersheba, or Kadesh, up to a line running across from Rs esh-Shukah to the spring El Lebweh, is 3 1/3 degrees, i.e., fifty geographical miles, ten of which are occupied by the terumah, and forty remain for the twelve tribe-territories, so that each tribe-lot would be 3 1/3 geographical miles in breadth. If, now, we reckon three geographical miles as the breadth of each of the five tribe-lots to the south of the terumah, and as the land becomes broader toward the south a breadth of 3-4/7 geographical miles for the seven tribe-lots to the north, the terumah set apart in the centre of the land would extend from the site of Jerusalem to Dothan or Jenin. If, however, we take into consideration the breadth of the land from east to west in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem, or where the Jordan enters the Dead Sea, Canaan is eleven geographical miles in breadth, whereas at Jenin it is hardly ten geographical miles broad. If, therefore, the length of the terumah (from east to west) was fully ten geographical miles, there would only remain a piece of land of half a mile in breadth on the east and west at the southern boundary, and nothing at all at the northern, for prince's land. We have therefore given to the terumah upon the map (Plate IV) the length and breadth of eight geographical miles, which leaves a tract of two miles on the average for the prince's land, so that it would occupy a fifth of the area of the holy terumah, whereas the city possession covered a fourth. No doubt the breadth of the terumah from south to north is also diminished thereby, so that it cannot have reached quite down to Jerusalem or quite up to Jenin. - If, now, we consider that the distances of places, and therefore also the measurements of a land in length and breadth, are greater in reality than those given upon the map, on account partly of the mountains and valleys and partly of the windings of the roads, and, still further, that our calculations of the Hebrew cubit are not quite certain, and that even the smaller estimates of Thenius are possibly still too high, the measurements of the terumah given by Ezekiel correspond as exactly to the actual size of the land of Canaan as could be expected with a knowledge of its extent obtained not by trigonometrical measurement, but from a simple calculation of the length of the roads. - But this furnishes a confirmation by no means slight of our assumption, that the lengths and breadths indicated here are measured by rods and not by cubits. Reckoned by cubits, the terumah would be only a mile and a half or a mile and two-thirds in length and breadth, and the city possession would be only a third of a mile broad; whereas the prince's land would be more than six times as larg

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