Lange Commentary on the Holy Scriptures
BOOK OF JOSHUA
PASTOR IN CREFELD, PRUSSIA
TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN, WITH ADDITIONS
GEORGE R. BLISS, D.D.,
PROFESSOR IN THE UNIVERSITY OF LEWISBURG, LEWISBURG, PENN
VOLUME IV. OF THE OLD TESTAMENT: CONTAINING JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH.
PREFACE BY THE GENERAL EDITOR
THE BOOK OF JOSHUA relates the history of the conquest of Canaan under the lead of Joshua, the successor of Moses, the division of the conquered land among the tribes of Israel, and the provision for the settlement of the theocracy in that country. The Book of JUDGES continues the history of the theocracy from the death of Joshua to the time of Eli, under the administration of thirteen Judges, whom God raised up in special emergencies for the restoration of social order and deliverance from foreign oppression. It covers the transition period of about three hundred years from the theocratic republic to the theocratic monarchy. The Book of RUTH is a charming episode of domestic virtue and happiness, in striking contrast with the prevailing character of this period, when might was right, and “every one did that which was right in his own eyes.” It teaches the sure reward of filial devotion and trust in God, the proper use of the calamities of life, the overruling providence of God in the private affairs of an humble family as well as in the palaces of princes and the public events of nations. It also shows how God had children outside of Canaan and the Jewish theocracy. The incorporation of Ruth, the Moabitess, into the Church of the Old Testament, may be regarded as an intimation of the future call of the Gentiles to the gospel salvation. The story of Ruth is told with touching simplicity. Göthe (Westöstlicher Divan, p. 8) says: “It is the loveliest thing, in the shape of an epic or idyl, which has come to us.” Humboldt (Kosmos, ii. 46, Germ, ed.) calls it “a most artless and inexpressibly charming picture of nature.”
These three books are here brought together in one volume.
The Commentary on JOSHUA was prepared in German, 1870, by the Rev. F. R. FAY (Dr. Lange’s son-in-law), Pastor in Crefeld, Prussia, and in English by the Rev. GEORGE R. BLISS, D. D., Professor in Lewisburg University, Pennsylvania. Dr. Bliss writes: “My own impression concerning the author (Mr. Fay), derived from a close and protracted familiarity with his book, is highly favorable to his learning, his piety, his Christian catholicity and amiableness of spirit.” He has made a careful use of the most recent helps even in the English language touching the questions of geography and topography of the holy land, which occupy a very prominent position in a Commentary on Joshua. The Textual and Grammatical Notes are added by the American translator, who has also materially enriched the other departments, in accordance with the general plan of the American edition.
The Commentary on JUDGES and RUTH is by Professor PAULUS CASSEL, of Berlin, and appeared several years earlier (1865). The English edition was prepared by the Rev. P. H. STEENSTRA, Professor in the Protestant Episcopal Divinity School at Cambridge, Mass.
Professor Cassel is a converted Rabbi, one of the best Talmudic scholars of Germany, a man of genius and ardent Christian spirit. His commentary is very original, fresh, suggestive, abounding in historical examples and parallels, but sometimes very fanciful, especially in his philological efforts. Here the translator has very properly expressed his dissent from many of his views. Professor Steenstra has paid special attention to the textual department, and supplemented his author where he takes too much for granted. The grammatical notes on the Book of Ruth are quite full, because it is often read by students of Hebrew in Seminaries, owing to its simplicity and literary merit.
I conclude these introductory remarks with the closing sentences of Professor Cassel’s Preface:—
“It will not be considered my greatest fault that, as far as possible, I have avoided polemics, and have contented myself with positive exposition of the meaning as I understood it. I cannot help feeling that in many expositions there is less eagerness to explain the sacred text than to give battle to the views of other writers. The same principle has guided me in the Introduction, which on that account I could confine to brief outlines. A departure from this principle was deemed necessary in only a few passages.
“What shall I say more! Scripture says everywhere Tolle, lege! and such especially is the language of the Book of Judges and of Judgment now before us.
“Verily, the sacred canon here presents us with a book of history and historical art, such as our generation, prolific in writings on history, but nevertheless poor in historical feeling and perception, stands in pressing need of. Sic invenietur, sic aperietur.”
BIBLE HOUSE, NEW YORK, October, 1871
THE BOOK OF JOSHUA
§ 1. Name of the Book. Place in the Canon, Contents and Character in general
NAMED not from its author but from the distinguished hero whose history it relates, the Book of Joshua stands first in the canonical list of נְבִיאִים רִאשׁוֹנִים, the prophetœ priores, of the Old Testament. To these belong also the Book of Judges (שׁוֹכְּטִים), the two Books of Samuel (שְׁמוּאֵל), and the two Books of Kings (מְלָכִים). These writings are collectively so designated, primarily because, according to old Jewish tradition, they were composed by prophets, and in the second place, also, doubtless because they dwell largely, the Books of Samuel and of the Kings in particular, on the deeds of certain prophets. Still, both these reasons together do not of themselves explain the name. The Masoretes, rather, from whom all these designations and titles are derived, certainly had a feeling that the same spirit which swept through the prophets, strictly such, the נְבִיאַים אַחְרוֹנִים, and their writings, was traceable in these historical books also; that, accordingly, the history of the people of God had been written in this spirit, not as a profane but a sacred history. The guidance of that people by Jehovah, the God of Israel, as he is called in this book (24:2, 23), their relation and that of their leaders to their God, their fidelity or unfaithfulness, their conformity to his commandments or transgression of them, their worship of Jehovah or apostasy to idol-worship, are the proper themes of this holy historiography. These books of the first or prior prophets are not merely historical books, but, as De Wette in his Introduction to the O. T. has aptly styled them, theocratico-historical books, pervaded and filled with the same spirit of profound piety, noble moral courage, and holy reverence for the commands of Jehovah, which breathes through the “theocratically-inspired books” of the prophets properly so-called.1
This character shows also in the Book of Joshua, which, as on the one hand it introduces the נְבִיאִים רִישׁוֹנים, follows on the other the תּוֹרָח, the Pentateuch. While in former times, under the supposition that “the law” constituted an absolute literary whole, scarcely any attention was given to the all-pervading relationship between the Book of Joshua and the Pentateuch, modern criticism has the unquestionable merit, both of recognizing this position of our book in the O. T. Canon, and of instituting profound and highly instructive investigations concerning it. These Knobel, in particular, has in part thoroughly explained, and in part independently carried still further, in his Criticism of the Pentateuch and Joshua (Kurzgefasstes exeget. Handbuch zum Alten Testament, xiii. pp. 489–606). The results of the investigations concerning the Pentateuch and the Book of Joshua may be found in shorter compass in Bleek’s Introduction to the O. T. [translated into English by Venables, Lond. 1869], §§ 137,138, where they are summed up as the issue of minute and conscientious researches in §§ 59–136. Indeed, so many and so various are the points of mutual approach between Joshua and the Pentateuch, in respect both to language and to facts, as obviously to raise the suspicion that the two together originally formed one great work, from which our book was, only at a later period, perhaps in the time of Ezra (Bleek, § 140), separated. To set one’s self against this discovery because the “neological” or “modern” criticism has first brought it to light, is unworthy of believing Scriptural research.
In the closest connection with the last verse of Deuteronomy (34:5–12), our book relates first, how Jehovah commanded Joshua to arise and cross over the Jordan to take possession of the land which He had given to the children of Israel; and then declares further how Joshua communicated this order to the leaders of the people, and at the same time required of the two and a half tribes of the Reubenites, Gadites, and half of Manasseh, who had already received of Moses (Deut. 32; Josh. 13) their possession on the east side of the Jordan, that they should, according to the conditions fixed by Moses (Deut. 32:20), take part in the coming conquest of the land (Joshua 1). Next follows the account of the mission of the spies to Jericho, their reception by Rahab, their danger, deliverance, and flight (Joshua 2). After the return of the messengers the people pass over the Jordan, not without experiencing a proof of the divine assistance in that the passage of the river was accomplished dryshod, although the stream at that season, in the days of harvest, was unusually swollen with the water (Joshua 3, 4). In the fifth chapter we are informed of the circumcision at Gilgal and of the first passover-festival on the soil of Canaan, with which closes the First Section of the First Part of the book. The preparation for the holy war, of which the author furnishes us a report in that Part, is now finished. And Joshua himself, the leader of the people, has been strengthened and encouraged by a special manifestation from above (Joshua 5).
Now begins the narrative of the struggles between Israel and the Canaanites (6:1–11:23). In a flowing and vivid relation the author depicts, successively, the capture of Jericho, whose walls fall at the sound of the trumpets, the destruction of the city, the rescue of Rahab, the imprecation on the foundation and site (Joshua 6); then Achan’s crime, the unfortunate expedition to Ai, Joshua’s humble supplication before Jehovah, the discovery and punishment of the criminal (Joshua 7). Upon this follows the truly brilliant description, characterized by the greatest vividness of representation, of the conquest and destruction of Ai (Joshua 8:1–29). After this, however, the course of the hitherto well-ordered narrative of martial exploits, is interrupted by an account (Joshua 8:30–35) of the altar of blessing and curse on Mount Ebal, which appears, as we will show hereafter, to belong properly not to this place but rather after Joshua 11:23. For the conquest of the land is not yet finished; we hear, on the contrary (Joshua 9:1, 2), that five Canaanitish kings unite themselves in a formal league against the triumphantly invading Israelites. The burghers of Gibeon, having heard what Joshua has done to Jericho and Ai, take another course, that of cunning and stratagem, and completely attain their end. Supposing from their old garments, their ruptured wine-skins, their tattered shoes, and their musty bread, that they had come from a distant land, Joshua, without inquiring of Jehovah (Joshua 9:14), concludes a treaty with them by which their preservation is assured. The deception is afterwards discovered, but the promise nevertheless maintained, because it had been confirmed (Joshua 9:15) by a solemn oath which the princes of Israel felt themselves bound in conscience to keep. The Gibeonites are not destroyed, but as a punishment for their falsehood they are made wood-choppers and drawers of water for the congregation, and for the altar of Jehovah (Joshua 9:3–27).
But now the wrath of Adoni-zedek and his allies turns against the inhabitants of Gibeon, as apostates from the common cause who must be punished for their treachery (Joshua 10:1–5). In this strait the latter appeal to Joshua for help, which is promptly and heartily afforded. Specially cheered by Jehovah he advances, smites the five kings in the great battle of Gibeon, poetically celebrated (Joshua 10:12, 13) by an after-age, pursues them with their hosts over the pass of Beth-horon, down to Azekah and Makkedah, hangs them, when the pursuit is over on five trees, but at sundown causes their corpses to be taken down and cast into the cave at Makkedah, where they had been found concealed. This victory over the five kings was followed by the conquest of the whole southern portion of the land, west of the Jordan, and Joshua now returns to the camp at Gilgal on the Jordan. This seems to have remained the head-quarters of all these operations (Joshua 10). Thus the south of the country west of the Jordan—of Canaan proper (see on this designation § 6)—was subjugated. To the same fate must the north also submit. In vain, as before Adoni-zedek gathered the kings of the south, does Jabin king of Hazor now collect about him those of the north in a second compact against Joshua, for continuing the war of defense. Like sand by the sea for multitude, is the host which they bring into the field (Joshua 11:4); but with surprising rapidity they are reached by the able leader of Israel, at the water of Merom, where they are encamped,—reached, surprised, smitten, annihilated. For after this defeat also, Joshua fails not to pursue and to so strike the enemy, that he “left them not one remaining” (Joshua 11:8). Their horses were hamstrung, their chariots burnt with fire. The history of these events is more meagrely given than that of the capture of Jericho and Ai, and of the slaughter at Gibeon, but not less plainly and vividly (Joshua 11:1–9). After now reporting further (Joshua 11:10–15) how Joshua took the cities of the north, except those which stood upon hills, and slew their kings and people, while he gave their spoil as booty to his army, which had not been allowed at the taking of Jericho (Joshua 6:17; 7:1 ff), the author closes the chapter with a general review of the conquest of the whole land west of the Jordan. Here he recalls particularly the destruction of the Anakim in the mountain of Judah, as accomplished by Joshua (Joshua 11:16–23). With this closes the Second Section of the First Part, since Joshua 12. is to be regarded as a special section. It contains a complete list of the kings subdued under the leadership of Moses and Joshua, on both sides of the Jordan, thirty-one in number. Here the First Part of the book (Joshua 1–12.) is brought to a conclusion.
The Second Part (Joshua 13–24) describes the division of the conquered territory among the Israelites.
A considerable time, as would appear, has passed since the conquest of the land (13:1). Joshua has become old; there remains also, very much to be occupied, partly in the southwest “where the territory of the Philistine kingdoms was,” and partly in the north, “the country on Lebanon;” yet must Joshua now undertake the distribution of the land (Joshua 13:1–7) among the nine and a half tribes. The mention made of the one half of the tribe of Manasseh leads the author to look back over the district already allotted to the two and a half tribes east of the Jordan (Joshua 13:8–33), where the remark is repeatedly brought in that Joshua gave no possession to the tribe of Levi, because the sacrifices of Jehovah, nay, Jehovah himself was their possession (Joshua 13:14, 33). In the following chapter (Joshua 14) the writer begins his account of the division of the land (Joshua 14:1–5). This is not resumed until Joshua 15:1 ff., so that the narrative concerning Caleb’s demand for a possession, which is repeated in another form Joshua 15:13–19 (comp. Judg. 1:12–15), shows itself plainly an intrusive fragment. For clearness of arrangement, we may, with Bunsen, conveniently make these two chapters the First Section of the Second Part, and then group Joshua 15–21 as the second.
These seven chapters contain—with the exception of Joshua 15:13–19, 17:13–18, 18:1–20, 20:1–6
Very dry, but, for the knowledge of the holy land, extremely valuable, notices, which are often surprisingly accurate. In a few places only, particularly 16:5 ff. and 19:34, is the sense obscure and hard to determine, as will appear in the discussion of those passages. A degree of difficulty characterizes Joshua 16:1, also, as has been noticed particularly by Hauff (Offenbarungsglaube und Kritik, p. 139 ff.), and especially Joshua 17:1, where “a mass of explanatory phrases” is found, while the intervening narratives (Joshua 15:13–19, 17:14–18) are distinguished by the same beauty of delineation which we have already often met in the first part of the book. How vividly is the transaction between Caleb and his daughter given, how freshly and succinctly that between Joshua and the exacting sons of Joseph, his fellow tribesmen!
The third and last section comprises Joshua 22–24 Here the release of the two and a half tribes from beyond the Jordan, who could now be sent home, after the conquest and allotment of the country, is announced, and then reported in detail; and how they raised an altar on the west bank of the Jordan, the building of which excited the ill-humor of the other Israelites. This was allayed, however, when the commission sent out under Phinehas brought back a satisfactory explanation (Joshua 22). Next follow the farewell discourses of Joshua, the first delivered probably at Shiloh, the second at Shechem (Joshua 24:1). Old and full of days (Joshua 23:1), feeling that he too must go the way of all the earth, the brave, disinterested, pious follower of Moses, takes leave of his people, admonishes them to fidelity towards Jehovah, warns them against apostasy and idolatry, and finally lays them under the obligation of a solemn renewal of the covenant (Joshua 24:25). To commemorate this a monument of stones is erected (Joshua 24:26, 27). One hundred and ten years old, the precise age of his ancestor Joseph (Gen. 50:22), Joshua dies and is buried at Timnath-serah, in his own city (Joshua 24:29, 30). While he and the elders live, Israel serves Jehovah (Joshua 24:31). But Eleazar, also the faithful helper of Joshua, the son of Aaron, the high-priest of Israel, dies and is buried at Gibeah-phinehas, in the city of his son, who as being distinguished by a holy zeal for the true worship of God, was exceptionally provided with a possession of his own (Joshua 24:33). A notice concerning the bones of Joseph is inserted between these reports of the decease of Joshua and Eleazar.
If now we look back and bring up to ourselves once more the total impression which the Book of Joshua makes, it may be said with reason that the account of the historical events is given on the whole, in a well-ordered succession, and the connection but seldom broken; and further, that the notices concerning the division of the land are characterized in general by remarkable clearness and accuracy. This is especially evident when one compares the corresponding section of Josephus (Ant. v. 1, 22). At the same time it need not be overlooked that, as manifest interpolations attest (Joshua 8:30–35, 10:12–15, 14:6–15, 15:13–19, 17:13–18), we have before us here, as little as in the Pentateuch, an original work emanating from one author; but rather a literary product, which, although finally revised with a view to unity of representation, bears plainly on its face the marks of its origin. The book itself cites (Joshua 10:13) one of its documentary sources; and if one why may not a number of them have existed, although they are not directly quoted?
OBSERVATION. The Samaritan Book of Joshua, called also, Chronicon Samaritanum, of which an Arabic translation in Samaritan characters exists in the Leyden Library (printed under the title: Chronicon Samaritanum, Ed. Joh. Juynboll, Lugd. Bat. 1848), is pronounced by De Wette, Hengstenberg, and Ewald, all agreeing on this point, a revision of our Book of Joshua, with an addition of Samaritan fables, and dating from late in the Middle Ages. See De Wette, Introd. to the O. T. § 171. Hengstenberg, Authenticity of the Pentateuch, i. 5, Ewald, Geschichte d. Volks Israel, ii. p. 349, 350; iv. p. 247, 249. [“A splendid legend” from this work is communicated by Stanley, Hist. of Jew. Ch. i. p. 245. f.—TR.].
§ 2. Origin
I. Memorandum of Views held by leading Authorities
According to the Talmud (Tr. Baba bathra, fol. 14, 2, “Joshua scripsit librum suum et octo versus in lege”), Joshua was the author of the book which bears his name, Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the high-priest, then added the conclusion (Joshua 24:29–32), but the last verse of all (Joshua 24:33) was appended by Phinehas (Baba bathra, 15 a, 15 b; in Fürst, Kanon des Alten Testaments nach den Ueberlieferungen in Talmud und Midrasch, Leipzig, 1868, p. 10). Various older theologians, among them Starke, appealing to Joshua 24:26, shared this view. “If,” says Starke, “he himself wrote the covenant made with the people, why not also the preliminary, and in part very important and necessary, records?” The same argument is employed also by L. König (Alttest. Studien, i. Heft: Authentie des Buches Josua, 1836, p. 127), as well as Baumgarten (Herzog’s Real-Encyclop. vii. 40, 42), to sustain Joshua’s authorship; against which Keil (Commentary on the Book of Joshua, p. 40. [Martin’s Transl. p. 39]), remarks how precisely the fact that the writing in the law-book is limited to the renewal of the covenant at Shechem proves that the remaining contents of the Book of Joshua were not recorded therein. Hävernick (Einleitung in d. A. T. ii. 1, pp. 26, 62), resting on the Kethib in Joshua 5:1, 6 (עָבְרֵנוּ), combined with the notice in Joshua 24:26, ascribes the entire first part and the two last chapters to Joshua, while he refers chs. 13–22, after the example of Bertholdt (p. 857), to the chorographical descriptions spoken of in Joshua 18:1–10. Gerlach (Bibelwerk, ii. p. 6) supposes it probable that, after the example of Moses, Joshua himself or one of his immediate attendants, under his direction, wrote down the history of the conquest, and thereupon of the division of the land, so important in its future bearings, and exhibiting traces of very high antiquity. These he thinks were composed in separate sections which then some editor finished out with the account of the renewed covenant. Keil (ut sup. p. 46. [Eng. Transl. p. 46]; Biblisch. Com. über d. A. T., ii. 1, pp. 5, 6) denies the authorship of Joshua altogether, not so much on account of the oft-recurring phrase (previously urged by Spinoza and others), עַד הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה (Joshua 4:9; 5:9; 6:25; 7:26 (bis); 8:28, 29; 9:27; 13:13; 14:14; 15:63; 16:10), as because the book gives account of occurrences belonging to the period after Joshua’s death. That phrase he thinks by no means supposes the lapse of centuries, but is employed rather, according to its quite relative signification, of things only a few years past, although he fails to furnish any proof of this.2 Of the class of later occurrences he reckons, above all, the narrative of the capture of Hebron by Caleb, of Debir by Othniel (Joshua 15:13–19), and of Leshem by the Danites (Joshua 19:47), as well as the statement in Joshua 15:63 resting on Judges 1:8. But since these wars and conquests might have occurred not long after Joshua’s death; since moreover the book contains definite proofs that it was composed not after but probably before the establishment of monarchy in Israel (Joshua 16:10: the Canaanites in Gezer, comp. 1 K. 9:16; the Jebusites yet in Jerusalem, Joshua 15:63, comp. 2 Sam. 5:3, 6–9; a place for the temple not yet determined, 9:27, comp. 2 Sam. 24:18 ff.; 1 Chron. 21:26 ff.; the Gibeonites still wood-choppers and water-carriers, 9:27, comp. 2 Sam. 21:1 ff.); since, finally, the book nowhere shows traces either in its style or contents, of later times and relations, but in language as well as in views of things connects itself closely with the Pentateuch (of which Joshua 13:4–6; 11:8; 19:28, are cited as examples3), it becomes highly probable that it was composed not more than twenty-five or thirty years after the death of Joshua, perhaps by one of the elders who had crossed the Jordan with Joshua, taken part in the conquest of Canaan (Joshua 5:1, 6), and lived some time after Joshua (Joshua 24:31; Judg. 2:7). Com. on Joshua, p. 47, ; Bib. Com. 2:1, p. 7.
So Keil, who, as is obvious, has given up the old, traditional view of the authorship of Joshua, while yet he maintains the unity of the book and its high antiquity. This latter point was disputed already by Andreas Masius, by Spinoza and Clericus, who placed the composition of the book in the time after the exile, in which they have been followed by Hasse, Maurer, and De Wette. And in proportion as the Pentateuch, since the middle of the preceding century, has been subjected to sharper scrutiny touching its unity, our book has shared the same treatment. The different hypotheses of modern criticism enumerated by Lange (Com. on Holy Script. Introd. to Genesis, §§ 3, 7), the Documentary as well as the Fragmentary, the Supplementary, as well as the peculiar theory of Ewald, called by Delitzsch the Crystallization hypothesis, to which quite recently Fürst inclines (Gesch. d. Bib. Lit., u. des Judisch-hellenist. Schriftthum, i. pp. 362, 404 ff., 442 ff.; to be compared with Diestel’s Review, in the Jahrbüchern für Deutschen Theologie, xiv. 2, pp. 338–342), have all been attempted with reference to the book of Joshua as well as to the Pentateuch. Not unsuccessfully the Supplementary hypothesis, in reference to Joshua in particular, has found defenders in Bleek, Knobel, and very recently in Nöldeke.
According to Bleek (Introd. to the O. T. § 137) there were for a considerable time writings extant concerning the events of the period between the death of Moses and that of Joshua, as in particular concerning the division of the land among the several tribes; precisely as in the time of Moses himself, and in part from his own hand, there were written laws, songs, census-rolls, and the catalogue of the nations. But a connected history of the fortunes of the people, either in the Mosaic period or in that of Joshua, had not then been composed. Both were produced simultaneously at a later time, and in all probability, in the age of Saul, at which time the work of the so-called Elohist arose. This work treated only of the main epochs in the history, those of special importance to a knowledge of the relation between God and man, and of God’s providences. Such were the creation, the deluge, the choice of Abraham and God’s convenant with him, the history of Jacob and Joseph, then that of Moses and Joshua, while the intervening periods were only summarily touched upon, in short genealogical lists which served to join together two Epochs and the representative personages belonging to them. The greater part of our Book of Joshua was contained in this oldest history. Probably in the age of David, and not in the very last part of his reign, this work was enlarged and rewrought by a later hand. The older writing remains the foundation; but it was in part increased by many new additions, which the writer either found already extant like the former, or himself first wrote down from previous oral traditions; and in part the earlier written relations were modified by additions and changes, by abbreviations also and omissions where this Jehovist availed himself of a different source of information concerning the same circumstances and events. It differed from the previous work conspicuously in this, that the author names God Jehovah, from the very beginning, whereas the Elohist had refrained from that designation before the time of Moses. By this revision the earlier work gained some not unessential additions, but lost not a little in literary unity. It embraced (a) the first four books of the Pentateuch, essentially of the entire compass in which we have them, but with trifling exceptions, particularly Lev. 26:3–45; (b) the report of the death of Moses (Deut. 34:1–8), taken from the Elohistic writing; (c) our Book of Joshua in the form in which the author of Deuteronomy found it. For the last revision of the work was effected by the author of Deuteronomy, at whose hand the whole received the form and compass in which it lies before us in our Pentateuch and Book of Joshua. The author of this revision probably took the above work (that of the Jehovist) entire, as he found it, allowing himself only here and there particular changes and additions, especially in the history of the time of Joshua. The principal alteration however, consisted in the expansion of the writing by the reception of Deuteronomy itself (Joshua 1–33 It is possible that he had other written authorities besides the Book of the Jehovist, but nothing definite can be made out on this point. As the date of the composition of Deuteronomy and the last revision of the whole work, the reign of Manasseh, King of Judah, in the first half of the seventh century before Christ, may most probably be assumed, and at all events a time not later than the eighteenth year of Josiah (624 B. C.). Comp. 2 K. 23:21, w. Deut. 16.
According to Knobel (Kritik des Pentateuch und Josua, p. 496 ff.), there lies at the bottom of the Pentateuch and Joshua, an old work (Elohim, document, Elohist, Ground-text), which relates the history from the creation to the division of the land of Canaan, which is distinguished by definiteness of plan and by consecutiveness, and may be easily followed from Gen. 1 to Joshua 22. The composition of this work falls in the time of Saul (p. 523). The author was beyond question an Aaronide or priest. This we learn from the deep interest which he takes in sacred persons and usages, and his accurate acquaintance with those matters, the tabernacle, for instance, and its furniture, which a layman would not have known so well about. He lived therefore in the southern part of the country, where the Aaronides had their residence (p. 523). From this ground-text (as Knobel almost everywhere calls it) the other parts of the Pentateuch deviate widely in matter and style, the proof of which is given with great care and to the minutest detail (pp. 524–532), but they altogether lack unity. There are indeed non-Elohistic sections, as in our book chaps, 2–4 which, overlooking minor points, have been plainly made up of two different elements. The same two elements may then each for itself be further clearly recognized in particular sections, the one e. g. in Josh. Joshua 24, the other in Joshua 6–12. They appear again blended with Elohistic sections, either one or the other or both together, as in Josh. 15, 17, 18. The old ground-text has therefore received additions from two other documents. These two documents are mentioned by name Num. 21:14; Josh 10:13. The one is the Law-book, the other the War-book. According to its name (סֵפֶר הָיָּשָׁר, book of the right, i. e. right-book, law-book, to be interpreted after עשָׂה הַיָּשָׁר בְעֵינֵי יְהוָֹה, “to do what is right in Jehovah’s eyes,” i. e. to follow the divine law,—a phrase common in the historical books to designate conformity with the law, 1 K. 11:33, 38; 14:8; 15:5, 11, etc. (?)), the former contained laws, according to Josh. 10 historical reports also, and according to 2 Sam. 1:18, poems, which all suits with the first document of the Jehovist.
In this book, however, which originated in the Northern kingdom (p. 544), in the Assyrian period (p. 546), there was an older סֵפֶר הַיָּשָׁר inwrought which is designated, Joshua 24:26, סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה אֶלהֹים. This older Sepher Jaschar contained already most of the laws of the law-book employed by the Jehovist, especially the Mosaic Decalogue (Ex. 20), probably also the blessing of Moses (Deut. 33), of the time of Saul, David’s lament over Saul (2 Sam. 1) and the hymn of triumph (Ex. 15), which dates only from the time of Solomon. Lower than Solomon we need not bring it. In Jeroboam’s time it seems to have been already known (p. 547). Where this older law-book was composed Knobel does not say; probably also in the northern kingdom.
The second document of the Jehovist, the War-book (ס׳ מִלְחֲמוֹת יי, Num. 21:14, “book of the wars of Jehovah,” i. e. the wars of Israel with the heathen, p. 559), contained a great number of warlike narratives, more in fact than all the others together (p. 559), and appears to have originated in the southern country (p. 560), as it agrees very nearly in matter and style with the ground-text, and in the time of Jehoshaphat († 889). The author, from his interest in religious legislation, was probably a Levite (p. 560).
The Jehovist’s course of procedure now was the following. He laid his foundation in the Elohim-text, which is, accordingly, preserved tolerably complete; then took his supplementary matter chiefly from his two documents, more out of the law-book, less out of the war-book, since the former offered more that was peculiar, the latter only that, in many places, which lay already in the ground text. To all the three documents he adheres, as far as possible, word for word, whether he extracts from them great or small. The texts have for him a certain inviolability, and he is guided in this by the consciousness that he has before him and is editing venerable works of Mosaic authority. He is concerned to harmonize the various reports, and effects this often in a truly ingenious manner; witness Gen. 21:25 ff., 26:19 ff. comp. w. 26:15, 18; Gen. 35:3, 7, 35:4 ff., 14 ff.; 33:1–8 comp. w. 32:21; 33:13, etc. In many cases, however, he saw the irreconcilableness of his authorities and proceeded mechanically to combine the different and contradictory materials, leaving it for the reader himself to bring them into connection and harmony. His primary endeavor was to preserve the contents of the older writer, when they appeared to him important, and, as far as possible, just as he found them. Hence even what was divergent also might, as being something independent, seem to him worthy of preservation; in proof of which Knobel adduces Josh. 8:12, 13. The mechanical nature of his process appears from the retention of remarks which in the originals stood quite correctly, but in the combination of sources should have been omitted, as in Josh. 10:15. Frequently, however, in his supplementary additions, he allowed himself considerable freedom, transposing particulars, retrenching incompatible designations of time, but especially interweaving little additions into the reports of his predecessors, where they appeared to him appropriate, and especially where necessary to harmonize differences. The introduction of a historical sentence into the discourse of God, Josh. 13:1, likewise exhibits this freedom. On the whole, the author shows great tact, since he often applies with real aptness his additions to the statements of his predecessors (e.g. Gen. 12, 13, 16, 32, 39). On the other hand, the signs of the compilatory process are indeed plain and numerous enough (pp. 573–578). He cannot have lived before the Assyrian period, because he has the law-book and war-book before him (p. 570). Since, moreover, the law-book, especially, comes down (p. 546) to Hezekiah, the last years of this king are about the earliest date to which the Jehovist can be assigned. He probably sprang from the kingdom of Israel. For he has a fondness for the law-book, and cleaves very closely to that in the contents and mode of expression; is not offended by the plurality of sacred places; gives the account (Gen.32:24 ff.) of God’s wrestling with Jacob, which no one else but Hosea (12:4 f.) mentions; and finally he uses many expressions which occur elsewhere only in writings of the northern kingdom, and separately in those of later date, e.g. the שׁ præf. Gen. 6:34; שָׂרָה, “to wrestle,” Gen. 32:29 [Eng. 28] as also in Hosea 12:4; דַּרדַּר, “thistle,” Gen. 3:18, as also in Hos. 10:8; הֵרוֹן “pregnancy,” as also Hos. 9:11, etc. (p. 579). As modified now by this Jehovist the Elohistic-Jehovistic Work is preserved from Gen. 1 to Num. 36 (p. 497).
Into that work still another writer (pp. 589, 590), the Deuteronomist, has at a later period inserted his discourses, repetitions, and laws, and among them wrought in a number of explanations, also several accounts of events which the Jehovist had taken from the law-book and appended to Num. 36. He did not meddle with the first four books, but rewrought that merely which followed Num. 36. by giving to it its present great expansion, and furnishing it besides with special additions. He is the last elaborator of the law. His statement Deut. 31:9, belongs to the imprudent expressions which we often meet with in him [!]
His hand, however, is to be traced after Deut. 34 also, in places, as far as to Josh. 24, but not at all, on the contrary, in the later books of Judges, Ruth, and Samuel (pp. 487, 579), His language affords the chief proof of the age to which he belonged (p. 591). It is closely related to that of Jeremiah, and other late writers; for which evidence is adduced (p. 591). But we have no sufficient reasons for bringing the author down into the age following the exile. At that time certainly they no longer allowed themselves to deal so freely with the law-book, and increase it with new laws, as this author does. He must have lived in the last days of the kingdom of Judah, perhaps under Josiah, and appears to have been a man of importance, or he would not have made so bold as to take considerable liberties with the book of the law (p. 591).
At the close of Knobel’s critique upon the Pentateuch and Joshua he has given in tabular form a synopsis, in accordance with the foregoing view, of the several ingredients of the Pentateuch and Joshua (pp. 600–606), which we here append, for the better comprehension of his theory:—
i. 1. 2, 10–16.
1:3–9, 17, 18.
iii. 1, 7–17.
iv. 15–17, 19.
iv. 1a, 4–7, 14, 18, 20–24.
iv. 1 b–3, 8–13.
v. 1–9, 13–15.
vi. 1–17a, 18–21, 24, 26, 27.
vi. 17b, 22, 23, 25.
vii. except ver. 25 in pt.
7:25 in part.
viii. 12, 13, 30, 31 in pt. 33 in pt., 34 in pt., 35.
viii. 1–11, 14–29.
8:31 in pt., 32, 33 34 in part.
ix. exc. ver. 27 in pt. x. 1–11, 16–43.
9:27 in part.
x. 12–15, exc. ver. 13 in part.
x. 13 in part.
xiii. 2–5, 6 in pt. 9–14.
xiii. 1, 7, 8.
13:6 in part.
xv. 1–13, 20–44, 48–62.
xv. 45–47, 63.
xviii. 1, 2, 11–28.
xix. exc. ver. 47.
xx. 1, 2, 3 in part, 4, 5a. 6 in part 7–9.
20:3 in pt., 5 b, 6 in part.
xxii. 9–11, 13–15, 21, 30–33a.
xxii. 7, 8.
xxii. 1–4, 6, 12, 16–20, 22–29, 33b, 34.
xxiii. 1 b. 2 b.
[16. 23:2 in pt. 4–8 11,
xxiv. exc. ver. 1, in part.
xxiii. 1 a, 2 in pt. 3, 9, 10, 12–15.
24:1 in part.
Nöldeke (Alttest. Literatur, p. 25 ff.) pronounces the separation of two chief sources in Genesis and the following books, among which he also includes the Book of Joshua, as the first result of critical investigation. One of these sources is a single and homogeneous writing (p. 26), showing throughout the same systematic proportion, and regularity (!) as the first chapter of Genesis. It gives for the most part only short, outline statements, with little of pictorial filling up, but shows a certain heaviness and verbosity of style, and a special fondness for reciting names and for numbers. Very recently, in his Researches toward the Criticism of the O. T. (Untersuchungen zur Kritik d. A. T., Kiel, 1869), Nöldeke has still more closely examined this ground-text and, like Knobel, traced it also in the Book of Joshua. The other source is not so homogeneous. In it again two main writings are distinguishable (O. T. Lit. p. 26), one of which is the work of the second Elohist, first clearly brought to view, throughout Genesis at least, by Hupfeld, while the other has the Jehovist for its author (O. T. Lit. p. 26, Researches, p. 3). This Jehovist, the most talented of all the writers of the Pentateuch (Res. p. 3), has used the work of the second Elohist as a main authority, and taken from it large portions in so independent a way that what is due to the Jehovist himself is not always clearly to be separated (as Hupfeld and also Knobel assume) from what he has borrowed of the Elohist (Res. p. 3). A redactor, different in Nöldeke’s view from the Jehovist (Res. p. 3), combined now this work of the Jehovist with the ground-text. But the Deuteronomist, who is to be distinguished again from the Jehovist, thrust into the work of the redactor almost the whole of the present book of Deuteronomy, and completely rewrought the portions relating to Joshua (Res. p. 5, O. T. Lit., 27, 30). The time of writing, Nöldeke defines in the works quoted (O. T. Lit. p. 31 ff., Researches p. 138 ff.), so as to place Deuteronomy in the reign of Josiah, the redactor about the year 800 or soon after, the ground-text,—whose author was a priest at Jerusalem,—in the 10th or rather the 9th century before Christ. About this last period also originated, he thinks, the older materials of the Pentateuch generally (O. T. Lit. p. 32, Res. p. 140). Among these older materials Nöldeke counts the two ground-texts which were combined in the work of the Jehovist. But there are besides in the Pentateuch still older sources, which also must be borne in mind, because all these writings refer to them and occasionally make use of their words (O. T. Lit. p. 32). Thus we have some fragments of ancient songs, for one of which “the book of the wars of Jehovah” is cited as a source (Num. 21:14). In Josh. 10:13 likewise “the book of the upright” is quoted, in which, according to 2 Sam. 1:18, stood a song of David, which5 therefore could not have been written, at the earliest, before the time of this monarch.
The traces of the ground-text have been followed by Nöldeke, in his investigations, both in the Pentateuch and in the Book of Joshua, with much acuteness. In our book their discovery is, in his view, rendered specially difficult by the subsequent modifications effected by the Deuteronomist (Researches, pp. 94, 95). He finds that text in the following passages: Joshua 3:1, 4: 19, 5:10–12, 6:20, 24 (?), 9:15 b, 17–22, 27, 10:28–43 essentially; Joshua 11 (only accordances with the ground-text); Joshua 12 originally belonging to it but interpolated; 13:15–21:40, substantially throughout; Joshua 22 (has a report from the ground-text for its basis); 24:33. (Researches, pp. 94–106, where the details which we cannot here repeat may be found.)
II. Estimates of these Views
Our former assertion that the supplement-hypothesis had not unsuccessfully tested itself on the Pentateuch and Book of Joshua, is sufficiently sustained by this representation of the researches of the critics we have named. For they agree among themselves and with still others, as e. g. Hupfeld, (1) in the assumption of a common ground writing (Elohim-text) for the Pentateuch and Joshua, whose date is fixed in the earliest period of the Hebrew monarchy, the author of which is designated as a priest, dwelling in the southern part of Palestine; (2) in the further assumption that the last redaction of the Pentateuch and Joshua took place in the time of Josiah, or, at the earliest, under Manasseh (Bleek), by the hand of the Deuteronomist, who at the same time incorporated into it his own work (Deut. 1–33), itself also resting in part on old reports, and that he worked over the Book of Joshua more than either of the others, which he left comparatively untouched; (3) in the assumption in general of a great Jehovistic element, on the composition of which, however, in particulars, their opinions differ. Bleek is the most cautious, avoiding definite discriminations and rejections. Knobel and Nöldeke, after the example of Hupfeld, and in part that of Ewald, are bolder, and suppose they recognize within this Jehovistic composition the two main writings, which Knobel (very unfortunately imitating Ewald’s passion for giving names to the particular documents) designates as Law-book and War-book. We may freely allow that, as the first part of Joshua at once shows, such different portions of the great Jehovistic element may be pointed out; but that the סֵפֶר הָיָּשָׁר cited Josh. 10:13, 1 Sam. 1:18, was one of the authorities of the Jehovist, and the ס׳ מִלִחֲמוֹת יי, Num. 21:14, was the other, is certainly a mistake. The two books are to be regarded rather, with De Wette, Bleek, Fürst, Nöldeke, Hitzig (Geschichte des Volkes Israel, p. 102), [Keil,] and many others, as lyrical books, and יָשָׁר like the plural form יְשָׁרִים (Num. 23:10, Ps. 111:1), as a poetical designation of Israel, properly “the pious congregation,” and so precisely like the poetical יְשֻׁרוּן which comes from a ground-form יָשָׁר = יָשׁוֹר comp. קָטֹן and קָטָן. (See Fürst, Geschichte der Bibl. Literat. p. 457, Anmerk. 3.) They were ancient sources to which Nöldeke, among many others, quite distinctly points, poetical sources, and neither law nor war books. Although Knobel, therefore, may be perhaps essentially right in distinguishing two chief writings or documents of the Jehovist, the designation which he gives them, and the resulting identification of them with the poetical productions mentioned, we must oppose. And so far as we know, he has in this found no followers hitherto. How these two chief writings were related to each other, whether each existed independently by the side of the other (Hupfeld, Knobel), or whether the Jehovist, as Nöldeke supposes, directly compounded his work and that of the second Elohist (the law-book of Knobel); whether this Jehovist was the same as the redactor (Bleek, Knobel), or the redactor was different from the Jehovist (Nöldeke), those are mere questions which yet await a conclusive answer, and will perhaps never find one completely satisfactory.6
As for our own view, we cannot, especially after the example of Bleek, avoid giving in our adherence to the supplement-hypothesis. Yet it seems to us too rash, to undertake as Knobel does, to point out even to minutiæ, now this and now that author’s hand. Nöldeke’s procedure is already much more cautious, most moderate that of Bleek, who contents himself with intimations. Neither do we venture more, when we express the opinion that in the first part of the Book of Joshua, as also again in the last three chapters, the Jehovistic character prevails; that within this Jehovistic portion different elements may be distinguished, as was already indicated in § 1, and as the exegesis will show in the particular cases; that in the second part, on the contrary, as specially in the description of the division of the land, the ground-text prevails, itself resting again on other records, perhaps even of Joshua’s time; that finally, and particularly in Joshua 1 and 23, perhaps also elsewhere (Joshua 7:25, 8:31, etc.), the hand of the Deuteronomist is plainly to be recognized. That this Deuteronomist was author of Deut. 1–33, appears to us to be a fact which cannot longer be successfully denied. It may doubtless be questioned, however, whether admonitions, warnings, and particularly also prophecies of Moses did not survive in oral traditions, or in separate records, which in the time of Manasseh and Josiah, were revised and edited, as we might say, in a free, very beautiful, and edifying manner, and that too without any, the slightest pious fraud, but in good faith, and the fullest persuasion of the perfect justifiableness of such a literary attempt. In reference to Moses himself, we hold firmly with Bleek against Knobel (Kritik, p. 592), that written records from his hand are very probably to be recognized. We maintain the same in regard to Joshua, and cannot therefore allow that Joshua 24:26 is a fiction.7
§ 3. Credibility
The history of the conquest of the land of Canaan, as related in our book, has given great offense to the heathen opponents of Judaism and Christianity, at first, to the Manichæans, afterwards, and, in more recent times, to the English deists, and the rationalists of Germany; see the proofs in Lilienthal: Die gute Sache der göttlichen Offenbarung, Th. iv. p. 891 ff. Eichhorn, among many others, in his Introduction, p. 403 (in Keil’s Commentary on Joshua, p. liii. [Eng. Trans, p. 52]) speaks very strongly, exclaiming with high moral indignation: “How impious is the narrative of the Book of Joshua! It makes God not only give away to the Israelites, against all right, the land of Canaan, which the Canaanites as the first occupants most justly held, but also sketch out a horrid plan for its conquest, and directly order the most dreadful bloodshed and the total extinction of the Canaanites. Who can reconcile this with even a partially correct view of the Godhead?” Eichhorn objected not only to this procedure against the Canaanites, as recorded in our book, but particularly also to the miracles, whose reality he, like Paulus, disputed, and which he then attempted to explain in the well-known ways. The substance of the book, it is true, he thought could not have been fabricated; the events were stamped with the unmistakable seal of antiquity (iii. 399 ff. in Hävernick, Einl. in d. A. T. ii. 1, p. 3), but we must carefully distinguish between the view of the author which is conceived as narrowly as possible, and the history contained in the book. De Wette went still further when he declared that, “as in the Pentateuch, the narrative is, in its prevailing character, mythical” (Introd. to O. T. § 166). Afterward he added, following Maurer, “but there are also individual instances of real history, as Joshua 1:11, comp. 5:12; 3:4, comp. 5:15 ff.” (Introd. to O. T. p. 214, 4 [Germ.] ed.).
Applying a sharper criticism, yet from a position of belief in revelation, G. A. Hauff has discussed the question of credibility, or historical truth, in the Treatise: “Offenbarungsglaube und Kritik der biblischen Geschichtsbücher am Beispiele des Buches Josua in ihrer nothwendigen Einheit dargethan (Belief in Revelation and Criticism of the Historical Books of the Bible exhibited in their necessary Unity, in the Case of the Book of Joshua), Stuttgart, 1843.’ Having in the first part of his work sharply defined the process of Biblical criticism, as such that the style and mode of representation, the person of the writer, the use of authorities, the time of the composition, plan, and design, and especially also the credibility of the historian must lie open to free investigation, in which however the religious element of this history is to be constantly kept in mind (p. 65 ff.), he proceeds to apply these principles to the Book of Joshua, and finds memorable contradictions in its statements: (a) to the statements of other books; (b) among themselves. The former class relate to the unity of the people, the conquest and division of the land, the religious institutions, the religious character of the people, the mode of divine worship; the latter principally to the conquest of the land, the conquering personages, the division of the land, the genius and character of Joshua and of the people, the divine worship. While, for instance, as Hauff proceeds, p. 70 ff., the Book of Joshua reports to us that the whole people, without exception, stood under the command of Joshua (Joshua 1:2; 3:1), that the whole land, excepting the coast-strip and Geshur on Hermon (13:1–3), was captured by Joshua, and distributed, this account of the leadership of Joshua over the whole people cannot easily be reconciled with the question raised in the very first verse of the Book of Judges (p. 76). The situation in which they there stand indicates that the whole land has by no means yet been taken; and, in reference to the division of the whole land, the notice in Judg. 18:1 squarely contradicts the data of our book. Now as regards this notice compared with Josh. 19:40–46, the explanation will be found in the commentary on that passage; but in reference to the other two supposed contradictions between Judges and Joshua, we think that question, who should lead the war against the Canaanites, after the death of an all-controlling personage, like Joshua, is easily explainable, the more so, as he had died without designating a successor in the office, as Moses had once done. It not only proves nothing against his single leadership, but shows on the contrary, how greatly they needed such a “duke” as Joshua had been.
No more can we allow any formal contradiction between Joshua and Judges in respect to their views of the conquest of the land. According to Hauff (and in this others, e. g. Nöldeke, have followed him), this discrepancy exists also within the Book of Joshua itself (p. 111 ff.), if the accounts of the first part are compared with those of the second. Here, however, Ewald appears to us to have hit the truth (Hist. of the People of Israel, ii. p. 342, 2d ed.) when he assumes that Joshua incontestably, in the first years of his invasion of Canaan, subjugated the land on all sides and received the submission of the entire body of the Canaanites, as many as were spared: when he declares further that on closer consideration no doubt is left that even then, after the first victory over Canaan, much of really permanent importance had been accomplished (of which character he reckons the division of the land, the establishment of the tabernacle in Shiloh, the institution of different religious usages and ordinances pertaining to the cultus, particularly the appointment of the Levitical cities, pp. 337, 341); when he shows finally—and this is of principal moment here,—how, out of this new condition of things itself, there must directly arise new dangers (p. 342). For, although the conquest had been effected with great rapidity (p. 336), the first expeditions of the Hebrews could be little more than what the Arabs in all the three quarters of the globe called Alghāren, or rather (since the Hebrews had no cavalry,) razzias, swift forays, that is, for momentary conquest rather than for the permanent subjugation of the land; and when the camp, whether of many united or of single tribes, was at a distance, then certainly after the raids had passed by, the dense columns of the inhabitants would soon gather again, having promised submission, indeed, but for the most part without any thought of rendering it (p. 342). With great propriety Ewald then reminds us further how long it was before the Saxons in England, the Mohammedan Arabs in Egypt, were entirely established. In this view of the case we cannot, although fully recognizing the different documents which lie at the bottom of our book, in this respect either, affirm any proper contradiction between it and the Book of Judges, or, within the Book of Joshua, between its first and second parts.
In regard to the religious institutions, Hauff considers the difficulties to be still more important (p. 84). Shechem, made a free and Levitical city (Josh. 20:7; 31:21), appears in Judges Joshua 9. as a common city provided with idolatrous worship (ver. 4, 46), in which, therefore, a Levite in the sense of the Mosaic law cannot possibly be imagined. But could not idolatry, in an age of disorder like that of the Judges, when idolatry broke in every where, invade Shechem also? Again, is it anything contrary to the historical accuracy of the account given in Josh. 21. of the assignment of the Levitical cities, and to the high legal respect which, as we learn from Josh. 8 and 22 priests and Levites enjoyed, that at the same period, according to Judg. 17:7, 19:1, “a Levite from Bethlehem-Judah wanders about homeless?” We need only consider that the excellent system established must be gradually carried into effect, and that for this the time following Joshua was not especially suited.
When in regard to the religious condition of the people in general, we are told that it was excellent under Joshua, but afterwards (Judg. 3:7) was such that idolatry had universally crowded out the worship of Jehovah, we may certainly concede that Joshua 24:31 (comp. also Judg. 2:7) favors this view; but the word of Phinehas to the Gileadites (22:17) as well as the whole transaction of Joshua with the people at Shechem (24:1 ff.), and in particular his demand that they should put away their false gods (24:23), proves how untrustworthy the religious disposition of Israel was, how strongly the people inclined to idolatry, how easily they might fall back into it.
Of the contradiction between statements made in different parts of the book itself (of which Hauff treats, p. 102 ff.) one, and perhaps the most notable, we have already explained. For the most part the matters enumerated are properly the same as in comparing this book with the Book of Judges. We select one more point only, which Hauff himself brings up, when he writes, p. 128: “In general it is statements in relation to worship—the place where it should be offered, as well as the persons on whom its duties devolved—in which we find discrepancies hard to be reconciled. At first the main camp is at Gilgal (5:9 ff.), even after the altar was built (8:30–33, 14:6) on the mountains Ebal and Gerizim (?); finally, the tabernacle is reared in Shiloh (17:1), and there is also the abode of the heads of the people (21:1 f.); there the people come together to consult about the attempt of the two and a half tribes to build an altar beyond the Jordan; there, also, perhaps the heads of the people (23:2) were collected with Joshua. But how comes it that in Joshua 24:1, Shechem is the place of meeting, since here, a solemn covenant is adopted and a written document concerning it deposited with the law-book (Joshua 24:26)? Still further; the holy ark is in many places the symbol of the presence of Jehovah; in Joshua 3 it is borne in front in the passage of the Jordan; so Joshua 6 at the destruction of Jericho; in neither of these chapters is a word said of the tabernacle, not even in connection with the residence in Gilgal; Joshua 18 first tells of its erection in Shiloh, Joshua 22:19 names a מִשׁכּן יי there; while Joshua 24:1, on the contrary, speaks of an assembly of the people לִפְנֵי הָאֶלהִֹים in Shechem; and Joshua 24:26 of a מִקְדַּשׁ יי there, beside a great terebinth-tree. Those are certainly not harmonious intimations, but they involve no essential contradiction. For if the tabernacle is not mentioned in the account of the capture of Jericho (Joshua 6), but its erection is first reported after the entire land was conquered (Joshua 18:1), we find the one fact as natural and appropriate to circum stances as the other. What could the tabernacle have to do with the storming of a town? Quite otherwise was it with the chief possession of the tabernacle, its most remarkable piece of furniture symbolizing the presence of Jehovah—the ark of the covenant,—which could be, as it was, carried before the people. And in reference to Shiloh and Shechem, to the מִשְׁכֵּן יי in Shiloh and the מִקְדַּשׁ יי in Shechem, we easily understand them both side by side. There are already nascent, self-developing relations in which Shiloh represents the unity of the cultus at which Moses aimed, which Joshua also, and Eleazar and Phinehas strove after, while the מִקְדַּשׁ יי at Shechem looks back yet to the patriarchal time as well as to the transaction recorded in Joshua 8:30 ff.
So much in reference to some of the principal objections of Hauff. These, even if we add what the author says, p. 191 ff., concerning the scope and date of the book of Joshua, are not strong enough, in our judgment, to bring down the historical value of the book, as Hauff, evidently influenced very strongly by De Wette (p. 204), would do. He comes to the result, in regard to Joshua 1–11 at least, that the author “aimed not to give any history of Joshua, in our sense of the word ‘history,’ but a history of the taking of the land of Canaan by the Israelites under the mighty power of God; that the person Joshua is indeed gathered out of the history, and the events as such for the most part belong to the real history, but that the plan and arrangement serve a higher end.” This higher end indeed he understands to be essentially of a religious and moral kind,—to enliven zeal for Jehovah and his service by a representation of God’s dealings with his people, only, according to Hauff’s conception, the end so influences the narrative that the facts are shaped to correspond to it (p. 237). The consequence of this theory is the mythical conception of the Biblical history. This meets us in Nöldeke quite unqualifiedly, while Ewald favors it, but only in part. Now we will grant that the Book of Joshua “aims to give no history of Joshua in our sense of the word,” for that would have required our time with its rich scientific helps, and its advanced scientific culture. But that the book would give the facts, as they survived partly in written records, party in oral tradition, without enslaving them to any higher aim, even though that were the highest of which a Hebrew writer could conceive—the interest of Jehovah’s worship,—that we cannot give up. “A higher aim,” in itself we would not deny, as may be seen from § 1, only we would and must dispute that this affected the writing of the history in such a way that out of the history there comes at last fiction, and that one proceeding on these principles feels obliged to concede, in regard to Moses, e. g., that “on the whole it results from the criticism of the Pentateuch, alas! that the noble, living image of Moses, as we find it, especially in Exodus and Numbers, wears no historical features, but is mainly a grand creation of later hands. Of the historical Moses there remain to us only a very few certain traces; at the bottom we know surely concerning him only that he was Israel’s leader out of Egypt, and gave a mighty impulse to the religious development of his people” (Nöldeke, O. T. Lit. p. 26). That truly would be little enough, and strongly reminds us of similar assertions of Strauss, according to which Christ is likewise a grand creation of a later hand, an imagination of the apostolic congregation.
The primary stumbling-block for most of the critics is, when we reach the bottom, miracles, which are assumed beforehand to be something impossible, and incongruous with rational conceptions, whether we find them on Old or New Testament ground. Hauff does not deny this; he explains rather: “the interpreter of the Bible must not bring to his work the assumption beforehand that miracles are impossible. With all his effort, and all his force, it cannot be got rid of sometimes that the Biblical historians intended to relate miracles” (p. 211). On these principles he proceeds, although disavowing the purpose of Rationalism, to fish up in the accounts of miracles some expressions out of which the original, natural occurrence might possibly be discovered (p. 211). On the other hand, however, Hauff objects to our author that he is accustomed, in order to suit his design, to treat of miracles with intentional exaggeration of the supernatural (p. 215); and, with reference to this his design, in a given case would attempt an enhancement of the miracle (p. 223); in view of which the miraculous narratives in him “must be apprehended quite otherwise than elsewhere.” How far this assertion is correct or otherwise, will be shown by the particular examination of the five miraculous accounts, in Joshua 3 and 4; 5:13–15; 6; 7; 10:12–15. On our own general position as to this matter, we may be permitted here to remark merely, that we most certainly hold to the possibility of miracles, because God is a living God (3:10), and can find, therefore, in miraculous narratives no objection to the credibility of a Biblical Book, while yet we would not, on this account, avoid a careful scrutiny of the reports existing in regard to them.
The chronological data afforded by our book are very few, but enough at least to guarantee some standards for fixing the reckoning of time. Joshua 4:19 we are told that on the tenth day of the first month (Abib) the people “came up out of the Jordan,” but, unfortunately, not as in 1 Kings 6:1 is the year after the Exodus given. We learn nothing further than that the passage of the river took place in the spring of the year. If now we place the Exodus, according to the common view, about 1500 B.C. (1495 B.C., Fürst, Gesch d. Bibl. Lit. p. 351), we reach the time about 1460 as the date of the passage of the Jordan. But here arises the second question, How many years were required for the conquest of Canaan? upon which follows the third, How long Joshua held the government altogether, or, What space of time does our book embrace? For answer, we have the passages Joshua 11:18; 14:7, 10, 11; 23:1; 24:29. In Joshua 11:18 it is only reported in general that Joshua waged war a long time יָמִים רַבִּים with the Canaanite kings. Joshua 14:7, 10, 11, leads to a more accurate determination of this period, since Caleb says he was forty years old when Moses sent him out to explore the land of Canaan (Joshua 14:7), and Moses swore to him that he would give him as an inheritance the land to be conquered by him (Joshua 14:9), that now forty-five years have past since Jehovah spoke this word to Moses, which (= during which) Israel wandered in the wilderness. Here evidently “the years of the conquest of Canaan during which Israel had not yet come into the peaceful possession of the land, are in a loose expression added to those of the wandering in the wilderness,” as all interpreters without difference admit; because, when Caleb offered this petition, the conquest of the land, as Joshua 14:5, agreeing with Joshua 11:23, declares, was already completed. How long then did the conquest require? Since the mission of the spies under Moses, with which coincides in time the promise of God to Caleb which the latter here recalls (see the Comm.), took place in the second year of the Exodus (Num. 13:14; Deut. 2:14), and the wandering in the wilderness lasted from that time exactly thirty-eight years, as Deut. 2:14 states, Jewish tradition had already quite accurately determined the time required for the conquest to be 45–38 = 7 years (Joses Seder Olam, ch. xi. in Fürst, ubi sup. p. 408). This was adopted by Theodoret, whom Keil, Gerlach, Bunsen, of modern commentators, and Fürst (but with peculiarities and various emendations of the text) have followed. Josephus on the contrary (Ant. v. 1, 19) gives the duration of the conquest as only five years. He says, l. c, ’́Ετος δὲ πέμπτον ἤδη παρεληλύθει καὶ Χανανάιων οὐκέτ’ οὐδεὶς ὑπολέλειπτο, πλὴν εἰ μή τινες εὶς ὀχυρότατον τε͂ιχος διέφυγον. Ewald supposes the author of Joshua 14:10 also thought only of five years, which certainly seems very probable when we consider the fondness of the Hebrews for reckoning in round numbers. Knobel is of the same opinion, remarking on Joshua 14:15, “the wars of Joshua therefore had, according to our author, lasted about five years.” To pronounce a definite judgment is difficult, and is quite unnecessary, as the difference between five and seven years is of no consequence. But when Fürst (ubi sup.) assumes that the conquest occupied seven years in all, five of which were spent in the south and two in northern Palestine, the text gives no clear and definite support for his opinion.
There still remains the third chronological question How long in all did Joshua hold the government? which is the same as, What space is covered by our book? Joshua 23:1 speaks just as vaguely as 11:18 of יָמִים רַבִּים, after which Joshua, who was already old and advanced in years, זָקֵן בָּא בַּיָמִים, held the national assembly. In Joshua 24:29 it is said that he was one hundred and ten years old when he died. These are all the notices which the Book of Joshua, and even the whole Bible gives. We find more in Josephus, who reports, Ant. V. 1, 29: Καὶ ὁ μεν (sc. ̓Ιησοῦς) τοσαῦτα πρὸς τοὺς παρόντας διαλεχθεὶς τελευτᾷ, βιοὺς ἑκατὸν ἔτη καὶ δέκα, ὧν Μουσε͂ι μὲν, ἐπὶ διδασκαλίᾳ τῶν χρησίμων, συνδιέτριψε τεσσαράκοντα, στρατηγὸς δέ μετὰ τὴν ἐκείνου τελευτὴν γίνεται πέντε καὶ ἔικοσι. Here the life of Joshua is defined, in agreement with Joshua 24:29, as having covered one hundred and ten years, of which forty belonged to the period in which Joshua was yet with Moses, and twenty-five to that of his sole leadership. There are then forty-five years left for the time before the Exodus. Ewald (ubi sup. pp. 330, 331) and Fürst (p. 351) maintain that Josephus took this, in their opinion trustworthy, notice out of “an old document which did not show the gaps of the ‘book of Origins,’ as Ewald calls the ground-text” (p. 330). At the same time Ewald (l. c. Rem. 3) and Fürst (p. 351, Rem. 4) call to mind that other writers of these later centuries give always twenty-seven (Theoph. Ad Autol. 3, 24; Clem. Alex. Strom. i. 21; Euseb. Chron. I. pp. 160, 170 of the Armen. translation, and G. Syncellus, Chronogr. p. 284, ed. Bonn), and Eupolemos (ap. Euseb. Prœp. Evang. 9, 30; 10, 14) names even thirty years. Nay, the Chron. Sam. Arab. Joshua 39, gives him forty-five years dominion, but in other places (Joshua 21, 25) only twenty-one. Of these higher figures the number twenty-seven is explained by supposing that the conquest was reckoned as occupying seven years; the others appear to be taken quite arbitrarily. Starke also speaks of twenty-seven years, referring to this reckoning among the Christian Fathers, as follows (Pref. to Joshua; § 10, p. 5): “The chronology of this book is variously given; some assume twenty-seven years”; but he then immediately adds: “others, however. with more probability, only seventeen, from the beginning of Joshua’s rule to his death. The latter rest on 1 Kings 6:1, since from the Exodus to the temple of Solomon there are reckoned four hundred and eighty years. For the government of Joshua there are actually left seventeen years, if we reckon before and after that government as follows:—
“(a.) From the Exodus to the government of Joshua are
“(b.) From the beginning of the government of Joshua to the division of the land
“(c.) From the beginning of the division to the death of Joshua
“(d.) From Joshua to Eli
“(e.) From Eli to Samuel (1 Sam. 4:18)
“(f.) From Samuel to David (Acts 8:21)
“(g.) From David to Solomon (1 K. 2:11).
“(h.) From the accession of Solomon to the beginning of the building of the Temple
Instead of four hundred and eighty years, we read in Acts 13:20 of four hundred and fifty years only; in Josephus, on the contrary (Ant. viii. 3, 1), of five hundred and ninety-two, and in two other places ( Ant. xx. 10, 1, Cont. Apion, 2, 2), of even six hundred and twelve years. In the passage in Acts (8:20) the number four hundred and fifty is given not as chronologically exact, but approximate only (ὡς,) and can therefore decide nothing against 1 K. 6:1 (Bähr, Bibelwerk, A. T. vii. p. 41). But Josephus contradicts himself; four hundred and eighty years must therefore, with Ewald, Winer, Thenius, Rösch, Bähr, and very recently also, Hitzig (Gesch. d. Volkes Israel, i. pp. 13, 14), be held as correct. This being done, then, if we take the twenty-five years of Josephus for the rule of Joshua, the period of the Judges must be shortened, against the reckoning of Starke, by eight years, thus:—
(b. and c.)
Since, however, Josephus generally, as Ewald himself concedes, is not “a good chronologist” (p. 484), we ought not to lay too much stress on his twenty-five years in and of themselves (comp. also the explanation of Joshua 18:4 ff. in reference to the date ἐν ἑβδόμῳ μηνί in Ant. v. 1, 21, ad fin.). It is possible that Joshua’s command lasted so long, and so Des Vignoles and Winer also assume, and that our book embraces thus a space of a quarter of a century, but it is possible also that this space was shorter. The results of our investigation would accordingly be these: (1) (the passage of the Jordan by the people of Israel took place in the spring of the year about 1460 B.C.; (2) the conquest was effected in not less than five, at the most in seven, years (1460–1455 or 1453 B.C.); (3) the leadership of Joshua, embraced a period of at least fifteen years, at the most twenty-seven (1460–1445 or 1433 B.C.); (4) the same number of years is included also in our book.
OBSERVATION 1. The time of the elders mentioned in Joshua 24:51, and again in Judg. 2:17, we agree with Ewald in ascribing to the דּוֹר of Joshua. He assumes that to the time of Solomon from the Exodus (that being regarded as the terminus a quo of the Hebrew time-reckoning, p. 479) such דּוֹרוֹת, twelve of forty years each, are to be recognized (pp. 481, 482). So also Fürst, pp. 351, 352, 409.
OBSERVATION 2. Departing altogether from all other inquirers, Bunsen, in his Biblischen Jahrbüchern, incorporated into his Bibelwerk, vol. i., places the crossing of the Jordan in the year 1280 B.C. on the authority of Egyptian and Assyrian chronology. He further assumes that Moses died in the twenty-second year of the Exodus (1299 B.C.); that Joshua, who at that time took upon him the command, completed the conquest and division of the land in seven years, and immediately thereupon, in the forty-seventh year of the Exodus (1274 BC), closed his life. According to this reckoning also Joshua was leader of the people for twenty-five years (pp. 128, 130.), not all, however, in Canaan proper, but eighteen years in the land east of the Jordan, and seven on this side. The accuracy of the chronological notice contained in 1 K. 6:1, Bunsen likewise disputes, since, according to his calculation, the Exodus took place in the year 1320 B.C. during the nineteenth Egyptian dynasty, and the building of the Temple in 1004 B.C. during the twenty-first dynasty, not four hundred and eighty years, therefore, but only three hundred and sixteen after the Exodus.
§ 5. Character of Joshua
As at the time of the Exodus, which as an event of the very highest significance was ever after retained in the mind of the people so vividly as to become their epoch for the reckoning of time, as then Moses, the chosen instrument of God’s providence, led his nation and impressed upon it the stamp of his own mighty soul; so Joshua, in the period immediately subsequent, carried forward the work already begun, and by the establishment of a regulated theocratic commonwealth, brought it to a definite conclusion. His period is, as we at least cannot but view it, something more than “a beautiful twilight after the descending sun of the Mosaic day” (Ewald, ubi sup. p. 311). It has an original, fresh, youthful aspect of its own, is a true image of the spirit which lived in Hosea the son of Nun, as he was called at first (Num. 8:8) until Moses named him Joshua (Num. 8:16). He was a man in whom there was spirit (Num. 27:18), and that a spirit of wisdom (Deut. 34:9) such as must fill the real man of God in the O. T. Joshua w as not indeed a prophet, as Jesus Sirach makes him out (Joshua 46:1), arid Josephus also (Ant. iv. 7, 2: Μωϋσῆς δέ γεραιὸς ἤδη τυγχάνων, διάδοχον ἑαυτοῦ ̓Ιηδοῦν καθίστησιν ἐπί τε ταῖς προφητείαις, καὶ στρατηγὸν εἴ που δεήσειε γενησόμενον), since he was directed, Num. 27:21, to seek the divine will through Eleazar the high-priest: but he was a divinely inspired General and Regent, greater than any of the heroes who followed him through the time of the Judges, a real Joshua (יְהוֹשׁוּעַ or יְהוֹשֻׁעַ contracted Neb. 8:19, יֵשׁוּעַ; LXX. ’Ιησδυς, “whose help is Jehovah,” like אְלִישׁוּעַ 2 Sam. 5:15; 1 Chron. 14:5), a warrior of God, whose help was Jehovah. On this very account also could he become a savior of his people. Truly did Moses “at the right moment perceive the real greatness of this hero, and give him the right name; instead of Hosea (חוֹשֵׁעַ), i. e. help, which he was already called as the delegate of his tribe, Moses named him thereafter, with little change of the sound but with an important addition to the sense, Jehoshua, i. e. God help “(Ewald, p. 306).
Born in Egypt, Joshua had, in common with all other Israelites, deeply felt the load of oppression which weighed the people down, and joyfully hailed the hour of freedom from the house of bondage, of deliverance from the iron furnace (Deut. 4:20; 1 K. 8:51; Jer. 11:4). He was early allowed an opportunity, as one of the chief men of Ephraim (Num. 13:8), to show his bravery, when at Moses’ command, he opposed the swarms of wild Amalekites in Rephidim (now Erraha, or Raha, see Knobel on Ex. 17:6), and, supported by the prayer of Moses, triumphantly overcame them. For Joshua discomfited (וַיַּחַלשׁ) Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword (Ex. 17:8–13). By this exploit Joshua rose in the estimation of Moses, accompanied him (Ex. 24:13) on the Mount of God, was at other times constantly about him (Ex. 33:11) as his minister (see on Joshua 1:1), and, being then in the strength of his life (Ex. 33:11, נַעַר) laid the foundation in this intercourse with Moses of his knowledge of God and confidence in Jehovah who had for the first time revealed himself (Ex. 6:2, 3) as such to Moses. Through such confidence in God, which was never afterward more gloriously manifested than in the victory at Gibeon (Josh. 10:12–15), his native bravery gained a mighty support, so that he trembled not, whether the enemy met him in open fight, or the excited people, believing rather the extravagant reports of the other spies than the plain and truthful words of Caleb and himself, cried out that he should be stoned (Num. 8:31–34, 14:6–9, 10).
With this boldness, invigorated by filial trust in the Lord, there was joined in him a gift of keenest observation, which enabled him to perceive that their defense had departed from the Canaanites (Num. 14:9), so that it might be foreseen that they must become a prey to the Israelites, “bread” for them, as he expresses it in that popular style which we elsewhere recognize in him (e. g. Josh. 17:14–18; 23:10; 24:12).
These qualities fitted him in a high degree for the position which Moses, before his death, by the command of God, assigned to him (Num. 27:16–23, comp. with 32:28; Deut. 3:28; 31:23). He was appointed, as Moses had desired of Jehovah, to go in and out beforethe congregation, and lead them out and in, that the congregation of Jehovah might not be as a flock without a shepherd (Num. 27:17). Being now, probably, of about the same age as his trusty companion Caleb, of the house of Judah, the latter being then, as would seem, about eighty years old (s. § 4), and the sole survivor besides himself of all the Hebrew men who came out of Egypt (Num. 14:30, 38), he inherited the leadership of his people. From this time onward how eminently did he prove himself ever a God-fearing commander (Joshua 3:5, 9, 10; 4:6, 7, 21–24; 5:1–9; 7:6–9), trusting confidently in the help of God (Joshua 3:5; 6:6 ff.; 8:3 ff.; 10:12–15, 19, 25), often strengthened and consecrated to the strife by God himself (Joshua 1:1–9; 6:2, 3; 8:1, 2; 10:8; 11:6, especially 5:10–15), circumspect and prudent (Joshua 1:11; 2:1; 8:4–8), quick and bold (Joshua 10:9; 11:7; 10:28–43; 11:10–23), always taking full advantage of victories gained, of unexceptionable energy (Joshua 8:26; 10:10, 19, 28–42; 11:8, 9). A commander, nevertheless, who humbly and modestly asked for himself (Joshua 19:49, 50) only a small possession, and in his farewell discourse (Joshua 23:1–16; 24:1–15), despising self-laudation, gave all the honor to Jehovah, of whom it is said that he was with Joshua so that they spoke of the latter in all lands (Joshua 6:27). If he at times dealt fearfully according to our conceptions with some, as against the King of Ai (Joshua 8:29), and against those other five kings (Joshua 10:1, 16, 23–27) whom he shamefully humbled and pitifully hanged, let us not forget the vast difference between our time and his. If he—to touch yet on one chief complaint brought against him by Eichhorn and Paulus (not, however, by Herder, as Keil assumes, p. liii. (53)),—if he proceeded not only against individuals, but against the Canaanites generally with the edge of the sword (לְפִי חֶרֶב) , burning their cities with fire, and casting them down unsparingly (Joshua 6:24; 8:24; 10:28–43; 11:10–19), and this all, as is repeatedly stated (8:2; 10:25, 40; 11:15), by divine command, with the coöperation of Jehovah, by whom the heart of the Canaanites had been hardened to meet the children of Israel in battle (11:20), we may with Ewald reply to all such attacks upon Joshua, nay, even upon God himself, “that a people, sinking ever more deeply into divisions and moral perverseness, as the Canaanites, in great part at least, then were (comp. vol. i. p. 324 ff.; Wisd. Sol. 12:2–6), should fall before another people in whom there arises the harmonious strength of a life trusting in divine powers, and so striving upward, is an eternal necessity.”8 Thus it happened also in the storms of the popular migrations, in which old but corrupted states of much cultivation crumbled before the pressure of mighty natural races. Not less do the conquering expeditions of the Arabs in the seventh and eighth centuries after Christ furnish an analogy. So much on this topic here. We shall have frequent occasion in the interpretation of the book to touch upon it again. We here simply remark that there was no lack of mildness in the hero of Ephraim. He spared Rahab, faithful to the promise which the spies had given, and with her her father’s house (Joshua 6:25), saved the Gibeonites from the hand of the children of Israel (Joshua 9:26), although they had deserved for their cunning falsehood a far different punishment from that which was inflicted on them, namely, to perform menial service in the sanctuary (Joshua 9:27); and appointed the cities of refuge for the manslayers (Joshua 20:1–9).
Joshua, moreover, was not only as a general an illustrious, highly endowed leader of his people, and one filled with the spirit of God, but, conspicuous equally in the deeds of peace as in the deeds of war, he was not less capable as a regent than as a soldier. In this relation also he acts always from the higher, theocratic motive. He will establish a commonwealth for his people; but this commonwealth must correspond to the description given in grand outlines by God, through Moses, in the wilderness. It should be a commonwealth consecrated to Jehovah, in the midst of which should stand the sanctuary, whose people should be holy to Jehovah. For Israel was to be a holy people (Ex. 19:6). Accordingly, as soon as the Jordan is crossed, by God’s marvelous help, and they tread the soil of Canaan, the land of the fathers, Joshua causes the long-neglected circumcision to be performed at Gilgal (Joshua 5:1–9); and then immediately, on the same ground, the Passover to be celebrated for the first time (5:10–12). He divides the land not according to his own preference, but by the lot, that God himself might, as it were, give the decision (Joshua 13–19), raises the holy tent in. Shiloh (18:1), arranges not only the cities of refuge which have been mentioned, but also the Levitical cities (Joshua 21), acts in harmony with the high-priest Eleazar (17:4; 21:1), maintains the unity of the cultus when the two and a half tribes build the altar on the bank of the Jordan (22:12–34), in his farewell address admonishes to fidelity towards Jehovah, warns against apostasy (Joshua 23:1–16; 24:1–15), and, having already earlier—perhaps directly after the conquest of the country west of the Jordan—caused blessing and curse to be proclaimed from Gerizim and Ebal (8:30–35), solemnly renews the covenant between Israel and Jehovah at Shechem (Joshua 24:25) with an earnest demand that all other gods which might possibly still be cherished, should be put away. Conscious as he was, therefore, as a general, of his commission from God, he was not less so as a ruler, who constantly kept in view, and followed with all tenacity and perseverance, his great, heaven-appointed aim, namely, to found a theocratic commonwealth. If he was adorned, as a general, with a bravery supported by fear of God and confidence in him, so as a regent he wore the most beautiful ornament of civil rule: an unselfish, noble spirit of justice coupled with gentleness and wisdom. It was a spirit which gave to every man his own (14:6–15; 21:1), but claimed for itself only what was reasonable and moderate (19:49, 50), and which could sharply repel unjustifiable demands (17:13–18), although not with “humiliating sarcasm” or with “pointed scorn,” as Ewald represents (ub. sup. 317, 316). Of this charge, however, we shall have to take fuller notice in our explanation of the passage.
Thus Joshua stands before us distinguished equally as general and as ruler of his people, a worthy follower of Moses; not a prophet like the latter, and no lawgiver, as was the son of Amram, but filled with the same spirit of fidelity towards Jehovah, and of zeal for the newly incipient commonwealth of God; a man of God in all that he does and in all that he omits. “In the kingdom of God,” says Kurtz (Manual of Sacred History, p. 102), “he is great who knows that of himself he is nothing. This greatness had Joshua. Among the heroes of the sacred history he stands forth as the one, above almost all others, free from self-will. The most conscientious fidelity towards the law, and a disposition the most imperturbably theocratic, distinguish him. He is prudent, circumspect, where he has to act of himself, for he conducts the wars of the Lord; but unhesitating, quick, and decided where the Lord sends him. His courage is humility, his strength is faith, his wisdom is obedience and fear of the Lord. A gentle disposition, but the furthest possible from feebleness, as is proved by his sternly solemn sentence upon Achan, and the strictness with which he executes the curse upon the Canaanites. Such a union of mildness with strength, of simplicity with prudence, of humility with magnanimity, has in it something evangelical. This peculiarity of his character, together with the peculiarity of the period in the kingdom of God in which he lived, and of the position which he took, makes him and his work a rich type of Him that was to come. He leads the people into the land of promise and of rest, but there is yet a better rest to be enjoyed, to which his antitype and namesake must introduce us (Heb. 4:9).” With this glance at that unique, glorious antitype, at Christ the true Joshua, we close the attempt at a description of the hero of our book.9
OBSERVATION 1. In the N. T. Joshua is mentioned only twice: (1) in the speech of Stephen before the chief council, Acts 7:45, where it is said that the fathers brought in the tabernacle with Joshua into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drove out before their face (ἐξῶσεν ὁ θεός); (2) Heb. 4:8 (see on Joshua 1. Doctrinal and Ethical, No. 4). From this passage Starke gives some intimations concerning the typical relation of Joshua to Christ. He says: “Joshua was in name and action a beautiful type of the Messiah. As he led the children of Israel through the Jordan into the land of Canaan, so the latter leads his believing followers finally through death into the heavenly Canaan. He carried out what Moses could not effect; the law of Moses could insure to men no peace and no blessedness, which Jesus and his gospel can, Rom. 8:3; Heb. 7:25. Jesus and Joshua begin after Moses leaves off. Joshua was the leader of the bodily Israel, overcame their enemies, distributed to them their land; all which Jesus, the Captain of Salvation, does for the spiritual Israel, Heb. 2:10” (Starke on Joshua 1:1).
OBS. 2. “We find in the East historical traces of Joshua’s heroic deeds, outside of the Hebrew writers. Thus Procopius, Vandal. ii. 20, mentions a Phœnician inscription near the city Zingis in Mauritania, which had originated with the Phœnicians who had fled from Canaan, and ran thus: ‘Hμε͂ις ἐσμεν οἱ φεύγοντες ἀπὸ προσώπον Ιησοῦ τοῦ ληστοῦ υἱοῦ Ναυῆ (Suidas s. v. Χαναάν : ‘Ημε͂ις ἐσμεν Χαναναῖοι οὕς ἐδίωξεν Ιησοῦς ὁ λησής); and a letter of the Persian king Shaubec in Chron. Sam. c. 26, names Joshua likewise “lupus percussor,” but according to another recension, “lupus vespertinus,” זאב ערבות (comp. Hab. 1:8). Winer, Realw. s. v. Josua. Ewald regards the inscription as a fabrication (p. 298); and in the Chron. Sam., from its character before described (§ 1 obs.), no confidence can be placed. “Other accounts similar to that in Eutropius are more simple, such as the brief statement that Tripolis in Africa was founded by the Canaanites fleeing before Joshua (apud Euseb. Chron. Gr. ed. Scaliger, p. 11); but present too little that is definite, and may have arisen out of vague conjectures in which later writers so richly abound” (Ewald, p. 299).
§ 6. The Holy Land
The land captured by the Israelites under the brave leadership of Joshua, we call commonly Palestine, or the holy land, sometimes also, after Hebrews 11:9 (cf. Gen. 15:18; 1:24; Num. 32:11, etc.), the promised land. It was called a holy land (אַדְמַת הַקֹּדֶֹשׁ) by Zechariah (2:12), by the author of the Second Book of Maccabees (1:7), and in later ages with preference by the Catholics; against which Bachiene (in von Raumer, Palästina, p. 23, Anm. 3), without reason remarks, that “this designation rests merely on superstition.” It is rather, as Zech. 2:12 shows, more Biblical than the name Palestine, פְּלֶשֶׁת, which originally referred only to the southwestern part of the land, the country of the Philistines. So Jerome on Is. 14:29 says, “Philistœos Palœstinos significat;” and Willermus Tyr., “Palœstina quasi Philistina a Philistiim dicitur” (in von Raumer, p. 24). In our book we find none of these names. As a general designation appears rather (Joshua 1:4) “the land of the Hittites,” whose bounds, according to the old promise, Gen. 15:18–21, are very widely extended. Further we meet principally with two names for the two main divisions of Palestine, for the country west of the Jordan and the country east of the Jordan. The former is Canaan (כְּנַען = lowland, as opposed to ארם=highland), the latter is Gilead (גִּלְעָד see on the etym. on Joshua 12:5), as may be seen from Joshua 22:9, 10, 11, 15, 32, where Bashan (בָּשָׁן, from בָשַׁן, “level, soft soil”), elsewhere standing separate from Gilead, as in Joshua 13:11, is included with it. Between the east and west country lies the Jordan valley, now Ghor, then called in one part of it כִּכַּר־היַּרְדֵּן (Gen. 13:10, 11), “circuit of the Jordan,” as in Matt. 3:5, ἡ περίχωρος τοῦ ’Ιορδάνου, or briefly הַכִּכַּר (Gen. 13:12; 19:17), and in our book synonymously נְּלִילוֹת הַיַּרְדֵּן (Joshua 18:17; 22:10, 11), but in its whole extent called הָעֲרָבָה “low ground, plain, field” [rather, “arid, sterile, desert tract,” Gesen., Fürst.—TR.], (Joshua 11:16; 12:1, 3). Instead of this in Joshua 13:27 we have also עֵמֶק (see Robinson, Phys. Geog. of the Holy Land, p. 81). The west side of the Ghor belonged to Canaan, the east side to Gilead; the Jordan, as we learn partly from the boundaries (Joshua 13:27; 16:1, 7; 18:12, 19; 19:22, 34, etc.), partly from the notices in Joshua 22. (Joshua 22:10, 11, 19, esp. 25), formed the border between those two great provinces of West and East Palestine.
Palestine as a whole lies nearly between 34½° and 36½° east longitude, and between 31¼° and 33¼° of north latitude, almost equally distant from the equator and the Arctic circle. The greatest extent from north to south is about one hundred and fifty-five miles, and from east to west about eighty-five miles. Reckoning the average width at seventy miles we have a surface of 8,560 square miles. It is therefore about half as large as Switzerland, one third as large as Bavaria (von Raumer, p. 25), about the size of the Prussian Rhine province.10 “Pudet dicere,” writes Jerome, “latitudinem terrœ repromissionis, ne ethnicis occasionem blasphemandi dedisse videamur.” The boundaries of the land, both for its western and its eastern divisions, are given in our book with accuracy, and will be noticed in the commentary on the passages pertaining thereto, Joshua 11:16, 17; 12:1–6, 7, 8; 13:1 ff. In general, they give us to understand that at that time Palestine was already bounded on the south by Arabia Petræa (Joshua 15:2, 3) and the brook of Egypt (15:4); on the west by the Sea (15:4), sometimes called also (Num. 34:6) the Great Sea, that is, the Mediterranean Sea; on the north by the mighty heights of Lebanon and Hermon (Joshua 11:17); on the east by the wilderness of Syria and Arabia, toward which Salcha is mentioned as a border town, Joshua 12:5. To denote the extension of the land from north to south we frequently meet with the expression “from Dan to Beersheba” (e. g. 2 Sam. Joshua 17:11; Judg. Joshua 20:1; 1 Chron. Joshua 21:2), but not in the Book of Joshua. A similar designation of the breadth appears not to have been used.
In this its secluded position the land was eminently adapted to the purpose which the people of Israel, according to their historical vocation, had to fulfill. On the south and east, farstretching deserts separated it from contact with all other nations. On the west was spread out the sea, which in those ancient times was little traversed, and even to that extent only by methods of a very imperfect description. On the north rose the protecting mountain walls of Lebanon and Anti-lebanon. Here might the O. T. commonwealth of God develop itself in admirable separateness from the world, the more so as Palestine, in the quality of its soil, its climate, its fertility, answered all the conditions which are requisite for the prosperous development of a community, and for awakening love and attachment to the country, the possession of Jehovah, where the dwelling of Jehovah was erected (Joshua 22:19; comp. Lev. 25:23; Ps. 85:1). Truly, Israel should, as God had said to Moses (Ex. 3:8; comp. w. 13:5; Lev. 20:24; Ezek. 20:6), be led into a good and wide land (אֶרֶץ טוֹבָה וּרְחוֹבָה), into a land flowing with milk and honey (אֶרֶץ זָבת חָלָב וּדְבשׁ), the fruitfulness of which is praised (Deut. 8:7–9) in these words: The Lord thy God leads thee into a good land, a land in which are brooks and fountains and seas, that flow (יֹצִאִים De Wette: “spring out”) on the hills and in the meadows (בַּבִּקעָה, prop, valley between mountains), a land of wheat and barley and vines and fig-trees and pomegranates, a land of olive-trees and honey, a land in which thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, in which nothing is wanting, a land whose stones are iron and out of whose mountains thou mayest dig brass.” (Comp. Deut. 11:10–12; 2 K. 18:32; Neh. 9:25, 35; Is. 36:17, etc.) With these descriptions of the Bible agree Josephus (Ant. v. 1, 21), who praises the fertility and beauty of Palestine; Tacitus, who says, after his manner, with pregnant brevity: “Uber solum. Exuberant fruges nostrum ad morem prœterque eas balsamum et palmœ” (Histor. v. 26); Justinus (xxxvi. 8); Ammianus Marcellinus (14:8). And these all speak of the later times when many desolating wars on the soil of the “land of the Hebrews” (Gen. 40:15, and in Joseph.) had robbed it of its excellence. Only one voice, that of Strabo (16:2, 3, 6), appears to contradict these reports. He relates (quoted by von Raumer, p. 92) that Moses led the Jews to the place where Jerusalem stands, and easily took possession of it, because, being rocky and unfruitful round about, no man had claimed it. To this Reland has already replied that this report of Strabo itself, like others, shows Strabo’s ignorance in respect to Palestine, and that the vicinity of Jerusalem is not Palestine. True, the soil was not, if we bring before our minds the topography of the land, everywhere equally fruitful; but even in the south of West Palestine, in the Judæa of a later day, where the rough lime-stone hills show in many places only a few traces of vegetation, and, towards the Dead Sea, except in the neighborhood of En-gedi, almost none at all,—even here there were more favored districts like that about Gibeon, the plain of Rephaim near Jerusalem, the low-lands (שְׁפֵלָה) on the sea-coast, which have maintained their productiveness till the present day. The mountain of Judah which rises northwardly from Beer-sheba like a higher story of the land, to an average height of 2,400 feet (von Raumer, p. 87), gives that region in many places a gloomy aspect; but so much the more beautiful appears the green of the deeply-cleft wadies whose waters flow partly towards the Mediterranean, and partly towards the Dead Sea. Much more fertile was and is the northward extension of the mountain of Judah, called the mountain of Ephraim, “Mount Ephraim,” also Joshua 11:16 the mountain of Israel, whose summits, at the time when Joshua divided the land, were still densely covered with forest (Joshua 17:15). On account of this richer vegetation, the patriarchs also found here in the early days pasture for their herds about Beth-el and Shechem (Gen. 12:8; 13:3; 28:19; 37:13). It is most luxuriantly produced, either where the Shephelah11 extends itself through the plain of Sharon even up to the woody and far outstretching promontory of Carmel, or, north of Carmel, in the plain of Jezreel, on the heights of the mountain of Naphthali, named only once in the Bible and that in our book (Joshua 20:7), and in the plain by the sea of Gennesaret. This, now el-Ghuweir, is “described by Josephus (Bell. Jud. iii. 10, 8) in glowing terms for its fertility and productiveness” (Robinson, Phys. Geog. of the Holy Land, p. 77.)
While thus Canaan proper, especially in its middle and northern portions, was eminently adapted to agriculture, the land east of the Jordan offered the most excellent pasturage for cattle. Hence the Reubenites and Gadites, abounding in herds, to whom also half of the tribe of Manasseh joined themselves, had early requested of Moses to be allowed to settle on that side of the stream (Num. 32:1 ff. 33; Deut. 3:12; 29:8; Josh. 13:7, 8), on those high table-lands which stretch eastward to the mountains of Hauran, and to the Arnon on the south. These, now called en Rukrah and Belka, were then Bashan and Gilead, or merely Gilead. The former is even to this day of extraordinary fruitfulness, and everywhere tillable. The latter, cleft by the deep valleys of the Jarmuk and Jabbok, and other smaller torrents, is famous as a grazing-land, its soil being adorned with a luxuriant growth of grass, out of which rise majestically the evergreen oaks, the oaks of Bashan (Is. 2:13; Ez. 27:6; comp. Robinson ubi sup. p. 57 ff. 139 ff.). Here on these high grounds (3,000 feet above the Mediterranean, 4,300 feet above the Dead Sea), breathes a fresh and invigorating air, doubly invigorating to the traveller who emerges from the deep Jordan valley. This lies far below the surface of the Mediterranean,—625 feet below it where the Jordan leaves the Sea of Gennesaret, and 1,231 where it empties into the Dead Sea. In it there is no tillable soil except at Bethshan in the north and about Jericho at the south end of the Ghor; between these two places the river is shut in on both sides by two ranges of chalky hills (von Raumer, p. 58). The region about Jericho in particular was celebrated for its fertility (von Raumer, p. 58, Anm. 118 a). Further south all vegetation is dried up. There the Dead Sea, as we commonly call it, after Galenus and Jerome, but which appears in the historical books of the O. T. under the name of the Sea of the Plain (יָם העָרָבָה, Deut. 4:49; 2 K. 14:25), or the Salt Sea (יָם הַמֶּלַח, Gen. 14:3; Num. 34:3, 12; Josh. 15:2, 5; 18:19), or under both names at once (Deut. 3:17; Josh. 3:16; 13:3), spreads out its desolate surface, forty-seven miles long and more than ten miles wide, between bare, high, steep cliffs of limestone and chalk, inhospitably silent, aptly called by the son of the desert “a curst sea” (von Raumer, p. 61). From its southern point the southern border of Canaan ran across to Beer-sheba, according to Joshua 15:2, and to the river of Egypt, that is, to the point from which we began this survey of the land.
We have before remarked incidentally how very different is the temperature in the Jordan valley from that on the heights to the east of the Ghor. Other such contrasts appear in the holy land, embracing as it does very lofty heights and profoundest depths; so that on its climate no general judgment can be pronounced, as can usually be done in the case of so small a country, with more uniform quality of soil, and a different situation. Of Lebanon, whose magnificent mountain scenery has been described in the liveliest colors by Furrer, in his Wanderungen durch Palästina (p. 356 ff.), a work which we shall often have to quote, the Arabic poets say, “that he bears the winter on his head, the spring on his shoulders, in his bosom the autumn; and that summer slumbers at his feet” (von Raumer, p. 89, after Volney, i. 243). Consistently with this writes Burckhardt as he comes, on the 5th of May, 1812, to the mouth of the Mandhur (Jarmuk, Hieromax), where it empties into the Jordan: “Northward rose the snow-covered Jebel el-Scheick (Hermon); on the east the fruitful plains of Jaulan lay bedecked with the flowers of spring; while in the south the drooping vegetation appeared to show the effects of a tropical heat.” The temperature of Jerusalem (and the same is true in general of the whole hill-country west of the Jordan, Robinson, ubi sup. p. 297 f.) is for the most part cool and pleasant, and never oppressively hot except while a sirocco or south wind lasts (p. 293). On the western plain, which rises only a little above the Mediterranean, it is of course warmer, so much so, indeed, that the harvest ripens there about two weeks earlier than on the mountain (p. 298 f.). Disregarding the rough, high mountain regions of Lebanon and Anti-lebanon, and on the other side the tropical heat of the Ghor (where Van de Velde found it more trying than in South Africa, von Raumer, p. 89), the great part of Palestine has a pleasant, generally healthy climate, excellently suited to agriculture and grazing; for there are but few swamps or other causes to operate against the salubrity of the atmosphere (Rob. p. 308). Yet Palestine, as in ancient times so now, is not without contagious diseases, and “the pestilence that walketh in darkness,” Ps. 91:6 (Rob. l. c.).
Of the natural productions of the country, wheat, barley, vines, fig trees, pomegranates, olive trees, and honey are mentioned in the passage (Deut. 8:7–9) before quoted, and it is there said also, that the stones of the land are iron, and brass is dug out of its mountains. As a matter of fact many iron mines are still found on Lebanon, and, from the communications of Rusegger, who has accurately explored Palestine in respect to its geology, they use the brown iron-stone and spathic iron-stone for building near Merjibah (Ruseg. l. 690, iii. 284, ap. von Raumer, p. 96). “Iron and brass shall be on thy shoes,” was promised to Asher in the blessing of Moses (Deut. 33:25). And according to our book Asher must, with great probability, have received a place precisely on Lebanon (Joshua 19:24–31). So that the occurrence of iron and brass in Palestine is a fixed fact, although it is a question whether by the stones of the land which “are iron,” we are not to understand rather (as von Raumer supposes, p. 96), the widespread basalt formation of Hauran, Leja, and Jaulan. The plants mentioned in Deut. 8:7–9, wheat, barley, vines, fig and olive trees, as well as pomegranates, are still met with, and are often mentioned in the books of travel. The olive trees grow to the height of from twenty to thirty feet; the fruit begins to ripen in October, and is pressed after lying in hot water. Early figs were the first fruit of the year to ripen; a second sort, the summer figs, came on in August, and a third, the winter figs, remained till January on the tree. The vines bear very heavy clusters, grow to be even thirty feet high (Stephan Schultz, in von Raumer, p. 101 [Tristram, Land of Israel, pp. 610, 622]), and yield excellent wine. Pomegranates grow about Gaza, Hebron, and elsewhere in the land. Of the other tall-growing plants of Palestine, we ought specially to indicate the oaks (Is. 2:13; Ezek. 27:8; Zech. 11:2) which are found not on the east side of the Jordan alone (Robinson, Bibl. Res. in Pal., etc, ii. 443 [Tristram, ubi sup. p. 120, etc.]); the palm trees, near Jericho and En-gedi formerly (Judg. 1:16; 3:13), at the present day near Gaza (Rob. ii. 276), and in Jerusalem (Tobler, Denkblätler, p. 109 [at Jaffa, Tiberias, and elsewhere, Tristram, pp. 413, 429, etc.]); and finally the cedars, the glory of Lebanon (von Raumer, p. 31 [Tristram, p. 630 ff.]). The richness of the land in honey (Ex. 3:8, 17; 13:5; Deut. 8:8; Jud. 14:8; 1 Sam. 14:25–45) presupposes the multitude of flowers; hyacinths, anemones, jonquils, on Carmel; on the plain of Sharon, tulips, white and red roses, white and yellow lilies, narcissuses and stockgillies (von Raumer, p. 98).
The mention of honey leads naturally to some remarks on the animals of Palestine. While the bees are a blessing to the country [comp. Tristram, p. 87 f.] the locusts bring upon it the horrors of desolation, such as Joel has pictured with a master’s hand (Joshua 1:3 ff.). To the locust which rises out of the abyss (Rev. 9:3, 5, 10) was power given, as the scorpions have power on earth. These latter are found in extraordinary numbers in the Jordan valley below Jericho (von Raumer, p. 103), and the mountain of Akrabbim is named from them (Joshua 15:5, from עַקְרָב, “a scorpion”). Serpents which, like them, are created for vengeance on the wicked (Sirach, xxxix. 36), are in modern Palestine but few (von Raumer, p. 106). Their place, however, is well supplied by numerous birds, especially singing birds, not merely in Samaria and Galilee, but also along the Jordan, where Robinson (Lat. Bibl. Res. p. 316) heard the nightingale warble [comp. Tristram, pp. 513, 523, 585]. Even the Dead Sea is not uncheered by these songsters. “We ourselves,” writes Robinson (Phys. Geog. p. 219), “and many other travellers, saw birds flying in all directions over the sea. That no water-fowl are here to be met with is simply owing to the fact that the sea shows no trace of fish or plant on which those birds subsist. But the region is full of birds; and at Ain Jidy we were surprised and delighted to hear their morning song in the midst of the solitude and grandeur of these desolations. The trees, and rocks, and air around were full of the carol of the lark, the cheerful whistle of the quail, the call of the partridge, and the warbling of many other feathered songsters; while birds of prey were soaring and screaming in front of the cliffs and over the waters of the sea.”
Of predaceous quadrupeds, the lions (Judg. 14:5, 6; 1 Sam. 17:34–36; 2 Sam. 23:20; 1 K. 13:24, 26; Jer. 49:19) which, in the days of Samson and David showed themselves in cultivated districts of Judæa, and when Jeremiah lived still haunted the Ghor, have now disappeared from Palestine. Bears, on the contrary, are yet found in the mountains of the North (von Raumer, p. 106), but especially are foxes and jackals numerous in all the land, and not less so the hares (p. 107). Of domestic animals, the country had dogs, camels, asses, horses (mentioned in our book Joshua 11:4 as belonging to the Canaanites), mules, oxen, buffaloes, numerous flocks of goats and sheep in which the patriarchs, Jacob in particular, were already rich (Gen. 30:43).
§ 7. The Original Inhabitants of Palestine
When the Israelites forced their way into this highly favored land where once their fathers had dwelt as nomads, they found, east of the Jordan, the kingdoms of Sihon and Og (Joshua 12:1ff.) and, in Canaan proper, thirty-one smaller kingdoms besides, as would appear, one free state, Gibeon with its dependent towns Chephira, Beeroth, and Kirjath-jearim (9:3, 17). The land was already cultivated, and owed this cultivation to its inhabitants. These lived in cities, tilled the ground, and had planted olive-yards (Joshua 24:13), were acquainted with writing, as the previous name of Debir, Kirjath-sepher (Joshua 15:15), proves, owned horses and chariots (Joshua 11:4; 17:18); but in a moral and religious respect were very degraded (Gen. 15:16; 19:5; Deut. 12:29–31; 18:9–12; Ex. 23:31–33; 34:11–14; Josh. 23:12, 13; 24:15). Of them are separately named in our book,—
1. Canaanite tribes (Joshua 3:10; 9:1; 11:3, where their places of habitation are given, 12:8; 24:11):12
A. The Hittites, הַחתִּי (Χεττᾶιοι), living on the mountain of Judah (Num. 13:29; Josh. 11:3, and in general בָּהָר) near Hebron where Moses bought of Ephron the Hittite, a cave for a burial-place (Gen. 23:3–20; 25:9, 10 ff.). The race appears to have been very powerful, since Joshua 1:4 the whole land promised to the Israelites is called the land of the Hittites. According to Ewald (Gesch. des Volkes Isr., i. p. 279 ff.) the Hittites were dwellers in the valleys, which, however, does not agree with Joshua 11:3, where they, together with the Amorites, Perizzites, and Jebusites, are reckoned with the inhabitants of the mountain. [This name is used in the Hebrew always in the singular, “the Hittite,” with five exceptions.]
B. The Amorites, הָאֱמֹרִי (‘Αμοῤῥαῖοι, according to Ewald, “mountaineers”13). Sometimes a name for all the peoples of Canaan (Joshua 24:18; Gen. 15:16; Judg. 6:10; 2 Sam. 21:2. and often), according to Joshua 11:3, dwelling on the mountain also, either on the mountain of Judah, in particular (Gen. 14:7, 13), or on the mountain west of the Dead Sea, thence called mountain of the Amorites (Deut. 1:7, 19, 20, comp. w. Num. 13:30), and to be regarded as a southerly continuation of the mount of Judah; or, northwardly, on the mount of Ephraim, about Shechem (Gen. 48:22, comp. w. John 4:5): also on the east of the Jordan where the kingdoms of Sihon and Og in Gilead and Bashan are designated as Amoritish kingdoms (Joshua 9:10, comp. w. 12:2, 4; Num. 32:33, 39; Deut. 4:47–49). [Hebrew always singular.]
C. The Canaanites, הַכְּנַעֲנִי ( Χαναναῖοι, according to Ewald [and Gesen.] “lowlanders”), a designation in a wide sense for all the people of Canaan (Gen. 10:18; 12:6; 24:3; Ex. 13:11, and often), more strictly for a race along the sea and along the Jordan (Joshua 5:1; 11:3; Num. 13:29; Deut. 11:30). That they dwelt in Gezer, is expressly mentioned Joshua 16:10, comp. the Comm. in loc. In Joshua 13:4 the land of the Canaanites is the same as that of the Sidonians (Joshua 13:5), that is, the Phœnicians. [Almost always plural.]
D. The Girgashites, הַגִּרגָּשִׁי (mentioned in Joshua 3:10; 24:11; Deut. 7:1; Neh. 9:8, while they are wanting in the lists, Joshua 9:1; 11:3; 12:8: Ex. 3:8; 23:23; 33:2; 34:11), according to Gesenius “those dwelling on clayey or loamy soil” (גִּרְגַּשׁ). They had probably (Joshua 24:11), as von Raumer suspects, settled as colonists on the west side of the Jordan. In Matt. 8:28 the Cod. Sinait. reads not Γεργεσηνῶν, which is probably no more than a conjecture of Origen (von Raumer, Gesen.), but Γαζαρηνῶν. [Plural with two exceptions.]
E. The Hivites, הַחִוּי (Εὐαῖοι, according to Ewald, “townsmen, midlanders” [Gesen.: pagani, villagers]; in the cities Shechem (Gen. 34:2) and Gibeon (Josh. 9:7; 11:19), but also on mount Hermon in the land Mizpeh, Joshua 11:3, cf. Judg. 3:3). [In the Hebrew always singular.]
F. The Perizzites, הַפְּרִזִּי (Φερεζαῖοι; according to Gesenius connected with פִּרָזוֹת, “open country,” whence פְּרָזִי Est. 9:16; Deut. 3:5; 1 Sam. 6:18, and then also פִּרִזּי = “countryman, rustic,” with which also paganus may be compared), according to Joshua 11:3; Judg. 1:4, 5, likewise living on the mountains, probably with Canaanites, between Beth-el and Ai in Abraham’s time (Gen. 13:3, 7). It may be questioned, with von Raumer (p. 362), whether also near Shechem? which is, I think, from the connection of Gen. 34:30 not improbable. [Always singular in the Hebrew.]
G. The Jebusites, הַיְבוּסִי (from “יְבוּם, a place trodden down, threshing-floor, r. בּוּם” Gesenius), at Jerusalem (Jebus), and in the region around Jerusalem (Joshua 15:8, 63; 18:28; Judg. 19:11), according to Joshua 11:3 on the mountain also (cf. besides Num. 13:20), like the Amorites, Hittites, and Perizzites; invariably, except Joshua 11:3, named in the lists (Joshua 9:1; 12:8; 24:11; Gen. 15:21; Ex. 3:8; 23:23; 33:2; 34:11; Deut. 7:1). [Always singular.]
“As regards the origin of the Canaanites,” says Winer (Bibl. Realwörterbuch, s. v. “Canaaniter”), “they are reckoned in Gen. 10:15, comp. Gen 10:6, 18; 9:22—as descendants of a certain Canaan who was a son of Ham, and so grandson of Noah,—among the Hamites. But this ethnographical conception, which rests, perhaps (Tuch, p. 245), on the tradition concerning the original abodes of the Canaanites, is contradicted by the language of this race, which was no other than the Hebrew (Is. 19:18, see Gesenius, Hist. of the Heb. Lang. 16 f.). The prevailing view of antiquity regarded them (the Phœnicians, Sidonians) as immigrants in western Asia, comp. also Justin, xviii. 3, 2; and according to Herod, i. 1; vii. 89, they must have dwelt originally on the Red Sea (that is, on the ocean south of Asia), especially, perhaps, on the Persian Gulf (comp. Strabo, i. .42; xvi. 784), where at a later period, two islands, Tyrus and Arados, were pointed out as the home of the Phœnicians (Strabo, xvi. 766)..... That, finally, the immigrant Canaanites first occupied the northern (Phœn.) coast, and then, crowding back the primitive inhabitants, spread themselves south and east throughout Palestine, is probable under all the circumstances.” Knobel has, as Lange remarks (Comm. on Gen., p. 347), “solved the problem by the supposition that the Canaanites who migrated to that country might have received the Shemitic language from Shemites who had previously settled there. Add to this that the affinity of the Phœnicians and Canaanites with the Hamitic nations of the south seems to be established (Kurtz, p. 90, Kaulen, p. 235).” J. George Müller, on the contrary, had still earlier maintained (Schweitzerisches Museum, 1837, p. 275 if. esp. 282), and again repeats (Herzog’s Realencyk., vii. 241), in agreement with Grotius, Clericus, and Gesenius, that the Hebrews had, as early as the patriarchal age, received their language from the Canaanites who migrated from the Egyptian sea.
On a more careful consideration of these several views, the question at once arises, Whether the ethnological table in Gen. 10. shall maintain its historical character or not. This is denied to it by the majority of recent critics. An error in the Table is assumed and then ascribed to national hatred, which is supposed to have shrunk from the idea of a common derivation (Realencyk., ubi sup. 240). Knobel, Bertheau, and J. G. Müller, on the contrary, defend the table, and assume that the Hebrews and Canaanites were of different families, the former belonging to that of Shem, the latter to that of Ham. On this supposition arises the second question: How we are to explain the undeniable agreement in language, as it appears e. g. in the inscription of Eschmunazar, king of the Sidonians (cf. Schlottmann’s careful explanation of it in the treatise, Die Inschrift Eschmunazar’s Königs der Sidonier, geschichtlich und sprachlich erklärt, Halle, 1868). Knobel supposes that the Canaanites had, upon their settlement in the country, received the language of the Shemites, whom he conceives to have been resident there already. Among them he reckons the Rephaites [Rephaim], Emites [Emims], Susites [Zuzim], Samsumites [Zamzummim], Enakites [Anakim], Avites, Hivites; and he supposes that the Terahites then followed at a later period. Müller, as we have seen, gives the opposite explanation. He maintains that “the Hebrews, who as a rule, throughout their history, have with great facility appropriated to themselves the languages of the peoples among whom they dwelt” (better, perhaps, “appropriate,” for whether it was always so we know not, can only conjecture), “without in the least sacrificing their nationality, had substituted the language of the Canaanites for their own, as they also borrowed of them other elements of civilization, especially alphabetic writing, republican institutions (Suffetes), architecture, etc.” (p. 242).
This is the present state of the discussion. One class of investigators give up the ethnographical table, and arrive at a not unsatisfactory result; the others have striven to support the historical authority of the table, but are then compelled to propose hypotheses of which that of Knobel, supposing the Rephaim, etc., to have been Shemites, is against all previous views (see below), while that of Müller raises against it the consideration, Whether indeed a people so originally endowed as the Hebrews could so easily have given up their “primitively Indogermanic,” more specifically their “Aryan or Iranian language (!),” and adopted that of the Canaanites? Under these circumstances we hold that the whole question concerning the origin of the Canaanites is as yet by no means satisfactorily answered.
2. The Philistines (פְּלִשִׁתִּים, more rarely פְּלִשׁתִּיִּים, LXX. in Pent, and Josh.: φυλιστιείμ, elsewhere commonly: οἱ ἀλλόφυλλοι, Παλαιστῖνοι Joseph. Ant. v. 1, 18. According to Gesenius: “wanderers, strangers,” which is the meaning of ἀλλόφυλλοι, from the Æthiop. falasa, “travel, wander,” Heb. פָּלַשּׁ), mentioned in our book, Joshua 13:2, 3.14 Their cities, according to Joshua 15:45–47, were allotted to the tribe of Judah, but Ekron later to Dan, Joshua 19:43. They were, as appears from Gen. 10:13, 14, descendants of Mizraim, the son of Ham, and hence, like the Canaanites, were Hamites. From [Deut. 2:23;] Jer. 47:4; Am. 9:7, we learn that they came from the island Caphtor, probably Crete. With that agrees, as von Raumer observes, Deut. 2:23, where it is said that the Caphtorim who came out of Caphtor destroyed the Avim, who dwelt in villages unto Gaza (later the city of the Philistines), and then dwelt there, in their stead. From this, through confusion of names, may have arisen the story handed down by Tacitus: “Judœos Creta profugos novissima Libyœ insedisse” (Hist. v. 2). Hitzig, particularly, in his Urgeschichte der Philister (p. 17 ff.), has proved that the designation of David’s body-guard הַכְּרֵתִי וְהַפְּלֵתִי (Sam. 15:18; 20:7; 1 Kgs. 1:38, 44; 2 Sam. 8:18; 20:23) lends support to the Cretan origin of the Philistines. That the name of Crete is preserved in הַכְּרֵתִי is clear at a glance, and in reference to פְּלֵתִי, Hitzig (p. 21) has shown the possibility of its arising from פְּלִשׁתּי. Whether the former of these words is applicable to the southern, the latter to the northern portion, or whether כְּרֵתִי is the more general, פְּלֵתִי a more particular term, the Philistines being Cretans, is questionable. Vaihinger (Herzog’s Realencyk. xi. 557) decides for the former view, and would make the immigration of the Cretes or Caphtorim (Deut. 2:23; Am. 9:7) to have taken place not till after Joshua’s time, and at first into the district south of Gaza, which thus included the נֶגֶב (Josh. 15:21–32), but not the שְׁפֵלָה embracing the five Philistine cities (Josh. 13:3; comp. w. 15:45–47). Be that as it may, it is certain that the whole people of the Philistines inhabited the “southern sea-plain,” as von Raumer descriptively calls it (p. 365), and that this plain was preëminently Palestine (see above, § 6). Even in the time of Abraham and Isaac they dwelt about Beer-sheba and Gerar (Gen. 21:34; 26:1). Already at an early day they appear as a people practiced in war, whose country Moses on that account avoids (Ex. 13:17, 18). Joshua seems, if we consider Joshua 13:3, not to have come into conflict with them, and the division of the Philistine territory among the tribes of Israel (Joshua 15:45–47; 19:43) was and remained, as Winer expresses it, “a project.” But under the Judges begins the strife with them, thenceforth prolonged through centuries (Judg. 3:31; 10:7; 13:1, 5), most victoriously maintained by David (2 Sam. 5:17–25; 8:1), after he had already under Saul distinguished himself as a youthful hero, by the overthrow of Goliath especially (1 Sam. 17), but still leaving it necessary for Hezekiah at a much later period to “smite the Philistines”15 (2 K. 18:8). It is historically remarkable that precisely this, the people most hostile to the Israelites, should have given to the country of the latter the name by which it must probably be forever most familiarly known to us of the West,—Palestine.
§ 3. Other Peoples
Among these belong, above all, the giant peoples (רְפָאִים), of whom repeated mention is made in our book as well as elsewhere, e. g. Joshua 12:4; 13:12; 15:8; 18:16. They were divided into various tribes, of which, in Joshua 11:21, 22; 14:15; 15:13; עֲנָקִים בְּנֵי עֲנָק are specified. Although they are noted, Judg. 1:10, as Canaanites, this statement does not agree with the other places in which they are spoken of. Von Raumer therefore regards them as aborigines. He says: “Before the time of the Canaanitish races, and among them, dwelt giants (רְפָאִים) in Palestine” (p. 364). To these aborigines belonged also, probably, the Horites (Gen. 14:6, 36; 20 ff.; Deut. 2:12, 22),—cave-dwellers, troglodytes (comp. Job 17:6; 24:5 ff.; 30:1 ff.), but not mentioned in our book; and besides these the Avites (עַוִּים) subdued by the Philistines Joshua 13:3; Deut. 2:23; also the Geshuritcs at the foot of Hermon not far from Maacha (Joshua 12:5; 13:13), and the Geshurites (נְּשׁוּרִים perhaps connected with גְּשׁוּר a bridge) in the south of Palestine, near Philistia (Joshua 13:2; 1 Sam. 27:8), and finally the Giblites (Joshua 13:5, הַגִּבְלִי from גְּבַל, Arab. jebel = mountain) in the region of Lebanon.
§ 8. Division
THE CONQUEST OF THE LAND OF CANAAN; OR, “THE EXPLOITS OF THE WAR”
(F. Burmann). Joshua 1–12
Section First. The preparation. Joshua 1–5.
1. The summons to the war, Joshua 1
a. The command of God to Joshua, 1:1–9.
b. The command of Joshua to the leaders of the people, and to the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, 1:10–18.
2. The mission of the spies to Jericho, Joshua 2.
a. Sending of the spies and their reception by Rahab, 2:1–7.
b. Preservation of the spies by Rahab on their promise to her that they would spare her and her father’s house in the capture of the land, 2:8–21.
c. Return of the spies to Joshua, 2:22–24.
3. The passage of the Israelites through the Jordan, chaps, 3, 4.
a. Regulations of Joshua in regard to the passage through the Jordan, 3:1–13.
b. The passage itself of the people through the Jordan, 3:14–4:18.
c. The erection of the memorial at Gilgal, 4:19–24.
4. The consecration to the holy war, Joshua 5.
a. The effect of the entrance into Canaan on the inhabitants of the land, 5:1.
b. The circumcision of the people, 5:2–9.
c. The Passover. Bread of the land, 5:10–12.
d. The war-prince of God, 5:13–15.
Section Second. The contests of Israel with the Canaanites. Joshua 6–11.
A. Contest against particular cities. Joshua 6–8
1. The capture of Jericho, Joshua 6.
a. Preparation for it, 6:1–14.
b. Capture and destruction of Jericho, 6:15–27.
2. Achan’s theft, Joshua 7.
a. The crime, 7:1.
b. The evil consequences in the unfortunate expedition against Ai, 7:2–5.
c. Joshua’s humble prayer and God’s answer thereto, 7:6–15.
d. Detection and punishment of the culprit Achan, 7:16–26.
3. Conquest and destruction of the city of Ai, Joshua 8:1–29.
a. Joshua’s stratagem against Ai, 8:1–13.
b. Apparent flight of the Israelites. Their victory, capture of the city, and its destruction, 8:14–29.
4. The altar of the blessing and curse on Ebal, Joshua 8:30–35.
B. Contest against the allied kings of the Canaanites. Joshua 9–11
1. The first league of Canaanitish kings against Israel, 9:1, 2.
2. The fraud of the Gibeonites, 9:3–27.
a. Coming of the Gibeonites to Joshua and league with them, 9:3–15.
b. Discovery and punishment of their fraud, 9:16–27.
3. The great victory at Gibeon over the five allied Canaanite kings, 10:1–27.
a. Investment of Gibeon by the five allied kings, 10:1–5.
b. Battle at Gibeon, 10:6–15.
c. Flight and destruction of the five kings, 10:16–27.
4. Conquest of South Canaan, 10:28–43.
5. Vanquishment of the northern Canaanites. Capture of their land. General review of the conquest of Canaan, Joshua 11.
a. The second league of Canaanitish kings, 11:1–6.
b. The great victory at the water of Merom, 11:7–9.
c. Subjugation of the rest of northern Palestine, 11:10–15.
d. General review of the conquest of West Palestine, 11:16–23.
Section Third. Catalogue of all the kings conquered under the leadership of Moses and Joshua, in East and West Palestine.
1. Catalogue of the kings conquered in East Palestine, 12:1–6.
2. Catalogue of the kings conquered in West Palestine, 12:7–24.
(F. Burmann). Joshua 13–24
THE DIVISION OF THE LAND OF CANAAN; OR, “DEEDS OF THE PEACE”
(F. Burmann). Joshua 13–24
Section First. God’s command to Joshua to distribute the land in West Palestine. Retrospective glance at the territory already assigned to the two and a half tribes east of the Jordan. Beginning of the division. Caleb’s portion. Chaps, 8, 14.
1. God’s command to Joshua to distribute the land, 13:1–7.
2. The territory of the two and a half tribes east of the Jordan, as already granted to them by Moses, 13:8–33.
a. Its boundaries. The tribe of Levi, 13:8–14.
b. The possession of the tribe of Reuben, 13:15–23.
c. The possession of the tribe of Gad, 13:24–28.
d. The possession of the half tribe of Manasseh. More concerning the tribe of Levi, 13:29–32.
3. Beginning of the distribution, 14:1–5.
4. The possession of Caleb, 14:6–15.
Section Second. Division of West Palestine among the nine and a half tribes remaining Appointment of the cities of refuge, and the cities of the Levites. Joshua 15–21.
1. Territory of the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15.
a. Its boundaries, 15:1–12.
b. Caleb’s possession. His daughter Achsa. Conclusion to Joshua 15:1–12, 15:13–20.
c. Catalogue of the cities of the tribe of Judah, 15:21–63.
α. Cities in the south, 15:21–32.
β. Cities in the lowland, 15:33–47.
γ. Cities on the mountain, 15:48–60.
δ. Cities in the wilderness, 15:61–63.
2. Territory of the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, chaps, 16., 17.
a. Its boundaries, 16:1–4.
b. Portion of the tribe of Ephraim, 16:5–10.
c. Portion of the tribe of Manasseh, 17:1–13.
d. Complaint of the children of Joseph on account of an insufficient possession, 17:14–18.
3. Territories of the seven remaining tribes: Benjamin, Simeon, Zebulon, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, Dan, and the possession of Joshua, Joshua 18, 19
a. Setting up of the Tabernacle at Shiloh. Description of the land yet to be divided.
b. Portion of the tribe of Benjamin, 18:11–28.
α. Its boundaries, 18:11–20.
β. Cities of the tribe of Benjamin, 18:21–28.
c. Portion of the tribe of Simeon, 19:1–9.
d. Portion of the tribe of Zebulun, 19:10–16.
e. Portion of the tribe of Issachar, 19:17–23.
f. Portion of the tribe of Asher 19:24–31.
g. Portion of the tribe of Naphtali, 19:32–39.
h. Portion of the tribe of Dan, 19:40–48.
i. Joshua’s possession, 19:49, 50.
j. Conclusion, 19:51.
4. Appointment of the cities of refuge, Joshua 20.
a. God’s command to Joshua, 20:1–6.
b. Fulfillment of this command, 20:7–9.
5. Appointment of the cities for the priests and Levites, Joshua 21.
a. Demand of the Levites that cities should be given them, 21:1–3.
b. General account of the Levite cities, 21:4–8.
c. Cities of the children of Aaron, 21:9–19.
d. Cities of the other Kohathites, 21:20–26.
e. Cities of the Gershonites, 21:27–33.
f. Cities of the Merarites, 21:34–42.
g. Conclusion, 21:43–45.
Section Third. Release of the two and a half tribes belonging across the Jordan. Joshua s farewell discourse. His own and Eleazar’s death. Chaps, 22–24.
1. Release of the two and a half tribes, Joshua 22.
a. Joshua’s parting discourse, 22:1–8.
b. Return of these tribes to their home. Erection of an altar on the Jordan 22:9, 10.
c. Embassy of Israel to these tribes on account of the altar, 19:11–20.
d. Apology of the two and a half tribes for building the altar, 22:21–31.
e. Return of the embassy. Naming of the altar, 22:32–34.
2. Joshua’s parting with the people. His death and that of Eleazar. The bones of Joseph, Joshua 23, 24.
a. The first parting address, Joshua 23.
α. Promise that Jehovah will still further contend for his people and help them to the complete possession of the land, 23:1–11.
β. Warning against apostasy from God, 23:12–16.
b. The second parting address. Renewal of the covenant. Conclusion, Joshua 24.
α. The second parting address, 24:1–15.
β. Renewal of the covenant, 24:16–28.
γ. Death of Joshua and Eleazar. Joseph’s bones, 24:29–33.
§ 9. Literature
I. Isagogical.—Besides the Introductions to the O. T. of De Wette [translated into English by Theo. Parker], Bleek [translated by Venables, 2 vols. London, 1869], Hävernick [translated, Edinb. 1852], [Horne (Davidson)], and Keil [translated by C. Douglass, 2 vols. Glasgow, 1870], the following treatises are worthy of special mention: C. H. Van Herwerden, Disputatio de Libro Josuœ sive de Diversis, ex quibus constat, Josuœ Liber Monumentis deque Ætate, qua eorum vixerunt Auctores, Gröning. 1826. G. A. Hauff, Einige Bemerkungen über das Buch Josua in Klaiber’s Studien der würtemb. Geistlichkeit, ii. 1, 105–126; and by the same author: Offenbarungsglaube und Kritik der biblischen Geschichtsbücher am Beispiele des Buches Josua in ihrer nothwendigen Einheit dargethan, Stuttgart, 1843. König, Alttest. Studien, Heft. 1. Authentie des Buches Josua, Meurs, 1836. See Theol. Studien und Kritiken, xi. 260 ff. Baumgarten, on Josua, also on das Buch Josua in Herzog’s Theol. Realencyklopädie, vii. 38–43. Winer, in his Bibl. Realwörterbuch, art. Josua. Knobel, Kritik des Pentateuch und Josua in the Exeget. Handbuch, 1861, part xiii. pp. 489–606. Nöldeke, Die alttestamentliche Literatur, Leipz. 1868, pp. 13–42. Nöldeke, Untersuchungen zur Kritik des Alten Testamentes, Kiel, 1869, pp. 1–144. Fürst, Geschichte der biblisch. Literatur, Leipz. 1867, vol. i. Fürst, Der Kanon des Alten Testamentes, Leipzig, 1868. Schlottmann, Die Inschrift Eschmunazars, Königs der Sidonier, Halle, 1868, pp. 9–34.
“Ephraem Syri, Explanatio in Libr. Josuœ in vol. i. of his Opera Syriace. Theodoreti, Quœstiones in Josuam, in vol. i. of his Opera, ed. Schulze. Aurel. Augustini, Quœstiones in Libr. Josuœ, in vol
iii. of his Opera, Antwerp, 1700, fol. R. Sal. Jarchi (Raschi), Comment. Heb. in Libr. Josuœ, etc., Lat. vers, a Jo. Fr. Breithaupto, Goth. 1714, 4to.
“Jo. Calvini, Commentarii in Libros Mosis necnon in Librum Josuœ, Amstelodami, 1667, fol. Nic. Serarius, Comment, in Libr. Josuœ, etc., Mog. 1609, vol. i. fol. Andreas Masius, Josuœ Imperatoris Historia illustrata, Antwerp, 1574, fol. Dav. Chytræi in Historiam Josuœ, etc., Explicationes Utilissimœ, Lips. 1592, fol. J. A. Osiander, Commentarius in Josuam, Tüb. 1681, fol. J. Christ. Ysing, Exercitationes Historicœ in Pentateuchum et Librum Josuœ, Regiom, 1683, 4to. Seb. Schmidt, Annotationes in Libr. Josuœ, appended to his Comment. in Jesaiam, ed. 2, Francof. 1692, 4to. Critici Sacri, containing Annotata in Libr. Josuœ by Seb. Munster, Fr. Vatablus, Isid. Clarius, A. Masius, Jo. Drusius, and Hugo Grotius, vol. i. ed. 2, Francof. 1696, fol. Synopis Criticorum, etc., adorn. a Matth. Polo, Francof. 1694, vol. i. 4to. Corn, a Lapide, Comment. in Josuam, etc., Antwerp, 1718, fol. Jo. Clerici, Veteris Test. Libri Historici, etc., ed. nov. Tüb. 1783, fol.
“Aug. Calmet, Commentaire Literal sur le Vet. Test., Josue, le Juges, etc., Paris, 1711, 4to. J. D. Michaelis, Anmerkungen für Ungelehrte, with his Germ, translation of the O. T., part v. i. Götting. 1774, 4to. Jo. Christ. Frid. Schulzii, Scholia in Vet. Test., vol. ii., Norimb. 1784, 8vo. Exegetisches Handbuch des Alten Test., part i. with appendices in three parts., Leipz., 1797, 8vo. Thadd. Ant. Dereser, Anmerkungen zu der heiligen Schrift des Alten Test. (as edited by him and Dom. v. Brentano) part ii. vol. i., Frankf. 1801, 8vo. F. J. V. D. Maurer Commentar über das Buch Josua, Stuttg. 1831, 8vo. Ern. Fr. Car. Rosenmüller, Scholia in Vet. Test., part xi. vol. i. Josuam continens, Lips. 1833, 8vo.”
To this list of Commentaries given by Keil, and very carefully prepared, we may add still: Walch, Bibl. Theol. iv. 466 sqq., 980. Das Buch Josua nach dem Masoretischem Texte neu übersetzt (by Edward Kley), edited by Frankel, Leipz. 1817. F. J. V. D. Maurer, Commentarius grammaticus criticus in V. T. in Usum maxime Gynasiorum et Academiarum adornatus, vol. i. 97–126, Lips. 1835, 8vo. K. F. Keil. Kommentar über das Buch Josua, Erlangen, 1847, 8vo. [translated into English, Edinb. 185716]. Kurzgefasstes Exegetisches Handbuch zum Alten Test., part xiii.; Numeris, Deuteronomium und Josua, erklärt von Dr. A. Knobel, Nebst einer Kritik des Pentateuch und Josua, Leipz. 1861, 8vo. Biblischer Kommentar über das Alte Test., edited by K. F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, Zweiter Theil. Die prophetischen Geschichtsbücher, Erster Band: Josua, Richter und Ruth, von. K. F. Keil, Leipz. 1863.17 (An abridged edition of his former work, revised with reference to the commentary of Knobel, which had appeared in the interval [translated into English, Edinb., 1865]).
[Many of the general Commentaries on the O. T. and special Treatises on pertinent topics mentioned in the first volume of this Commentary on the N. T., p. 19, and in the first on the O. T. pp. 62, 63, might here be recalled. In particular, our old popular commentators should not be altogether overlooked: Mat. Henry, Scott, Gill, Ad. Clarke, etc. Though they may be often less than satisfactory on the “hard places,” and sometimes unduly swayed by their theological systems respectively, their insight into the religious significance and uses of the divine word at times shows itself very instructively.
We may mention especially on the Book of Joshua:—
Bush, Notes Critical and Practical on the Books of Joshua and Judges, 1838.
Chr. Wordsworth, Holy Bible with Notes, ii. part i. pp. 1–74, Lond. 1865.—TR.]
Of the numerous monographs which have been published on particular passages of our book, especially on Joshua 10:9 ff., we specify the following: A. Calmet, Concerning the Command of Joshua that the Sun and the Moon should stand still, and the Rain of Stones which fell on the Canaanites, Josh. x 11 ff., in his Biblical Researches, iii. 1, 53 ff. An Attempt to prove from the Scripture that the Sun did not stand still in Joshua’s Time: in the Theological Repository, vol. i. See Allgem. Deutsche Bibliothek, iii. 29 ff. Biblisch-astron. Abhandlung von der Kopernischen Meinung der Weltban, als der heil. Schrift nicht entgegen, Leipz. 1774. Sturm, Ist Jos. x. 12 der Stillstand des Sonnes oder des Hagelwetters zu verstehen? Schleitz, 1778. J. D. Ilgen, De Imbre Lapideo et Solis et Lunœ Mora inter Pugnam Israelitarum sub Josuœ Auspiciis cum Amorrhœis, Lips. 1793, 4to. J. Chr. F. Steudel, Was sagt der Stillstand der Sonne auf Josuä Geheiss? in the Tübing. Zeitschrift, 1813, i. 126–152. N. A. Chr. Weigle, Ueber Josua x. 7–15, ibid. 1834, iv. 107–165. Hengstenberg, in the Evangelische-Kirchenzeitung, 1832, No. 88, and ibid. 1868, Nos. 47 and 49. Das Wunder des Herrn in der Schlact wider die Amoriter: A Reply to the Essay in the Evang. Church Gazette (Nov. 1832) on the standing still of the Sun, Josh. x., Barmen und Schwelm, 1833. G. F. Goltz, Die Stillstehende Sonne zu Gibeon, nach Grundsätzen des Koperkanischen Systems erlaütert und vertheidïgt. Dr. G. Barzilai, Un Errore di Trente Secoli, 1868, translated into German by Dr, J. M. Triest, under the title: Josua und die Sonne: Explanation of the passage Josh. ch. x. 9–14 by Dr. G. Barzilai, Printing-House of the Austrian Lloyds, 1868. Zöckler, Kopernikus order Ptolomœus? Betrachtung über Josua x. 12, 13, in the Beweis des Glaubens, iv. (July and August 1868), p. 248 ff. G. Jahn, Der gesunde Menschenverstand und die stillstehende Sonne zu Gibeon, Ducherow, 1868. A. Hengstenberg (in Bochum), on Josh. 10:12–14, in the Beweis des Glaubens, v. (June 1869), pp. 287, 288.
III. Historical Writings
J. J. Hess, Geschichte der Israeliten vor den Zeiten Jesu, Zürich, 1776–1778, 12 Bde.; in particular Bd. 1, History of the Commanders. Bertheau, Israelit. Geschichte, p. 271 ff. H. Ewald, Geschichte des volkes Israel bis Christus, Bd. 2, p. 296 ff. (2 Ausg.) Göttingen, 1853 [translated into English by Russell Martineau, Lond. 1868. The references in this work are to the 2d Germ. edition, but the nature of the topics will easily lead in all cases to the place intended.—TR.] J. H. Kurz, Lehrbuch der heiligen Geschichte, 6 Aufl., Königsberg, 1853, pp. 97–103. [Translated into English, Edinb. 1859.] L. Noach, Von Eden und Golgotha, Biblisch-geschichtl. Forschungen, Leipz. O. Wigand, 1868. (Hitherto two volumes have appeared full of the strangest hypotheses suited to confound all previous researches. See the critique in the Literar. Centralblatt, 1869, No. 25). F. Hitzig, Geschichte des Volkes Israel vom Anbeginn bis zur Eroberung Masada’s im Jahre 72 nach Christus. In two parts, Part I. To the end of the Persian Rule. Leipz. 1869, p. 95 ff. [Oehler, Das Volk Gottes, in Herzog, Realencyk. vol. xvii. p. 259 f. Dean Milman, History of the Jews, N. Y. 1867, book v. Dean Stanley, Lectures on the History of the Jewish Church, 1st Series, lects. ix.–xii. “The Conquest of Palestine.” Rawlinson’s Historical Evidences, Boston, 1860, lect. iii.—TR.]
IV. Geographical Writings
1. Books of Travel. As important towards the geographical explanation of the Book of Joshua, we must mention particularly: Travels in Syria and the Holy Land, by Burckhardt, Lond. 1822. In German: J. L. Burckhardt’s Reisen in Syrien, Palästina und der Gegend des Berges Sinai, edited by Gesenius, Weimar, 1823, 2 Bde, 8vo. Seetzen’s Reisen durch Syrien, Palästina, Phönizier, die Transjordanländer, Arabia, Petrœa und Unteregypten, edited by Kruse, Berlin, 1854, 3 Theile. G. H. v. Schubert, Reise in das Morgenland in den Jahren 1836 u. 1837, Erlangen, 1838–40, 3 Bde. Biblical Researches in Palestine, Mount Sinai, and Arabia Petrœa; A Journal of Travels in the Year 1838, by E. Robinson and E. Smith, edited by Edw. Robinson, D. D.; 3 vols. Boston, 1841.18 [2d ed. 1856, 2 vols. 8vo.] Later Biblical Researches in Palestine, by the same, 1856, 8vo.19 [Next in importance to Dr. Robinson’s invaluable writings, for the American student, and almost indispensable to interpret even them to our imagination and heart, must now be reckoned Stanley’s Sinai and Palestine (Am. ed. N. Y. 1868). The praise bestowed on this by Grove in the Dict. of the Bible, is not exaggerated. Singularly valuable towards a revision of the English version of the O. T. is the Vocabulary of Topographical Terms, with which, as an appendix, this work is enriched.—TR.] Strauss, Sinai und Golgotha, 7 Aufl. Berlin, 1859. J. Rusegger, Reisen in Europa, Asien und Africa, Stuttg. 1841–50, 7 Bde. Philip Wolf, Reise in das Gelobte Land, with a new plan of Jerusalem, Stuttg. 1849. E. W. Schultz, Reise in das Gelobte Land, Mülheim a. d. M. 1853. Titus Tobler, Dritte Wanderung nach Palästina, im Jahr 1857; A ride through Philistia, travels on foot in the mountain of Judæa, and gleaning in Jerusalem; Gotha, 1859, with a map. Titus Tobler, Nazareth in Palästina. Nebst Anhang der vierten Wanderung, with a supplement of Illustrations; Berlin, 1868. Konrad Furrer, Wanderungen durch Palästina, with a view and plan of Jerusalem and a map of Palestine (by Henry Lange), Zurich, 1865. Fr. Valentiner, Das heilige Land, “wie es war” und “wie es ist.” Keil, 1868. Van de Velde, Memoir, in explanation of his Map of the Holy Land, mentioned below. See on the whole subject, Titus Tobler, Bibliographia Geographica Palœstinœ, Leipz. 1867.
[This work is said by Dr. Hackett (Smith’s Dict. of the Bible, art. Palestine, p. 2319) to present the names of 1066 writers on subjects connected with the geography of Palestine. The appendix to Dr. Robinson’s Biblical Researches gives a chronological list of such authors, embracing almost all of much importance up to that time, and the catalogue published in Gage’s Translation of Ritter (vol. ii.), with that at the close of the article, Palestine, in the Dictionary of the Bible, Amer. edition, will supply all that is needed to fill out this department of bibliography to the present date. And here we take occasion to say that in that Dictionary almost every geographical topic, mentioned in the present work, and scarcely less topics of biography, antiquities, ethnology, will be found treated with a satisfactory fullness of learning and admirable succinctness. The corrections and additions of the American edition are valuable throughout, and within the sphere of sacred geography are quite essential to the due presentation of a few important questions. It may almost replace for the English student, and is in some respects superior, in point of geographical information, to the great German Theological Dictionary, Herzog’s Theologische Realencyklopädie für Protestantische Theologie und Kirche, Stuttg. & Hamb. 1844–1866.
Much of the same praise is believed to be due to the geographical articles in the last edition of Kitto’s Cyclopœdia of Biblical Literature, and Fairbairn’s Imperial Bible Dictionary, illustrated; with which, however, the present writer is less well acquainted.
We repeat the titles of two or three books of travel, besides those named above, which seem most likely to be accessible and of service to Biblical students generally, in this country, so far as the Book of Joshua is concerned.
H. B. Tristram, The Land of Israel, a Journal of Travels in Palestine, undertaken with Special Reference to its Physical Character. Lond. 1866. Worthy to stand on the same shelf with Robinson and Stanley.
Wm. M. Thomson, The Land and the Book; or Biblical Illustrations drawn from the Manners and Customs, the Scenes and the Scenery of the Holy Land; with maps, engravings, etc. 2 vols. N. Y. 1865. Full of general information on the country, the fruit of twenty-five years’ experience as a missionary there, and rendered more useful by a large number of really illustrative pictorial representations.
A multitude of American and English travellers in Palestine have published books within a few years, all contributing something towards a complete knowledge of the land, its present aspect and condition, its productions, its ancient monuments, and its history. We name the following without pausing to give full titles, because their works are, for the most part, familiar and easily procurable: Bausman, Miss Beaufort, Drew, Durbin, Fiske, Hackett, Herschell, Lieut. Lynch, McGregor (Rob Roy on the Jordan), Miss Martineau, Olin, Osborne, Miss Rogers, Stephens, Wilson.—TR.]
2. Geographies of Palestine. Adriani Relandi, Palœstina ex Monumentis Veteribus illustrata, Trajecti Batavorum, 1714, 4to. K. Ritter, Erdkunde, 2 Ausg., Berlin, 1850–1852 (Bd. 15 u. 16). [Of these remarkable volumes, which must long remain the great storehouse of all that had been communicated concerning the Bible-lands, the portions most essential to the Biblical student have been translated by Wm. L. Gage, and published in four octavo volumes. The Comparative Geography of Palestine and the Sinaitic Peninsula, N. Y. 1866.—TR.] By the same author: Der Jordan und die Beschiffung des todten Meeres, Berlin, 1850; and, Ein Blick auf Palästina und seine christliche Bevölkerung, Berlin, 1852. K. v. Raumer, Palästina; with a map of Palestine, 4 Aufl., Leipz. 1860. L. Völter, Das heilige Land und das Land der Israelitischen Wanderung, with a map of Palestine and a number of engravings, 2 Aufl., Stuttg. 1864. Edw. Robinson, Physical Geography of the Holy Land, Boston, 1865 (excellent). G. Arnoud, La Palestine Ancienne et Moderne ou Géographie Historique et Physique de la Palestine, avec 3 cartes chromo-lithographiees, Paris, 1868 (leaves much to be desired, and in the accompanying maps also. Comp. the Review in the Jahrbüchern für Deutsche Theologie, xiv. 2).
[On the Geography of Palestine we may add, as perhaps more appropriately belonging under this head,—
N. C. Burt, The Land and its Story: or the Sacred Historical Geography of Palestine, N. Y. 1869.
H. S. Osborne, Palestine, Past and Present, with Biblical, Literary, and Scientific Notices, Phil. 1859.
Very full and valuable on the Geography of Palestine are the articles, “Palestina,” by Arnold, in Herzog’s Realencyk., vol. xi., and “Städten und Ortschaften,” vol. xiv. by the same.
“The Bibliotheca Sacra (vols. 1–26, 1864–1869) is particularly rich in articles on Biblical Geography from Dr. Robinson and various American missionaries in Palestine and other parts of the East.”—(Hackett).
The following are worthy of notice more particularly in reference to the Natural History of the Holy Land:—
The Natural History of the Bible, by W. H. Tristram, published by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. The sketch by the same author in the article Palestine in the Dictionary of the Bible, p. 2307 ff. is a real multum in parvo.
H. S. Osborne, Plants of the Holy Land with their Fruits and Flowers. Illustrated. Phil. 1860.
W. S. Gage, Studies in Bible Lands, with 72 Illustrations, N. Y.
H. B. Hackett, Illustrations of Scripture suggested by a Tour through the Holy Land, Boston, 1866.
J. G. Wood, Bible Animals: being a Description of every Living Creature mentioned in the Scriptures, from the Ape to the Coral. N. Y. 1870.
Finally we must notice the publication of a work which, from the proved ability of its authors and the peculiar advantages which they have enjoyed, is sure to add much to the accuracy of our knowledge of the Holy Land:—
The Recovery of Jerusalem; a Narrative of Exploration and Discovery in the City and in the Holy Land. By Capt. Wilson, R. E., Capt. Warren, R. E., etc., etc. With an Introduction by Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, D. D., Dean of Westminster. Edited by Walter Morison, M. P., Honorary Treasurer to the Palestine Exploration Fund, London, 1871.—TR.]
3. Maps. Besides those given in the different travels and geographical works on Palestine we will mention: Karte von Palästina, principally after the itineraries and measurements of Robinson and Smith, constructed and engraved by H. Kiepert, Berlin, 1840. Karte von Palästina nach den neuesten Quellen bearbeitet und gezeichnet von H. Kiepert, edited by C. Ritter, Berlin, 1842. H. Kiepert, Wandkarte von Palästina in acht Blättern, 3 Aufl. 1866. Karte von Palästina, by C. W. M. Van de Velde. Eight sheets printed in colors, Gotha, Justus Perthes, 1866. A German edition of the 2d English edition of the map of the Holy Land, first published in Gotha by Justus Perthes, 1858. The scale is 1–315000. (Extremely valuable for the study of the second part of our book, and in general quite excellent).—From the same publisher appeared in 1868: Der Bibelatlas in acht Blättern, von Dr. Theodor Menke, which has rightly met with high appreciation in all the criticisms upon it, and has rendered us the most essential aid in the preparation of our commentary, by its clear chartographic representation of the territory of the twelve tribes of Israel before the exile. It even distinguishes by the appropriate numbers (Map iii.), the groups of cities (Jos. 15, 18) in Judah and Benjamin.
[Preëminently valuable is the Bible Atlas of Maps and Plans by Samuel Clark, M. A. (Lond. 1868), published by the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge. Except for the expense, this might satisfy all wants until further discoveries, especially of the Palestine Exploration Fund shall, as they must, supersede the best representations heretofore possible.
Only less complete and accurate than this is Menke’s Bible-Atlas, deservedly praised above, and which, although the names are given in German, will still be quite intelligible to any English scholar,—at less than one third the cost.
What the foregoing collections of Maps are for hand use, in the study, that is the large Wall Map of Palestine and other parts of Syria, by H. S. Osborne, LL.D., and Lyman Coleman, D. D., Philadelphia, for public exhibition in the Sunday-school, or lecture room. It is 6 feet by 9 in size, with a side map of Jerusalem and its immediate vicinity, on a scale much larger still. Its delineation of the boundaries of the tribes west of the Jordan differs, however, considerably from that on Menke’s Maps, and needs to be carefully tested by the record in our book.
About two thirds the size of the former is Kiepert’s Wall Map of Palestine, very highly recommended and costing about half as much.
Raaz’s New Wall Map of Palestine, photo-lithographed from a very excellent relief, so that “all the effects of the relief in light and shadow, mountains, valleys, lakes, streams, etc., are produced on a plane surface without destroying the illusion of a raised surface,” has been reproduced in this country with the names and descriptions in English, and at a very moderate price. N. Y. 1870. Size 52 inches by 32.
There is also an excellent Relief Map of Palestine, after Van de Velde, easily obtainable through the German bookstores. Size 22 by 17 inches.
Less ambitious and costly than most of these are several good atlases and maps (but varying in excellence), published by the American Tract Society, the American Sunday School Union, and by private publishers, such as Colton, New York; Garigues & Co., Philadelphia, etc., etc.
A small relief map, prepared by W. L. Gage, is worth far more than its cost; and quite marvelous for its combination of accuracy, fullness, and cheapness is the little Atlas designed o accompany the New Hand-Book of Bible Geography, Carleton & Lanahan, New York, 1870.—TR.]
V. Homiletical Literature
Besides the well-known Commentaries of Starke, von Gerlach, Lisco, Dächsel, the Berleburger, Herschberger and Calwer Bibles, we cite also: Franciskus Burmannus, Die Richter Israels oder Auslegung und Betrachtung der Bücher Josua, der Richter und Ruth, Frankfort bei Jost Hinrich Drecker, Ao. 1695, 4to. Handel has musically wrought Joshua into his glorious Oratorio.
[J. N. Darby, Synopsis of the Books of the Bible, in 5 vols. Vol. i. pp. 299–345. 2d ed. Lond.
Matthew Henry deserves to be specially mentioned under this head. Many of his quaint remarks equal both in piety, aptness, and point, the rich comments of the German writers given in the following pages.
The Gospel in the Book of Joshua (Anon. N. Y. 1870) may suggest some profitable Christian applications of the language of the O. T., although, like Darby above, but in a greater degree, too much inclined to make gospel where the revealing spirit had only seen fit to put something else, perhaps equally good in its place.—TR.]
1[We append to this the following interesting remarks of Keil, on the prophetical character of the historical books “These books thus present no general history of the nation of Israel in its merely political and civil development, but the history of the people of God, that is of Israel, in its theocratic development as the covenant people and bearer of the salvation which from the seed of Abraham was to be revealed, in the fullness of time, to all peoples. Their authors have accordingly selected and delivered through prophetic illumination, out of the rich and various multiplicity of family, tribe and national history furnished by written and oral tradition, only those facts and occurrences, which were of moment toward the history of the kingdom of God. These were, besides the revelations of God in word and deed, and besides his wonderful works and the prophetic attestations of the divine counsel and will, above all, the moments in the life, the action or inaction of the people which had operated to further or obstruct the progress of the divine common-wealth. Whatever did not stand in intimate connection with this higher aim and peculiar calling of Israel is, generally speaking, entirely omitted, or at most only so far touched upon as it served to make clear the position of the entire people or of its leaders and governors toward the Lord and his kingdom. Hence we readily understand the apparent inequality in the treatment of the history, that here and there long periods are characterized only by some general remarks, while the fortunes and acts of certain persons are portrayed with almost biographical completeness; that the natural causes of the events and the subjective motives which determined the conduct of the historical personages, remain for the most part unnamed, or are only incidentally and briefly intimated. The divine agency and influence therein are mean-while constantly made prominent and, so far as they were manifested in extraordinary ways, carefully and circumstantially related. .... The prophetical character, however, by which these historical works are distinguished from the other sacred historical writings of the Israelites, consists in this: that they describe the theocratic history not from he point of view of the individual author, but in its actual course answering to the progressive unfolding of the divine plan, as could be done only by prophets to whom the spirit of the Lord had disclosed the vision of God’s economy of salvation.”—Bib. Commentar über d. A. T. ii. Theil, 1 Bd. p. x. f.—TR.]
2[Keil does adduce (Bib. Com. p. 5), as an instance of this, the statement (Joshua 6:25) that Rahab is living in Israel “unto this day.”—TR.]
3[In these passages respectively, “the Sidonians alone are called Phœnicians, and these are reckoned among the Canaanates to be extirpated by Israel (Joshua 13:4–6), altogether differently from the view of David’s time (2 Sam. 5:11; 1 K. Joshua 5; 1 Chr. 14:1); moreover, Sidon by the epithet “the great” is designated as the capital of Phœnicia (11:8, 19:28) while as early as David’s day Tyre had taken the lead of Sidon.”—Keil, Bib. Com., p. 7.—TR.]
4[But comp. Lange, Gen. in loc. (cont. Tayler Lewis); Conant, Heb. Chrest, p. 43.—TR.]
5[I. e. the song could not; of the book it would only be true that it could not have been finished earlier.—TR.]
6 [To most English-speaking Christians the freedom with which these critics, especially Knobel, discuss the sacred books will give pain as being irreverent and apparently incompatible with sincere Christianity. Such Christians generally hold that the Church of Christ does rest “on the authenticity of the New Testament Books,” and they on the O. T. theocracy, and that on the Books of the Old Testament (see Lange’s Commentary on Genesis in this Bible-work, p. 99, Obs.). And there is evidently danger that the too extensive analysis, composition, and recomposition of these books should impair confidence in their divine authority. Yet Knobel’s labors on the Pentateuch and Joshua have been not only of prodigious toil, but in various respects of great value. The same is true in their several proportions of the other men to whom we refer; and in estimating their religious character we are doubtless bound to consider carefully what Lange, in the passage just referred to, has intimated concerning the distinction between Revelation and the written record of it as the ground of the Kingdom of God. Charity will often be constrained to hope that the distinction is soundly drawn.
But apart from this and conceding that scientific research is equally allowable touching the Word and the works of God, the fancifulness and “subjectivity” of such elaborate and minute specifications as some of those above summarized, and the tenuity of many of the reasons assigned, provoke laughter rather than argumentative confutation. That one should gravely split a verse in numerous passages so as to refer the various fragments to their respective authors, and should be obliged to do it to save his theory, is, to most minds, slaughtering the theory at its birth. Our curiosity is naturally raised by such attempts to imagine what the next speculator in Biblical criticism will propose for our wonderment; nay, we inquire what even the same mind, after having dropped for a time and forgotten the particulars of his previous fabrication, would invent, if he were to take up the whole subject anew. We believe Knobel has never been outdone in ingenuity of fiction in this province of literature, except by Ewald, whose theory (briefly outlined in Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, vol. iii. p. 2411, Am. ed.) must probably yet bear the palm. It would seem that the climax is admitted to have been reached, and subsequent writers, of whatever theological school,—even Nöldeke,—while maintaining generally the composite character of these books, are much more modest in attempting to partition the authorship.—TR.]
7[The reader interested in the question concerning the origin of our book (connecting itself so closely with that of the Pentateuch) will do well to consult again the “General Introduction to the O. T.” by Lange in vol. i. of his Commentary on the O. T. and Prof. Lewis’ “Special Introduction to the Book of Genesis” there. Add Dr. Conant’s brief but comprehensive Introduction to the Book of Genesis in his revised version, the articles on Genesis, Pentateuch, Joshua, in Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, with particular reference to the additions of the American edition The translator would only say further that in his judgment there seems to be no good ground for the reluctance with which many of even the most reverent of recent German scholars admit the possibility that Moses and Joshua should have written considerable parts of the works that bear their names. In the darkness which covers the details of the subject it is a priori probable that those leaders should have written, or caused to be written, very much of such history and such statutes as their reputed books contain. And certainly no other names present themselves, during the period within which all agree that the main body of this literature must have been composed, as nearly so likely to have effected the authorship. If this be conceded the modifications and additions of subsequent redactions need have been much less thorough an transforming than is generally supposed. See Milman’s interesting Note, Hist. of Jews, L 160.—TR.]
8 [“It is better”—so spoke a theologian of no fanatical tendency, in a strain, it may be, of excessive [?] but still of noble indignation,—”it is better that the wicked should be destroyed a hundred times over than that they should tempt those who are yet innocent to join their company. Let us but think what might have been our fate, and the fate of every other nation under heaven at this hour, had the sword of the Israelites done its work more sparingly. Even as it was, the small portion of the Canaanites who were left, and the nations around them, so tempted the Israelites by their idolatrous practices, that we read continually of the whole people of God turning away from his service. But had the heathen lived in the land in equal numbers, and, still more, had they intermarried largely with the Israelites, how was it possible, humanly speaking, that any sparks of God’s truth should have survived to the coming of Christ? Would not the Israelites have lost all their peculiar character? and if they had retained the name of Jehovah as of their God, would they not have formed as unworthy notions of his attributes, and worshipped him with a worship as abominable as that which the Moabities paid to Chemosh, or the Philistines to Dagon?
But this was not to be, and therefore the nations of Canaan were to be cut off utterly. The Israelite’s sword, in its bloodiest executions, wrought a work of mercy for all the countries of the earth to the very end of the world. They seem of very small importance to us now, those perpetual contests with the Canaanites, and the Midianites, and the Ammonites, and the Philistines, with which the books of Joshua and Judges and Samuel are almost filled. We may half wonder that God should have interfered in such quarrels, or have changed the course of nature, in order to give one of the nations of Palestine the victory over another. But in these contests, on the fate of one of these nations of Palestine, the happiness of the human race depended. The Israelites fought not for themselves only, but for us. It might follow that they should thus be accounted the enemies of all mankind—it might be that they were tempted by their very distinctness to despise other nations; still they did God’s work,—still they preserved unhurt the seed of eternal life, and were the ministers of blessing to other nations, even though they themselves failed to enjoy it.” Arnold’s (Dr. Thos.) Sermons, vi. 35–37, as found in Stanley’s Lectures on the Jewish Church, lect. xi. p. 283 ff. And see Stanley’s whole treatment in that Lecture of the moral difficulty connected with the extermination of the Canaanites.—Tr.]
9 [Baumgarten’s characterization of Joshua in Herzog’s Real-Encyc., s. v. Josua, is in much the same tone as the above. From Stanley’s Lectures on the Jewish Church, vol. i. lect. 10, we extract the following vivid and impressive sketch of the sacred leader of Israel, breathing a somewhat different sentiment, and hardly giving (as many will think) that regard to his sacredness which it deserves:—
“The difference, indeed, between Moses and Joshua, was marked as strongly as possible Joshua was the soldier,—the first soldier consecrated by the sacred history. He was not a teacher, not a prophet. He, one may say, hated the extension of prophecy (?) with a feeling which recalls a well-known saying of the great warrior of our own age He could not restrain his indignation when he heard that there were two unauthorized prophesiers within the camp. ‘My lord Moses forbid them.’ He was a simple, straightforward, undaunted soldier. His first appearance is in battle. ‘Choose outmen, go out, fight with Amalek.’ He is always known by his spear or javelin slung between his shoulders or stretched out in his hand. The one quality which is required of him, and described in him, is that he was ‘very courageous.’ ‘He was strong and of a good courage.’ ‘He was not afraid nor dismayed.’ He turned not to the right hand nor to the left; but at the head of the hosts of Israel he went right forward from Jordan to Jericho, from Jericho to Ai, from Ai to Gibeon, to Beth-horon, to Merom. He wavered not for a moment; he was here, he was there; he was everywhere, as the emergency called for him. He had no words of wisdom, except those which shrewd common sense and public spirit dictated. To him the divine revelation was made not in the burning bush nor in the still small voice (?), but as the Captain of the Lord’s host, with a drawn sword in his hand; and that drawn and glittering sword was the vision that went before him through the land, till all the kings of Canaan were subdued beneath his feet.
“It is not often, either in sacred or in common history, that we are justified in pausing on anything so outward and (usually) so accidental as a name. But if ever there be an exception, it is in the case of Joshua. In him it first appears with an appropriateness which the narrative describes as intentional. His original name, Hoshea, ‘salvation,’ is transformed into Jehoshua, or Joshua, ‘God’s salvation;’ and this, according to the modification which Hebrew names under-went in their passage through the Greek language, took, in the later ages of the Jewish Church, sometimes the form of Jason, but more frequently that which has now become indelibly impressed upon history as the greatest of all names,—JESUS.
“Slight as may be the connection between the first and the last to whom this name was given with any religious significance, it demands our consideration for the sake of two points which are often overlooked, and which may in this relation so catch the attention of those who might else overlook them altogether. One is the prominence into which it brings the true meaning of the sacred Name, as a deliverance, not from ‘imputed’ or ‘future’ or ‘unknown’ dangers, but from enemies as real as the Canaanitish host. The first Joshua was to save his people from their actual foes. The second was to ‘save His people from their sins.’ Again, the career of Joshua gives a note of preparation for the singularly martial, soldier-like aspect—also often forgotten—under which his Namesake is at times set forth. The courage, the cheerfulness, the sense of victory and of success, which runs both through the actual history of the Gospels, and through the idealization of it in ‘the Conqueror’ of the writings of St. John, finds its best illustration from the older church in the character and career of Joshua.
10[Robinson says (Phys. Geog. p. 18): “The whole area of the land of Palestine does not vary greatly from twelve thousand geographical square miles,—about equal to the area of the two States of Massachusetts and Connecticut together.” See also Smith’s Dict. of the Bible, Am. ed. 2286 ff.— TR.]
11[The Philistine lowlands. See Smith’s Dict. of the Bible, art. “Sephelah.”—TR.]
12[On the different races of the Canaanites compare the brief but comprehensive sketch by Stanley, Hist. of Jewish Ch. lect. ix., and the articles under the respective titles in Smith’s Dict. of the Bible.—TR.]
13[This interpretation is said by Grove, Smith’s Dict. of the Bible, art. “Amorite,” “to be due to Simonis though commonly ascribed to Ewald.”—TR.]
14[The almost entire absence of the article with this name throughout the historical books is noticeable.—TR.]
15[See further on the Philistines particularly the very valuable article s. h. v. in Smith’s Dict, of Bible. On the whole subject of the aborigines of Palestine, the account given by Ritter in vol. ii. of W. L. Gage’s abridgment of his great work may also be strongly recommended.—TR.]
16[References to this earlier work of Keil in the present commentary will be adapted to the English translation.—TR.
17[References to this work in these pages will apply to the German Edition.—TR.]
18[The references to this work in the present volume are adapted to the edition of 1841. The copious indices will in almost all cases readily direct to the desired portion of either edition.—TR.]
19[The references to Later Bibl. Res. in this work are conformed to the 2d ed., Boston, 1857.]