Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

to bake it. Moreover, if it was a natural or common pro- i the parent of kopíayvov of Theophrastus, whence the Latin duct, how is it that the Israelites did not know what it coriandrum. It is diffused over all the regions of the old was ? (v. 15, and Deut. viii. 16); and how, in that case, world, hence the simile is intelligible to the inhabitants of could it have been worth while, after the supply had ceased, the greater portion of the globe. to preserve a quantity of the manna in the tabernacle and

33. Take a pot, and put an omer full of manna therein.' temple as an evidence of the miracle to future generations ?

-There have been very different opinions as to the maSee further on this subject in the author's Physical His

terial and form of this vessel. The Rabbins disagree tory of Palestine, i. 275-278.

among themselves on the subject, some describing it as of Since this note was first written in 1835, much attention earthenware; while others think it was glass, and others has been given to the subject by travellers and others; but | still contend for brass or copper. But the Septuagint says we have nothing to add, as no new fact has been produced it was of gold; and St. Paul, whose authority is final, states or fresh conclusion exhibited.

the same (Heb. ix. 4). As to its form, it is generally un31. •Coriander.'- It is generally agreed that the Hebrew

derstood as of an urn-like figure. Reland thinks that it had word 7 gad, does really represent the coriander. This, a lid or cover like the pots in which wine was kept, and corthe Coriandrum sativum of botanists, is an umbelliferous roborates his conclusions on the subject generally by giving plant akin to the parsley in family characteristics. The figures of the manna-pot, as represented on some Samaritan fowers grow in an umbel, and are individually small and medals, which must be allowed to furnish the best auwhite. The leaves are much divided, and smooth. The thority on the subject that we are now able to obtain. seeds are employed, from their aromatic nature, in culinary These medals represent it as having two long handles or purposes, and hence their round and finished shape is well ears; and Reland shows that vessels of this form were known. In the umbelliferous plants the fruit uniformly called "asses,' both by the Greeks and Romans; perhaps separates into two similar halves, which are the seeds; but on account of the ears; and he very ingeniously traces to in the coriander they continue nnited after they are ripe. this circumstance the origin of a calumny, which Josephus If we examine the seed we shall perceive very readily that confutes without explaining how it arose :-this was, that it is compounded of two, while a reference to the parsley, when Antiochus plundered the Temple, he found there the or any other example of the umbelliferous family, will figure of an ass's head, all of gold, which was worshipped illustrate the peculiarity of the coriandrum in this respect. by the Jews. Others, however, account for this scandalous The word koplov, employed by the Septuagint, is evidently I charge in a different way.

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

CHAPTER XVII.

| drink. And Moses said unto them, Why 1 The people murmur for water at Rephidim. 6 God chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the

sendeth them for water to the rock in Horeb. 8 Ama LORD? lek is overcome by the holding up of Moses' hands. 3 And the people thirsted there for water; 15 Moses buildeth the altar ŠEHOVAH-nissi.

and the people murmured against Moses, and And all the congregation of the children of said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children after their journeys, according to the com and our cattle with thirst? mandment of the LORD, and pitched in Re 4 And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, phidim : and there was no water for the people What shall I do unto this people ? they be to drink.

almost ready to stone me. 2 'Wherefore the people did chide with 5 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on Moses, and said, Give us water that we may before the people, and take with thee of the

1 Num. 20. 4.

219

elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith 'thou 11 And it came to pass, when Moses held smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go. | up his hand, that Israel prevailed : and when

6 "Behold, I will stand before thee there he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite | 12 But Moses' hands were heavy; and the rock, and there shall come water out of it, | they took a stone, and put it under him, and that the people may drink. And Moses did he sat thereon ; and Aaron and Hur stayed so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

up his hands, the one on the one side, and the 7 And he called the name of the place | other on the other side ; and his hands were ‘Massah, and 'Meribah, because of the chiding steady until the going down of the sun. of the children of Israel, and because they 9 13 And Joshua discomfited Amalek and tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among his people with the edge of the sword. us, or not?

14 | And the LORD said unto Moses, Write · 8 9 "Then came Amalek, and fought with this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it Israel in Rephidim.

in the ears of Joshua : for 'I will utterly put 9 And Moses said unto "Joshua, Choose out the remembrance of Amalek from under us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek :

heaven. to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill 15 And Moses built an altar, and called with the rod of God in mine hand.

the name of it ®JEHOVAH-nissi: 10 So Joshua did as Moses had said to 16 For he said, ""Because the LORD hath him, and fought with Amalek : and Moses, | sworn that the LORD will have war with AmaAaron, and Hur went up to the top of the lek from generation to generation. hill.

3 Num. 20. 9. Psal. 78Deut. 25. 17. Wisd. The cause the hand of Amalek is against

Chạp. 7, 20.
3 Num. 20.9. Psal. 78. 15, and 105. 41. Wisd. 11. 4. 1 Cor. 10. 4.

4 That is, tentation, 5 That is, chiding, or, strife.

7 Called Jesus, Acts 7. 45. 8 Num. 24. 20. 1 Sam. 15. 3. 9 That is, the LORD my banner. 10 Or. Because the hand of Amalek is against the throne of the LORD.

therefore, &c.

11 Heb. the hand upon the throne of the LORD.

Verse 1, Rephidim.'- In the note on xvi. 1, we have of water and their clamour for it. Where we fix Rephibrought the Israelites into Wady Feiran; and we have dim, they must have wanted water ; but where it is comnow to state that this valley appears to us to be the Re monly fixed, they would have had ample opportunity to phidim of the text. The words * in Rephidim,' which occur quench their thirst, not only on their arrival, but before again in v. 8, indicate rather a valley or district than a coming thither. It is indeed certain that water was at no particular spot; though we may admit that the name may great distance before them, even at the Rephidim we have have described rather a part than the whole of the valley. chosen; and it may be asked why they were not directed If we regarded Mount Serbal as Sinai, we should be in. to advance, instead of being supplied by miracle. This clined to place the camp of Israel towards the nearer or question certainly conveys a less forcible objection, than to western extremity of the valley, but if Sinai be the ask why they were supplied by miracle in a place where mount indicated by tradition (Jebel Musa), then at the water was naturally abundant. The answer to the former further or eastern end-for it is clear that, after leaving question, however, might be that the Hebrews were at the Rephidim, the host had one day's journey before arriving last extremity of thirst, and too much exhausted by their at the mount before which they so long remained en journey through the desert to proceed further. But we camped. The difference is of little consequence: but have a still stronger answer, which to our minds is conit is of much consequence that Rephidim should be clusive in favour of the position we have assigned, and sought in or near this valley; and all the reconsidera which is also of importance for the incidental elucidation tion we have been able to bestow on the subject con it affords of the attack of the Amalekites, which has firms rather than weakens the conclusion we ventured hitherto only formed the foundation for random conjecto advance when the materials for a correct judgment tures. The fact is, that their progress from the region of were much less copious than they have since become. Till drought to that of water was cut off by the Amalekites, we expressed this conviction, it had been the custom of who occupied the outskirts of the watered region at Wady travellers to accept without examination the tradition of Feiran. We gather this fact from a passage, quoted for the monks, and from them of the Arabs, who indicate the another purpose, from the Arabian geographer Makrizi, Rephidim of the text in the upper and central region of by Burckhardt, who does not himself seem to have perthe mountains. In rejecting this position, we feel we are ceived its important bearing on the present subject. Maknot only illustrating the consistency and truth of the nar rizi, in speaking of the town of Feiran here, in the valley rative, but are also assisting to obviate a doubt which has of the same name, says it was one of the towns of the Amabeen cast upon the miracle performed at Rephidim. If lekites. The ruins of this and other towns, with towers, we take the place commonly indicated, at the very foot of aqueducts, and sepulchral excavations, still appear in the Mount St. Catherine, as the true scene of the miracle, how valley and the mountains on each side. The valley was happens it that, after leaving Rephidim, the Israelites evidently then' once occupied by a settled people ; and, as made a further stage to Sinai, when the place locally in the sacred text mentions an attack from the Amalekites at dicated is at Sinai ? and besides, here, in the higher re Rephidim, it is satisfactory and reasonable to conclude gions of the mountains, water naturally abounds in every that Makrizi is right in saying that the valley was occudirection, and the miracle would not have been necessary; pied by this people; and it is safe to infer that they did whereas, near the spot we indicate, no water is to be found; not care to admit the further progress of the Hebrews, and and the Hebrew host must have suffered so much in cross perhaps, having also their cupidity excited by the rich ing the desert of Sin, as to account for their urgent need | spoils which the Israelites had gathered from the Egyp

[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small]

tians, ventured to attack them, probably promising them- | from the mountains which overhang it. Upon the whole, selves an easy victory over such an undisciplined and there is not in the entire neighbourhood of the mountains mixed multitude.

a spot more unlikely to have been the scene of the miracle. The valley now called el Leja, which is usually indi However, in a place where the valley is about two huncated as the Rephidim of the text, occurs in the very dred yards broad, there is an insulated block of red grahighest region of the Sinai group, between the two peaks nite, about twelve feet high, and of an irregular shape, which respectively bear the name of Mount Musa, re approaching to a cube, which the monks in the neighbourgarded as the Sinai of Scripture, and Mount St. Catherine, ing convent concur with the Arabs in pointing out as the which is identified with Horeb. It is therefore so elevated rock which Moses struck with his rod, and from which & valley that it would be indeed miraculous were there no the water gushed forth. Down its front in an oblique water in or near it. This valley is very narrow, and ex- line from top to bottom runs a seam of a finer texture, ceedingly stony, many large blocks having rolled down having in it several irregular horizontal crevices, some

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small][merged small]

what resembling the human mouth, one above another. These are said to be twelve in number, but Dr. Robinson could only make out ten. The holes did not appear to him to be artificial, as Burckhardt and others allege: they belong rather to the nature of the seam in which they are found; but it is possible that some of them have been enlarged by artificial means. The seam extends quite through the block, and is seen at the back, where also there are similar crevices, although not quite so large. The

rock is a singular one, and doubtless was selected on account of that singularity, as the scene of the miracle, without regard to the historical probabilities of the case. There are some apertures upon its surface from which the water is said to have issued; they are about ten in namber, and lie nearly in a straight line around the three sides of the stone, and are for the most part ten or twelve inches long, two or three inches broad, and from one to two inches deep; but a few are as deep as four inches.

back,

CHAPTER XVIII.

| than all gods: "for in the thing wherein they

| dealt proudly he was above them. 1 Jethro bringeth to Moses his wife and two sons.

| 12 And Jethro, Moses' father in law, took 7 Moses entertaineth him. 13 Jethro's counsel is accepted. 27 Jethro departeth.

a burnt offering and sacrifices for God: and

Aaron came, and all the elders of Israel, to WHEN 'Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses' eat bread with Moses' father in law before father in law, heard of all that God had done

God. for Moses, and for Israel his people, and that 13 | And it came to pass on the morrow, the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt; that Moses sat to judge the people: and the

2 Then Jethro, Moses' father in law, took people stood by Moses from the morning unto Zipporah, Moses' wife, after he had sent her the evening.

14 And when Moses' father in law saw all 3 And her two sons ; of which the 'name that he did to the people, he said, What is of the one was 'Gershom ; for he said, I have this thing that thou doest to the people ? why been an alien in a strange land :

sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people 4 And the name of the other was 'Eliezer ; stand by thee from morning unto even? for the God of my father, said he, was mine 15 And Moses said unto his father in law, help, and delivered me from the sword of Because the people come unto me to enquire Pharaoh :

of God: 5 And Jethro, Moses' father in law, came 16 When they have a matter, they come with his sons and his wife unto Moses into the unto me; and I judge between Sone and wilderness, where he encamped at the mount another, and I do make them know the staof God :

tutes of God, and his laws. 6 And he said unto Moses, I thy father in | 17 And Moses' father in law said unto law Jethro am come unto thee, and thy wife, him, The thing that thou doest is not good. and her two sons with her.

18 'Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, 7 | And Moses went out to meet his father and this people that is with thee: for this in law, and did obeisance, and kissed him; thing is too heavy for thee; "thou art not and they asked each other of their 'welfare; able to perform it thyself alone. and they came into the tent.

19 Hearken now unto my voice, I will give 8 And Moses told his father in law all thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be that the LORD had done unto Pharaoh and to | thou for the people to God-ward, that thou the Egyptians for Israel's sake, and all the | mayest bring the causes unto God : travail that had come upon them by the way, | 20 And thou shalt teach them ordinances and how the Lord delivered them.

and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein 9 | And Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness they must walk, and the work that they must which the LORD had done to Israel, whom he had delivered out of the hand of the | 21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all Egyptians.

the people able men, such as fear God, men 10 And Jethro said, Blessed be the LORD, of truth, hating covetousness; and place such who hath delivered you out of the hand of the over them, to be rulers of thousands, and Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers who hath delivered the people from under the of tens : hand of the Egyptians.

22 And let them judge the people at all 11 Now I know that the LORD is greater | seasons : and it shall be, that every great I Chap. 2. 16.

[ocr errors]

9 Chap. 2. 29.

4 That is, my God is an help.
@ Heb, a man and his felloro.

5 Heb. peace.

3 That is, a stranger there. 6 Heb. found them,

7 Chap. 1. 10. 16. 22, and 5. 7, and 14. 18. 9 Heb. Fadiny thou wilt fade.

10 Deut. 1. 9.

matter they shall bring unto thee, but every | 25 And Moses chose able men out of all small matter they shall judge: so shall it be Israel, and made them heads over the people, easier for thyself, and they shall bear the bur rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers den with thee.

of fifties, and rulers of tens. 23 If thou shalt do this thing, and God 26 And they judged the people at all seacommand thee so, then thou shalt be able to sons: the hard causes they brought unto endure, and all this people shall also go to Moses, but every small matter they judged their place in peace.

themselves. 24 So Moses hearkened to the voice of his 27 | And Moses let his father in law defather in law, and did all that he had said. | part; and he went his way into his own land.

Verse 2. • After he had sent her back.'– We do not read in Exod. iv. of Moses sending back his wife and sons to Midian. He certainly took them with him when he set out for Egypt. It is concluded that he sent them back after the transaction, on the road which the fourth chapter records ; but some of the Rabbins say that he took this course by the advice of his brother Aaron, when the latter came out to meet him on his approach to Egypt. Jarchi even gives the conversation that is pretended to have taken place on the occasion. The fact probably is, that he sent them back when he found that their safety might be endangered if they went with him, or from feeling that his care for them would, for the time, interfere too much with the due discharge of the great duty he had undertaken.

25. • And Moses chose able men,' etc.-Many writers think that, notwithstanding the subsequent appointment of the great council of seventy elders (Num. xi. 16.), the constitution here established continued to operate not only during the forty years' wanderings, but after the settlement in Canaan. In Egypt, the Israelites were probably subject to the Egyptian judges, and hence, no rules for the administration of justice being in operation among them when they left Egypt, Moses necessarily remained the sole judge of the nation, until the present very judicious plan was adopted. The institution is on a peculiar arithmetical principle, associated, apparently, with the military division of a host into thousands, hundreds, and tens. This was a model proper for them when encamping and marching in military array ; but, if it continued to exist, it must have undergone considerable modification when

they came to settle in irregular masses in the land of their possession. It seems that the judges of tens decided small matters, but referred causes that could not be decided by them, or in which their decision was appealed from, to the judges of hundreds, and these again to the judges of thousands: Moses himself remaining the last resource. This arrangement is not in its principle unlike our own old Saxon constitution of sheriffs in counties; hundredors, or

centgraves in hundreds; and decinors, or tythingmen, in | tythings : and it probably affords the idea on which the

latter institution was formed. Alfred, its author, was well acquainted with the Bible. In his institution the centgrave was subordinate to the sheriff, and the tythingman to the centgrave; and that the case was the same among the Hebrew judges is an obvious conjecture. Alfred's plan applied the principle to the state of a settled country, and furnishes an illustration of the manner in which it might have been, if it was not, applied when the Hebrews had obtained possession of Canaan. The Saxon plan made a territorial division into counties, hundreds, and tythings, corresponding to the division of jurisdiction; and this indeed seems an essential feature in the application of the principle to the state of a settled country. There must have been in the host of Israel sixty thousand judges of tens; and, as Michaelis observes, it is by no means probable that, in the public deliberative assemblies, they all had seats and voices. It is more probable that only those of hundreds, or even thousands, are to be understo when mention is made of judges in the great councils of Israel.

CHAPTER XIX.

saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of

Jacob, and tell the children of Israel ; 1 The people come to Sinai. 3 God's message by Moses unto the people out of the mount. 8 The

4 *Ye have seen what I did unto the people's answer returned again. 10 The people are Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' prepared against the third day. 12 The mountain | wings, and brought you unto myself. must not be touched 16 The fearful presence of | 5 Now 'therefore, if ye will obey my voice God upon the mount.

indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall In the third month, when the children of be a peculiar treasure unto me above all Israel were gone forth out of the land of people: for 'all the earth is mine: Egypt, the same day came they into the wil 6 And ye shall be unto me a 'kingdom of derness of Sinai.

priests, and an holy nation. These are the 2 For they were departed from Rephidim, words which thou shalt speak unto the chiland were come to the desert of Sinai, and had dren of Israel. pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel 7 1 And Moses came and called for the camped before the mount.

elders of the people, and laid before their 3 | And 'Moses went up unto God, and the faces all these words which the LORD comLORD called unto him out of the mountain, | manded him.

| Acts 7. 38. % Deut. 29. 2. 3 Deut. 5. 2. - Dent, :0. 14. Psal. 24. 1. 3 1 Pet. 2.9. Revel. 1. 6.

« PoprzedniaDalej »