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when ye shall pass over Jordan...., that thou shah set thee up great stones, and plaster them with plaster, and thou shaft write upon them all the words of this law—. This was the command which Moses gave about what they were to do at mount Ebal; and I have often thought, that all the words of this law might be the words of the law which he at that time gave them ; namely, the words which Moses has set down in the uvn, and xxvTTT chapters of Deuteronomy, beginning at the 15 verse of the xxvn. chapter, cursed be the man, and so on to the end of the axvm. chapter. That this was what Joshua wrote, and consequently what Moses had enjoined to be written, seems evident to me from the account we have of Joshua's performance' of this commandment. Joshua built an altar unto the Lord God of Israel, in mount Ebal——an altar of whole stones —, and he xerole there, upon the stones, in the presencef of the people, (mishneh torath Moseh,) i. e. a copy of the 'law of Moses; certainly not a copy of all the statutes of the Jewish law; for the stones of the altar could

ii 'Joshua Tiii. 30 — 32. 1 The Hebrew text is,

nwo mm ruem n« B'MKn-."rj; cu-awi bvnw K-h ana no«t

i. c. And he wrote there' upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he, (i. e. Joshua,) wrote, (we should say in English, and he wrote it) before their faces, (in the presence) of tn» children of Israel.

not be sufficient to contain Mich a large body of institutions; rather lie wrote the several curses nnil blessings, which Moses had charged to ho licro pronounced to the people.* Thin appears to have been the fact from the 34111 verse. .ioniiuu, lifter ho bad written the law, rend what ho hud written, all' the word* of the law t and what he read wan only, the blessings and cursings, according to all that is written in the hook of the law;* so that he transcribed only the several blessings nnd curses which Moses bad recorded; these he copied out from tho book of the law, and wrote upon the stones, mlshneh, a copy or duplicate of them. As to the opinion of some writers, that Joshua might perhaps inscribe, not in* deed all the law of Moses, but an abstract or com* pendium of it; the heads or titles say others; the account we have of what Joshua wrote, does not favour any such conjectures. Ho copied from the book of the law tho several blessings and cursings, whfch were here to be pronounced. The transcript of these Is said to be a copy of the law of Moses; nnd so it was, as fur us the particular case in which they wenhero concerned, obliged them to take a copy of it.

The success of the Israelites against Jericho and Ai, alarmed the neighbouring nations of Canaan, and caused them to form a confederate army for their com. mon safety;' but the fiibcojiitcN, who were a people

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of the Hivi(cc,k declined the association, and s»nt ambassadors to Joshua, and by a stratagem obtained a league with Israel.'; Joshua and the elders of Israel appear to have.treated unadvisedly with this people; for they asked not counsel about them at the month of, the Z>oBQ.m And it may be questioned whether the treaty, with them, was not directly contrary to what God had commanded; for with some particular nations, of ono of which these Gibeonitcs were a people," God had strictly commanded them, to smite thciu, and utterly destroy them, and make no cove* uant with (Arm, nor shew mercy unto them." Inliko manner thcjrc arc doubts to be raised concerning the Israelites' performance of what they had promised. When they came unto the cities of this people, they smote then} not, because, the princes of the congregation had sworn unto them by the Lor* Gob of Israel.' They apprehended, that they might not touch tAovi, because of the oath which they had sworn unto theotf. and yet one would think, that thoy did not truly keep the public faith which thoy had given; for though they did indeed let the Gibeonitcs live, yet they did not perform this promise in the publio sense in which they seem to havo treated with this people. They took from them tbo very being of a nation; reduced thervt {o a state of servitude, which a

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brave and valiant people would probably have died a thousand deaths, rather than have submitted to.* These and other reflections, which naturally arise from what the book of Joshua offers us upon this affair, would induce us to enquire, whether the Israelites were absolutely commanded utterly to destroy all the inhabitants of the seven nations of Canaan; whether they could upon no terras enter into a league with any of them; whether what the Israelites granted to the Gibconitcs upon their embassy, was contrary to what God had commanded; and how they at last acquitted themselves of the league they had made with them.

I. Were the Israelites absolutely commanded to destroy all the inhabitants of the nations, whose lands God had given them for an inheritance? I answer, no. The direction to the Israelites was this: uhen thou comest nigh unto a city, to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it: and it shall be, if it make thee an answer of peace, and open to thee, then it shall be that all the people that is found therein, shall be tributaries unto thee, and shall serve thee.' Thus the Israelites were to behave unto all cities ; unto the cities of the Hittites, of the Amoritcs, of the Canaanites, of the Perizzites, of the Hivites, of the Jebusites, and of the Girgashitcs;' as Well as

'J/ibcrtatem, [says, Caius Manlius in Salhist. lib. de bello Cantilinar.] quain nemo bonus nisi pum viti simul amittit. ''Dcut. xx. iq, 11.

1 Trinas, (says Rabbi Samuel Ben Nadiman) premisit unto the cities of other nations, as is intimated from what follows. If, says Moses, it will make no peace withthee, but will make war against thee, then thou shall besiege it; and when the Lord thy God hath delivered it into thy hands, thou shall smile every male thereof with the edge of the sword. But the women and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, thou shall

take unto thyself Thus shalt thou do unto all

the cities which are -eery far off from thee, which are not of the cities of these nations. But of the cities of these people, which the Lord thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth. But thou shalt utterly destroy them, namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaaniles, and.the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee." In these verses Moses directs the Is

Josua cpistolas in tcrram Israeliticam, seu potius Htteris tria proposuit: qui fugam mallcnt, aufugerent; qui paeern, in fccdus venircnt; qui bellum, arma susciperent. Unde Girgesaei eredentes iti Deum O. M. aufugerunt, in Africam se conferantes... .Gibeonita; in focdus veniebant, adcoquc Terra Israeliticae incolqs ruanebant; regcs triginta ac unu$ fi llinn susceperunt, et cecidere. Gem. Hierosolym. Vid. Selden de Jure Nat. et gentium, juxta disciplin. Hebraeor, lib. 6, c. 14, p. 726.

"Deut. xx. 12.... 17, Our present Hebrew copies seem to have omitted the Girgashites, whp were one of tl»e

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