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raelites how they were to behave towards the cities / of their enemies, which should attempt to hold out against them. And they were ordered to use a severity towards the nations of the land of their inherit" ance, if they refused peace, greater than towards the cities of other nations for the like obstinacy ; which there had been no room to enjoin, if these nations were to have been utterly destroyed without any offers of peace to be made to them. But the Israelites were to proclaim peace to all the cities of their enemies; and whatever city accepted the offer, the inhabitants of it were to become their servants. But if the peace thus offered was refused; then, if the city which rejected it was not one of the land of their inheritance, the Israelites, as soon as they had reduced it, were to put all the men to the sword, and to spare the women and little ones and cattle, and to take the spoil. Or, if it was a city of the land of their inheritance which had rejected their offers; then, as soon as they could reduce it, they were utterly to destroy all the inhabitants, and to save alive nothing that breathed belonging to it. That this is indeed the true meaning of what Moses directs, is confirmed from a remark of Joshua, who observes, that as God had purposed
seven nation*, that were to be destroyed; sec Deut. vii. The Samaritan text supplies this defect in this place, aud gives us the seven nations in this ordor, the Canaanites, and the Amoritcs, and the Hittites^ and the Girgashitcf, and the Pcrizzitcs, and the Jlivites, and the Jebusites.
utterly to destroy the nations of Canaan," so he did not dispose .any of them to accept of peace from the Israelites, in order to their preservation. There was not, says he, a city that made peace xzith the children of Israel, save the Hitites, the inhabitants of Gibeon; all other they took in battle, for it was of the Lord,''' to harden their hearts,2- that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favour; but that he might destroy them, as the Lord commanded Moses." Cunaeus comments upon this text very justly to this purpose s 'It is plain,' says he, ' from hence, that these nations were therefore extirpated, because they chose rather the chance of war, than to accept the terms which the Israelites could offer them. But if they would have surrendered when summoned, undoubtedly they had not been destroyed.'b »' ■" :s
"See Wisdom xii. 3.
y I cannot but observe bow closely the reflection ef Joshua here is copied by Homer. In all the evils that came upon the Greeks from the diffcrencevbetween Achilles and Agamemnon, Homer says, A« S' rrcXtim Bmxji .11. i,
"I have formerly observed in the case of Pharaoh, what is the true meaning of the Scripture-expression, of the Lord's hardening any one's heart. See vol. ii, book ix.
a Joshua xi. 19, 20.
fc Enimvcro illud hinc efficitur, deletas proptcTrca cas Gentes esse, quia belli fortunam tentare, quam conficcre pacem in Israelitarum leges maluerunt. Quod si fecijJibus auscult&sscnt, utique jam s'alus eorum neutiquam in dubio fuisset. Cuna;us de Itepub. Hcbraeor. lib. 2, c. 20.
Thcro is a passage in the book of Deuteronomy, which may seem to intimate that the»e nations of Canaan were absolutely to be destroyed by the Israelites, without any terms of favour or mercy. When the Lord thy God, ,$nys Moses, shall bring thee into the land, whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast M many nations before thee, the Uittites, <md the Girgashites, ami the Amorites, and the Canaanilcs, and the Perizzites, and the Uivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou. And when the Lord t/ty Got) shall deliver them be fore thee, thou shall smile them and utterly destroy them, thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor
shew mercy unto them Bui, thus shall
ye deal with them; Ye shall destroy their attars, and break down their images, and burn their graven
images with fire And thou shall consume
all the people, which the Lord thy God shall deliver thee, thine eye shall have no pity Upon them.I'would observe upon this text, that it is a direction to the Israelites, what they were to do to these nations, after they had attacked them and subdued them ; but it gave them no charge to destroy any people'who should choose to submit and surrender, without engaging in a war against them. The directions, given in this text were to bo executed, when the Loan had brought the Israelites into the lands of these nations/ and had cast out the inhabitants before them." When
• Dent. til. 1, 2, 5, 16, &c. "Ver. l. • Ibid,
(he Lord had given Ihe people of these nations into the hands of the Israelites,' and had discomfited them, and caused them to flee ;« then indeed the Israelites were to have no pity upon them, but to smite and utterly destroy them; to consume and make an end of them.h This vengeance the Israelites had in charge to execute upon all these nations, after they had entered into a war with them, and obtained a conquest over them. But nothing in the text intimates, that they were to have proceeded with this severity against any nation, which chose to surrender, before they had tried the issue of war, and determined their fate by it. If any of them had not come out against the Israelites in battle,' but had delivered up their cities upon summons,k before the Lord had defeated and discomfited them; they might have had terms to save their lives.1
f Deuteronomy »li. 2.
K None of the translators of the Bible bare, I think, carefully attended to the Hebrew text in rendering the words in the 2d Terse, which wc translate, Thou shall smite them. The Hebrew word is twvaro, which I take to be not in the second person Thou, but the third person of the preterit hiphil of the verb roj, and that the Latin thy God going before, is the nominative case to it. I imagine that the word yish should be referred to this verb, and would , render the place thus: And ichen the Lord thy God shall have given them up, and smote them before thee, thou shall utterly destroy them, &o.
Dcut. vii. 2. 'According to Joshua xi. 19, 20,
But let us enquire, what terms the Israelites could give them, and whether,
II. They could make a covenant or enter into a league witli them. Now this point may be clearly determined, if we consider distinctly the several injunctions laid upon them. And here, 1. They were evidently commanded not to tolerate the worship of the idols of Caiman, in any part of the land. Wheresoever they could carry their victorious arms, they were to take care not to bow down to the gods of these nations ; but were utterly to overthrow them, to break down their images,"' to destroy their altars and cut down their groves;" or, as it is expressed in another place, they were utterly to destroy all the places, wherein these nations hud served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree. They were to overthrow their altars, break their pillars, burn their groves with jire, hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of the place." Thus they were entirely to abolish the religion which was cmbraced in these nations -, nnd it is hard to be imagined, that they could make a league with any of their states, •whilst they were so doing. For, as a league between two nations implies, in the very notion of \t, their baving upon some terms given their mutual faith to each other, to observe punctually what had been stipulated between them; and as such public faith wus,