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I intended an attempt ih tfifs place to answer the objections of some writers, wliO wOtald argue that Moses had not composed the books we ascribe to him; bat haVfng in many parts both of this and the former vorarites obViaied" the difficulties; which s'ecrii to arise frohr some short Hints' and observations now interspersed in the sacred pages, which the lea'rned are apprised' had not been inserted'by the authors of the books, they are how found in;1 I should in a great measure only repeat what I have already remarked, were I to refute at large what U offered upon this topic. IT the reader has a mind to examine it, he may find the Whole 6f what can be pretended on the one side in Spinoza," and Lc Clcrc's third dissertation prefixed to his comment on the Pentateuch may furnish matter for a dear and distinct answer on the other. We have indeed a hint or two upon this argument in some remains of a very great writer: "The race of the kings of Edom, it is observed, before
'Sec book xii. ct in al. loc.
k Tract. Theologico-polit. in part, alter, c. 8.
there reigned any king in Israel, is set down in the book of Genesis; and therefore that book was not written entirely in the form now extant, before the reign of Saul." The reader may find this difficulty attempted to be cleared in its proper place, I shall therefore only refer to what is already said upon it.'
"The history [in the Pentateuch] hath been collected, we are told, from several books, such as were the history of the creation composed by Moses, Gen. ii. 4. the book of the generations of Adam, Gen. v. 1. and the book of the wars of the Lord, Numb. xxi. 14." It is something difficult to form any notion of the force of the argument here intended. St, Matthew writes; The Book of the generation of Jesus Christ:m Can we hence argue, that the gospel we now have and ascribe to him, was collected from a book of the generation of Jesus Christ written by him? Spinoza indeed offers the point, which may perhaps be here intimated to this purpose. The books which Moses wrote, are
• See vol. ii. b. 7. "Mad. i. 1.
expressly named, and sometimes cited in the Pentateuch; consequently the Pentateuch is a different work from the hooks cited in it.* But the fact is this: Moses has in some parts of his books, told us expressly, that he wrote them, and this writer would infer the direct contrary from these very intimations.
In the xxxiiid chapter of Numbers ver. t, 2. We have these words: These are the journeys of the children of Israel which vent forth out of the land of'Egypt', with their armies under the hand of Moses and Aaron. And Moses wrote their goings out according to their journeys, by the commandment of the Ijord. An/t these are their Journeys according to their goings out, &c. Let us now suppose, that these words, and what follow them to the end of the 49th Terse of this chapter, were perhaps Moses' conclusion of the book he wrote upon this subject, whether he called it Motzah, a word answering to Exodus, or Shemoth, i. e. The Book of Names, as the Jews seem afterwards to have nominated it, or whether he
• Tractat. Theologico-polit. ubi sup.
really affixed no title to it. Let us suppose that it began from the first chapter of Exodus, and contained all the journeyings of the Israelites, with the historical circumstances, which led to or attended them; and that it ended wjth the recapjitulation of them mentioned in this chapter. In the xxivth chapter of Exodus, it may seem to be intimated, that Moses wrote another book called the Book of the Covenant." Let us now suppose, that Moses at first wrote in this book, no more than what God had commanded, and the people solemnly engaged themselves to perform, at their entering intocovenant with God; namely, what is mentioned in the xix, xx, xxii, xxiv. chapters of Exodus. It may still be reasonably concluded, the covenant being not limited to the observance of the few commandments contained in these chapters, but obliging the Israelites to obey God's voice, to observe all the statutes and judgments which God should give them;? that the commandments afterwards given unto Moses, were also written
• Exodus xxiv. 4—7. » See Exodus xxxiv. 27.
in this book in the following order. First, The laws given in mount Sinai, towards the end of which might be thus written, These are the statutes, and judgment wfiich the Lord made between him, and the children of Israel in mount Sinai, by the hand of Moses."* After which words Wc may possibly imagine he added the laws contained in. the xxviith chapter of Leviticus, and concluded with these words, These are the commandmenls which the Loan commanded Moses for the children of Israel in mount Sinai.' Next to these might be added the laws, which God gave out of the tabernacle of the congregation." And in this manner we may imagine that the book of the covenant had consisted of all the laws which God gave the Israelites both from Sinai, and from the tabernacle of the congregation. In the xxixth chapter of ftcutcronomy, we arc told of a covenant, which the Lord commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab; besides the
i Iicvit. xxvi. 46. "xxvii. 34.
• Levit. i. 1. Numb. i. 1.