페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

covenant which he made with them in Horeb.' And we find these words at the end of one of his chapters: These are the commandments and the judgments which the Lord commanded^ by the hand of Moses, unto the children of Israel, in the plains ofMoab, by Jordan near Jericho.* It will hot be doubted but that Moses wrote all the words of this law also in a book.x Let us suppose that the words above-cited, were the conclusion of it. Let us suppose farther, that unto all these Moses added, in another book, the words which he spake unto all Israel on this side Jordan1 in the wilderness; and all

* Deut. xxix. 1. "Numb, xxxvi. 13.

"Deut. xxxi. 24.

1 Deut. i. 1. I might here answer a trifling cavil suggested, concerning the Book of Deuteronomy, raised from the words here cited. It is pretended that be neber ha Jarclen, whicli we translate on this tide Jordan, do rather signify beyond, or on the other tide Jordan, and consequently, that these words imply that Moses had not written the Book of Deuteronomy; for that the book so called was written by a person who had passed over Jordan, and could, according to the intimation of these words, remark, that the words of Moses were spoken on a different side

these, together with the book of Genesis', make the Pentateuch, or five books, which we call the books of Moses.

It will here be said, that if we look for the books of Moses in the Pentateuch in this manner, we must allow that some- paragraphs and even chapters do not follow now, exactly in the places where Moses at first put them. But in answer to this, I apprehend, that it will not be thought a very material question, whether any of the leaves, sheets, rolls, or skins, which were written by Moses have, or have not, by some accident, been discomposed, and are not perhaps put togc

thc river from the place where the book was written. Jtnt were there no other, the tenth and thirteenth verses of the 50th chapter of Genesis are sufficient to shew that the word bencber had the signification in which we here take it. When Joseph went up out of .Egypt to bury his father, .they journeyed from Goshen into Canaan, and came to the cave of Machpclah before Mamre; in their way to which they stopped at the threshing-floor of Atad, bencher ha Jardcn, not beyond, but on this side Jordan; for they did not travel into Canaan, so far as to the river Jordan.

VOL. III. D

ther again, every one in its proper place; but the point is, whether in the present Pentateuch we have all, and nothing but all, that Moses wrote in the books which were penned by him. And of this a serious examinant may sufficiently satisfy himself. If we must suppose, that Moses wrote his books under such titles as I have mentioned; yet under these the whole of all the books of Moses may be collected, and perhaps some passages and sections which now seem to be misplaced, may be hereby put into an order, that may add clearness and connection, which they may be suspected to want in their present situation. And if we collect and examine the several little notes, remarks, and observations, which, though now found in several places of the Pentateuch,1 were undoubtedly not written by Moses, but added by some later hand; a judicious examiner will see of these, 1. That they are not so many as they are hastily thought to be. 2. That they are all inconsiderable; none of them so necessary

* V ill, Clerici Disserlat. de Scriptore Pentateuch.

in the places Where they are found; but that, if they were dmitted, the text would be full, clear, and connected -without them*. In this manner we may make the tttiiiost atlowance to the several objections offered against the books of Moses; and have a clear conviction, that there is no Weight in any of them. That the Pentateuch contains the books of Moses, has been constantly believed and testified by the Jews in all ageS. Spinoza himself confesses, that Aben Ezra only^ a very modern Writer^ pretended td have doubts of it, and that his intimations are but dark and obscure. Josepfrus tells us, as a truth never questioned^ that five of their sacred books Were the books of Moses ^ and our Saviour explains to us in'what sense they were Moses' books, being, as he tefis te, Moses' writings. Had ye believed Mos&ff said he, ye would have believed me", for he wrote of me; but if ye believe not his writings^ how shall ye believe my words?" H" it were possible to shew, that the books'

[ocr errors]

we now read for Moses?, were not the books alluded to by our Saviour, something might be offered upon this subject. But whoever will attempt this, will find himself not able to propose any thing, which can require refutation.

When Moses had made an end of writing what he was to leave the Israelites, he commanded the Levites, saying, Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark c of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee/ It is here queried, what the book was which. Moses here gave the Levites; whether all his written works in one code or volume, or whether it was the words of this law;' some one single book, which he had just then finished, a part only of his writings. Spinoza is for this latter opinion, this best suiting his purpose, to insinuate that the Levites had charge only of a small part of what Moses wrote; and consequently, that all, except what was committed to their

c See Prideaux Connect, b. 3. part. 1. Account of tie Ark. * Deut. xxxi. 26. e See ver. 24.

2

« 이전계속 »