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marry out of their own tribe. In reading of such successive provisions, the later originating and grounded in the earlier, one sees strong reason to allow, that they were recorded by one, who witnessed their successive enactment, as the occasions, that led to them, successively arose.
shall be” &c. (4); that is, even when a jubilee shall arrive, still their estate will continue to belong to another tribe ; even then it will not revert to the tribe, of whose district it was originally designed to be a part. By the Attic law, a female under the circumstances here defined, had the same rights and obligations. See Passow's and Stephanus' Lexicons, Art. éxixanpos. “ These are the commandments ..... which the Lord commanded ..... in the plains of Moab” &c. (xxxvi. 13); that is, as he had commanded others, thirty-eight years before, by Sinai. Compare Lev. xxvii. 34.
DEUTERONOMY I. 1.- XI. 31.
OCCASION AND DESIGN OF THE BOOK OF DEUTERONOMY.— ITS AU
THENTICITY. - Its CHRONOLOGY. MOSES RECAPITULATES SOME
COMMANDS THEIR EXPULSION. RECOUNTS INSTANCES God's Favor, — AND OF THE PEOPLE'S UNFAITHFULNESS.— ExhibITS THE CONSEQUENCES OF FUTURE OBEDIENCE AND DISOBEDIENCE. - REFERS TO A FUTURE ACT OF NATIONAL SELF-CONSECRATION.
A YEAR before the time came for invading Canaan, Moses had been informed, that he was not to be permitted to remain at the nation's head, when they should take possession of that country.* Of the reasons for his being apprized of that fact so long beforehand, it is natural to suppose that this was one; That he might have opportunity to make deliberately and fully, before his death, such arrangements for the people as remained unmade, and such communications and representations to them as would be for their advantage after his departure, and would impress their minds all the more profoundly, on account of the circumstances under which they would remember them to have been delivered. I understand him, accordingly, to have partly employed himself, during this interval, in preparing what was to
Nurnb. xx. 1,
be to them his last legacy of instruction and counsel; and that the result of these cares of his has been transmitted to us in his book now known by the name of Deuteronomy. It divides itself into three parts, each of which I shall make the subject of a Lecture. Whether the first of these, which is chiefly, and the third, which is in great part, of a hortatory character, were committed to writing before or after their oral delivery, I think we are unable confidently to decide. That the second, which contains a promulgation and revision of various laws, was prepared beforehand, and communicated as a written composition, appears to be a reasonable inference from the nature of its subject matter.
One, who has seen reason to conclude, that the preceding books were the work of Moses, will scarcely hesitate to refer this, with an equal degree of confidence, to the same origin. Without the conclusion, which this book presents, the history begun and prosecuted in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, is left incomplete; and, on the other hand, regarded in any other light than as a sequel to those books, Deuteronomy is nothing else but a disconnected, immethodical (I might almost say, unmeaning) fragment. What pervading difference of style, between the books respectively, is observable, is precisely that which ought to be looked for, upon the supposition of their common origin. The one being professedly a set historical composition, the other professedly a spoken address, we ought (if the received theory be correct) to find (what we actually do find) the former to be characterized by the comparatively dry manner of an annalist, the latter by the more full and earnest style of oral discourse ; and whatever degree of copiousness and repetition remains unexplained by this consideration, was naturally incident to the advanced age which the speaker is represented to
was solicited by you to send first a party of explorers into the country, to bring you back a report of its condition.* When, however, you have chosen to use this discretion too far, so as to reject my counsels, and be guided by your own, remember how you have brought on yourselves the divine displeasure, and in what grievous disasters you have experienced its effects. On the other hand, when you have been willing to give up your judgments to mine, all has prospered with you. The recent period of your obedience has been the period of your successes. When
yourselves becomingly towards the children of Esau, observing throughout a peaceable demeanor towards them, we obtained the passage which we desired to the eastward of their territory. When you followed my directions in crossing a border river into the neighbourhood of Palestine, that passage was successfully effected; § and your obedience in respect to the late wars with the Amorites and Og, has been attended with a like happy result,|| eventuating, through the unprovoked assault which we have sustained on their part, in the acquisition of a valuable territory, not comprehended within our originally contemplated limits. Let, then, your experience in the past convey to you profitable instruction for the future. As you see that disregard of my warnings has been fruitful of disasters to you, as you see that you
have had the best reason to trust me, be induced to trust me still. Trust me, when I shall be taken from you, so as carefully to make the Law, which I leave with you, your guide. I Make it your guide in its purity and wholeness, free from any retrenchment or addition of your own; ** that Law, which first and
chiefly enforces on you its commands to reserve your homage for Jehovah alone,* and to worship him without the use of any ensnaring visible symbol; † that Law, whose obligation he who gave it will assuredly not fail to uphold, by bountifully rewarding the obedient, and grievously punishing the transgressor.” I
Such I take to be substantially the argument of the discourse recorded in these first four chapters. But I cannot forbear to remark, in a word, upon the address and tone of conciliation, as well as of authority and pathos, with which it is presented. Of the three branches of it, which are illustrated by facts, the illustration of the third, (viz. of the good fortune which had uniformly followed upon obedience,) is much the most copious, the recollections which it calls up being of far the most gratifying character. The second, suggesting only painful and humbling thoughts, is very lightly touched upon; but the selection of topics under it, (the disastrous route experienced by the people in the very outset of their national career, ş and the doom of a whole generation to forfeit its share in the improved national fortunes, II) are of the most solemnly impressive character. Under the first head, again, while enough is said, in the allusion to two important incidents, the topic is not unduly pressed; and the effect, designed to be produced by it, is increased by the perfectly natural and highly effective introduction, from time to time, of expressions of the speaker's disinterested love for his people, and hints, that his place of authority had, in a personal point of view, been any thing rather than a place of ease and privilege. I Nor are opportunities lost, in the progress of the discourse,
* Deut. iv. 3, 4, 19, 28, 39. | iv, 25-40.
§ i. 44. 1 i. 11; iii. 23-27; iv. 21, 22.
+ iv. 15-18.