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books, so called; works that were well known and held in some repute, anciently, as appears evident from some pointed allusions to them, which we find in the Old Testament. They were not less than six in number, at the lowest calculation : how many more there may have been, it is now impossible to ascertain. The names of some of them are-the “Book of the Wars of the Lord;" the Book of the Righteous, or Jasher," the “Chronicles," or "Annals of the Kings of Judah and Israel.” The others are not alluded to by any distinctive title, but are specified by a mention of some of their contents. I will adduce, in this connection, specifying chapter and verse, a few of the instances in which they are directly referred to.
Numbers, xxi. 14. “Wherefore it is said in the book of the wars of the Lord, What he did in the Red Sea, and in the brooks of Arnon."
2 Samuel, i. 17, 18. “And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son: (also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold it is written in the book of Jasher.)"
An allusion is likewise made to this book in Joshua, x. 13, which I shall notice more fully before the conclusion of the present lecture.
1 Kings, xiv. 19. “And the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how he warred, and how he reigned, behold, they are written in the book of the Chronicles of the kings of Israel.”
1 Kings, iv. 30, 32, 33. “Solomon's wisdom excell
ed the wisdom of the children of the east country, and all the children of Egypt......And he spake three thousand proverbs; and his songs were a thousand and five. And he spake of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes."
From the passage cited last, it would appear that Solomon was quite an author. Indeed, he is thought by some to have been, for his time, rather a voluminous writer. Of his three thousand proverbs, we have only a part, in our Bible; and quite a small portion of his one thousand and five songs,—the remainder being considered as lost. The same may be said of his works on Natural History,* which are not known to be any where in preservation.
It is believed that there was in existence another book, now lost,-a volume of Lamentations, distinct from the one we now have, written by Jeremiah, on the occasion of the death of King Josiah ; of which there is an intimation in 2 Chronicles, xxxv. 25, to wit: “And Jeremiah lamented for Josiah ; and all the singing-men and the singing-women spake of Josiah in their lamentations to this day, and made them an ordinance in Israel: and, behold, they are written in the Lamentations."
Were these several writings now extant, it is highly probable that some light would be reflected from them upon certain parts of the Old Testament, the meaning
* 1 Kings, iv. 33.
of which is to us but very dimly perceptible. They are withdrawn, however, from human sight: like the regal pomp and splendor, the love and the hate, of the kings and nobles whose deeds they were designed to commemorate, they are now hidden from our gaze, in some remote corner of the winding and inaccessible grottoes of
We will now attend to the inspection of such writings as we have chiefly assigned for that purpose in this evening's lecture ; commencing with the book of Joshua.
This book is commonly ascribed to the individual whose name it bears : but how much of it he wrote, it is impossible to say, with historical precision. It is admitted by the explorers of Biblical antiquity, that it contains certain phrases, some local names, and the mention of some circumstances, which are not in agreement with the period at which he lived; and which can be rationally accounted for, only on the supposition which we adopted in regard to the Pentateuch-viz. that additions have been made to it, by some person ; probably by Ezra, the Old Testament compiler.
AUGUSTIN CALMET, the learned Catholic, and extensive commentator, (to whom I have alluded in a preceding lecture) gives us an item of information, respecting this scripture. He says—“The Samaritans have a copy of this book, which they preserve with respect, and use in support of their pretensions against the Jews. It contains forty-seven chapters, filled with fables and child
ish stories, commencing where Moses chooses Joshua to succeed him. It relates the history of Balaam; of the war of Moses against the Midianites, with the occasion of it; of Balaam's death; of the death of Moses; and the lamentation made for him. It relates the passage of the river Jordan, at large; the taking of Jericho; and adds a great number of miracles which are not in the genuine book of Joshua. It describes a certain war which it mentions to have been carried on against Saubec, son of Heman, king of Persia, with the addition of a thousand fabulous circumstances. After the death of Joshua, it names one Terfico, of the tribe of Ephraim, for his successor." Calmet also says that there are some other apocryphal works, the authorship of which is attributed to Joshua.
As to the time when the book of Joshua, or the most of it, was first written, we must remain ignorant; for history furnishes us with no definite knowledge on this point. Joshua (the supposed author of, at least, a part of it) is said to have died about 1430 years B. C. He was one of the spies whom Moses sent to search the land of Canaan; and, as mentioned in Numbers, chap. xiü. his name, originally, was Oshea, which means Savior. He was of the tribe of Ephraim, and the son of Nun. It is supposed that his name was changed, by Moses, to JEHOSHUA, or (as shortened) Joshua,-which signifies Savior of God, or he shall save. In one or two instances, where he is referred to, in the New Testament, he is called JESUS, which has precisely the same
meaning as Joshua. “Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen. Which also our fathers that came after, brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David."* "For if JESUS had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.”† The personage herein denominated Jesus is the same individual who is in the Old Testament styled Joshua_Joshua and Jesus being synonymous terms, and both signifying Savior or Deliverer. Joshua was the savior of the children of Israel, because he led them forth in triumphant battle against the Amalekites. Christ is the spiritual savior of mankind, because the principles he taught, when understood by the mind and practically exemplified in the daily life, will save us from error, superstition and misery. The name Jesus was originally applied to the distinguished Teacher and Reformer who wears it pre-eminently, to signify that he should act in the capacity of a redeemer : as will be found, on referring to Mathew, i. 21. “Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” It would, therefore, be no violation of strict propriety to designate him by the title which was worn by the immediate successor of Moses. Joshua, or Joshua Christ, would be as proper and sig. nificant as Jesus, or Jesus Christ-both terms being rad.
* Acts, vii. 44, 45. Hebrews, iv. &.