The Mosaic Authorship of Deuteronomy

Deuteronomy  •  45 min. read  •  grade level: 10
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IN the recent attack on the genuineness of the Book of Deuteronomy as part of the law given by God to Israel through Moses, Professor R. Smith attempts to support his case by " the Bible evidence, of a kind," he tells us, "which does not strike the ordinary reader of Scripture." We will state his position in his own words. " To realize its full force one must gather together all the laws upon a single topic, which are scattered through various parts of the Pentateuch, and compare them one with another, and with what is recorded of the practice of God's servants, of men like Samuel, David, and Elijah, in later times than the days of Moses. We find two or three laws on the same subject, one in Exodus, one in Deuteronomy, another perhaps in Leviticus or Numbers; but the provisions of the several laws do not appear to agree. Then we turn to the history, and we find, let us say, that Samuel and David conformed their practice to what seems to be the natural sense of the law in Exodus, but habitually broke the law of Deuteronomy. We cannot suppose that these inspired men habitually violated a law of God that was in their hands, and therefore it seems probable that they only knew the law as it stands in Exodus. But we follow the history still further. We find that in the time of Isaiah and Micah corruptions had crept in which the law of Exodus was not strict enough to meet. We find these prophets contending against the corruption not on the grounds of the other stricter law of Deuteronomy, but by direct prophetic revelation. Then we come down to the time of Josiah, and find that he had the law of Deuteronomy in his hand, and put down the evil by appealing to it. Are we to suppose that all this time Deuteronomy had existed, had been copied and recopied, but never put into practice? If Moses gave two laws, why was one strict and the other more lax, and why was the laxer one alone known for so many centuries? Is it not more reasonable to think that the law of Deuteronomy was not revealed till the corruptions arose with which the old law was unfit to cope? There is nothing in such a supposition improbable or unworthy of the Divine, wisdom. The whole growth of the Old Testament Church was directed by the continual prophetic revelation. And it is only reasonable to believe that this inspired guidance watched over the law, as well as over the other concerns of the people."
When (perhaps some bewildered reader will ask, if Professor R Smith's assumption is correct) was the law of Deuteronomy revealed, and the covenant based on it made known? He tells us that the covenant of Deuteronomy, the terms of which are given in chaps. 12.-26., was not revealed in the days of Elijah, and probably was revealed sometime between Isaiah and Jeremiah, " in order to give practical effect to the teaching of the former prophet and his helpers " (p. 13).
Is all this sober truth? Let us test it. In the days of Isaiah and Micah the law of Exodus, he tells us, was inadequate to meet the corruptions which were dealt with by direct prophetic revelation. These prophets were pretty much contemporaneous, so an examination of the way. Micah deals with the people will sufficiently test the allegation in question. He reproves them for idolatry in chap. 1: 7; just that which was forbidden by the second commandment. He reproves them for covetousness in chap. 2: 2. Now, that was forbidden by the tenth commandment. And though in Ex. 20 the word fields does not occur in the text of that commandment, Moses, when reciting the commandment in Deut. 5:2121Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbor's wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbor's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbor's. (Deuteronomy 5:21), which was given
him for them at Sinai, distinctly introduces the word on which Micah founds one of his charges, showing that the commandment in Exodus condemned the act especially noticed in Deuteronomy. Thou shalt not covet his field, God had commanded His people. " They covet fields," was part of the prophet's indictment against the people. In chap. 3. he reproves the leaders and teachers among them for their unrighteous ways towards Jehovah's people, reminding us very much of the direct command in
Ex. 22, 23. In chap. 5: 12 witchcrafts are denounced, which Ex. 22:1818Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. (Exodus 22:18) had clearly condemned. The asherim, too, translated "groves," are also condemned, about which God, in Ex. 34:1313But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves: (Exodus 34:13), had expressed His mind. In chap. 6: 8 they are reminded of the conduct which God desired should characterize His people, and He condemns unrighteousness in business and the perversion of justice. We turn once more to Exodus for the inculcation of justice and mercy, whilst Lev. 19:35-3635Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure. 36Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt. (Leviticus 19:35‑36) affords us evidence that scant measures were condemned when as yet the people were dwelling within sight of Mount Sinai. The allegation therefore falls to the ground that Micah met the corruptions of his day only by prophetic revelation and not by the law of Moses, for the law given in the wilderness of Sinai convicted the people of his time, and justified the heavy, indictment that the Lord by His servant brought against them.
But Professor Smith has more to tell us. " The prophets after Samuel were not the rulers of Israel. They revealed God's will, but had no power to enforce it in actual practice, except so far as they could persuade rulers to give it their sanction. Hence a prophetic new edition of the law was only a plan or program submitted to the nation-a Bill, as it were, not an Act of Parliament. Josiah, perhaps, was the first king who adopted this program of a code, though it may have been partially in force during the latter years of Hezekiah" (pp. 26, 27). To this, and much more that could be quoted, one might well exclaim, in the language of the heathen writer, Credat Judaeus Apella, non ego. Just to think what such statements involve! God's word by the prophets, if it was God's word, had no authority in itself till accepted by the nation, or the ruler on its behalf! It was like a bill presented to Parliament for the acceptance of the nation, and depended for its validity to be obeyed on the persuasive power of the prophet over the mind of the ruler!! Such statements, however, are not in accordance with facts. For God's message by Jer. 7:1313And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the Lord, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not; (Jeremiah 7:13);
One more extract to let the reader understand the Professor's view of Deuteronomy. " I believe that the laws of Deut. 12: 26. were originally published either alone, or with the introductory address in chapters as a preface, and perhaps some part of 27., 28. as a conclusion. [Could he tell us what part?] 'The question is, Whether the person who took up this originally separate book into the account of Moses' last labors and final exhortations to Israel was thereby guilty of fraud upon the readers such as to destroy the character of his book, and forbid us to accept it as part. of Scripture? The present book of Deuteronomy contains in addition to the code of chapters 12.- 26., several long speeches connected by a slender thread of narrative, the substance of which may be given as follows:-In the land of Moab, after the slaughter of Sihon and Og, Moses addressed the people and expounded to them the law (1: 1-5; 4: 44-49). He also separated three cities of refuge to the east of Jordan (4: 41-43). He further commanded the people to write the law on stones upon Mount Ebal, and perform there a solemn service of blessing and cursing (27.) Further, he wrote the law, and entrusted it to the priests, with a charge to read it publicly once in seven years. He also wrote and recited a prophetic song in connection with his last charge to Joshua. He then blessed the people, and ascending Mount Pisgah died there, lamented by the people. Now it is clear that the historical value of these details is really independent of the question, whether the code which comes in in the heart of the book has or has not been re-edited by a prophet later than Moses. The adoption of my view of that code does not in any way forbid one to believe that Moses solemnly set the law before the people previously to his death. It implies only that an editor of the Pentateuchal history, having the Deuteronomic code in his hand, and knowing it to be the form of the laws of Moses binding on the people in his own day, felt that it would be useful for his readers to have it inserted in immediate connection with the warm exhortations to follow God's law that occupy the chapters immediately preceding its present place. It is clear that this course, instead of deceiving the people, was a simple and natural guard against misconception. Had this writer followed up the words of 11: 23, Ye shall observe to do all the statutes and judgments which I set before you this day,' by giving the old law exactly as it came from Moses, with all the obsolete provisions which the new law had changed, he would have run a risk of betraying some of his readers into a wrong course of conduct. For, after all, as I must again and again point out, the Israelites went to this book not for antiquarian information about old laws, but for practical directions in daily life. I think that this view of the matter will commend itself to ordinary common sense as reasonable, and by no means inconsistent with veracity " (pp. 29-30).
One may well doubt whether such a view would commend itself to ordinary common sense as by no means inconsistent with veracity, for it makes the prophet, by incorporating into the books of Moses laws which were not there originally, resort to a subterfuge, because he felt that such insertions would be useful to his readers! If the prophet had acted in this way he would have left God out of his thoughts, and have compiled or edited the book according to his own judgment, and apart from any divine guidance. But who was this prophet? The Professor undertakes to enlighten us, but without acquainting his readers with the source from whence he got his information. He was, he tells us, well known in his own day, and no mean man among the prophets, but "it was his duty, which he performed so singly and with such self-denial that his very name has been lost, not to lay stress on his own work and the novelties it contained, but to make the people feel that Moses though dead still spake [which, under the circumstances, was a lie]; that his law [but these new enactments, we have been told, were contrary to the true Mosaic legislation] was not an obsolete curiosity [yet this act of the prophet would show that it was], but, wielded by a prophet's hand, could still be Israel's guide to the knowledge and fear of Jehovah "
(p. 24).
Leaving to Mr. Smith the task of harmonizing his own statements, let us turn to Scripture to learn what it has to say to all this. It so happens that we have an instance of an alteration in the law of Moses made by a prophet, and by divine direction. Now how did this prophet proceed? Did he act as Mr. Smith suggests his nameless prophet did? By no means. For, instead of the alteration he introduced being foisted into the Pentateuch, it appears only in the historical books, yet it was held to be binding ever after. Further, the prophet's name is openly stated. And we must add, however strange it may seem in the eyes of rationalistic critics, this manner of procedure answered every end for which it was designed. We allude to the alteration made by David as to the age when the Levites were to commence their service in the temple. According to Num. 8:2424This is it that belongeth unto the Levites: from twenty and five years old and upward they shall go in to wait upon the service of the tabernacle of the congregation: (Numbers 8:24), the Levites commenced work at twenty-five years of age and upwards, but they did not bear burdens till of the age of thirty. By the last words of David they were numbered from twenty years and upwards, and commenced their work for the service of the house of the Lord at that age (1 Chron. 23:24- 3224These were the sons of Levi after the house of their fathers; even the chief of the fathers, as they were counted by number of names by their polls, that did the work for the service of the house of the Lord, from the age of twenty years and upward. 25For David said, The Lord God of Israel hath given rest unto his people, that they may dwell in Jerusalem for ever: 26And also unto the Levites; they shall no more carry the tabernacle, nor any vessels of it for the service thereof. 27For by the last words of David the Levites were numbered from twenty years old and above: 28Because their office was to wait on the sons of Aaron for the service of the house of the Lord, in the courts, and in the chambers, and in the purifying of all holy things, and the work of the service of the house of God; 29Both for the showbread, and for the fine flour for meat offering, and for the unleavened cakes, and for that which is baked in the pan, and for that which is fried, and for all manner of measure and size; 30And to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord, and likewise at even; 31And to offer all burnt sacrifices unto the Lord in the sabbaths, in the new moons, and on the set feasts, by number, according to the order commanded unto them, continually before the Lord: 32And that they should keep the charge of the tabernacle of the congregation, and the charge of the holy place, and the charge of the sons of Aaron their brethren, in the service of the house of the Lord. (1 Chronicles 23:24‑32)), since the burdensome wilderness work they would no longer be called on to perform.
Here, then, is an instance of a deliberate alteration in the law effected through the instrumentality of a prophet, the validity of which was never questioned, any more than the introduction of music into the worship of Israel, which was effected also by David (1 Chron. 23:55Moreover four thousand were porters; and four thousand praised the Lord with the instruments which I made, said David, to praise therewith. (1 Chronicles 23:5)). God could, and God did, make the change in the law about the Levites, and introduced into the ritual that for which Moses had made no provision. He did it by a prophet, but it was done openly, and it needed not the artifices suggested by Professor Smith to ensure its acceptance as the Lord's mind for His people. For in the days of Hezekiah the ordinances of David were remembered and carried out (2 Chron. 29:25-2625And he set the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the king's seer, and Nathan the prophet: for so was the commandment of the Lord by his prophets. 26And the Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. (2 Chronicles 29:25‑26)). In the days of Jeshua and Zerubbabel these same ordinances were acted upon by the returned remnant (Ezra 3:1010And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the Lord, after the ordinance of David king of Israel. (Ezra 3:10)). Hence the supposed prophet of Jeremiah or Josiah's date had before him the precedent of David, Gad, and Nathan, as to an alteration, and an important one, in the law of Moses, the validity of which was acknowledged by all in his day. Why then should he shroud himself in mystery, and work deceitfully with the writings of Moses for a purpose of which he had full proof could be successfully effected without any subterfuge or concealment?
Again, we are told that Josiah had the law of Deuteronomy in his hand, and put down the evil by appealing to it. Surely he had that law, but not that only. The book found is called "the book of the law of Jehovah by the hand of Moses" (2 Chron. 34:1414And when they brought out the money that was brought into the house of the Lord, Hilkiah the priest found a book of the law of the Lord given by Moses. (2 Chronicles 34:14), which may well have been the very copy written by Moses, and deposited by his command in the side of the ark (Deut. 31: 9, 25, 26). But whether it was that copy or not, there is evidence that Josiah must have had, and that he acted upon more than what was written, in the book of. Deuteronomy. The answer of the prophetess Huldah indicates this, when she said by the word of the Lord, " Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read; because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their
hands, therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched "
(2 Kings 22:16,1716Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read: 17Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched. (2 Kings 22:16‑17)). Now part of what Huldah speaks of is not found in Deuteronomy, but is plainly stated in Levit. 26. For though Deut. 28 predicts the sorrows of the people, if they should fail in the keeping of the covenant, Levit. 26: 31 it is which openly states what Deut. 28:52 can only be said to hint at,-the destruction of their cities and their sanctuaries, and all because of idolatry; which sin is especially mentioned in that chapter in Leviticus (26: 1). No wonder the king put down idolatry with that chapter of Leviticus before his eyes. Nor need we wonder at the answer of the prophetess announcing God's judgment on Jerusalem, when we peruse that part of the law of Moses. Deut. 28 treats of the effects of disobedience on the people; Levit. 26. predicts divine judgment on the land if Israel should turn to idolatry; Huldah's answer announces judgment on both. Professor Smith boldly asserts that the king acted according to the law of Deuteronomy, but gives us no proof that his statement is anything more than a mere assertion. A reference to the history and to Deuteronomy evidences, we submit, that his statement is unsupported by the word; and who, indeed, could limit the king's acquaintance with God's law to the last book of the Pentateuch, of whom it is written, that " Like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses " (2 Kings, 23: 25). So far, then, as we have tested the grounds by Scripture on which Mr. Smith would base his arguments, that the covenant, the terms of which we have in Deut. 12-26, is not exactly that which came from Moses, we can only rise up from an examination of them under the conviction that the teaching of Scripture is very different from that of the writer in question. But he goes further, and attempts to show from Scripture itself that the Deuteronomic code " cannot have been published in its present form by Moses, because it contains precepts which can be proved, from other parts of the Bible, to have been revealed at a later date " (p. 10). Into this we will now look.
" These are the words of the covenant which the Lord commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, beside the covenant which he made with them in Horeb" (Deut. 29: 1). These words plainly declare that there was a covenant made with them in the plains of Moab, in addition to the one made with them in Horeb. Now the book of Deuteronomy is the only portion of the word which professes to give us that covenant at all, and it professes to give us the whole of it. Part, too, of this book clearly was in existence when Joshua, with Israel, entered the land, for the twelve tribes under Joshua carried out the service appointed by Moses in Deut. 11;27, at Ebal and Gerizim (Josh. 8:30-3530Then Joshua built an altar unto the Lord God of Israel in mount Ebal, 31As Moses the servant of the Lord commanded the children of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of whole stones, over which no man hath lift up any iron: and they offered thereon burnt offerings unto the Lord, and sacrificed peace offerings. 32And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel. 33And all Israel, and their elders, and officers, and their judges, stood on this side the ark and on that side before the priests the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord, as well the stranger, as he that was born among them; half of them over against mount Gerizim, and half of them over against mount Ebal; as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded before, that they should bless the people of Israel. 34And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessings and cursings, according to all that is written in the book of the law. 35There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the strangers that were conversant among them. (Joshua 8:30‑35)), on which occasion there was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel, with the women and the little ones, and the strangers that were conversant among them. The covenant made in the plains of Moab, whatever it was, Joshua and Israel were aware of, and the blessings and cursings of Deut. 28. are connected with the observance or non-observance of all the commandments which Moses himself commanded them, or, to quote his own words, " which I command you this day" (see 28: 1, 15; 29:12; 30: 2, 15). Now it is inconceivable that the terms of the covenant, on the observance or not of which so much depended, were not definitely settled till ages after the people had crossed the Jordan; yet, accepting Mr. Smith's theory, we are pledged to that. Further, it is wholly unlike God's ways at any time with men, placed on the ground of responsibility, that He should not have given them His full and definite commands, which they were responsible to keep; and who could conceive a true prophet of God, in the face of these words of Moses in Deut. 28, 29, and 30., already referred to, with those words also of the lawgiver in 4: 2, before his eyes, and the announcement of the prophet like unto Moses, for whose advent they were to wait to give them further revelations, foisting into the law of Moses commands, which he knew, whatever others did, that they were never given to Israel by the son of Amram, on the east of the river Jordan? The supposition is most improbable, and the acceptance of it would involve us in a host of difficulties. What, then, are those proofs from Scripture on which Mr. Smith seeks from his readers acceptance of his views?
" The law of Ex. 20:22-2622And the Lord said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. 23Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold. 24An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee. 25And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it. 26Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon. (Exodus 20:22‑26), allows the Israelite to approach God by sacrifice, and encourages him to expect His blessing in all places where-by some act of revelation-Jehovah has recorded His name. Such places were the ancient sanctuaries-Bethel, Shechem, Beersheba, Hebron-where God had accepted the worship of the patriarchs, or newer shrines like Gilgal, consecrated by some mighty deed of the Lord for His people. This law was strictly followed by Samuel, Saul, and David. They sacrificed at many shrines, but only at places known of old by some historical record of God's name; or, if they raised a new altar, it was raised in memorial of some great mercy, whereby God associated the record of His name with a new place of worship (1 Sam. 14:3535And Saul built an altar unto the Lord: the same was the first altar that he built unto the Lord. (1 Samuel 14:35); 2 Sam. 24:2525And David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the Lord was entreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel. (2 Samuel 24:25)). Not so the law of Deuteronomy (see especially Deut. 12) That law knows only one legal sanctuary chosen by the Lord out of all the tribes of Israel, and where all sacrifice must be offered. Every other sanctuary is heathenish (12: 1-4), and all other sacrifice is will worship, without foundation in divine law (12: 8), and not to be tolerated after the people are settled in Canaan (12: 9, seq.) This law, if it was actually uttered by Moses, would come into force as soon as the ark was settled at Shiloh (compare Deut. 12:5,10,115But unto the place which the Lord your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come: (Deuteronomy 12:5)
10But when ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the Lord your God giveth you to inherit, and when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety; 11Then there shall be a place which the Lord your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the Lord: (Deuteronomy 12:10‑11)
, with Josh. 18:11And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them. (Joshua 18:1); Jer. 7:1212But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. (Jeremiah 7:12)), from which time onward no other sanctuary could be other than superstitious" (pp. 11-12).
Now this passage bristles with blunders. Scripture is misquoted; Scripture is misunderstood; and facts of history are really, though probably unconsciously to the writer, perverted.
The Lord in Ex. 20:2424An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee. (Exodus 20:24),said-,"In all places where I shall record my name, 'come unto thee and bless thee.".Mr. Smith, who is a Hebrew scholar and should know better, writes as if Jehovah had spoken in the past tense, "have recorded," instead of " shall record." The effect of this mistake is to make Bethel, Shechem, Beersheba, and Hebron; as well as Gilgal, some of the places referred to, whereas by the Lord's word they are all of them expressly excluded. For in Exodus the Lord is looking on to the future; and the first place in which He did record His name was Shiloh, as. He Himself, by His prophet Jeremiah
(7: 12) tells us-" Go ye now unto my place, which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at-the first." Hence not one of those places mentioned by Professor Smith were in God's mind when He gave that promise to Moses, and not till the event mentioned in Josh. 18 took place did God record His name for Israel in any place in the land. The statements of Scripture, the very words of Jehovah Himself, directly overturn the statement of the writer of that paragraph. Bethel, Shechem, Beersheba, and Hebron, were places connected with patriarchal worship. At Shechem and Gilgal Israel had been, and these places were connected most closely with their history; but the national association with them was prior to the erection of the tabernacle at Shiloh, where God set up His name at the first. Further, the Lord never recalled His people to worship at any place because of its connection with a patriarchal altar, for sanctuaries they did not, that we ever read of, erect. The only exceptions to this assertion that might be quoted are really no exceptions to it. We refer to Shechem and Mount Moriah. On Mount Ebal, near to Shechem, Joshua did build an altar; on Mount Moriah David did sacrifice to God; but on neither occasion was the altar erected because the site had once been used as a patriarchal sanctuary, or the place of a patriarchal altar. Shiloh, Nob, Gibeon, were resting-places of the tabernacle previous to the building of the temple; but not one of these places figures in any way in the histories of Abraham, Isaac, or of Jacob. So far, then, from Mr. Smith's assertion being correct, the Lord seems to have carefully guarded His people from going back to such places. Jeroboam led Israel back to Bethel. The Lord did not, though in the days of the Judges and of Samuel the children of Israel resorted to it.
God bore with that then; but never, that we read of, commanded it. Again we are told that Samuel, Saul, and David, sacrificed at many shrines, but only at those known of old by some historical record of God's name, or any altar they raised was raised "in memorial of some great mercy, whereby God associated the record of His name with a new place of worship" (1 Sam. 14:3535And Saul built an altar unto the Lord: the same was the first altar that he built unto the Lord. (1 Samuel 14:35); 2 Sam. 24:2525And David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the Lord was entreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel. (2 Samuel 24:25)). Is this correct? Samuel built an altar at Ramah (1 Sam. 7:1717And his return was to Ramah; for there was his house; and there he judged Israel; and there he built an altar unto the Lord. (1 Samuel 7:17)). Saul's first altar was built on the battle-field, or near it, between Michmash and Aijalon, the witness rather of his folly in hindering the victory, than of a great mercy whereby God associated the record of His name with that place for worship. David built an altar on the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite by express command from the angel of the Lord, in order that the plague should be stayed among the people (2 Sam. 24:13-2513So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days' pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me. 14And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the Lord; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man. 15So the Lord sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beer-sheba seventy thousand men. 16And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. And the angel of the Lord was by the threshingplace of Araunah the Jebusite. 17And David spake unto the Lord when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father's house. 18And Gad came that day to David, and said unto him, Go up, rear an altar unto the Lord in the threshingfloor of Araunah the Jebusite. 19And David, according to the saying of Gad, went up as the Lord commanded. 20And Araunah looked, and saw the king and his servants coming on toward him: and Araunah went out, and bowed himself before the king on his face upon the ground. 21And Araunah said, Wherefore is my lord the king come to his servant? And David said, To buy the threshingfloor of thee, to build an altar unto the Lord, that the plague may be stayed from the people. 22And Araunah said unto David, Let my lord the king take and offer up what seemeth good unto him: behold, here be oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing instruments and other instruments of the oxen for wood. 23All these things did Araunah, as a king, give unto the king. And Araunah said unto the king, The Lord thy God accept thee. 24And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25And David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the Lord was entreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel. (2 Samuel 24:13‑25); 1 Chron. 21:18-2718Then the angel of the Lord commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the Lord in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. 19And David went up at the saying of Gad, which he spake in the name of the Lord. 20And Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; and his four sons with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing wheat. 21And as David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out of the threshingfloor, and bowed himself to David with his face to the ground. 22Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of this threshingfloor, that I may build an altar therein unto the Lord: thou shalt grant it me for the full price: that the plague may be stayed from the people. 23And Ornan said unto David, Take it to thee, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: lo, I give thee the oxen also for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meat offering; I give it all. 24And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the Lord, nor offer burnt offerings without cost. 25So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight. 26And David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the Lord; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering. 27And the Lord commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof. (1 Chronicles 21:18‑27)). But that they sacrificed only at places known of old is an assertion without foundation as regards Samuel and Saul, and misleading as regards David: And we do not read of any one of them raising an altar in memory of some great mercy God had shown them. David raised his to obtain one. Not one of these three did that which Mr. Smith asserts. We need not then wonder, if facts in history are so 'misstated, that the difference between Ex. 20:22-2622And the Lord said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. 23Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold. 24An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee. 25And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it. 26Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon. (Exodus 20:22‑26) and Deut. 12 should be misunderstood. For the ground taken by Mr. Smith to prove that Deut. 12 is a law that was not given through Moses is founded on a mistake. He confounds the permission to erect altars for burnt offerings and peace offerings with the recognition, when in the land, of only one lawful sanctuary.
Ex. 20 speaks of altars, Deut. 12 of a sanctuary. Keep these distinctions in mind, and the alleged contradiction between Exodus and Deuteronomy on this point at once disappears. God allowed the erection of altars anywhere in the land for burnt offerings and peace offerings to be offered thereon. He thus provided for His people to express their thankfulness, or devotional spirit, whenever they were so minded, But on these altars no sin offering, trespass offering, or meat offering, such as Levit. 2. prescribes, were the people authorized to offer. Further, to keep the people, when in the land, from idolatry, which the doomed nations had practiced and still carried on, God gave Israel the law relative to the one sanctuary, and that by Moses. Besides this, Deuteronomy speaks in chap. 27. of an altar apart from the brazen altar, and Joshua with Israel erected it (Josh. 8:3030Then Joshua built an altar unto the Lord God of Israel in mount Ebal, (Joshua 8:30)). Now is it not strange that the nameless prophet, whom Mr. Smith would introduce to our notice, should incorporate a law into Deuteronomy to supersede the law of Exodus, when there was in that very book a command, undoubtedly given by Moses, in full agreement with the law of Ex. 20 as to the erection of altars elsewhere than at the sanctuary? Why did he not eliminate from the Pentateuch chapter 27. of Deuteronomy, that one part of the book should not clash with the other? Surely, if he could insert, he could also strike out. But Deut. 27 was not struck out, nor was Deut. 12 inserted by a nameless prophet.
For Deuteronomy chapter 12. cannot be the production of a prophet about the time of Hezekiah, Jeremiah, or Josiah. If so, that law was not extant in the day of Phinehas. How then shall we account for his language to the Israelites east of Jordan? What means, too, the answer of the two tribes and a half? Both the questioner and those questioned recognized that which Deut. 12 insisted on, viz. the tabernacle, and the altar connected with it, as the one place of national worship (Josh. 22:19,2919Notwithstanding, if the land of your possession be unclean, then pass ye over unto the land of the possession of the Lord, wherein the Lord's tabernacle dwelleth, and take possession among us: but rebel not against the Lord, nor rebel against us, in building you an altar beside the altar of the Lord our God. (Joshua 22:19)
29God forbid that we should rebel against the Lord, and turn this day from following the Lord, to build an altar for burnt offerings, for meat offerings, or for sacrifices, beside the altar of the Lord our God that is before his tabernacle. (Joshua 22:29)
). The language of the one party and the answer of the other would be inexplicable on Mr. Smith's hypothesis, but both
are quite in keeping with the acceptance of Deut. 12 as part of the law given by Moses.
We rest not, however, here. For 1 Kings 3:22Only the people sacrificed in high places, because there was no house built unto the name of the Lord, until those days. (1 Kings 3:2) gives the true reason why, till Solomon's time, the people sacrificed and burnt incense in high places, " because there was no house built unto the name of the Lord till those days." Scripture explains it all perfectly, but in explaining it refutes this theory, whoever may be the author of it, and convicts those who adopt it of ignorance on this point of the written word. Evidently, then, Deut. 12 was known, and owned to be God's law in the early days of Solomon. Could Samuel, Saul, and David have been unconscious of it? How much at fault in this matter must the verifying power of the critic be, who fixes on the time of Jeremiah or Josiah for the introduction of a law which was evidently known in the days of Solomon! We cannot, however, wonder at any mis-statement of facts when we read the astounding piece of information that " there is not a hint of anything exceptional in the worship of Israel between the fall of Shiloh and the building of the temple " (p. 12). A charity schoolboy might correct this. Nothing exceptional in their worship, when all that time the ark was away from the holy of holies, and no atonement could therefore be effected I Nothing exceptional in their worship, when Levites were with the ark in Jerusalem to minister before it continually, and all the priests were sent by David to the tabernacle at Gibeon (1 Chron. 16:37-4237So he left there before the ark of the covenant of the Lord Asaph and his brethren, to minister before the ark continually, as every day's work required: 38And Obed-edom with their brethren, threescore and eight; Obed-edom also the son of Jeduthun and Hosah to be porters: 39And Zadok the priest, and his brethren the priests, before the tabernacle of the Lord in the high place that was at Gibeon, 40To offer burnt offerings unto the Lord upon the altar of the burnt offering continually morning and evening, and to do according to all that is written in the law of the Lord, which he commanded Israel; 41And with them Heman and Jeduthun, and the rest that were chosen, who were expressed by name, to give thanks to the Lord, because his mercy endureth for ever; 42And with them Heman and Jeduthun with trumpets and cymbals for those that should make a sound, and with musical instruments of God. And the sons of Jeduthun were porters. (1 Chronicles 16:37‑42))! Nothing exceptional, when by the slaughter of Abimelech and the priests at Nob, Abiathar the high priest had to take refuge with and share the fortunes of David
Another ground for the contradictory assertion, that the laws in Deuteronomy " are the laws of Moses in a new edition, embodying modifications which cannot have proceeded from him" (p. 20), is based on the law about a king in the 27th. chapter of that book. It is argued that in Samuel's day that law was not on the statute-book (pp. 21, 22). A reference to what did take place, as recorded in 1 Samuel, will put the matter in its lawgiver? We have only to mark the difference between them, and the mountain of difficulty disappears like a dissolving view. Ex. 21 guards the interests of the bondswoman whom the master had betrothed to be his wife. Deut. 15 guards the interests of the bondswoman who stood in no such position to her master. But here an objection is raised. " If a bondswoman, as a rule, went free after seven years, why does the law of Exodus specially provide that the wife, who came in with her husband, was to go out with him " (p. 18)? The answer is most simple. Exodus does not speak, as Mr. Smith puts it, of the wife going in with her husband to slavery, but of a man previously married going into bondage. Under such circumstances he was the slave; so the services of his wife could not be claimed by her master when her husband was free. The perfect justice of these laws is well worthy of notice. What the man had before he became a bondsman remained his when his term of service was over. What his master had given him, whilst a bondsman, remained his master's when the year of release arrived.
Another difficulty is raised on the plea of variance between laws in Exodus and Leviticus and those in Deuteronomy. But why might there not be variances between them, as the altered circumstances, from the wilderness life to settlement in the land, would necessitate? And why should such variances compel us of necessity to reject the Mosaic authorship of Deuteronomy in consequence? There are variances in the laws. Compare Ex. 23:44If thou meet thine enemy's ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again. (Exodus 23:4) with Deut. 22:1-31Thou shalt not see thy brother's ox or his sheep go astray, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt in any case bring them again unto thy brother. 2And if thy brother be not nigh unto thee, or if thou know him not, then thou shalt bring it unto thine own house, and it shall be with thee until thy brother seek after it, and thou shalt restore it to him again. 3In like manner shalt thou do with his ass; and so shalt thou do with his raiment; and with all lost thing of thy brother's, which he hath lost, and thou hast found, shalt thou do likewise: thou mayest not hide thyself. (Deuteronomy 22:1‑3), and Levit. 27: 3, 4 with Deut. 12:21,2221If the place which the Lord thy God hath chosen to put his name there be too far from thee, then thou shalt kill of thy herd and of thy flock, which the Lord hath given thee, as I have commanded thee, and thou shalt eat in thy gates whatsoever thy soul lusteth after. 22Even as the roebuck and the hart is eaten, so thou shalt eat them: the unclean and the clean shall eat of them alike. (Deuteronomy 12:21‑22). See also Deut. 14:2323And thou shalt eat before the Lord thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always. (Deuteronomy 14:23) compared with verse 24. Settlement in the land necessitated certain alterations; so, whilst those near to the sanctuary were to bring their tithes in kind every year, those at a distance were allowed to turn them into money, and to bring them up in that shape, instead of driving the animals before them. If such variances necessitate the rejection of the popular belief that Deuteronomy is part of the law given by Moses, are we to judge that Deut. true light. The people went to Samuel and said, "Make us a king to judge us like all the nations" (8: 5), language very similar to that of Deut. 17:1414When thou art come unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; (Deuteronomy 17:14), which was the prophetic announcement of what would be the expression of their hearts and lips. A simple reader would probably conclude that the people had that very law of Deuteronomy in their mind when preferring their request to the prophet. Compare 1 Sam. 8:55And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. (1 Samuel 8:5) with Deut. 17:1414When thou art come unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; (Deuteronomy 17:14), and let the Hebrew student turn to the originals, and see how close is the resemblance between the actual words uttered and the language which God foretold that they would utter. Did Samuel say they were asking for something never contemplated? No. He was displeased when they said " Make us a king to judge us," and Scripture makes us understand, from the Lord's answer to him, something of the feelings of his heart. "They have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me"
(1 Sam. 8:77And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. (1 Samuel 8:7)). The prophet viewed their request as a personal slight to himself, who was the judge. The Lord knew that, and showed him that He knew it. As yet the true reason for their request, and their sin in asking for a king, had not been laid bare. In 1 Sam. 12:1212And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me, Nay; but a king shall reign over us: when the Lord your God was your king. (1 Samuel 12:12) it all came out, "When ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me, Nay; but a king shall reign over us: when the Lord your God was your king" Here is the clue to the difficulty, if anybody really has one. The thought of a king was nothing new, the prophet's mother had spoken of it (1 Sam. 2:1010The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the Lord shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed. (1 Samuel 2:10)); but the motive for desiring one was wrong. Thus the history explains all that needs explanation, and surely demonstrates what unstable ground that incident would be whereon to rest an argument against the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch. Next, let us glance at the law of manumission in Ex. 21 and Deut. 15:7-187If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother: 8But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth. 9Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the Lord against thee, and it be sin unto thee. 10Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto. 11For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land. 12And if thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee. 13And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty: 14Thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the Lord thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him. 15And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the Lord thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing to day. 16And it shall be, if he say unto thee, I will not go away from thee; because he loveth thee and thine house, because he is well with thee; 17Then thou shalt take an aul, and thrust it through his ear unto the door, and he shall be thy servant for ever. And also unto thy maidservant thou shalt do likewise. 18It shall not seem hard unto thee, when thou sendest him away free from thee; for he hath been worth a double hired servant to thee, in serving thee six years: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all that thou doest. (Deuteronomy 15:7‑18). In the former, if a father sold his daughter to one who betrothed her to be his wife, her husband could not send her away in the year of release. In the latter, both bondsmen and bondswomen were to go out free. Are these laws irreconcilable with the belief that both were given by the 14: 23 is by him, and verse 24 by the unnamed and unknown prophet? The objections therefore raised on the ground of variance between
Ex. 22:31 and Deut. 14:21 can be explained in this way. But it is curious that in stating the difference Professor Smith cannot state it correctly. "Another plain instance of variance between Exodus and Deuteronomy is, that the former (22: 31) commands the flesh of an animal found torn in the field to be thrown to the dogs; and so in Levit. 17: 15 it is enacted that any one who eats such food,-be he an Israelite or a protected stranger,-must perform a statutory purification, and be unclean till evening. But in Deut. 14:21 the Israelite is allowed to present carrion to the stranger who lives under his protection, and he in turn is permitted to eat it " (p. 18). Ex. 22 treats wholly of anything torn by beasts, which God forbade Israel to eat of. Levit. 27. prescribes the legal purification should an Israelite, or a stranger in the camp-for that chapter treats of camp life-have eaten of anything torn by beasts, or of that which died of itself. Deut. 14 treats only of that which died of itself (not of anything torn by beasts), which might be given to the stranger. A principle runs throughout these laws, viz. that Israel, as a holy people, were to be careful about their eating; but when in the land, that which died of itself they might give to the stranger, or sell it to an alien. As Mr. Smith states it, the reader would suppose that what Ex. 22 forbade Deut. 14 treated of. A perusal of the two passages compared with Levit. 17. will, we think, demonstrate the contrary. Exodus only treats of that which was torn of beasts, t'refah. Deuteronomy, on the other hand, has in view that which died of itself, n'belah. Levit. 17. mentions both, for they are really different.
The same want of accuracy is evidenced in the statements about the asylums and the altar, on p. 19. The cities of refuge were not sanctuaries, though they were sanctified or set apart to be places of refuge for the man-slayer; but the altar mentioned in Ex. 21:1414But if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbor, to slay him with guile; thou shalt take him from mine altar, that he may die. (Exodus 21:14), is none other than that which was afterward
known as the brazen altar. This Mr. Smith denies, referring to Num. 18:3 as his authority. Num. 18 forbids any one not of Aaron's race approaching the altar to minister thereat, but does not treat of any criminal or a person in danger of death taking hold of its horns for security. That a person could fly to the altar of the Lord, and take hold of it and live, Adonijah is a witness (1 Kings 1:50-5250And Adonijah feared because of Solomon, and arose, and went, and caught hold on the horns of the altar. 51And it was told Solomon, saying, Behold, Adonijah feareth king Solomon: for, lo, he hath caught hold on the horns of the altar, saying, Let king Solomon swear unto me to day that he will not slay his servant with the sword. 52And Solomon said, If he will show himself a worthy man, there shall not an hair of him fall to the earth: but if wickedness shall be found in him, he shall die. (1 Kings 1:50‑52)). That a murderer was to find it no place of refuge Joab learned, and his death attests (1 Kings 2:2828Then tidings came to Joab: for Joab had turned after Adonijah, though he turned not after Absalom. And Joab fled unto the tabernacle of the Lord, and caught hold on the horns of the altar. (1 Kings 2:28)). A reference then to the Scriptures clears away this difficulty, and only demonstrates, in one more instance, the inaccuracy of the objector, and the sandy foundation on which he would rest so important and serious a statement.
Similarly as to the law of firstlings, detailed in Ex. 22:3030Likewise shalt thou do with thine oxen, and with thy sheep: seven days it shall be with his dam; on the eighth day thou shalt give it me. (Exodus 22:30), Num. 18:15-1815Every thing that openeth the matrix in all flesh, which they bring unto the Lord, whether it be of men or beasts, shall be thine: nevertheless the firstborn of man shalt thou surely redeem, and the firstling of unclean beasts shalt thou redeem. 16And those that are to be redeemed from a month old shalt thou redeem, according to thine estimation, for the money of five shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, which is twenty gerahs. 17But the firstling of a cow, or the firstling of a sheep, or the firstling of a goat, thou shalt not redeem; they are holy: thou shalt sprinkle their blood upon the altar, and shalt burn their fat for an offering made by fire, for a sweet savor unto the Lord. 18And the flesh of them shall be thine, as the wave breast and as the right shoulder are thine. (Numbers 18:15‑18), and in Deut. 15:19-2019All the firstling males that come of thy herd and of thy flock thou shalt sanctify unto the Lord thy God: thou shalt do no work with the firstling of thy bullock, nor shear the firstling of thy sheep. 20Thou shalt eat it before the Lord thy God year by year in the place which the Lord shall choose, thou and thy household. (Deuteronomy 15:19‑20). In the wilderness they were to be presented to God on the eighth day, and the priests fed on them after they had been duly sacrificed on the altar. In the land the people were to sanctify them, and to eat them year by year before the Lord their God, in the place which He should choose: for those far off from the altar would have been overburdened if each animal was to be brought up on the eighth day. Claimed, however, by God, He gave them in the wilderness to the priests; but in the land, where the priests must have been better provided for in other ways, the people ate of them, yet only before God. But there is nothing in the law to say the priest did not share in the feast, though it is true he is not expressly named. In the one case, then, and in the other, the Lord maintained His rights; for these animals were His, and He gave them to whom He chose. But the reason assigned by Mr. Smith for the change, viz, that the local altars were abolished when the Deuteronomic editor inserted that provision in the law of Moses, is a pure unfounded myth.
Two other objections are raised in p. 21. We give them in the writer's own words:-
" The priest's portion of a common sacrifice, what is technically called a peace offering, was, according to Lev. 7:30-3430His own hands shall bring the offerings of the Lord made by fire, the fat with the breast, it shall he bring, that the breast may be waved for a wave offering before the Lord. 31And the priest shall burn the fat upon the altar: but the breast shall be Aaron's and his sons'. 32And the right shoulder shall ye give unto the priest for an heave offering of the sacrifices of your peace offerings. 33He among the sons of Aaron, that offereth the blood of the peace offerings, and the fat, shall have the right shoulder for his part. 34For the wave breast and the heave shoulder have I taken of the children of Israel from off the sacrifices of their peace offerings, and have given them unto Aaron the priest and unto his sons by a statute for ever from among the children of Israel. (Leviticus 7:30‑34), the breast and the right leg [shok]. In Deut. 18:33And this shall be the priest's due from the people, from them that offer a sacrifice, whether it be ox or sheep; and they shall give unto the priest the shoulder, and the two cheeks, and the maw. (Deuteronomy 18:3) his portion is the foreshoulder [z'roang], the cheeks, and the maw. Dr. Douglas admits his inability to reconcile this discrepancy. Again, Deuteronomy (14: 23, 15: 20) bids the people eat the firstlings in a feast at the sanctuary. Numb, 18: 18 assigns the firstlings absolutely to the priests. They must be sacrificed, but no part of the flesh goes to the offerer-` their flesh shall be thine [the priest's], like the wave-breast and the heave-shoulder, it shall be thine.' Dr. Douglas still thinks that this may mean that only the breast and leg are to go to the priest. But the words are plain to the contrary. The practice of the second temple, as we know it from Jewish tradition, is also against him, Moreover, his explanations will hardly square with the fact that the firstlings of an unclean beast had to be bought back from the priest, or else might be sold by the latter
As usual, there are inaccuracies in statement. The shok, whatever that was, in Leviticus, was assigned to the officiating priest, and the breast went to all the males of the priesthood. This distinction, if Mr. Smith has seized, he has not stated; but has told us something quite different, viz. that the breast and the right leg were the priests' portion in Leviticus. Then his reference to Lev. 27:2727And if it be of an unclean beast, then he shall redeem it according to thine estimation, and shall add a fifth part of it thereto: or if it be not redeemed, then it shall be sold according to thy estimation. (Leviticus 27:27) is 'all wrong. There it, is the redemption of an unclean beast sanctified to God that is treated of. No man could sanctify his firstling of an unclean animal till he had redeemed it according to law, for till then it was not his but the Lord's. Mr. Smith first falls into a. mistake, and then would parade as a contradiction in Scripture what has no foundation in fact. Thirdly, he refers to Deut. 14:2424And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the Lord thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the Lord thy God hath blessed thee: (Deuteronomy 14:24), but omits to tell his readers that the provision contained in that and the following verses was only for those who were not located near to the sanctuary, verse 23 enjoining on those within easy reach of it to bring up the animal itself to God's altar.
On the laws of the firstlings we have already remarked. On the difference, as he states it, between the priests' portion in Leviticus and that. in Deut. 14 a few words are needful. In Leviticus the limb of the animal of the peace offering assigned to the priest is called shok, and so in Exodus and Numbers. In Deuteronomy it is called z'roang. Are these necessarily different limbs, the former being the leg and the latter the shoulder? Mr. Smith says, unhesitatingly, " Yes." The ancient versions-Chaldee, LXX,. and Vulg.-differ from him, and they are in agreement with modern scholars, as Buxtorf, Rosenmuller, Fuerst. The truth is, shok, derived from a verb shuk, to run, fittingly describes the limbs on which an animal runs. In a biped those are the legs, in a quadruped they would take in the fore legs as well as the hind legs. Hence, in the Authorized Version, wherever shok is used of a man it is always translated as the leg, where used of a. quadruped the translators have understood that it applied to the fore leg, being, equally with the hind ones, a limb on which it runs.. The same. holds good in our own tongue. We speak of the sheep's foreleg when alive, but of a shoulder of mutton when it is dead. In accordance with this the LXX, uniformly where a quadruped is in question, translated shok by βραχίων, the shoulder, and this is the more remarkable, because in Num. 6:19,. 20, we have both the above-named. Hebrew words mentioned, and translated in that version by the one word &axial', just as in the Authorized Version. In their judgment; and we here give it only for what it is worth, shok does not of necessity mean only the shank. Giving, then, Mr. Smith every advantage possible, the most that can be said is, that if shok cannot refer to the
shoulder, there is a change here in the law. But it rests with the objector to make good his objection. That he has not done, and we believe cannot do.
" Again," he writes, " Hosea (9: 3, 4) cannot have known the Deuteronomic permission to kill and eat animals without offering them in sacrifice (Deut. 12:1515Notwithstanding thou mayest kill and eat flesh in all thy gates, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, according to the blessing of the Lord thy God which he hath given thee: the unclean and the clean may eat thereof, as of the roebuck, and as of the hart. (Deuteronomy 12:15)), when he says, that in exile the people must eat unclean food, because they cannot present their sacrifices at Jehovah's house. He was still living in a time when all animal food was regularly presented at the altar, according to the law of Lev. 17:11,4-1011For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. (Leviticus 17:11)
4And bringeth it not unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, to offer an offering unto the Lord before the tabernacle of the Lord; blood shall be imputed unto that man; he hath shed blood; and that man shall be cut off from among his people: 5To the end that the children of Israel may bring their sacrifices, which they offer in the open field, even that they may bring them unto the Lord, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest, and offer them for peace offerings unto the Lord. 6And the priest shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar of the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and burn the fat for a sweet savor unto the Lord. 7And they shall no more offer their sacrifices unto devils, after whom they have gone a whoring. This shall be a statute for ever unto them throughout their generations. 8And thou shalt say unto them, Whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers which sojourn among you, that offereth a burnt offering or sacrifice, 9And bringeth it not unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, to offer it unto the Lord; even that man shall be cut off from among his people. 10And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people. (Leviticus 17:4‑10)
." Indeed. Leviticus (17.) had respect to camp life, as is stated in verse 3. The camp life for Israel had ended centuries before Hosea was born! Besides this, the prophet is setting forth the blessings of which they would be deprived; their enjoyment of the land they would forfeit (9: 3), and peace-offerings, which were connected with feasting, they would then be unable to offer (ver. 4). Mr. Smith presents a mistaken view of the passage, and forgets Ezek. 4:12-1412And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man, in their sight. 13And the Lord said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, whither I will drive them. 14Then said I, Ah Lord God! behold, my soul hath not been polluted: for from my youth up even till now have I not eaten of that which dieth of itself, or is torn in pieces; neither came there abominable flesh into my mouth. (Ezekiel 4:12‑14), which elucidates it. See also Acts 10.
One more objection completes the list. " The prohibition in Deut. 16:2222Neither shalt thou set thee up any image; which the Lord thy God hateth. (Deuteronomy 16:22) of the erection of what is called a macceba, that is, a sacred pillar or stone, set up like Jacob's pillar, in connection with a sanctuary, cannot have been known to Joshua (25: 26), Samuel (1 Sam. 7:1212Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Eben-ezer, saying, Hitherto hath the Lord helped us. (1 Samuel 7:12)), Solomon (1 Kings 7:2121And he set up the pillars in the porch of the temple: and he set up the right pillar, and called the name thereof Jachin: and he set up the left pillar, and called the name thereof Boaz. (1 Kings 7:21)), or even to Isaiah, who (ch. 19: 19) prophesies the erection of such a sacred pillar, as a sign of the conversion of Egypt. The reason for the introduction of this new law into the Deuteronomic code is easily found in connection with the suppression of corrupt local sanctuaries, as I have explained at length in my additional answer, p. 71, seq." (p. 22). Now this statement is a very bad one. Inaccurate it is, but surely our readers will cease to wonder at that. But would it be believed, Joshua, Samuel, and Solomon erected no macceba. And this Mr. Smith ought to know. Joshua and Samuel put up each a stone, Solomon made the two brazen pillars, Jachin and Boaz. But the statement is a very bad one, because it would make out that Joshua, Samuel, and Solomon in the days when he walked well, deliberately did that which God declared He hated (Deut. 16:2222Neither shalt thou set thee up any image; which the Lord thy God hateth. (Deuteronomy 16:22)). For at whatever time, even according to Mr. Smith's theory, that law was enacted, it clearly expressed their God's abhorrence of such idolatrous erections. How, then, could He have guided David to provide for such a thing in His house at Jerusalem (1 Chron. 28: 11-19). But if Deut. 16:2222Neither shalt thou set thee up any image; which the Lord thy God hateth. (Deuteronomy 16:22) must be relegated to some post- Mosaic period, what shall we say to Ex. 23:24; 34: 1324Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images. (Exodus 23:24), and Levit. 26: 1, where the destruction of those already in the land is enjoined, and a prohibition against erecting any in Canaan is distinctly set forth (Levit. 26: 1)? Joshua, Samuel, and Solomon must, on the objector's hypothesis, have directly. infringed this law, which is surely held by our author to be unquestionably Mosaic. The truth is, Israel were especially warned against erecting any macceba in the land, because such had been connected with idolatry. Jacob in his day did erect one, moved by the sense of the solemnity of the place where he found God. And in Egypt by and by, when idolatry shall have been put down on earth, a macceba will be reared up by those in that country. But Israel never were allowed, nor ever will be, to erect anything of the kind in the land.
And these are the objections by which the Mosaic authorship of Deuteronomy is to be disproved! What we said in an earlier part of this paper our readers will see is only too true. Scripture is misquoted, and Scripture is misunderstood. Inaccuracies, too, abound, and not one objection adduced by Mr. Smith in support of his theory has any real weight in it for the purpose for which he produces it. As for scholarship, in all this there is none, but a great deal of ignorance of the word of God is displayed. What effect such a production may have on those to whom it is addressed it is not for us to determine; but surely it will be an evil day for Christians in Scotland when such rash statements are accepted as valid objections against the Mosaic authorship of this book.
In conclusion, we would invite our readers to turn with us from the thoughts of men to trace out the orderly arrangement of the book. It divides itself into three great divisions, chap. 1.-11. forming the first, chap. 12.-29. the second, and chap. 30.-34. the third. In the first, the people are exhorted in view of their entrance into the land. In the second, the covenant to be observed when in it, if they would continue in their inheritance, is stated in detail, and the blessings and cursings which would result from their conduct are plainly declared. The third opens with God's provision for them in grace, when they should have been driven out of their land for their disobedience; and closes with the law-giver's death. But let us view each part more in detail.
The first part, chap. 1.-11., commences with reminding them (chap. 1.) how they forfeited the land at Kadesh by their refusal to go up to possess it; and recounts (chap. 2. and how God wrought after that to bring them into it. Then their peculiar privileges are recounted, and their responsibility is pressed on them (chap. 4.-5.) After that they are reminded of the special feature of Judaism, that Jehovah their God is one Jehovah, to which they were to bear witness by declining all connection with idolatry (chap. 6.-7.) Next, Moses tells them that they will not enjoy the land by virtue of their power (8.), nor because of their righteousness (9.-10: 10), but because of God's faithfulness to His word to their forefathers (10. 11:11).
About to enter the land, Moses, in the second part (chap. 12.-29.) details the terms of the covenant made with them in the plains of Moab, besides that already made with them in Horeb. The observance of this was needful for their continuance in the enjoyment of their inheritance (xii. 1). Hence we have laws relating to their worship, the administration of justice, and government, with regulations about military matters, and such as concerned them in their social life (12.- 26.) These are followed by the provisions for that solemn service on Ebal and Gerizim, when they would openly ratify the covenant and declare themselves bound by it (27.) After this come the blessings and cursings which would ensue consequent on their conduct (28.); this part winding up with the reminder by Moses that all Israel there present, and all not there present, were equally parties to this covenant (29.), the danger of breaking which he pressed on them most earnestly.
The third part (30.-34.) foretells God's ways in grace with them after failure and exile (30.) But if possible to keep them from disobedience, the law was delivered in writing by Moses himself, to be kept in the sanctuary as a reminder of what was incumbent on them, and a song was to be committed to writing likewise as a testimony against them (31.) Thereupon follows the song (32.) which prophetically describes what they would be, and how God would act in the latter day when they had utterly failed. Then Moses blessed the tribes, enumerating them in the order, by the Spirit of prophecy, in 'which they would be located in the land (33.).With that his work was done, and Israel were left to await the advent of that prophet whom he had foretold like unto himself, to whom they were to hearken. So, with the record of his death (34.), and the notice of the special feature which would characterize that prophet in common with him (34: 10), the Pentateuch ends.
Thus the book is most orderly and methodical in its arrangement. This is seen when studied as a whole, but lost if we are to regard it as a kind of literary patchwork. And what should we think of God, who put the people under a covenant, the full terms of which were not known till about the days of Josiah? Would that be righteous? Would that be like our God?