The Scriptures: No. 2

 •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Joshua having been assured, by direct communication from Jehovah, of the divine origin and authority of the writings of Moses, was also taught that his success in the service of God would be connected with his observing to do according to all that Moses commanded, without turning from it to the right hand or to the left. Thus Joshua had sacred writings committed to him, which were to be regarded by him as the word of God.
We find also that Joshua wrote on an altar to the Lord God of Israel. "He wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel." And to show how really he owned the divine authenticity of the writings of Moses, we are told that "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. 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." (Josh. 8:32-3532And 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 8:32‑35).)
The prophet Samuel was also a writer. He "told the people the manner of the kingdom, and wrote it in a hook, and laid it up before Jehovah." (1 Sam. 10:2525Then Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, and wrote it in a book, and laid it up before the Lord. And Samuel sent all the people away, every man to his house. (1 Samuel 10:25).) We read also that Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amos, wrote the acts of Uzziah first and last. (2 Chron. 26:2222Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, write. (2 Chronicles 26:22).)
"Jeremiah, wrote in a book all the evil that should come upon Babylon, even all these words that are written against Babylon. And Jeremiah said to Seraiah, When thou comest to Babylon, and shalt see, and shalt read all these words, then shalt thou say, Ο Jehovah, thou hast spoken against this place." (Jer. 51:60-6260So Jeremiah wrote in a book all the evil that should come upon Babylon, even all these words that are written against Babylon. 61And Jeremiah said to Seraiah, When thou comest to Babylon, and shalt see, and shalt read all these words; 62Then shalt thou say, O Lord, thou hast spoken against this place, to cut it off, that none shall remain in it, neither man nor beast, but that it shall be desolate for ever. (Jeremiah 51:60‑62).)
Daniel tells us that he had a dream, and visions of his head upon his bed, and he wrote the dream. He also acknowledged the divine authenticity of sacred writings, for he tells us that he "understood by hooks the number of years, whereof the word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem: and he also owned the divine authority of what is "written in the law of Moses." (Chaps, vii. 1; ix. 2, 11.)
The prophet Hosea says, "I have written to him [Ephraim] the great things of my law." (Chap, viii. 12.) Jehovah said to Habakkuk, "Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it." (Chap. 2:2.) The Psalmist said, "My tongue is the pen of a ready writer" (Psalm 45:11<<To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, for the sons of Korah, Maschil, A Song of loves.>> My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer. (Psalm 45:1)); and the wise man exclaimed, "Have not I written to thee excellent things?" (Pro. 22:2020Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, (Proverbs 22:20).) These instances are enough, we judge, to show that writing was a means ordered by God for communicating and treasuring up divinely-given truth, and that it was practiced and acknowledged by His servants, Scriptures, or sacred writings, with all the value of divine authority, were also recognized throughout Old Testament times. As we have seen, the statutes written in the law of Moses were to be kept; and when the people of Israel had a king, it was said, " He shall read therein all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law, and these statutes to do them. (Deut. 17:1818And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: (Deuteronomy 17:18).) Joshua taught the people "to take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of Jehovah" had given. (Josh. 22:55But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the Lord charged you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul. (Joshua 22:5).)
In David's day, Jehovah brought a breach upon Uzziah, so that he died before the ark, because the king had not sought to do the work after the due order; but when he, and those with him, acted as Moses commanded, according to the word of Jehovah which had been written, then they brought up the ark of God with gladness. (See 2 Sam. 6:7, 87And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God. 8And David was displeased, because the Lord had made a breach upon Uzzah: and he called the name of the place Perez-uzzah to this day. (2 Samuel 6:7‑8); 1 Chron. 15:13, 15, 2813For because ye did it not at the first, the Lord our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order. (1 Chronicles 15:13)
15And the children of the Levites bare the ark of God upon their shoulders with the staves thereon, as Moses commanded according to the word of the Lord. (1 Chronicles 15:15)
28Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps. (1 Chronicles 15:28)
.) In David's dying charge to Solomon, he enjoined him to " keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself." (1 Kings 2:33And keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself: (1 Kings 2:3).)
Even Amaziah, though he did not do that which was right as David his father had done, yet he owned the authority of sacred writings, for we find, when he executed judgment on those who had slain his father, that "the children of the murders he slew not, according unto that which is written in the law of Moses wherein Jehovah commanded, saying, The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor the children be put to death for the fathers; but every man shall be put to death for his own sin." (2 Kings 14:66But the children of the murderers he slew not: according unto that which is written in the book of the law of Moses, wherein the Lord commanded, saying, The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor the children be put to death for the fathers; but every man shall be put to death for his own sin. (2 Kings 14:6).)
King Asa " commanded Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment" (2 Chron. 14:44And commanded Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment. (2 Chronicles 14:4).)