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at the transgressions of his people?. Even the book of Leviticus contains one striking passage, which derives much additional importance from the fact that it is expressly cited in the second book of Chronicles: as referring to the Babylonish captivity. The author, it is clear, has some previous example of exile in his mind, and this must have been necessarily that of the ten tribes in the year 722 B.C., for, as Bertholdt observes, history makes no mention of any earlier removal“; but the later date of Deuteronomy enabled this book to include the subsequent calamities of Judah. Jahn has no other resource than to consider these threats as merely of general application, “as Moses might very well suppose that the Israelites at some future time would transgress the laws which he had prescribed to them.” In this case it must be confessed that the Talmud shows less prejudice than many more modern apologists; for it expressly refers 6 Deut. xxviii. 36. to the Babylonish
1“And the anger of the Lord was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book : and the Lord rooted them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day.”—Deut. xxix. 27, 28.
2 “And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you : and your land shall be desolate, and your
cities waste. Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies' land ; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths.”—Lev. xxvi. 33, 34.
3 “ To fulfil the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths : for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years.”—2 Chron. xxxvi. 21.
4 Introduction, 794.
5 “And the Lord shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again : and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you.”—Deut. xxviii. 68. 6 “ The Lord shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over 1 Tract. Joma. chap. v. fol. 52.
captivity', and supposes that Josiah rent his clothes? because he too had applied that passage of the law to the captivity.
If, therefore, we find ourselves everywhere separated by an interval of more than a thousand years from the events which the Pentateuch professes to relate, we must, it is evident, apply a new standard of measure to the numbers and tables it contains, more especially when we find that even in the historical books the statements are usually made in round numbers, and often most palpably exaggerated, in order, on every occasion and in every possible way, to enhance the glories of the nation. Names and numbers have never been serious trammels on the fancy of the eastern historian; while the Hindoo is never weary of detailing the extravagant computations of his Kalpas and their absurd exaggerations of number, the Hebrew has occasionally shown a power of imagination not very inferior in kind; for numbers, as De Wette justly remarks, are within the reach of invention no less than other things4. From this point of view, we must regard the 4000 musicians for the temple, which the Chronicles very prudently refer back to the times of Davids, while the book of Kings makes no mention even of singers till so late as the reign of Sothee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone.”—Deut. xxviii. 36.
2 “And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes.". -2 Kings xxii. 11.
3 According to Bertholdt “these must, beyond all doubt, have proceeded from Moses himself,” Introduction, 787. Compare on the other side De Wette, Introduction, p. 190.
4 Kritik, ii. 325.
5 « Moreover four thousand were porters; and four thousand praised the Lord with the instruments which I made, said David, to praise therewith."-1 Chron. xxiii. 5.
lomon'. To the same class belong the enormous number of animals that are said to have been occasionally sacrificed; as 1000 bullocks, 1000 rams, and 1000 sheep, [on the accession of Solomon?], and 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep at the consecration of the temple, whose blood was sprinkled towards the holy of holies or poured out before the altar3. The Hebrew historian dwells with peculiar satisfaction on a profusion of gold and silver; the gold employed for the tabernacle amounted to 29 talents and 730 shekels, besides 100 talents and 1775 shekels of silver4. The princes of the tribes bring as offerings for the altar 120 shekels of gold and 2400 shekels of silver, and the booty the Israelites obtained from the small tribe of the Midianites amounted to no less than 72,000 bullocks, 675,000 sheep, 61,000 asses, 32,000
1“And the king made of the almug trees pillars for the house of the Lord, and for the king's house, harps also and psalteries for singers : there came no such almug trees, nor were seen unto this day.”—1 Kings x. 12.
: “And they sacrificed sacrifices unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings unto the Lord, on the morrow after that day, even a thousand bullocks, a thousand rams, and a thousand lambs, with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel.”—1 Chron. xxix. 21.
3 “And Solomon offered a sacrifice of peace offerings, which he offered unto the Lord, two and twenty thousand oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep.”—1 Kings viii. 63.
4 “ All the gold that was occupied for the work in all the work of the holy place, even the gold of the offering, was twenty and nine talents, and seven hundred and thirty shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary.”—Exod. xxxviii. 24.
5 “ This was the dedication of the altar, in the day when it was anointed by the princes of Israel : twelve chargers of silver, twelve silver bowls, twelve spoons of gold : each charger of silver weighing an hundred and thirty shekels, each bowl seventy : all the silver vessels weighed two thousand and four hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary : the golden spoons were twelve, full of incense, weighing ten shekels apiece, after the shekel of the sanctuary : all the gold of the spoons was an hundred and twenty shekels.”—Numb. vii. 84, 85, 86.
virgins, and 16,750 shekels of gold"; the enemy were utterly annihilated, while of the Israelites not a man was lost; nevertheless in Judges vii. the Midianites are again in full vigour, so that the entire narrative would appear to be merely a legend of the priests, and the whole of its interest confined to the distribution of the plunder2. David, moreover, collects a treasure of 100,000 talents of gold and 1,000,000 talents of silver°,-equal, according to Eisenschmidt, to 5,454,200,000 dollars (or £818,130,0004], a quantity of the precious metals that could scarcely be found in the whole of modern Europe, much less in ancient Asia; and this same prince destines to the building of the temple no less a sum than 3000 talents of gold(151,200,000 dollars, or £22,680,000), a quantity sufficient to have built a temple of equal size entirely of solid metal. The queen of Sheba presents Solomon with 120 talents of goldó, a single voyage to Ophir brings him 450 talents of gold (22,680,000 dollars,
£3,402,000), and the produce of a single year amounts
1 Numb. xxxi. 32, 52.
2 See Ammon, Fortbildung des Christenthums (Development of Christianity), i. 126.
3 “ Now, behold, in my trouble I have prepared for the house of the Lord an hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver ; and of brass and iron without weight; for it is in abundance : timber also and stone have I prepared ; and thou mayest add thereto.”-1 Chron. xxii. 14.
4 [Reckoning the Prussian dollar at 38.]
5 “ Even three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses withal.”—1 Chron. xxix. 4.
6 “And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones : there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon.”—1 Kings x. 10.
7 “ And Huram sent him by the hands of his servants ships and servants that had knowledge of the sea; and they went with the servants 1 “Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred threescore and six talents of gold.”—1 Kings x. 14.
TENDENCY TO EXAGGERATION.
to 666 talents of gold'. A similar tendency to exaggeration may be everywhere detected in the other numerical statements: Samson slays 1000 Philistines with the jaw-bone of an ass?, Shamgar 600 with an ox-goads; "and those," says old Paulsen“, “ to whom this heroic deed seems incredible are somewhat hasty in their judgement, for the hand of God was at work.” 3000 men are precipitated from the roof of a building which was supported by two pillars, and all are buried in the ruins.
Of the men of Beth-shemesh 50,070 are destroyed because they had looked into the ark6; and critics have sought in vain to substitute the reading 707. Saul leads 330,000 men of Solomon to Ophir, and took thence four hundred and fifty talents of gold, and brought them to king Solomon.”—2 Chron. viii. 18.
2 “ And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith.”—Judges xv. 15.
3“ And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad : and he also delivered Israel.”—Judges iii. 31.
4 Ackerbau der Morgenländer (Agriculture of the East), p. 84.
5 “ Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport......And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. And Samson said, Let me die with the Phi. listines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein.”—Judges xvi. 27, 29, 30.
6 “And he smote the men of Beth-shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the Lord, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men : and the people lamented, because the Lord had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter.”—1 Sam. vi. 19.
7 Jahn, Introduction, i. 479. Compare Repertor. für Bibl. Literat. ix. 276.