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174

THE TABERNACLE.

In direct opposition, moreover, to this splendid tabernacle, a simple text is subsequently mentioned', which would seem to be much more appropriate for a nomad tribe, (if, like the Carthaginians?, they actually carried such a tent-temple with them); strictly speaking, however, the narrative implies that even this was more than the Israelites possessed. And again, the Hebrews would appear, even at a later period, to have been sunk in the rudest state of barbarism ; and they make no scruple to avow that, from the want of native smiths, they were obliged to have recourse to the Philistines for their scythes and axes and ploughshares ; and yet, although we are told that so late as Solomon there was no one who could hew wood like the Sidonians4, everything on this early occasion was produced with the greatest despatch and entirely by native artists. But a stronger argument may be founded on the fact, that this splendid tent is never once mentioned in the later period of the history; David, on the contrary, merely conveys the simple ark, without any of these costly implements of

western sides (verse 22), and two at the corners, and the construction of the five bars for the boards on the western sides, of which the middle bar was to go through the boards, from end to end, are particularly worthy of notice.]

1 And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the congregation, And it came to pass, that every one which sought the Lord went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp." - Exod. xxxiii. 7.

2 Compare Diodor. xx. 25.

3 “Now there was no smith found throughout all the land of Israel : for the Philistines said, Lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears.” -1 Sam. xiii. 19. This passage may serve as a standard of comparison for many books of presumed antiquity,—Job, for instance, with its implements of iron.

4 "Now therefore command thou that they hew me cedar trees out

TEMPLE OF SOLOMON.

175

sacrifice, to Zion'. Jahn demands also, with reference to this question, how any one could have thought of entering into so minute a description of the tabernacle, when at the same time no such account has been given of the famous temple of Solomon. But it is from this very temple, which no author had occasion to describe, that this ideal tabernacle appears for the most part to have been copied”, with occasional reference to the ancient tents of the congregation, as that for instance of Eli, from the description of which a phrase has been actually borroweds. In poetry, when materials are wanted, the writer willingly has recourse to known objects and recent events in order to supply the deficiency. In such a case, the last in succession of all the different narratives of the same event may always be regarded as the real original ; thus the fictitious history of early Rome carries back the conquest of the city of Fidenæ, in 328, to the time of Romulus4. The Pentateuch

of Lebanon ; and my servants shall be with thy servants : and unto thee will I give hire for thy servants according to all that thou shalt appoint: for thou knowest that there is not among us any that can skill to hew timber like unto the Sidonians.”—1 Kings v. 6.

i See Vater, Comm., p. 556; Hartmann, “The Jewess at her Toilet,' ii. 1, iii. 163, and particularly De Wette, Contributions, i. 258, ii. 259, who considers the whole description as a pious fable.

3 “And they brought in the ark of the Lord, and set it in his place, in the midst of the tabernacle that David had pitched for it: and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord.”—2 Sam. vi. 17.

3 “Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel, and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.”—1 Sam. ii. 22.

[To be compared with the following verse] :

And he made the laver of brass, of the looking-glasses of the women assembling, which assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.”—Exod. xxxviii. 8.

4 Niebuhr, Rom. Gesch. i. 163.

176

SACERDOTAL PRIDE.

has also a secondary object of great importance in view; it wishes to rest the splendour of the priesthood on a foundation of high antiquity, and hence it gives a significant form of words for the perpetual maintenance of its ordinances?. .

1 “And they (the linen breeches] shall be upon Aaron, and upon his sons, when they come in unto the tabernacle of the congregation, or when they come near unto the altar to minister in the holy place; that they bear not iniquity, and die : it shall be a statute for ever unto him and his seed after him,”.- Exod. xxviii. 43.

CHAPTER XV.

REVIEW OF THE BABYLONISH EXILE AND ITS

CONSEQUENCES.

FROM what has been already stated it would appear, that we must reject the authority of the books of Judges, Samuel, and Kings, and, as will be seen in the sequel, even the inspired writings of the prophets themselves, when they are opposed to the unauthenticated legends of the priests, if we persist, with the defenders of the Pentateuch, in maintaining, that the efforts of individual kings to assist the priesthood as they rose in power, in establishing the purer worship of Jehovah, were always directed in strict accordance with the forms of the Levitical law. This was indeed first the case, according to real history, in the reign of Josiah ; and from his time downwards the authority of the Pentateuch was fully recognized, more especially at the remodelling of the state on the return from the Babylonish exile. The whole period indeed of the dispersion (nearly a century and a half in length) was in every way fruitful in results of importance to the Israelitish people.

As early as the reign of Pekah (B.C. 741) a portion of the inhabitants of Galilee and Gilead had been transplanted by Tiglathpileser to Assyria? Under Hosea (B.C. 722), 178

1 “In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abel-beth-maachah, and Janoah, and Ke..

VOL. I.

ANCIENT EASTERN POLICY.

as is well known, Shalmaneser put an end to the kingdom of Israel, and conveyed large colonies of Jews to Assyria and Media'. And finally, the kingdom of Judah shared the same fate in the reign of Jehoiachin, whom Nebuchadnezzar carried captive with the chief of his people to Babylon. Such a transplantation of a vanquished people, (to supply whose place a band of faithful subjects was usually sent into the conquered territory), was one of the violent measures adopted by ancient policy, either to guard against the chance of insurrection or to transfer an industrious colony to some more favoured district. Instances of the same kind are by no means uncommon in history: it was thus Darius transplanted the Ionians and Phænicians?; even the ancient Peruvians transplanted the nations whom they conquered; and Goldingham remarks that in India, the removal of all the individuals belonging to particular classes of workmen to a distant region is not an unusual occurrence. The changes of place of the Afghan tribes will also be found to throw a curious light on this subject; these tribes live distinct from each other, and severally preserve their own peculiar manners, usages, and institutions, though they keep pace nevertheless with the intellectual civilization of their neighbours 4.

desh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria.”—2 Kings xv. 29.

1 “In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah, and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes."2 Kings xvii. 6.

2 Herod. vi. 3 ; compare Ktesias, Pers. 9; Joseph. Arch. ii. 7,7; Gesenius de Pent. Sam. p. 39.

3 See Sitten der Wilden in Amerika (Customs of American Indians), i. 61.

4 Elphinstone, Kabul, translated by Bertuch. i. 507.

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