(See MOSES; LAW; GENESIS; EXODUS; LEVITICUS; NUMBERS; DEUTERONOMY.) A term meaning "five volumes" (teuchos in Alexandrian Greek "a book"); applied to the first five books of the Bible, in Tertullian and Origen. "The book of the law" in Deuteronomy 48:61; Deuteronomy 29:21; Deuteronomy 30:10; Deuteronomy 31:26; "the book of the law of Moses," Joshua 23:6; Nehemiah 8:1; in Ezra 7:6, "the law of Moses," "the book of Moses" (Ezra 6:18). The Jews now call it Torah "the law," literally, the directory in Luke 24:27 "Moses" stands for his book.
The division into five books is probably due to the Septuagint, for the names of the five books, Genesis, Exodus, etc., are Greek not Hebrew. The Jews name each book from its first word; the Pentateuch forms one roll, divided, not into books, but into larger and smaller sections Parshiyoth and Sedorim. They divide its precepts into 248 positive, and 365 negative, 248 being the number of parts the rabbis assign the body, 365 the days of the year. As a mnemonic they carry a square cloth with fringes (tsitsit = 600 in Hebrew) consisting of eight threads and five knots, 613 in all. The five of the Pentateuch answer to the five books of the psalter, and the five megilloth of the hagiographa (Song, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther).
MOSES' AUTHORSHIP. After the battle with Amalek (Exodus 17:14) "Jehovah said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in the Book," implying there was a regular account kept in a well known book. Also Exodus 24:4, "Moses wrote all the words of Jehovah"; (Exodus 34:27) "Jehovah said unto Moses, Write thou these words" distinguished from Exodus 34:28, "He (Jehovah) wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments" (Exodus 34:1). Numbers 33:2 "Moses wrote their goings out according to their journeys by the commandment of Jehovah." In Deuteronomy 17:18-19, the king is required to "write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests, the Levites"; and Deuteronomy 31:9-11, "Moses wrote this law and delivered it unto the priests, the son of Levi," who should "at the end of every seven years read this law before all Israel in their hearing"; and Deuteronomy 31:24," Moses made an end of writing the words of this law in a book," namely, the whole Pentateuch ("the law," Matthew 22:40; Galatians 4:21), "and commanded the Levites ... put it in the side of the ark that it may be a witness against thee," as it proved under Josiah.
The two tables of the Decalogue were IN the ark (1 Kings 8:9); the book of the law, the Pentateuch, was laid up in the holy of holies, close by the ark, probably in a chest (2 Kings 22:8; 2 Kings 22:18-19). The book of the law thus written by Moses and handed to the priests ends at Deuteronomy 31:23; the rest of the book of Deuteronomy is an appendix added after Moses' death by another hand, excepting the song and blessing, Moses' own composition. Moses speaks of "this law" and "the book of this law" as some definite volume which he had written for his people (Deuteronomy 28:61; Deuteronomy 29:19-20; Deuteronomy 29:29). He uses the third person of himself, as John does in the New Testament He probably dictated much of it to Joshua or some scribe, who subsequently added the account of Moses' death and a few explanatory insertions. The recension by Ezra (and the great synagogue, Buxtori "Tiberius," 1:10, Tertullian De Cultu Fem. 3, Jerome ad Helvid.) may have introduced the further explanations which appear post Mosaic.
Moses probably uses patriarchal documents, as e.g. genealogies for Genesis; these came down through Shem and Abraham to Joseph and Israel in Egypt. That writing existed ages before Moses is proved by the tomb of Chnumhotep at Benihassan, of the twelfth dynasty, representing a scribe presenting to the governor a roll of papyrus covered with inscriptions dated the sixth year of Osirtasin II long before the Exodus. The papyrus found by M. Prisse in the hieratic character is considered the oldest of existing manuscripts and is attributed to a prince of the fifth dynasty; weighed down with age, he invokes Osiris to enable him to give mankind the fruits of his long experience. It contains two treatises, the first, of 12 pages, the end of a work of which the former part is lost, the second by a prince, son of the king next before Assa, in whose reign the work was composed. The Greek alphabet borrows its names of letters and order from the Semitic; those names have a meaning in Semitic, none in Greek Tradition made Cadmus ("the Eastern") introduce them into Greece from Phoenicia (Herodot. 5:58).
Joshua took a Hittite city, Kirjath Sepher, "the city of the book" (Joshua 15:15), and changed the name to Debir of kindred meaning. Pertaour, a scribe under Rameses the Great, in an Iliadlike poem engraved on the walls of Karnak mentions Chirapsar, of the Khota or Hittites, a writer of books. From the terms for "write," "book," "ink," being in all Semitic dialects, it follows they must have been known to the earliest Shemites before they branched off into various tribes and nations. Moses, Israel's wise leader, would therefore be sure to commit to writing their laws, their wonderful antecedents and ancestry, and the Divine promises from the beginning connected with them, and their fulfillment in Egypt, in the Exodus, and in the wilderness, in order to evoke their national spirit. Israel would certainly have a written history at a time when the Hittites among whom Israel settled were writers.
Moreover, from Joshua downward the Old Testament books abound in references to the laws, history, and words of Moses, as such, universally accepted. They are ordered to be read continually (Joshua 1:7-8); "all the law which Moses My servant commanded ... this book of the law" (Joshua 8:31; Joshua 8:34; Joshua 23:6). In Joshua 1:3-8; Joshua 1:13-18 the words of Deuteronomy 11:24-25; Deuteronomy 31:6-12, and Deuteronomy 3:18-20 Numbers 32:20-28, are quoted. Israel's constitution in church and state accords with that established by Moses. The priesthood is in Aaron's family (Joshua 14:1). "Eleazar," Aaron's son, succeeds to his father's exalted position and with Joshua divides the land (Joshua 21:1), as Numbers 34:17 ordained; the Levites discharge their duties, scattered among the tribes and having 48 cities, as Jehovah by Moses commanded (Numbers 35:7). So the tabernacle made by Moses is set up at Shiloh (Joshua 18:1). The sacrifices (Joshua 8:31; Joshua 22:23; Joshua 22:27; Joshua 22:29) are those enjoined (Leviticus 1; 2; 3).
The altar built (Joshua 8:30-31; Exodus 20:25) is "as Moses commanded ... in the book of the law of Moses." Compare also as to the ark, Joshua 3:3; Joshua 3:6; Joshua 3:8; Joshua 7:6; circumcision, Joshua 5:2; Passover, Joshua 5:10; with the Pentateuch. There is the same general assembly or congregation and princes (Joshua 9:18-21; Joshua 20:6; Joshua 20:9; Joshua 22:30; Exodus 16:22); the same elders of Israel (Joshua 7:6; Deuteronomy 31:9); elders of the city (Deuteronomy 25:8; Joshua 20:4); judges and officers (Joshua 8:33; Deuteronomy 16:18); heads of thousands (Joshua 22:21; Numbers 1:16). Bodies taken down from hanging (Joshua 8:29; Joshua 10:27; Deuteronomy 21:23). No league with Canaan (Joshua 9; Exodus 23:32). Cities of refuge (Joshua 20; Numbers 35:11-15; Deuteronomy 4:41-43; Deuteronomy 19:2-7). Inheritance to Zelophebad's daughters (Joshua 17:3; Numbers 27; 36).
So in Judges Moses' laws are referred to (Judges 2:1-3; Judges 2:11-12; Judges 2:20; Judges 6:8-10; Judges 20:2; Judges 20:6; Judges 20:13; Deuteronomy 13:6; Deuteronomy 13:12-14; Deuteronomy 22:21). The same law and worship appear in Judges as in Pentateuch. Judah takes the lead (Judges 1:2; Judges 20:18; Genesis 49:8; Numbers 2:3; Numbers 10:14). The judge's office is as Moses defined it (Deuteronomy 17:9). Gideon recognizes the theocracy, as Moses ordained (Judges 8:22-23; Exodus 19:5-6; Deuteronomy 17:14; Deuteronomy 17:20; Deuteronomy 33:5). The tabernacle is at Shiloh (Judges 18:31); Israel goes up to the house of God and consults the high priest with Urim and Thummim (Judges 20:23; Judges 20:26-28; Exodus 28:30; Numbers 27:21; Deuteronomy 12:5). The ephod is the priest's garment (Judges 8:27; Judges 17:5; Judges 18:14-17).
The Levites scattered through Israel are the recognized ministers (Judges 17:7-13; Judges 19:1-2). Circumcision is Israel's distinguishing badge (Judges 14:3; Judges 15:18). Historical rereferences to the Pentateuch abound (Judges 1:16; Judges 1:20; Judges 1:23; Judges 2:1; Judges 2:10; Judges 6:13), especially Judges 11:15-27 epitomizes Numbers 20; 21; Deuteronomy 2:1-8; Deuteronomy 2:26-34; compare the language Judges 2:1-23 with Exodus 34:13; Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 28; Deuteronomy 7:2; Deuteronomy 7:8; Deuteronomy 12:3; Judges 5:4-5 with Deuteronomy 33:2; Deuteronomy 32:16-17. In the two books of Samuel the law and Pentateuch are the basis. Eli, high priest, is sprung from Aaron through Ithamar (1 Chronicles 24:3; 2 Samuel 8:17; 1 Kings 2:27). The transfer from Eli's descendants back to Eleazar's line fulfills Numbers 25:10-13.
The tabernacle is still at Shiloh, 1 Samuel 2:14; 1 Samuel 4:8; the rabbis say it had now become "a low stone wall-structure with the tent drawn over the top," attached to it was a warder's house where Samuel slept. The lamp in it accords with Exodus 27:20-21; Leviticus 24:2-3; but (1 Samuel 3:3) let go out, either from laxity or because the law was not understood to enjoin perpetual burning day and night. The ark in the tabernacle still symbolizes God's presence (1 Samuel 4:3-4; 1 Samuel 4:18; 1 Samuel 4:21-22; 1 Samuel 5:3-7; 1 Samuel 6:19). Jehovah of hosts dwells between the cherubim. The altar, incense, ephod are mentioned; also the "burnt offering" ('owlah), the "whole burnt offering" (kalil), "peace offerings" (shelamim): 1 Samuel 10:8; 1 Samuel 11:15; 1 Samuel 13:9; Exodus 24:5. The "bloody sacrifice" (zebach) and "unbloody offering" (minchah): 1 Samuel 2:19; 1 Samuel 3:14; 1 Samuel 26:19. The victims, the bullock, lamb, heifer, and ram, are those ordained in Leviticus (Leviticus 1:24-25; Leviticus 7:9; Leviticus 16:2; Leviticus 15:22).
The priest's perquisites, etc., in Leviticus 6:6-7; Deuteronomy 18:1, etc., Numbers 18:8-19; Numbers 18:25; Numbers 18:32, are alluded to in 1 Samuel 2:12-13. The Levites alone should handle the sacred vessels and ark (1 Samuel 6:15; 1 Samuel 6:19). The historical facts of the Pentateuch are alluded to: Jacob's descent to Egypt, Israel's deliverance by Moses and Aaron (1 Samuel 12:8); the Egyptian plagues (1 Samuel 4:8; 1 Samuel 8:8); the Kenites' kindness (1 Samuel 15:6). Language of the Pentateuch is quoted (1 Samuel 2:22; Exodus 38:8). The request for a king (1 Samuel 8:5-6) accords with Moses' words (Deuteronomy 17:14); also Deuteronomy 16:19 with 1 Samuel 8:3. The sacrificing in other places besides at the tabernacle was allowed because the ark was in captivity, and even when restored it was not yet in its permanent seat, Mount Zion, God's one chosen place (1 Samuel 7:17; 1 Samuel 10:8; 1 Samuel 16:2-5).
Though Samuel, a Levite not a priest (1 Chronicles 6:22-28), is said to sacrifice, it is in the sense that as prophet and judge-prince he blessed it (1 Samuel 9:13). Whoever might slay it, the priest alone sprinkled the blood on the altar. So Joshua (Joshua 8:30-31), Saul (1 Samuel 13:9-10), David (2 Samuel 24:25), Solomon (1 Kings 3:4), and the people (1 Kings 3:2) sacrificed through the priest. Samuel as reformer brought all ordinances of church and state into conformity with the Pentateuch. The Pentateuch and Mosaic ordinances underlie Samuel's work; but, while generally observing them, he so far deviates as no forger would do. The conformity is unstudied and unobtrusive, as that of one looking back to ordinances existing and recorded long before.
David's psalms allude to and even quote the Pentateuch language (Psalm 1:3, compare Genesis 39:3; Genesis 39:23; Psalm 4:5; Deuteronomy 33:19; Psalm 4:6; Numbers 6:26; Psalm 8:6-8; Genesis 1:26; Genesis 1:28; Psalm 9:12; Genesis 9:5; Genesis 15:5; Exodus 22:25; Exodus 23:8; Leviticus 25:36; Deuteronomy 16:19; Psalm 16:4-5-6; Exodus 23:13; Deuteronomy 32:9; Psalm 17:8; Deuteronomy 32:10; Psalm 24:1; Deuteronomy 10:14; Exodus 19:5; Exodus 26:6; Exodus 30:19-20; Psalm 30 title; Deuteronomy 20:5; Psalm 39:12; Leviticus 25:23; Psalm 68:1; Psalm 68:4; Psalm 68:7-8; Psalm 68:17; Numbers 10:35; Deuteronomy 33:26; Exodus 13:21; Exodus 19:16; Deuteronomy 33:2; Psalm 86:8; Psalm 86:14-15; Exodus 15:11; Exodus 34:6; Numbers 10:10; Psalm 103:17-18; Exodus 20:6; Deuteronomy 7:9; Psalm 110:4; Genesis 14:18; Psalm 133:2; Exodus 30:25; Exodus 30:30.
When dying, he [David] charges Solomon, "keep the charge, as it is written in the law of Moses" (1 Kings 2:3). The Pentateuch must have preceded the kingdom, for it supposes no such form of government. Solomon's Proverbs similarly rest on the Pentateuch (Proverbs 3:9; Proverbs 3:18; Exodus 22:29; Genesis 2:9. Proverbs 10:18; Numbers 13:32; Numbers 14:36. Proverbs 11:1; Proverbs 20:10; Proverbs 20:23; Leviticus 19:35-36; Deuteronomy 25:13. Proverbs 11:13 margin; Leviticus 19:16,"not go up and down as a talebearer".) Solomon's temple is an exact doubling of the proportions of the tabernacle. No one would have built a house with the proportions of a tent, except to retain the relation of the temple to its predecessor the tabernacle (1 Kings 6:1, etc.). The Pentateuch must have preceded the division between Israel and Judah, because it was acknowledged in both. Jehoshaphat in Judah used "the book of the law of Jehovah," as the textbook for reaching the people (2 Chronicles 17:9).
In 2 Kings 11:12 "the testimony" is put in the hands of Joash at his coronation. Uzziah burning incense contrary to the law incurs leprosy (2 Chronicles 26:16-21; Numbers 16:1 etc.). Hezekiah kept the commandments which Jehovah commanded Moses (2 Kings 18:4; 2 Kings 18:6). He destroyed the relic, the brazen serpent which remained from Moses' time, because of its superstitious abuse. Jeroboam in northern Israel set up golden calves on Aaron's model, with words from Exodus 32:28, "behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of Egypt" (1 Kings 12:28). Bethel was chosen as where God appeared to Jacob. The feast in the eighth month was in imitation of that of tabernacles in the seventh month (1 Kings 12:32-38), to prevent the people going up to sacrifice at Jerusalem (1 Kings 12:27); the Levites remaining faithful to the temple, Jeroboam made priests of the lowest people.
In 1 and 2, Kings references to the Pentateuch occur (1 Kings 21:3; Leviticus 25:23; Numbers 36:8. 1 Kings 21:10; Numbers 35:30; Numbers 22:17; Numbers 27:17. 2 Kings 3:20; Exodus 29:38, etc. 2 Kings 4:1; Leviticus 25:39. 2 Kings 6:18; Genesis 19:11. 2 Kings 7:3; Leviticus 13:46). In Isaiah 5:24; Isaiah 29:12; Isaiah 30:9; Hosea 4:6; Hosea 2:15; Hosea 6:7 margin; Hosea 12:3-4; Hosea 11:1; Hosea 8:1; Hosea 8:12; Amos 2:4, references to the law as a historic record and book, and to its facts, occur (Genesis 25:26; Genesis 28:11; Genesis 32:24. Amos 2:10; Genesis 15:16. Amos 3:1; Amos 3:14; Exodus 27:2; Exodus 30:10; Leviticus 4:7. Amos 2:11-12; Numbers 6:1-21. Amos 4:4-5; Numbers 28:3-4; Deuteronomy 14:28; Leviticus 2:11; Leviticus 7:12-13; Leviticus 22:18-21; Deuteronomy 12:6).
Plainly Amos' "law" was the same as ours. Micah 7:14 alludes to Genesis 3:14, and Micah 7:20 to the promises to Abraham and Jacob; Micah 6:4-5, to the Exodus under Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, and to Balak's attempt through Balaam to curse Israel. Under Josiah the Passover is held "according to the word of the Lord by the hand of Moses" (2 Chronicles 35:1; 2 Chronicles 35:6; 2 Chronicles 35:2 Kings 23) on the 14th day of the first month. The sacrifices accord with the Pentateuch; priests, "the sons of Aaron," and Levites kill the Passover and sprinkle the blood. The Passover is traced back to Samuel's days, there being no such, Passover from that time to JOSIAH eel (?). The strange fact that the finding of the book of the law by Hilkiah in the temple so moved Josiah's conscience, whereas the Pentateuch had all along been the statute book of the nation, is accounted for by the prevalent neglect of it during the ungodly and idolatrous preceding reigns, especially Manasseh's long and awfully wicked one. (See HILKIAH.)
Moses had ordered the book of the law (not merely Deuteronomy) to be put in the side of the ark for preservation (Deuteronomy 31:26). The autograph from Moses was the "book" found, "the law of Jehovah by. the hand of Moses" (2 Chronicles 34:14). Seven hundred years had elapsed, not nearly as long as many manuscripts have been preserved to, us; we have papyri older than Moses, more than 3,000 years ago. The curses in the book read to the king are in Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 27; 28; compare Deuteronomy 28:36 with 2 Kings 22:13, where the king is especially mentioned as about to be punished. When the ark was removed (2 Chronicles 35:3) during Manasseh's sacrilegious reign the temple copy or autograph of the law was hid somewhere, probably built into the wall, and discovered in repairing the temple. Josiah, as yet young, and having been kept in ignorance of the law by the idolatrous Amon his father, was still only a babe in knowledge of spiritual truth. The immediate recognition of its authority by Hilkiah the high-priest, the scribes, priests, Levites, elders, and Huldah the prophetess (2 Kings 22:8-14; 2 Kings 23:1-4), when found, marks that, however kings, priests, and people had forgotten and wandered from it, they recognized it as the long established statute book of the nation.
So entirely is Jeremiah, who began prophesying the 13th year of Josiah, imbued with the language of Deuteronomy that rationalists guess him to be its author. The part of Jeremiah 2:1-8:17 is admitted to have been written before the finding of the law by Josiah. In Jeremiah 2:8; Jeremiah 8:8, he alludes to the law as the established statute book. For allusions compare Jeremiah 2:6 with Deuteronomy 8:15; Numbers 14:7-8; Numbers 35:33-34; Leviticus 18:25-28; also Jeremiah 2:28, "circumcise ... take away the foreskins of your heart," with Deuteronomy 32:37-38; Deuteronomy 4:4; Deuteronomy 10:16; Deuteronomy 30:6, a figure nowhere else found in Scripture; Jeremiah 5:15 with Deuteronomy 28:31; Deuteronomy 28:49. In Ezekiel 22:7-12 there are 29 quotations from the Hebrew words of Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy. In Ezekiel 22:26 four references: Leviticus 10:10; Leviticus 22:2, etc.; Leviticus 20:25; Exodus 31:13. So in Ezekiel 16; 18; 20, a recapitulation of God's loving and long suffering dealings with Israel as recorded in the Pentateuch.
Ezra on the return from Babylon read the book of the law of Moses at the feast of tabernacles (as enjoined Deuteronomy 31:10-13) "before the men and women who could understand (Hebrew), and the ears of all were attentive to the book of the law" (Nehemiah 8:3). Their accepting it even at the cost of putting away their wives (Ezra 10) is the strongest proof of its universal recognition for ages by the nation. For the younger people, who had almost lost Hebrew and spoke Aramaic, Syriac, or Chaldee, he and the Levites read or gave after the Hebrew law a Chaldee paraphrase which they understood (Ezra 10:8). He arranged the older books of Old Testament, and probably with Malachi fixed the canon, and transcribed the Hebrew or Samaritan character into the modern Chaldee square letters. The ancient Jews and Christian fathers knew of the Samaritan Pentateuch. frontTHE SAMARITAN PENTATEUCH.)
It was first brought to light in modern times (A.D. 1616) by Pietro della Valle, who obtained a manuscript of it from the Samaritans of Damascus. The agreement of this with our Jewish Pentateuch is a sure proof that our Pentateuch is the same as Israel used, for no collusion could have taken place between such deadly rivals as Jews and Samaritans. (See BIBLE; OLD TESTAMENT.) Manasseh brother of Jaddua the high priest, having married Sanballat's ("laughter" (Nehemiah 13:28), was expelled and became the first high priest on Mount Gerizim in concert with others, priests and Levites, who would not put away their pagan wives (Josephus, Ant. 11:8, section 2, 4). (See JADDUA; GERIZIM.)
Probably he and they brought to Samaria the Samaritan Pentateuch from Jerusalem. As it testifies against their pagan marriages and schismatical worship, the Samaritans would never have accepted it if they had not believed in its genuineness and divine authority. It certainly could not have been imposed on them at a later time than Ezra; so from at least that date it is an independent witness of the integrity of the five books of Moses. This testimony may be much older for probably the Samaritan Pentateuch was carried by the priest sent by Esarhaddon in Manasseh's reign (680 B.C.) to teach Jehovah's worship to the Cuthire colonists planted in Samaria (2 Kings 17:24; 2 Kings 17:28; Ezra 2-10). The Septuagint Greek translated shows that the Egyptian Jews accepted the Pentateuch. Antiochus Epiphanes directed his fury against the books of the law (1 Maccabees 1). The Chaldee paraphrase of Onkelos in our Lord's time agrees with our Pentateuch.
New Testament attestation. Our Lord and His apostles in New Testament refer to the Pentateuch as of divine authority and Mosaic authorship (Matthew 19:4-5; Matthew 19:7-8; Matthew 4:4; Matthew 4:7; Matthew 4:10; Matthew 15:1-9; Mark 10:5; Mark 10:8; Mark 12:26; Luke 16:29; Luke 16:31; Luke 20:28; Luke 20:37; Luke 24:27; Luke 24:44-45; John 1:17; John 5:45-46; John 8:5; Acts 3:22; Acts 8:37; Acts 26:22). The two dispensations, separated by 1,500 years, having each its attesting miracles and prophecies since fulfilled and shedding mutual light on one another, could not possibly be impostures. The very craving of the Jews after "a sign" indicates the notoriety and reality of the miracles formerly wrought among them (John 6:13). The author of the Pentateuch must have been intimately acquainted with the learning, laws, manners, and religion of Egypt (Spencer, De Leg. Heb.; Hengstenberg, Egypt and Books of Moses).
The plagues were an intensification of the ordinary plagues of the country, coming and going miraculously at God's command by Moses (Bryant, Plag. Egypt.). The making of bricks (generally found to have chopped straw) by captives is represented on the Egyptian monuments (Exodus 1:14; Exodus 5:7-8; Exodus 5:18; Brugsch, Hist. d'Egypt., 106). Moses' ark of papyrus suits Egypt alone (Exodus 2:3); Isis was borne upon a boat of papyrus (Plutarch de Isaiah et Osiri; Herodotus ii. 37, 96). Bitumen was much used, it was a chief ingredient in embalming. The cherubim over the mercy-seat resemble Egyptian sculptures. The distinction clean and unclean was Egyptian, also the hereditary priesthood as the Aaronic. The Egyptian priesthood shaved their whole bodies and bathed continually (Herodotus ii. 37), and wore linen (the sole ancient priesthood that wore only linen except the Levites: Numbers 8:7; Exodus 40:12-15; Exodus 28:39-42).
Aaron's anointing in his priestly robes resembles that of the king on Egyptian monuments with royal robes, cap, and crown. The scape-goat answers to the victim on the head of which the Egyptians heaped curses and sold it to foreigners or threw it into the river (Herodotus ii. 39). Answering to the Urim and Thummim on the high priest's breast-plate was the sapphire image of truth which the Egyptian chief priest wore as judge. The temples and tombs have hieroglyphics inscribed on their doorposts, in correspondence to Deuteronomy 11:20. Pillars with inscriptions on the plaster were an Egyptian usage; so Deuteronomy 27:2-3. So the bastinado on the criminal, made to lie down, is illustrated in the Benihassan sculptures (Deuteronomy 25:2). The unmuzzled ox treading out the grain (Deuteronomy 25:4). The offerings for the dead forbidden (Deuteronomy 26:14) were such as were usual in Egypt, a table being placed in the tombs bearing cakes, etc.
Frequent memorials of Israel's wilderness wanderings remained after their settlement in Canaan. The tabernacle in all its parts was fitted for carrying. The phrases "tents of the Lord," applied to precincts of the temple; the cry of revolt, "to your tents O Israel"; "without the camp," for the city, long after the expression was literally applicable, are relics of their nomadic life in the desert. So Psalm 80:1; "Thou that dwellest between the cherubim, shine forth! Before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh, stir up Thy strength, and come," represents Israel's three warrior tribes on march surrounding the ark, with the pillar of fire shining high above it. The elders of the synagogue succeeded to the elders or chiefs of the tribes. The ark itself was of acacia (shittim) wood of the Sinaitic peninsula, not of cedar, the usual wood for sacred purposes ill Israel. The coverings were of goats' hair, ramskin dyed red in Arab fashion, and sealskins from the adjoining Red Sea, and fine Egyptian linen. (See BADGER.)
So the detailed permission to eat the various game of the wilderness, wild goat, roe, deer, ibex, antelope, and chamois, applies not to Canaan; it could only have been enacted in Israel's desert life previously. The laws and the lawgiver s language look forward to life in Canaan (Exodus 12:25-27; Exodus 13:1-5; Exodus 23:20-23; Exodus 34:11; Leviticus 14:34; Leviticus 18:3; Leviticus 18:24; Leviticus 19:23; Leviticus 20:22; Leviticus 23:10; Leviticus 25:2; Numbers 15:2; Numbers 15:18; Numbers 34:2; Numbers 35:2-34; Deuteronomy 4:1; Deuteronomy 6:10; Deuteronomy 7:1; Deuteronomy 9:1, etc.). The objection from the author's knowledge of Canaan's geography against its Mosaic authorship is answered by Moses' knowledge of the patriarchs' wanderings in Canaan. Further, the Egyptians knew Israel well from the reign of Thothmes I. Moses in his 40 years in Midian and the Sinai wilderness was sure to hear much about Israel, and probably visited it and sent agents to learn the character of the country, cities, and people.
The prophecies, as Deuteronomy 12:10, when ye go over Jordan ... and He giveth you rest ... round about," are just such as would not have been written after the event. For neither at the close of Joshua's career (Joshua 23:1), nor under the judges and Samuel (to whom some rationalists assign the Pentateuch), nor in any reign before Solomon, was there a fulfillment which adequately came up to the language. No forger would put into Moses' month words promising seemingly "rest" immediately after entering Carman, whereas it was not realized for 500 years after. The language is archaic, suiting the time of Moses. Archaisms are found in the Pentateuch not elsewhere occurring. The third person pronoun has (unpointed) no variety of gender, the one form serves both for masculine and feminine. So na'ar is both boy and girl in Pentateuch, elsewhere only "boy," na'arah is "girl." 'Eel stands for the later 'eelleh, "these." The infinitive of verbs ending in -h ends in -o instead of -ot (Genesis 31:28; Genesis 48:11; Exodus 18:18).
The third person plural ends in -un instead of -u. Words unique to Pentateuch are 'abiyb, "an ear of grain"; 'amtachath, "a sack"; bathar, "divide"; bether, "piece"; gozal, "young bird"; zebed, "present"; zabad, "to present"; hermeesh, "a sickle"; mene, "basket"; hayiqum, "substance"; keseb for kebes, "lamb"; masweh, "veil"; 'ar for 'ir, "city"; se'er, "blood relation." Moses mainly moulded his people's language for ages, so that the same Hebrew was intelligible in Malachi's time, 1,000 years subsequently; just as the Mecca people still speak the Koran language written 1,200 years ago. Joshua the warrior had not the qualifications, still less had Samuel the knowledge of Egypt and Sinai, to write the Pentateuch. The theory of a patchwork of pieces of an Elohist and several Jehovist authors constituting our homogeneous Pentateuch which has commanded the admiration of all ages, and which is marked by unity, is too monstrous to be seriously entertained.
In Deuteronomy 17:18-19, "when he (the king) sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites, and he shall read therein all his life," i.e. he shall have a copy written for him, namely, of the whole Pentateuch. It was as necessary for him to know Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, being that law and history on which Deuteronomy is the recapitulatory comment and supplement, as it was to know Deuteronomy. At the feast of tabernacles every seven years a reading took place, not of the whole Pentateuch, but of lessons selected out of it and representing the whole law which Israel should obey (Nehemiah 8:18). Latterly only certain parts of Deuteronomy have been read on the first day alone. In Deuteronomy 27:3 Moses charges Israel "thou shalt write upon (great stones plastered) all the words of this law," namely, not the historical, didactic, ethnological, and non-legislative parts, but the legal enactments of the Pentateuch (the Jews reckoned 613, see above).
In Egypt the hieroglyphics are generally graven in stone, the "plaster" being added afterward to protect the inscription from the weather (Joshua 8:32). The closing words of Numbers 36:13, also of Leviticus 27:34; Leviticus 25:1; Leviticus 26:46, and the solemn warning against adding to or taking from Moses' commands (Deuteronomy 4:2; Deuteronomy 12:32), are incompatible with a variety of authors, and imply that Moses alone is the writer of the Pentateuch as a whole. A future life not ignored, but suggested. Though Moses did not employ a future state as a sanction of his law, yet he believed it, as the history proves. The Pentateuch contains enough to suggest it to a serious mind. All other ancient legislators make a future state of reward and punishment the basis of the sanctions of their law; Moses rests his on rewards and punishments to follow visibly in this life, which proves the reality of the special divine providence which miraculously administered the law. Its one aim was obedience to Jehovah (Deuteronomy 28:58).
Many particulars were impolitic in a mere human point of view: e.g. their peculiar food, ritual, and customs, excluding strangers and impeding commerce; the prohibition of cavalry (Deuteronomy 17:16); the assembling of the males thrice a year to the sanctuary, leaving the frontier unguarded, the sole security being God's promise that "no man should desire their land" at those sacred seasons (Exodus 34:24); the command to leave their lands untilled the seventh year, with the penalty that the land should enjoy its Sabbath during their captivity if they did not allow it rest while dwelling upon it, and with the promise that God would command His blessing in the sixth year, so that the land should bring forth fruit for three years (Leviticus 25:21; Leviticus 26:32-35). Nor could human sagacity foresee, as Moses did, that not the hostile nations around them, but one from far, from the ends of the earth, the Romans (led by Vespasian and Hadrian, who both came from commanding Roman legions in Britain) whose language they understood not, whereas they understood most of the dialects around Israel, should be their final conquerors.
Their dispersion in all lands, yet unity and distinctness, and preservation in spite of bitter persecutions for almost 1,800 years, all fulfill Deuteronomy 28:64-68; whereas in former captivities they were conveyed to one place, as in Goshen in Egypt, and in Babylon, so that their restoration as one nation was easy. "A few million, so often subjugated, stand the test of 3,000 revolving years, and the fiery ordeal of 15 centuries of persecution; we alone have been spared by the undiscriminating hand of time, like a column standing amidst the wreck of worlds." (Transactions of the Parisian Sanhedrim, p. 68.) But Moses does not ignore spiritual sanctions to his law, while giving chief prominence to the temporal. The epistle to the Hebrew (Hebrew 11) distinctly asserts the patriarchs "all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them and embraced them, and confessed they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth ... they desire a better country, that is an heavenly, wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He hath prepared for them a city" (Hebrews 11:13-16).
Man's creation in God's image, God directly breathing into him a "living soul" (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 2:7-17); his being threatened with double death if he ate the forbidden fruit, and made capable of living forever by eating of the tree of life, and after the fall promised a Deliverer, the sacrifices pointing to One who by His death should recover man's forfeited life: all imply the hope of future immortality. So Abel's premature death, the result of his piety, requires his being rewarded in a future life; otherwise God's justice would be compromised (Hebrews 11:4). So other facts: Enoch's translation, Abraham's offering Isaac, symbolizing Messiah to the patriarch who "desired to see His day, and saw it and was glad" (John 8:56; Genesis 22); "Moses' choosing to suffer affliction with God's people, rather than enjoy sin's pleasures for a season, and his esteeming Christ's reproach greater riches than Egypt's treasures, because he had respect to the recompence of reward" (Hebrews 11:24-27); God's declaration after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were dead, "I AM the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob" (Exodus 3:6), requiring a future eternal recompence in body and soul to make good God's promise of special favor, so inadequately realized while they were in their mortal bodies (Matthew 22:29); and Balaam's prayer (Numbers 23:10).
ORDER. The development of God's grace to man is the golden thread running through the whole, and binding the parts in one organic unity. Chronological sequence regulates the parts in the main, as accords with its historical character; so Genesis rightly begins, Deuteronomy closes, the whole. Grace runs through Seth's line to Noah; thence to Abraham, whose family become heirs of the promise for the world. Israel's birth and deliverance as a nation occupy Exodus. Leviticus follows as the code for the religious life and worship of the elect people. Numbers takes up the history again, and with renewed legislation leaves Israel at the borders of the promised land. Deuteronomy recapitulates and applies the whole. Blunt (Undesigned Coincidences) notices the incompleteness of the Pentateuch as a history, and consequently the importance of observing the glimpses given by its passing hints.
Thus Joseph's "anguish of soul when he besought" the brothers, unnoticed in the direct story, but incidentally coming out in their confession of guilt (Genesis 42:21); the overcoming of Jacob's reluctance to give up Benjamin, briefly told in the direct account as though taking no long time, but incidentally shown to have taken as long time as would have sufficed for a journey to Egypt and back (Genesis 43:10); the hints in Jacob's deathbed prophecy of his strong feeling as to Reuben's misconduct, not noticed in the history (Genesis 35:22, compare Genesis 49:4); so as to Simeon and Levi (Genesis 49:6). The allusion to Anah (Genesis 36:24). The introduction of Joshua as one well known in Israel, though not mentioned before (Exodus 17:9). The sending back of Zipporah by Moses (Exodus 18:2), noticed at Jethro's taking them to Moses but not previously. The phrases "before the Lord," "from the presence of the Lord," marking the spot where sacrifices were brought and where Jehovah signified His presence, probably where the cherubim were, E. of Eden (Genesis 4:16).
The minuteness of details in the Pentateuch marks truth, also the touches of nature: e.g. "the mixed multitude," half castes or Egyptians, are the first to sigh for Egypt's cucumbers, etc. (Numbers 11:4.) Aaron's cowardly self exculpation, "there came out this calf," as if the fire was in fault (Exodus 32:24). The special cases incidentally arising and requiring to be provided for in the working of a new system; e.g. the man found gathering sticks on the Sabbath (could an impostor have devised such a trifle?); the request of Zelophehad's daughters for the inheritance, there being no male heir (Numbers 15:32; Numbers 36:2): matters inconsiderable in themselves, but giving occasion to important laws. The simplicity and dignity throughout, without parade of language, in describing even miracles (contrast Josephus Ant. 2:16 and 3:1 with Exodus 14; 16).
Moses' candor; as when he tells of his own want of eloquence unfitting him to be a leader (Exodus 4:10; Exodus 4:30); his want of faith which excluded him from the promised land, omitted by Josephus (Numbers 20:12); his brother Aaron's idolatry (Exodus 32:21); the profaneness of Nadab and Abihu his nephews (Leviticus 10); his sister's jealousy and punishment (Numbers 12); his tribe Levi's spy being faithless as the other nine; his disinterestedness, seeking no dignity for his sons, and appointing Joshua his successor, no relation of his; his prophecies fulfilled in Messiah (Deuteronomy 18) and in the fall of Jerusalem (Deuteronomy 28). The key afforded in the Pentateuch to widely scattered traditions of pagans, as the golden age, the garden of the Hesperides; the fruit tree guarded by the dragon, the deluge destroying all but two righteous persons (Ovid, Met. 1:327), the rainbow a sign set in the cloud (Homer, Iliad xi. 27-28), the seventh day sacred (Hesiod, Erga kai Hem., 770).
The onerous nature of the law, restraining their actions at every turn (Deuteronomy 22:6; Deuteronomy 22:9; Deuteronomy 22:8; Deuteronomy 22:10; Leviticus 17:13; Leviticus 19:23; Leviticus 19:27; Leviticus 19:9; Leviticus 19:19; Leviticus 25:13), implies there must have been extraordinary powers in the legislator to command acceptance for such enactments. The main facts were so public, singular, and important, affecting the interests of every order, that no man could have gained credence for a false account of them. The Pentateuch was published and received during, or immediately after, the events, and is quoted by every Jewish writer and sect from Joshua downward. A whole nation so civilized could not have been deceived as to a series of facts so public and important.
The details of the tabernacle given so minutely are utterly unfit to convey an idea of magnificence, nay are wearisome, if it were not that they are just what Moses would give, if really the author, and if he detailed the particulars for instructing the artists at the time, and according to the divine model given him (Exodus 25:8-9; Exodus 25:40; Exodus 39:42-43). The genealogies of the Pentateuch must have existed at the first distribution of land, for the property was unalienable from the family and tribe. So also the geographical enumerations (Numbers 33-35) have that particularity which is inconsistent with imposture. The author exposes the weak and obscure origin of Israel (Deuteronomy 26:5); their ungrateful apostasy from Jehovah's pure worship, to the calf (Exodus 32); their cowardice on the spies' return (Numbers 13-14; Deuteronomy 9; Deuteronomy 31).
No people would have submitted to the Jubilee law (Leviticus 25:4-5; Leviticus 26:34-35) except both legislator and people were convinced that God had dictated it, and by a peculiar providence would facilitate its execution. Miraculous interpositions such as the Pentateuch details alone would produce this conviction. The law was coeval with the witnesses of the miracles; the Jews have always received it as written by the legislator at the time of the facts, and as the sole repository of their religion, laws, and history. No period can be assigned when it could have been introduced, without the greatest opposition, if it were a forgery. None can be pointed out whose interest it was to frame such a forgery. The minute particularity of time, place, person, and circumstance marks an eye witness. The natural and undesigned coincidences between Moses' address in Deuteronomy and the direct narrative in the previous books, as regards the common facts and the miracles, point to Moses as the author (Graves, Penteuch, 6).
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