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possessions of Caleb.' Thither he conducted his daughter, who, however, apparently looking with apprehension on the sandy plain around the city, begged and obtained from her father the springs that were in the neighbourhood. But Jebus, the future Jerusalem, lying on impregnable heights, remained the stronghold of the Jebusites, who, like some less important populations, dwelt unhurt in the very midst of the land of Judah.

Next in importance to the tribe of Judah was that of Joseph ; it had so much increased in influence and strength that it was divided into two branches, Ephraim and Mapasseh, each sufficiently powerful to form an independent tribe. The Ephraimites especially grew in authority and weight; they received a portion of Palestine north of Judah, but separated from it by the provinces of Dan and Benjamin—the Jordan in the east, the Mediterranean in the west. It included the beautiful plain of Sharon; the old town of Shiloh, so long the home of the Tabernacle ; Shechem, a second capital of Palestine, and almost forming its centre; and the famous mountains of Ebal and Gerizim, which were to give rise to rival sects.

The men of Manasseh again separated in two parts: one division settled in the north of Ephraim; the other, as has been related, in the east of the Jordan, in the pasture lands of Gilead and Bashan.

The tribe of Ephraim, not contented with the districts at first allotted to it, demanded of Joshua more land:

Why hast thou given me but one lot and one portion to inherit, seeing I am a great people, for the Lord has blessed me hitherto ?' Joshua replied: 'If thou be a great people, then go up to the wood country and cut down for thyself there in the land of the Perizzites and of the Rephaim, if Mount Ephraim be too narrow for thee.

The mountain shall be thine, for it is a wood, and thou shalt cut it down, and the outgoings of

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it shall be thine: for thou shalt drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots, and though they be strong.'

Five tribes had now received their territories—Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh, Judah and Ephraim. Then Joshua summoned the whole nation to Shiloh to make arrangements for the allotment of abodes to the remaining tribes. Three men from each tribe were sent out to furnish an accurate account of all the land that had been conquered; and wben they returned, lots were cast for its distribution. It was portioned out in the following manner. The tribe of Benjamin was closely hemmed in between Judah and Ephraim, but extending only about half-way between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, enclosing within its borders the holy town Bethel and the fertile plain of Jericho, Gilgal and Gibeon, Anathoth and Michmash and Ramah -all famous in later times. The western part of the intervening country, up to the coast, was assigned to the small tribe of Dan, perpetually threatened by the dangerous vicinity of the Philistines, whose cities Gath and Ekron were never conquered. To the tribe of Simeon was given the most southern part of Palestine, which lost itself in the wilderness of Kadesh, and which, by its very situation, as later by its political insignificance, was necessarily protected, if it was not absorbed, by Judah. It enclosed Beer-sheba, the southern boundary town of the land, once hallowed by Abraham's sojourn. At the extreme north, between Mount Lebanon, the Jordan, and the seacoast with its Phænician settlements, were domiciled side by side, and forming the northern barrier of the kingdom, the four tribes of Naphtali and Zebulon, Asher and Issachar, the two latter bordering on the Mediterranean Sea. Though the Levites were to have no connected territorial possessions in the land, they received for their maintenance forty-eight cities, four as a rule in

every tribe, together with strips of land around each, as pastures for their cattle.

Thus the conquered territory was portioned out in the new commonwealth of the Hebrews. A people of nomads was from that time to dwell in towns and villages, or to pitch their tents permanently in the forest land or the wide pasture plains. But in order to remind the nation that the entire country in reality belonged to the Lord, who had but temporarily granted it to His chosen people, it was, in every fiftieth year, reclaimed by Him; and then all the land that had within that period been sold or given up, was restored to the original proprietors or their heirs. Thus no tribe could enlarge its extent to the injury of other tribes; no one family could seriously disturb the virtual equality of all members of the community; there could neither be excessive wealth nor helpless poverty, neither despotism nor slavery.

When the land was fairly allotted amongst the tribes, Joshua permitted the men of Reuben, Gad, and a portion of Manasseh, to return to the trans-Jordanic districts they had chosen. He blessed them, bade them depart rich with the spoils of the cities they had helped to conquer, but exhorted them: 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 cling to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul. Upon their arrival on the eastern side of the Jordan they erected a great altar to the Lord. When the Israelites heard of it, their anger was kindled, and they resolved to march out against them with a large army; for they thought those eastern tribes guilty of rebellion against God and His Law, which severely forbids the offering of sacrifices at any altar except that of the common Sanctuary. But they sent first Phinehas, the

ence.

High-priest, who should try to bring them back to obedi

This step prevented a fratricidal war; the transJordanic tribes gave a satisfactory explanation: the altar had not been built by them for sacrifice or for public and private worship, but merely as a witness of their union with their brethren in the west of the Jordan, and as a means of securing to their descendants the privileges and the glory of belonging to the people of God. This account, given in good faith, was accepted, and the harmony of the tribes was happily preserved.

67. DEATH OF JOSHUA.

(Josh. XXIII. XXIV.)

Joshua's great task was now ended; he had led the people into Palestine, and had laid the foundations of the new commonwealth. The valiant soldier had worked unremittingly; he was advanced in years, and his rest was near at hand. Once more he summoned the Israelites, who assembled round him at Shechem to hear his parting words. Like Moses, Joshua impressed upon them faith in God, obedience to His Law, utter destruction of all idols, and separation from the idolaters. He pointed out the dangers that still encompassed them; he added warningly, “As all good things are come upon you which the Lord has promised, so shall the Lord bring upon you all evil things, when you transgress the covenant of the Lord your God;' and with increasing force he concluded, • And if it seem evil to you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve ; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the river, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell : but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.' Could the Israelites withstand an appeal so just

and so earnest? They promised, no doubt with all sincerity: 'God forbid that we should forsake the Lord, to serve other gods. But how soon were they to prove faithless to their pledge!

To commemorate his last words, Joshua set up a stone pillar under the oak near the Sanctuary at Shechem. He died 110 years old, about B.C. 1450, and was buried in Timnath-Serah in Mount Ephraim, near Shechem. Within the boundaries of the same tribe, in Shechem, were deposited the bones of Joseph, which the Israelites had brought with them out of Egypt. Not long afterwards the High-priest Eleazar, the son of Aaron, died, and he was buried in a ground belonging to his family in Mount Ephraim.

Thus all the men who had witnessed the wonderful times of the deliverance from Egyptian bondage, passed away; but the memory of the great leader and lawgiver Moses lived among their descendants to cheer and to guide them on their difficult and dangerous path.

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