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´╗┐Title: The Making of a Nation - The Beginnings of Israel's History
Author: Jenks, Jeremiah Whipple, 1856-1929, Kent, Charles Foster, 1867-1925
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Making of a Nation - The Beginnings of Israel's History" ***

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Twelve Studies on

The Making of a Nation

The Beginnings of Israel's History




The best of allies you can procure for us is the Bible.  That will
bring us the reality--freedom.--_Garibaldi_.

If the common schools have found their way from the Atlantic to the
Pacific; if slavery has been abolished; if the whole land has been
changed from a wilderness into a garden of plenty, from ocean to
ocean; if education has been fostered according to the best lights
of each generation since then; if industry, frugality and sobriety
are the watchwords of the nation, as I believe them to be, I say it
is largely due to those first emigrants, who, landing with the
English Bible in their hands and in their hearts, established
themselves on the shores of America.--_Joseph H. Choate_.

And, as it is owned, the whole scheme of Scripture is not yet
understood, so, if it comes to be understood, it must be in the
same way as natural knowledge is come at; by the continuance and
progress of learning and liberty, and by particular persons
attending to, comparing and pursuing intimations scattered up and
down it, which are overlooked and disregarded by the generality of
the world.  Nor is it at all incredible that a book which has been
so long in the possession of mankind should contain many truths as
yet undiscovered.--_Butler_.

Mr. Lincoln, as I saw him every morning, in the carpet slippers he
wore in the house and the black clothes no tailor could make really
fit his gaunt, bony frame, was a homely enough figure.  The routine
of his life was simple, too; it would have seemed a treadmill to
most of us.  He was an early riser, when I came on duty at eight in
the morning, he was often already dressed and reading in the
library.  There was a big table near the centre of the room: there
I have seen him reading many times.  And the book?  It was the
Bible which I saw him reading while most of the household
slept.--_William H. Crook_, in _Harper's Magazine_.

The Bible has such power for teaching righteousness that even to
those who come to it with all sorts of false notions about the God
of the Bible, it yet teaches righteousness, and fills them with the
love of it; how much more those who come to it with a true notion
about the God of the Bible.--_Matthew Arnold_.



 The Rediscovery of the Bible.
 The Object of These Studies.
 The Plan of Work.
 Books of Reference.

STUDY I.  MAN'S PLACE IN THE WORLD.  The Story of Creation, Gen. 1,

 1. The Different Theories of Creation.
 2. The Priestly Story of Creation.
 3. The Early Prophetic Story of Creation.
 4. A Comparison of the Two Accounts of Creation.
 5. Man's Conquest and Rulership of the World.
 6. Man's Responsibility as the Ruler of the World.

Garden of Eden, Gen. 3

 1. The Nature of Sin.
 2. The Origin of Sin According to the Story in Genesis 3.
 3. The Different Theories Regarding the Origin of Sin.
 4. The Effects of Sin upon the Wrong-doer.
 5. God's Attitude toward the Sinner.
 6. The Effect of Sin upon Society.

of Cain, Gen. 4:1-16

 1. The Meaning of the Story of Cain.
 2. The Making of a Criminal.
 3. The Criminal's Attitude toward Society.
 4. The Ways in which Society Deals with the Criminal.
 5. How to Deal with Criminals.
 6. The Prevention of Crime.

Flood, Gen. 6-9

 1. The Two Biblical Accounts of the Flood.
 2. The Corresponding Babylonian Flood Stories.
 3. History of the Biblical Flood Stories.
 4. Aim of the Biblical Writers in Recounting the Flood Stories.
 5. The Survival of the "Fittest" in the Natural World.
 6. In Social and Political Life.

the Traditional Father of the Race, Gen. 12:1-8; 13:1-13; 16; 18;
19; 21:1-7; 22:1-19

 1. The Reasons for Migration.
 2. The Prophetic Stories about Abraham.
 3. The Meaning of the Early Prophetic Stories about Abraham.
 4. The Prophetic Portrait of Abraham.
 5. The Tendency to Idealize National Heroes.
 6. The Permanent Value and Influence of the Abraham Narratives.

STUDY VI.  THE POWER OF AMBITION.  Jacob the Persistent, Gen.

 1. The Two Brothers, Jacob and Esau.
 2. The Man with a Wrong Ambition.
 3. Jacob's Training in the School of Experience.
 4. The Invincible Power of Ambition and Perseverance.
 5. The Different Types of Ambition.
 6. The Development of Right Ambitions.

Gen. 37; 39-48; 50

 1. The Qualities Essential to Success.
 2. The Limitations and Temptations of Joseph's Early Life.
 3. The Call of a Great Opportunity.
 4. The Temptations of Success.
 5. The Standards of Real Success.
 6. The Methods of Success.

Wilderness, Ex. 1:1-7:5

 1. The Egyptian Background.
 2. The Making of a Loyal Patriot.
 3. The School of the Wilderness.
 4. Moses' Call to Public Service.
 5. The Education of Public Opinion.
 6. The Training of Modern Statesmen.

STUDY IX.  THE ORIGIN AND GROWTH OF LAW.  Moses' Work as Judge and
Prophet, Ex. 18:5-27; 33:5-11

 1. The Needs that Give Rise to Law.
 2. The Growth of Customary Law.
 3. The Authority Underlying all Law.
 4. Moses' Relations to the Old Testament Laws.
 5. The Development of Modern Law.
 6. The Attitude of Citizens toward the Law.

Commandments, Ex. 20:1-17

 1. The History of the Prophetic Decalogue.
 2. Obligations of the Individual to God.
 3. The Social and Ethical Basis of the Sabbath Law.
 4. The Importance of Children's Loyalty to Parents.
 5. Primary Obligations of Man to Man.
 6. The Present-day Authority of the Ten Commandments.

STUDY XI.  THE EARLY TRAINING OF A RACE.  Israel's Experience in
the Wilderness and East of the Jordan, Num. 11-14; 21:21-31;

 1. The Wilderness Environment.
 2. Influence of the Nomadic Life upon Israel's Character and Ideals.
 3. The Influence of the Wilderness Life Upon Israel's faith.
 4. The Significance of the East-Jordan Conquests.
 5. The Significance of Moses' Work.
 6. The Early Stages in the Training of the Human Race.

Victories over the Canaanites, Josh. 2-9; Judg. 1, 4, 5.

 1. The Crossing of the Jordan.
 2. The Canaanite Civilization.
 3. The Capture of the Outposts of Palestine.
 4. Ways by which the Hebrews Won Their Homes.
 5. Deborah's Rally of the Hebrews.
 6. The Final Stage in the Making of the Hebrew Nation.



In the early Christian centuries thousands turned to the Bible, as
drowning men to a life buoy, because it offered them the only way
of escape from the intolerable social and moral ills that attended
the death pangs of the old heathenism.  Then came the Dark Ages,
with their resurgent heathenism and barbarism, when the Bible was
taken from the hands of the people.  In the hour of a nation's
deepest humiliation and moral depravity, John Wycliffe, with the
aid of a devoted army of lay priests, gave back the Bible to the
people, and in so doing laid the foundations for England's
intellectual, political and moral greatness.  The joy and
inspiration of the Protestant Reformers was the rediscovery and
popular interpretation of the Bible.  In all the great forward
movements of the modern centuries the Bible has played a central
role.  The ultimate basis of our magnificent modern scientific and
material progress is the inspiration given to the human race by the
Protestant Reformation.

Unfortunately, the real meaning and message of the Bible has been
in part obscured during past centuries by dogmatic interpretations.
The study of the Bible has also been made a solemn obligation
rather than a joyous privilege.  The remarkable discoveries of the
present generation and its new and larger sense of power and
progress have tended to turn men's attention from the contemplation
of the heritage which comes to them from the past.  The result is
that most men know little about the Bible.  They are acquainted
with its chief characters such as Abraham, David and Jesus.  A few
are even able to give a clear-cut outline of the important events
of Israel's history; but they regard it simply as a history whose
associations and interests belong to a bygone age.  How many
realize that most of the problems which Israel met and solved are
similar to those which to-day are commanding the absorbing
attention of every patriotic citizen, and that of all existing
books, the Old Testament makes the greatest contributions to the
political and social, as well as to the religious thought of the
world?  National expansion, taxation, centralization of authority,
civic responsibility, the relation of religion to politics and to
public morality were as vital and insistent problems in ancient
Israel as they are in any live, progressive nation to-day.  The
gradual discovery of this fact explains why here and there
through-out the world the leaders in modern thought and progress
are studying the Bible with new delight and enthusiasm; not only
because of its intrinsic beauty and interest, but because in it
they find, stated in clearest form, the principles which elucidate
the intricate problems of modern life.


There are two distinct yet important ways of interpreting the
Bible: The one is that of the scholar who knows the Bible from the
linguistic, historical and literary point of view; the other, that
of the man who knows life and who realizes the meaning and value of
the Bible to those who are confronted by insistent social, economic
and individual problems.  These studies aim to combine both methods
of interpretation.

Briefly defined the chief objects of these studies are:

(1) To introduce the men and women of to-day to that which is most
vital in the literature and thought of the Old Testament.

(2) To interpret the often neglected Old Testament into the
language of modern life simply and directly and in the light of
that which is highest in the teachings of Christianity.

(3) To present the constructive results of the modern historical
and literary study of the Bible, not dogmatically but tentatively,
so that the reader and student may be in a position to judge for
himself regarding the conclusions that are held by a large number
of Biblical scholars and to estimate their practical religious

(4) To show how closely the Old Testament is related to the life of
to-day and how it helps to answer the pressing questions now
confronting the nations.

(5) To lead strong men to think through our national, social and
individual problems, and to utilize fearlessly and practically the
constructive results of modern method and research in the fields of
both science and religion.


These studies are planned to meet the needs of college students and
adult Bible classes.  Those who are able to command more time and
wish to do more thorough work will find in the list of _Parallel
Readings_ on the first page of each study carefully selected
references to the best authorities on the subject treated.  For
their guidance are also provided _Subjects for Further Study_.  In
using this text-book the student may proceed as follows:

(1) Read carefully the Biblical passage indicated in connection
with each title; for example, in the first study, Genesis 1 and 2.

(2) Read the Biblical and other quotations on the first page of
each study.  Unless otherwise indicated the Biblical quotations are
from the American Revised Version.  They include the most important
Biblical passages.  The other quotations embody some of the best
contributions of ancient and modern writers to the subject under

(3) Read and think through the material presented under each
paragraph.  This material is arranged under six headings for the
convenience of those who wish to follow the plan of daily reading
and study.


The books suggested in connection with this course have been
carefully selected in order that each person may have for his
individual use a practical working library.  The following should
be at hand for constant reference.

Kent, C. F., _The Historical Bible_, Vols. I and II.  Contains the
important Biblical passages arranged in chronological order and
provided with the historical, geographical and archaeological notes
required for their clear understanding.  The translation is based
on the oldest manuscripts and embodies the constructive results of
modern Biblical research.  New York, $1.00 each.

Jenks, J. W., _Principles of Politics_.  New York, $1.25.  Prepared
to explain the principles by which political action is governed and
thus to aid thoughtful citizens both to gain a clear outlook on
life and wisely to direct their own political activity.

Aristotle, _Politics_.  The greatest masterpiece of scientific
political thought.  Its different point of view will suggest many
illuminating comparisons between Greek and modern political ideals
and institutions and give the reader a broad basis for the
appreciation of that which is essential and enduring in the
statecraft of all ages.  $2.50.

For further parallel study the following books are suggested:

Breasted, J. H., _History of the Ancient Egyptians_.  Clear,
concise and authoritative.  New York, $1.25.

Bryce, James, _The American Commonwealth_, Vols. I, II.  New York,
$2.00 each.  Best commentary on American Government.

Cooper, C. S., _The Bible and Modern Life_.  Presents the point of
view from which the Bible may most profitably be studied and
contains valuable suggestions regarding the organization and work
of college and adult classes.  New York, $1.25.

Driver, S. R., _Introduction to the Literature of the Old
Testament_.  New York, $2.50.  A sane, thorough study of the
origin, history, and contents of the Old Testament books.'

Goodspeed, G. S., _History of the Babylonians and Assyrians_.  New
York, $1.25.  A comprehensive and attractive picture of the life of
these ancient people.

Hadley, A. T., _Standards of Public Morality_.  New York, $1.00.  A
suggestive study of the application of moral principles to the life
of society.

Hastings, James, _Dictionary of the Bible_, Vols. 1-5.  New York,
$6.00 each.  A summary of the historical, literary, geographical
and archaeological facts which constitute the background of the
life and thought of the Bible.

Kent, C. F., _The Beginnings of Hebrew History and Israel's
Historical and Biographical Narratives_.  (Vols. I and II of
Student's Old Testament.) $2.75 each.  Presents in a clear, modern
translation the original sources incorporated in the historical
books of the Old Testament, the origin and literary history of
these books, and the important parallel Babylonian and Assyrian

Kent, C. F., _Biblical Geography and History_.  New York, $1.50.  A
clear portrayal of the physical characteristics of Palestine and of
the potent influences which that land has exerted throughout the
ages upon its inhabitants.

McFadyen, J. E., _Messages of the Prophets and Priestly
Historians_.  New York, $1,25.  A fresh and effective
interpretation of the historical and spiritual messages of the Old
Testament historical books into the language and thought of to-day.

Smith, H. P., _Old Testament History_.  New York, $2.50.  A
thorough, well-proportioned presentation of the unfolding of
Israel's history.

Wilson, Woodrow, _Constitutional Government in the United States_.
$1.50.  A constructive judgment of the American constitution.

Seeley, J. R., _Introduction to Political Science_.  $1.50.  An
effective example of the application of the historical methods to



THE STORY OF CREATION -- Gen. 1 and 2.

_Parallel Readings_.

  Kent, _Historical Bible_, Vol. I, pp. 1-7, 231-3.
  Articles, "Evolution" and "Cosmogony," in _Ency. Brit_. or _Inter.
    Ency_., or any standard encyclopedia.

God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he
him, male and female created he them.  And God blessed them, and
God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the
earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea,
and over the birds of the heavens, and over every living thing that
moveth upon the earth.--_Gen. 1:27, 28_.

 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers,
 The moon and the stars which thou hast ordained;
 What is man, that thou art mindful of him?
 And the son of man that thou visitest him?
 For thou hast made him but little lower than God,
 And crownest him with glory and honor.
 Thou makest him to have dominion over the works of thine hands,
 Thou hast put all things under his feet.--_Ps. 8: 8-6_.

 God clothed men with strength like his own,
 And made them according to his own image.
 He put the fear of them upon all flesh,
 That they should have dominion over beasts and birds.
 Mouth and tongue, eyes and ears,
 And a mind with which to think he gave them;
 With insight and wisdom he filled their minds,
 Good and evil he taught them.  Ben Sira. 17, 3-7 (_Hist. Bible_).

All things were made through him; and without him was not any thing
made that hath been made.--John 1:3.



Every early people naturally asked the questions, How were things
made?  How were men created?  First of all, Who made the world?
They necessarily answered them according to their own dawning

The most primitive races believed that some great animal created
the earth and man.  In the Alaskan collection in the museum of the
University of Pennsylvania there is a huge crow, sitting upon the
mask of a man's face.  This symbolizes the crude belief of the
Alaskan Indians regarding the way man was created.  The early
Egyptians thought that the earth and man were hatched out of an
egg.  In one part of Egypt it was held that the artisan god Ptah
broke the egg with his hammer.  In another part of the land and
probably at a later date the tradition was current that Thoth the
moon god spoke the world into existence.  The earliest Babylonian
record states that:

  The god Marduk laid a reed on the face of the waters,
  He formed dust and poured it out beside the reed;
  That he might cause the gods to dwell in the dwellings
    of their heart's desire,
  He formed mankind.

Later he formed the grass and the rush of the marsh and the forest.
Then he created the animals and their young.

The Parsee teachers held that the rival gods, Ahriman and Ormuzd,
evolved themselves out of primordial matter and then through the
long ages created their attendant hierarchies of angels.  The
philosophers of India anticipated in some respects our modern
evolutionary theory.  Brahma is thought of as self-existent and
eternal.  He gradually condenses himself into material objects,
such as ether, fire, water, earth and the elements.  Last of all he
manifests himself in man.  The Greek philosophers were the first to
attempt to describe creation as a purely physical, generative
process.  They taught the evolution of the more complex from the
simpler forms.  Plato and Aristotle believed in a transcendental
deity and found in the world indications of a vital impulse toward
a higher manifestation of life--man.

Michael Angelo, with wonderful dramatic power, in his painting in
the Sistine Chapel at Rome has portrayed how lifeless clay in form
of man, when touched by the finger of God, by sheer vitalizing
power is transformed into a living soul.

Very different yet equally impressive is the modern scientific
view.  The origin of matter and of life is so absolutely unknown
that scientists have not as yet formulated definite theories
concerning it.  Even the theories regarding the origin of the solar
system are still conflicting and none is generally accepted.  The
old nebular hypothesis is discredited and the theory of the spiral
movement of the solar matter seems to be confirmed by phenomena
observable in the heavens.  The one principle generally held by
scientists is that, given matter and life and some creating force,
our present marvelous complex universe has come into being
according to laws usually called natural.  These laws are so
invariable that they may be considered unchanging.

Even more definitely established is the so-called theory of
evolution which is based on the careful observation and comparison
of countless thousands of natural phenomena.  According to the
Encyclopedia Britannica it is the history of the physical process
by which all living beings have acquired the characteristics,
physical, mental, moral, and spiritual, which now distinguish them.
It recognizes the gradual development from the simplest to the most
complex forms.  It is merely an attempt to describe in the light of
careful observation and investigation the process of growth by
which the world and the beings which inhabit it have grown into
what they are.

A comparison of the Hebrew account of creation with those of other
races and times is extremely suggestive.



Note that the first and second chapters of Genesis contain two
distinct accounts of creation.

Read Genesis 1:1--2:3 (see _Hist. Bib_., I, pp. 231-3 for modern
translation), noting its picture of conditions in the universe
before the actual work of creation began.  The creative power is
the spirit or breath of God.  The Hebrew word for spirit (_ruah_)
represents the sound of the breath as it emerges from the mouth or
the sound of the wind as it sighs through the trees.  It is the
effective symbol of a real and mighty force that cannot be seen or
touched yet produces terrific effects, as when the cyclone rends
the forest or transforms the sea into a mountain of billows and
twists like straws the masts of wood and steel.  In the Old
Testament the "spirit of God" or the "spirit of the Holy One" is
God working (1) in the material universe, as in the work of
creation, (2) in human history, as when he directs the life of
nations, or (3) in the lives of men.

Note the method of creation and the distinctive work of each day.
The process is that of separation.  It is orderly and progressive.
The first three days of preparation in which (1) light and
darkness, (2) air and water (separated by the firmament) and (3)
land and vegetation are created, correspond to the work of the
second three days in which are created (1) the heavenly bodies, (2)
the birds and fishes (which live in the air and water) and (3) land
animals and man.  The underlying conception of the universe is that
held by most early peoples.  Compare the diagram in _Hastings'
Dictionary of the Bible_ I, 503 or Kent's _Student's Old
Testament_, Vol. I, p.  52 which illustrates it.

God's benign plan is revealed by the recurring words: "God saw that
it was good."  What was the culminating act of creation?  "Created
man in his image" can not mean with a body like that of God (for in
this story God is thought of as a spirit), but rather with a
God-like spirit, mind, will, and power to rule.



The opening words of the second account of creation, which begins
in the fourth verse of the second chapter of Genesis, imply that
the earth and the heavens have already been created.

"In the day that Jehovah made earth and heaven, no plant of the
field was yet on the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung
up, for Jehovah had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there
was no man to till the ground; but a mist used to rise from the
earth and water the whole face of the ground."

It is possible that here only a part of the original story is
preserved.  What is the order in the story of creation found in
this second chapter?  The method of man's creation?

According to this account, the tree of life was planted in the
garden that man, while he lived there, might enjoy immortality.
Was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil placed in the garden
to develop man's moral nature by temptation or merely to inculcate

The love between the sexes is apparently implanted in all living
beings primarily for the conservation of the species, but the early
prophet also recognized clearly the broader intellectual and moral
aspects of the relation.  "It is not good for man to be alone" were
the significant words of Jehovah.  Hence animals, birds, and, last
of all, woman, were created to meet man's innate social needs.
Man's words on seeing woman were:

  "This, now, is bone of my bone
    And flesh of my flesh.
  This one shall be called woman,
    For from man was she taken."

What fundamental explanation is here given of the institution of
marriage?  Compare Jesus' confirmation of this teaching in Matthew

"And he answered and said, Have ye not read, that he who made them
from the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this
cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to
his wife: and the two shall become one flesh?"



The account of creation found in the second chapter suggests the
simple, direct ideas of a primitive people; while the account in
Genesis 1 has the exact, repetitious, majestic literary style of a
legal writer.  Are the differences between these two accounts of
creation greater than those between the parallel narratives in the
Gospels?  We recognize that the differences in detail between the
Gospel accounts of the same event are due to the fact that no two
narrators tell the same story in the same way.  Are the variations
between the two Biblical accounts of creation to be similarly
explained?  A growing body of Biblical scholars hold, though many
differ in judgment, that the account in the first chapter of
Genesis was written by a priestly writer who lived about four
hundred B.C., and the second account four hundred years earlier by
a patriotic, prophetic historian.

Observe that the two accounts agree in the following fundamental
teachings: (1) One supreme God is the Creator; (2) man is closely
akin to God; (3) all else is created for man's best and noblest

Is the primary aim of these accounts to present scientific facts or
to teach religious truths?  Paul says in Timothy that "Every
scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for
reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in
righteousness."  Is their religious value, even as in the parables
of the New Testament, entirely independent of their historical or
scientific accuracy?  Is there any contradiction between the
distinctive teachings of the Bible and modern science?  Do not the
Bible and science deal with two different but supplemental fields
of life: the one with religion and morals, the other with the
physical world?



In the story of Genesis 1 man is commanded to subdue the earth and
to have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the
heavens and over every living thing that creeps upon the earth.
How far has man already subdued the animals and made them serve
him? How far has he conquered the so-called natural forces and
learned to utilize them?  Is the latter day conquest of the air but
a step in this progress?  Are all inventions and developments of
science in keeping with the purpose expressed in Genesis 1?  Does
the command imply the immediate or the gradual conquest of nature?
Why?  Do science and the Bible differ or agree in their answers to
these questions?



Consider the different ways in which the Biblical accounts of
creation state that man is akin to God.  In the one account man was
created in the image of God; in the other Jehovah formed man of the
dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils his own
life-giving breath.  In what sense is man God-like?  Are all men
"made in the image of God"?  Does this story imply that every man
has the right and capacity to become God-like?

A high official of China, whose power of authority extends to
questions of life and death, is called "the father and mother of
his people."  If he fails in the responsibility which his authority
imposes upon him, and the people in consequence create a
disturbance, he is severely punished, sometimes by death.  Does
authority always imply responsibility?  Of what value to man is the
conquest of the forces of nature?  President Roosevelt said that he
considered the conservation of the natural resources of the United
States the most important question before the American people.  Is
this political question also a religious question?

Why did God give man authority over the animal world?  Does the
responsibility that comes from this authority rest upon every man?
One of the laws of the Boy Scouts reads:

"A scout is kind.  He is a friend to animals.  He will not kill nor
hurt any living creature needlessly, but will strive to save and
protect all harmless life."  Is this a practical application of the
teaching in Genesis 1?

If God's purpose is to make everything good, man's highest
privilege, as well as duty, is to co-operate with him in realizing
that purpose.  Are men to-day as a whole growing happier and
nobler?  In what practical ways may a man contribute to the
happiness and ennobling of his fellow men?

Is your community growing better?  What would be the result if you
and others like yourself did your best to improve conditions?  If
so, how?

_Questions for Further Consideration_.

Is man's possession of knowledge and power the ultimate object of
creation?  If not, what is?  Does human experience suggest that
man's life on earth is, in its ultimate meaning, simply a school
for the development of individual character and for the perfecting
of the human race?

Is there any other practical way in which a man can serve God
except by serving his fellowmen?  If so, how?

_Subjects for Further Study_.

(1) The Origin and Content of the Babylonian Stories of
Creation.--Hastings, _Dictionary of the Bible_, 1, 501-7; Kent,
_Student's O. T._, I, 360-9.

(2) The Relation of the Biblical Story of the Creation to the
Babylonian.--Kent, _Student's O. T._, I, 369-70.

(3) The Seeming Conflict Between the Teachings of the Bible and
Science and the Practical Reconciliation.--Sir Oliver Lodge:
_Science and Immortality_, Section 1.




_Parallel Readings_.

  _Hist. Bible_, Vol. I, 37-42.
  Drummond, _Ideal Life_, Chaps. on Sin.

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it
was a delight to the eye, and that the tree was to be desired to
make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and she
gave also unto her husband with her and he did eat.  And the eyes
of them both were opened and they beard the voice of Jehovah God
walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and the man and his
wife hid themselves from the presence of Jehovah God amongst the
trees of the garden.--_Gen. 3:6-8_.

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he hath been
approved, he shall receive a crown of life, which the Lord promised
to them that love him.  Let no man say when he is tempted, I am
tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself
tempteth no man; but each man is tempted when he is drawn away by
his own lust and enticed.  Then the lust, when it hath conceived,
beareth sin: and the sin, when it is full grown, bringeth forth
death.--_James 1:12-15_.

  For the love of God is broader
    Than the measure of man's mind,
  And the heart of the eternal
    Is most wonderfully kind.--_Frederick W. Faber_.

None could enter into life but those who were in downright earnest
and unless they left the wicked world behind them; for there was
only room for body and soul, but not for body and soul and
sin.--_John Bunyan_.



Henry Drummond has said that sin is a little word that has wandered
out of theology into life.

Members of a secret organization known as the Thugs of India feel
at times that it is their solemn duty to strangle certain of their
fellow men.  Do they thereby commit a sin?  A Parsee believes that
it is wrong to light a cigar, for it is a desecration of his emblem
of purity--fire.  Others in the western world for very different
reasons regard the same act as wrong.  Is the lighting or smoking
of a cigar a sin for these classes?  Is the act necessarily wrong
in itself?

When a trained dog fails to obey his master, does he sin?  Is man
alone capable of sinning?



Many and various have been the definitions of sin and the
explanations of its origin.  Most primitive peoples defined it as
failure to perform certain ceremonial acts, or to bring tribute to
the gods.  Morality and religion were rarely combined.  The Hebrew
people were the first to define right and wrong in terms of
personal life and service.  Sin as represented in Genesis 3 was the
result of individual choice.  It was yielding to the common rather
than the nobler impulses, to desire rather than to the sense of
duty.  The temptation came from within rather than from without,
and the responsibility of not choosing the best rested with the
individual.  The explanation is as simple and as true to human
experience to-day as in the childhood of the race.

The Persian religion, on the contrary, conceived of the world as
controlled by two hostile gods, with their hosts of attendant
angels.  One god, Ormuzd, was the embodiment of light and goodness.
The other, Ahriman, represented darkness and evil.  They traced all
sin to the direct influence of Ahriman and the evil spirits that
attended him.  During the Persian period a somewhat similar
explanation of the origin of evil appeared in Jewish thought.
Satan, who in the book of Job appears to be simply the prosecuting
attorney of heaven, began to be thought of as the enemy of man,
until in later times all sin was traced directly or indirectly to
his influence.  This was the conception prevalent among the
Puritans.  This view tended to relieve man of personal
responsibility for he was regarded as the victim of assaults of
hosts of malignant spirits.  Does your knowledge of the heart of
man confirm the insight of the prophet who speaks through the
wonderful story of Genesis 3?



In your judgment is the story of the man and the woman in Genesis 3
a chapter from the life of a certain man and woman, or a faithful
reflection of universal human experience?  Most of the elements
which are found in the story may likewise be traced in earlier
Semitic traditions.  The aim of the prophet who has given us the
story was, according to the view of certain interpreters, to
present in vivid, concrete form the origin, nature, and
consequences of sin.  This method of teaching was similar to that
which Jesus used, for example, in the parable of Dives and Lazarus.
The tree of the knowledge of good and evil, with the command not to
eat of it, apparently symbolizes temptation.  Is temptation
necessary for man's moral development? The serpent was evidently
chosen because of its reputation for craft and treachery.  The
serpent's words represent the natural inclinations that were
struggling in the mind of the woman against her sense of duty.
Note that in the story the temptation did not come to man through
his appetite or his curiosity or his esthetic sense but through his
wife whom God had given him.  Was the man's act in any way
excusable?  Strong men and women often sin through the influence of
those whom they love and admire.  Are they thereby excused?  What
natural impulses impelled the woman to disobey the divine command?
Were these impulses of themselves wrong?  How far did her
experience reflect common human experience?  What was the real
nature of her act?  Was it wrong or praise-worthy for her to desire

In what form did temptation come to the man in Genesis 3.  Does
temptation appeal in a different form to each individual?  The
Hebrew word for sin (which means to miss the mark placed before
each individual) vividly and aptly describes the real nature of
sin.  The ideal placed before each individual represents his sense
of what is right.  If he acts contrary to that ideal or fails to
strive to realize it, does he sin?



What was the effect of their consciousness of having disobeyed upon
the man and woman in the ancient story?  Did they believe that they
had done wrong, or merely that they had incurred a penalty?  Does
sin tend to make cowards of men?  Were the feelings of shame, and
the sense of estrangement in the presence of one who loved them,
the most tragic effect of their sin?  When a child disobeys a
parent or a friend wrongs a friend is the sense of having injured a
loved one the most painful consequence of sin?  Was the penalty
imposed on the man and woman the result of a divine judgment or the
natural and inevitable effect of wrong-doing?  Why did the man and
woman try to excuse their disobedience?  Was it natural?  Was it
good policy?  Was it right?  If not, why not?



Jehovah in the story evidently asked the man and woman a question,
the answer to which he already knew, in order to give them an
opportunity to confess their wrong-doing.  Parents and teachers
often seek to give the culprit the opportunity to confess his sin.
What is the attitude of the law towards the criminal who pleads
guilty?  What is the reason for this attitude?  A loving parent or
even the state might forgive an unrepentant sinner, but the effect
of the wrong-doing upon the sinner and upon others may still remain.

While the man and woman remained conscious of their wrong-doing,
though defiant, to abide in Jehovah's presence was for them
intolerable.  Are toil and pain essential to the moral development
of sinners who refuse to confess their crime?  Are toil and pain in
themselves curses or blessings to those who have done wrong?  The
picture in Genesis 3 clearly implies that God's intention was not
that man should suffer but that he should enjoy perfect health and
happiness.  Jehovah's preparation of the coats of skin for the man
and woman is convincing evidence that his love and care continued
unremittingly even for the wrong doers.  Modern psychology is
making it clear that the effect of sin upon the unrepentant sinner
is to increase his inclination toward sinning.  But when a man in
penitence for his sin has turned toward God and changed his
relation to his fellow men, God becomes to him a new Being with a
nearness and intimacy impossible before!  May the Christian believe
that this new sense of nearness and love to God is met by a
corresponding feeling on God's part?  In the light of Christian
experience is there not every reason to believe that God himself
also enters into a new and joyous relationship with the man?  This
thought was evidently in the mind of Jesus when be declared that
there was joy in heaven over one sinner that repented.



Men are often heard to remark that they are willing to bear the
consequences of their sin.  Is it possible for any individual to
experience in himself the entire result of his wrong-doing?  In the
Genesis story the woman's deliberate disobedience would seem to
have had very direct influence upon her husband.  Mankind has
almost universally come to regard certain acts as wrong and to
prescribe definite modes of punishment.  Such decisions have come
about not simply because of the effect of sin upon the individual
but more especially because the sin of the individual affects
society.  State the different influences that deter men from sin
and note those which from your experience seem the strongest.

_Questions for Further Consideration_.

Is an act that is wrong for one man necessarily a sin if committed
by another?  Are men's tendencies to sin due to their inheritance
or to impulses which they share in common with brutes, or to
influences that come from their environment?  In the light of this
discussion formulate your own definition of sin.

Is the final test of sin a man's consciousness of guilt, or the
ultimate effect of his act upon himself, or upon society?

May the woman in the Garden of Eden be regarded as the prototype of
the modern scientist?  Are there ways in which the scientist may
sin in making his investigations?  Illustrate.  How about

Does sin bring moral enlightenment?  Distinguish between Jesus'
attitude toward sin and toward the sinner.  What should be our
attitude toward the sinner?

If the man and woman had frankly confessed their sin, what, by
implication, would have been the effect: first, upon themselves,
and second, upon the attitude and action of God?

Does temptation to sin, as in the case of Adam, often come in the
guise of virtue?  What is the value of confession to the sinner?
To society?

_Subjects for Further Study_.

(1) The Babylonian and Egyptian Idea of Sin.  _Hastings, Dictionary
of the Bible_, extra vol. 566-567; Breasted, _History of Egypt_,
173-175; Jastrow, _Religion of the Babylonians and Assyrians_,

(2) Milton's Interpretation of Genesis 3 in Paradise Lost.

(3) The Right and Wrong of the Attempted Surrender of West Point
from the Point of View of Benedict Arnold, Andre and Washington.



THE STORY OF CAIN.--Gen. 4:1-16.

_Parallel Readings_.

  _Hist. Bible_, Vol. 1, 42-46.
  Jenks, _Prin. of Pol_. 1-16.
  August Drahms, _The Criminal_.

Now in the course of time it came to pass, that Cain brought some
of the fruit of the ground as an offering to Jehovah.  And Abel
also brought some of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat.
And Jehovah looked favorably upon Abel and his offering: but for
Cain and his offering he had no regard.

Therefore, Cain was very angry and his countenance fell.  And
Jehovah said to Cain,

  Why art thou angry?
  And why is thy countenance fallen?
  If thou doest well, is there not acceptance?
  But if thou doest not well,
  Does not sin crouch at the door?
  And to thee shall be its desire,
  But thou shouldst rule over it.

Then Cain said to Abel his brother, Let us go into the field.  And
while they were in the field, Cain rose up against Abel his brother
and slew him.

And when Jehovah said to Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? he said,
I, know not; am I my brother's keeper.--Gen. 4:3-9 (_Hist. Bible_).

And the Scribes and the Pharisees bring a woman taken in adultery;
and having set her in the midst, they say unto Jesus, Teacher, this
woman hath been taken in adultery, in the very act.  Now in the law
Moses commanded us to stone such: what then sayest thou of her?
And this they said trying him, that they might have whereof to
accuse him.  But Jesus stooped down and with his finger wrote on
the ground.  And when they continued asking him, he lifted himself,
and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first
cast a stone at her.  And again he stooped down and with his finger
wrote on the ground.  And they, when they heard it, went out one by
one, beginning from the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was
left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the midst.  And Jesus
lifted himself up and said unto her, Woman, where are they?  Did no
man condemn thee?  And she said, No man, Lord.  And Jesus said,
Neither do I condemn thee.  Go thy way; from henceforth sin no
more.--_John 8:3-11_.

Every experiment by multitudes or individuals that has a sensual or
selfish aim will fail.--_Emerson_.

When you meet one of these men or women be to them a Divine man; be
to them thought and virtue; let their timid aspirations find in you
a friend; let their trampled instincts be genially tempted out in
your atmosphere; let their doubts know that you have doubted, and
their wonder feel that you have wondered.--_Emerson_.

But I still have a good heart and believe in myself and fellow men
and the God who made us all.--_Robert Louis Stevenson_.



In Arabia and Palestine to-day, as in the past, a man's prosperity
or misfortune is universally regarded as the evidence of divine
approval or disapproval.  Even Jesus' disciples on seeing a blind
man by the wayside, raised the question: "Did this man sin or his
parents?"  Among the Arabs of the desert the tribal mark, either
tattooing or a distinctive way of cutting the hair, insures the
powerful protection of the tribe.  Each tribesman is under the most
sacred obligation to protect the life of a member of his tribe, or
to avenge, if need be with his own life-blood, every injury done
him.  Without the tribal mark a man becomes an outlaw.  Many
scholars, therefore, think that the mark placed upon Cain was not
primarily a stigma proclaiming his guilt, but rather a token that
protected him from violence at the hands of Jehovah's people and
compelled them to avenge any wrongs that might befall him.

In the light of these facts would it not seem possible that Cain's
character and conduct are the reason why his offering was not

What is the meaning and purpose of Jehovah's question, Where is
Abel thy brother?  Is it probable that in the question, Am I my
brother's keeper, the writer intended to assert the responsibility
of society for the acts of its members?  In China where to-day, far
more than in the West, there exists the responsibility of
neighbors, those who fail to exert the proper influence over the
character and conduct of a criminal neighbor often have their
houses razed to the ground and the sites sown with salt.  Is
society responsible for producing criminals?  How far am I
personally responsible for my neighbor's acts?



Paul said, "All men have sinned."  Are all men therefore criminals?
What constitutes a criminal?  Was Cain a criminal before he slew
his brother?  Legally?  Morally?

Was Cain's motive in the worship of God truly religious or merely
mercenary?  This portrait of Cain illustrates the fact that formal
religious worship does not necessarily deter a man from becoming a
criminal.  Sometimes men prominent in religious work become
defaulters or commit other crimes.  Does this story suggest the
fundamental reason why great crimes are sometimes committed by
religious leaders?  The motive rather than the form is clearly the
one thing absolutely essential in religious worship.

Was the slaying of Abel the result simply of jealousy or a sudden
fit of anger or of a gradual deterioration of character?  Compare
the gradual development of the criminal instincts in Shakespeare's
Macbeth.  Think of the different influences tending to make
criminals!  Most criminals are made before they reach the age of
twenty-one.  The development of the criminal is the result either
of wrong education or the lack of right education.  Parents by
their failure to guard carefully their children's associates and to
develop in them habits of self-control, respect for the rights of
others, and a sense of social and civic obligation, are perhaps
more than any other class responsible for the growth of criminals.
In what ways does the State through its negligence also contribute
to the making of criminals?



Every criminal act is anti-social.  Few if any criminals realize
this fact.  A superintendent of the Elmira Reformatory after years
of experience said that he had never seen a criminal who felt
remorse; while criminals usually regretted being caught, they
always excused their crime.  The criminal repudiates his social
obligations, not acknowledging the fact that the basis of all
society is the recognition of the rights of others.  The thief
often excuses his acts by asserting that society owes him a living.
Is this position right or do you agree with the following
statement?  "The criterion of what is for the benefit of the
community at large must be settled by the community itself, not by
an individual.  The citizen, then, may and must do what the
community determines it is best for him to do; he must stand in the
forefront of battle if so ordered.  He must not do what the State
forbids; he may be deprived of liberty and life if he does."--



Cain's punishment was banishment rather than imprisonment.  What
was the fate that Cain specially feared?  Cain and Abel in the
original story, some writers believe, represented tribes (see
_Hist. Bible_, I, 44).  Among nomadic peoples in the early East, as
to-day, the punishment of murder was left to the family or tribe of
the murdered man.  Was this just or effective?  The same crude
method of avenging wrongs is found in the vendetta of Italy and the
family feuds in certain sparsely settled regions in the United
States.  The survival of this institution is to-day one of the
greatest obstacles to civilization in those regions.  Why?

In most criminal legislation the chief emphasis is placed on
punishment.  For example, thieves are punished with imprisonment.
Why?  A radical change in public opinion is now taking place.  The
prevailing method of dealing with crimes advocated by penologists
to-day is the protection of society if possible by the reform of
the criminal.  Does this method protect society effectually?  Why
is it that criminals generally prefer a definite term in prison
rather than an indefinite sentence with the possibility of release
in less than half the time? Which method of treatment is best in
the end for the wrong-doer?

It is important to distinguish clearly between the private and the
official attitude toward the criminal.  As individuals, who cannot
know the motives, we should heed the maxim of Jesus: "Judge not!"
As public officials whose duty it is to protect society, we are
under obligation to deal firmly and effectively with the criminal.
What would probably have been the result had Cain confessed his
crime?  God was far more lenient even with the unrepentant Cain
than were his fellow men.  Did God, however, remit Cain's sentence?
Cain said, "I shall become a fugitive and a wanderer on the face of
the earth."  Was this sense of being an outcast the most painful
element in Cain's punishment?  All crime thus in a sense brings its
own punishment.  If in placing upon Cain a tribal mark, thereby
protecting him from being killed, God apparently aimed to give him
an opportunity to reform, the clear implication is that the divine
love and care still follow him.  That love and that care never
cease toward even the most depraved.  Compare Jesus' attitude
toward the criminal, as illustrated in his ministry and especially
in his dealing with the woman taken in adultery.  His forgiveness
of the woman's sin did not cancel the social results, but gave her
a new basis for right living in the future.  She realized that some
one believed in her.  Is this one of the most important influences
to-day in assisting weak men and in redeeming criminals?  Henry
Drummond when asked the secret of his success with men said, "I
love men."



The purpose of criminal legislation and administration is clearly
the protection of society.  The criminals are punished, not for the
mere sake of the punishment or for vengeance, but to deter them
from further crime or to serve as a warning to others.  Only on
this account can punishment be justified.

To prove an effective warning the punishment for crime should be
certain, prompt and just.  For these reasons effective police,
upright judges and fair methods of procedure are absolutely
essential.  Efforts should be made not to influence the courts by
public opinion, and the pernicious prejudgment of cases by popular
newspapers should be discountenanced.

The surest method of stopping a criminal's dangerous activity is to
reform him; to give him a new and absorbing interest.  Experience
at our best reformatories shows that with the indeterminate
sentence a very large majority of young criminals can be
transformed into safe and useful citizens.  This method is both
cheaper and more effective than direct punishment for fixed terms.



The best method of dealing with crime is that of prevention.  The
work of protecting society against crime should begin with arousing
parents to the sense of their responsibilities and by training them
thoroughly in the duties of parenthood.  Philanthropic agencies,
the church, the schools, the State, may do much both by training
character and by removing temptation.  The maintenance of good
economic conditions, provision for wholesome amusements, improved
sanitation, all tend to remove pernicious influences and strengthen
the power of resistance to temptation.  The public press and the
theatre, which are at times exceedingly harmful agencies, may be
and should be transformed into active moral forces.  In furthering
all these reform measures and preventive movements each individual
has a personal responsibility, and, as an active citizen, he may
render most important service.  The home, the school, the church
and the State, all touch the individual on every side and create
and together control the influences that make or unmake character.

_Questions for Further Consideration_.

What was the effect of Cain's anger upon his own life?

Gladstone said, "I do not have time to hate anybody."

In what way do anger and hatred hamper one's greatest usefulness?
Do you believe in the modern theories regarding the effect of
jealousy and hatred upon the body?

Is capital punishment at times a necessity?

What is the most effective argument which can be used to restore
honor and manhood to a criminal?

Is there any particular agency at work in your community to assist
men who have committed crimes?

Is the chief object of punishment to avenge the wrong, to punish
the criminal, to deter others from committing similar crimes, or to
reclaim the wrong-doer?

_Subjects for Further Study_.

(1) The Effect of the Semitic Law of Blood-revenge upon (_a_) the
criminal, (_b_) society and (_c_) possible criminals.  Kent,
_Israel's Laws and Legal Precedents_, 91, 114-116; Smith, _Religion
of the Semites_, 72, 420.

(2) Mrs. Ballington Booth's Work for Released Prisoners.    _After

(3) The Practical Effects of the Indeterminate Sentence.  Reports
of the Prison Reform Association.

(4) Influence of Contract Prison Labor.  American Magazine, 1912,
Jan., Feb., Mar., April.




_Parallel Readings_.

  Hist. Bible I, 52-65.
  Darwin, _Origin of Species_; Wallace, _Darwinism_; 3. William Dawson,
    _Modern Ideas of Evolution_; Article _Evolution_ in leading

When Jehovah saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth,
and that every purpose in the thoughts of his heart was only evil
continually, it was a source of regret that he had made man on the
earth and it grieved him to his heart.  Therefore Jehovah said, I
will destroy from the face of the ground man whom I have created,
for I regret that I have made mankind.

Then Jehovah said to Noah, enter thou and all thy house into the
ark; for thee I have found righteous before me in this generation.

And Noah did according to all that Jehovah commanded him.

Then Jehovah destroyed everything that existed upon the face of the
ground, both man and animals, and creeping things, and birds of the
heavens, so that they were destroyed from the earth; and Noah only
was left and they who were with him in the ark.--Gen. 6:5-8; 7:1,
5, 23 (_Hist. Bible_).

And without faith it is impossible to be well-pleasing with God;
for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a
rewarder of them that seek after him.  By faith Noah, being warned
of God concerning things not seen as yet, moved with godly fear,
prepared an ark to the saving of his house, through which he
condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is
according to faith.--_Heb. 11:6, 7_.

Rare is the man who can look back over his life and not confess, at
least to himself, that the things which have made him most a man
are the very things from which he tried with all his soul to escape.

  If we would attain happiness,
  We must first attain helpfulness.

  But stay! no age was e'er degenerate
  Unless men held it at too cheap a rate,
  For in our likeness still we shape our fate.



Careful readers of Genesis 6-9 have long recognized certain
difficulties in interpreting the narrative as it now stands.  Thus,
for example, in 6:20 Noah is commanded to take into the ark two of
every kind of beast and bird; but in 7:2, 3 he is commanded to take
in seven of all the clean beasts and birds.  According to 7:4, 12
the flood came as the result of a forty days' rain; but according
to 7:11 it was because the fountains of the great deep were broken
up and the windows of heaven were opened.  Again, according to
7:17, the flood continued on the earth forty days; while according
to 7:24 its duration was a hundred and fifty days.

These fundamental variations and the presence of duplicate versions
of the same incidents point, some writers think, to two originally
distinct accounts of the flood which have been closely woven
together by the final editor of the book of Genesis.  When these
two accounts are disentangled, they are each practically complete
and apparently represent variant versions of the same flood story.
(See _Hist. Bible_, I, 53-56, for these two parallel accounts.) The
one, known as the prophetic version, was written, these writers
believe, about 650 B.C.  It has the flowing, vivid, picturesque,
literary style and the point of view of the prophetic teacher.  In
this account the number seven prevails.  Seven of each clean beast
and bird are taken into the ark to provide food for Noah and his
family.  Seven days the waters rose, and at intervals of seven days
he sent out a raven and a dove.  The flood from its beginning to
the time when Noah disembarked continued sixty-eight days.  At the
end, when he had determined by sending out birds that the waters
had subsided, he went forth from the ark and reared an altar and
offered sacrifice to Jehovah of every clean beast and bird.

The other and more detailed account is apparently the sequel of the
late priestly narratives found in Genesis 1 and 5.  The style is
that of a legal writer--formal, exact and repetitious.  In this
account only two of each kind of beast and bird are taken into the
ark.  The flood lasts for over a year and is universal, covering
even the tops of the highest mountains.  No animals are sacrificed,
for according to the priestly writer this custom was first
instituted by Moses.  When the flood subsides, however, a covenant
is concluded and is sealed by the rainbow in accordance with which
man's commission to rule over all other living things is renewed
and divine permission is given to each to eat of the flesh of
animals, provided only that men carefully abstain from eating the
blood.  This later account is dated by this group of modern
Biblical scholars about 400 B.C.



Closely parallel to these two variant Biblical accounts of the
flood are the two Babylonian versions, which have fortunately been
almost wholly recovered.  The older Babylonian account is found in
the eleventh tablet of the Gilgamesh epic, which comes from the
library of Asshurbanipal.  This great conqueror lived
contemporaneously with Manasseh during whose reign Assyrian
influence was paramount in the kingdom of Judah.  In his quest for
healing and immortality Gilgamesh reached the abode of the
Babylonian hero of the flood.  In response to Gilgamesh's question
as to how he, a mortal, attained immortality the Babylonian Noah
recounts the story of the flood.  It was brought about by the
Babylonian gods in order to destroy the city of Shurippak, situated
on the banks of the Euphrates.  The god Ea gave the warning to his
worshipper, the hero of the flood, and commanded him:

  Construct a house, build a ship,
  Leave goods, look after life,
  Forsake possessions, and save life,
  Cause all kinds of living things to go up into the ship.
  The ship which thou shalt build,--
  Exact shall be its dimensions:
  Its breadth shall equal its length;
  On the great deep launch it.
  I understood and said to Ea, my lord:
  "Behold, my lord, what thou hast commanded,
  I have reverently received and will carry out."

A detailed account then follows of the building of the ark.  Its
dimensions were one hundred and twenty cubits in each direction.
It was built in six stories, each of which was divided into nine
parts.  Plentiful provisions were next carried on board and a great
feast was held to commemorate the completion of the ark.  After
carrying on board his treasures of silver and gold he adds:

  All the living creatures of all kinds I loaded on it.
  I brought on board my family and household;
  Cattle of the field, beasts of the field, the craftsmen,
  All of them I brought on board.

In the evening at the command of the god Shamash the rains began to
descend.  Then the Babylonian Noah entered the ship and closed the
door and entrusted the great house with its contents to the
captain.  The description of the tempest that follows is
exceedingly vivid and picturesque.

  When the first light of dawn shone forth,
  There rose from the horizon a dark cloud, within which Adad thundered,
  Nabu and Marduk marched at the front,
  The heralds passed over mountains and land;
  Nergal tore out the ship's mast,
  Ninib advanced, following up the attack,
  The spirits of earth raised torches,
  With their sheen they lighted up the world.
  Adad's tempest reached to heaven,
  And all light was changed to darkness.
  So great was the havoc wrought by the storm that
  The gods bowed down, sat there weeping,
  Close pressed together were their lips.

For six days and nights the storm raged, but on the seventh day it
subsided and the flood began to abate.  Of the race of mortals,
however, every voice was hushed.  At last the ship approached the
mountain Nisir which lay on the northern horizon, as viewed from
the Tigris-Euphrates valley.  Here the ship grounded.  Then,

  When the seventh day arrived,
  I sent forth a dove and let it loose,
  The dove went forth, but came back;
  Because it found no resting-place, it returned:
  Then I sent forth a swallow, but it came back;
  Because it found no resting-place, it returned.
  Then I sent forth a raven and let it loose,
  The raven went forth and saw that the waters had decreased;
  It fed, it waded, it croaked, but did not return.
  Then I sent forth everything in all directions, and offered a sacrifice,
  I made an offering of incense on the highest peak of the mountain,
  Seven and seven bowls I placed there,
  And over them I poured out calamus, cedar wood and fragrant herbs.
  The gods inhaled the odor,
  The gods inhaled the sweet odor,
  The gods gathered like flies above the sacrifice.

At the intercession of Ea, the Babylonian Noah and his wife were
granted immortality and permitted "to dwell in the distance at the
confluence of the streams."

A later version of the same Babylonian flood story is quoted by
Eusebius from the writings of the Chaldean priest Berossus who
lived about the fourth century B.C.  According to this version the
god Kronos appeared in a dream to Xisuthros, the hero, who, like
Noah in the priestly account, was the last of the ten ancient
Babylonian kings.  At the command of the god he built a great ship
fifteen stadia long and two in width.  Into this he took not only
his family and provisions, but quadrupeds and birds of all kinds.
When the flood began to recede, he sent out a bird, which quickly
returned.  After a few days he sent forth another bird, which
returned with mud on its feet.  When the third bird failed to
return, he took off the cover of the ship and found that it had
stranded on a mountain of Armenia.  The mountain in the Biblical
account is identified with Mount Ararat.  Disembarking, the
Babylonian Noah kissed the earth and, after building an altar,
offered a sacrifice to the gods.

Thus the variations between the older and later Babylonian accounts
of the flood correspond in general to those that have been already
noted in the Biblical versions.  Which Biblical account does the
earliest Babylonian narrative resemble most closely?  In what
details do they agree?  Are these coincidences merely accidental or
do they point possibly to a common tradition?  How far do the later
Biblical and Babylonian accounts agree?  What is the significance
of these points of agreement?



On the basis of the preceding comparisons some writers attempt to
trace tentatively the history of the flood tradition current among
the peoples of southwestern Asia.  A fragment of the Babylonian
flood story, coming from at least as early as 2000 B.C., has
recently been discovered.  The probability is that the tradition
goes back to the earliest beginnings of Babylonian history.  The
setting of the Biblical accounts of the flood is also the
Tigris-Euphrates valley rather than Palestine.  The description of
the construction of the ark in Genesis 6:14-16 is not only closely
parallel to that found in the Babylonian account, but the
method--the smearing of the ark within and without with bitumen--is
peculiar to the Tigris-Euphrates valley.  Many scholars believe,
therefore, that Babylonia was the original home of the Biblical
flood story.

Its exact origin, however, is not so certain.  Many of its details
were doubtless suggested by the annual floods and fogs which
inundate that famous valley and recall the primeval chaos so
vividly pictured in the corresponding Babylonian story of the
creation.  It may have been based on the remembrances of a great
local inundation, possibly due to the subsidence of great areas of
land.  In the earliest Hebrew records there is no trace of this
tradition, although it may have been known to the Aramean ancestors
of the Hebrews.  The literary evidence, however, suggests that it
was first brought to Palestine by the Assyrians.  During the
reactionary reign of Manasseh, Assyrian customs and Baylonian
ideas, which these conquerors had inherited, inundated Judah.  Even
in the temple at Jerusalem the Babylonians' gods, the host of
heaven, were worshipped by certain of the Hebrews.  The few
literary inscriptions which come from this period, those found in
the mound at Gezer, are written in the Assyrian script and contain
the names of Assyrian officials.

Later when the Jewish exiles were carried to Babylonia, they
naturally came into contact again with the Babylonian account of
the flood, but in its later form, as the comparisons already
instituted clearly indicate.  It is thus possible, these scholars
believe, to trace, in outline at least, the literary history of the
Semitic flood story in its various transformations through a period
of nearly two thousand years.



The practical question which at once suggests itself is, What place
or right has this ancient Semitic tradition, if such it is, among
the Biblical narratives?  At best the historical data which it
preserves are exceedingly small and of doubtful value.  Is it
possible that the prophetic and priestly historians found these
stories on the lips of the people and sought in this heroic way to
divest them of their polytheistic form and, in certain respects,
immoral implications?  A minute comparison of the Babylonian and
Biblical accounts indicates that this may perhaps be precisely what
has been done; but the majestic, just God of the Biblical
narratives is far removed from the capricious, intriguing gods of
the Babylonian tradition, who hang like flies over the battlements
of heaven, stupefied with terror because of the destruction which
they had wrought.

Each of the Biblical narrators seems to be seeking also by means of
these illustrations to teach certain universal moral and religious
truths.  In this respect the two variant Biblical narratives are in
perfect agreement.  The destruction of mankind came not as the fiat
of an arbitrary Deity, but because of the purpose which God had
before him in the work of creation, and because that purpose was
good.  Men by their sins and wilful failure to observe his benign
laws were thwarting that purpose.  Hence in accord with the just
laws of the universe their destruction was unavoidable, and it came
even as effect follows cause.  On the other hand, these ancient
teachers taught with inimitable skill that God would not destroy
that which was worthy of preservation.

In each of the accounts the character of Noah stands in striking
contrast with those of his contemporaries.  The story as told is
not merely an illustration of the truth that righteousness brings
its just reward, but of the profounder principle that it is the
morally fit who survive.  In both of the versions Noah in a very
true sense represents the beginning of a new creation: he is the
traditional father of a better race.  To him are given the promises
which God was eager to realize in the life of humanity.  In the
poetic fancy of the ancient East even the resplendent rainbow,
which proclaimed the return of the sun after the storm, was truly
interpreted as evidence of God's fatherly love and care for his
children.  In the light of these profound religious teachings may
any one reasonably question the right of these stories to a place
in the Bible?  Did not Jesus himself frequently use illustrations
drawn from earlier history or from nature to make clear his
teachings?  Is it not evidence of superlative teaching skill to use
that which is familiar and, therefore, of interest to those taught,
in order to inculcate the deeper moral and religious truths of life?



It is interesting and illuminating to note how the ancient Hebrew
prophets in their religious teaching forecast the discoveries and
scientific methods of our day.  This was because they had grasped
universal principles.

Since the memorable evening in July, 1858, in which the views of
Darwin and Wallace on the principles of variation and selection in
the natural world were sent to the Linnaean Society in London, the
leading scientists have laid great stress upon the doctrine of the
survival of the "fittest" as the true explanation of progress in
the natural world.  It was apparently made clear by Darwin, and
supported by sufficient evidence, that "any being, if it vary
however slightly, in any manner profitable to itself, under the
complex and somewhat varying conditions of life, will have a better
chance of surviving, and thus be naturally selected."

This principle, since that day, has been thoroughly worked out in
practically all the important fields of both the plant and animal
world.  Moreover, the doctrine of evolution, dependent upon this
principle, has exerted so great an influence upon the process of
investigation and thinking in all fields of activity that the
resulting change in method has amounted to a revolution.  The
principle is applied not only in the field of biology, but also in
the realm of astronomy, where we study the evolution of worlds, and
in psychology, history, social science, where we speak of the
development of human traits and of the growth of economic,
political and social institutions.

It is necessary to remember in applying such a brief statement of a
principle, that the words are used in a highly technical sense.
The word "fittest" by no means need imply the best from the point
of view of beauty or strength or usefulness in nature; nor does it
necessarily mean, in reference to society, best from the point of
view of morals or a higher civilization.  Rather the "fittest"
means the being best adapted to the conditions under which it is
living, or to its environment.  As a matter of fact, it is the
general opinion that in practically all fields this principle works
toward progress in the highest and best sense; but it is always a
matter for specific study as well as of great scientific interest
and importance, to determine where and how the variation and the
corresponding selection tend to promote the morally good.
Especially is this true in the study of society, where we should
endeavor to see whether or not the "fittest" means also the highest
from the moral and religious point of view.

The story of the flood gives us a most interesting example of the
way in which the ancient Hebrews looked upon such a process of
selection in the moral and religious world and taught it as a
divine principle.  It is, therefore, one of the most suggestive and
interesting of the writings of the early Israelites.



From our modern point of view, the ancient Hebrew writers had a far
deeper knowledge of moral and religious questions than of natural
science.  They had a far keener sense of what was socially
beneficial than of what was scientifically true.  However we may
estimate their knowledge of geology and biology, we must grant that
their beliefs regarding the good and ill effects of human action
have in them much that is universally true, even though we may not
follow them throughout in their theories of divine wrath and
immediate earthly punishment of the wicked.

But is it not true almost invariably, if we look at social
questions of every kind in a comprehensive way, that the survival
of the fittest means the survival of the morally best?  That the
religion which endures is of the highest type?  Business success in
the long run, is so strongly based upon mutual confidence and
trust, that, especially in these later days of credit organization,
the dishonest man or even the tricky man cannot prosper long.  A
sales manager of a prominent institution said lately that the chief
difficulty that he had with his men was to make them always tell
the truth.  For the sake of making an important sale they were
often inclined to misrepresent his goods.  "But nothing," he added,
"will so surely kill all business as misrepresentation."  Even a
gambling book-maker on the race tracks in New York, before such
work was forbidden by law, is said to have proudly claimed that
absolute justice and honesty toward his customers was essential to
his success and had therefore become the rule of his life.
Although it is sometimes said that the man who guides his life by
the maxim, "Honesty is the best policy," is in reality not honest
at heart, it must nevertheless be granted that in business the
survival of the fittest means the survival of the most honest
business man.

It may perhaps have been true in the days of Machiavelli that
cruelty and treachery would aid the unscrupulous petty despot of
Italy to secure and at times to maintain his dukedom; but certainly
in modern days, when in all civilized countries permanently
prosperous government is based ultimately upon the will of the
people, the successful ruler can no longer be treacherous and
cruel.  Even among our so-called "spoils" politicians and corrupt
bosses, who hold their positions by playing upon the selfishness of
their followers and the ignorance and apathy of the public, there
must be rigid faithfulness to promises, and, at any rate, the
appearance of promoting the public welfare.  Otherwise their term
of power is short.

If we look back through the history of modern times, we shall find
that the statesmen who rank high among the successful rulers of
their countries are men of unselfish patriotism, and almost
invariably men of personal uprightness and morality, and usually of
deep religious feeling.  Think over the names of the great men of
the United States, and note their characters.  Pick out the leading
statesmen of the last half century in England, Germany and Italy.
Do they not all stand for unselfish, patriotic purpose in their
actions, and in character for individual honor and integrity?

The same is true in our social intercourse.  Brilliancy of
intellect, however important in many fields of activity, counts for
relatively little in home and social life, if not accompanied by
graciousness of manner, kindness of heart, uprightness of
character.  It may sometimes seem that the brilliant rascal
succeeds, that the unscrupulous business man becomes rich, and that
the hypocrite prospers through his hypocrisy.  If all society were
made up of men of these low moral types, would such cases perhaps
be more often found than now?  In a society of hypocrites, would
the fittest for survival be the most skilful deceiver?  Or, even
there, would the adage, "There must be honor among thieves," hold,
when it came to permanent organization?  But, whatever your answer,
society fortunately is not made up of hypocrites or rascals of any
kind.  With all the weakness of human nature found in every
society, the growing success of the rule of the people throughout
the world proves that fundamentally men and women are honest and
true.  Generally common human nature is for the right.  Almost
universally, if a mooted question touching morals can be put simply
and squarely before the people, they will see and choose the right.

Fortunate it is for the world that the lessons taught by the early
Hebrew writers regarding the survival of the moral and upright are
true, and that good sense and religion both agree that in the long
run, honor and virtue and righteousness not only pay the
individual, but are essential to the prosperity of a nation.

_Questions for Further Consideration_.

Had most primitive peoples a tradition regarding the flood?  How do
you explain the striking points of similarity between the flood
stories of peoples far removed from each other?

Is there geological evidence that the earth, during human history,
has been completely inundated?

What do you mean by a calamity?  Is it a mere accident, or an
essential factor in the realization of the divine purpose in human

Are appalling calamities, like floods and earthquakes, the result
of the working out of natural laws?  Are they unmitigated evils?
Were the floods in China and the plagues in India, which destroyed
millions of lives, seemingly essential to the welfare of the
surviving inhabitants of those overpopulated lands?

What were the effects of the Chicago fire and the San Francisco
earthquake upon these cities?  How far was the development of the
modern commission form of city government one of the direct results
of the Galveston flood?

To what extent is the modern progress in sanitation due to natural
calamities?  What calamities?

Is a great calamity often necessary to arouse the inhabitants of a
city or nation to the development of their resources and to the
realisation of their highest possibilities?  What illustrations can
you cite?

How do changes in the environment of men affect the moral quality
of their acts?  How do circumstances affect the kind of act that
will be successful?  During the Chinese revolution of 1912 in
Peking and Nanking, looting leaders of mobs and plundering soldiers
when captured were promptly decapitated without trial.  Was such an
act right?  Was it necessary?  What conditions would justify such
an act in the United States?  Would the same act tend equally to
preserve the government in both countries?

_Subjects for Further Study_.

(1) Flood Stories among Primitive Peoples.  Worcester, _Genesis_
361-373; Hastings, _Dict. of Bible_ Vol. II, 18-22; Extra Vol.
181-182; _Encyc. Brit_.

(2) The Scientific Basis of the Biblical Account of the Flood.
Ryle, _Early Narratives of Gen_. 112-113; Davis, _Gen. and Semitic
Traditions_ 130-131; Driver, _Genesis_ 82-83, 99; Sollas, _Age of
the Earth_, 316 ff.

(3) Compare the treatment accorded their rivals and competitors for
power in their various fields by the following persons: Solomon,
Caesar Borgia, the late Empress Dowager of China (Tz'u-hsi),
Bismarck, the great political leaders of today in Great Britain and
the United States and the modern combinations of capital known as

I Kings 1; Machiavelli, _The Prince_; Douglas, _Europe and the Far
East_, Ch. 17.

Did these different methods under the special circumstances result
in the survival of the fittest?  The fittest morally?



16; 18, 19; 21:7; 22:1-19.

_Parallel Readings_.

  _Hist. Bible_ I, 73-94.
  _Prin of Pol_., 160-175.

Jehovah said to Abraham, Go forth from thy country, and from thy
kindred, and from thy father's house, to the land that I will show
thee, that I may make of thee a great nation; and I will surely
bless thee, and make thy name great, so that thou shalt be a
blessing, I will also bless them that bless thee, and him that
curseth thee will I curse, so that all the families of the earth
shall ask for themselves a blessing like thine own.  So Abraham
went forth, as Jehovah had commanded him.--Gen. 12:1-4.  (_Hist.

By faith Abraham when he was called, obeyed to go out into a place
which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out not
knowing whither he went.  By faith he became a sojourner in the
land of promise as in a land not his own, dwelling in tents, with
Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he
looked for the city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker
is God.--_Heb_. 11:8-10.

He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life
for my sake shall find it--_Matt_. 10:39.



Many Biblical scholars claim that the data point to variant
versions of the different stories about Abraham.  Thus, for
example, there are two accounts of his deceptions regarding Sarah,
one in 12:9-13:1, and the other in 20:1-17.  The oldest version of
the story they believe is found in 26:1-14 and is told not of
Abraham but of Isaac, whose character it fits far more
consistently.  Similarly there are three accounts of the covenant
with Abimelech (Gen. 21:22-31, 21:25-34, and 26:15-33).  The two
accounts of the expulsion of Hagar and the birth of Ishmael, in
Genesis 16:1-16 and 21:1-20 differ rather widely in details.  In
one account Hagar is expelled and Ishmael is born after the birth
of Isaac, and in the other before that event.  Do these variant
versions indicate that they were drawn from different groups of
narratives?  The differences in detail are in general closely
parallel to those which the New Testament student finds in the
different accounts of the same events or teachings in the life of
Jesus.  They suggest to many that the author of the book of Genesis
was eager to preserve each and every story regarding Abraham.
Instead, however, of preserving intact the different groups of
stories, as in the case of the Gospels, they have been combined
with great skill.  Sometimes, as in the case of the expulsion of
Hagar, the two versions are introduced at different points in the
life of the patriarch.  More commonly the two or more versions are
closely interwoven, giving a composite narrative that closely
resembles Tatian's Diatessaron which was one continuous narrative
of the life and teachings of Jesus, based on quotations from each
of the four Gospels.   Fortunately, if this theory is right, the
group of stories most fully quoted and therefore best preserved is
the early Judean prophetic narratives.  When these are separated
from the later parallels they give a marvelously complete and
consistent portrait of Abraham.



Read the prophetic stories regarding Abraham (_Hist. Bible_ I, 73,
74, 79-81, 84-87, 90-92).  Are these stories to be regarded simply
as chapters from the biography of the early ancestor of the Hebrews
or, like the story of the Garden of Eden, do they have a deeper, a
more universal moral and religious significance?  Back of the story
of Abraham's call and settlement in Canaan clearly lies the
historic fact that the ancestors of the Hebrews as nomads migrated
from the land of Aram to seek for themselves and their descendants
a permanent home in the land of Canaan.  Abraham, whose name in
Hebrew means, "Exalted Father," or as it was later interpreted,
"Father of a Multitude," naturally represents this historic
movement, but the story of his call and settlement in Canaan has a
larger meaning and value.  It simply and vividly illustrates the
eternal truths that (1) God guides those who will be guided.  (2)
He reveals himself alone to those who seek a revelation.  (3) His
revelations come along the path of duty and are confined to no
place or land.  (4) For those who will be led by him God has in
store a noble destiny.  (5) Blessed are the peacemakers for they
shall be called the children of God.  (6) Blessed are the meek for
they shall inherit the earth.  Thus this marvelous story presents
certain of the noblest fruits of Israel's spiritual experiences.
Incidentally it also deals with the relationship between the
Hebrews and their neighbors, the Moabites, across the Jordan and
the Dead Sea, for Lot in these earlier stories stands as the
traditional ancestor of the Moabites and Ammonites.  It is evident
that, like the opening narratives of Genesis, this story aimed to
explain existing conditions, as well as to illustrate the deeper
truths of life.

Similarly the story of the expulsion of Hagar, it is thought, aims
primarily to explain the origin of Israel's foes, the nomadic
Ishmaelites, who lived south of Canaan.  In the inscriptions of the
Assyrian king Sennacherib, Hargaranu is the name of an Aramean
tribe.  A tribe bearing a similar name is also mentioned in the
south Arabian inscriptions.  The Hagar of the story is a typical
daughter of the desert.  When she became the mother of a child, the
highest honor that could come to a Semitic woman, she could not
resist the temptation to taunt Sarah.  In keeping with early
Semitic customs Sarah had full authority to demand the expulsion of
Hagar, for in the eye of the law the slave wife was her property.
The tradition of the revelation to Hagar also represented the
popular explanation of the sanctity of the famous desert shrine
Beer-lahal-roi.  Like most of the prophetic stories, this narrative
teaches deeper moral lessons.  Chief among these is the broad truth
that the sphere of God's care and blessing was by no means limited
to Israel.  To the outcast and needy he ever comes with his message
of counsel and promise.  Was Abraham right or wrong in yielding to
Sarah's wish?  Was Sarah right or wrong in her attitude toward
Hagar?  Was Hagar's triumphal attitude toward Sarah natural?  Was
it right?

In the story of the destruction of Sodom Lot appears as the central
figure.  His choice of the fertile plain of the Jordan had brought
him into close contact with its inhabitants, the Canaanites.
Abandoning his nomadic life, he had become a citizen, of the
corrupt city of Sodom.  When at last Jehovah had determined to
destroy the city because of its wickedness, Abraham persistently
interceded that it be spared.  Its wickedness proved, however, too
great for pardon.  Lot, who, true to his nomad training, hospitably
received the divine messengers, was finally persuaded to flee from
the city and thus escaped the overwhelming destruction that felt
upon it.  What was the possible origin of this story?  (_Hist.
Bible_ I, 87.)  What are the important religious teachings of this
story?  Were great calamities in the past usually the result of
wickedness?  Are they to-day?  Do people so interpret the
destruction of San Francisco and Messina?  The great epidemic of
cholera in Hamburg in 1892 was clearly the result of a gross
neglect of sanitary precautions in regard to the water supply.  At
that date the cholera germ had not been clearly identified and
there was some doubt regarding the means by which the disease was
spread.  Was sanitary neglect then as much of a sin as it would be
now?  May we properly say that the pestilence was a calamity
visited on that city as a punishment for its sin of neglect?

Why did the prophets preserve the story of the sacrifices of Isaac?
Compare the parallel teaching in Micah 6:6-8.

  With what shall I come before Jehovah,
  Bow myself before the God on high?
  Shall I come before him with burnt-offerings,
  With calves a year old?
  Will Jehovah be pleased with thousands of rams,
  With myriads of streams of oil?
  Shall I give him my first-born for my guilt,
  The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

Which is the most important teaching of the story: the importance
of an unquestioning faith and obedience, or the needlessness of
human sacrifice?  Does God ever command any person to do anything
that the person thinks wrong?



In the so-called later priestly stories regarding Abraham (see
especially Gen. 17) he is portrayed as a devoted servant of the
law, chiefly intent upon observing the simple ceremonial
institutions revealed to him in that primitive age.  With him the
later priests associated the origin of the distinctive rite of
circumcision.  In Genesis 14 Abraham is pictured as a valiant
warrior who espoused the cause of the weak and won a great victory
over the united armies of the Eastern kings.  Like a knight of
olden times, he restored the captured spoil to the city that had
been robbed and gave a liberal portion, to the priest king
Melchizedek, who appears to have been regarded in later Jewish
tradition as the forerunner of the Jerusalem priesthood.  In the
still later Jewish traditions, of which many have been preserved,
he is pictured sometimes as an invincible warrior, before whom even
the great city of Damascus fell, sometimes as an ardent foe of
idolatry, the incarnation of the spirit of later Judaism, or else
he is thought of as having been borne to heaven on a fiery chariot,
where he receives to his bosom the faithful of his race.  Thus each
succeeding generation or group of writers made Abraham, as the
traditional father of their race, the embodiment of their highest

The Abraham of the early prophetic narratives, however, is a
remarkably consistent character.  He exemplifies that which is
noblest in Israel's early ideals.  How is Abraham's faith
illustrated in the prophetic stories considered in the preceding
paragraph?  His unselfishness and generosity?  His courtly
hospitality?  Was his politeness to strangers simply due to his
training and the traditions of the desert or was it the expression
of his natural impulses?  Was Abraham's devoted interest in the
future of his descendants a noble quality?  How are his devotion
and obedience to God illustrated?  In the light of this study
describe the Abraham of the prophetic narratives.  Is it a perfect
character that is thus portrayed?  Is it the product of a primitive
state of society or of a high civilization?



Is Shakespeare right in his statement that "The evil that men do
lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones"?  Why
do men as a rule idealize the dead?  Does the primitive tendency to
ancestor worship in part explain this?  Is the tendency to idealize
the men of the past beneficial in its effect upon the race?  What
would be the effect if all the iniquity of the past were
remembered?  The tendency to idealize national heroes is by no
means confined to the Hebrews.  Greek, Roman and English history
abounds in illustrations.  Cite some of the more striking.  Why are
they often thought of as descendants of the gods?  Compare the
popular conception of the first president of the United States and
his character as portrayed in Ford's "The Real George Washington."
The portraits of national heroes, even though they are idealized,
exert a powerful and wholesome influence upon the nations who honor
their memory.  The noblest ideals in each succeeding generation are
often thus concretely embodied in the character of some national
hero.  Compare the great heroes of Greek mythology with the early
heroes of the Old Testament.  Do these differences correspond to
the distinctive characteristics of the Greeks and the Hebrews?  Are
these differences due to the peculiar genius of each race or in
part to the influence exerted by the ideals thus concretely
presented upon each succeeding generation?  Is it probable that in
the character of Abraham the traditional father of the Hebrew race
was idealized?  Is it possible that teachers of Israel, consciously
or unconsciously, fostered this tendency that they might in this
concrete and effective way impress their great teachings upon their
race?  If so, does it decrease or enhance the value and authority
of these stories?



In the early history of most countries there comes a pressure of
population upon the productive powers of the land.  As numbers
increase in the hunting stage game becomes scarce and more hunting
grounds are needed.  Tribes migrate from season to season, as did
the American Indians, and eventually some members of the tribe are
likely to go forth to seek new homes.  Later in the pastoral stage
of society, as the wealth of flocks and herds increases, more
pasturage is needed and similar results follow.  Even after
agriculture is well established and commerce is well begun, as in
Ancient Greece, colonies have a like origin.  In the England of the
nineteenth century Malthus and his followers taught the tendency of
population to outgrow the means of subsistence--a tendency overcome
only by restraints on the growth of population, or by new
inventions that enable new sources of supply to be secured or that
render the old ones more efficient.  Emigration and pioneering are
thus a normal outgrowth of a progressive growing people in any
stage of civilization.  What does the statement about Abraham's
wealth in cattle and silver and gold show regarding the country
from which he came and the probable cause of God's direction for
his removal?

Immigrants and pioneers are usually the self-reliant and
courageous, who dare to endure hardships and incur risks to secure
for their country and posterity the benefits of new lands and
broader opportunity.  The trials of new and untried experiences and
often of dire peril strengthen the character already strong, so
that the pioneers in all lands and ages have been heroes whose
exploits recounted in song and story have stirred the hearts and
molded the faith of their descendants through many generations.  In
the light of later history what was the profound religious
significance to his race and to the world, of the migration
represented by Abraham?  The Biblical narrative does not state the
exact way in which Jehovah spoke to Abraham.  Is it possible and
probable that God spoke to men in that early day as he speaks to
them now, through their experiences and inner consciousness?  In
what sense was Abraham a pioneer?

Was it for Abraham's material interest to migrate to Canaan?



Scholars will probably never absolutely agree regarding many
problems connected with Abraham.  Some have gone so far as to
question whether he was an historical character or not.  Is the
question of fundamental importance?  Other writers declare it
probable that a tribal sheik by the name of Abraham led one of the
many nomad tribes that somewhere about the middle of the second
millenium B.C. moved westward into the territory of Palestine.  It
is probable that popular tradition has preserved certain facts
regarding his life and character.  It is equally clear that the
different groups of Israel's teachers have each interpreted his
character and work in keeping with their distinctive ideals.  Each
individual narrative has an independent unity and the connection
between the different accounts is far from close.  Some of them aim
to explain the derivation of popular names, as for example,
Abraham, Isaac, and Ishmael, the sanctity of certain sacred places,
as for example, Beersheba, the origin of important institutions, as
for example, circumcision and the substitution of animal for human
sacrifice, and the explanation of striking physical phenomena, as
for example the desolate shores of the Dead Sea.

Some of these accounts, like the table of nations in Genesis 10,
preserve the memory of the relationship between Israel and its
neighbors.  They preserve also the characteristic popular record of
the early migrations which brought these peoples to Palestine,
where they crystalized into the different nations that figure in
the drama of Israel's history.  The permanent and universal value
of these stories lies, however, in the great moral principles which
they vividly and effectively illustrate.  The prophetic portrait of
Abraham was an inspiring example to hold up before a race.  The
characteristics of Abraham can be traced in the ideals and
character of the Israelites.  They were unquestionably an important
force in developing the prophet nation.  He was, therefore,
pre-eminently a spiritual pioneer.  How far do these stories, and
especially the accounts of the covenant between Jehovah and
Abraham, embody the national and spiritual aspirations of the race?
Are the Abraham stories of practical inspiration to the present
generation?  What qualities in his character are essential to the
all-around man of any age?  How far would the Abraham of the
prophetic stories succeed, were he living in America to-day?  Would
he be appreciated by a majority of our citizens?  Are spiritual
pioneers of the type of Abraham absolutely needed in every nation
and generation if the human race is to progress?

_Questions for Further Consideration_.

Are God's purposes often contrary to man's desires?  Ever to man's
best interests?

What qualities must every true pioneer possess?

What is the ultimate basis of all true politeness?

Who are some of the great pioneers of early American history?  What
were their chief contributions to their nation?

Is your own conscientious conception of your duty to be considered
as God's command to you?  Does he give any other command?

Does a high stage of civilization ennoble character or tend to
degrade it?

_Subjects for Further Study_.

(1) Abraham in Late Jewish Tradition.  Hastings, _Dict. Bib_.  I,
16, 17, Ginsberg, _The Legends of the Jews_, I, pp. 185-308.

(2) The Geological History of the Dead Sea Valley.  Hastings,
_Dict.  Bib_. I, 575-7; _Encyc. Bib_. I, 1042-6; Kent, _Bib. Geog.
and Hist_., 45-54; Smith, _Hist. Geography_, 499-516.

(3) The Original Meaning of Sacrifice.  _St. O. T_., IV, 238;
Hastings, _Dict. Bib_. IV, 329-31; _Encyc. Bib_. IV, 4216-26;
Smith, _Relig. of the Semites_, 213-43, 252-440; Gordon, _Early
Traditions of Genesis_, 212-16.

(4) A Comparison of the Motives that Inspired the Migrations of the
Ancestors of the Hebrews and our Pilgrim Fathers.  Cheyney,
_European Background of American History_; Andrews, _Colonial



JACOB, THE PERSISTENT.--Gen. 28, 10-33, 20.

_Parallel Readings_.

  _Hist. Bible_ I, 101-21.
  Hastings, _Dict. Bible_ II, 526-535.
  _Prin. of Politics_ Ch. II.

Now as the boys grew Esau became a skilful hunter, but Jacob was a
quiet man, a dweller in tents.  And Isaac loved Esau--for he had a
taste for game--and Rebekah loved Jacob.

Once when Jacob was preparing a stew, Esau came in from the field,
and he was faint; therefore Esau said to Jacob, Let me eat quickly,
I pray, some of that red food, for I am faint.  (Therefore his name
was called Edom, Red.) But Jacob said, Sell me first of all your
birthright.  And Esau replied, Alas! I am nearly dead, therefore of
what use is this birthright to me?  And Jacob said, Swear to me
first; so he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob.  Then
Jacob gave Esau bread and stewed lentils, and when he had eaten and
drank, he rose up and went his way.  Thus Esau despised his
birthright.--_Hist. Bible_.

Charles Darwin when asked for the secret of his success said, "It's
dogged as does it."

  Oh well for him whose will is strong!
  He suffers, but he will not suffer long;
  He suffers, but he cannot suffer wrong:
  For him nor moves the loud world's random mock,
  Nor all Calamity's hugest waves confound,
  Who seems a promontory of rock,
  That, compasst round with turbulent sound
  In middle ocean meets the surging shock,
  Tempest-buffetted but citadel-crowned.

Life is comic or pitiful, as soon as the high ends of being fade
out of sight and man becomes near-sighted and can only attend to
what addresses the senses--_Emerson_.

  Who rises every time he falls
  Will sometime rise to stay.



South of the Dead Sea, bounded by the rocky desert on the east and
the hot barren Arabah on the west, extends the wild picturesque
range of Mount Seir.  It is a land of lofty heights and deep,
almost inaccessible valleys, the home of the hunter and the nomad.
From a few copious springs there issue clear, refreshing brooks,
which run rippling through the deep ravines, but soon lose
themselves in their hot, gravelly beds.  A few miles further on
they emerge and again disappear, as they approach the borders of
the hot, thirsty wilderness that surrounds Mount Seir on every
side.  Here in early times lived the Edomites, a nomadic people who
established themselves in this borderland of Palestine long before
the Hebrews gained a permanent foothold in the land of Canaan.  The
name, Edom, is found in an inscription of a king of the eighth
Egyptian Dynasty,

In the Biblical narrative, Esau evidently is the traditional
ancestor of the Edomites, even as Jacob figures as the father of
the twelve tribes.  One of the aims of these narratives, it seems
to many scholars, is to explain why the Israelites, the younger
people, who settled latest in Palestine, ultimately possessed the
land and conquered the Edomites.

The portraits of Esau and Jacob are remarkably true to the
characteristics of these two rival nations.  They are also faithful
to human nature as we find it to-day.  Of these two brothers which,
on the whole, is the more attractive? Which resembles his father
and which his mother?  (Read the accounts of their lives, Gen.
24-27.)  What noble virtues does Esau possess?  What was his great
fault?  Reckless men or drifters with generous impulses but with no
definite purpose, of whom gypsies and hoboes are extreme types, are
found in every age and society.  Why is it that men of the type of
Esau so often in time become criminals?



The modern tendency to idealize the character of Jacob, simply
because he was one of the famous patriarchs, is both unfortunate
and misleading.  Although he vividly typifies certain
characteristics of his race, the Jacob of these early prophetic
accounts is portrayed with absolute fidelity and realism.  His
faults are revealed even more clearly than his virtues.  The
dominant motive in his life is ambition, but it is a thoroughly
selfish ambition.  In the light of the stories, state in your own
words what was the exact nature of Jacob's ambition.  How did it
differ from that of Abraham?  What methods did he use to achieve
his ambition?  Were these methods justifiable?  What is your view
of the statement, "The end justifies the means"?  Try to define
exactly the method of determining justifiable means.  May Jacob's
action be excused because he was acting under the direction of his

Does a man with a selfish ambition always injure others?  Does he
in the end injure himself most of all?  How?  Every type of
selfishness is directly opposed to a man's highest self-interest.
Jesus continually had this large truth in mind when he declared,
"He that findeth his life shall lose it, but he that loseth his
life for my sake shall find it."  Jesus himself illustrated this
principle.  Cite other illustrations from history.  From your own
observation or experience.

Was Jacob, even with his wrong ambition, a stronger and more
promising character than his brother Esau?  Why?

Would you rather have your son a boy of strong character with
vicious tendency or a weakling with harmless, virtuous inclinations?



Jacob's experiences as a fugitive well illustrate the homely
proverb, "The way of the transgressor is hard."  He who deceived
and cheated his brother soon became the victim of deception and
fraud.  Most painful of all was the ever-haunting sense of fear
because of the consequences of his wrong acts that followed him
even in his life as an exile and, like a spectre, confronted him as
he returned again to the scenes of his boyhood.  These painful
experiences were probably essential to the development of Jacob's
character.  Are there any other ways in which men of this type can
be led to appreciate that their ambitions are wrong?  Was Laban any
more unjust or tricky in his dealing with Jacob than Jacob had been
with Esau, or than Jacob was with Laban?  Note the grim humor
running through these stories.  They are the type of stories that
would be especially appreciated when told by shepherds beside the
camp fire.

The most significant point in these stories is that they declare
that Jehovah's care and guidance followed the selfish deceiver even
as he fled the consequences of his own misdeeds.  Why should that
divine care shield him from the consequences of his misdeeds?  Do
we find such instances to-day?  How do you explain them?  What is
the meaning of the story of Jacob's vision at Bethel?  What
promising elements did Jehovah find in Jacob's character?  What
practical lessons did Jacob learn during his sojourn in Aram?

Was Jacob really a hypocrite, or did he in fact fail to see any
inconsistency between, his trickery and meanness and his worship of
Jehovah?  A man may be sincere in his religious worship on Sunday
and yet cheat a neighbor on Monday.  Analyze carefully the nature
of his religion.



History and modern life abound in illustrations of what can be
accomplished by the combination of ambition and perseverance.
Cyrus, the king of a little upland province, through a remarkable
series of victories became the undisputed master of south-western
Asia and laid the foundations of the great Persian Empire.  Julius
Caesar, who transformed Rome from a republic into an empire, and
Napoleon the Corsican, are the classic illustrations of the power
of great ambition and dauntless persistency.  Far nobler is that
quiet, courageous perseverance which led Livingston through the
trackless swamps and forests of Africa and blazed the way for the
conquest of the dark continent.  Equally significant is that noble
ambition, coupled with heroic perseverance, that has enabled
settlement workers to bring light to the darkest parts of our great

Ambition without persistency is but a dream or hope.  Observe
Jacob's persistency in the Biblical stories.  Does persistency,
which has always been a marked characteristic of the Hebrew race,
largely explain the achievements of the Jews throughout the world?
Note the apparently scientific knowledge regarding breeding of
lambs by Jacob in his dealings with Laban.  Is it a fact recognized
by science to-day?  If he knew this and Laban did not, can you
justify his acts?  Can you justify the act of the director of a
corporation who uses his prior knowledge of the business of his
corporation to make profit from buying or selling its stocks?  Who
loses?  Is he a trustee for their interests?

What is the meaning of the strange story of Jacob's midnight
struggle with the angel?  (_Hist. Bible_ I, 119-20.)  What lessons
did Jacob learn from this struggle?  Would you call Jacob a truly
religious man, according to his light and training, or were his
religious professions only hypocritical?  May he have been sincere,
but have had a wrong conception of religion?  What is hypocrisy?
Did Jacob's faith in Jehovah, in the end prove the strongest force
in his life?  Is there any trace in his later years, of the selfish
ambition which earlier dominated him?  What are his chief interests
in the latter part of his life?  Did he become the strong and noble
character that he might have been had he from the first been guided
by a worthy ambition?  Were the misfortunes that came to him in his
old age due largely to his own faults reappearing in the characters
of his sons?



In the ultimate analysis it is the man's motive which determines
his character as well as his acts.

  "As he thinketh within himself, so is he."--_Prov. 23:7_.

  "Man looketh on the outward appearance, but Jehovah on
  the heart."--_I Sam_. 16:7.

With many men the strongest motive is the desire to surpass others.
It not only leads them to perform certain acts, but in so doing
shapes their habits; and character is largely the result of man's
habitual way of acting.  Jacob grew up narrow and crafty because of
the selfish, dwarfing nature of his ambition, At first his ambition
was of a low type, that of the child which desires to acquire
possessions and power simply for himself.  In the child this
impulse is perfectly natural.  In the normally developed
individual, during the years of early adolescence (the years of 14
to 16) the social and altruistic impulses begin to develop and to
take the place of those which are purely egoistic or selfish.  When
the fully developed man fails, as did Jacob, to leave behind
childish things and retains the ambitions and impulses of the
child, his condition is pitiable.

Men of this type of ambition often achieve great things from the
economic or political point of view.  Economically they are of
greater value to society than the drifter.  Sometimes, however,
they bring ruin and disaster to society, as well as to themselves.
Despots like Herod the Great and Napoleon, corrupt political
bosses, who play into the hands of certain classes at the expense
of the general public, and men who employ grafting methods in
business or politics, belong to this class.



The desire to spare one's energies is natural to man.  To gain
wealth with the least expenditure of energy is said to be the chief
economic motive.  Most men are by nature lazy.  This law of inertia
applies not only in the physical world, but also in the
intellectual, moral and spiritual fields.  The great majority of
men follow the line of least resistance.  In politics and morals
they accept the standards of their associates.  Unconsciously they
join the great army of the drifters, or followers, who preserve the
traditions of the past, but contribute little to the future
progress of the race.  To deliver man from the control of his
natural inertia he must be touched by some strong compelling power.
Ambition is one great force that enables most men to overcome this
inertia.  The influences, therefore, which kindle ambition are
among the most important which enter the life of man.

In the Orient the mother stands in especially close relation to the
son.  How far was Jacob's desire to surpass his brother inspired by
his mother?  Many of the world's greatest leaders trace the impulse
which has led them to achieve directly to their parents and
especially to their mothers.  The mother of Charles and John Wesley
is but one of the many mothers to whom the human race owes an
inestimable debt.  Of all the heritages which parents can leave
their children none is greater than a worthy ambition.  Sometimes
it is the personality of a great teacher which inspires the
youthful ambition and directs it in lines of worthy achievement.
How much of England's greatness may be traced to the quiet
influence of Arnold of Rugby!  Consider the unparalleled influence
of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle--all primarily teachers.

The true pastor with the spirit of a prophet is often able to guide
those with whom he comes into intimate contact to great fields of
service.  In encouraging Sophia Smith to found Smith College that
quiet New England pastor, the Reverend John M.  Greene, won a high
place among those in America who first appreciated the importance
of education of woman.  Equally great opportunities may lie before
every pastor and teacher and citizen.  Frequently it is the contact
through literature or in life with men or women who have done
heroic deeds or have won success in the face of great obstacles
that kindles the youthful ambition and stirs the latent motives
which in turn develop strong and noble characters.  Therein lies
the perennial value of the Biblical narratives.

For many men that which arouses their ambitions is the call of a
great opportunity or responsibility.  Note the change in General
Grant's life with the outbreak of the Civil War.  The unambitious
tanner becomes the untiring, rigid, unconquerable soldier.
Striking illustrations of this fact are many men, whose character,
as well as conduct after they have been called to positions of
political or judicial trust, is in marked contrast to their
previous record.  A corrupt lawyer has sometimes become an upright
judge.  The pride of office, the traditions of the bench have
sustained him.  It is the privilege and duty of each man, by
thoughtful deliberation and study to shape and develop his own
individual ambitions that they may conform to the highest ideals
and thus guide him to the noblest and most worthy achievement.  Of
what value to a man is biography in forming his ambitions?  Mention
some biographies that you consider of the greatest help.  In what
ways are the life and teachings of Jesus of practical service in
developing the ambitions of a man to-day?

_Questions for Further Consideration_.

Is it possible for a man without ambition to develop or to achieve
anything really significant?

In your judgment, what percentage of the men in your community
really think out and carefully plan their lives?  What proportion
drift or take the way shown them by others?

Some people consider mental or moral inertia the chief force that
sustains the corrupt political boss.  Is this true?

What proportion of the voters in your voting district actually
study and appreciate the issues in each election?

What proportion of church members drift into their church
membership, and what proportion join only after a careful study of
the relative merits of the different churches?

What are the chief ambitions that stir men to action?

What was Jesus' ambition?  Paul's?  Florence Nightingale's?
Abraham Lincoln's?  Peter Cooper's?  Garibaldi's?  Dwight L.
Moody's?  Was there a common element in the ambition of each of
these leaders of men?

Is the realization of the ambition to serve one's fellow-men
limited to those who possess unique powers or opportunities?

_Subjects for Further Study_.

(1) The Law of Inheritance among the Early Semites.  Hastings,
_Diet. Bib_. II, 470-473; Kent, _Student's O. T_., III; Johns,
_Bab. and Assyr. Laws, Contracts and Letters_, 161-167.

(2) The Arameans.  Hastings, _Dict. Bible_ I, 138-139; _Encyc.
Bib_. I, 276-280; Peters, _Early Heb. Story_, 45-47, 115-116;
133-134; Maspero, _Struggle of the Nations_, 126.

(3) The Psychological Connection between Ambition, Habits,
Character and Public Life.  _Prin. of Politics_ Ch. II and III.
James, _Talks to Teachers_ Ch. II.



JOSEPH'S ACHIEVEMENTS.--Gen. 37, 39-48, 50.

_Parallel Readings_.

  _Hist. Bible_, I, 121-150.
  Hastings' _Dict. Bible_, II, 770-772.
  Emerson, _Essay on Character_.

Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his other children, because
he was the son of his old age; and he had made him a long tunic
with sleeves.  And when his brothers saw that their father loved
him more than all his other sons, they hated him, and could not
speak to him.

But Jehovah was with Joseph so that he became a prosperous man, and
was in the house of his master the Egyptian.  When his master saw
that Jehovah was with him, and that Jehovah caused everything that
he did to prosper in his hands, Joseph found favor in his eyes, as
he ministered to him, so that he made him overseer of his house,
and all that he had he put in his charge.

And Jehovah was with Joseph and showed kindness to him, and gave
him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison, so that the
keeper of the prison gave to Joseph's charge all the prisoners who
were in the prison, and for whatever they did he was responsible.

And Pharaoh said to Joseph, See, I have appointed you over all the
land of Egypt.  And Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his
finger and put it upon Joseph's finger, and clothed him in garments
of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck, and made him
ride in the second chariot which he had.  Then they cried before
him, Bow the knee!  Thus he set him over all the land of Egypt.
Pharaoh also said to Joseph, I am Pharaoh, but without your consent
shall no man lift up his hand or his foot in all the land of
Egypt.--_Hist. Bible_.

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and
lose his own soul?--_Matt. 16:36_.

Men at some time are masters of their fates: The fault, dear
Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are
underlings.--_Shakespeare_ (Julius Caesar, Act. I, Sc. 2, L. 139).

I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand
as in what direction we are moving.  To reach the port of Heaven we
must sail sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it; but we
must sail and not drift, nor lie at anchor.--_O. W. Holmes_.

  He that respects himself is safe from others;
  He wears a coat of mail that none can pierce.

It is more important to make a life than to make a
living.--_Ex-Governor Russell of Massachusetts_.



The late Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain) advised a young man who
desired to enter business to select the firm with which he wished
to be associated, then ask that they give him work, without
mentioning the subject of compensation.  Having secured this
opportunity to demonstrate his ability and willingness to work,
recognition would come in due time.  This advice received the
approval of many prominent business men.  It concretely illustrates
the fact that the first essential of success is the willingness to
serve.  It also emphasizes the necessity of being ready to do the
work in accordance with the employer's wishes.  Ultimate success
also requires knowledge and trained ability.  These, however, come
through apprenticeship and a faithful improvement of opportunities.
The Hebrew sages, with true insight, emphasized the importance of
knowledge; but they taught also that wisdom, which is not only
knowledge, but the power to apply it practically in the various
relations of life, was far more important.

What other qualities are essential to the highest success?  Is it
very important that a man should have the right moral standards?
How do a man's habits affect his efficiency?

Is it only the genius who is able to attain the highest success
to-day in business and professional life?  Do you accept George
Eliot's definition of genius as "the capacity for unlimited work"?
To what extent does a man's faith in God and in his fellow men
determine his ability to win success?  How far are they essential
to the attainment of the highest type of success?



The Hebrew sage who uttered the prayer:

  Remove far from me falsehood and lies;
  Give me neither poverty nor riches;
  Feed me with the food that is needful for me.
    --_Prov. 30:8_.

voiced a great economic as well as moral principle.  The men who
are handicapped to-day in the race for success are either those who
are born in homes of extreme poverty or of extreme wealth where
they are unnaturally barred or shielded from the real problems and
tasks of life.  Which is probably the greater handicap?  To which
class did Joseph belong?

In what ways did his father show his favoritism towards Joseph?
The Hebrew word rendered in the older translations, "coat of many
colors," means literally, "long-sleeved tunic." This garment, like
those worn by wealthy Chinese when in native costume, distinguished
the rich or the nobility, who were not under the necessity of
engaging in manual labor.

The dreams which Joseph told to his brothers reveal his high
estimate of his own importance and were probably suggested by his
father's attitude toward him.  They were indeed a revelation of the
ambitions already stirring in the young boy's mind.  But Joseph
required closer contact with real life in order to transform his
ambitions into actual achievements.

Joseph gave his brothers cause for hatred toward him, but their
action in selling him to the Ishmaelites was by no means
justifiable.  Nevertheless it brought to Joseph the experiences and
opportunities absolutely essential to the attainment of his
ultimate success.  Often what seem man's greatest misfortunes are
in reality the door that opens to the new and larger opportunities.
In what two ways may a man meet misfortune?



Egypt, with its marvelous natural resources, its peculiar climate,
its irrigation, which usually guarantees good crops, and its
versatile people, has always been pre-eminently the land of
opportunity.  Especially was this true during the reigns of the
powerful despots of the eighteenth dynasty, when the relations
between Egypt and Palestine were exceedingly close.  Thus, for
example, according to contemporary records, during the reign of the
great reformer king, Amenhotep IV, several Semites rose to
positions of great authority.  A certain Dudu (David) was one of
the most trusted officials of this king.  He is addressed by one of
the Egyptian governors as "My lord, my father."  Another Semite
named Yanhamu not only had control of the storehouses of grain in
the eastern part of the Nile Delta, but also directed the Egyptian
rule of Palestine.  The local governors of Palestine refer to him
in terms which suggest that his authority was almost equal to that
of Pharaoh himself.  This was perhaps the Joseph of the Biblical

Is there any evidence that Joseph complained because of the
injustice of his brothers?  By loyal attention to his duties he
made himself indispensable to his Egyptian master.  A great
temptation came to him in the new home.  What influences led him to
resist this temptation?  Analyze his probable motives in detail.

The great injustice which he suffered and the seeming misfortune
proved in turn a new door of opportunity, but this would not have
been the case had not Joseph forgotten his own personal wrongs and
given himself to the service of his fellow-prisoners.  Was the
prosperity which generally attended Joseph a miraculous gift or the
natural consequences of his courageous, helpful spirit and his
skill in making the best of every situation?

In modern life as in the ancient story, the place usually seeks the
man who is fitted to fill it.  The ever recurring complaint of
employers is the scarcity of good men, especially of men able to
exercise discretion in positions of responsibility.  Was it
Joseph's skill in interpreting Pharaoh's dreams, or his wise
counsel in suggesting methods of providing for the people during
famine that gave him his position of high trust and authority?  Was
the policy which made Pharaoh practical owner of all the land first
instituted by Joseph, or was it already in force in Egypt?  (_Hist.
Bible_, I, 133.)  In the thought of the prophetic narrative, was
Joseph's fiscal system regarded as evidence of his loyalty to his
master rather than of disloyalty to the interests of the people?
Was the system suited to that stage and kind of civilization?  Can
this be cited by Socialists to-day as a valid argument in favor of
public ownership of all land?  If not, why not?

Three principles, illustrated by Joseph's life, are true to all
time: (1) The only successful way to forget one's own burdens is to
help bear another's; (2) God makes all things work together for
good to those that love him; (3) he alone who improves the small
opportunities will not miss the great chances of life.



Modern life, and especially that in America to-day, is full of
illustrations of the overwhelming temptations which come to the man
who has had great success.  Many a man has enjoyed the confidence
and respect of his associates until his abilities have won for him
large wealth with which apparently comes at times a misleading
sense of immunity from the ordinary moral obligations.  The result
has been that the sterling virtues which have enabled him to win
success have been quickly undermined and his public and private
acts have become the theme of the public press.  Instead of being
an honor he has become a disgrace to his nation.

Joseph's sudden rise to power surpassed anything told in the
Arabian Nights' Tales, and yet he remained the same simple,
unaffected man, more thoughtful for another's interests than for
his own.  The supreme test came in his contact with his brothers,
who had insulted and cruelly wronged him.  They were completely at
his mercy and he had abundant reason for ignoring the obligations
of kinship.  Did Joseph hide his cup in Benjamin's sack and later
hold him as a hostage in order to punish his brothers or to test
their honor and fidelity?  Was this action wise?  Did the brothers
stand the test?

No class was regarded by the Egyptians with greater scorn and
contempt than the shepherds to whom they entrusted their flocks,
because the task of herding sheep was regarded as too menial for an
Egyptian.  The public recognition of his shepherd kinsmen,
therefore, revealed in Joseph the noblest and most courageous

Why is such loyalty a primary obligation?  Is it to-day regarded by
all thoughtful men as one of the clearest evidences of a strong
character?  Can you give any modern illustrations, perhaps among
your acquaintances?  What is a snob?  Did Joseph leave undone any
act which loyalty to his kinsmen could prompt?  Is Joseph's
character as portrayed by the prophetic account practically
perfect?  Of the three characters, Abraham, Jacob and Joseph, which
offers more practical suggestions to the man of to-day?  Which has
exerted the most powerful influence upon the ideals and conduct of
the human race?



It is natural and inevitable that the various social classes of
each succeeding generation should define their standards of success
concretely, that is, by the lives and achievements of those who
have done great things.  In certain social groups the world's
champion prize fighter is the beau ideal of success.  Among the
Camorrists of Italy that ideal is the successful blackmailer.  In
many sections of our great cities the powerful ward boss, whatever
be his methods, is regarded as the embodiment of success.  Too
often in America to-day, both in the public press and in the public
mind, the multi-millionaire is regarded as the pre-eminently
successful man.  Although the power to amass wealth is evidence of
marked ability, the homage paid to it is one of the most sinister
tendencies in American life.  Ordinarily it means that the
ambitions and achievements of a Jacob, rather than those of a
Joseph, are set before the youth as the supreme goal for which to
strive.  A most hopeful element in the present situation is that
many of the world's wealthiest men are proclaiming their sense of
responsibility to society in ways both practical and impressive.
Far more significant than their actual gifts is this public
declaration that each man is indeed his brother's keeper, and that
no man has a right to use his wealth simply for his own pleasure.

Leonidas and his fearless patriotic followers at Thermopylae left
an impress upon Greek life and character that did not fade for
centuries.  The spirit of Robert Bruce still lingers among the
crags and heather-clad hills of Scotland.  The patriotic devotion
of Garibaldi has imparted a new character to the Italian race.  Two
hundred million of the world's inhabitants still bear the imprint
of the fiery faith and fanaticism of Mahomet.

America is rich in its memories of the achievements of such as
Washington, Lincoln, Morse, Beecher and Emerson.  What characters
in all history seem to you the best examples of real success?  What
men and women in the present generation?  How can the great
majority of the boys and girls and the men and women of to-day be
led to accept those higher ideals of success which are the
lodestones drawing on the race to higher achievement?



The story is told of the late President Garfield that in the heat
of a political campaign one of his lieutenants suggested that he
adopt an exceedingly questionable policy.  When Mr. Garfield
objected, his lieutenant replied, "No one will know it."  "But I
shall know," was the quick reply.

  --"To thine own self be true,
  And it must follow, as the night the day,
  Thou canst not then be false to any man."
    --_Hamlet, Act I, Sc. 3_.

Wealth and power are worthy goals for which to strive.  One of the
first duties of a political party is to capture the offices, for
without them in its power it cannot carry out the principles for
which it stands.  The possession of wealth represents vast
possibilities for service.  Thousands of tragic experiments have
demonstrated, however, the fallacy of the seductive doctrine that
the end justifies the means.  The tragedy that overshadows many of
the seemingly most successful men of to-day is the memory of the
iniquitous methods whereby they have acquired wealth or mounted to
power.  Lavish philanthropy and the beneficent use of power can
never wholly blot out from the public mind or from the mind of the
successful man the memory of certain questionable acts that at the
time seemed essential to the realization of a great policy.

A keen, well-informed student of modern economic conditions has
asserted that no man can succeed in business life today and remain
true to the teachings of Jesus.  Is this true?  Is it true in
professional life?  Is it true in politics?  One of our most
prominent statesmen has said that he would have found it impossible
to succeed and maintain his independence if he had been compelled
to earn his living.  He would have been compelled either to yield
to the boss or quit politics.  Who are some of the men in public
life who are gaining success and yet maintaining Christian
principles?  If the ultimate ideal of real success is service, is
there any other way in which men may obtain success?  Is this true
of every department of human effort?  Does this principle make it
possible for every man, however limited his ability and
opportunities, to attain real success?

_Questions for Further Consideration_.

How would you define genius?  Edison called it 2% of inspiration
and 98% of perspiration.  (But see James, _Talks to Teachers_.)

Is the chief difference between the successful and the unsuccessful
man the ability to recognize and seize opportunities?

Would Joseph's policy in dealing with Pharaoh's subjects meet with
public approval to-day?

Could Joseph have succeeded as well in a republic?

Does Joseph's land policy justify the single tax?  Or serfdom such
as Joseph countenanced?

What place does loyalty to humble friends and kinsmen take in the
making of great and noble characters?

Would you say that the ultimate standard of all real success is

Would it be wise for the state to enforce service for the public
good by a heavy, progressive inheritance tax?

What justification is there for such a modification of Joseph's
land policy, as the single tax? (See George, _Progress and
Poverty_; Seligman, _Essays on Taxation_, 64-94.)

Do you think that a man earning his own living can expect to-day to
succeed in politics and maintain his self-respect as an independent

_Subjects for Further Study_.

(1) The Origin and Literary Form of the Joseph Narratives.  Kent,
_Student's O. T_. I, 126-127; Hastings, _Dict. Bible_ II, 767-769;
Smith, _O. T. History_, 54-55.

(2) Contemporary Parallels to the Joseph of the Biblical
Narratives.  Hastings' _Dict. Bible_ II, 772-775.

(3) Compare and Contrast the Achievements of Joseph, Bismarck and
Cecil Rhodes.




_Parallel Readings_.

  Goodnow, F. J., _Comparative Administrative Law_.
  _Hist. Bible_ I, 151-69.

And he went out on the following day and saw two men of the Hebrews
striving together; and he said to the one who was doing the wrong,
Why do you smite your fellow-workman?  But he replied, Who made you
a prince and a judge over us?  Do you intend to kill me as you
killed the Egyptian?  Then Moses was afraid and said, Surely the
thing is known.  When, therefore, Pharaoh heard this thing, he
sought to him Moses.  But Moses fled from the presence of Pharaoh
and took up his abode in the land of Midian.

And Jehovah said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people
that are in Egypt, and have heard their cry of anguish, because of
their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows; and I am come down to
deliver them out of the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them
up out of that land to a land, beautiful and broad, to a land
flowing with milk and honey; Go and gather the elders of Israel
together and say to them, Jehovah, the God of your fathers, the God
of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, hath appeared to me, saying, I have
surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt,
and I have said I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt
to a land flowing with milk and honey.  And they shall hearken to
thy voice; and thou shalt come, together with the elders of Israel,
to the king of Egypt, and ye shall say to him, "Jehovah, the God of
the Hebrews, hath appeared to us; and now let us go, we pray thee,
three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to
Jehovah our God."--_Hist. Bible_.

Hold on; hold fast: hold out--patience is genius.

Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith let us
dare to do our duty as we understand it.--_Lincoln_.



The one contemporary reference to Israel thus far found in the
Egyptian inscriptions comes from the reign of Merneptah the son of
Ramses II.  It implies that at the time at least part of the
Hebrews were in the land of Palestine:

  Plundered is Canaan with every evil;
  Askalon is carried into captivity,
  Gezer is taken;
  Yenoam is annihilated,
  Israel is desolated, her seed is not,
  Palestine has become a widow for Egypt.
  All lands are united, they are pacified.
  Every one who is turbulent has been found by King Merneptah.

The testimony of the oldest Biblical narratives regarding the
sojourn of the Hebrews in Egypt is, also, in perfect accord with
the picture which the contemporary Egyptian inscriptions give of
the period.  Furthermore, the Egyptian historians never
distinguished the different races in their midst, but rather
designated the foreign serf class by a common name.  The absence of
detailed reference to the Hebrews is therefore perfectly natural.
It seems probable that not all but only part of the tribes which
ultimately coalesced into the Hebrew nation found their way to
Egypt.  The stories regarding Joseph, the traditional father of
Ephraim and Manasseh, imply that these strong central tribes,
possibly together with the southern tribes of Benjamin and Judah,
were the chief actors in this opening scene in Israel's history.

The Biblical narratives apparently disagree regarding the duration
of the sojourn in Egypt.  The reference in Gen. 15:16, which, some
writers think, comes from the northern Israelite group of stories,
implies that it was a period of between one hundred and one hundred
and fifty years.  The same duration is suggested by the priestly
writer in Numbers 26:57-59.  The later traditions tend to extend
the period.  If, as seems probable, the Hebrews first found their
way to Egypt during the reign of Amenhotep IV, who reigned between
1375 and 1358 B.C., the older Hebrew chronology would make Ramses
II, who reigned between 1292 and 1225, the Pharaoh of the
oppression.  Of all the Pharaohs of this period in Egypt's history
the great builder and organizer Ramses II corresponds most closely
to the Biblical description.  He it was who filled Egypt from one
end to the other with vast temples and other buildings which could
have been reared only through the services of a huge army of serfs.
The excavations of the Egypt Exploration fund have identified the
Biblical Pithom with certain ruins in the Wady Tumilat near the
eastern terminus of the modern railroad from Cairo to the Suez
Canal.  This probably lay in the eastern boundary of the Biblical
land of Goshen, which seems to have included the Wady Tumilat and
to have extended westward to the Nile delta.  Here were found
several inscriptions bearing the Egyptian name of the city P-Atum,
house of the god Atum.  The excavations also laid bare a great
square brick wall with the ruins of store chambers inside.  These
rectangular chambers were of various sizes and were surrounded by
walls two or three yards in thickness.  Contemporary inscriptions
indicate that they were filled with grain from the top and were
probably used for the storing of supplies to be used by the armies
of Ramses II in their Asiatic campaigns.  This city was founded by
Ramses II, who during the first twenty years of his reign,
developed and colonized the territory east of the Nile delta
including the Biblical land of Goshen.  A contemporary inscription
also states that he founded near Pithum the house of Ramses, a city
with a royal residence and temples.  Thus the inferences in the
first chapter of Exodus regarding the historical background are in
perfect accord with the facts now known from other sources
regarding the reign of Ramses II.  In transforming the land of
Goshen into a cultivated, agricultural region the nomadic Hebrews
were naturally put to task work by the strong-handed ruler of
Egypt.  That the Hebrews were restive under this tyranny was
natural, inevitable.  Apparently their rebellious attitude also
increased the burden which was placed upon them.  The memory of the
crushing Hyksos invasion, which meant the rule of Egypt by nomadic
invaders from Asia, was still fresh in the minds of the Egyptians.
They both looked down upon and feared the nomad immigrants on their
eastern border.  In the light of these facts it is possible to
understand the motives which influenced Ramses II cruelly to
oppress the Hebrews.  He endeavored, by forced labor and rigorous
peonage, not only to avail himself of their needed services, but
also to crush their spirit and by force to hold in subjection the
alarmingly large serf class which was found at this time in the
land of Egypt.  Was any other procedure to be expected from a
despotic ruler of that land and day?



The story of Moses' birth and early childhood is one of the most
interesting chapters in Biblical history.  It is full of human and
dramatic interest.  The great crisis in Moses' early manhood came
when he woke to a realization of his kinship with the despised and
oppressed serfs and an appreciation of the cruel injustice of which
they were the helpless victims.  Was Moses justified in resisting
the Egyptian taskmaster?  Are numbers essential to the rightness of
a cause?  What right had Ramses II to demand forced labor from the
immigrants within his border?  Was he justified in his method of
exacting tribute?  Is peonage always disastrous not only to its
victims but also to the government imposing it?

Did Moses show himself a coward in fleeing from the land of Egypt?
Naturally he went to the land of Midian.  The wilderness to the
east of Egypt had for centuries been the place of refuge for
Egyptian fugitives.  From about 2000 B.C. there comes the Egyptian
story of Sinuhit, an Egyptian prince, who, to save his life, fled
eastward past the "Wall of the Princes" which guarded the
northeastern frontier of Egypt.  On the borders of the wilderness
he found certain Bedouin herdsmen who received him hospitably.
These "sand wanderers" sent him on from tribe to tribe until he
reached the land of Kedem, east of the Dead Sea, where he remained
for a year and a half.  Later he found his way to the court of one
of the local kings in central Palestine where he married and became
in time a prosperous local prince.



The story of Moses is in many ways closely parallel to that of
Sinuhit.  Among the Midianite tribes living to the south and
southeast of Palestine he found refuge and generous hospitality.
The priest of the sub-tribe of the Kenites received him into his
home and gave him his daughter in marriage.  Note the
characteristic Oriental idea of marriage.  Here Moses learned the
lessons that were essential for his training as the leader and
deliverer of his people.

The Kenites figure in later Hebrew history as worshippers of
Jehovah and are frequently associated with the Israelites.  After
the capture of Jericho certain of them went up with the southern
tribes to conquer southern Palestine.  (Judg. 1:16.) It was Jael,
the wife of Heber the Kenite (Judg. 5:24), who rendered the Hebrews
a signal service by slaying Sisera, the fleeing king of the
Canaanites, after the memorable battle beside the River Kishon.
Many modern scholars draw the conclusion from the Biblical
narrative that it was from the Kenites that Moses first learned of
Yahweh (or, as the distinctive name of Israel's God was translated
by later Jewish scribes, Jehovah).  Furthermore it is suggested
that gratitude to the new God, who delivered the Israelites from
their bondage, was the reason why they proved on the whole so loyal
to Jehovah.  This conclusion is possible and in many ways
attractive, but it is beset with serious difficulties.  We know, in
ancient history, of no other example of a people suddenly changing
their religion.  When there have been such sudden and wholesale
conversions in later times they have been either under the
compulsion of the sword, as in the history of Islam, or under the
influence of a far higher religion, as when Christianity has been
carried to heathen peoples on a low stage of civilization.  Do the
earliest Hebrew traditions imply that the ancestors of the
Israelites were worshippers of Jehovah?  Is it not probable that
Moses fled to the nomadic Midianites not only because they were
kinsmen but because they were also worshippers of Jehovah?

In any case Moses' life in Midian tended to intensify his faith in
Jehovah.  The title of his father-in-law implies that this priest
ministered at some wilderness sanctuary.  In the light of the
subsequent Biblical narrative was this possibly at the sacred
spring of Kadesh or on the top of the holy mountain Horeb
(elsewhere called Sinai) where Kenites and Hebrews believed that
Jehovah dwelt, or at least manifested himself?  Moses, in the home
of the Midian priest, was brought into direct and constant contact
with the Jehovah worship.  The cruel fate of his people and the
painful experience in Egypt that had driven him into the wilderness
prepared his mind to receive this training.  His quest was for a
just and strong God, able to deliver the oppressed.  The wilderness
with its lurking foes and the ever-present dread of hunger and
thirst, deepened his sense of need and of dependence upon a power
able to guide the destinies of men.  The peasants of the vast
Antolian plain in central Asia Minor still call every life-giving
spring, "God hath given."  The constant necessity of meeting the
dangers of the wilderness and of defending the flocks entrusted to
Moses' care developed his courage and power of leadership and
action.  What other great leaders of Israel were trained in this
same school?  What was the effect of their wilderness life upon the
early New England pioneers?



The solitude of the wilderness gave Moses ample opportunity for
profound reflection.  His previous experiences made such reflection
natural, indeed inevitable.  Borne by the caravans over the great
highway from the land of the Nile or from desert tribe to tribe
came occasional reports of the cruel injustice to which his kinsmen
in Egypt were subjected.  In these reports he recognized the divine
call to duty.  When perhaps at last the report came that the mighty
despot Ramses II was dead, Moses like his later successor Isaiah
(Is. 6) saw that the moment had come for decision and action.

It looks to many scholars as if three originally distinct versions
of Moses' call have been welded together in the narrative of Exodus
3, 4 and 6.  Each differs in regard to detail (Hist. Bible I,
161-5).  According to the early Judean prophetic account Jehovah
spoke audibly to Moses from the flaming thorn bush.  In the
Northern Israelite version the moment of decision came to him as he
stood with his flock on the sacred mountain Horeb.  Like Isaiah in
his memorable vision of Jehovah's presence, the inner consciousness
of God and the compelling sense of duty led him to cry out: "Here
am I."  Likewise in the late priestly story God's presence and
character were so deeply impressed upon him that he seemed to bear
an audible voice, according to the view of those who accept this
interpretation, even though the later priests believed and taught
that God was a spirit, not like man clothed in flesh and blood.
Thus the different groups of Hebrew narratives in their
characteristic way record the essential facts in Moses' call to
public service.  Each has preserved certain important elements in
that call, and the late editor has done well to combine them.  Even
as Isaiah caught his supreme vision of Jehovah and of duty in the
temple, so to Moses the prophetic call probably came on the lofty
heights of the mountain in which he, in common with the Kenites,
believed God dwelt.  The wilderness with its flaming bush spoke to
him God's message.  Recent writers have felt and forcibly
interpreted the fascination and the message of the desert and
plain, none more vividly than the Welsh writer Rhoscomyl in
describing the experience of one of his rough, self-reliant cowboy

"Two days ago he was riding back, alone, in the afternoon, from an
unsuccessful search after strayed horses, and suddenly, all in the
lifting of a hoof, the weird prairie had gleamed into eerie life,
had dropped the veil and spoken to him; while the breeze stopped,
and the sun stood still for a flash in waiting for his answer.  And
he, his heart in a grip of ice, the frozen flesh a-crawl with
terror upon his loosened bones, white-lipped and wide-eyed with
frantic fear, uttered a yell of horror as he dashed the spurs into
his panic-stricken horse, in a mad endeavor to escape from the
Awful Presence that filled all earth and sky from edge to edge of

"Then almost in the same flash, the unearthly light died out of the
dim prairie, the veil swept across into place again; and he managed
to check his wild flight, and look about him.  His empty lips were
gibbering without a sound escaping them, and his very heart
shivered with cold, for all the brassy heat of the day.  But the
breeze was wandering on again; under the great sun the prairie
spread dim to the southwest, and tawny to the northeast; only
between his own loose knees the horse trembled in every limb, and
mumbled the bit with dry mouth.  All was as before in earth and
sky, apparently, but not in his own self.  It was as if his spirit
stood apart from him, putting questions which he could not answer,
and demanding judgment upon problems which he dare not reason out.

"Then he remembered what this thing was which had happened.  The
prairie had spoken to him, as sooner or later it spoke to most men
that rode it.  It was a something well known amongst them, but
known without words, and as by a subtle instinct, for no man who
had experienced it ever spoke willingly about it afterwards.  Only
the man would be changed; some began to be more reckless, as if a
dumb blasphemy rankled hidden in their breasts.  Others, coming
with greater strength perhaps to the ordeal, became quieter,
looking squarely at any danger as they face it, but continuing
ahead as though quietly confident that nothing happened save as the
gods ordained."

The motive power in all of Moses' later work was that transforming,
vivid sense of Jehovah's presence that came to him on the barren
mountain peak.

Also fundamental to his call was the recognition of the crying need
of his disorganized, oppressed kinsmen in Egypt.  This appealed to
all the instincts begotten by his shepherd training; for they were
a shepherdless flock in the midst of wolves.  Through the ages the
inhabitants of the parched, stony wilderness had looked with hungry
eyes upon the tree-clad hills and green fields of Palestine.  The
early traditions of his ancestors also glorified this paradise of
the wilderness wanderer and led Moses to look to it as the haven of
refuge to which he might lead his helpless kinsmen.  Vividly and
concretely the ancient narrative tells of the struggle in the mind
of Moses between his own diffidence and consciousness of his
limitations on the one side and on the other his sense of duty and
the realization of Jehovah's power to accomplish what seemed to man
miraculous.  Was Moses' inner experience like that of the other
great Hebrew prophets?  Who?  Like that of Jesus?  Does every man
who undertakes a great service for humanity to-day pass through a
somewhat similar struggle?  How about Grant on leaving his home at
Galena, Illinois?  Lincoln at the great crisis of his life?



Like every man who catches a vision of a great need and undertakes
to meet it, Moses had to educate public opinion.  Whatever the form
of government may be, whether monarchy or democracy, it must
ultimately rest upon the will of the people, and the shaping of
that will is often a statesman's task.  In a democracy the
expression of the people's will is readily determined at every
election, although in many cases, owing to the number of issues,
this result is not clearly seen.

In a despotism like Egypt there is no ready expression of a
people's will.  However great their sufferings, they must endure
until they feel that the evils of revolt are less than the evils of
oppression.  Then, by means of a revolution, they carry out their
will.  In what ways did the Exodus resemble, in what ways differ
from a revolution?  Compare Moses with Washington or Samuel Adams
as leader of a revolution.  During the last few years in China
there has been great dissatisfaction on the part of many millions
of the people with the rule of the Manchu dynasty.  It was,
nevertheless, for many years the people's will rather to endure the
evils of a corrupt government than to take the risk of war.  At
length, however, after years of propaganda by skilful leaders war
appeared to them the lesser evil and their will was carried out by
force of arms.  The government, in this direct way, was forced to
recognize the will of the people and to grant their requests.

A statesman considers not merely his own views regarding the best
methods of governing his country or of gaining special ends, but he
must carefully consider also what plans can in practice be carried
out.  In all free governments only those policies can be put into
effect that meet the approval of the people; and one of the
greatest gifts of a statesman is the ability to ascertain, with few
mistakes, how far his proposed policies meet the public will and
how he can so put his plans before the people as to convince them
of their benefits.

In the later days of the Egyptian bondage the Israelites made
frequent complaint of the oppression of the Pharaohs, bemoaning
their fate as serfs, but for many years after their sufferings had
become severe they had not yet been roused to a determination to
throw off the yoke of the oppressor.  Even when Moses first
attempted to rouse them to make a struggle for freedom, he could
not breathe into them his own bold spirit.  What measures did Moses
take to incite the Israelites to action?  What measures did he take
to convince Pharaoh of his duty toward the Israelites?  Did he
present his case truthfully?  Was he justified in the measures

At length, not from the acts of the Israelites, but from the
plagues that afflicted the Egyptians and the insistent demand of
Moses, coupled with the belief that the plagues were sent on
account of divine displeasure, as a punishment for unjust
oppression, the Hebrews were enabled to escape.  What is the
contemporary Egyptian testimony regarding the plagues?  (_Hist.
Bible_ I, 176-7.)  Do the earliest Hebrew records imply that these
were miracles or natural calamities peculiar to the land of Egypt?
The statesmanship of Moses led him to seize the opportune time for
freeing his people from bondage.  Only the influence of the
religious sentiments among his people and their belief in Jehovah
together with the religious awe felt by the Egyptian rulers,
enabled him to take advantage of the circumstances so that he could
rescue his people.  In most countries religion is a powerful
influence often made use of by rulers, sometimes for good,
sometimes for ill, to direct the action of their subjects.  The
Greek church in Russia has for many decades been, perhaps, the most
important weapon by which the Russian Czars have kept their people
in peaceful submission.  If China loses her Mongolian provinces, it
will be because the religious leaders of Mongolia are controlling
their people.  Can you give in the United States an example of a
people largely dominated by the religious motive which controls
most of the affairs of their every-day life?  How far was the
religious motive responsible for the settlement and upbuilding of
the New England Colonies?  How far and in what ways may a statesman
to-day appeal to the moral and religious feelings of the people in
order to promote national and international welfare?



In training administrative officers in the leading countries of
Europe and in the United States, emphasis is laid upon a knowledge
of history, of constitutional, administrative and international
law, politics, economics, diplomacy and any other subjects that may
fall within the scope of action of the special official.  When,
however, a law-maker or a high administrative official deals at
first hand with a great population, it is extremely important that
he be so experienced and so fitted by temperament that he may know
his people.  He must see how far he can go without arousing too
much opposition.  Even in promoting good measures, it is often
essential not to go too fast, if he is to succeed.

Every statesman of modern times, as well as those of bygone days,
must have the interests of the people genuinely at heart if he is
to be, in the best sense of the word, successful.  What did Moses
seek for his people?  Liberty?  Prosperity?  Religious freedom?

Confucius, the great Chinese sage, from his study of human nature
and of government five centuries before Christ, had learned that
the rule of justice in the state promoted prosperity.  At length a
young ruler made him his prime minister.  The result of his wise
and just measures was to bring into his country so large a number
of immigrants who preferred to live in a country where justice
reigned, that the prosperity aroused the envy and hostility of the
neighboring states.  In consequence measures were taken to put an
end to this just rule, which was felt to be so detrimental to other
kings, unwilling to adopt the same just means.   Finally the wise
Confucius was treacherously driven from his post, not, however,
until he had proved that the counsels of justice and religion were
those best suited to the welfare of the state.  This is a common
experience in all lands and ages; but perhaps nowhere else has the
lesson been so frequently and so thoroughly taught as in the
history of the Hebrews, that the most essential factor in a
statesman's training is the acceptance of the principles of justice
and righteousness.  In other words--"God is the most important
factor in human progress."

_Questions for Further Consideration_.

Is it the duty of a government, in order to promote the welfare of
its people, to set aside at times the personal convenience, even
the personal welfare of individuals or of certain classes?  If an
inheritance tax falls heavily upon the heirs of a rich man, ought
the state to collect it?  On what grounds is a state justified in
withholding liberty from criminals?  From children?

Many of our states compel citizens to work in repairing country
roads.  Is this temporary peonage?  How do you justify a state in
compelling citizens to risk their lives in war?  In what
circumstances would a state be justified in compelling its citizens
to labor?  Did circumstances justify Pharaoh?  Why were he and his
kingdom punished?

Is it ever right, for an individual to raise his hand against a
recognized and established authority?  Or, when there is an
established government, should an individual ever attempt to punish
crime or avenge personal wrong?  Were our revolutionary forefathers
right in resisting the demands of King George?  Are numbers
essential to the rightness of a cause?

In what ways does God to-day call men to do an important task? Do
you consider Lincoln a man raised up by God for a purpose and
called by him to service?  If so, how did the call come?  Was
Moses' call similar?  Should a clergyman have a definite call to
his life-work?  Should every man?  Does every man have such a call,
if he but interprets rightly his experiences?

A working girl had seen the story of Moses at a moving picture
show.  Afterwards she commented as follows: "Our walking delegate
is a  regular Moses.  He said to the factory boss, 'You let my
people go.'"  In what respect is the labor struggle to-day similar
to that in Egypt under Moses?

_Subjects for Further Study_.

(1) The Egyptian System of Education.  Breasted, _Hist. of the
Ancient Egyptians_, 92-94, 395; _Hist. of Egypt_, 98-100; Maspero,
_Dawn of Civilization_, 288; Erman, _Life of the Ancient
Egyptians_, 328-368.

(2) Origin of the Jehovah Religion.  Budde, _Religion of Israel_,
1-38; Gordon, _Early Traditions of Gen_., 106-110; Hastings, _Dict.
of the Bible_, Extra Vol. 626-627.

(3) The Practical Training for Statesmanship of Augustus, Gladstone
and Lincoln.  Plutarch, _Lives of the Emperors_; Morley, _Life of
Gladstone_; A.  good Biographical Dictionary; Brown, _The Message
of the Modern Pulpit_.

(4) Compare the government of Egypt under Pharaoh with that in
China in the days of Confucius and with that of Greece in the days
of the siege of Troy.  Homer, _Iliad and Odyssey; Life of



MOSES' WORK AS JUDGE AND PROPHET.--Ex. 18; 1-27; 33:5-11.

_Parallel References_.

  _Hist. Bible_ I, 198-203.
  _Prin. of Politics_, Ch. VI.
  Maine, _Ancient Law_.

Jehovah spake to Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his
friend--Ex. 33: 11.

And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads
over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of
fifties, and rulers of tens.  And they judged the people at all
seasons: the hard cases they brought unto Moses, but every small
matter they judged themselves--Ex. 18:25, 26.

Love is the fulfilling of the law.--St. Paul.

  Now this is the Law of the Jungle--as old and as true
    as the sky;
  And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf
    that shall break it must die.
  As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth
    forward and back--
  For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength
    of the Wolf is the Pack.
  Now these are the Laws of the Jungle, and many and mighty
    are they;
  But the head and the hoof of the Law and the haunch and
    the bump is "_Obey_!"

Nothing is that errs from law.--_Tennyson_.

  In vain we call old notions fudge,
    And bend conventions to our dealing,
  The Ten Commandments will not budge,
    And stealing still continues stealing.

  If chosen men could never be alone,
  In deep mid-silence, open-doored with God
  No greatness ever had been dreamed or done.

  These roots bear up Dominion: Knowledge, Will,--
    These twain are strong, but stronger yet the third,--
  Obedience,--'tis the great tap-root that still,
    Knit round the rock of Duty, is not stirred,
  Though Heaven-loosed tempests spend their utmost skill.
    --_Lowell_ (_The Washers of the Shroud_).



Kipling's _Law of the Jungle_, in which he lays down the principles
by which the wolf pack secured united action in its hunting, names
the rules that apply almost universally to peoples in the savage
stage of society.  According to the researches of the best
anthropologists, savages live in very loosely organized groups,
with no permanent ruler, no regular family law.  Each separate
group has its totem, its general rules with reference to the
marriage relation, to hunting and fishing, to shelter and
protection.  Practically there are no regular laws.  The rules
fixed by custom deal primarily with the marriage relation and with
the securing of food and shelter.  They are largely negative.  If a
member of the group has met with a misfortune in a certain by-path
or from eating certain food or in other ways, by the action of the
leader of his group that path or that food becomes taboo, and from
that time on it is forbidden.  The rules seem generally to be
largely the product of instinct or of experience, without any law
making, and they are enforced almost as instinctively by the common
consent of the people.



As this loosely associated group condenses into the tribe, all the
members of which regard themselves as descended from a common
ancestor, the organization becomes much more definite under a
patriarchal ruler.  Soon through his activities these almost
instinctive habits, guided by rules, assume the nature of customs
that have a sanction, often of religion, practically always of
enforcement through the patriarch.  No better illustration of the
crystallization of customs into laws can be found than that given
in Exodus 18:1-27 (_Hist. Bible_, I, 198-202).  Moses sat all day
long as judge to decide cases for the people until his
practical-minded father-in-law, Jethro, seeing the waste of time
and energy of the ruler upon whom the welfare of the tribe
depended, proposed a wise plan.  He advised that, instead of
rendering decisions regarding each individual case, Moses should
formulate the principles and leave their application to minor
judges appointed by himself as rulers over thousands and over
hundreds and fifties and tens.  In modern days the law-making body
is distinct from the judicial.  Is there any reason why the judge
should not be the maker of the law he interprets?

Doubtless many of the customs thus formulated by Moses had come
down through the preceding ages from the Babylonian and common
Semitic ancestors of the Hebrews.  The most striking example of the
pre-Mosaic formulation of custom into law under the sanction of the
deity is found in the so-called code of Hammurabi, which comes from
about 1900 B.C.  At the top of the stele which records these laws
this enlightened king depicted himself in a bas-relief as receiving
them from the sun god, Shamash.  Hammurabi looked upon himself as a
shepherd chosen by the gods to care for his people.  It was his
duty to see "that the great should not oppress the weak, to counsel
the widow and orphan, to render judgment and decide the decisions
of the land, and to succor the injured," in order that "by the
command of Shamash, the judge supreme of heaven and earth, justice
might shine in the land."  Many of the principles laid down by him
are also found among the laws attributed to Moses which were
afterward codified in the early decalogues.

At times, though rarely among the Hebrews, we may study custom in
the making, as when in a new situation a ruler renders a decision
which henceforth becomes a law.  Thus David, dividing the spoil
after his victory over the Amalekites, established a precedent that
henceforth had binding force upon his followers (I Sam. 30); but in
the majority of such cases the ruler, even when be establishes new
precedents, represents himself as simply interpreting ancient

As society becomes more and more complex and the interests of
individuals and classes in society clash, besides the judges we
find legislatures making new rules in the form of law.  In the
earlier communities practically all law relates to the preservation
of life and of the tribe.  Later, as the tribe enters the pastoral
state, private property is established and laws for its care are
made.  Still later, with the development of a higher civilization
and with the individual conscience stimulating men to care for the
welfare not merely of their family, but of their nation,
legislation considers primarily the welfare of society.  Yet, as
one of our great judges has lately explained, in practically all
stages of society, whenever the population becomes numerous and
business is so developed that we may recognize different classes in
a community, legislation has been primarily in the interests of a
ruling class, often at the expense of the other classes.  This
principle is illustrated by certain of the later Jewish ceremonial
laws that brought to the priests a large income at the expense of
the people.  Many laws in Europe and in the United States to-day
have been made clearly in the interests of certain classes in
society.  Can you think of some?



Back of all laws and rules, as the fundamental consideration,
whether consciously expressed in laws or carried out instinctively,
lies the welfare of society.  Among the wolves the pack that is
best disciplined by the strongest and most successful leader is the
one that survives.  In the earlier savage groups the rules which
guided united action grew up as a result of successful experience
in securing food and warding off enemies.  Among them the less
disciplined, the less intelligently directed groups perish.

Through his fear of the unknown, stimulated by the terrible
vindications of nature's laws, when poison and pestilence and
storms and floods do their deadly work, the savage feels the
presence of unknown forces that he calls gods, and he thus gives to
his rules of action the sanction of divinity.  And as society
develops through the pastoral, agricultural and industrial stages
into the tribe and state, with the development of religion and the
growing sense of right and of responsibility to one's fellow men,
this religious sanction of the law still abides.  In the earlier
days the sanction was due to fear of the vengeance of the gods.  In
later society it is the sense of right and justice and love for
one's fellow men, springing from the firm belief in the divine
creation and direction of the universe and in God's care for men.

But as this sense of fear or right or justice or love, associated
with a Being felt to be divine, is not universal, inasmuch as many
members of society are found ready to act selfishly, taking the law
into their own hands, force is needed in all stages of society to
put the rules and laws into effect.  With every law, as Austin
says, must go a penalty.  But as society grows more and more humane
the sense of obligation of each individual for the welfare of his
fellows grows, until in the best society laws are made and obeyed
by most citizens, not from a sense of fear of punishment, but
mainly out of goodwill to others.  A sense of justice prevails and
the sanction of law becomes not so much fear of the penalty
imposed, as the moral and religious sense of the individual and of
society.  Why, for example, do you obey the law against stealing?



The Hebrew laws given in the Old Testament are generally known as
the laws of Moses, and the assumption of many readers in earlier
years has been that the different codes were practically formulated
by Moses himself.  The subsequent study of the Old Testament long
ago suggested to many that this view may be mistaken.  The oldest
records of his work and the fact that, as creator of the Hebrew
nation after the Exodus and as leader and prophet be rendered
important judicial decisions, have well justified the belief that
he was the real founder of what is called the Mosaic Law.  As
stated in Exodus 18, he did actually formulate the principles by
which decisions were made by the rulers whom he appointed over
thousands and over hundreds, fifties and tens.  He may have even
put into form the principles found in the earliest decalogues.
Moreover, as the Israelites in their later history were led to
formulate new rules of action, they based these upon the principles
of justice, religion and civil equality found in the earlier
decalogues.  While the specific rules of living must have changed
materially, as the Israelites changed their habits of living from
those of wanderers in the wilderness to those adapted to their
early settlements in Canaan and afterward to the settled conditions
under the monarchy, they would still base their laws upon these
earlier principles.  Hence it was not unnatural to ascribe the
origin of these laws to Moses, nor is it to-day inaccurate to speak
of them as the Mosaic code, even though they may have been put into
their present form at different periods remote from one another,
and by rulers, prophets and priests whose occupations and attitude
toward life were widely different.  Back of practically all these
laws are the fundamental beliefs that the Israelites are the people
chosen of God, that to him they owe allegiance and that from him
they derive, in principle at least, the laws under which they live.



Not merely the Hebrews, but practically all ancient nations ascribe
the origin of their laws either to a deity or to some great
ancestral hero.  As already noted, the code of Hammurabi is
represented as having been given to him directly by the god
Shamash.  In the early days of Greek history, the laws of Solon and
Draco were formulated.  In India we find the laws of Manu, in China
the teachings of Confucius, and so on throughout all of the great
nations.  In some instances, doubtless, many of the laws were
actually formulated under the direction of the person to whom they
are ascribed; but in many others, as perhaps in the case of the
Mosaic code, there was some great judge or king under whose
direction certain principles were laid down and simple laws or
precedents established, and as a result all later developments were
ascribed to him.

In modern times, when legislative bodies are found in limited
monarchies as well as in republics, the methods of legislation are
necessarily different.  Although chosen bodies of men come together
to legislate for the benefit of society, as represented by the
state, there is still a normal tendency for the ruling class to
feel that it is to a great extent the state, and it does not forget
its own needs.  This class legislation was doubtless existent to a
certain extent even when the laws, supposed to be of divine origin,
were formulated by prophets and priests, for the real public
character of the laws was dependent primarily upon the unselfish
beliefs, social and religious, of the writers, whether kings or
priests.  No one is able to free himself entirely from the
influence of class prejudice.

Like the legislatures the courts even are also the product of their
times, though naturally conservative.  No law can long exactly fit
changing conditions.  The judge must adapt a law made by one
generation to the needs of the next.  In so doing he bends it to
suit his times, and to further the welfare of his state.

If aeroplanes carrying goods from Pennsylvania to New York over the
State of New Jersey let them fall and damage the property of a
resident of New Jersey, can our courts invoke the Interstate
Commerce Law made before aeroplanes were invented?

And yet there has been throughout the individual history of each
nation a gradual improvement in the living conditions of the masses
of people, even in the tribal state.  As it proved more profitable
to preserve a worker than to kill him, captives in war were not
slain, but enslaved.  As society became more settled, the custom of
personally avenging one's wrong by slaying an enemy was modified.
Cities of refuge were established, where innocent victims might
escape the avengers.  All down through the ages there has been a
growing tendency to adapt the punishment to the crime, to temper
justice with mercy, to realize that the aim of all law is not
vengeance or punishment, but the promotion of the best interests of
society through the wise administration of justice.



Among savages, as has been said, there is no formulation of law.
There is the instinct of the individual to preserve his own life,
and there are rules that must be followed if the people are to
survive.  As has been truly said: "The love of justice is simply in
the majority of men the fear of suffering injustice." The instinct
of preservation and sheer necessity compel the people almost
unconsciously to follow the rules of their leader.

In most patriarchal societies the fear of the god of the tribe, the
overpowering influence of custom and the unswerving directness of
the punishment of the man who violates it tend to prevent the
development of individuality and of independent thinking; and the
normal attitude of practically every person is to obey the customs
and the laws, although often those laws leave to the individual a
range of action not found in later civilized states.  But as the
sense of right and justice and the desire to promote the public
welfare grow, individualism grows also.  Each individual, thrown
upon his own resources, learns to think and question and judge.  In
democratic states he learns to take upon himself the responsibility
for his acts, and at length the view becomes prevalent that law
exists for the benefit of society.  The individual, in judging
himself and his attitude toward society, feels that the law must be
obeyed because obedience promotes the public welfare.  Even when he
believes that a law is unwise, or even unjust, he hesitates to
violate it, not only because he might be punished therefor, but
primarily because it has become wrong, according to his conscience,
to violate a law that has been adopted by the representatives of
his fellow citizens as just and beneficial.  Thus the individual,
in later even more than in earlier times, obeys the laws not merely
from selfish, but from social and religious motives.

_Questions for Further Consideration_.

Can you name any modern laws that you think have been framed in the
interests of a special social class?

Do you think that the people of to-day are recreant in their
respect for or adherence to law?

What do you consider to be the value of such institutions as those
at West Point and Annapolis in their influence on the enforcement
of law and discipline?

When we speak of "Government of the people, by the people, and for
the people," whom exactly do we mean by "people"?  Does the word
have the same meaning in each of these phrases?

Is it ever right to violate a law of the land?  Some people contend
that an individual ought to break a human law, provided that it is
contrary to divine law.  What is divine law?  Who decides?  Shall
the individual decide, or is that the duty of the community?  Or of
the clergy? Was it right for the Abolitionists to violate the
provisions of the fugitive slave law?  Were this handful of men,
able and conscientious as they were, as likely to be right
regarding the welfare of society as the large majority of citizens
whose representatives had enacted the fugitive slave law?  If a
person believes our tariff laws to be unjust, is it right for him
to smuggle goods?

Under what circumstances, if any, is it one's duty to disobey a law
of the state?  Would the fact that an individual believed it his
duty to violate the law justify a judge in declining to punish him?
Thoreau declined to pay a tax that he believed unjust and accepted
his punishment, declaring that if he paid the penalty he might thus
arouse public sentiment and secure the repeal of the law.  Was John
Brown justified in attempting illegally to free slaves by force of

In Great Britain the House of Lords--one of the law-making
bodies--is also the highest court of appeal, although the judicial
business is mostly done by law lords specially appointed for that
purpose.  Ought the same men to make and interpret the law?  Why?

_Subjects for Further Study_.

(1) Origin and Growth of Hebrew Law.  Hastings, _Dict. of Bible_,
III, 64-67; _Ency. Bib_., III, 2714-8; Kent, _Israel's Laws and
Legal Precedents_, IV, 8-15.

(2) Growth of Primitive Law.  Maine, _Ancient Law_, 109-165;
Wilson, _The State_, 1-29.

(3) Judicial Decisions as a Factor in the Development of Modern
Law.  _Prin. of Politics_, Chap. VI, Ransom, _Majority Rule and the




_Parallel Readings_.

  _Hist. Bible_ I, 194-198.
  _Prin. of Politics_, Chap. II.
  Lowell, _Essay on "Democracy."

  Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
  Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image.
  Thou shalt not take the name of Jehovah thy God in vain.
  Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  Honor thy father and thy mother.
  Thou shalt not kill.
  Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  Thou shalt not steal.
  Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
  Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house.--_Ex. 20:3-17_.

If ye know my commandments, happy are ye if ye do them.--Jesus.

Wherewithal shall I come before Jehovah, and bow myself before the
High God? . . .  He hath showed thee, Oh man, what is good; and
what doth Jehovah require of thee but to do justly, and to love
kindness, and to walk humbly with thy God?--Micah 6:6, 8.

Most religions are meant to be straight lines connecting two
points--God and man.   But Christianity has three points--God, man,
and his brother--with two lines to make a right angle.--_Maltbie D.

  So many prayers, so many creeds,
  So many paths that wind and wind,
  When just the art of being kind
  Is all the sad world needs.
    --Eva Wheeler Wilcox.



The decalogues of Exodus 20-23 clearly represent the earliest canon
of the Old Testament.  These are intended to define clearly the
obligations of the nation to Jehovah, and to place these
obligations before the people so definitely that they would be
understood and met.  As the term "decalogue," that is "ten words,"
indicates, the Biblical decalogue originally contained ten brief
sententious commands, easily memorized even by children.  Each of
the decalogues is divided into two groups of five laws or pentads.
This division of five and ten was without reasonable doubt intended
to aid the memory by associating each law with a finger or thumb of
the two hands.  Exodus 20-23 and its parallels in Deuteronomy
contain ten decalogues, that is a decalogue of decalogues,
suggesting that originally a decalogue was associated with each of
the fingers and thumbs of the two hands even as were the individual
words or commands.  This system of mnemonics was useful in teaching
a child nation.  It is still useful to-day.  It is important to
impress upon the child in this concrete way certain of the
fundamental obligations to God and man.  The form of the ten
commandments in part explains the commanding place which they still
hold in religious education throughout Christendom.

The Biblical accounts of the two decalogues in Exodus 20 and 34
vary in details.  The early Judean prophetic narrative in Exodus 34
states that these commands were inscribed by Moses himself on two
stone tablets.  In the later versions of the story Jehovah
inscribes them with his own fingers on the two tablets which he
gave to Moses.  That the older decalogue was written on two tablets
and set up in the temple of Solomon is exceedingly probable, for by
the days of the United Kingdom the Hebrews were beginning to become
acquainted with the art of writing and therefore could read the
laws in written form.  The recently discovered code of Hammurabi,
which comes from the twentieth century B.C., was inscribed in
parallel columns on a stone monument.  In the epilogue to this
wonderful code the king states: "By the order of Shamash, the judge
supreme of heaven and earth, that judgment may shine in the land, I
set up a bas-relief to preserve my likeness in the great temple
that I love, to commemorate my name forever in gratitude.  The
oppressed who has a suit to prosecute may come before my image,
that of a righteous king, and read my inscription and understand my
precious words and let my stele elucidate his case.  Let him see
the law he seeks, and may he draw in his breath and say: 'This
Hammurabi was to his people like the father that begot them!'"
Thus this devout king of ancient Babylonia graphically defines the
motive which, at a later period, led Israel's spiritual leaders to
set before the people those principles which made for the welfare
both of the nation and of the individual.  Each was keenly
conscious that the laws which brought social and spiritual health
to mankind emanated from the divine power that was guiding the
destinies of men.

Hebrew tradition has described in a great variety of narratives the
way in which God made known his will to the people.  The scene in
each case was Mount Sinai, which the ancient Hebrews as well as the
Kenites regarded as Jehovah's abode.  In the early Judean version,
as some writers classify the accounts, Moses alone ascends the
mountain, while the people are forbidden to approach.  In the
Northern Israelite version, the people approach, but being
terrified by the thunder and lightnings they request Moses to
receive for them the divine message.  This later version implies
that a raging thunder storm shrouded the sacred mountain, while the
early Judean and late priestly narratives apparently suggest an
active volcano.

The element common to all these accounts is that under the
direction of their prophetic leader, Moses, a solemn covenant was
established between the nation and Jehovah, and that the
obligations of the people were defined in the decalogue with its
ten short commands.  The problem is, however, complicated by the
presence of two decalogues, one now preserved in Exodus 34 and the
other, the familiar ten commandments of Exodus 20.  Both agree in
emphasizing as primary the nation's obligation to be loyal to
Jehovah.  The decalogue in Exodus 34, however, goes on to describe
in succeeding laws the ways in which the nation may show its
loyalty.  This was through the observation of certain ceremonial
customs and especially the great annual feasts.  Did most ancient
peoples show their loyalty to the gods by their lives and deeds or
by the ceremonies of the ritual and the offerings which they
brought to the altars?  The first great prophet Amos declared that
Jehovah hated and despised feasts and ceremonies unless accompanied
by deeds of justice and mercy.

The decalogue in Exodus 34 may well represent the original commands
which Moses laid upon the nation, but the higher moral sense of
later editors has truly recognized the superiority of the ethical
commands of the familiar decalogue in Exodus 20 and given it the
commanding place which it richly deserves.  (For a probable
literary history of this decalogue see _Hist.  Bible_ I, 194-5.)
The two decalogues of Exodus 20 and 34 are not duplicates the one
of the other, but rather supplement each other.  The one defines
the obligation of the nation, the other of the individual.  The
Hebrews long continued to retain in their homes the family images
inherited from their Semitic ancestors.  Not until the days of Amos
and Isaiah did the prophets begin to protest against the calves or
bulls and the cherubim in the sanctuaries of Northern Israel, and
even in the temple at Jerusalem.  Hence the second command, "Thou
shalt not make for thyself any graven image," some believe comes
from a period centuries later than Moses.  Possibly, as in Exodus
34:17, it originally read "molten image" and referred to foreign
idols.  If so, it may come in this older form from Moses.  The
tenth command which places the emphasis on the motive rather than
the act also suggests a maturer age; but with these possible
exceptions there is good reason for believing that the spirit and
teaching of Moses are embodied in this noble decalogue.

In what respects does the version in Deuteronomy 5 differ from that
in Exodus 20?  (_Hist. Bible_ I, 195.)  Which is probably the older
version?  What later explanations and exhortations have been added
to the original ten words in Exodus 20?  In Deuteronomy 5?  What
was the object of these additions?  Are they of real value?  Is it
profitable to teach them to children to-day?



Into what two groups do the ten words in Exodus 20 fall?  And what
is the theme of each?  Is there a real difference between the
command of Exodus 34, "Thou shalt worship no other gods" and that
of Exodus 20, "Thou shall have no other gods before me"?  Did the
Hebrews as a matter of fact tolerate the worship of other gods in
their midst centuries after the days of Moses?  May the Hebrews
have originally interpreted the command of Exodus 20 as a demand
that Jehovah be given the first place in the worship and faith of
Israel?  How did later prophets like Elijah and Isaiah interpret
it?  (See I Kings 18:21 and Is. 6:1-8; 8:13.)  The older command in
Exodus 34, "Thou shall make thee no molten gods," was probably
intended to guard the Israelites from imitating the religious
customs of their heathen neighbors, such as the Egyptians and the
Moabites.  The command to make no graven image was, it seems,
directed not against the public idols but against the private
images.  These were usually made of wood and were cherished in many
a Hebrew family, as for example, that of Jacob (cf. the story of
his flight from Laban, Gen. 31) or of David (I Sam. 19).  The
spirit of the law is truly interpreted by the later priestly
commentator who places completely under the ban all attempts
visibly to represent the Deity.  Is the spirit of this command
disregarded by the modern Greek church?  In certain parts of the
Roman Catholic world?  In any phases of Protestant worship?

How is the third command interpreted to-day?  The exact meaning of
the original Hebrew is not entirely clear.  It may be interpreted
literally: "Thou shall not invoke the name of Jehovah, thy God, in
vain."  The interpretation turns on the meaning of the phrase, in
vain.  This admits of four different translations: (1)
Purposelessly, and therefore needlessly or irreverently; (2) for
destruction, as when a man calls down a curse upon another; (3) for
nothing, that is in swearing to what is not true; and (4) in the
practice of sorcery or witchcraft, for this word was frequently
used by the Hebrews as a scornful designation of heathen
abominations.  Is it possible that the original command was
intended to guard against each of these evils?  If so, it broadens
and deepens its modern application.  Its fundamental idea is
evidently reverence and sincerity.

Why did the Hebrew law-givers place these three laws, which
emphasize absolute loyalty to Jehovah, at the beginning of the
decalogue?  What do we mean to-day by loyalty to God?  Loyalty to
Jehovah was not only the corner stone of Israel's religion but also
of the Hebrew state.  During the wilderness period and far down
into later periods it was the chief and at times practically the
only bond that bound together the individual members of the tribe
and nation.  Disloyalty to Jehovah was treason, and even the mild
code found in the book of Deuteronomy directs that apostasy be
punished by public stoning.  Loyalty to God or at least to the
individual sense of right to-day as in the past is the first
essential of effective citizenship.  Which is the more essential
for the welfare of the state, the manual, the mental or the
religious training of its citizens?  Where is the chief emphasis
placed to-day?  Is this right?



The institution of the Sabbath in different countries apparently
has a long and complex history.  Many explanations have been given
of its origin, aside from the direct divine command.  The simplest
and most satisfactory is probably that it was originally connected
with the worship of the moon.  There are many indications in Hebrew
history that the early ancestors of the Israelites were moon
worshippers.  To-day as in the distant past the inhabitants of the
deserts from whence came the forefathers of the Hebrews make their
journeys under the clear, cool light of the moon, avoiding the hot,
piercing rays of the mid-day sun.  The moon with its marvelous
transformations is unquestionably the most striking and
awe-inspiring object in the heavens.  It is not strange, therefore,
that many primitive peoples and especially the nomadic desert
dwellers worshipped it as the supreme embodiment of beauty and

In China feast days once a month were doubtless connected with the
phases of the moon.  Among the American Indians time was reckoned
by numbers of moons.  The custom of observing as sacred the four
days, which marked the transition from one quarter of the moon to
another, was also widespread.  In the Hebrew religion the feast of
the New Moon was closely identified with that of the Sabbath.  The
Hebrew month was also the lunar month of approximately twenty-eight
days.  The new moon, therefore, marked the beginning of the month
and each succeeding Sabbath a new phase of the moon.  The fourth
commandment seems, therefore, like the others to have a basis in
nature, and also, as we shall note, a social reason.  Would a
commandment be truly divine if it did not have a natural and
reasonable basis?  By the ancients rest from labor was regarded as
one of the essential elements in the sacred day.  The prophet Amos
denounced the merchants of Northern Israel because they were
constantly saying,

  When shall the new moon pass that we may sell grain,
  And the Sabbath that we may open the corn?

In its earlier ceremonial interpretation, to abstain from all labor
on the Sabbath was clearly regarded as a primary obligation.  Like
fasting, it is probably regarded as an offering due to Jehovah.
The word "holy" in the Hebrew means set apart, distinct.  The
Sabbath, therefore, was to differ from the other days of the week.
The great ethical prophets of the Assyrian period were the first
completely to divest this ancient institution of its heathen
significance and give it a deeper religious, and therefore social
and humanitarian interpretation.  They gave it its true and eternal
content, declaring that God decreed that all who labor should have
their needed rest.  The prophet who added the noble interpretation
in Deuteronomy 5:14, 15, declares that it was not only that old and
young, master and slave, might rest, but also that even the toiling
ox and ass and the resident alien might have the relaxation which
their tired bodies required.  Thus these inspired prophets traced
the ultimate basis of the institution of the Sabbath to God's
providence for the innate needs of man.  They recognized that it
was essential for the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of
the individual and, therefore, for the welfare of the State.  That
the Hebrews might not forget this obligation, the prophets appealed
to the memory of the days when the Israelites themselves were
slaves in the land of Egypt and the thought of how Jehovah
delivered them from their slavery.

Tuan Fang, the great Manchu viceroy who only recently met martyrdom
at the hands of his warring countrymen, said when visiting America
a few years ago, "I think that when I return to China I will
introduce Sunday in my province."  When asked whether he would make
it the seventh day, he replied, "Yes, for I think that the seventh
day is far better than the tenth.  Furthermore, for the convenience
and economy of all, I will make it correspond to the Christian
Sunday.  From my study of the conditions in America and of the
needs in China I am convinced that the Sabbath is a most valuable
and essential institution."

Later Judaism revived the earlier heathen content of the Sabbath,
and lost sight of its deeper political, social and humanitarian
significance.  Unfortunately the Christian church and above all our
Puritan fathers followed the guidance of the later priests rather
than of the early prophets.  Jesus with his clear insight into
human hearts and needs, and with his glowing love for men,
repudiated the harsh, mechanical interpretation of the Sabbath
current in his day and reasserted the teachings of the great
prophets that preceded him; "The Sabbath was made for man, not man
for the Sabbath."

Does the social and humanitarian interpretation of the Sabbath
obscure or deepen its religious significance?  Does the great body
of the Christian church to-day accept the interpretation of the
prophets and of Jesus, or that of early heathenism and later
Judaism?  Does the interpretation of the prophets and of Jesus
furnish a basis on which all classes in the state can unite in
appreciating and in jealously guarding the Sabbath?  Does the
acceptance of one or the other of these interpretations
fundamentally affect our actual observance of the Sabbath?  Our
motives and our spirit?  Our attitude toward our fellow men?



It is generally recognized by scientists that the place of animals
in the scale of being is dependent upon the length of their period
of infancy.  The lower forms of animal life are mature almost as
soon as they are born.  Minnows never come under the care of their
genitors, but are independent as soon as they are hatched.  The
young of the less developed quadrupeds are soon weaned and
forgotten by their parents.  The longer the young remain in the
care of their parents the higher the form of the animal.  The great
difference between men and most of the higher animals is thought by
many to be dependent upon the length of childhood, and the
consequent care and attention given by the parents.  Even among
human beings it is scarcely too much to say that the longer the
time of education and training under proper supervision lasts, the
more successful finally at the end of life the man will be.  When
one considers that Aristotle, who is perhaps generally accepted as
the world's greatest thinker, associated with his great teacher,
Plato, twenty years, until he was thirty-eight years of age and
produced nearly all his important works only after that time, we
may see one example of the profound importance of training.  The
care of parents for their children throughout all of their early
years would naturally imply loyalty of children to the parents as a
mark of gratitude for the time and affection expended upon them.

In one of his characteristic poems, filled with wise suggestion,
Lowell speaks of obedience as that "great tap root" of the state
and civilization.  The habit of obedience is one of the finest
characteristics in family life, and obedience to parents normally
becomes obedience to law in the citizen, one of the surest bonds of
society and one of the most necessary conditions of social progress.

This fact was so fully recognized in the patriarchal stage of
society that the head of the family within the tribe had the power
even of life and death over the members of his household.  In
practically all early societies we find this authority of the
parent and the obedience of the child insisted upon as fundamental.
In the Orient, even to the present day, this respect of children
for their parents is closely bound up with their religion and their
civilization.  The first wish of every man is that be may have a
son to sacrifice to his memory after he has gone.  And not only in
China, but in many other states we find ancestral worship springing
from this relation of father and son.

The primitive Hebrew laws (Ex. 21:15, 17) made death the penalty
for a child who struck or cursed his parents.  In many countries
parricide is considered the worse type of murder.  The very old
Sumerian law of ancient Babylon punished with slavery the son who
repudiated his father.  In the fifth commandment no penalty is
named for disrespect toward one's parents.  The religious sanction
only is implied, though the penalty of death was inflicted by the
law of the tribe.

In society to-day our aim in education is to develop individuality
and for a country with a democratic form of government this type of
education should be encouraged.  Disobedience or disrespect ho
parents has no longer a legal penalty, although the children may be
compelled by law to support their parents.  But gratitude toward
parents and a normal affectionate family life are practically
essential to social welfare.  Aside from its civic aspect, there is
nothing in society more beautiful than the right relationship
between parents and children.  Jesus, who represented the kingdom
of God as a household, found that the best analogy for the
relationship of men to God and the best descriptions of the divine
nature are based upon this relationship.



The second five commandments of the decalogue deal with the
obligations of man to man.  These commands still find a central
place in modern society as the best guarantees of social stability,
security and peace.  All of the crimes with which they deal, except
that of covetousness, were punished, in Hebrew custom and law, by
definite penalties.  In many instances these penalties were still
more severe among other early peoples.

As soon as society emerges from the savage state, the crime of
adultery is always forbidden.  Nothing else stirs the worst of
human passions as does sexual jealousy.  Even to-day probably no
other cause is more productive of murder and suicide.  In early
societies, like that of the Israelites, to this normal human
feeling of personal wrong was added that of the loss of property,
for wives or concubines were considered as property.  Hence the
penalty for adultery among the Hebrews, as with many ancient and
many modern peoples, was death.

As soon as society develops from the savage into the pastoral
stage, private property is recognized in the flocks and herds.  In
the development of society additional types of property rights
appear under various forms of ownership, until it is not too much
to say that modern society is based largely upon property rights.
The evils associated with property are many, but as yet, at any
rate, the rights of property are a benefit to the state, provided
those rights are exercised under proper legal supervision.  It
should be recognized, however, that the command, "Thou shall not
steal," may well have various meanings, dependent upon the laws of
property.  Our law restricts the right of legacy, the sale or even
the possession of poisons and often of dangerous weapons.
Similarly the degree of ownership of other goods is often limited.

The ninth command, not to bear false witness against one's
neighbor, is often interpreted as simply a violation of one's oath
in court, or when appended to formal legal papers.  But in most
modern countries the command is also interpreted so as to include
lying.  If this crime is defined in its broadest sense, as lack of
truth and trustworthiness, it is in many ways the greatest sin man
can commit against society.  Practically all modern economic and
social relations are based upon the security of contracts and upon
the readiness of business men and citizens to keep their word.  It
may be well questioned whether the crime of murder is as dangerous
to society as the habit of deception, for the temptation of murder
is rare as compared with that of deception; while the evil is often
less far-reaching in its consequence and less despicable.

In the last command, that directed against covetousness, the
law-giver goes beyond the external act to the motive and spirit in
the mind of the individual.  If this command is kept in spirit, the
others are practically unnecessary.  This command is like in kind
to that of Jesus in the New Testament, where all the commandments
are summed up into one: "Love one another."



The various books that make up our Bible were each written to meet
the needs of the people of its day; but inasmuch as the prophets
and law-givers from the days of Moses to those of Jesus touched
upon the most vital questions of human life and society, these
principles are most of them universal and applicable to all tribes
and nations and races and peoples.

Necessarily there are many variations in the specific methods by
which these commands are to be carried out.  The honor and
reverence due everywhere to mother and father may well have
different applications, depending upon the type of civilization,
the customs of living and the type of home life that exist in the
different countries.  The injunction to keep the Sabbath may well
be carried out with the same spirit in various ways.  What
constitutes theft depends upon the law of the separate state and
upon the rights of property granted by that law, but everywhere the
primary obligations of the individual to God, to society and to his
fellow men remain substantially the same.  As he develops a more
tender conscience, a more just and kindly attitude toward his
fellows, a greater reverence toward his Creator, the spirit with
which be keeps these commandments is becoming continually more
urgent, whatever may be the specific way in which they may be
carried out for the benefit of his fellow men and of society.

_Questions for Further Consideration_.

Does idol worship exist in any part of the civilized world to-day?
If so, where and in what forms?

Are those addicted to profanity necessarily and intentionally
irreverent?  What is the origin of this habit?  How may it be
eradicated?  What are some of the best methods by which children
may be guarded against it?

Do you think it is right for the state to become responsible for
the religious education of its citizens?

What is the fundamental difference between the so-called
"Continental Sabbath" and that observed by Jesus?

In what way may Sunday be made a day of greater profit and
significance to the working man?

What attitude should one take regarding so-called "white" or
"society lies"?  Under what circumstances, if any, is it right to

_Subjects for Further Study_.

(1) The Decalogues in Exodus 20-23.  _Hist. Bible_ II, 209-24.

(2) Jesus' Version of the Ancient Prophetic Decalogue.  See Matt.
5:17, 18; 6:19-21; 12:1-12, 31, 32; 15:3-5; 22: 36-39.

(3) Compare the Moral Ideals of the Decalogue with those of the
Present-Day Socialists.  Cross, _The Essentials of Socialism_;
Walling, _Socialism as It Is_; Spargo, _Elements of Socialism_.



11-14; 21:21-31; 32:39-42.

_Parallel Readings_.

  _Hist. Bible_ I, 204-29.
  Edward Jenks, _Hist. of Politics_, Chap, III.

Then as they journeyed from the mountain of Jehovah the ark of
Jehovah went before them, to seek out a halting place for them.
And whenever the ark started, Moses would say,

  Arise, O Jehovah,
  And let thine enemies be scattered,
  And let those who hate thee flee before thee.

And when it rested, he would say,

Return, O Jehovah, to the ten thousand of thousands of
Israel.--_Num. 10:33, 35, 36_.

As an eagle stirreth up her nest, hovereth over her young, taketh
them, beareth them upon her wings, so the Lord his God did lead him
and there was no strange God with him.--_Deut. 32: 11_.

Before man made us citizens, great Nature made us men--_Lowell_.

  Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain
    shall meet
  Till earth and sky stand presently at God's great
    judgment seat;
  But there is neither East, nor West, border nor breed
    nor birth
  When two strong men stand face to face, tho' they come
    from the ends of the earth.
      --_Rudyard Kipling_.

The measure of the success of our lives can only lie in the stature
of our manhood, in the growth in unworldliness and in the moral
elevation of our inner self.--_Henry Drummond_.



The accounts regarding the experiences of the Israelites in the
wilderness lack the unity which characterizes the records of the
earlier and later periods.  They simply give occasional pictures of
the life of the Hebrew fugitives.  They must be interpreted in the
light of the peculiar background of the wilderness and of the
nomadic life which flourishes there to-day as it did in the past.
The Hebrews on escaping from Egypt entered the South Country, which
extends seventy miles from the rocky hills of Judah southward until
it merges into the barren desert.  During the later Roman period
the northern and northwestern portions of this territory were
partially reclaimed by agriculturalists; but in early periods, as
to-day, it was pre-eminently the home of wandering, nomadic tribes.
This wild, treeless region is divided by rocky ranges running from
east to west.  Parallel to these are deep, hot and for the most
part waterless valleys.  In the springtime these valleys are
covered by a sparse vegetation; from a few perennial springs flow
waters that irrigate the immediately surrounding land; but they
soon lose themselves in the thirsty desert.  During the summer the
vegetation disappears almost entirely, and the struggle for
subsistence becomes intense.  The nature of the country makes it
necessary for its inhabitants constantly to journey from one
pasture land and spring to another.

The home of the Hebrews at this time, like that of the modern
Arabs, was the tent.  The stories that have come down from this
period suggest the experiences through which they passed.  The
constant insistent problem in this region was and is how to secure
adequate supplies of food and water.  During the greater part of
the year the chief food of the people is the milk and curds
supplied by their herds.  At times, however, these fail to meet the
needs even of the modern Bedouin inhabitants of this South Country.
They then gather the gum that exudes from the tamarisk tree or the
lichens from the rocks.  From these they make a coarse flour and
bread which keeps them alive until the winter rains again bring
their supply of water and pasturage.  Some scholars hold that this
coarse food was the manna of the Biblical accounts.  They argue
that later generations, familiar with the barrenness of the
wilderness and believing that the Hebrews at this time numbered
many thousands, naturally concluded and reported that their
ancestors were miraculously fed.  At certain periods, also, the
meagre fare of the desert dweller is supplemented by the quails
which he is able to capture and these are a welcome relief to his
monotonous diet.  About the perennial springs, which gush forth
from the barren rock, there also grew up stories of a miraculous
provision for the needs of Jehovah's people; for all springs and
especially those in the desert were regarded by the ancients as
miracles.  Even in more fertile lands the Greeks reared beside such
springs temples to the god, whom they thought of as thus signally
revealing himself.  In the deeper sense each of these early Hebrew
stories is historical, for they all record the fundamental thought
and belief that through this strenuous, painful period, even as in
later crises in their history, Jehovah was guiding his people and
giving them not only food and water, but also that training in the
school of danger and privation which was essential for their
highest development.

Even more insistent than the constant struggle for food and water
were the dangers that came from the hostile tribes which already
occupied this much-contested territory.  For the possession of the
springs and pasture lands they fought with the energy and craft
that characterize the Bedouin tribes to-day.  Hence, to the
Hebrews, fresh from the fertile fields of Egypt, their life in the
wilderness represented constant hardship, privation, suffering and



The wilderness left a stamp upon Hebrew character and life that may
be traced even to-day in the later descendants of that race.  It
tightened their muscles and gave them that physical virility which
has enabled them to survive even amidst the most unfavorable
conditions.  It taught them how to subsist on the most meagre food
supply and to thrive where the citizen of a more prosperous land
would inevitably starve.

It is probable that in their early nomadic experiences the Hebrews
acquired those migratory habits which, intensified by unwonted
vicissitudes, have carried them to almost every civilized land.  In
the wilderness they also learned the art of nomadic warfare which,
to win victories, depended not so much upon open attack as upon
strategy.  The common dangers of the wilderness life tightened the
racial and religious bonds that held them together.  Only by the
closest union could they resist the perils that beset them.  Upon
the complete devotion of each man to the interest of the tribe hung
his fate, as well as that of the community as a whole.  Hence arose
that devotion to race, that readiness to avenge every wrong and to
protect each individual, even if it cost the life-blood of the
tribe, which is illustrated in many of the stories that come from
this early period.  How far has this racial characteristic survived?

In a community thus closely bound together the morality of each
individual was guarded with a jealousy unknown in more settled
prosperous communities.  Thus, for example, adultery from the first
appears to have been punished by public stoning.  How far has this
characteristic survived to the glory of the Jewish race?

The tribal organization also cherished the freedom of each
individual.  His voice was heard in its council and his rights were
carefully protected.  The free atmosphere of the desert tolerated
no despotism, and the sheik was the servant of all.  These
fundamental conceptions of government persisted even when, under
the influence of a new agricultural environment, the Hebrews
established the kingship and monarchy.  It was the struggle between
these inherited democratic ideals and those of the neighbors who
were ruled by despots, that ultimately disrupted the Hebrew kingdom
and called forth those great champions of liberty and social
justice, the prophets of the Assyrian period.  It was this same
democratic atmosphere that made possible the work of those
prophets, who openly denounced the crimes of king and people.  How
far have the Jews throughout all their history allied themselves
with democratic movements?



The pressure of constant danger intensified the sense of dependence
upon a power outside and above themselves.  It led them to look
constantly to Jehovah as their sole guide and deliverer.  A
continued attitude crystallized into a habit.  Hence, throughout
their troubled career the Hebrews have been conscious of the
presence of God and have found in him their defender and personal
friend as has no other people in human history.

As later generations meditated on the perils of the wilderness
through which their ancestors passed, they naturally felt that only
under the immediate guidance of a divine power could they have
escaped.  They were familiar with the way in which the caravans
travel through the desert: in front of the leader is borne aloft a
brazier filled with coals.  From this smouldering fire there arises
by day a column of smoke that, in the clear air of the desert, can
be easily seen afar by any who may straggle behind.  At night these
glowing coals seem like a pillar of fire, telling of the presence
of their leader and protector.  With the same vivid imagery,
according to some interpreters, the later Hebrews pictured the
march of their ancestors through the wilderness, and thereby
symbolized the belief that Jehovah was then present and that
through his prophet Moses he was personally guiding his people.
How far have these Old Testament narratives been thus interpreted
by modern western readers?  Does it change their spiritual
significance to seek to learn their origin and real literary
character?  Are there still to be found, often in humble walks of
life, earnest Christians who have similar deep spiritual
experiences and describe them with the same vivid imagery and
concreteness?  Is the value of our conception of God's presence and
activity in human history deepened and strengthened or lessened by
the thought that in the past, even as to-day, he accomplished his
ends by natural rather than contra-natural methods?  Are the faith
and institutions of nations and individuals developed most through
special revelations or through ordinary, constant, daily training
and experience?  Is it not true that to us all there come at times
experiences akin to those that underlie these wonderful narratives?



Desert dwellers take little account of the lapse of time.  It is
not strange that the data regarding the duration of the sojourn in
the wilderness are late and exceedingly vague.  The number forty in
the Bible is the concrete Hebrew equivalent of many.  Ordinarily
the forty years represent a generation.  A period of about forty
years accords well with the facts of contemporary Egyptian
chronology.  If the Hebrews fled from Egypt about 1200, during the
period of anarchy following the breakdown of the nineteenth
Egyptian dynasty, they could not have entered Palestine much before
the middle of the twelfth century, for Ramses III of the Twentieth
Dynasty succeeded in re-establishing and maintaining his authority
in Southern Palestine until his death about 1167 B.C.

The account of the spies, preserved according to some writers in
variant versions by each of the great groups of Hebrew narratives,
indicates that the Hebrews attempted but failed to enter Canaan
from the south.  For tribesmen like the Israelites, chafing under
their harsh environment and recalling the prosperity of the land of
Egypt, Palestine with its green hills and fertile fields was an
irresistible lodestone luring them on to the conquest.  The reasons
why they failed to enter Canaan from the south are suggested in the
narrative of the spies and confirmed by a study of the historical
geographical situation.  The Canaanite cities of Southern Palestine
were built largely with the view to protecting their inhabitants
from the ever-lurking nomad invaders.  On the other hand the
Hebrews had none of the equipment needed to conquer walled cities.
More than that the barren hills of the South Country did not
furnish the base of supplies necessary to maintain a protracted
siege.  The early Hebrew narratives imply that certain nomadic
tribes, as, for example, the Calebites, the Kenizzites and the
Jerahmeelites, independently gained a foothold on the southern
borders of Canaan and ultimately assimilated with the Hebrew tribe
of Judah when the latter entered Palestine.  The earliest Hebrew
accounts, however, as well as the logic of the situation indicate
that the great body of the Israelites, whose ancestors had been in
the land of Egypt, entered Palestine from the east.  Throughout all
its history the east-Jordan land has witnessed the constant
transition of Arab tribes from the nomadic life of the desert to
the more settled civilization, of agricultural Palestine.  Here on
the eastern heights that overlook the Jordan valley and the land of
Canaan the traveller still finds the Arab tents and flocks of the
nomads beside the plowed fields of the village-dwellers.  On the
rolling plains of northern Moab and southern Gilead there are few
commanding heights or natural fortresses.  The important towns,
like Dibon and Heshbon, lay on slightly rising hills.  The
character of the ruins to-day does not indicate that they were ever
surrounded by formidable walls.  Whether the Hebrews conquered them
by open attack or by strategy, as in the case of the town of Ai, is
not stated.  It is certain, however, that here they first gained a
permanent foothold in agricultural Palestine.  From the conquered
they here learned their initial lessons in the arts of agriculture
and became acquainted with that more advanced Canaanite
civilization which they later absorbed.  Coming fresh from the
desert, where only the fittest survived, their numbers rapidly
increased in this quieter and more favorable environment.  Soon to
the constant pressure of the desert population on the east was
added that of over-population, so that necessity, as well as
ambition, impelled them to cross the Jordan to seek homes among the
hills to the west.



The study of the beginnings of Israel's history in the light of its
physical, social and economic environment reveals clearly the many
powerful forces then at work.   At the same time these do not alone
explain Israel's later history and the uniqueness of its character
and faith.  These later facts plainly point back to a strong,
commanding personality, who shaped the ideals and institutions of
this early people and left upon them the imperishable imprint of
his own unique individuality.  Although the traditions regarding
him have been transmitted for centuries from mouth to mouth, they
portray the character and work of Moses with remarkable clarity and
impressiveness.  Moses was primarily a patriot.  He was also a
prophet-statesman, able to grasp and interpret the significance of
the great crises in the life of his people and to suggest practical
solutions.  Moreover, he was able to inspire confidence, and to
lead as well as direct.  In the harsh environment of the wilderness
he was able to adjust himself to most difficult conditions.  In
leading the Hebrew serfs from the land of Egypt, he became indeed
the creator of the future Hebrew nation.  In the wilderness be
trained that child nation.  As judge and counsellor, he taught
concretely the broad principles which became the foundation of
later Hebrew law.

As guardian of the oracle and priest of the desert sanctuary,
Moses, like the later prophet of Islam, but with far greater
spiritual power and deeper insight, taught his people not only the
art of worship, but certain of the great essentials of religion.
He it was who formulated in a positive faith the wholesome
reaction, which he and his kinsmen felt against the gross
polytheism of Egypt.  The inspiration of all of Moses' work was his
own personal faith.  The first great vision of Jehovah's character
and purpose that he had received in the land of Midian was
doubtless often renewed amidst the same wild, impressive scenes.
The exact nature of the deeper, more personal side of his character
and faith must be inferred from the close analogies that may be
drawn from the memoirs of Isaiah or Jeremiah.  At the same time it
is a mistake to infer that Moses' beliefs were as lofty as those of
the later prophets who stood in the light of a larger experience.
On the other hand, it is not just to disregard the fact that Moses,
being a prophet, was far in advance of the primitive age in which
he lived.  Not only did Moses create the Hebrew nation and teach it
its first lessons in practical politics and religion, but he it was
who first instilled into his race commanding loyalty to the one
God, Jehovah, and taught that religion was more than form: that it
meant right thinking and doing.  Thus Moses was the forerunner of
Israel's later prophets, who broke away from the narrow heathen
interpretation of religion and defined it in terms of life and



It is interesting and important to note that Israel's history was
in most respects like that of other growing nations.  In the
beginning pastoral society and tribal government develop among
savages primarily through the domestication of animals.  The young
of the animals slain in the hunt are kept first as pets: then, when
as a result of the thriftless nature of the savages supplies at
times become scarce, the pets are slain for food.  As pets become
more common and population increases, the advantage of breeding for
use is apparent, and private property, in distinction from
community possessions, appears.  The growing herds naturally
develop the need of regular service.  To meet this need the
institutions of permanent marriage and bondage arise and the wife
or wives and the slaves perform the added work.  With the custom of
fixed marriage and the possibility of tracing ancestry through the
father, comes in time ancestral government.  The Hebrews seem to
have had this type of government, even in the days of Abraham; and
it lasted until the tribes broke up into clans and families, when
they acquired permanent homes and became agriculturists in the land
of Canaan.

Many of the characteristics of the tribe disappear almost entirely,
as wandering nomads settle in a fixed abode, and the patriarchal
rule changes to that of a royal or democratic government.  Customs
become fixed in formal statutes.  Property in land becomes more
important than that in herds.  War becomes the business of a
special army, instead of the frequent duty of all.

But in the tribe there is little competition.  All work for the
community, or for the family, rather than for individual interests.
Each man is primarily responsible, not to the state, but to the
head of his family or clan, who in turn answers for his family to
the tribal chief.

Certain of these tribal institutions and ideals have left their
indelible impress on modern society.   The tribe was exclusive.
All those not born into the tribe had no right, no welcome there,
for their coming would tend to restrict the common pasturage.  They
would be a burden.  Though the tent-dweller might be hospitable to
a guest, an alien had no rights except on sufferance.  If he were
needy and were received, he usually became a serf or slave.  And
yet this exclusiveness is the germ of our patriotism, a noble trait
that may ultimately, but not soon, be replaced by a cosmopolitan
love for humanity.

Allied to this is the personal bond, that obtains in the tribe,
instead of the territorial unity of the modern state.  A Frenchman
is such because he is born in France; an Israelite is such because
he is the son of Abraham and knows his people as his blood kinsmen.

This personal tie makes for peace and democracy.  Building on this
Jewish tribal trait, Jesus calls all men brethren because sons of a
common Father.  His Kingdom of God, likewise, is not territorial.
Its citizens are bound together by the tribal bond of a common
brotherhood and fatherhood.  Thus the lessons, so deeply impressed
in the childhood of the race, have a large and growing significance
for the present and future.

_Questions for Further Consideration_.

What reasons may be given to prove that love for humanity is a
virtue more useful to modern civilization than patriotism?

Does the movement for universal peace find any encouragement in the
teachings ascribed to Moses?

On what grounds can the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites be
defended? How did it differ from the taking of Tripoli by Italy?
Or of Porto Rico by the United States?

In the light of the oldest records, was Moses' work in your
judgment accomplished by natural or supernatural methods?

What were the chief characteristics of Moses?  What place does he
hold in history?

Is modern socialism in any way a revival of the principles
underlying the old tribal organization?  How far did Jesus in his
idea of the Kingdom of God build on the old tribal idea?

_Subjects/or Further Study_.

(1) Characteristics of the Wilderness South of Palestine.
Hastings, _Dict. Bib_. III, 505-6.  Kent, _Bib. Geog. and Hist_.,
42, 43.

(2) The Religion of Moses.  Hastings, _Dict. Bib_., Extra Vol.
631-634; Marti, _Old Testament Religion_, 36-71.

(3) Compare the tribal organization and customs of the Israelites
with those of the American Indian tribes of to-day.  Publications
of the _Indian Association_; publications of the _Mohonk




_Parallel Readings_.

  _Hist. Bible_ II,1-4.1.
  _Prin. of Politics_ X.

  That the leaders took the lead in Israel,
  That the people volunteered readily,
  Bless Jehovah!

  Zebulun was a people who exposed themselves to deadly peril,
  And Naphtali on the heights of the open field.
  Kings came, they fought;
  They fought, the kings of Canaan,
  At Taanach by the Waters of Megiddo,
  They took no booty of silver.
  Prom heaven fought the stars,
  From their courses fought against Sisera,
  The river Kishon swept them away,
  That ancient river, the river Kishon.
  O my soul, march on with strength!
  When did the horse-hoofs resound
  With the galloping, galloping of their steeds?
    --Judg. 5, 9, 18-22 (Hist. Bible).

This was King Arthur's dreame.  Him thought that there was comen
into his lande many gryffons and serpents, and him thought that
they brent and slew all the people in the land.  And then him
thought that he fought with them, and they did him passing great
damage and wounded him full sore, but at the last he slewe them
all.--Malory, _Hist. of King Arthur_; _Mort d' Arthur_.

Young gentlemen, have a resolute life purpose.  Don't get mad and
don't get scared.--_Burleson_.



In the light of the preceding studies, the motives that led the
Hebrews to cross the Jordan become evident.  As the Pilgrim
Fathers, to secure a home where they might enjoy and develop their
own type of belief and methods of civilization, braved the dimly
known dangers of the sea and the wilderness, the Hebrews braved the
contests that unquestionably lay before them.  Between the Sea of
Galilee and the Dead Sea the Jordan is fordable at thirty points
during certain parts of the year.  The first of the two main fords
in the lower Jordan is just below the point where the Wady Kelt
enters the Jordan from the west and deposits its mass of mud and
silt.  The other ford is six miles further north below the point
where the Wady Nimrin comes down from the highlands of Gilead.
Here to-day the main highway connecting the east and the
west-Jordan country crosses the river.  This spot was probably the
scene of the historic crossing at the beginning of Hebrew history.

Certain writers hold that variant accounts of the most important
facts in early Hebrew history have here been preserved.  Traces of
three different versions of the crossing of the Jordan may still,
in their judgment, be found in the third and fourth chapters of the
book of Joshua.  The latest and most familiar narrative represents
the crossing as a superlative miracle and the waters of the rushing
river as piled up like a wall on either side.  The Northern
Israelite version appears to have stated that the waters of the
Jordan were dried up, implying that the Hebrews crossed during the
late summer when the river was easily fordable.  The earliest
narrative, the Judean prophetic, states that "the waters rose up in
a heap, a great way off at Adam, the city that is beside Zarathan,
and those that went down toward the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt
Sea, were wholly cut off" (Josh.  3:16b).  From other references in
the Old Testament it would appear that the city of Adam, which
means red earth, is to-day represented by the ruins of Ed-Damieh,
which stands near the famous Damieh ford at the point where the
river Jabbok enters the Jordan.

It is interesting to note in this connection that a reliable Moslem
historian states that in the year 1257 A.D. the retreating Moslems
found it neccessary to repair the foundations of an important
bridge which stood at this point.  When the workmen arrived on the
scene they were amazed to find the riverbed empty and were able by
working rapidly to complete the repairs before the waters came
rushing down.  This remarkable phenomenon seemed to them to be due
to the direct intervention of Allah; but the historian fortunately
records the cause: it was a huge landslide a little further up the
river which temporarily dammed its waters.  The oldest Biblical
account of the crossing of the Jordan may point to a like natural
cause.  If this be true, does it imply that Jehovah had no part in
preparing the way for the future conquests of his people?  Would a
miracle, such as that recorded in the late-priestly tradition, be
any stronger proof of God's presence and activity in human history
than are the provisions which we to-day call natural?



Contemporary inscriptions and recent excavations make it possible
to form a very definite conception of conditions in Canaan when the
Hebrews crossed the Jordan.  The dominant civilization was that of
the Canaanites, the descendants of the Semitic invaders from the
desert who entered Palestine centuries before the ancestors of the
Hebrews.  Naturally they settled first along the fertile coast
plains that skirt the western Mediterranean.  In later times these
were known as the Phoenicians.  As the population increased, the
Canaanites pushed their outposts along the broad valleys that
penetrated the uplands of Palestine.  These valleys were especially
fertile and attractive in the territory later known as Galilee and
Samaria.  The wide Plain of Esdraelon and its eastward extension,
the Valley of Jezreel, cut straight across the central plateau of
Palestine.  The Plain of Esdraelon was the strongest centre of the
Canaanite civilization.  A few outposts were established in the
Jordan valley, as for example, Laish, later known as Dan, at the
foot of Mount Hermon, and Jericho, at the southern end of the
Jordan valley.  Only a few Canaanite villages were found along the
more barren hills of Southern Canaan.  There the peoples and
civilization still retained the imprint of their desert origin.

Along the coast plains and across the great Plain of Esdraelon ran
the main highways that connected the three earliest and most
nourishing centres of the world's civilization: the Egyptian on the
southwest, the Amorite on the north, probably between the southern
Lebanons, and the Babylonian to the east and northeast.  For
centuries the Canaanites had absorbed the ideas, institutions, and
culture of these stronger peoples.  So fundamentally had the
Babylonians impressed the Canaanites that practically all of the
inscriptions coming from this early period are written in the
Babylonian script.  Even in writing to their Egyptian conqueror
during the fourteenth century, the Canaanite kings of Palestine
used this same Babylonian system of writing.  The Amorite
civilization had so strongly influenced the Canaanites that to-day
it is difficult for the archaeologist to distinguish between the
two.  By certain of the Biblical writers the terms Canaanite and
Amorite are used interchangeably.  As early as 1600 B.C. Egypt,
under the ambitious conquering kings of the Eighteenth Dynasty, had
overrun Palestine and for the next three or four centuries ruled it
as a tributary province.  The nearness of Egypt made its influence
still more powerful, so that in nearly every mound and Canaanite
ruin the excavator finds hundreds of reminders of the presence of
the Egyptian civilization.

The Canaanites had long since left behind them the nomadic state
and had developed a strong agricultural and commercial
civilization.  Their life centered about certain important cities
like Megiddo on the southwestern side and Bethshean on the eastern
side of the Plain of Esdraelon.  Their cities were usually built on
a low-lying hill in the midst of rich encircling plains.  They were
provided with thick mud walls, behind which the inhabitants felt
secure from attack.  Over each city ruled a petty king, whose
authority, however, did not extend far beyond the surrounding
fields that belonged to the inhabitants of the town.  Generally
these city states were independent.  In many cases they were
hostile to each other; and the long rule of Egypt had tended to
intensify this hostility, for Egypt had depended upon this local
jealousy to maintain its control.  The diversified physical contour
of Palestine likewise strengthened this tendency toward separation
rather than unity.

This type of political organization favored the growth of
polytheism rather than the worship of one god.  Each city had its
local god or baal, which was worshipped at a high place either
within the city or on some adjacent height, while in the larger
cities elaborate altars and temples were reared to them.  These
local deities were regarded as the gods of fertility which gave to
their worshippers ample harvests and numerous offspring both of the
family and of the nock.  The principle of generation occupied such
a prominent place in the Canaanite cults that in time they became
exceedingly immoral and debasing.  To secure the favor of their
gods the Canaanites brought rich sacrifices to their altars and
observed certain great annual festivals with ceremonies very
similar to those later adopted by the Hebrews.

While the Canaanites were on a much higher plane of material
civilization than the Hebrews, they ultimately fell a prey to those
hardy invaders of the desert: (1) Because they were incapable of
strong united action, and (2) because their civilization was
corrupt and enervating.  Courage and real patriotism were almost
unknown to them even as early as the seventeenth century B.C., when
the Egyptian king Thutmose III invaded the land of Palestine.
Their strong walls and their superior military equipment, however,
made their immediate conquest by the Hebrews impossible.  This
explains why the earliest account of the initial conquest, now
found in Judges 1, is chiefly devoted to recounting the strong
Canaanite cities which the Hebrews failed to conquer.



In the light of our present knowledge of the Canaanite civilization
it becomes evident why most of the early Hebrew conquests were in
the south.  The only large Canaanite city which they could conquer
in the early days was Jericho.  Recent excavations have also shown
why later generations regarded its capture by the Hebrews as a
miracle, although many modern interpreters hold that the early
account does not imply that it was by supernatural means.  Like
most of the Canaanite cities, it was situated on a slightly rising
eminence, close to the foothills that on the west rose abruptly to
the central plateau of Canaan.  Northward, eastward, and southward,
extended for miles the level plain of the Jordan river, which
plowed its way through its alluvial bed, six miles east of Jericho.
Close by the site of the ancient city came the perennial waters of
the Wady Kelt with which it was possible to irrigate its fields.
Past the town ran the main highway from across the Jordan, along
the northern side of the Wady Kelt, to join the great central
highway that extended through the centre of Palestine.  Jericho
was, therefore, the key to the land of Canaan, and its capture was
necessary if the Hebrews were to maintain their connection with
their kinsmen east of the Jordan.

The ruins of the ancient Canaanite town rise between forty and
fifty feet above the plain.  It is an oblong mound containing
altogether about twelve acres.  The excavations have disclosed a
large part of the encircling wall.  It was a construction of
excellent workmanship which still stands practically intact,
testifying to the accuracy of the early Hebrew tradition.  Its
foundation is a wall of rubble sixteen feet high and six to eight
feet thick, sloping inward.  On the top of this foundation, which
rested on the native rock, was built a supplemental wall of burnt
brick six or seven feet in thickness and rising even now in its
ruined condition on an average eight feet above the lower wall.
Thus the original wall must have towered between twenty and thirty
feet above the plain.  At the northern end of the city stood the
citadel, made of unburnt brick, three stories high.  Even the stone
staircase which led to the top is still intact.

According to these investigators the late tradition that these
walls fell flat to the earth as the result of a miracle finds no
confirmation in the ruins themselves.  The older Hebrew account,
however, in their judgment agrees perfectly with the evidence
revealed by the spade of the excavator.  In imagination it is easy
to follow the perilous journey of the Hebrew spies and to
appreciate the importance of the negotiations by which they secured
the co-operation of Rahab and of the clan within Jericho which she
represented.  Later come the Hebrew hordes from across the Jordan
bearing with them the ark which symbolized to them the presence of
Jehovah, who had led them on to victory in many an early battle.
Behind their impregnable walls the inhabitants of Jericho must have
laughed scornfully at the desert host, that seemed utterly
incapable of an effective attack or of a protracted siege.
According to many modern interpreters the earliest Hebrew host
marched silently about the Canaanite stronghold.  At first the
inhabitants of Jericho, accustomed to Arab strategy, undoubtedly
held themselves ready for defence.  When no attack came, their
vigilance was gradually relaxed.  At last on the seventh day, when
conditions were favorable, at the preconcerted signal, a trumpet
blast, the Hebrews rushed toward the walls, the gates were probably
opened by their allies within the city, and Jericho was quickly
captured.  The method of attack recorded in the prophetic narrative
was very similar to the strategy used a little later by the Hebrews
in the capture of the smaller towns of Ai and Bethel.  They are the
methods still employed by the Bedouins in their attacks upon the
outposts of Palestine.

The fierce nomadic instincts of these early Hebrew warriors are
revealed by the fate which they visited upon Jericho and its
inhabitants.  The recent excavations confirm the Biblical testimony
that for several centuries after its initial capture the ancient
town was left a heap of ruins.

Its inhabitants were slain as a great sacrificial offering to
Jehovah, whose true character as one who loves all mankind was
first appreciated by the inspired prophets of a much later From the
plain of Jericho two or three roads led up to the central plateau
of Canaan.  The main road along the Wady Kelt ran past the villages
of Ai and Bethel.  At most they were small towns and easily
captured.  Along this highway went the Hebrew tribes later known as
the Ephraimites and Manassites.  The other roads led through the
wilderness southwestward to the heart of Judah.  The frontier town
of Bezek, mentioned in the ancient narrative of Judges, has not yet
been identified.  The name is perhaps but a scribal corruption of
Bethlehem or of Bethzur further to the south.  The other towns
ultimately captured by the southern tribes were Hebron, with its
copious water supply, Debir to the southwest, and Arad and Hormah
which lay on the borders of the South Country.  The capture of
these six or seven outposts represents the first stage in the
conquest and settlement of Palestine.  It was significant because
it meant that the people from the wilderness had gained a foothold
in the land where they ultimately found their home.  It inaugurated
Israel's pioneer period.  The Hebrews were no longer homeless
wanderers in the desert, nor sojourners in a foreign land.  At this
point Israel's history as a nation properly begins, although the
complete union of the tribes was not consummated until nearly a
century later.



The impression conveyed by the later passages in the book of Joshua
that the Hebrews within a period of seven years became complete
masters of the land of Canaan is different from that made by the
older records in Judges.  These indicate that the process was
gradual, extending through several generations.  Except at two or
three great crises, this conquest appears to have been peaceful
rather than by the sword, a process of settlement and colonization
rather than of capture.  Today throughout many parts of Palestine
one may still see, close to the cities, the black tents and the
flocks of the Bedouin immigrants.  In the days of the Hebrew
settlement the Canaanites were largely confined to the fertile
valleys.  The uplands were still open to the men from the desert.
Here the Hebrews pitched their tents and finally built their rude
homes.  In this more favorable environment their families and their
flocks gradually increased until they began to encroach upon the
territory already occupied by the older inhabitants.  The resulting
quarrels and differences were sometimes settled by the appeal to
the sword; more frequently by alliances sealed by intermarriages.
The early narrative in the ninth and tenth chapters of the book of
Judges gives a vivid picture of the resulting condition: in the
strong Canaanite city of Shechem, Hebrews and Canaanites had so far
intermarried that Abimelech, a product of this intermarriage,
succeeded his father Gideon as king of the first little Hebrew
kingdom.  At Shechem Hebrews and Canaanites also worshipped side by
side in the common sanctuary, which was known as "the temple of
Baal of the Covenant."

Under the pressure of the increased population certain of the
Hebrew tribes migrated and seized new territory.  Such a migration
is vividly recorded in Judges 17 and 18.  The little tribe of the
Danites, finding the pressure of their kinsmen on the north and
east and that of the Philistines on the west too strong, captured
the Canaanite city of Laish at the foot of Mount Hermon and thus
found a permanent home in the upper Jordan valley.

It was a cruel, barbarous age in which might was regarded as right.
Thus, Ehud the Benjamite, who treacherously gained admittance to
the presence of Eglon, secretly slew this Moabite oppressor of the
Hebrews.  This act instead of being condemned was regarded then and
even by later generations as an example of courageous patriotism.
Was his act justifiable?  How would it be regarded in America



The growing numbers and strength of the Israelites at last alarmed
the Canaanites.  A certain leader by the name of Sisera formed a
coalition of the strong Canaanite cities encircling the Plain of
Esdraelon.  The centre of this coalition was the powerful city of
Megiddo, the ruins of which on the south-western side of the plain
still remain to testify to the natural strength of this ancient
stronghold.  The policy of the Canaanites was to keep the different
Hebrew clans apart and thus prevent united action.  In the words of
the ancient song:

  In the days of Jael the highways were unused,
  And travellers walked by round-about paths.
  The rulers ceased in Israel;
  A shield was not seen in five cities
  Nor a spear among forty thousand.

The one who alone appears to have understood the crisis and to have
been able to stir the Israelites to action was Deborah, the
prophetess of the central tribe of Issachar.  Israel's struggle for
independence is graphically recorded in the ancient poem found in
Judges 5.  The later prose version of the incident, found in Judges
4, supplements the earlier poem.  To a chief of a northern tribe of
Napthali, a certain Barak, she turned as the natural leader in the
struggle for independence.  Together they sent out the summons to
the different northern tribes.  The southern tribes of Judah and
Simeon were apparently ignored.  The distant tribes of Asher, Dan
and Reuben were engrossed in their local interests and failed to
respond.  The tribesmen who rallied forty thousand strong on the
northern side of the Plain of Esdraelon represented the great
central Hebrew clans.  The ancient song, sung by the women as they
met the returning warriors, makes it possible to reconstruct the
battle scene.  Through the broad valleys that lead into the Plain
of Esdraelon from the north came the sinewy, unkempt, roughly clad
and poorly equipped Hebrew tribesmen, each clan led by its local
chief.  They had "come up to the help of Jehovah against the
mighty."  Tribal patriotism, the memory of past grievances, the
desire for plunder, and zeal for Jehovah the God who had led their
forefathers through the wilderness into the land of Canaan, stirred
their courage and fired them to deeds of valor.  Well they chose
their battlefield, out on the plain on the northern side of the
muddy, sluggish river Kishon.  On the slightly rising ground they
faced the Canaanite warriors who came out across the plain from the
city of Megiddo, six miles away.  The Canaanites were armed with
chariots and the best weapons that the early Semitic civilization
could produce, but one thing they lacked,--courage, fired by
religious zeal.

Again a striking natural phenomenon appears suddenly to have turned
the tide of Israel's fortune.  On the eve of battle a drenching
thunderstorm seems to have swept across the alluvial plain
transforming it into a morass and the sluggish Kishon into a
rushing, unfordable river.  In the words of the ancient triumphal

  From heaven fought the stars,
  From their courses fought against Sisera.
  The river Kishon swept them away,
  The ancient river, the river Kishon.
  O my soul, march on with strength!
  Then did the horse-hoofs resound
  With the galloping, galloping of their steeds.

The Hebrew even brings out the sound of the sucking of the horses'
hoofs in the soft mud.  The storm not only gave to the Hebrews, who
were on foot, a vast advantage, but it meant to them that Jehovah,
whose chariot was the clouds, his weapons, the lightning, and who
spoke through the thunders, was fighting in their behalf.

The victory was overwhelming.  Sisera, the Canaanite leader, fled,
but only to fall later, ignominiously slain by a woman.  Henceforth
the Canaanite cities of central Palestine were occupied by the
Hebrews.  The vanquished were either enslaved or absorbed in
intermarriage.  From them, however, the Hebrews learned skill in
agriculture and received a heritage of art, ideas and customs that
had been developed by the Canaanites for many centuries.  How far
was this heritage beneficial to the Hebrews?  What temptations did
it bring to them?  Did it mark a step forward in their development?
Were the early Hebrews a pure or a mixed race?

More important than the spoils and lands which fell to the Hebrews
was the new demonstration of Jehovah's ability and willingness to
deliver his people which they received in the battle beside Kishon.
Throughout all of Israel's colonial period the chief force binding
the scattered Hebrew tribes together was their faith in Jehovah.
The victory greatly strengthened that faith and prepared the way
for the closer union which was necessary before Israel could become
a permanent force among the nations of the earth.  The vision of
what they had been able to achieve through united action never
completely faded from the memory of the Hebrews.  Their subsequent
experiences also tended to revive this memory.  Amidst the warring
elements in Palestine a powerful nation was gradually taking form;
in the school of hard experience it was learning the lessons that
were fitting it for a large life.



The final stage in the evolution of Israel is recorded in the
opening chapters of I Samuel and is best studied in detail in
connection with the history of the nation at its zenith.  We have
studied the forces which made the nation.  A brief summary will
indicate the transition to the next period, that of the kingdom.
The victory over the Canaanites gave the Hebrews possession of the
land and left them free to coalesce into a united nation; but the
centrifugal tribe spirit for a time proved the stronger.  Under
Gideon a beginning was made in kingdom making, but owing to the
cruelty and inefficiency of his son Abimelech, the first Hebrew
state lasted little more than a generation.

The compelling power that finally brought all the rival Hebrew
tribes together under a common leader was the conquest of their
territory by the warlike, ambitious Philistines.  In inspiring the
Benjamite chieftain Saul to deliver his countrymen in their hour of
shame and peril, Samuel the prophet proved the true father of the
Hebrew kingdom.  Under the compulsion of common danger the
Israelites not only followed Saul to victory, but also made him
their king.  From this time on Israel took its place among the
nations of the earth.

During their formative period the Hebrews acquired many
characteristics that they have retained throughout their history.
From their early nomadic life they inherited physical strength,
hardihood, adaptability even to the most unfavorable environment,
courage, perseverance and that individual initiative and
self-reliance which come from protracted struggles against
seemingly insuperable odds.  It was a harsh but thorough school in
which the infant nation Israel was trained.  Their life in the
wilderness and in the period of settlement also developed an
intense love for freedom and that democratic spirit that was the
glory of Israel and the foundation of its political institutions.

People passing their time chiefly out of doors and enjoying the
uplifting stimulus of an unfettered life in the open naturally
acquire a feeling of awe and reverence for the God of nature that
is often lacking in the city dweller.  Especially is this true if,
like the early Hebrews, the dwellers in the open feel that need of
divine protection which is begotten by constant exposure to danger,
hunger, hardship and hostile foes.  The many crises and the signal
deliverances that came to the Hebrews not only intensified their
faith, but also gave them the consciousness that the God in whom
they put their trust was both able and eager to deliver them.
Prophets like Moses strengthened the popular sense of Jehovah's
immediate presence and interpreted the significance of each event.

Israel's early faith was simple, like that of a little child.
While its beliefs were crude, its trust was strong.  It was this
trust and loyalty that carried the child nation through its early
crises and ultimately bound together the separate tribes into a
united commonwealth.  Thus Israel's early history illustrates the
fundamental truth, that the most essential, the most powerful force
in the making of a nation is a simple, practical, every-day

_Questions for Further Consideration_.

Should the successful and easy crossing of the Jordan by the
Israelites be ascribed to miracle or to their own promptness in
seizing an opportunity unexpectedly offered?

In what ways did the religious zeal of the ancient Hebrews in
battle differ from the fanatical zeal of the modern Moslem in
fighting the Christians?  Or the zeal of the Japanese before Port

When, if ever, is assassination justifiable as a political
expedient?  Give your reasons.

Were the Hebrews justified in the methods employed in securing
control of Palestine?

Is it right for a progressive nation to compel a backward nation to
submit?  Were the Americans on this ground justified in seizing the
lands of the Indians?

What were the chief tenets in the early faith of the Hebrews?

How did Israel's faith affect its political development?

In what important ways was religion effective in making the English
state?  The American commonwealth?

_Subjects for Further Study_.

(1) The Structure and Literary History of the Book of Judges,
McFadyen, _Introd. to O. T_. 76-83; Kent, _Student's O. T_. I, 26,

(2) Conditions in Canaan at the Time of the Hebrew Settlement.
Paton, _Early Hist. of Syria and Pal_., 157-60; Maspero, _Struggle
of the Nations_, 111-208; _Encyc. Bib_. II, 2223-5.

(3) The Motives that Inspired the Leaders of the American
Revolution.  Fiske, Lodge, Bancroft or other writers on this period.

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