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natives of Palestine, they belonged, when circumcised, to the Jewish nation, and might" enter into the congregation of the Lord.” They might have been slaves in Egypt, or Ethiopia, or Assyria, but they could not be such in Judea; on the contrary, however degraded, in whatever country from which they came, the Mosaic Institutes immediately began to elevate and emancipate them.
We find an interesting and important instance in the epi. sode related in 1 Chron. 2: 34,35—the case of the Egyptian Jarha, the servant of Sheshan, and adopted by him as his son, to whom he gave his daughter to wife, and the Jewish genealogy of the family continued uninterrupted in the line of their children. This is an instructive commentary on the laws; and, being a case nearly parallel, in point of time, with the transactions in the book of Ruth (for Sheshan must have been nearly contemporary with Boaz), it indicates, as well as that history, the admirable contrast between the free. dom prevalent in Judea and the despotism in every other country. “I am the Lord your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen, and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright" (Lev. 26: 13). The same emancipating power, exerted by God's interposing and protecting providence and discipline upon the Jews themselves, was also exercised by the system of statutes, privileges, and instructions, under which the poorest and humblest creature in the land was brought, upon the bond-servants taken from the heathen: the bands of their yoke were broken, and they were made to go upright. “ Thou shalt not abhor an Edom. ite, for he is thy brother; thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian, because thou wast a stranger in his land. The children that are begotten of them shall enter into the congregation of the Lord in their third generation” (Deut. 23: 7, 8).
Case of the Children of Solomon's Servants, and of the Stran
gers appointed to labor.
The children of Solomon's servants, as well as the Nethi.
nim, have the honor of being registered according to their genealogy by families, as in Neh. 7:57—60. Ten individuals or heads of families are named; and their children are the children of Solomon's servants, numbering, together with the Nethinim, only three hundred and ninety-two. From the context it would appear that their fathers' house was considered of Israel ; and they, being able to show their genealogy, were honorably distinguished from others, who could not show their fathers' house, nor their pedigree, whether they were of Israel (Neh. 7: 62). On the whole, it would seem that they were a favored class, and honorably distinguished by their service, which was to them an hereditary privilege worthy of being retained, and not an ignoble or a toilsome separation, nor a mark of bondage.
We must, however, consider their state and probable employment, in connection with the following passages and proofs in regard to the tributary service levied by Solomon upon them and similar classes. In 2 Chron. 2: 17, 18, we find it recorded that Solomon numbered all the strangers that were in the land of Israel, after the numbering wherewith David his father had numbered them; and they were found a hundred and fifty-three thousand and six hundred. And he set threescore and ten thousand of them to be bearers of burdens, and fourscore thousand to be hewers in the mountain, and three thousand and six hundred overseers, to set the people to work. See also 1 Kings 5:15,16. To this is added, on occasion of the mention of Solomon's vast enterprises in the building of cities, the following historical record (2 Chron 8: 7, 8, 9): “All the people left of the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, that were not of Israel, but were of their children who were left after them in the land, whom the children of Israel consumed not, them did Solomon make to pay tribute unto this day. But of the children of Israel did Solomon make no servants for his work.” Comparing this with the similar record in 1 Kings 9: 20, 21, 22, we find some additional light as to the kind of tribute exacted : “ Their children that were left after them in the land, whom the children
of Israel were not able utterly to destroy, upon these did Solomon levy a tribute of bond-service(250m? ), a tribute of labor; but of the children of Israel did Solomon make no bondmen. The tribute, then, was an appointed value, paid in manual labor, furnished by these tributary races, in the person of laborers, who labored not as hired servants, but as working out the taxes of such service imposed by the monarch.
All the strangers were numbered, 7, the same word used in Lev. 19: 34, 35 and other passages, as Ex. 22: 21: - Thou shalt not oppress the stranger; the stranger shall be as one born amongst you, for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.” But these nations of Canaan, that were to have been utterly destroyed (see Deut. 20:17), had never been exterminated, and the different tribes, in their inheritance, could not drive them out; but as far and as fast as possible put them to tribute, made them serve under tribute, nasom? (Josh. 16:10), being precisely the same expression used in 2 Chron. 8: 9 and 1 Kings 9: 21 of the tribute of bond-service levied by Solomon. See Josh. 15: 63 and 17: 12, 13; also Judges 1: 21, 27, 28, 30, 33, 35; also 3: 3,5. This tributary service did not make them all hereditary bondmen ; but was a tax of service to a certain amount, levied according to fixed rules, so that these foreign races must supply a sufficient number of laborers to work out that tax. The tax was a perpetual tribute ; consequently, the bond-service by which it must be paid, was perpetual, unless there had been a system of commutation, of which however we find no direct evidence. It was only the races of the land of Canaan, such as are mentioned in 1 Kings 9: 20, 21 and 2 Chron. 8:7, that could by law be thus treated; and such treatment was itself, in reality, a merciful commutation, instead of that destruction to which they had originally been devoted.
The numbering of these strangers for the work of building the Temple, was begun by David ; that work was a public national and religious service, such as that to which the Gibeonites, more especially from the outset, had been consecrated, at a time when it was supposed that they only, of all the inhabitants of Canaan, would have been spared. But
a great many others were spared also; so that, in the general numbering of the people by Joab, at David's command (2 Sam. 24: 2 and 1 Chron. 21: 2), the cities of the Hivites and of the Canaanites are particularly designated (2 Sam. 24:7); and comparing this with Josh. 17:12 and Judg. 1: 27 -33, there is reason to suppose that the particular designation is with reference to the class of inhabitants. In this general census of the people, Joab seems to have noted these
strangers” by themselves; and after this census “ David commanded to gather together the strangers that were in the land of Israel, and he set masons to hew wrought stones to build the house of God” (1 Chron. 22: 2). It is doubtless to this that the reference is made in 2 Chron. 2: 17,“ Solomon numbered all the strangers that were in the land of Israel, after the numbering wherewith David his father had numbered them."
That the strangers numbered and appointed for their work by David, and those numbered and appointed by Solomon, were of the same class, and that this class comprised the races named in Solomon's catalogue of tribes from whom he levied his tribute of bond-service, is rendered more certain by an examination of the number of foreigners or strangers of all classes that must have been, at this time, under the royal government of Israel. In 1 Chron. 5: 10, 19, 20, 21, there is an account of a battle between the Reubenites and a very numerous tribe of Hagarites, in which the children of Israel gained a great victory, insomuch that they captured a hun. dred thousand souls. This was in the days of Saul. Besides these Hagarites, it is evident that the number of tributaries must have greatly increased from David's own wars, as is proved in 2 Sam. 8: 4, 14. We should have a census of more than a hundred and fifty thousand “strangers," from these transactions alone; so that the number recorded in 2 Chron. 2: 17 (a hundred and fifty-three thousand and six hundred) as being all the strangers in the land of Israel, must be taken as rated for legal bond-service, from the nations or remaining races of the Canaanites only.
In this connection we mustremember the law in regard to all
heathen nations conquered in war (except the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Hivites, Perizzites, and Jebusites, devoted to extermination), which was as follows (Deut. 20: 10, 11): “ When thou comest nigh to a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it; and it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee." Between these and the races of the Canaanites there seems to have been a distinction as to treatment always maintained. It would seem that Lev. 25: 45, “ Of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy," must refer particularly to the Canaanitish races, as we shall see more particularly in the examination of that passage. These nations and their descendants were to be made to pay a tribute of bond-service, such as the Hebrews could not exact from all the heathen, and were forbidden to impose on one another. Accordingly, in the account of such bond-service, as laid by Solomon on the descendants of these races, it is expressly stated in contrast, that of the children of Israel did Solomon make no bondmen.” A levy was raised at the same time, from all Israel, of thirty thousand men who labored in Lebanon, ten thousand a month, by courses (1 Kings 5: 13, 14); but this was very different from the tribute of bond-service levied, which comprised the threescore and ten thousand that bare burdens, and fourscore thousand hewers in the mountains. Along with these tributary and hereditary laborers, there were united the laborers obtained from Hiram, king of Tyre, for whose service Solomon paid Hiram, but not them: “unto thee will I give hire for thy servants, according to all that thou shalt appoint” (1 Kings 5: 6).
That the condition of the races under this law of tributary service was not one of general or oppressive bondage, is clear from the position in which Araunah the Jebusite appears before us in the interview between him and David, 2 Sam.xxiv. Araunah, although of the tributary race, is a substantial householder and farmer, dwelling amidst his own possessions, and making a bargain with king David, as in every respect a free