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“ If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;
“I will establish my covenant with you.
“ And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.”—Levit. xxvi. 3, 9, 12,
“ Now, therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people : for all the earth is mine. And ye shall be unto me
a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.'—Exod. xix, 5, 6. This treaty is confirmed by the sacrifice of burnt-offerings.
“ And Moses took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people : and they said, All that Jehovah hath said will we do, and be obedient. And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which Jehovah hath made with you concerning all
these words.”—Exod. xxiv. 7, 8. Jehovah swears to keep his covenants, and he keeps them because he has sworn to do so.* Jupiter and the other Grecian gods swear by the Styx, and they confirm their oaths by an inclination of the head, by which action their decrees are rendered irreversible.
Such a system of government was not calculated to produce happy moral results : but Moses desired and aimed at the political, rather than the moral, greatness of the Hebrew people.
Many reasons may be adduced in support of the opinion that a considerable portion of the Book of Deuteronomy did not originate with Moses, but is the contribution of later writers.
The God whom Moses portrays in the foregoing Books is the God of one little nation of the earth. This God secures great temporal prosperity to his chosen people, as long as they prove their allegiance to him. He is a powerful God; mightier than all other Gods. He is jealous, wrathful, and revengeful'; partial in his affections, and therefore in particular instances merciful and long suffering. He is a God who sometimes requires deceit and dishonesty, and a God who can be softened and appeased, when most enraged, by the sacrifice of incense, and the sweet savour of a burntoffering. He is a God who places his presence in one particular spot, commands the constant homage of adulation and sacrifice, enters into covenant with his people, and swears to perform his oath. It could not be rationally expected that Moses, who was educated among the idolatrous and superstitious Egyptians, should have acquired more enlarged and elevated notions. Some of these notions are to be found in Deuteronomy, and may be regarded as Mosaical: for instanceJehovah is humanly represented :
* See Exod. xiii. 11; Numb. xiv. 30.
“ Jehovah talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire."
“ Behold, Jehovah our God hath shewed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man and he liveth.”—Chap. v. 4 and 24.
“ And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom Jehovah knew face to face.”—Chap. xxxiv. 10.
“Jehovah delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God."--Chap. ix. 10. Jehovah proves the people in order to know how to act towards them :
“ And thou shalt remember all the way which Jehovah thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.”
Chap. viii. 2. “ If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for Jehovah your God proveth you, to know whether ye love Jehovah your God with all your heart
and with all your soul."—Chap. xiii. 1-3. Jehovah is a partial God.
“ Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live? Or hath God assayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by
great terrors, according to all that Jehovah your God did for
And because he loved thy fathers, therefore he chose their
Chap. iv. 33, 34, 37, 38. “ For thou art an holy people unto Jehovah thy God : Jehovah thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.”— Chap. vii. 6. Jehovah is wrathful. The fierceness of his anger is turned away from Israel, in answer to the prayer
of Moses, also, lest the nations shall say, " Jehovah is not able to bring them into the land which he promised them.”
" I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: let me alone, that I may destroy them, and blot out their name from under heaven : and I will make of thee a nation mightier and greater than they.”
“ And I fell down before Jehovah as at the first, forty days and forty nights : I did neither eat bread, nor drink water, because of all your sins which ye sinned, in doing wickedly in the sight of Jehovah to provoke him to anger.
For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure, wherewith Jehovah was wroth against you to destroy you. But Jehovah hearkened unto me that time also.”—Chap. ix. 13, 14, 18, 19.
"I prayed therefore unto Jehovah, and said, O Jehovah God destroy not thy people and thiné inheritance, which thou hast redeemed through thy greatness, which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand. Remember thy servànts, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; look not unto the stubbornness of this people, nor to their wickedness, nor to their sin: lest the land whence thou broughtest us out say, Because Jehovah was not able to bring them into the land which he promised them, and because he hated them, he hath brought them out to slay them in the wilderness.”—Chap. ix. 26-28.
" Jehovah will not spare him, but then the anger of Jehovah and his jealousy shall smoke against that man.”
Chap. xxix. 20. “I said, I would scatter them into corners, I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men: were it not that I feared the wrath of the enemy, lest their adversaries should behave themselves strangely, and lest they should say, Our hand is high, and Jehovah hath not done all this.”
Chap. xxxii. 26, 27.
Jehovah is cruel in commanding the utter destruction of the Canaanites.
“ When Jehovah thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou : and when Jehovah thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them.”
Chap. vii. 1, 2.
For Jehovah thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous
Chap. vi. 15.
“ Then there shall be a place which Jehovah your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there ; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto Jehovah.”—Chap. xii. 11.
“ And of Levi he said, Let thy Thummim and thy Urim be with thy holy one, whom thou didst prove at Massah, and with whom thou didst strive at the waters of Meribah."
Chap. xxxiv. 8. Jehovah establishes his covenant with Israel, and
engages to be “ a God unto them, if they will serve him faithfully and not worship gods whom they know not."*
“ And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O
" Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these
* See Deut. xxix. 26.
That thou shouldest enter into covenant with Jehovah thy God
“ But thou shalt remember Jehovah thy God, for it is he
Chap viii. 18, 19. “Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them : and then Jehovah's wrath be kindled against you and he shut up the heaven that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit, and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which Jehovah giveth you.”—Chap. xi. 16, 17. With these feeble and imperfect notions of a nationalGod, which prevailed among the Hebrews during the Mosaic age, are combined representations of the being and attributes of Deity, which are of a very different, and of a far higher and worthier character.
The divine unity is plainly declared, and the nothingness of idols and of strange gods, is unequivocally stated. The majesty, faithfulness, righteousness, and lovingkindness of the only God of heaven and earth, are beautifully set forth, particularly in what is called the Song of Moses.
“ What God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might?"
Chap. iii. 24.
“ Jehovah he is God, there is none else beside him.”
Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our God is one Jehovah, and thou