Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

making way to their future calamity, and to the most grievous slavery that ever Israel suffered, quarrelled with Jephta, that they were not called to the war, as beforetime they had contested with Gideon. Jephta hereupon enforced to defend himself against their fury, in the encounter slew of them t 42,000, which so weakened the body of the land, as the Philistines had an easy conquest of them all not long after: Jephta, after he had judged Israel six years, died; to whom succeeded Ibzan, who ruled seven years; after him Elon was their judge ten years ; in all which time Israel had peace. Eusebius finds not Elon, whom he calleth Adon; for in the Septuagint, approved in his time, this judge was omitted.

Now before I go on with the rest, it shall be necessary upon the occasion of Jephta's account of the times, Judg. xi. 28. (where he says that Israel had then possessed the east side of Jordan 300 years,) to speak somewhat of the times of the judges, and of the differing opinions among the divines and chronologers; there being found three places of scripture, touching this point, seeming repugnant, or disagreeing: the first is in this dispute between Jephta and Ammon, for the right and possession of Gilead; the second is that of St. Paul, Acts xiii; the third that which is in the first of Kings. Jephta here challengeth the possession of Gilead for 300 years : St. Paul giveth to the judges, as it seems, from the end of Joshua to the last of Heli, 450 years. In the first of Kings it is taught that, from the departing of Israel out of Egypt to the foundation of Solomon's temple, there were consumed 480 years. To the first, Beroaldus findeth Jephta's 300 years to be but 266 years, to wit, eighteen of Joshua, forty of Othoniel, eighty of Aod and Samgar, forty of Deborah, forty of Gideon, three of Abimelech, twenty-three of Thola, and twenty-two of Jair; but Jephta (saith Beroaldus) u putteth or proposeth a certain number for an uncertain: Sic ut dicat annum agi prope trecentesimum, ex quo nullus litem ea de re moverit Israeli; “ So he

* Judg. xii. u Id facit numero certo pro incerto proposito.

6 speaketh," saith he, « as meaning, that then it was about “ or well nigh the three hundredth year since Israel pos“ sessed those countries, no man making question of their “ right.” Codoman, on the contrary, finds more years than Jephta named by sixty-five, to wit, 365, whereof seventyone were spent in Israel's captivity, at several times, of which (as Codoman thinketh) Jephta forbare to repeat the whole sum, or any great part, lest the Ammonite should have justly objected that seventy-one of those years the Israelites were in captivity and vassals to their neighbour princes, and therefore, knowing that to name 300 years it was enough for prescription, he omitted the rest.

To justify this account of 365 years, besides the seventyone years of captivity or affliction to be added to Beroaldus's 266, he addeth also twenty-eight years more, and so maketh up the sum of 365. These twenty-eight years he findeth out thus; twenty years he gives to the seniors be, tween Joshua and Othoniel ; and where Beroaldus alloweth but eighteen years to Joshua's government, Codoman accounts that his rule lasted twenty-six according to Josephus; whereas St. Augustine and Eusebius give him twenty-seven, Melanchton thirty-two. The truth is, that this addition of twenty-eight years is far more doubtful than the other of seventy-one. But though we admit not of this addition, yet by accounting of some part of the years of affliction, (to wit, thirty-four years of the seventy-one,) if we add them to the 266 years of Beroaldus, which reckoneth none of these, we have the just number of 300 years. Neither is it strange that Jephta should leave out more than half of these years of affliction ; seeing, as it is already said, the Ammonites might except against these seventy-one years, and say, that during these years, or at least a good part of them, the Israelites had no quiet possession of the countries in question, Martin Luther is the author of a third opinion, making those 300 years remembered by Jephta, to be 306, which odd years, saith he, Jephta omitteth. But because the years of every judge, as they reigned, cannot make up this number of 306, but do only compound

266, therefore doth Luther add to this number the whole time which Moses spent in the deserts of Arabia Petræa ; which forty years of Moses, added to the number which Beroaldus findeth of 266, make indeed 306.

But I see nothing in the text to warrant Luther's judgment herein ; for, in the dispute between Jephta and Ammon for the land of Gilead, it is written in the person of Ammon in these words ; " Because Israel took my land, when they came up from Egypt, from Arnon unto Jaboc, &c. now therefore restore those lands quietly, or in peace. So by this place it is plain, that the time is not to be accounted from Moses's departure out of Egypt, but from the time that the land was possessed. For it is said, Quia cepit Israel terram meam ; " Because Israel took my land;" and therefore the beginning of this account is to be referred to the time of the taking, which Jephta's answer also confirmeth in these words; * When Israel dwelt in Heshbon and in her towns, and in Aroer and in her towns, and in all the cities that are by the coast of Arnon 300 years : why did ye not then recover them in that space ? So as this place speaks it directly, that Israel had inhabited and dwelt in the cities of Gilead 300 years; and therefore to account the times from the hopes or intents, that Israel had to possess it, it seemeth somewhat strained to me; for we do not use to reckon the time of our conquests in France, from our princes’ intents or purposes, but from their victories and possessions.

Junius nevertheless likes the opinion of Luther, and says, that this time of 300 years hath reference, and is to take beginning from the first of Jephta's narration ; when he makes a brief repetition of Moses's whole journey, to wit, at the 16th verse of the eleventh chapter of Judges in our translation, in these words ; y But when Israel came up from Egypt, &c. And therefore Moses's forty years (as he thinks) are to be accounted, which make the number of 305 years, and not only the time in which Israel possessed Gilead, according to the text, and Jephta's own words, of

Judg. xi. 13. Judg. xi. 26. y Junius in the 11th of Judg. note,

which I leave the judgment to others; to whom also I leave to judge, whether we may not begin the 480 years from the deliverance out of Egypt to the temple, even from the first departure out of Egypt, and yet find a more probable reconciliation of St. Paul's and Jephta's account with this reckoning, than any of those that as yet have been signified. For first, touching Jephta's 300 years of possession of the east side of Jordan, it is to be remembered, that for a good while before the Israelites possessed it, Sehon and Og had dispossessed Moab and Ammon thereof; so that when the Israelites had conquered Sehon and Og, the right of possession which they had, passed to Israel ; and so Jephta might say, that they had possessed those countries 300 years, reckoning 266 years of their own possession, and the rest of the possession of the two kings Sehon and Og, whose right the Israelites had by the law of conquest.

The second place disputed is this of St. Paul, Acts xiii. that from the end of 2 Joshua to the beginning of Samuel there passed 450 years. And this place Luther understandeth also besides the letter, as I find his opinion cited by Functius Krentsemius and Beza, for I have not read his commentaries. For he accounteth from the death of Moses to the last year of Heli but 357 years; and this he doth, the better to approve the times from the egression out of Egypt to the building of the temple, which in 1 Kings vi. is said to be 480 years.

Now forasmuch as St. Paul (as it seems) finds 450 years from the death of Joshua to the last of Heli, and leaves but thirty years for Saul and Samuel, who governed forty, for David who ruled forty, and for Salomon who ware the crown three whole years ere the foundation of the temple was laid ; therefore Luther takes it, that there was error in the scribe who wrate out this piece of scripture of St. Paul, to wit, a Then afterward he gave unto them judges about 450 years, unto the time of Samuel the pro

2 Read the 24th of Joshua, and 2 Judg. vii. Funct. Chron. fol. 4. Beza in his Annotations upon the 13th of

the Acts, ver. 20.

a Acts xiii. 20.

phet; the words then afterwards being clearly referred to the death or after the death of Joshua, as shall be hereafter proved. But where St. Luke, rehearsing the words of St. Paul, wrate 350 years, (saith Luther,) the scribe in the transcription being deceived by the affinity of those two Greek words, whereof the one signifieth 300, and the other 400, wrate tetracosiois for triacosiois, 400 years for 300 years, and 450 for 350. This he seeketh to strengthen by many arguments ; to which opinion Beza, in his great annotations, adhereth. A contrary judgment to this hath Codoman; where Luther and Beza begin at Moses's death, he takes his account from the death of Joshua, and from thence to the beginning of Samuel he makes 430 years, to wit, of the judges (not reckoning Samson's years) 319, and of years of servitude and affliction under strangers 111. The reason why he doth not reckon Samson's twenty years is, because he thinks that they were part of the forty years in which the Philistines are said to have oppressed Israel. For it is plain, that during all b Samson's time they were lords over Israel. So then of the judges, besides the 111 years of servitude, Codoman reckoneth (as I have said) 319 years, which two sums put together make 430 years; and whereas St. Paul nameth 450 years, he finds twenty years to make up St. Paul's number, to have been spent after the death of Joshua by the seniors, before the captivity of Chushan or the election of Othoniel ; which twenty years added to 430 make 450, according to St. Paul. To approve this time of the elders he citeth two places of scriptures, namely, the 24th of Joshua, and the 2nd of Judges, in each of which places it is written, that Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that over-lived Joshua, so as to these times of the elders Codoman giveth twenty years, which make as before 450, according to St. Paul. Neither would it breed any great difficulty in this opinion, if here also the twenty years of the seniors, between Joshua and Othoniel, should be denied. For they which deny these years, and make

1 Judg. xii. xv. 11. RALEGH, HIST. WORLD. VOL. 1. ff

« ZurückWeiter »