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one to be who should 'endeavour to persuade them that the earth tyrns round upon its axis.
It certainly is very desirable to gain some knowledge of the science of astronomy, if circumstances will permit, because it elevates and expands the mind, and furnishes us with noble reflections : we must not however seek to learn it from the SCRIPTUREs, for they treat of higher things: leading us to an acquaintance with the GREAT CREATOR, and teaching us how we may serde him, and obtain eternal happiness. So that when we meet with any expression contradictory to those discoveries which God has enabled some part of mankind to make for the general benefit concerning the laws of nature, we must always understand, that as the Scriptures were written for the ignorant, as well as the learned, God has graciously accommodated them to the capacity of the humblest reader, in order to prevent their being, led away from things of real consequence, by speculations of no use to the lower kinds of people : and to make them contented with that degree of ignorance which is generally the lot of the laborious, by giving them, instead of scientific learning, the inestimable treasure of Divine revelation ; by means of which they are taught, that the labour of the husbandman and the mechanic, are of the utmost benefit to society; and that faith and piety towards God, and honesty and kindness in their dealings with mankind, will render them acceptable to their Maker.
As all things are equally possible to the SUPREME BEING, there is no doubt but He could have ordered the conquest of the Canaanites without a miracle ; but had not the attention of the Israelites been particularly directed to the all-powerful hand of Divine Providence, they might have attributed the victory to their own skill and courage. It has been mentioned before that it
was the custom with many of the idolators to worship the sun and moon; and there is reason to suppose
that the very people with whom Israel fought were ad. dicted to this species of idolatry, and perhaps had bowed down and worshipped these heavenly luminaries, invoking their assistance in the day of battle. If this was the case, nothing could so effectually evince the folly of their abominable superstition, and prove the supreme power of God, as arresting the appareno course of these imaginary Deities, and making them subservient and instrumental to the destruction of their infatuated worshippers..
JOSHUA COMPLETES. HIS CONQUEST::.
From Joshua Chap. xi.
And it came to pass, when Jabin king of Hazor hadi heard those things, that he sent to Jobab king of Madon, and to the king of Shimron, the king of Ach.. shaph, and to the kings that were in the north of the mountains, and of the plains' south of Cinneroth; and in the valley, and in the borders of Dor on the west; and to the Canaanite on the east and on the west, and to the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Jebusite in the mountains, and to the Hivite under Hermon, in the land of Mizpeth.
And they went out, they and all their hosts with them, much people, even as the sand that is upon the sea-shore in multitude, with horses and chariots very many:
And when all these kings were met together, they came and pitched together at the waters of Merom, to fight against Israel.
And the Lord said unto Joshua,. Be not afraid bee. cause of them: for to morrow about this time will I deliver them up all slain before Israel: thou shalt hough their horses, and burn their chariots with fire.
So Joshua came, and all the people of war with him, against them by the waters of Merom, suddenly, and they fell upon them.
And the Lord delivered them into the hand of Is. rael, who smote them, and chased them' unto great Zi. don, and unto Mizrephoth-maim, and unto the valley of Mizpeth eastward : and they smote them until they left them none remaining.
And Joshua did unto them as the LORD bade him : be houghed their horses, and burnt their chariots witli fire. • And Joshua at that time turned back, and took Hazor, and smote the king thereof with the sword : for Hazor before-time was the head of all those kingdoms.
And they smote all the souls that were therein with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them; there
left to breathe: and he burnt Hazor with fire,
And all the cities of those kings, and all the kings of them, did Joshua take, and smote them with the edge of the sword, and he utterly destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the LORD commanded.
But as for the cities that stood still in their strength, Israel burned none of them, save Hazor only; that did Joshua burn.
And all the spoil of these cities and the cattle the children of Israel took for a prey unto themselves, but every man they smote with the edge of the sword, until they had destroyed them, neither left they any to breathe.
As the LORD commanded Moses his servant, so did Moses command Joshua, and so did Joshua : he left Dothing undone of all that the LORD commanded Moses.
So Joshua took all that land, the bills and all the south country, and all the land of Goshen, and the valley, and the plain, and the mountain of Israel, and the valley of the same ; even from the mount Halack, that goeth up to Seir, even unto Baal-gad, in the valley of Lebanon, under mount Hermon : and all their kings he took, and smote them and slew them.
Joshua made war a long time with all those kings.
There was not a city that made peace with the chil. dren of Israel, save the Hivites the inhabitants of Gibeon : all other they took in battle.
For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favour, but that he might destroy them, as the LORD commanded Moses.
And at that time came Joshua, and cut off the Anakims from the mountains, from Hebron, from Dubir, from Anab, and from all the mountains of Judah, and from all the mountains of Israel, Joshua destroyed them utterly with their cities.
There was none of the Anakims left in the land of the children of Israel : only in Gaza, in Gath, and ia: Ashdod, there remained some of them.
So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD said unto Moses ; and the land rested from
And the number of kings which Joshua and the children of Israel slew on this side, Jordan, was thirty
ANNOTA . ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
The Canaanites were very obstinate in making such resistance ; for we may judge, from the case of the Gibe. onites, that if other nations would have humbled them. selves, and embraced the true religion, they might have . been spared, and perhaps they might have had better terms than the Gibeonites were allowed; but they generally came out against Joshua first, and none would listen to conditions of
peace. It is supposed that Joshua's wars, though the history is comprized in so short a compass, lasted five years ; agree. ably to the words of God, that he would “subdue the nations before them by little and little.". Even the Anakims at length fell a prey to his victorious arms, notwithstanding they fortified themselves in the strongest manner, and made use, without doubt, of every stratagem they could devise. These were the men whose gigantic appearance struck such terror into the spies that searched the land in the days of Moses.
Thus the LORD drove out the nations from before his people, enabled them to smite the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, and gave them possession of their land, according to His pro. mise to Abraham.
We read that Joshua's army slew one-and-thirty kings ; it seems that each of these presided only over one city and its towns and villages, and that'when any one was in danger from an enemy, many of them united together for the common safety.
The punishment of the kings appears very severe ; but even the crowned head that exalteth itself against the LORD, deserves to be laid low.