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till serve the LORD ; and with the Israelites, The LRD our God will we serve, and His voice will we óbey!
It is very satisfactory to read an account of the fut. filment of the promises respecting the Temporal Covehant, as it is añ earnest of the performance of those reTating to the Everlasting Covenant." We shall be put in possession of an inheritance in the kingdom of Hea: ven, as surely as the Israelites received theirs in Canaan, if we are not wanting to ourselves; but let us not forget that we have vices to conquer and virtues to acquire-an arduous task ! but such as the LORD' will, through Divine grace, enable us to accomplish, if we are strong and courageous to perform what He requires on our part of the Christian covenant.
JERUSALÉM AND OTHER CITIES TAKEN.
As the particular purpose for which Joshua was placed over the Israelites was accomplished by their obtaining rest in the land of Canaan, he did not, like Moses, name a successor ; and the most probable opinion is, that the people had no leader, but that the tribes were governed by their respective heads, or elders; which form of government is supposed to have subsisted about thirty years. The Lokd Himself was their king, and the high priest had the means of knowing God's holy will hy Urim and THUMMIM. It has been already observed, that a great part of Canaan remained unconquered, and that the Canaanites did not dare to molest the Lord's people; but it is likely that, after Joshua's đeathi, they took courage, and supposed that they should now be able to resist the Israelites : whether this. was the case, or not, is uncertain ; but we
are told K 5
that the tribes of Israel enquired of the LORD whe should begin the war against them, and this preference was given to the tribe of Judah, who, in confederacy with that of Simeon, attacked Adonibezek, king of Bezek, a cruel monarch, who had cut off the thumbs and great toes of 30 captive kings, and obliged them to gather up their meat like dogs under his table. He was justly condemned to suffer the same fate*.
After the conquest of Bezek, the united tribes in. vested Jerusalem, and having taken it, they put the inhabitants to the sword, and set the place on fire. Here Adonibezek died. It is not improbable that he perished in the flames.
Caleb seems to have commanded the armies at this time, who next attacked Hebron; here they slew three giants, named Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai ; having put Caleb in possession of Hebron, the armies proceeded against Debir, which was part of Caleb's lot.
The good old General had an only daughter, whose Aame was Achsah; he was desirous to see her married to a man of renown, and most likely Caleb knew that she had a similar wish; he therefore made proclama. tion in the camp, that whoever would attack and conquer Debir should be his son-in-law.
This enterprize was undertaken and accomplished by Othniel, Caleb's nephew, whose valour received the promised reward : and at Achsah’s request, Caleb gave a valuable portion with his daughter, consisting of a large tract of fertile and well watered land.
It is said, that the Lord was with Judah ; and they drave out the inhabitants of the mountains, but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron. We must not suppose, that the LORD's power was not sufficient to defeat the warriors * Judges Chap. is
of the mountains ; but it is likely, that the men of Judah had not sufficient confidence in Him to attack them, and declined the contest through fear and de spondency.
After the Simeonites had assisted the tribe of Judah, they were in turn assisted by them, in taking Gaza, Askelon, and Zephah. Encouraged by these successes the family of Joseph took Bethel.
The other tribes had equally good success in gaining the possession of the lands that were allotted to them, only the tribe of Dan was compelled to quit the plains for fear of the Amorites, and to retire into the moun. tainous parts of the country, where they were pent up for sone time till the family of Joseph came to their assistance ;
and having restrained the insolence of the enemy, reduced them to a narrower tract of a land than they had at first.
THE WICK EDNESS OF THE NEW GENERATION.
From Judges, Chap. ii. And an angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up not of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you. And
ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land ; ye shall throw down their altars : but ye have not obeyed my voice; why have ye done this?
Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you ; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.
And it came to pass, when the angel of the Loud spake these words upto all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voices and wept.
And they called the name of that place Bochim : and they sacrificed there unto the LORD.
And all that generation were gathered unto their fathers : and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.
And the children of Israel * did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalin : and they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD
And they forsook the Lord, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.
And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them and sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies.
Whithersoever they went out the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the Lord had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed.
Nevertheless, the Lord raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hands of those that spoiled chem.
And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which ekseir fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD: tut they did not so.
And when the Lord raised them up judges, then the Lord was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge ; for it repented the LORD because of their groanings, by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them.
And it came to pass when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them ; they ceased not froni their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.
And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel ; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice; I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died : that ihrough them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD, to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not.
Therefore the LORD left those nations, without driving them out hastily: neither delivered he them into the hand of Joshua.
Now these are the nations which the LORD left to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan; only that the genera. tions of the children of Israel might know to teach them war, at the least, such as before knew nothing thereof; namely, five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baal hermon unto the entering in of Hamath.
And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the Lord, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.