• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Preface
 Half Title
 The patriarch and the five...
 The wilderness
 The great general
 Conquest
 Submission and opposition
 Dan and Benjamin
 The judges of Israel
 Gideon
 Strength and weakness
 The first king of Israel
 The father of a race of kings
 The son of Jesse on the throne
 Rebellion and sorrow
 Idolatry and defeat
 Elisha
 The night of Israel
 The fall of Judah
 Conclusion
 Advertising
 Back Cover
 Spine






Title: The battles of the Bible
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00002780/00001
 Material Information
Title: The battles of the Bible
Physical Description: vi, 315, 4 p. 2 leaves of plates : ill. ; 17 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Smith, Eliza
Gray, John ( Binder )
Schenck and McFarlane ( Lithographer )
Murray, J ( Publisher )
Paton and Ritchie ( Publisher )
J. Smith & Son ( Publisher )
Hamilton, Adams, & Co ( Publisher )
Publisher: Paton and Ritchie
J. Murray
J. Smith & Son
Hamilton, Adams, & Co.
Place of Publication: Edinburgh
Glasgow
Glasgow
London
Publication Date: 1852
 Subjects
Subject: Bible stories, English -- O.T -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Violence in the Bible -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Embossed cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1852   ( rbbin )
Gray -- Binders' tickets (Binding) -- 1852   ( rbbin )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1852   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1852
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Embossed cloth bindings (Binding)   ( rbbin )
Binders' tickets (Binding)   ( rbbin )
Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
Spatial Coverage: Scotland -- Edinburgh
Scotland -- Glasgow
England -- London
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by a clergyman's daughter.
General Note: Publisher's advertisements follow text.
General Note: Added title page, lithographed in black and blue by Schenck & McFarlane.
Funding: Brittle Books Program
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00002780
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002222013
oclc - 34837075
notis - ALG2246

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter
    Frontispiece
        Frontispiece
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Preface
        Page v
        Page vi
    Half Title
        Page vii
        Page viii
    The patriarch and the five kings
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
    The wilderness
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
    The great general
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
    Conquest
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
    Submission and opposition
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
    Dan and Benjamin
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
    The judges of Israel
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
    Gideon
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
    Strength and weakness
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
    The first king of Israel
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
    The father of a race of kings
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
    The son of Jesse on the throne
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
    Rebellion and sorrow
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
    Idolatry and defeat
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
    Elisha
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
    The night of Israel
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
    The fall of Judah
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
        Page 312
        Page 313
    Conclusion
        Page 314
        Page 315
        Page 316
    Advertising
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
        Page 320
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
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THE


BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.









BY

A CLERGYMAN'S DAUGHTER,
AUTHORESS OF "CHAPTERS ON THE SHORTER CATECHISM."


EDINBURGH:

PATON AND RITCHIE, HANOVER STREET.
GLASGOW: J. MURRAY, AND J. SMITH & SON.
LONDON: HAMILTON, ADAMS, & CO.


MDCCCLII.





















CONTENTS.








THE PATRIARCH AND THE FIVE KINGS .

THE WILDERNESS .. ....

THE GREAT GENERAL . .

CONQUEST .. ....

SUBMISSION AND OPPOSITION .. ...

DAN AND BENJAMIN ...

THE JUDGES OF ISRAEL ...

GIDEON .. ..........

STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS ..

THE FIRST KING OF ISRAEL ..


THE FATHER OF A RACE OF KINGS

THE SON OF JESSE ON THE THRONE

REBELLION AND SORROW .

IDOLATRY AND DEFEAT .

ELISHA .. ....

THE NIGHT OF ISRAEL .

THE FALL OF JUDAH.. ..

THE CONCLUSION .


PAGE
1

15

32

49

63

81

101

116

134

154

174

192

208

229

256

280

297

814





























PREFACE.


THERE is no book like the Bible. From the
study of no human composition can the same
benefit be derived as from the study of the Word
of God. This all acknowledge who believe the
Scriptures to be divine. Yet, often is the
Sacred Book carelessly perused,-often it is
read with far less interest than a narrative
of the passing events of the day. By many
it is read as a task,-by some it is read as a
duty,--there are few, it is to be feared, who
regard the reading of it as a pleasure. In
order to love the Bible we must learn from
it,-we must taste its spirit before we can
know its excellence. An attempt has been
made in the following pages to point out what







PREFACE.


may be learned from some passages in Scrip-
ture History. It is not an attempt to express
all the lessons we are taught by the warlike
scenes the Bible paints; but the desire of the
writer is to lead the young, and those who as-
sist them in studying the Holy Book, to study
it with a purpose,-with regard to every passage
of Sacred Writ to ask themselves, What may I
learn from this ? That any one may be led by
perusing these pages to search the Scriptures
with more care and attention than formerly,
seems a presumptuous hope; but God hath
chosen the weak things of the world to con-
found the things which are mighty," and if it
please Him, he can make even this little work
an instrument of good. The writing of it was
undertaken with a desire to glorify Him, and it
will accomplish the purpose for which he has
permitted it to be written, whatever that pur-
pose may be.


NOVEMBER 1851.
















BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.












THE
f


BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.








THE PATRIARCH AND THE FIVE KINGS.


"I love the sacred Book of God,
No other can its place supply;
It points me to the saints' abode,
It gives me wings, and bids me fly.

"When midst the throng celestial placed,
The bright Original I see,
From which thy sacred page was traced,
Sweet Book, I've no more need of thee.

"But while I'm here, thou shalt supply
His place, and tell me of His love;
I'll read with faith's discerning eye,
And get a taste of joys above."
KZLLY.


WELL do I remember the cottage where our grand-
father lived. It is many years since I saw it, and I
would not wish to see it again, for it will be all changed
now, and I could not bear to look upon it different from
B





BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


what it was; but it is before my eyes as vividly as if
at this moment I were there. I see the beech hedge
round his garden: how neatly cut it always was. I
see the little wicket gate, and the two gean trees that
used to bear so plentifully. I see the strawberry beds
that we used often to look at so wistfully; and I think
I see him yet, kind old man, stooping down to search
for a ripe one. Little did we think then, in our heed-
less healthfulness, what a labour that stooping was to
him. I can see his bush of moss roses-the favourite
bush it was in all his garden; often I fain would have
taken one, but I would not steal from grandfather-not
that he would have been angry, but he would have
been vexed; and vexed I could not bear to see him.
The first time that I went to my grandfather's cottage
was early in summer. My two brothers and I had been
ill with hooping cough for some months, and the doctor
said it would not go quite away till we had change of air.
When George heard this, he at once asked to be allowed
to go to grandfather's, for he had been there before, and
liked it so much. Our father agreed that he should go,
and said that he thought Johnnie too might go, and per-
haps I. But my mother said that would not do; it
might be very well for the boys, but that I, being a girl,
could not go to stay at a place where there was no one
to look after me. I thought that having no one to look
after me would be the very delight of it, and I was
sadly disappointed when I heard my mother say that she
could not allow me to go. Yet I did not say anything





THE PATRIARCH AND THE FIVE KINGS.


to her then; I took a private opportunity of entreating
George to speak for me, for I knew that our mother paid
more regard to his requests than to mine. It was he
who had told me how nice it'was to stay at grandfather's,
and had made me wish to go there. He did speak for
me, and effectually too ;-leave was granted. Never can
I forget the joy I felt when George bounded into the
nursery where Johnnie and I were playing, and cried-
"You're to go, Marianne."
Often when we expect much happiness from anything,
it disappoints us when we get it; but it was not so with
my visit to grandfather. I expected much; but not in
the least was I disappointed. It was pleasant to weed
in his garden, and to help him to tie up his flowers. It
was pleasant to play in the fields with Johnnie, and
gather gowans to make necklaces. It was pleasant to
climb the fir trees with George, and to swing upon their
branches. But what I think were pleasanter to me
even then, and are far pleasanter to look back upon now,
were the times when we sat in the evenings on the grass
before the door, while grandfather, seated in his garden
chair, talked to us so seriously, so earnestly, and so
kindly ;-there never was any one who could talk like
grandfather.
I well remember, it was the first Saturday night
after we went, we were seated thus, and grandfather
was telling us that when we went to bed that night we
must remember that the next day was the Sabbath;
that our first thoughts in the morning might rise in






BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


prayer to God, asking him to enable us to spend it
well; and the first book, he said, that we opened on
that day should be the Bible.
The Bible, grandfather," said George; that is a
very tiresome book to read; I do not like it at all."
That is not right, George," said grandfather very
gravely.
But I cannot help it, grandfather. I am made to
read a chapter every day at home; but I would not
think of reading it to myself. It is tiresome to go over
the same thing so often."
I never before had seen grandfather look.so serious
as he did then. I was almost frightened; even George
seemed to think that he ought not to have said it, when
he looked up in grandfather's face after the words were
spoken.
Do you not weary," he said to George, of seeing
the sun shine day after day ? do you not weary of see-
ing the green fields ? and is it not tiresome to take your
dinner every day ?"
John and I gazed at grandfather when he said this;
George looked down confused. Grandfather went on-
You do not tire of partaking in the bounties of Provi-
dence day after day, although every day of your life you
partake of the same; is it not then wicked to tire of that
Book which tells of Him by whom these bounties are
lavished so freely on you, and that Book, too, which in
itself is the greatest of all the blessings he has bestowed
on you."





THE PATRIARCH AND THE FIVE KINGS.


George did not seem to know very well what to say.
I was sorry for him; so I said to grandfather that because
he was to be a soldier, he did not care about reading any-
thing except battles and sieges."
Yes," George said, that is it; and though there are
some battles in the Bible, I know all about them, so I
need not read them again."
I do not think you have read the accounts of them care-
fully, George, or you would wish to read them again. Can
you tellwho fought the first battle mentioned in the Bible?"
Was it Cain and Abel, grandfather ?" I asked.
"Nonsense," said George, "that was not a battle; it
was David and the Philistines who fought the first."
"No," said grandfather, "we are told of more than
one battle long before David was born."
"Surely not long before," said George; "I do not
remember anything about it."
Attend then," said grandfather, "and you shall hear
about it."
"But grandfather," I said, "does it do us any good
to hear about battles ? for I do not like to hear of people
killing one another."
"Listen to the story of a battle that I am to tell,
Marianne, and see if you can learn anything from it.
"It was two thousand and eighty-three years after
the creation, and one thousand nine hundred andtwenty-
one years before the Christian era, that Abram entered
Canaan. He had left his native country, obedientto the
command of God; he went out not knowing where, for





BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


little could have been known then by any one of any
country except the one they lived in. We know much
even of the countries most distant from our own, and there
is easy communication now between all parts of the world;
but it was not so then. Abram's wife went with him,
and his nephew Lot; they all lived together in a country
where they were strangers, called the land of Canaan.
Now Abram and Lot were both rich; they had many
cattle and servants, and although they could agree to-
gether, their herdsmen could not, so they saw that it
would be better to separate. Abram was the elder, and
the chief, for he was the head of the family, and he had
been specially chosen by God, so he had a right to
choose where he would go; but he left the choice to Lot,
for those who are really pious consider the pleasure of
others more than their own.
The land is before thee,' he said, 'choose : if you
go to the right hand, then I will go to the left; if you
go to the left hand, I will go to the right.'
Lot looked abroad, and saw that the plain of Sodom
was very fertile and well watered. He might have pre-
ferred that his kinsman should have the richest pasture,
but Lot did what most men would have done, consulted
what seemed to him his own interest. He went to live
in Sodom, and the consequences shew what a short way
we can see before us, and how little we know what is
for our good even in worldly things.
For twelve years the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah
had been tributary to a king of Elam or Persia, called in





THE PATRIARCH AND THE FIVE KINGS.


the Bible, Chederlaomer. Either this king is not men-
tioned in history at all, or he is mentioned by another
name. By some he is thought to have been the same
with a king of Assyria called Ninyas But whatever his
other name was, or whether he had another or not, he
seems to have been a very powerful monarch. In the
thirteenth year the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah, with
other three kings, rebelled against this king of Elam. In
course of time he came to make war against these five
kings, and he brought with him to assist him three kings,
who may either have been his allies or his tributaries, or,
as some think, they might be deputies appointed by him
over the provinces he had conquered. The kings of
Sodom and Gomorrah fell in the battle. Chederlaomer
gained the victory. He took many prisoners and much
spoil from the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot was
among the prisoners, and his goods among the spoil One
who had escaped went and told Abram of this, and
speedily Abram prepared an army to rescue his kinsman.
His army consisted of trained servants born in his own
house: he had three hundred and eighteen of them, and
he had three friends who assisted him called Aner, Esh-
col, and Mamre."
But how could he think of fighting against four
kings with so few men ?" George asked.
He not only thought of it, but he tried it, and suc-
ceeded. He divided his small army, and attacked them
by night. He defeated them, so that they fled before
him; four kings with their armies fled before Abram






BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


and his servants. He took from them the prisoners and
the goods that they had taken away. On his return
from this victory he was welcomed by a great person,
Melchisedek, King of Salem, Priest of the Most High
God. He was a type of Christ, as the apostle explains
in the epistle to the Hebrews. The name Melchisedek
means righteous king, or king of righteousness. Salem
means peace; it is the same place as Jerusalem, which
means a vision of peace. This kingly priest blessed
Abram, and said,-' Blessed be Abram of the Most
High God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy
hand.' This teaches us that if in anything success
attend us we ought to give to God all the glory, and
assume no credit to ourselves. Abram shewed his
thankfulness to the God who had given him success by
giving to his priest the tenth part of all the spoil.
Then the king of Sodom advanced, and offered to
give Abram the goods, on condition that he would give
to him the people whom he had rescued. Abram said
that he would take not the smallest thing, lest the king
of Sodom might say, 'I have made Abram rich.' So
he restored the people and all the goods to the king,
except a portion for his three friends, Aner, Eshcol, and
Mamre; for he knew that those who had served him,
although they did not serve him for payment, ought to
be rewarded when it was in his power. This teaches
us a lesson of justice and of gratitude,-to give to all
that which is their due ; and to shew by our actions that
we are grateful to those who have obliged us.





THE PATRIARCH AND THE FI KINGS.


So Lot got home again, and all his goods with him."
You said, grandfather," said George, that Lot's
choice brought misfortunes upon him, but they all ended
well."
But further and greater misfortunes came upon
him; they did not come by a battle, so that you would
not care to hear them."
Oh yes, grandfather, tell them."
"The people of Sodom were a very wicked people; they
had been warned to turn from their wickedness by the
invasion of Chederlaomer, but that warning they did not
improve. The wisest of men says, 'He that being often
reproved hardeneth his neck, shall be suddenly de-
stroyed, and that without remedy.' So it was with the
people of Sodom. That their destruction was near, the
Lord made known to Abraham, for Abram's name was
now changed into Abraham, which means a father of
many nations. When the Lord intimated to him that
Sodom for its wickedness was to be destroyed, Abraham
pleaded that the righteous be spared, and that if in the
city there were fifty such, the place for their sake might
be preserved. The Lord replied, that if in the city
there were fifty righteous he would not destroy it.
Abraham said that five might be wanting of the fifty,
would the Lord destroy it for the want of five ? The
Lord replied, that for the sake of forty-five righteous
he would not destroy it. Again Abraham pleaded there
might be forty there. Again the merciful God replied,
'I will not do it for forty's sake.'





BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


Oh let not the Lord be angry,' Abraham said, there
may be thirty there.'
The Lord said, I will not do it if I find thirty
there.'
"' Behold now,' Abraham said, 'I have taken upon me
to speak unto the Lord, peradventure there shall twenty
be found there.'
The Lord said, 'I will not destroy it for twenty's
sake.'
Oh let not the Lord be angry,' Abraham said, 'and
I will speak but this once, peradventure ten shall be
found there.'
"The Lord said, 'I will not do it for ten's sake.'
"We may learn much from this. When Abraham
prayed for the people of Sodom he taught us that we
ought not to rejoice in the sufferings of any, and that we
ought to pray for all. In the Almighty granting all his
requests, we see the power of prayer. Abraham wearied
of asking, before the Lord wearied of giving what he
asked. In the promise given by God to spare the city
of Sodom for the sake of ten righteous, if there were as
many in it, we see what a blessing it is to a place to
have those in it who fear the Lord.
We shall now go to Sodom. It was evening, and
Lot sat in the gate of the city. He saw two strangers
approaching of a very different aspect from the low and
vicious inhabitants of the place. He bowed before them,
and offered them refreshment in his house, and lodging
for the night. They at first refused his offer, saying


10





THE PATRIARCH AND THE FIVE KINGS.


that they would stay in the street all night; but he
pressed them greatly, and they went in. Then the
people of the place came demanding the strangers. Lot
went out to speak to them, but they listened not to him;
they pressed upon him, and nearly broke the door. His
guests then drew Lot in to them, and smote the people
outside with blindness, so that they could not find the
door. The angels-for Lot's visitors were not mortals
-told him now to collect his family and flee from this
place, for the Lord had sent them to destroy it. Lot
told his sons-in-law, but they did not heed; it seemed a
jest to them.
The morning dawned. Arise, take thy wife and
thy two daughters which are here,' the angels said to
Lot. He lingered, unwilling, it may be, to leave all his
riches behind him. They kindly took his hand and led
him away.
Escape,' they said, to the mountain; stay not in
all the plain, lest thou be consumed.' Lot entreated leave
to go into the city of Bela, which was near, thinking him-
self not able to go to the mountain, as if the God who
had saved him out of Sodom could not give him strength
for the journey he had commanded him to take. But
God was merciful; his petition was granted; for his
sake the city was spared; and because he had pleaded
its being little, as a reason for its not being destroyed, it
was called Zoar, which means a little one. On the way,
Lot's wife looked back from behind him, and for that she
died. Some of the fiery particles that were in the air


11





BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


fell on her, and crusted over her body, so that she be-
came like a pillar of salt.
There was not very much harm in only looking
back, grandfather," I said, why was she punished so
very much ?"
In looking back she disobeyed a positive command
of God, and in looking back from behind Lot she shewed
that she had more regard to her husband's approbation
than to the approbation of God. She did not wish Lot
to know that she was doing wrong; she did not care
though God knew it. The fate which befel her teaches
us to fear God rather than man.
Then the Lord rained fire and brimstone upon
Sodom and upon Gomorrah, so that fertile plain, where
many people and many cattle had dwelt, was changed
into a place where nothing could live."
What like is the place now, grandfather ?" George
asked.
It is a lake called the Dead Sea, a large lake about
forty miles in length and eighteen in breadth. The
waters of it are very salt, as some one says they taste
like fire. Nothing that lives or breathes is to be found in
them, and they are the only waters in the world of which
that can be said. Travellers have told that they could
see pillars and fragments of buildings under the clear
waters, but that is not necessary to prove the truth of
the story I have told you. Some have supposed that
the soil of the fertile plain of Sodom was partly com-
posed of a very combustible material; that it rested on


12






THE PATRIARCH AND THE FIVE KINGS.


a mass of subterranean water, and that lightning kind-
ling the ground, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah fell
into the abyss. Others have thought that there was an
earthquake caused by fire underneath the ground, which
attracted the lightning, and so consumed the cities. But
whatever the soil may have been, we know for certain
that the Cities of the Plain, for their sins, were destroyed
by fire from heaven, and that their destruction is a type
of the everlasting destruction of the wicked in the 'lake
that burneth with fire and brimstone.' We are warned
to 'flee from the wrath to come.' The fate of Lot's
sons-in-law teaches us not to neglect that warning. The
fate of Lot himself teaches us to choose for our friends
and associates those that fear God. He that walketh
with wise men shall be wise, but the companion of fools
shall have poverty enough.'"
Grandfather then asked us some questions, to see if
we had remembered the lessons we were to draw from
what he had been telling us. These are the questions
he asked:-

What do we learn from Abram leaving to Lot the
choice of his abode ?
What do we learn from the blessing with which
Melchisedek blessed Abram ?
What does Abram's conduct to his three friends
teach us?
When Abraham prayed for the people of Sodom,
what did he teach us?


13






14 BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.

What does the granting of all his requests shew to
us?
What are we shewn from the promise given by God
to spare the city if ten righteous could be found in it ?
What does the fate of Lot's wife teach us ?
Of what is the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
a type ?
What are we taught by the fate of Lot's sons-in-
law ?
What do we learn from the fate of Lot himself ?"






THE WILDERNESS.


15


THE WILDERNESS.


When Israel, of the Lord belov'd,
Out from the land of bondage came,
Her father's God before her mov'd,
An awful guide, in smoke and flame.
By day along the astonish'd lands
The cloudy pillar glided slow;
By night Arabia's crimson'd sands
Return'd the fiery column's glow.
There rose the choral hymn of praise,
And trump and timbrel answered keen;
And Zion's daughters pour'd their lays,
With priests' and warriors' voice between."
Sir WALTEB SCOTT.

THE next morning the first thing George and I did
was to get our grandfather's Bible, and read the account
of the battle with the kings, and the destruction of Sodom
and Gomorrah. We went to church with grandfather,
and we had to leave very early, for we had a good way
to go, and grandfather was not very able to walk. When
we came home again we learned catechism and verses,
and said them to grandfather. George was grumbling
at having that to do, but not aloud, for he would not
have liked grandfather to hear him; but grandfather
explained them so nicely to us, that he made even them
investing. George then asked grandfather to tell us






BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


about another battle. Grandfather said he would, but
first would ask us some more questions about the one he
had told us of the day before. We were able to answer
all that he asked us; so he said he was pleased, and
would go on to the next. I asked if Abraham had
fought any more battles ?
We do not hear of any more fought by him. It
was many years after his death that the next one men-
tioned in the Bible was fought. It was two thousand
five hundred and thirteen years after the creation of the
world, one thousand nine hundred and twenty-one years
before the Christian era. The Lord had brought out of
Egypt the children of Israel, the descendants of Abraham,
Isaac, and Jacob. They were brought out with many
miracles; signs and wonders were done in the land of
Ham."
What was the land of Ham ?" Johnnie asked.
Egypt, to be sure," said George.
Was Ham the king of Egypt ?" Johnnie next in-
quired.
No, Pharaoh was the king of Egypt."
Who was Ham then ?" said Johnnie.
But George could not answer that, nor could I, al-
though I was sure that I had heard of Ham before.
He was the youngest son of Noah," grandfather
said, and Egypt was called the land of Ham because
the Egyptians were descended from him. The Israel-
ites were now freed from the tyranny of Pharoah--they
were in the wilderness."


16






THE WILDERNESS.


Were there many of them, grandfather?" George
asked.
Grandfather. A great many. The Lord had told
Abraham that his descendants should be as the sand on
the seashore--innumerable. At that time Abraham
had no child; two hundred and fifteen years after, his
descendants by Isaac, the son of the promise, were
seventy souls; two hundred and fifteen years after that,
four hundred and thirty years after the promise was
given, they were six hundred thousand fighting men-
in all nearly three millions of people. In the wilderness
of Arabia, where they journeyed, there was neither food
nor water. The Lord provided them with food by a
miraculous supply of manna. When they felt the want of
water the people murmured against Moses, saying that he
had brought them up out of Egypt to kill them and their
cattle with thirst. It was wicked in the people to do
this; they ought to have prayed to God; he had pro-
vided them with food, and was as able to supply them
with water. Moses cried to God, and God told him to
smite a rock, and, to encourage him, said that He would
be there before him, and that when the rock was smit-
ten, water would come out of it. Moses did this, and
the water gushed out. Some think that the stream
which then flowed from the rock accompanied the Israel-
ites on their journey all through the wilderness, and sup-
plied them with water. Want of water is mentioned
again, but not till very many years after that. Travel-
lers who have seen the rock that Moses struck at this






BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


time, take notice of the channel made by the waters,
and the number of holes seeming as if they were so many
fountains; but no water runs from them now. The
apostle Paul, speaking of that rock, tells us that it followed
them, and that it was a type of Christ. It was a good
type, for He is firm as a rock to those that trust in him.
All who build their hopes in Him are building on a sure
foundation : all who build on anything else are trying to
make houses of sand. He is a fountain opened in the
house of David for sin and for uncleanness. The foun-
tains we hew out to ourselves are broken cisterns which
can hold no water; whoever drinks of the water given
by him shall never thirst.
But we must come to the battle now. Immediately
after this, the Amalekites came against the Israelites.
Moses told Joshua to choose men and go to fight against
Amalek; as for himself, he said that he would go to the top
of the hill with the rod of God in his hand. So while Joshua
fought, Moses prayed. It must have been a great en-
couragement to the Israelites in this their first battle to
see Joshua in the field fighting for them, and Moses on
the hill praying for them. When Moses held up his
hands, Israel prevailed; when he let down his hands
Amalek prevailed. When he grew tired, Aaron and
Hur, who were both on the hill with him, took a stone
and placed it for him to sit on, and Aaron and Hur held
up his hands, one on each side of him, which kept his
hands steady. So Joshua discomfited Amalek and his
people with the sword. Then the Lord told Moses to


]8






THE WILDERNESS.


write this in a book, for that the remembrance of Amalek
was to be put out from under heaven. This is the first
mention we find of writing in the Bible. The Amalekites
were descendants of Esau, and oight to have had a more
kindly feeling to the children of Jacob. Sometimes the
nearest of kin are the bitterest foes; so the sons of Esau
were the first enemies whom the sons of Jacob encoun-
tered in the wilderness. Because Amalek was overcome
when fighting against the Lord's chosen, we learn that
all who may attempt to resist the will of God must be
forced to yield to Him: because Moses, when he prayed,
brought victory to his people, so if we look to God for
strength, it will be given according as we need it.
Then grandfather ceased speaking, and told us that
this was the end of the second battle in the Bible. We
all asked him to tell us about another, so he went on.
Grandfather. About a year and a half after this the
Israelites had arrived at the borders of the promised
land. They chose spies to send in before them to exa-
mine the country, and bring them a report of it. There
were twelve spies-one from each tribe-and they were
forty days in examining the land; they went through
it from one end to the other.
Johnnie asked grandfather if the people did not won-
der at so many men going about in their country.
Grandfather. We ard not told what the natives
thought, but we know that they did not do any harm
to them, for the spies returned in safety. They brought
pomegranates and figs, and a bunch of grapes so large


19






BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


that they carried it between two men on a staff. The
brook that it had grown beside was called Eshcol, which
means a bunch of grapes. They shewed these fruits to
the people, and told them that surely it was a land flow-
ing with milk and honey. But," they said, "the
cities are walled, and the people are strong that dwell
in them, and we have seen the children of Anak there."
The children of Anak were of the race of the giants.
Caleb, the spy of the tribe of Judah, said, Let us go
up at once and possess the land, for we are able to
overcome it." Joshua, the spy of the tribe of Ephraim,
said the same. But they were only two; the other ten
spies said that they could not go up against this people,
for they were stronger than they. They said that the
land ate up its inhabitants, and that when they saw the
giants, the sons of Anak, there, they seemed to themselves
like grasshoppers, which are feeble and timid creatures.
George. Were not they very cowardly, grandfather,
when there were so many of them ?
Grandfather. They were very cowardly : six hundred
thousand men might have been able to do a great deal;
but it was not so much their number that should have
made them fearless, as the remembrance of what God had
done for them. He had delivered them, a host of slaves,
from the tyranny of the powerful king of Egypt. He
had miraculously supplied the& with bread and water in
the midst of a barren desert. They knew not a step of
the way to Canaan. He had guided them by a pillar
of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night. Then,






THE WILDERNESS.


when the Lord had promised that they would be able
to subdue the land, it was doubting the truth of His
word to fancy that they could not do it.
Marianne. What did they mean, grandfather, when
they said that the land ate up its inhabitants ?
Grandfather. They might mean that the inhabitants
by their wars destroyed one another, or, it is more pro-
bable that a pestilence was raging at the time, and
instead of regarding it as providential, to lessen the
number of their enemies, they murmured at it as if it
were always there. And all the people wept that night,
and said, they wished they had stayed in Egypt or in
the wilderness; and they said to one another, Let us
make a captain, and let us return into Egypt."
Johnnie. What could they have done in Egypt, grand-
father ?
Grandfather. They did not know that themselves, I
daresay; it was madness to think of going there; they
could not hope for mercy from the Egyptians, and
they could not expect the blessing of God upon an act
of disobedience. When Moses and Aaron heard this,
they fell on their faces before the assembled people, for
they were unable to speak, and might not have been
listened to even if they had spoken. Then Caleb and
Joshua, the two good spies, rent their clothes, and spoke
to the assembled people in these words:-" The land
which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding
good land. If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring
us into this land, and give it us--a land which floweth






BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the
Lord, neither fear the people of the land, for they are
bread for us : their defence is departed from them, and
the Lord is with us: fear them not." Caleb and Joshua
spoke thus at the hazard of their lives. They stood
alone in opposition to the whole multitude; many hun-
dred thousands of enraged men were against them. This
shews us how fearless they are who know they have the
Lord on their side.
Marianne. But were the people wicked enough to touch
them, grandfather ?
Grandfather. Yes, they were preparing to stone them
to death, but the glory of the Lord appeared in the Taber-
nacle, so that they did not dare to do it; they were awed
by the sight. The Lord did not interfere when they were
murmuring against Him, but when they threatened the
lives of His faithful servants, he appeared for their de-
fence. This shews us that them that honour Him,
He will honour." The Lord then told Moses that he
would destroy this people with the pestilence, and would
make of him a great nation, and mightier than they.
This was the second time that this offer had been made
to Moses; but he resisted, and pleaded with the Lord to
pardon the people according to the greatness of His
mercy, saying that the Egyptians and the other heathen
nations would hear of their destruction, and would say
that the Lord had killed the people in the wilderness,
because he was not able to bring them into the land
which He had promised. The conduct of Moses sets us


22






THE WILDERNESS.


a noble example of disinterestedness; we learn from it
that the glory of God should be our end and aim in all
our actions and desires.
The Lord returned a gracious answer to the prayer of
Moses, I have pardoned," He said, "according to thy
word, but as truly as I live all the earth shall be filled
with the glory of the Lord." All those people who
had rebelled were to die in the wilderness, where they
must wander till another generation was able to take
their place: only Caleb and Joshua, of all who were
men at that time, were to enter the promised land.
George. How long would it take till they were all
dead?
Grandfather. They were condemned to wander in the
wilderness forty years, but that was reckoned from the
time they left Egypt, a year and a half before. As for
the ten spies, whose evil advice had caused the people
to sin, they died by the plague before the Lord; they
were struck down in the presence of the congregation.
So when the people tried to kill the two good men, the
Lord appeared to save them: when no one tried to kill
the ten wicked men, the Lord came to destroy them.
This shews us that if the Lord is not on our side the
support of man can avail us little. Then the people,
being alarmed by the fate of the spies, repented when it
was too late, and said that they would now go up to
possess the land. Moses told them not to go, because
the Lord was not with them, but they would not listen to
him ; they went, and were defeated by the Canaanites


23






BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


and Amalekites, and pursued as far as to Hormah.
Such is the fate of all attempts on which the blessing of
God does not rest.
George. But, grandfather, sometimes bad men win in
battle.
Grandfather. Sometimes bad men are instruments in
the hand of God to punish the people they are fighting
against.
George. But when they are fighting against good
people, the bad sometimes gain.
Grandfather. Then it may be to try those good
people, to teach them to trust in God more entirely.
We do not hear of any more battles fought by the
Israelites till thirty-eight years after this. During all
that time they wandered in the wilderness: when it
expired, they drew near the borders of the promised
land.
Johnnie. Had not they to wander forty years, grand-
father ?
Grandfather. Yes, forty years from the time they left
Egypt, but a year and a half of the time had passed
before the spies were sent to search the land; and now
all the people who then rebelled against God being
dead, they advanced. Arad, king of the Canaanites,
who dwelt in the south part of the land, heard that
they were coming by the same way the spies had come;
he fought against them-against some small parties of
them, probably, who were separated from the main
army, and took some of them prisoners.


24






THE WILDERNESS.


George. That would make them turn again.
Grandfather. No, it did not, for a better spirit was
among them at this time. They prayed to God that
He would deliver the Canaanites into their hands, and
vowed that if their prayer was granted they would
utterly destroy the cities of that heathen people. Their
prayer was granted, and their vow was performed.
They destroyed the cities of the Canaanites, and from
that the name of the place was called Hormah, which
means utter destruction.
Marianne. Did not you tell us of a place before that
was called Hormah, grandfather ?
George. Yes, it was the place to which the Canaanites
and Amalekites pursued the Israelites when they fought
against them thirty-eight years before. Was that the
same Hormah as this, grandfather ?
Grandfather. It was the same place, but it did not
receive its name till after the utter destruction of the
Canaanites. Although it was not known by the name
of Hormah at the time the Canaanites pursued the
Israelites thither, it was known by that name at the
time the account of the Israelites' defeat was written.
So the same place was memorable to the Israelites by a
defeat and a victory,-a defeat, because they trusted in
themselves-a victory, because they trusted in God.
This teaches us a lesson that we are often taught in
the Bible, that man is weak in himself, but strong when
trusting in God. After this the people journeyed by
way of the Red Sea, to go round the land of Edom,


25





BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


which made the way much longer; but they were
obliged to do it, for the king of Edom would not let
them pass through his land.
George. Why did they not force their way through ?
Grandfather. Because God forbade them to do that,
for the Edomites were the descendants of Esau, the
brother of Jacob.
Marianne. Did they ask leave to go through the
land of Edom ?
Grandfather. They did, and promised to keep on the
highway, and to pay for everything they needed; but
the Edomites refused permission, and assembled an
army to prevent them. It lengthened the journey of
the Israelites, and the people were wearied, and mur-
mured against God and against Moses, and said that
they had been brought up out of Egypt to die in the
wilderness. It was very wicked in them to speak so,
when they had been miraculously preserved for so many
years. The food that had been so wonderfully provided
for them they found fault with, and said that their soul
loathed it. This wickedness called for punishment.
The Lord sent fiery serpents, and they bit the people,
which caused many of them to die. These fiery ser-
pents are very common both in Egypt and Arabia.
They are short, spotted with different colours, and have
wings like a bat. Their bite is very dangerous.
There is no mention made before this of the Israelites
being infested with them, although they are so common
there. The Lord had hitherto kept these dangerous


26






THE WILDERNESS.


creatures from hurting them, and would have done so at
this time, had they not sinfully murmured. This trial
humbled the people. They confessed their sin, and
besought forgiveness, that the serpents might be taken
away. Moses prayed for them. The Lord told him to
make a brazen serpent, and put it on a pole, and any
one that was bitten, when he looked on it would live.
Moses did so, and it was as the Lord had said.
Johnnie. But, grandfather, what good could looking
at the brazen serpent do to them ?
Grandfather. It could not of itself have done any
good to them, but rather the contrary; for we are told
by some that when one has been bitten by those fiery
serpents, if he look upon brass the wound is aggra-
vated. But to look upon a serpent made of brass was
the cure appointed by God, and it is in his power to
cure by any means, however unlikely they may seem to
produce the desired effect, or to cure without any means,
if it so please him. The brazen serpent was a type
of Christ; we are told so by our blessed Saviour him-
self. As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilder-
ness, so shall the Son of Man be lifted up." Sin is the
serpent that has bitten us; if we try to cure ourselves
we shall not succeed, but if we look to Jesus, trusting
in him, we shall be saved. We must remember that
as the brazen serpent could not cure any save those
who looked to it, so unless we come to Jesus our sins
will not be forgiven for his name's sake. But this is
not a battle. I must hasten on to the next one mention-


27






BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


ed in the Bible. The Israelites had now arrived at the
border of the land of Sihon, the Amorite, king of Hesh-
bon. They sent to ask him to let them pass through his
land, engaging to do no harm to anything, and to keep
on the highway. Sihon, like the Edomites, refused
permission, and raised an army; not only did he do
that, but marched out into the wilderness against the
Israelites.
George. I hope they beat him.
Grandfather. They did; they smote him with the
edge of the sword, and took possession of his land. He
himself had taken it a short time before from a king of
Moab. Sihon little thought when he took possession
of the land by conquest, that he must soon resign it to
the people to whom it rightfully belonged, the people
to whom it had been promised many hundreds of years
before by Him to whom all lands belong. The Israel-
ites speedily encountered another enemy. Og, king of
Bashan, marched out at the head of an army to fight
against them. He was a powerful king; he reigned
over no fewer than sixty fortified cities, besides many
unwalled towns. In his own person he was a very
formidable opponent, for he was a giant. We are not
told his height, but judging from the length of his bed,
it must have been immense. His bedstead was made of
iron, and was nine cubits long, and four cubits broad.
Reckoning a cubit at half a yard, it would be four yards
and a half long, double the length of an ordinary bed.
When this king marched against the Israelites, the


28






THE WILDERNESS.


Lord appeared to Moses to strengthen him, telling him
not to fear, for that he had delivered Og into his hand.
So the people of Israel smote the giant and his people
till none were left alive, and got possession of the
fertile territory of Bashan, famous for its oaks, its bulls,
and its rams. They had now conquered all that part of
Palestine which lies to the east of the Jordan, and having
done so, they divided it into three parts. Reuben, you
know, was the eldest son of Jacob, his descendants got
one part; another portion was allotted to the Gadites,
who were descended from Gad, the seventh son of Jacob;
and the third division was given to half of the tribe of
Manasseh, the eldest son of Joseph. We now come to
the prophet Balaam, of whom, I daresay, you have
heard before.
Yes, grandfather," we said, but we do not know
his history very well, we would like to hear it again."
At another time," grandfather replied, I may give
you all the particulars of his remarkable history, at present
I shall only tell you as much of it as is necessary to
know in order to understand the battle with which it is
connected. Balak, king of Moab, promised Balaam
great gifts and honours if he would prophesy against
the children of Israel. Balaam, covetous and ambi-
tious as he was, could not do this. He who formed the
tongue overruled his, so that he could only prophesy
good of the chosen people. Then the wicked prophet
advised the people of Moab and Midian to tempt the
children of Israel to idolatry. In this they succeeded


29






30 BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.

only too well; the Israelites bowed down before strange
gods. To punish this wickedness, the Lord sent a
plague upon them, of which twenty-four thousand of
them died. The Moabites were descendants of Lot,
and the Midianites were descendants of Abraham, so
they might have escaped the destruction to which the
Canaanites and Amorites were doomed; but they did
not escape-their own conduct brought ruin upon them.
The Lord said to Moses, Avenge the children of Israel
of the Midianites." They were to be avenged of them
because they had led them into sin. We ought to re-
gard those as our worst enemies who seek to tempt us
to do what is wrong. It is a greater injury than rob-
bing or wounding us, for the soul is more noble than the
body."
Grandfather then stopped, telling us he would leave the
battle with the Midianites till the next day. We talked
about Balaam and his ass, and Johnnie was very anxious
to hear about them, so grandfather bade us get our
Bibles, and read aloud the twenty-second, twenty-third,
and twenty-fourth chapters of Numbers. He explained
it to us as we went on.

From a rock in the wilderness the Israelites were sup-
plied with water-Why was that rock a type of Christ ?
The prayers of Moses brought victory to the Israelites
-What does this teach us ?
Caleb and Joshua stood alone against the multitude
-What do we learn from this ?






THE WILDERNESS. 31

When their lives were threatened, the Lord came
down to preserve them-What does this shew us ?
What do we learn from the conduct of Moses at this
time ?
What are we taught by the fate of the ten spies ?
Hormah was memorable by a defeat of the Israelites
and by a victory of the Israelites-What does this teach
us?
Fiery serpents bit the Israelites-Of what were they
a type ?
Of whom was the brazen serpent a type ?
Whom ought we to regard as our worst enemies ?







BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


THE GREAT GENERAL.



'is not the law of ten commands.
On hoiy Sinai given.
Or sent to men by Moses' hands.
Can bring us safe to heaven.

ls not the blood which Aaron spilt. ,
Nor smoke of sweetest smell-
Can buy a pardon for our guilt.
Or save our souls from hell.

SAaron the priest resigns his breath
At God's immediate will.
And in the desert yields to death
Upon the appointed hill.

And thus on Jordan's yonder side.
The tribes of Israel stand.
While Moses bow d his head and died.
Short of the promised land.

SIsrael rejoice, now Joshua leads.
Hell bring your tribes to rest
For far the Saviour's name exceeds
The ruler and the priest."
WArs.



WEARIED of play, and tired of romping, it was very
gladly that we seated ourselves by our grandfather's
side on the following evening, to hear the story of the






THE GREAT GENERAL.


battle with the Midianites. We reminded him of his
promise, and he at once began.
Grandfather. The Midianites were, as I think I told
you before, descended from Abraham; they took their
name from Midian, the fourth son of Abraham and
Keturah. Some of them had settled to the south of
Canaan, and had continued to worship the true God.
Moses lived among them for forty years, and his wife
was one of them. These, with whom the Israelites
were now to fight, lived to the east of Canaan, and were
idolaters. It was by the special command of God
that the Israelites entered into this war. He had
punished his own people for yielding to the temptations
of the Midianites, and now the Midianites, who were
the tempters, must meet the punishment they deserved.
The Lord told Moses that after the children of Israel
were avenged on the Midianites, he was to be gathered
to his fathers; his work in this world would be ended,
so he must leave it.
George. Did all the men who could fight go against
the Midianites ?
Grandfather. No, only one thousand from every tribe,
twelve thousand in all, for that was the number com-
manded by God. With them went the son of Eleazar
the High Priest, who was called Phinehas; he had al-
ready made himself famous by killing two of the chief
offenders when the Israelites were seduced to worship
strange Gods. The Lord rewarded him for that by a
promise that the priesthood should remain in his family.
D






BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


Georg. But twelve thousand was a very small army.
Grandfather. But the God of armies was with them,
and they killed the whole host of the Midianites; the
five kings of Midian were killed, and it was at this time
that Balaam, the son of Beor, was slain. Whatever was
the cause of his being there, he deserved the death he
met with. Had he believed what he himself said about
the happy death of the righteous, he would not have
gone among the wicked to die their death. The Israelites
then burnt the Midianites' cities, and their goodly castles,
which some think were their idol temples. They took
the women and children, the cattle and goods, to their
camp. Moses was much displeased with them for sav-
ing the lives of the women, because they were the in-
struments who had been used to seduce the people to
idolatry, so he gave orders that they should bekkilled.
The spoil was then divided into two parts: one part was
given to the twelve thousand who had gone to the battle,
the other was given to the whole congregation.
Marianne. That was not at all an equal division,
grandfather.
Grandfather. No, but it was right that those who
had run the greatest risks should receive the greatest
rewards. Out of the soldiers' half the five-hundredth
part was to be given to the High Priest, and out of the
people's half a fiftieth part was to be given to the Levites.
What was paid to the priests and Levites was consi-
dered as a tribute to the Lord. The people who had
staid in the camp had the larger contribution to pay,


34







THE GREAT GENERAL.


which teaches us that the less we have opportunity of
honoring God with our personal services, the more it
is expected we honour him with our substance."
George. You said the twelve,thousand got a half,
grandfather. The twelve thousand could not have been
nearly all there. How many of them were killed ?
Grandfather. Not one; they all returned in safety,
and, as an acknowledgment of the Almighty's gracious
protection, the officers presented of the spoil they had
taken, the valuable jewels and gold ornaments as a thank-
offering to the Lord. We learn from this, that of every-
thing we receive we ought to bestow a part on religious
purposes.
George. I did not think the Midianites would have had
any jewels or gold ornaments. What sort of people
were they ?
Grandfather. They were a wandering people, who
may be divided into two classes,-shepherds, who moved
up and down in tents, driving their cattle before them,
and merchants, who travelled from place to place in
companies. They were a wealthy people, and their
riches brought luxury among them, so that they were
remarkable for riot and excess.
Marianne. And did Moses die after the battle ?
Grandfather. He did, and the circumstances of his
death are very remarkable. He went up to the top of
Mount Pisgah. There the Lord shewed him all the
promised land-all its extent, and all its beauty-and
after having seen that sight, the great lawgiver laid


35





BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


himself down to die. No human being was near hhi
but God saw him die. There was no friend to pay the
last honours to his remains; but his was the grandest
burial that ever was in this earth, for it was the Lord
who buried him. Forty years of his, life Moses passed
at the court of Pharoah, forty in the land of Midian
feeding his father-in-law's flocks, and forty years he was
in the wilderness of Arabia, the leader and lawgiver of
his brethren, the children of Israel. He was a hundred
and twenty years old when he died.
Johnnie. What an old man he was!
George. He was not old at all. Adam, and Methu-
selah, and Noah, and these people, lived eight or nine
times as long.
Grandfather. Yes, they did: for several reasons that
was an advantage. One might be this, that when the
earth was so thinly peopled, and the means of acquiring
instruction were so few, it was desirable that men should
have a long time to gain knowledge, and a long time to
communicate it. But though the early patriarchs lived
to so great ages, in the days of Moses people did not
live longer than they do now. His life was reckoned a
long one for his time, yet none of the infirmities of age
were upon him. The successor of Moses, as leader of
the people of Israel, was Joshua, the son of Nun, whom
I mentioned to you before. When the spies were sent
in to search the land of Canaan, he was the spy from
the tribe of Ephraim.
George. You mentioned him another time, grand-


36






THE GREAT GENERAL.


father. He was general in one of the battles they
fought.
Grandfather. I am glad to see that you remember so
well He was their leader' when theyfought against
a the Amalekites. Jphua is the same name as Jesus; they
both mean Saviour. Joshua was a type of Christ; as
he led the chosen people into Canaan, the land promised
to their fathers, so the Captain of our Salvation will
bring his own people safe into the heavenly Canaan, our
land of promise. It was an important task that was
given to Joshua to perform. We may suppose him an-
xious and thoughtful. He had not the wonder-working
power of Moses, and.the people, he might think, would
not have the same confidence in him that they had in
that great prophet. But when the Lord has a work to
be done, he can give strength to the instrument who is
to do it. He spake to Joshua, telling him, that as
he had been with Moses, so would he be with him-
I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." At that time
the promise was repeated to Joshua, that the Israelites
should possess all the land of Canaan, and the gracious
Promise tells Joshua to meditate on the law by day
and by night, that he might know it and obey it, and so
his way would be prosperous, and he would have good
success. This shows us the only way in which we ought
to seek for prosperity, which is keeping the command-
ments of God, and doing his will. The address given
by the Almighty to his servant Joshua at this time ends
with these encouraging words, "Be strong and of a





BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


good courage; be not afraid, neitherbe thou dismayed, for
the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."
We come now to one of the most remarkable sieges
that the world ever saw, the siege of Jericho. Jericho
was a city about seven leagues from Jerusalem, and two
leagues from the Jordan. Joshua, before commencing
the attack, sent two spies secretly to make observa-
tions on the city. They were guided by Providence to
the house of a woman named Rahab, who it is thought
kept a place of entertainment for travellers. She had
formerly been a woman of bad character, but was
changed now,-so changed that both St Paul and St
James have celebrated her as a pattern of piety. This
teaches us never to despair of any one, nor to think it
too late to repent. While the spies were lodging in
this woman's house, the news was brought to the king
of Jericho that they had come, and also the errand
they came upon. He sent to Rahab to ask her to give
them up, for they were come to search out all the
country. She took them up to the roof, and hid them
under stalks of flax laid out by herself to dry, which
shows us that she was an industrious woman. When
she had hid them there she went down to speak to the
king's messengers. She told them that two men came
to her, she knew not from whence; when it grew dark
they went away, she knew not where, but if they would
follow quickly she thought they might overtake them.
Marianne. That was not true, grandfather; she knew
quite well where they were.


38






THE GREAT GENERAL.


Grandfather. No, it was not true. Some have said,
as an excuse for Rahab, that some other men may have
gone to her house of whom she knew nothing, and they
may have left when it became dark. But that is not a
sufficient excuse; for though she may not have told a
direct falsehood, she certainly spoke with an intention
to deceive. We must, however, remember that Rahab
was brought up in a heathen country, with a conscience
unenlightened by the knowledge of the truth, and so
could have had little idea of the sinfulness of a lie, and
no idea how hateful all falsehood is to a God of truth.
Rahab's motives were good; it was because she believed
in the God of Israel that she saved the lives of these
men of Israel. When the king's messengers had gone
in pursuit as she directed them, Rahab went up to the
roof to speak to her guests. I know," she said to
them, that the Lord hath given you this land, and
that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inha-
bitants of the land faint because of you. For we have
heard how the Lord dried up the Red Sea for you, when
ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two
kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side
Jordan, Sihon and Ogg, whom ye utterly destroyed.
And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did
melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any
man, because of you; for the Lord your God, he is
God in Heaven above, and in the earth beneath.
George How did Rahab know that, when she lived
among heathens ?


39





BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


Grandfather. By the wonderful works that the Lord
had done, she was led to despise the idols that her
countrymen worshipped, and to glorify God in her heart.
Therefore she shewed kindness to his servants, and asked
them in return to shew kindness to her, by saving her
alive along with her father and mother, her brothers and
sisters.
Johnnie. But surely they were not thinking of killing
her when she had been so good to them.
Grandfather. She did not expect them to kill her then,
but she knew that they were coming back to take the
city, and she believed that they would put all the in-
habitants to death.
Marianne. Did they promise to save her alive and
her relations too ?
Grandfather. They did; they told her to bring all her
father's household into her own house, and engaged that
no one who was in that house would be hurt. That they
might be certain which house it was, they told her to
bind a line of scarlet cord to her window.
George. How did they get away from the town ?
Grandfather. Rahab let them out of her window by
a piece of scarlet cord, the.same which she afterwards
bound on the window to secure her own safety. Her
house stood on the town wall, so that when they reached
the ground they were without the town. She told them
to go to the mountain, and to hide themselves there for
three days till the pursuers had returned, and then they
might go their way. They followed her advice, reached


40





THE GREAT GENERAL.


the camp in safety, and told Joshua all that happened
to them; and as a sign that the Lord had delivered
the land into their hand, they said that the inhabitants
fainted because of them. Early in the morning Joshua
rose, and he and all the people of Israel removed from
Shittim, the place where they then were, and en-
camped beside the river Jordan. Before taking Jericho
they must cross the Jordan, for they were on the east
side of the river, and Jericho is on the west of it.
Johnnie. Was there a bridge across the river, grand-
father ?
Grandfather. There is no mention made of a bridge,
and we have no reason for supposing that there was one,
but the contrary.
Johnnie. But could they get across without, was it
broad ?
Grandfather. It was broad at the season that they
were crossing it. It was the time of barley harvest,
'which in that country is in spring, in the month Abib,
which begins about the middle of March. The melting
of the snow on the mountains swelled the streams, and
caused the Jordan regularly to overflow its banks at that
season. Joshua told the priests to take up the ark
and go before the people, and he told the people that
they were to follow the ark of the covenant of the Lord
their God.
Johnnie. Was the ark a large thing, grandfather ?
Grandfather. It was two cubits and a half long, a
cubit and a half broad, and the same in height. Reckon-


41





BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


ing a cubit at half a yard, it would be one yard and a
quarter long, three quarters of a yard broad, and three
quarters of a yard high.
Johnnie. Was it made of wood ?
Grandfather. Yes, but it was overlaid with pure gold
inside and outside, and it had two rings of gold on each
side, and staves put through the rings to carry it by.
Marianne. Was there anything kept in it ?
Grandfather. There were the two tables of stone on
which the ten commandments were written by the finger
of God ; there was a golden pot full of manna, kept as a
remembrance of the way in which the Lord fed them in
the wilderness; and there was Aaron's wonder-working
rod; all these were kept in the ark of the covenant.
The priests, agreeably to the command given by Joshua,
moved towards the river; they walked to its very edge;
they stepped into it, and as soon as the feet of these
priests touched the edge of the water, suddenly the
channel of the river was dry, for the waters which were
coming down from the sea of Galilee stood and rose up
in a heap, so that there was none to flow into the Dead
Sea; the space of sixteen or eighteen miles of the river
was thus left dry. The priests walked into the middle
of the Jordan; there they stood firm on dry ground till
the whole of the people had passed over in safety. Then
twelve stones were erected in Jordan, on the place where
the priests had stood, and twelve stones were taken from
that place and laid on the ground where the children
of Israel encamped that night.


42






THE GREAT GENERAL.


Marianne. What was the use of these stones, grand-
father ?
Grandfather. They were for a sign to keep in remem-
brance this great miracle.
Marianne. But surely they would never forget it ?
Grandfather. They would remember it better if they
saw something to remind them of it, and the stones
would attract the attention of children in after times;
they would ask the meaning of them, and the people
would tell them of the wonderful works that God had
wrought, that His great name might be glorified. This
teaches us that when the God to whom we owe every-
thing shews us a special favour, we ought to mark it
in our memory and speak of it to others. Now, the
wilderness where the Israelites wandered for forty years
is a type of this world, for we are but strangers and
sojourners here. The river Jordan is a type of death,
the dark river through which we must pass before we
reach the heavenly Canaan, our promised land of rest;
and the ark is a type of our blessed Saviour. As it
opened a passage for the chosen people through the
river Jordan, so He has gone before us and prepared a
way in which he leads his people through the dark
valley of the shadow of death, as your hymn says,
Johnnie,-
"Jesus can-make a dying bed
Feel soft as downy pillows are."

George. Does the Jordan overflow its banks still in
the time of harvest ?


43





BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


Grandfather. Travellers who have been there at that
season have seen no rise in the river, so it is supposed
that it has not overflowed its banks for a considerable
number of years; the cause of this is not known.
That the river should be so much swollen at the time
the Israelites entered Canaan, must have made the
miracle wrought in their behalf the more striking, not
only in their eyes, but also in the eyes of the heathen
inhabitants of Jericho, who saw from their walls the
dividing of the Jordan that their enemies might pass
through.
Marianne. They must have been very much afraid.
Grandfather. Doubtless they were; but their fear
did them no good. If they had humbled themselves
and besought pardon for their many offences, even then,
at the eleventh hour, mercy might have been found for
them. After the children of Israel entered Canaan,
the manna that had fallen for so many years ceased to
fall, and they ate of the corn of the land.
George. Grandfather, I am wearying to hear of the
wonderful siege; will you soon come to it ?
Grandfather. Immediately. Joshua stood beside
Jericho, engaged probably in examining its walls and
fortifications, considering where it would be best to
begin the attack, when he saw standing opposite to him
a man with a drawn sword in his hand. Art thou
for us," the leader of the Israelites asked, or for our
enemies ?" Nay," was the reply, but as captain
of the host of the Lord am I now come." Then Joshua


44






THE GREAT GENERAL.


fell with his face to the earth and worshipped him, and
said What saith my Lord unto his servant?" The
Lord told Joshua to put off his shoes, for he stood on
holy, ground. Joshua obeyed. The Lord then gave
him instructions how he was to take the city. Joshua
exactly followed them, so that Jericho fell into his
hands.
George. How did he commence ?
Grandfather. He called the priests and the people,
and directed them what they were to do. They walked
round the city in this order: First armed men went to
prepare the way for the ark; next seven priests, each
having a trumpet of ram's horn; then the ark; and
the rearward followed it. They marched round the city
in silence, except that the priests blew the trumpets
they carried in their hands. When they had compassed
the city once, they returned to their camp. Early the
next morning they rose and marched round the city in
exactly the same order, with the same accompanying
music, the priests blowing the trumpets. This they
did six days. On the seventh they rose at dawn, and
marched round as usual, not once only as on other
days, but seven times. The seventh time, when the
priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua told the people
to shout, for the Lord had given them the city. Jeri-
cho, he further told them, was accursed. Every person
and every thing in it were to be destroyed, except
Rahab and those who were with her. The gold and
silver, the vessels of brass and iron, were consecrated


45






BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


to the Lord; the people must take nothing for them-
selves. The priests blew the trumpets-the people
shouted loudly-and the wall fell down flat.
Johnnie. What made the wall fall down, grandfather ?
Grandfather. The power of God, without whom no
city can be fortified, and no city can be taken.
George. But why could they not have besieged
Jericho, and taken it in the ordinary way ?
Grandfather. That it was the will of God is sufficient
for us to know, as it sufficed for Joshua and the Israel-
ites. But we may see many reasons why it was an
advantage for Jericho to be taken in a miraculous way.
It would encourage the Israelites at their outset, and
it would teach them to trust in God and look to Him
for victory. It would shew before the heathen nations
the power of the Almighty, and would render them
more inexcusable if they persisted in resisting a power
that was manifestly divine.
Marianne. Was Rahab saved alive?
Grandfather. Yes; Joshua sent the two spies to
whom she had shewn kindness to bring her out of the
city. They brought her and all her relations out to the
camp. She was afterwards married to Salmon, a prince
of the tribe of Judah, and is mentioned in the 1st
chapter of St Matthew's gospel, as an ancestress of
our Lord. All the other inhabitants of Jericho were
put to death, men, women, and children, with their
cattle and sheep; only the silver and gold, with the
vessels of brass and iron remained, and they were put


46






THE GREAT GENERAL.


into the treasury of the house of the Lord. The city
was burnt.
George. Did the people not get anything at all ?
Grandfather. They were forbidden to touch anything.
The city of Jericho was in a peculiar manner taken by
the Lord, therefore everything it contained specially
belonged to Him. It was the first city taken in the
lanl of Canaan, and the first fruits are due to God.
A curse was to descend on whoever took to themselves
anything that was in Jericho. A curse was also de-
nounced against the man who should build Jericho.
He shall lay the foundation thereof in his first born,"
says Joshua, and in his youngest son shall he set up
the gates of it."
George. WaA it ever built afterwards ?
Grandfather. It was built by Hiel the Bethelite in
the days when Ahab was king of Israel, and the curse,
as it had been prophesied by Joshua, descended upon
Hiel-his eldest son died at the commencement of the
work, and his youngest son at the completion of it.
Johnnie. Then the people would be afraid to live in it.
Grandfather. No, for no curse had been denounced
against those who might inhabit it, and no curse came.
It was honoured by the prophet Elisha, who sweetened
its waters. He changed the salt rivulet into a fresh
stream, which rendered the plain of Jericho fair and
fertile. Moses calls it the city of palm trees. It
was also famous for its balsam trees. In later times it
was a place of importance, second to none in Judea


47





BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


except Jerusalem. There were many magnificent build-
ings in it, among which was a royal palace where
Herod the Great died. It was destroyed by the Ro-
mans, and another city was built, but not exactly on
the same site. The modern Jericho has dwindled down
into a poor small Arab village. About four miles from
it the ruins of the ancient Jericho may be seen, but no
tree of any kind is to be seen near the ancient city
of palms."
This was all that grandfather told of the Jewish
history that evening; and these are the questions that
he asked of us:-

Of the spoil of the Midianites the soldiers paid from
their half a five-hundredth part, and the people of their
half paid a fiftieth part, as tribute to the Lord-What
does this teach us ?
After the battle the officers brought the valuables in
their share as a thank-offering to the Lord-What do
we learn from this ?
In what respect was Joshua a type of Christ ?
The Lord bade Joshua meditate on the law by day
and by night, and keep it, that he might enjoy prosperity
and success-What does this shew us ?
The Israelites erected two heaps of stones to perpe-
tuate the remembrance of the dividing of the Jordan
-What does this teach us ?
Of what is the river Jordan a type ?
In what respect is the ark a type of Christ?


48






CONQUESr.


CONQUEST.


If pain afflict, or wrongs oppress-
If cares distract, or fears dismay;-
If guilt deject, if sin distress-
The remedy's before thee-Pray."
HART.

George. Now, grandfather, we are all ready to hear
of another battle. What was the next town that
Joshua attacked ?
Grandfather. About three leagues from Jericho is a
city named Ai, or Hai, as it is called in the book of
Genesis, where we are told that Abraham pitched his
tent between it and Bethel. Joshua sent men to view
the country. They went and viewed Ai. On their
return they said to Joshua that there was no necessity
for all the people going against the place; two or three
thousand would be sufficient, for the men of Ai were
few. So about three thousand of the Israelites went
against Ai; the men of that place fought against them;
killed thirty-six of them; put them to flight, and pur-
sued them. This defeat depressed the people so much
that we are told their hearts melted, and became as
water.


49






BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


George. They ought to have picked out braver men
to go; it was very stupid to send three thousand cowards.
Grandfather. The three thousand men were not to
blame; there was a reason for their arms not being suc-
cessful at that time.
Marianne. But was it not very strange, grandfather,
when the Lord had promised that all the land was to
be theirs ?
Grandfather. It had not been promised that in each
conflict with the enemy success was invariably to attend
the Israelites, although we have reason to believe that
such would have been the case if the people had not
displeased the Lord; for, as I said before, there was a
reason for this defeat.
Marianne. What had they done wrong?
Grandfather. You shall hear. Joshua was greatly
grieved. He rent his clothes, and put dust on his head,
which, you know, are in the East symptoms of mourning
and humiliation. The leader of Israel, along with the
elders of Israel, lay on their faces before the ark until
the evening. Joshua lamented and prayed; God heard
and answered. We are taught by this that when trouble
comes upon us, if we complain to God earnestly, he will
hear and answer us. The Lord told Joshua that the
reason of the Israelites' disgrace was that they had
transgressed; they had taken of the accursed thing;
had stolen and hidden it. "Neither will I be with you
any more," said the Lord, except ye destroy the ac-
cursed from among you." The Lord then directed Joshua


50








how he was to proceed in order to discover the offender,
and also what punishment was to be inflicted on him.
It was too late that night to do anything; but it was
early in the morning when Joshua rose, that no time
might be lost in purging the camp from that which
defiled it. The people were brought forward by tribes;
the lot fell on the tribe of Judah. The tribe of Judah
was brought forward by families; the family of the
Zarhites was taken. The family of the Zarhites was
brought forward, man by man, and Zabdi was taken.
He brought his household, man by man, and Achan was
taken. Joshua then besought Achan to glorify God by
confessing what he had done. Achan replied in these
words--" Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God
of Israel, and thus and thus have I done. When I saw
among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two
hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty
shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them;
and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of
my tent, and the silver under it."
Marianne. How terrified Achan must have been
when he saw the lot coming nearer and nearer to him;
but, grandfather, I do not know what is meant by taking
of the accursed.
Grandfather. I told you that the town of Jericho,
along with all that it contained, was doomed to destruc-
tion; a curse was on it.
Johnnie. Had the coat that Achan stole come from
Babylon ?


51


CONQUEST.






BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


Grandfather. It is more likely that it had been made
in imitation of the Babylonian fabrics, or perhaps it may
only mean some particularly fine dress belonging to the
king or some of the great men of Jericho ; at all events,
the sight of it was too much for Achan; when he saw
it, he coveted it; and as the passion of covetousness
increases by the gratifying of it, the garment was not
enough for him, he must needs add to it silver and gold,
that his store might be more valuable.
George. How much ashamed Achan must have felt
when he had to confess the theft before so many people.
Grandfather. This teaches us that though sin may be
sweet in the commission of it, it is always bitter in the
detection of it; and, when tempted to commit sin, we
ought to remember that it most surely will come to
light; and ask ourselves if the pleasure we expect from
the sin will be as great as the pain we shall feel when it
is detected ;-if the pleasure and pain were to be
weighed in scales, we would see that the pain would far
outweigh the pleasure.
Marianne. But, grandfather, it is not right to take
pleasure in doing what is wrong.
Grandfather. It is not; no one who truly loves the
Lord can love what is displeasing to him; those who
are really the people of God would feel their sin being
known by men but a slight evil compared with His dis-
pleasure. Satan is ever on the watch to tempt us, and
our carnal hearts are too prone to yield. Let us pray
that we may be cleansed from secret faults.


52







Johnnie. Was anything done to Achan for stealing?
Grandfather. Yes. Joshua sent messengers to bring
out of his tent the stolen goods which were found hid-
den as he had told them; then he, with the things that
had ruined him, along with his sons and his daughters,
his oxen, his asses, his sheep, his tent, and all that he
had, were taken into the valley of Achor. There, after
everything living was stoned to death, all were destroyed
by fire.
Johnnie. Was it the Valley of Achan that the place
was called ?
Grandfather. The Valley of Achor it was called.
Achor means trouble, and the place of Achan's death
was so named because Achan had brought trouble upon
Israel The Valley of Achor is said to be given for a
door of hope, because there is hope for the people of God
when they begin to put away the accursed thing from
among them. Achan in the camp is a type of sin in the
heart; it brings trouble and disgrace there. It becomes
us, like the Israelites, to search for the evil thing, to root
it out and utterly destroy it.
Marianne. Grandfather, does it not seem cruel to kill
Achan's sons and daughters along with him ?
Grandfather. It is most likely that they too were
guilty; if they did not assist him in stealing the
things, they had assisted in secreting them after they
were stolen. That they did it to please their father
is, you know, no excuse for so direct a violation of
an express command. If they were innocent their


CONQUEST.


53





BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


death must have tended to give the people a greater
abhorrence against sin, and in particular against the sin
of covetousness. After the death of Achan the Lord
spoke to Joshua words of encouragement. The sin of
Achan possibly made the heart of Joshua almost ready
to fail. Joshua was a brave man, but the bravest of
men may tremble because of sin; a traitor in the camp
or in the heart is more to be dreaded than all that can
assail us from without. To comfort Joshua, the Lord
told him that he had given Ai and her king into his
hand, that he might do to them as he had done to
Jericho and her king, only the spoil and the cattle they
were to take for their own. In order that Ai might fall
into the hands of the Israelites, Joshua was directed to
take there with him all the men of war, and to place an
ambush behind the city.
Marianne. Did God tell him to do that ?
Grandfather. Yes; and we learn from this that when
any one acts prudently and well it is God who puts wis-
dom in their hearts. Joshua selected thirty thousand
men of valour, and sent them away by night, command-
ing them to lie in wait behind the city, not very far from
it. He, and all the people who were with him, were to
make an attack on the city, and when the inhabitants
came out against them they were to flee before them.
The people of Ai would pursue, then those who were in
ambush would rush in and seize on the city. Joshua
tells them with certainty that they would succeed in
this, for, says he, The Lord your God will deliver it


54







into your hand." He further directs them, when they
had taken the city, to set it on fire. These thirty thou-
sand men went forth, and remained in ambush on the
west side of Ai, between that city and Bethel Early in
the morning Joshua rose, and this is neither the first nor
the second time only that we have been told of his doing
so. When he had work to do he commenced it betimes,
an example which we would do well to follow. He num-
bered the people, and then he and the elders of Israel
led to Ai all the men of war. They pitched on the north
side of the city, with a valley between them and it. We
are then told that Joshua took five thousand and set
them to lie in ambush between Bethel and Ai, to the
west of the latter city.
George. You said, grandfather, that Joshua sent
thirty thousand men there the night before.
Grandfather. You have started a difficulty, George,
which has been differently explained by different people.
Some think that the thirty thousand sent away by night
make up the sum of the whole force that was to be em-
ployed in the taking of Ai; that the open attack was to
be made with twenty-five thousand, and that the five
thousand were all who were to lie in ambush; but this
explanation does not agree well with the command given
by God to Joshua, to take all the people of war with him.
George. But that might have meant that though all
the soldiers were to go, only thirty thousand were to
fight.
Grandfather. Of course that is the opinion entertained


55


CONQUEST.





BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


by those who adhere to the explanation I have given
you. Some have explained it differently; they think
that the thirty thousand first sent away were to lie in
ambush, and to seize the city after the inhabitants had
vacated it. The five thousand sent afterwards were to
guard the passes, and prevent the people escaping by
any bye-path ; and that the open attack on the city was
to be made by the whole army of the Israelites, exclu-
sive of those thirty-five thousand. There is still another
way of explaining it, which is, that the five thousand
was a party detached from the thirty thousand. The
twenty-five thousand were to keep themselves concealed
among the mountains till the five thousand had taken
the city, and the main army had repulsed their enemies.
Then, on a signal given, the twenty-five thousand were
to come forth from their ambush, and intercept the men
of Ai as they were endeavouring to escape. Which of
these opinions we may entertain does not seem to me to
be of much consequence.
Marianne. Grandfather, there are a great many things
in the Bible that are very difficult to be understood.
Grandfather. There are many things that we shall
never fully understand while we are in this world, but
we must thankfully acknowledge that all that is neces-
sary for our salvation is so plain that he that runneth
may read. After having prepared everything for the
next day's undertaking, the brave leader of the Israelites
went into a valley by night to pray for success upon
Israel's arms. We are taught by his example that how-


56






CONQUEST.


ever confident we may be of succeeding in anything we
undertake, we ought never to neglect praying for the
success that we expect. The attack was followed out
in the way that had been agreed on. The king of Ai
and his army went out to battle; Joshua and his men of
war fled before them. The people of Ai easily fell into
the snare that had been laid for them; they all rushed
out to the pursuit, leaving their city unguarded. Then
the Lord told Joshua to stretch out his spear towards Ai
Joshua obeyed. It might serve as a signal to those who
were lying in ambush, for, immediately after, they rose
from their place of concealment, went to the city, took it,
and set it on fire. The smoke was the signal to Joshua
and his army; when they saw it, they turned upon their
pursuers. Those pursuers looked back to their city, but
looked only to see that it was in the hands of their
enemies. They had hitherto been confident, but now their
confidence failed; the foes they had despised entirely sur-
rounded them. There was no way of escape, and they
were cut to pieces every one. The cattle and spoil the
people took to themselves, as the Lord had commanded.
Ai was burnt to ashes. Joshua continued steadily to
stretch out the hand in which he held the spear, and did
not draw it back nor rest it till the work of destruction
was complete.
Johnnie. What was the use of holding out the spear,
grandfather ?
Grandfather. It was done in obedience to a special
command of God; so it would be of use in directing the





BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


people to look for help to that God with whom Joshua
held communion, even in the thickest of the battle. It
has been said by some that a flag was fastened to this
spear, which would make it the better seen by the Israel-
ites in a crowded field. There were twelve thousand
people, which was the whole population of Ai, slain that
day by the sword. But there was one exception. The
king of Ai was taken alive and brought to Joshua. The
leader of Israel commanded that the king be hanged on
a tree till the evening; then his body was taken down
and cast under a heap of stones where the city gate had
been.
Johnnie. Why was he hanged, grandfather ? why was
he not killed with the other people of the town ?
Grandfather. He had been so wicked that he required
a special punishment. Doubtless he had been a notorious
sinner, noted for his wickedness even when living in the
midst of a wicked people. In the slaughter of Jericho,
Rahab, for her faith, was set apart that she might be ex-
alted to honour; in the slaughter of Ai, one was set apart
too, but it was in order that he might suffer an igno-
minious death for his vileness.
George. What was the next place that the Israelites
attacked ?
Grandfather. There was a pause now in their warlike
proceedings.
George. A pause; what did they wait for ?
Grandfather. The Lord had directed them by his ser-
vant Moses, that as soon as they had obtained a posses-








sion in the land of Canaan, they were to assemble the
people on two mountains there, Mounts Gerizim and
Ebal, to sacrifice to the Lord, and to hear the law read.
Joshua and all the Israelites assembled now to obey this
command.
George. But they had not conquered all the country
at that time.
Grandfather. Not nearly the whole of it, but they had
conquered so much of it as to enable them to reach the
place appointed. Had they been unwilling for the duty,
they might have sought for a pretext to put it off to
what might seem a more convenient season. They were
almost surrounded by hostile nations, who, by their de-
laying to attack them, might have had time to band
themselves together, which would have rendered their
attack more formidable. The Israelites were commanded
to take possession of the land of Canaan, and they might
urge that the more speedily they proceeded with their
conquests, the more easily the land would be subdued.
But they had learned-and it would be well if we could
learn the same lesson-that that is a bad business which
hinders us from minding the one thing needful. They
built an altar on Mount Ebal, and offered sacrifices to
God, sacrifices of thanksgiving for the favour He had al-
ready shewn to them, and sacrifices of supplication for
His guidance in what was yet before them. We learn
from this that the way to prosper is to live ever near to
God, acknowledging him by prayer and praise. While
they were engaged in the reading of the law, six of the


59


CONQUEST.





BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


tribes stood on Mount Gerizim, or near it; the other six
stood on or near to Mount Ebal. The six on Mount
Gerizim pronounced blessings on those who kept the
law; the six tribes on Mount Ebal pronounced curses on
those who did not keep it. So these two mountains are
called the Mounts of Blessing and Cursing. Gerizim, the
Mount of Blessing, is described as being remarkably fer-
tile, while Ebal, the Mount of Cursing, is said to be re-
markable for its savage barrenness.
George. It was an easy way for the Israelites to con-
quer first one town and then another, without ever hav-
ing a large body of people to deal with; it was strange
that when the country was divided into so many small
states, the people did not think of entering into a league
for their mutual defence.
Grandfather. They did think of it, but not till after
they had seen the fate of Jericho and of Ai; then they
were seriously alarmed, and entered into a league against
this formidable foe. All the kings "in the hills and in
the valleys, and in all the coasts of the great sea," gather-
ed themselves together to fight with Joshua and with
Israel with one accord.
George They shewed their wisdom then. They
could not hope for success opposing Joshua singly.
Grandfather. They would have shewn their wisdom
more if they had submitted. It was insolence, and not
bravery, to expect success when fighting against God;
and they ought to have known by the miracles which had
been wrought that a divine power was with the Israelites.


60








The confederated kings rushed upon their own destruc-
tion.
Marianne. Grandfather, I do not like to hear of the
Israelites going into the country of the Canaanites, and
killing all the people; does it not seem very cruel ?
Grandfather. It would have been very cruel, and quite
inexcusable, if any other nation had acted as the Israel-
ites did; but we must consider that they acted by the
special command of God; that they were instruments in
his hand to avenge the idolatrous nations of Canaan,
who, we cannot doubt, deserved the fate they met with.
We must remember too that the country of which the
Israelites now took possession was their own; it really
belonged to them, for, more than four hundred years
before, it had been given to their forefather Abraham by
Him to whom all lands belong.
Marianne. Did the Israelites destroy all the nations
of Canaan ?
Grandfather. No, there was one nation who, by a very
crafty plan, succeeded in making a league with them. I
shall tell you of it and its consequences to-morrow even-
ing, if we are spared till then.

What does Achan's disgrace teach us ?
When tempted to sin, what ought we to ask ourselves?
Achan in the camp is a type of sin-Why ?
Where is our most dangerous enemy to be found ?
The Lord directed Joshua to place an ambush behind
Ai-What do we learn from this ?


61


CONQUEST.





62 BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.

The night before the battle Joshua went into the val-
ley to pray-What are we taught by his example ?
The Israelites built an altar on Mount Ebal, and there
offered sacrifices to the Lord when only a small part of
Canaan was subdued-What may we learn from this?







SUBMISSION AND OPPOSITION.


63


SUBMISSION AND OPPOSITION.


The Lord our God is fall of might,
The winds obey his will;
He speaks, and in his heavenly height
The rolling sun stands still.

Howl, winds of night, your force combine;
Without his high behest,
Ye shall not in the mountain pine
Disturb the sparrow's nest.

His voice sublime is heard afar;
In distant peals it dies;
He yokes the whirlwinds to His car,
And sweeps the howling skies.

Ye nations bend-in rev'rence bend-
Ye monarchs wait his nod,
And bid the choral song ascend
To celebrate the God."
H. L WHITE.

THE next day, I remember, was extremely warm, yet
we wandered farther than we usually did; so when we
were wending our way homeward in the afternoon, we
felt very tired. Grandfather's cottage, and the trees
about it, looked delightfully fresh and cool to us, who
were toiling along the dusty road. We said to one ano-
ther, How nice it would be to lie on the soft grass while





BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


grandfather told us the story he had promised abo$t the
crafty Canaanitish people. No such story was to be
heard by us that night. When we came near enough
to see into grandfather's garden, we saw that he was
walking in it, and some one else with him. It was not
very often that grandfather had visitors, and it seemed
to us as if he ought never to have any, for he had not
so much time to talk to us when strangers were with
him. This evening we were particularly dissatisfied.
We were very selfish children surely; for though grand-
father seemed to enjoy his friend's company very much,
we were greatly displeased with his being there, because
he prevented us from hearing the story we expected.
He took tea with us, and staid, I daresay, two hours
after it, for he was as fond of flowers as our grandfather
was, and had brought him a present of a basket of
plants from his own garden. I do not remember now
what any of these plants were, except that there were
some very fine carnations among them. I never, even
now, see a carnation without feeling ashamed of myself
for my ill-humour that evening. I assisted to put the
plants in the ground, but not so cheerfully as I ought to
have done.
Grandfather observed our discontentment, and when
his friend had left he called George and me to him, and
spoke to us about it. We told him why we were dis-
pleased, and we thought when we were disappointed of
anything, that we had a right to be discontented. He
shewed us what a sinful thought that was; told us to






SUBMISSION AND OPPOSITION.


consider how much we have to be thankful,for, and
that we do not deserve anything of all that is given to
us; that if we meet with disappointments every day, and
every hour of every day, still we would have no right to
be discontented, for it would be only what we deserved;
yet for one little disappointment we forget all the good-
ness of the Great Giver, and displease Him by cherish-
ing discontentment. Grandfather spoke to us for some-
time that night, and spoke so seriously and earnestly,
that I could not help crying, and I was truly sorry;
so I do not think, if any one had come the next even-
ing and prevented us from hearing the story we ex-
pected, that I would have been disappointed at all I
am sure that George felt very nearly as much as I did.
Johnnie had nothing to do with it, poor little fellow; he
was so tired that he had fallen asleep almost imme-
diately after tea
No obstacle presented itself the following evening, so
we three children took our usual places as soon as tea
was over, and grandfather immediately began.
Grandfather. There was a nation living in the land
of Canaan called Gibeonites. When they heard of the
great things done by the people of Israel, they saw that
there was no use in trying to oppose them, and formed
a plan for making peace with them. The other nations
in Canaan were hardened by these remarkable events.
The Gibeonites were softened by them. We must either
be the better or the worse for the knowledge of the
true God coming amongst us. The Gibeonites knew
F


65





BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


that all the nations of Canaan were to be cut off. We
are not told how they found that out, but it is very
likely that some of the people of the land were present at
the reading of the law on Mount Ebal. There they
would hear that there was to be no mercy shown to
them-no quarter given-and no covenant to be made
with them. So the inhabitants of Gibeon would clearly
see that their only plan for gaining peace was to pre-
tend that they were not Canaanites. They went very
artfully to work. They pretended to be ambassadors
from a foreign state; and to make it appear that they
had travelled a long way, they took old sacks on their
asses, and the wine bottles they had with them were
old and torn, and mended; the shoes they had on were
old and patched; all their clothes were old; and their
bread was dry and mouldy.
Johnnie. What is the meaning, grandfather, of their
wine bottles being torn ?
Grandfather. Their bottles were not made of glass
as ours are, but of leather. The same sort of bottles
are still used by the Arabs; they are more convenient
for those who lead a wandering life than any other kind
of bottle; milk or water, or any kind of liquor, keeps
more fresh in them. I read a description of them lately,
which I shall read to you; it describes them better than
I can. These leather bottles are made of goat skins.
When the animal is killed they cut off its feet and its
head, and they draw it in this manner out of the skin,
without opening its belly. They afterwards sew up the


66






SUBMISSION AND OPPOSITION.


places where the legs were cut off, and the tail, and
when it is filled they tie it about the neck. The great
leather bottles are made of the skin of an he-goat, and
the smaller ones, that serve'instead of a bottle of water
on the road, are made of a kid's skin." They are
mended sometimes by setting in a piece, sometimes by
gathering up the wounded place in manner of a purse;
sometimes they put in a round flat piece of wood, and by
that means stop the hole."
Johnnie. They must be very curious looking bottles.
George. Not more curious than our bottles will look
to people who have never seen any like them.
Grandfather. In the guise that I have described to
you the men of Gibeon reached Gilgal, where the
Israelites' camp was. They told Joshua and the leaders
of Israel that they were come from a far country, and
asked a league to be made with them. The leaders of
Israel suspected that this might not be true, and said,
" Peradventure ye dwell among us, and how shall we
make a league with you ?" This only made the Gibeon-
ites speak more humbly than before. They said to
Joshua, We are thy servants." Joshua said, Who
are ye, and from whence come ye ?" The Gibeonites in
their reply did not name their country; they called it a
very far country, wishing Joshua to understand that he
could not possibly know anything about it, and would
not be any wiser if they were to tell its name. They
gave their reason for coming; it was because of the Lord,
the God of the Israelites: they said, "We have heard of


67





BATrLES OF THE BIBLE.


the fame of him, and all that he did in Egypt; and all
that he did to the two kings of the Amorites that were
beyond Jordan, to Sihon, king of Heshbon, and to Og,
king of Bashan, which was at Ashtaroth." You observe
they were artful enough to mention only those events
which had happened a considerable time before; they
take no notice of the miraculous passage of the Jordan,
nor of the fall of Jericho, nor of the taking of Ai. If
they had heard of any of these things in their own
country it could not be very far distant. Hearing of
these wonderful things which they had enumerated, the
elders and all the inhabitants of their country sent them
to meet the people of Israel, and to profess themselves
their servants, that they might be induced to make a
league with them. They then said that their dry mouldy
bread was new and hot when they left their homes;
their old torn bottles were new when they brought them
away, and it was the very long journey, they said, which
had made their clothes and shoes so worn. The Israelites
were deceived by these things; they believed the story
the people told them, and Joshua and the princes of the
congregation made a league with them, and swore to let
them live.
Marianne. Was it right, grandfather, for the Gibeonites
to tell that story ?
George. Surely it was; they could not have saved
their lives any other way.
Grandfather. It is not right to tell a lie though it be to
save our lives. They professed a respect for the God of


68






SUBMISSION AND OPPOSMTION.


Israel as their motive in seeking the friendship of the
Israelites, and there is little doubt that it really was
their motive; but their conduct shewed how ignorant
they were of the true God: If they had known how
holy he was, they would not have thought he could be
honoured by a falsehood.
George. But, grandfather, what could they have done ?
they could not have told who they were when they knew
that all the Canaanites were to be put to death.
Grandfather. They ought to have confessed their
sins, which had brought this great judgment upon their
country. They ought to have put away their idols,
and given up their country to the Israelites, and sub-
mitted themselves to God, trusting in his mercy. Yet
there is great excuse for the conduct of the Gibeonites,
when we consider their situation, and their imperfect
knowledge of what was right. There is much in them
to commend; their submission was very humble; it was
speedy, they did not wait till the enemy marched against
them. This teaches us that we ought not to put off
repentance till the last, but turn from our sins at once,
and seek for mercy. Their submission, too, was remark-
able in its being so unlike the conduct of their neighbours.
They went to seek the Lord, although they went alone.
Let us imitate their example in this. The conduct of
the Israelites was more culpable: they erred, and they
had not the same excuse as the Gibeonites.
Marianne. What did they do that was wrong, grand-
father ?


69





BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


Grandfather. They were forbidden to make a league
with any of the nations of Canaan, and yet they made
a league with the Gibeonites. No doubt they did not
know at the time that they were people of Canaan, but
they would not have been deceived by them if they had
asked advice from God. We are told that they asked
not counsel at the mouth of the Lord." This is sinful
conduct in those who worship the true God.
George. Were they long of finding out that they had
been deceived ?
Grandfather. Only three days. On the third day the
children of Israel arrived at the territory of Gibeon, and
saw the four cities inhabited by that people. The Israel-
ites were much displeased with their rulers because they
had made a league with the Gibeonites.
George. But, grandfather, they could not be expected
to keep their promise to the Gibeonites after being so
much deceived.
Grandfather. A promise is too sacred a thing, George,
to be lightly broken. Many would think that if they
had been deceived into making a promise, it could not
be binding on them after they had discovered the truth;
but the conduct of the leaders of Israel shews that to be
false reasoning. They might have found excuse for
breaking their agreement if they had thought of doing
it; for before entering into the league they protested
that if the Gibeonites lived among them, they could
enter into no league with them; yet when the covenant
was once made, they considered it binding. We ought to


70





SUBMISSION AND OPPOSITION.


be very careful what we promise; but when our word
is once given, it ought on no account to be recalled, if it
be in our power to keep it, unless the keeping of it would
be a sin.
Marianne. But when the Israelites had been com-
manded to put all the people of Canaan to death, was it
not wrong to spare the Gibeonites ?
Grandfather. The reason given for that command was,
lest the Israelites might be led away by these nations to
worship false gods But the Gibeonites renounced their
idolatry, and became servants to the Israelites. The
chiefs of Israel evidently thought that whatever might
be the danger in keeping their oath, there would be far
greater danger in breaking it, for that would be sin.
Their example teaches us to imitate the character of the
good man who, though he promise to his hurt, yet makes
his promise sure.
George. Did the Gibeonites give up their lands ?
Grandfather. Yes; they became bondsmen to the
people of Israel, and were employed as hewers of wood
and drawers of water for the congregation and for the
altar of the Lord. They asked only life, and do not seem
to have expected more. Their humility is a pattern to us:
it teaches us to seek o4ly for mercy-to ask for life eternal
from God; and whatever lot he may assign for us in this
world, though we may be placed in a very low station,
let us cheerfully and diligently perform the duties of it.
George. What did the other Canaanites think of the
Gibeonites submitting themselves to Joshua ?


71





BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


Grandfather. They were much alarmed, for Gibeon was
a place of importance, and the people of it were noted
for their bravery. The king of Jerusalem was called
Adonizedek, which means the lord of righteousness.
Perhaps he was descended from Melchisedek, king of
righteousness, Who was the king ofJerusalem in Abraham's
time. If so, he was unlike his forefather in character.
He paid no respect to the sons of Abraham. He sent
to other four kings, the kings of Hebron, of Jarmuth, of
Lachish, and of Eglon, saying, Come unto me, and
help me, that we may smite Gibeon, for it hath made
peace with Joshua, and with the children of Israel." So
these five kings assembled their forces together, and
marched against Gibeon, thinking probably that the
people of that place would fall unassisted, for the Israel-
ites would not bring themselves into danger to succour
them. The Gibeonites thought differently. When they
saw this formidable army coming against them, they
sent to Joshua, saying, Slack not thy hand from thy
servants; come up to us quickly and save us and help
us, for all the kings of the Amorites that dwell in the
mountains are gathered together against us." Regard-
ing Joshua as a type of Christ, this petition of the Gi-
beonites teaches us in every difficulty to look for help to
Him who alone is able to help us at all times Joshua
and all his mighty men of valour prepared to march to
the defence of their allies. The Lord spoke to Joshua,
and these were the words he said, Fear them not, for
I have delivered them into thine hand; there shall not


72





SUBMISSION AND OPPOSITION.


a man of them stand before thee." So Joshua set off
very quickly, and marched all night.
George. What was the use of his doing that when
God had promised that he would conquer the enemy.
Grandfather. He shewed by his diligence that he be-
lieved that promise. The more firmly we trust in God,
the more careful will we be to do our duty, for the pro-
mises of God are intended to encourage our endeavours.
A complete victory followed. The five kings and their
armies were completely defeated. They fled both to the
north and to the south, and were pursued by the Israelites
and slain. Notwithstanding the great slaughter among
the Amorites by the sword of Israel, the Lord slew more
of them by a miraculous hail storm. It was miraculous
because it discomfited the enemy only, and gave no an-
noyance to the Israelites. Then Joshua prayed to the
Lord that the sun and moon might stop in their course,
that night might not come on before his day's work was
done. Boldly, before all the people of Israel, their
leader gave the command, Sun, stand thou still upon
Gibeon, and thou moon in the valley of Ajalon." This
speech shows the strong faith of Joshua. If what he
said had not come to pass, the people would have thought
him mad. But it did come to pass ; the sun stood still
until the destruction of the Amorites was complete.
Johnnie. How long did the sun stand still, grand-
father ?
Grandfather. A day, we are told; so that day would
be double the length that it otherwise would have been.


78





BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


It is thought that it was in midsummer, when the days
there are fourteen hours long; so the length of that
wonderful day would be twenty-eight hours.
George. But it is not the sun that moves, grandfather;
it is the earth; yet Joshua told the sun to stand still.
Grandfather. Astronomy was not so well understood
then as now; and if Joshua had commanded the earth
to stand still, not a man in his army would have un-
derstood him; they knew nothing of the daily revolu-
tion of the earth upon its axis. The sun was at that
time believed to move, and the earth to stand still. The
Scriptures speak in the language that was generally
understood at the time they were written; the sun is
spoken of as rejoicing like a giant to run his race.
Every one who heard Joshua command the sun to stand
still would understand quite well what he meant, and
would be able to tell whether the event verified his
words. If he had lived in our day, he would have
used different language to express his meaning.
Marianne. It was a very splendid miracle; but I
have been wondering, grandfather, what was the use of
it, for the battle could have been finished the next day ?
Grandfather. It shewed the almighty power of God;
-a power which extended not only to the earth, and
the things that are in it, but even to the heavenly
bodies, which are so far above man. It shewed the
folly of those nations who worshipped the sun and the
moon; for high as these are placed, yet he is above
them, and has them under his control But we have


74





SUBMISSION AND OPPOSITION.


not done with the five kings of the Amorites yet. None
of them fell in battle; they all fled and hid themselves
in a cave near Makkedah. When Joshua was told that
they had been found there; he told the people to roll
stones to the mouth of the cave, and leave them there;
then go to pursue the flying foes, and prevent them from
entering their cities. They slew all the Amorites who
were scattered abroad; none remained except those
who had taken refuge in fenced cities. And all the
Israelites returned to the camp to Joshua in safety.
There was neither loss of life nor loss of limb among
them; and their enemies were so much overawed by
their triumph that there was no one who dared to at-
tempt anything, or even to say anything against them.
Johnnie. Were the kings left in the cave to be starved
to death ?
Grandfather. You need not be afraid, Johnnie, that
Joshua would be so cruel as to torture them by a linger-
ing death. They were left in the cave only till their
people, who were at large, were all slain; for it was
Joshua's practice to do first that which has most need
for haste. This teaches us to make the one thing need-
ful our first concern. When the people returned from
pursuing their enemies, Joshua commanded the kings to
be brought out of the cave. He was obeyed. Then he
told all the captains of Israel to put their feet upon the
necks of these kings, not that they might mock their
fallen foes, but that they might give glory to their God,
who had brought so low these mighty men of Canaan.


75





BATrLES OF THE BIBLE


We believe it to have been in obedience to divine direc-
tion that Joshua gave this order., The general then
spoke some words of encouragement to his soldiers, tell-
ing them to fear no other kings who might afterwards
come against them, for so would the Lord do to all their
enemies. Then Adonizedek and his four allies were
slain with the sword, and their bodies hanged on a tree
till the evening, when they were thrown into the cave
where they had been hidden. It was made their grave.
The same day Joshua took Makkedah, and put to death
the king and all the people of it. He next took Libnah,
and treated it in the same manner. Then he fought against
Lachish, the city of one of the kings who had hid in the
cave. It also the Lord delivered into his hand; he took
it on the second day, and treated it as he had done the
former places. Horam, king of Gezer, went up to help
Lachish. He rushed upon his own destruction, for
Joshua smote him and his people till none were left
remaining. Then Joshua took Eglon and Hebron, cities
belonging to two of the five kings. Debir was also
taken, and all its inhabitants slain. The whole of the
southern part of Canaan was now conquered-that part
which afterwards belonged to Simeon, Judah, Dan, Ben-
jamin, and Ephraim. All the people were killed, ex-
cept the Gibeonites who had submitted, and those who
fled to other countries, a plan which many.of them are
thought to have adopted. Those only remained who
had hardened their hearts against the Lord, and believed
themselves able to defy the mighty God of Jacob. Their


76






SUBMISSION AND OPPOSITION.


punishment was just; it was a type of the everlasting
destruction of the enemies of the gospel The nations
that forget God shall be turned into hell.
George. Joshua was a great conqueror.
Grandfather. After enumerating these conquests, the
reason is given for the general of Israel being so success-
ful. It was because the Lord God of Israel fought
for Israel." The victorious army had now returned to
the camp at Gilgal, and was established there. But
there was more work yet to be done. The kings in the
north of Canaan united their forces, and marched against
them. Jabin, king of Hazor, was at the head of them.
He had got all the other kings in his district to unite
with him, and they thought themselves strong enough
to oppose Israel They were very formidable; their
people were numerous like the sand on the sea shore,
and they had horses and chariots in great number.
George. I have seen a model of a chariot of war.
Johnnie. What like was it ?
George. I could not very well tell you; it was a
dreadful thing, with sharp points and spears standing
out from it.
Grandfather. I shall read you a description of them,
--" The beam to which the horses were fastened was
armed with spikes with iron points, which projected
forward. The yokes of the horses had two cutting
falchions of three cubits length. The axletrees had
fixed to them two iron spits, with scythes at their ex-
tremities. The spokes of the wheels were armed with


77





BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


javelins, and the very felloes with scythes, which tore
everything they met with to pieces. The axletree was
longer, and the wheels stronger than usual, that they
might be the better able to bear a shock, and the cha-
riot less liable to be overturned."
Johnnie. They must have been fearful things for the
enemy, they could kill so many people at once.
Grandfather. They certainly must have been very
formidable machines, particularly to an enemy unaccus-
tomed to encounter them. Lest Israel might be alarmed
by this great host, and their warlike array, the Lord spoke
to Joshua, and promised to deliver all these people to be
slain; and as for their horses and chariots, they need
cause no dread, for the Israelites were to lame the horses,
and burn the chariots.
George. Lame the horses, grandfather! it was a great
pity to do that; they would have been useful to the
Israelites when they went to war, for they had no ca-
valry.
Grandfather. They were forbidden to have any, lest
they should put their trust in them rather than in God,
or lest they should be entangled by the idolatries of the
nations from whom they would require to procure them.
The prophet Isaiah denounces woe upon them that go
down into Egypt for help, and stay on horses, and trust
in chariots, because they are many, and in horsemen
because they are strong, but they look not to the Holy
One of Israel, neither seek they the Lord."
Johnnie. Tell us about the battle now, grandfather.


78






SUBMISSION AND OPPOSITION.


Grandfather. We have a very short account of it.
We are told that Joshua and his army fell upon these
Canaanites at the waters of Sherom; that the great
host of the heathen was entirely defeated; that some
fled to Sidon, which lay to the north-west, and some to
Mizpeh, which lay to the east. Their irregular flight
shews the terror they had been in. The Israelites pur-
sued and smote the whole of them, till none were left
alive. They then lamed their horses and burned their
chariots, as they had been commanded. Joshua only
required now to make himself master of the fortified
places, which he did by degrees. He burned none of
the cities except Hazor, to the king of which all the
other cities had formerly been subject. He rooted out
the Anakim also, who lived in the mountains; both
they and their cities were utterly destroyed. It was
they who caused so much terror to the ten spies, when
the children of Israel first approached the borders of
Canaan. They mentioned with great alarm having seen
the giants, the sons of Anak. The utter destruction of
these giants shewed how groundless that terror was.
Georg& Did Joshua take long to subdue the country ?
Grandfather. About six or seven years.
George. That was a very long time, why did he take
so long ?
Grandfather. I shall answer you in the words of
scripture. The Lord, speaking to Moses before the
Israelites first drew near to Canaan, said of the inha-
bitants of the land, I will not drive them out from


79






BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


before thee in one year, lest the land become .desolate,
and the beasts of the field multiply against thee. By
little and little I will drive them out from before thee,
until thou be increased, and inherit the land." Now,
having brought the conquest of Canaan to a close, we
may stop for to-night.

How did the Gibeonites' conduct shew their ignorance
of the true God ?
What do we learn from their speedy submission ?
In what ought we to imitate their example ?
The leaders of Israel kept their promise to the Gibeon-
ites, though they had been deceived into making it,-
What does their example teach us ?
What are we taught by the humility of the Gibeon-
ites?
What was shewn by the day being extended to twice
its usual length when Joshua fought with the kings ?
Of what was the destruction of the Canaanites a
type ?
Why were the Israelites victorious ?
Why were the Israelites forbidden to use horses in
war ?






DAN AND BENJAMIN.


DAN AND BENJAMIN.


SIsrael that saw his works of grace,
Yet tempt their Maker to his face;
A faithless, unbelieving brood,
That tir'd the patience of their God.

"Look back, my soul, with holy dread,
And view those ancient rebels dead;
Attend the offered grace to-day,
Nor lose the blessing by delay.
"Seize the kind promise while it waits,
And march to Zion's heavenly gates;
Believe, and take the promised rest;
Obey, and be for ever blest"
WATTs.

George. Will you finish the history of Joshua's wars
to-night, grandfather ?
Grandfather. The history of Joshua's wars is finished;
the remainder of his life was spent in dividing the land
between the different tribes, and giving to the people his
parting instructions.
Johnnie. How old was Joshua when he died ?
Grandfather. One hundred and ten years old.
George. Were there no Canaanites left in the country
at all?


81





BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


Grandfather. There were many. They had managed
to get possession of several of the strongholds in the
country; but they dreaded the name of Joshua, and so
long as he lived they gave no annoyance to the Israelites.
On the great general's death, the people of Israel saw
it to be necessary to go to war with their heathen
neighbours, either because they were threatened by them,
or because their increased population made more space
necessary. They enquired of the Lord which of the
tribes should first go up against the enemy. The Lord
appointed that it was Judah who was to have the hon-
ourable post of first facing the foe. Judah asked
Simeon to accompany him, and promised in return to
assist Simeon in expelling the foe from his territory.
Those that ask assistance ought to be ready to give it.
Judah was the largest and most powerful tribe-Simeon
was the least formidable of the whole; yet Judah asked
his brother's assistance in fighting against the heathen,
and that assistance was given. We learn from this that
all Christians ought to unite against the common enemies
of their faith. These two tribes were completely
victorious over the Canaanites and Perizzites in a battle
near Bezek. Adonibezek, the king of Bezek, fled,-
they pursued and took him; and as a punishment for
his crimes, they mutilated him by cutting off his thumbs
and great toes.
Marianne. Was not that very cruel, grandfather?
Grandfather. It would have been barbarous, had not
Adonibezek brought it upon himself. He acknowledged


82






DAN AND BENJAMIN.


it to be just; for he said,-" Threescore and ten kings,
having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered
their meat under my table; as I have done, so God
hath requited me."
George. Seventy kings I he must have been a great
warrior.
Grandfather. And a very successful one too, George,
to have conquered so many in his time. But though a
great warrior, he had not been a great man, or he could
not wantonly have tortured so many of his fellow crea-
tures. The high places of the world are slippery places.
Adonibezek, the conqueror of seventy kings, died a
captive in Jerusalem; and in his captivity he could
think with little comfort of the power he had had, when
he so abused it. The children of Judah performed
other feats at that time; they took Jerusalem and
Hebron. Caleb, it is probable, was the leader in this
expedition. You remember he was one of the twelve
spies, and that he and Joshua were the only two God-
fearing men in the twelve. He was now an old man,
but still strong and vigorous. Kirjath-sepher was in
the portion that fell to Caleb. He promised that who-
ever should take that place would get his daughter
Achsah to wife., His nephew went against it, took it
from the Canaanites, and so gained Achsah. Her
father gave her a portion of land on her marriage; but
she asked him besides for springs of water. Land is of
little use without water. Caleb gave her the upper
springs and nether springs, which some think meant


83






BATrLES OF TE BIBLE.


two fields, so called from the springs they contained;
but whether it was one field only or two, we cannot be
certain. This we know, that the upper springs are types
of the blessings that relate to the soul; the nether
springs have reference to the blessings of this life.
George. Had the tribe of Judah cleared their country
of Canaanites now ?
Grandfather. Not thoroughly. They drove out those
in the mountains; but those who were in the valleys
they were afraid of, because they had chariots of iron.
George. That was cowardly.
Grandfather. It was cowardly to suffer their fears to
conquer their faith; when the Lord had promised to be
with them, they ought to have feared nothing. Yet
Judah had acted bravely, and he assisted Simeon as he
had promised. The children of Benjamin acted more
feebly; they did not drive out the Jebusites, but con-
tinued to live amongst them. The Ephraimites, the
descendants of Joseph, acted more vigorously; they
exerted themselves to get possession of Bethel, which
lay on their borders. The Lord blessed their exertions.
They went up to the place cautiously seeking to find out
how it might be entered most easily. The spies whom
they sent forward encountered a man coming from the
city. They asked him to shew them the entrance into
the city, and promised him life on that condition. He, like
Rahab, believing that the Lord was with them, shewed
them a private entrance into the city. All the others
who were in the city they slew with the sword.


84






DAN AND BENJAMIN.


Marianne. What became of the man who shewed
them the way ?
Grandfather. He went to Arabia, where a colony of
the Hittites had settled themselves. There he built a
city, which he called Luz, after the one he had formerly
lived in.
Marianne. You called it Bethel, grandfather ?
Grandfather. Bethel was the name given to it by
Jacob; in memory of the vision he saw there he called
it Bethel, which means the house of God. His descen-
dants called it by the same name when it came into their
hands, but its heathen inhabitants called it Luz, which
means an almond tree. The Canaanites inhabited a
great many towns in the territory of Manasseh. The chil-
dren of Manasseh thought, perhaps, that the heathen
would retire of their own accord, but they persisted in
staying, and the degenerate sons of Joseph were too
cowardly to expel them. When the Israelites grew
strong they put the Canaanites to tribute, a plan which
shewed the feebleness of their faith and the covetousness
of their hearts. Yet some of them had not even got this
advantage over the old inhabitants of Canaan, but lived
among them, seemingly by sufferance rather than by right.
The tribe of Asher was one which permitted itself to be
treated thus, and the children of Dan were forced up into
the mountains by the Amorites, and not allowed to come
down into the valleys of their portion.
Marianne. Surely the children of Israel had not done
what was right, grandfather, or their enemies would not
have had so much power.


85






BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


Grandfather. They were very far from doing what
was right, as a story that I am now to tell you will
shew ; the circumstances recorded in it took place about
this time.
In Mount Ephraim, the territory of the Ephraimites,
there lived an old woman, who had a son named Micah.
The old woman was fond of money; she had eleven hun-
dred shekels of silver, which she kept hoarded up, and
found great pleasure in looking upon it and counting it
over occasionally.
Johnnie. How much is a shekel, grandfather ?
Grandfather. A shekel is about equal in value to a
half-crown. Well, this old woman's treasure suddenly
disappeared. She was very much enraged-so much that
she even forgot herself so far as to denounce a curse upon
whoever had taken it. I told you that this old woman
had a son named Micah; he had stolen the money, which
was wicked, for though it belonged to his mother he had
no right to touch it. Perhaps he thought he needed it
at the time, and intended to pay it again; in that case
he ought to have asked his mother for it, and not have
helped himself slyly; but it seems more probable that he
was not poor, but, like his mother, was fond of having
silver in his possession. Though Micah was wicked
enough to steal, he was not hardened enough to keep
the money when his mother had sent a curse after it.
He confessed that he had taken it. His mother then
changed her curse into a blessing, and told him that she
had dedicated the silver to the Lord, to make with it a


86






DAN AND BENJAMIN.


graven and a molten image. He returned the money to
her, and she gave to the founder two hundred shekels,
that he might make a graven and a molten image. The
old woman took less than a fifth part of her money for
this purpose, which shewed how fond she was of it still.
Marianne. Was it not wrong, grandfather, to make
graven and molten images ? the second commandment
forbids the worship of images. Did Micah and his
mother know that ?
Grandfather. By their conduct we should suppose
they did not; but if so, their ignorance was criminal.
This story shews us the evil of covetousness. It made
Micah steal; it made his mother curse;-silver was their
god before it was formed into images by the founder.
Johnnie. Is that all the story, grandfather ?
George. It cannot be, for there has not been anything
about war in it yet. Go on, grandfather.
Grandfather. Besides the graven and molten images,
Micah made an ephod, which is the dress the priest
wears, and he made teraphim or little images, from which
he would ask advice; he set apart a room in his house
for keeping these in, and he made a priest of one of his
sons.
Marianne. Did he think the little images could
give him any advice, grandfather ? he must have been
very foolish.
Grandfather. It is easy to see the folly of Micah,
Marianne,,because the worship of images is not a sin to
which we are tempted, but we are quite as foolish as


87






BATTLES OF THE BIBLE.


Micah was when we love anything else better than God,
or trust to any other rather than to Him. This is a sin
to which our own hearts are continually tempting us; to
avoid it we must watch and pray."
I shall now go on with our story. To Micah's house
there came a visitor,-a stranger to Micah's family.
He was a young man, and was travelling about the
country seeking for a situation. He was a Levite, but
his mother having belonged to the tribe of Judah, up
to this time he had lived in Bethlehem-Judah with
his mother's relations. Micah asked him about his cir-
cumstances, and learning from him that he had no settled
place of abode, asked him to stay with him and act as
priest in his family. He would treat him, he said, with
respect, and, by way of payment for his services, would
give him ten shekels of silver in the year, besides his
food and a suit of clothes. The Levite thought that a
small income was better than no income at all, and, as
his desire was merely to get a living, and not to do good,
he was satisfied to stay with that family of idolaters, and
worship images with them. Micah was much pleased
when the young man agreed to stay with him; he
thought surely God would shew him favour now when
he had got a Levite for his priest.
Johnnie. Why did he think so, grandfather ?
Grandfather. The Levites were set apart to the priestly
office, therefore a peculiar sacredness attached to them.
Yet Micah might more reasonably have expected a judg-
ment than a blessing when he had enticed the Levite


88




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