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THE

RELIGION OF ISRAEL

AN HISTORICAL STUDY

BY

HENRY PRESERVED SMITH

NEW YORK
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS

1914

BM 560 .965

COPYRIGHT, 1914, BI CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS

Published February, 1914

To

THE MEMORY OF

CHARLES AUGUSTUS BRIGGS, D.D., D.Litt.

WARM-HEARTED FRIEND

ACCOMPLISHED SCHOLAR

DEVOTED DISCIPLE OF THE MASTER

VALIANT DEFENDER OF THE FAITH

PREFACE

THE purpose of this book is sufficiently indicated by the title and is set forth more at large in the opening chapter. It is an endeavour to give an intelligible account of the rise and progress of Israel's religion from its beginnings in the nomadic period down to the tragic event which put an end to the Jewish state. The reader who is even superficially acquainted with the progress of biblical study during the last forty years will not be surprised to find that the book proceeds upon the supposition that the results of the so-called higher criticism are fairly certain. All that the book claims for itself is that it represents our present knowledge; what the future has in store for us we cannot forecast. I have avoided controversy and have endeavoured to state my opinion frankly and in positive terms. I have not thought it necessary to make frequent reference to the literature of the subject. Old Testament scholars will discover where I am indebted to my predecessors. The reader who is not a specialist may safely assume that I have not taken any position without examining the arguments for and against.

The frequent references to the biblical writers will be their own justification. And since (according to my observation) few readers have the patience to look up chapter and verse in their Bibles, I have often introduced the words of the authors into my text. In the few cases in which the notation of chapter and verse in the English is not the same as in the Hebrew, I have followed the latter. Where my translation differs from that of the current version it will, I think, command the approval of good authorities.

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