Gambar halaman

up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan; and those that came down towards the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho. And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan." Twelve men

were chosen, one out of each tribe, to bring twelve large stones from the bed of the river, from the very place where the priests' feet had rested. These stones they should set up at their first resting-place in Canaan, as a memorial unto Israel for ever 6 of what the Lord had done for them, and that all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord that it is mighty." Then Joshua commanded the priests who bare the ark to come out of Jordan; and, as soon as their feet were lifted up unto the dry land, the waters returned unto their place and flowed over all the banks, as they did before.

This passage took place on the tenth day of the first month, just forty years after their departure from Egypt. The name of the place where they encamped that night was called Gilgal, because the Lord said to Joshua, “ This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you."

Here Joshua was told to circumcise those who had been born in the wilderness; here, too, they observed the Passover, the first kept in their own land, on the fourteenth day of the month, at even, in the plain of Jericho. And they did eat of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the Passover,

unleavened cakes, and parched corn in the selfsame day. 66 And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land, neither had the children of Israel manna any more ; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year."

Now, all this while the divers princes and nations of Canaan had not attempted to oppose the march of Israel; and when it was seen how the Lord had dried up the waters of Jordan for his people to pass over, the hearts of these idolaters melted for fear, " neither was there spirit in them any more." Leaving their harvest fields for a spoil to the Israelites, they fled from the open plains to the cities and towns for safety. The Israelites marched direct to Jericho,

66 Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of Israel, none went out and none came in." Then did the angel of the Lord, the messenger of the Covenant, appear to Joshua, as an armed man with a drawn sword in his hand, and proclaimed Himself the " captain of the host," and revealed to Joshua how the city should be taken.

For six days successively the whole host of Israel marched round the walls of Jericho: first, the 40,000 men of arms; then priests bearing the ark, and heralded by seven who blew on horns; and after this, “ the rereward” of the host; the whole remaining people of the Lord : all moving in profound silence, except for the sounding of the priest's horns. So for six days: but on the seventh day “ they rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times : only on that day they compassed the city seven times. And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the Lord hath given you the city.” “So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets : and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword;" all but the woman Rahab, who had saved the lives of the two spies that Joshua had sent into Jericho before.

But a defeat awaited them at their next encounter. They had to be reminded of their dependence for success upon that God who seeth in secret, and who discovers the hidden things of darkness. Full of confidence they went up to Ai, with only 3,000 people to take it: but the men of the city chased them from their gates, and they fled discomfited, with some slaughter. On beholding this, Joshua rent his clothes, and fell upon his face before the ark; and he and the elders of Israel put dust upon their heads, and humbled themselves before God. Then was the cause of their failure revealed to Joshua.

At the taking of Jericho the people had been forbidden to enrich themselves with the spoils of the idolatrous city. But one man had done so; and Joshua was instructed to seek out the offender and put him to death, for this was why " the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies," and they would not prosper again until they had put away " the accursed

thing.” The lot of condemnation fell upon the tribe of Judah ; upon the family of the Zarhites ; upon the household of Zabdi; and, finally, as they were brought forth man by man, upon Achan, the son of Carmi. He confessed that he had been tempted by a goodly Babylonish garment, and some shekels of silver and gold. These he had taken and hidden in the earth, under his tent. And there they were found, and taken out of the camp, and the offender Achan with them; him and all that belonged to him. “ And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire.” “ So the Lord was turned from the fierceness of his anger."

Then Joshua himself went up against Ai, and took it by this stratagem. He posted 5,000 men in ambush on the west side of the city, and came up against it with the great body of his army from the north. The men of Ai came out of the city to give them battle, and Joshua affected to retreat; the people of Ai pursued ; when, at a given signal, the 5,000 in ambush sprung up, rushed into the gates which the citizens had left open, cut them off, in the rear, and set the city on fire.

" And when the men of Ai looked behind them, they saw, and, behold, the smoke of the city ascended up to heaven, and they had no power to flee this way or that way," for Joshua turned upon them, and they were all destroyed, and their city made “an heap for


PALESTINE-PLACE, LONDON, We wish that all our youthful readers could visit Palestine-place, and hear and see the Jewish

children who are educated there. We are sure they would not soon forget or easily lose the impression which would be made on their minds. They would see a hundred boys and girls, who but for the London Society's instrumentality, would most probably have been ignorant of the glad tidings of salvation, if not blasphemers of the name of Jesus. They would also see other institutions of great interest and importance, where the blessed work of promoting the knowledge of the Lord Jesus is advanced. One of these is the Hebrew College, which, under the care of the Rev. Dr. M'Caul, trains young men, chiefly believing Israelites, for missionary work among the dispersed of Judah. Nineteen labourers had gone forth from this institution before the month of May, 1846, and of these fourteen were converted Jews.

Another institution in Palestine-place is called “ The Operative Jewish Converts' Institution." This is 'under the superintendence of the Rev. J. C. Reichardt, who has for many years laboured as a missionary to the Jews.

Here the poor convert,—who has no means of gaining a living left him, because he has embraced Christianity, is received, is boarded, clothed, instructed in Christian truth, and also taught the trade of bookbinding. The Committee of the institution are making preparation for the addition of the printing business. Our friends may greatly aid this invaluable establishment, by making collections in support of its funds, and by supplying work in books to be bound, and, very shortly, in printing of various kinds.*

* Address, Rev. J. C. Reichardt, 12, Palestine-place, Bethnal-green, London.

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »