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that in Solomon's reign and under the king's leading, Israel attained a wider knowledge than before, and greater civilization. Indeed Israel now reached her zenith of prosperity. There was rapid growth of commerce and increase of wealth. That the enterprises and splendor of the monarchy exceeded the resources of the land appears from the suggestions of Solomon's indebtedness and burdensome taxation, one cause of the kingdom's disruption.' The chapters of the Exodus following the Decalogue belong to the older portions of the Hexateuch, and in their present form are not later than the ninth The Justice century.' They contain the earliest of the and Mercy of the Time. Hebrew codes preserved in the Bible. The growth of institutions is slow in an ancient community. These chapters gave form to recognized law, and their substance undoubtedly existed in writing as early as the reigns of David and Solomon. The laws are indeed suited to a people living under simpler agricultural and social conditions than those of Solomon's time; they contain reminiscences of primitive sternness, with no reference to any advanced material civilization. Yet they show traits of kindness and mercy finer than any which obtained general recognition in the great days of Greece and Rome.

Besides the archaic element in them of an apparently quite limited application of the lex talionis,' these laws exhibit the antique way of regarding much that is now treated as crime against the community, solely as wrong to the individual directly injured, for which he is entitled to compensation. Yet a clear sense of legal justice ap

1 See I Kings ix, 11; ib. xii, 4, etc.

? The chapters referred to are Exodus xx, 22,-xxiii, 33, and belong to "J." One should put with them the Smaller Book of the Covenant in Exodus, xxxiv. The substance of the Decalogue is older.

* Exodus, xxi, 23-25.

4 As in the case of theft : "If a man shall steal an ox or a sheep, and kill it or sell it, he shall pay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep."— Exodus, xxii, I.

pears in the gradation of compensation for injuries, in the recognition of private rights and liabilities, in discrimination as to the punishment of crimes, and in distinguishing between crimes and acts of violence done under justifying circumstances. For example, if in a contention a man hurt another so as to lay him up, he shall cause him to be healed and pay for the loss of his time.' If an ox gore a man or woman, so that death ensue, the ox shall be stoned, but its owner shall be quit unless he knew that the ox had gored others, yet did not keep him in; in which case he shall be put to death or pay a ransom as adjudged to the relatives of the deceased.' And if one man's ox hurt another's that it die, the dead ox shall be divided and the live ox sold, and its price divided between the two owners; but if the owner, knowing his ox's propensities, do not keep him in, and the ox gore another's ox to death, then he shall pay for it, ox for ox, but shall have the dead ox. Or again, if a man let his beast loose in another's field, or kindle a fire which consumes standing or harvested corn, he shall make restitution. This is all very excellent justice. There is also recognition of the greater criminality of deeds done with malice aforethought; if a man kill another, not lying in wait, there shall be a city of refuge to which he may flee; but if a man slay another with guile, he shall be put to death, and may be taken even from the altar. Justifiable homicide is also recognized, as when one slay a thief in the act of breaking in; but not afterwards.'

Besides being just, these laws are gracious; one Israelite shall not act oppressively towards another, nor press to the utmost the exaction of his due: "If thou lend money to any of the poor of my people, thou shalt not be towards

1 Exodus, xxi, 18, 19.

2 Exodus, xxi, 28-32.

I. e., the damage was sheer misfortune and shall be divided.

4 Exodus, xxi, 35, 36.

Exodus, xxi, 13, 14.

5 Exodus, xxii, 5, 6.

1 Exodus, xxii, 2, 3.


him as a money-lender; neither shalt thou lay upon him usury. If thou at all take thy neighbor's cloak to pledge, thou shalt restore it to him before the sun go down; for it is his only covering; it is his cloak for his skin; wherein shall he sleep? And it shall come to pass when he crieth unto me that I will hear, for I am gracious.' Here is the thought of mercy connected with thoughts of Jehovah as a gracious God, and these related thoughts are carried over into the domain of roughly conceived criminal law; roughly conceived because the modes of punishment are undefined; but the acts forbidden are regarded as criminal, for they bring Jehovah's wrath upon the wrongdoer: "And a stranger shalt thou not wrong, neither shalt thou oppress him, for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. Ye shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child. If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry, and my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.""

The twenty-third chapter contains variations of the ninth commandment: "Thou shalt not take up a false report, nor put thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness." Then follow warnings against flinching from bearing true witness because of clamor, and against turning from truth even to favor a poor man. This chapter also lays injunctions on those administering justice: Slay not the innocent and righteous, for I will not justify the wicked man; thou shalt take no gift, for a gift blinds the sight of the seeing and perverts the words of the righteous; and no more in judging than in bearing witness shalt thou wrest judgment to favor the poor. The code reaches its ethical climax in enjoining active duties of kindly forgivingness which prefigure the Levitical" love your neighbor" and the Christian "love your

1 Exodus, xxii, 25-27. See Deut. xxiii, 19 and xxiv, 10. 2 Exodus, xxii, 21-24; cf. Deut. xxiv, 14.

3 Exodus, xxiii, 1-3.


If thou meet thine enemy's ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt bring it back to him; and if thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under its burden, thou shalt help him to release it.'

Israel's Twofold Religious Conscious


In early times the Hebrews came dimly to the twofold consciousness which formed the germ of all their thought. They were conscious that Jehovah was their deliverer out of the land of Egypt and their deliverer still in all emergencies; and then, not only grateful for Jehovah's signal aid but also with a sense of his ever more clearly pointed care, they became conscious that they were a people set apart to Jehovah, to obey him, to do his will, and at last effect his purposes among the heathen. It is clear that the thought of Jehovah as a deliverer reverts to the Mosaic deliverance, and must have been felt among the people from that time. The rest of Israel's higher self-consciousness follows as a consequence from this, yet a consequence that might be perceived only by thoughtful men. Such from early times were conscious of Israel's consecration to Jehovah. As for the race at large, it had been brought up from Egypt, it had got possession of Canaan, it had attained power under David and Solomon, during all of which time it was much occupied with gaining its earthly bread like other peoples. The thought that it was set apart to Jehovah, to do his will as a holy people, was no clear power with the many, who had not reached consciousness of Israel's destiny, even as a boy knows not the scope of manhood's purpose. But to the boy comes experience, life's buffets and its sorrows, and if he be of God, his eyes are opened; and so Israel, the race which was of God, needed the experience of centuries and the blows of Jehovah's many rods, and the bitter sorrow of the Exile's bread, before they learned the purpose of their God, and turned to its fulfilment with failing strength.

1 Exodus, xxiii, 4, 5.



The thought of mutual relations based upon binding words is very old among all peoples; otherwise it accords with primitive antiquity to think of a positive non-relationship, an entire absence of mutual obligation, entailing a state of reciprocal watch and ward, wherein is dormant hostility. The solemn spoken word, the declared acceptance of a relationship, the covenant, forms the basis of ancient family and tribal institutions, binding the parties as well as those on behalf of whom the promises are made, or who may be born within the compass of their intent. The great concern of Israel was her relation to her God; and the relationship of faithful beneficence from Jehovah toward her could have been conceived only through the thought that there was actual kinship between Jehovah and Israel or a covenant between the two. If the former thought ever existed, it passed away or left its traces only in figurative speech. But there was no period when Israel did not conceive of a covenant between her and her God.

In the period during which came the thought disclosed in the older narratives of the Hexateuch, Israel possessed, or some of her sons possessed, a noble conception of this covenant. And moreover, if it is said that revelation and development must accord, that God reveals himself only according to the capacities of his creatures-which may be an identical proposition-it may be noticed that there was a perception of this very idea in the Israel among whom the older portions of the Hexateuch were forming, and in the writers to whom are due those narratives in their present form. For the covenant relations between God and men are conceived as becoming definite gradually, as Israel's ancestors come into prominence, and as attaining ethical universality and a clearer spirituality with Abraham and Moses. This may be seen by comparing the latter part of the third chapter of Genesis, the fifteenth verse of the fourth chapter, and

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