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A. He, his family, and his cattle were stoned,* and afterwards burnt with fire.t A heap of stones was then raised over him ; # and the place, in commemoration, was called the valley of Achor, or Trouble.
Unless the execution of the members of Achan's family was the result of a Divine command, (in which case the propriety of the measure admits not of a doubt) it must have been the result of popular indignation. To condemo a whole family of unoffending individuals for the crime of its chief, was cer. tainly congenial to the barbarons manners of the Orientals. See Dan. vi. 24. Thus, also, all the family of Intaphernes were doomed to death by Darius Hystaspes, for the individual crime of that nobleman: and all the relatives of Hanno, the Carthaginian, were put to death by his countrymen, because he had conspired against the state. See ROLLIN's Anc. Hist. vol. ii. b. 2.-vol. iii. b. 6. Bat the Mosaic law probibited this cruelty. Deut. xxiv. 16.
+ Burning is a very ancient punishment. It was threatened to Tamar, in patriarchal days, Gen. xxxviii. 24 ; was inflicted on Achan ; was in use among the Philistines, Judges xv. 6, the Babylonians, Dan. iii. 6.; and, according to Cæsar, among the Gauls. In modern times, it has been awarded by legislators to atrocious criminals; but Rome papal, emulous of Rome pagan, has, for ages, assigned this punishment to those martyrs for Jesus, who dare to protest against the errors of her spi. ritnal bierarchy.
Heaps of this kind were raised over the king of Ai, Joshua viii. 29. and over Absalom, 2 Sam. xviii. 17. They were reared as national monuments,-as marks of respect to illustrious warriors deceased, and, sometimes, by the hands of friendship. Hence originated the mounds, tumuli, barrows, and cairns, found in various parts of the world.
ộ He is called Achan and Achor, Joshua vii. 18. i Chron. ii. 7.; and the latter name, signifying trouble, probably suggested to Joshua the expression, "Why hast thou troubled us ? the LORD shall trouble thee this day.” A similar allusion to a
Q. Did Joshua succeed in his next attack on Ai ?
A. Yes; Ai was taken by stratagem, and was sacked and burnt.
Q. What important transaction followed the destruction of Ai ?
A. Joshua having reared an altar upon Mount Ebal, offered sacrifices to the Lord. He then wrote a copy of the law on stone, in the presence of all Israel, including women, children, and the strangers conversant among them; and the congregation standing, one half over against Mount Gerizim, and the other half over against Mount Ebal, Joshua and the Levites rehearsed to them all the words of the law, and the blessings and curses by which it was enforced.*
Q. What people deceived Joshua into a treaty ? A. The Gibeonites, who were therefore condemned to be hewers of wood and drawers of water.
Q. What was the consequence of this alliance ?
A. Adoni-zedec, king of Jerusalem, and four of his allies, came up against Gibeon, but were defeated by Joshua ;t and in their flight, “the LORD cast down great hail-stones from heaven
them.” Q. How did the Lord honour Joshua on this occasion ?
name occurs in Micah i. 14.-" The houses of Achzib shall be Achzib (a lie) to the kings of Israel.”
• Deut. xxvii. xxviii. Joshua viii. 30. 35.
+ Hebron and Debir, which were captured after this battle, fell again into the hands of the Canaanites, and were again recaptured after the death of Joshua, Judges i. 10, 11, 12, 13. A. At Joshua's command, the sun stood still upon Gibeon, and the moon in the valley of Ajalon, for "about a whole day."*
Q. What became of the five kings?
A. They hid themselves in a cave, but being discovered, were shut up there by the Israelites, and when the pursuit was over, were brought forth and slain.
Q. What followed this victory?
A. “ Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs, and all their kings : he left pone remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God of Israel commanded."
Q. What was the cause of this severity ?
* The pagan observation of this event is supposed to be recorded in Ovid's fable of Phaeton's catastrophe. These things were written in the book of Jasher, Joshua x. 13. which probably contained official records of state matters, or songs commemorative of the mighty deeds wrought in behalf of Israel ; and hence, agreeable to a custom prevalent among the Hebrews, called Jasher, from the initial word of the iutroduc. tory clause, as in Exodus xv. 1. Az jashir.-See Horne's Introd. vol. iv. p. 36. and PARKHURST's Lexicon, under the word.
$ Josh. x. 40.
$ The names of many Canaanitish cities divided by Joshua among the children of Israel, have particular reference to their idolatry. Thus there are Bamoth-baal, the bigh places of Baal; Beth-peor, the house or temple of Peor, an obscene deity, a sort of Priapis; Beth-shemesh, the house of the sun ; Beth-hoglab, the house of revolving, where probably the account the land is said to have “ vomited out her inhabitants."
Q. What measure did the remaining princes of Canaan adopt to withstand Joshua ?
A. They formed a very powerful confederacy, and with a mighty army, supported by cavalry and chariots of war, encamped against Israel at the waters of Merom : but the Lord delivered them into the hands of Joshua, who utterly defeated them, and pursned them to Great Zidon, and to Misrephoth-maim. A. M. 2558. Q. How long did the war last ? B. C. 1446. Seven years. ||
Q. Did Joshua get possession of all Canaan?
A. No: several nations were left to try Israel, viz. the Philistines, Sidonians, Hivites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, and Jebusites.
heavens were worshipped in orbicular dances, indicative of
The burnings of the waters ; probably hot springs.
Judges ii. 21, 23. jii. 1-5. 2 Chron. viii. 7. The whole of the Canaanitish nations, both in the interior, and by the sea, Joshua v. 1. were engaged in the war with Joshua. To avoid the ynspaping rage of the conquerors, great numbers of them took shipping and sought an asylum in foreign
Q. To whom did Joshua apportion the conquered lands?
A. He apportioned the lands first conquered, to the tribes of Judah, Ephraim, and Manasseh; and afterwards caused the country to be surveyed, and divided by lot among the remaining seven tribes.
Q. What reservations were made ?
A. The city of Hebron was reserved for Caleb; Timnath-serah for Joshua ; and eight and forty cities for the Levites.ll
Q. Why were Hebron and Timnath-serah given to Caleb and Joshua ?
A. As a reward for their fidelity in the discharge of their duty: these cities were given them by an express command.
Q. Why did not the Levites receive a portion in common with their brethren ?
lands. These are the colonies which the Phænicians are said to have sent out about this period; and among them may be reckoned Cadmus and his followers, who carried the Phænician letters into Greece.
It has been proved from ancient monuments yet extant, that the Carthaginians were a colory of Tyrians, who left their country about this time : and that the inhabitants of Leptis, in Africa, were a colony of Sidonians who abandoned the land of their nativity, on account of the calamities by which it was overwhelmed.-See Stackhouse's Hist. of the Bible. vol. iii. book 5.—and Horne's Introduction. vol. iv, where several anthorities are quoted on this subject.
Josh. xviii.1.-xix. 48, 49. || The cities of the Levites were scattered among the pos. sessions of the twelve tribes.
§ Josh. xiv. 6–15. xix. 49–50.