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EXTRACT FROM PREFACE.
In selecting these readings from the Pentateuch and the Book of Joshua, I have had a twofold object in view. In the first place, I wished to provide both young and old with a simple reading book in the actual words of the Bible. The Old Testament is not read as generally as the interesting character of its narratives and its literary excellencies, quite apart from its religious interest, would lead us to expect. This is no doubt partly due to the fact that the main thread of its story is constantly interrupted by the intervention of other matter that is less interesting or intelligible to the general reader. I have therefore endeavoured to pick out from the historical portion of the Hexateuch the most interesting episodes, printing each by itself with an appropriate heading, which may be some guide to the nature of its contents, and at the same time making such a selection that read consecutively the whole may give a good idea of the narrative of the six books.
In making these selections I have also had in mind the light which modern study has thrown upon the literary history of the Bible. The compilation of the historical books of the Old Testament, from previously existing compositions, must now be accepted as one of the proved results of Biblical criticism.
CONTENTS.—The Beginnings—The Patriarchs-Joseph-Israel
in Egypt — In the Wilderness - First Conquests — The Promised Land.