Lange’s Commentary on the Holy Scriptures – Judges (Vol. 1)》


HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL



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HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL

Compare Hom. Hints on Judges 1:17-20

[Scott: It is a very valuable privilege to be closely united with families distinguished for faith and piety; and to contract marriage with those who have been “trained up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

The same: Nature teaches us to desire temporal benefits for our children; but grace will teach us to be far more desirous and earnest in using means that they may be partakers of spiritual blessings.

The same: If affection to a creature animates men to such strenuous efforts and perilous adventures, what will the love of God our Saviour do, if it bear rule in our hearts?

The same: If earthly parents, “being evil, know how to give good gifts to their children, how much more will our Heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him!”

Henry: From this story we learn, 1st. That it is no breach of the tenth commandment moderately to desire those comforts and conveniences of this life which we see attainable in a fair and regular way..… 3dly. That parents must never think that lost, which is bestowed on their children for their real advantage, but must be free in giving them portions as well as maintenance, especially when dutiful.

P. H. S.: Three Lessons from an Ancient Wedding: 1. Caleb’s lesson: Pious zeal for God and an heroic character are better than wealth or social rank. To such as possess these qualities let fathers freely give their daughters2. Othniel’s lesson: A wife is to be won for her own sake, not as the means of gaining access to her father’s wealth3. Achsah’s lesson: It is the wife’s duty to promote the interests and honor of her husband. Wealth is a source of weight and influence, and a means of usefulness. Who knows how much this and similar thoughtful acts of Achsah contributed to shape the subsequent life-work of Othniel as judge of Israel.

The same: It is more honorable to woman to be “sold” (a term entirely inapplicable, however, to the case in hand), than to have a husband bought for her by her father’s gold or lands. When a man stormed the walls of a stronghold, or slew an hundred Philistines by personal prowess, or paid fourteen years of responsible service, for a wife, or when, as in the days of chivalry, he ran tilts and courted dangers in her behalf, however grotesque the performance, it indicated not only solidity of character in the wooer, but also a true and manly respect for woman, which is not possessed by all men of modern days.—Tr.]

Footnotes:

FN#38 - Judges 1:15.—כִּי אֶרֶץ הַנֶּגֶב נְתַתָּני: Dr. Cassel’s rendering agrees substantially with that of the LXX. and many modern critics. Bertheau says: “אֶרֶץ הַנֶּגֶב is the accusative of place. It would be difficult to justify the other and usual rendering grammatically, since נָתַן with the accus. suffix, never, not even Jeremiah 9:1, Isaiah 27:4, means to give anything to one.” Bachmann, however, objects that “נָתַן does not occur of the giving of daughters in marriage, and that the absence of a preposition, say אֶל, before אֶרֶץ would make a hard construction. The suffix נִי is either a negligent form of popular speech, substituted for לִי (cf. Ewald, Ausf. Lehrb. 315 b), or, better, a second accus, such as is quite common with verbs of giving, favoring, etc. (cf. Ewald, 283 b), and from which rule נָתַן is not to be excepted, cf. Ezekiel 21:32.”—Tr.]

FN#39 - Attention was again directed to the city from the fact that the first liturgical poet of the modern Jews, Kalir, designates a Kirjath-sepher as his native place. He does not, however, mean this city, but, playing on the word, he translates Καλλιῤῥόη in Palestine by Kirjath Shepher, i. e. Beautiful City. This opinion advanced by me in1845 (Frankel’s Zeitschr.) has perhaps lost none of its probability.

FN#40 - The above view of the relationship between Caleb and Othniel is held by most modern critics. Among its opponents, however, are Ewald and De Wette. The former (Gesch. Israels, ii374) deems it “more suitable, in accordance with the view of the oldest narrator, to take Kenaz as the younger brother of Caleb;” the latter, in his excellent German Version, translates: “Othniel, der Sohn des Kenas, des *üngsten Bruders Calebs.” Of ancient versions, the Targum and Peshito leave the question undecided. The LXX. in C. Vat, in all three passages, and in C. Alex. at Josh. xv17 and Judges 3:9, makes Othniel the nephew, while in Judges 1:13 C. Alex. makes him the brother, of Caleb The Vulg. invariably: “Othoniel filius Cenez, frater Caleb.”

Grammatically, both constructions are equally admissible. For that adopted by Dr. Cassel, cf. Genesis 28:5; 1 Samuel 26:6, etc.; for the other. Genesis 29:10; 1 Samuel 14:3, etc. That the distinctive accent over Kenaz is not incompatible with either construction, or rather does not commit the Masorites to the construction adopted by Dr. Cassel, as Keil intimates, may be seen from Genesis 24:15, etc.

Bachmann favors the alternate rendering—“filius Kenasi fratris Calebi”—on the following grounds: 1. “The fact that elsewhere Caleb is always designated as “the son of Jephunneh,” while Othniel is always spoken of as “the son of Kenaz,” raises a presumption against the supposition that Othniel is the brother of Caleb in the strict sense of the term. … 2. Caleb was85 years old when Hebron was bestowed on him ( Joshua 14:10; Joshua 14:14); and when he took possession of it, must have been some years older. Accordingly, if Othniel was his brother, even though his junior by from twenty to thirty years,—and a greater difference in age is surely not to be supposed,—it would follow, that the bold hero who won his wife as a prize for storming Debir was at that time from sixty to seventy years of age; that about eighteen years later, he entered on his office as Judge as a man of full eighty years of age; and that, even though he died some time before the end of the forty years’ rest ( Judges 3:11), he reached an age of120 years or more, which is scarcely probable3. According to Judges 3:9, Othniel is the first deliverer of Israel fallen under the yoke of heathen oppressors in consequence of its apostasy to heathen idolatry. Now, since idolatry is said to have become prevalent in Israel only after the generation that had entered Canaan with Joshua and Caleb had died off ( Judges 2:10), it is clear that Othniel is regarded as belonging not to this, but to the succeeding generation, which agrees better with the hypothesis that he is the son of a younger brother of Caleb, than that he is such a brother himself4. Finally, whatever, in view of Leviticus 18:12-13 may be thought of the difficulty of a marriage between an uncle and a niece, that interpretation surely deserves to be preferred which, while it is possible in itself, does not raise the said difficulty at all.”—Tr.]

FN#41 - Wordsworth: “The field: that Isaiah, the field which had been given to Othniel when the Book of Judges was written, and which was known to be well supplied with water.” This explanation of the article supposes that the words attributed to Achsah in the text, were not the very words she used.—Tr.]

FN#42 - At an early date, the passage 1 Chronicles 4:10, where Jabez says, “Oh, that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me,” was already explained as referring to Othniel (cf. Temura, p16, a). Jerome was acquainted with a Jewish opinion according to which Jabez was a teacher of the law (cf. 1 Chronicles 2:55), who instructed the sons of the Kenite, of Quæst. Hebr. in Lib. i. Paral., ed. Migne, iii1370

Verse 16

The Kenites take up their abode in the territories of Judah

Judges 1:16

16And the children [sons] of the Kenite, Moses’ father-in-law, went up out of [from] the city of palm-trees with the children [sons] of Judah into the wilderness of Judah, which lieth in the south of Arad; and they [he[FN43]] went and dwelt among[FN44] the people.



TEXTUAL AND GRAMMATICAL

1 Judges 1:16.—He, i. e, the Kenite. The subject of וַיֵּלֶךְ is קֵינִי, the Kenite, collective term for the tribe.—Tr.]

2 Judges 1:16.—אֶת, with, near, the people, but still in settlements of their own, cf. Judges 1:21. Dr. Cassel’s unter answers to the English among.—Tr.]

EXEGETICAL AND DOCTRINAL

Judges 1:16. And the sons of the Kenite, Moses’ father-in-law. Kenite is the name of a heathen tribe, which in Genesis 15:19 is enumerated among the nations hostile to Israel. In the vision of Balaam it is mentioned in connection with Amalek ( Numbers 24:21). It is there said of the tribe, “In the rock hast thou put thy nest” (קִנֶּךָ, from קֵן, “nest”). “Strong,” indeed, “is their dwelling-place.” The Kenites were a tribe of the wilderness, troglodytes, who dwelt in the grottoes which abound everywhere in Palestine, but especially in its southern parts. Barth, in1847, saw caves at the lower Jordan, “high up in the steep face of the precipitous rock, on the left, inhabited by human beings and goats, though it is impossible to see how they get there” (Ritter, xv465). At the Dead Sea, Lynch discovered grottoes in the rocks, the entrance to which, in spite of all proficiency in climbing, could not be found. The name of the tribe, Kenites, is doubtless derived from קֵן, which means an elevated hiding-place in the rocks, as well as a nest. The term troglodytes, likewise, comes from τρώγλη, “grotto,” and is applied to both birds and human beings. As Jeremiah ( Jeremiah 49:16) exclaims, “though thou shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle,” so Æschylus (Choëphoroe, 249) calls the nest of the eagle’s brood, σκήνημα, “dwelling-place.”

It is from this passage, and from Judges 4:11, that we first learn that Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses,[FN45] belonged to one of the Kenite families. Moses, when a fugitive in the desert, found an asylum and a wife in the retirement of Jethro’s household. From that time, this family, without losing its independent and separate existence, was closely allied with all Israel. But it was only this family, and not the whole Kenite nation, that entered into this alliance. Else, how could the Kenite be named among enemies in the prophetic announcements of Genesis 15, and with Amalek in the vision of Balaam? Moreover, the text clearly intimates that the sons of the Kenite adhered to Israel, not as Kenites, but as descendants of Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses.[FN46] It is the constant aim of the historian of the conquest of Canaan by Israel, to show that every promise was fulfilled, and that no one who at any time showed kindness failed of his promised reward. Caleb’s constancy and courage found their long-promised inheritance in Hebron. A recompense had also been promised to the sons of the Kenite. When Israel was on its journey through the desert ( Numbers 10:31), and Hobab (on the name, see below, on Judges 4:11) desired to return to his old place of abode, Moses said: “Leave us not; thou knowest our places of encampment in the desert, and hast been to us instead of eyes. If thou go with us, every good thing with which God blesses us, we will share with thee.” The fulfillment of this promise now takes place. The Kenites enter with the tribe of Judah into the inheritance of the latter, as into a domain in which they had always been at home. They share in the blessing bestowed by God on Israel.

They went up from the City of Palms. No other place than the plain of Jericho is ever called the City of Palms in the Scriptures. Although the city was destroyed, the palm-groves still existed. How was it possible to suppose,[FN47] in the face of Deuteronomy 34:3 and Judges 3:13, that here suddenly, without any preparatory notice, another City of Palms is referred to! The statement here made, so far from occasioning difficulties, only testifies to the exactness of the narrator. Judah’s camp was in Gilgal, whence they marched through Bezek against the enemy, and then to Hebron. Gilgal lay in the vicinity of Jericho. When the tribe decamped, the Kenite was unwilling to remain behind. On the march through the desert, their position as guides had of course always been in the van, and, therefore, with the tribe of Judah. They desire to enjoy their reward also in connection with this tribe, and hence the palms of overthrown Jericho cannot detain them. The region in which they were, can therefore be no other place of palms than that from which Judah broke up, namely, Jericho. In fact, the statement that they came from Jericho, proves the correctness of the view given above, that Gilgal was the place from which Judah set out to enter his territory.

Into the wilderness of Judah, which lieth in the south of Arad. But why is the narrative of the Kenite expedition here introduced? It is a peculiarity of Hebrew narrators, that they weave in episodes like this and that of Othniel and Achsah, whenever the progress of the history, coming into contact with the place or person with which they are associated, offers an occasion. Hence we already find events communicated in the 15 th chapter of Joshua, which occurred at a later date, but of which the author was reminded while speaking of the division of the land. The history of the conquest of their territory by Judah is very brief. First, the mountain district of Hebron and the northeastern part of the territory was taken possession of. Then, according to the plan laid down Judges 1:9, they turned to the south. Of this part of their undertaking no details are given; but as they were getting possession of the land in this direction, they came to Arad, where it pleased the Kenites to take up their abode, in close relations with Judah. A king formerly reigned at Arad, who attacked Israel when journeying in the desert ( Numbers 21:1), and was defeated by Moses. A king of Arad was also conquered by Joshua ( Joshua 12:14). After its occupancy by the tribe of Judah, the Kenites resided there. The position[FN48] of the place has been accurately determined by Robinson (Bib. Res. ii101, cf. Ritter, xiv121). Eusebius and Jerome had placed it twenty Roman miles, a camel’s journey of about eight hours, from Hebron. This accords well with the position of the present Tell ’Arâd, “a barren-looking eminence rising above the country around.” From this fragmentary notice of the place, we may perhaps infer what it was that specially attracted the Kenites. If these tribes were attached to the Troglodyte mode of life, the Arabs still told Robinson, of a “cavern” found there. The Kenites still held this region in the time of David; for from the vicinage of the places named in 1 Samuel 30:29 ff, especially Hormah, it appears that they are those to whom as friends he makes presents.[FN49] It is true, that when the terrible war between Saul and Amalek raged in this region, Saul, lest he should strike friend with foe, caused them to remove ( 1 Samuel 15:6). After the victory, they must have returned again.



Footnotes:

FN#43 - Judges 1:16.—He, i. e, the Kenite. The subject of וַיֵּלֶךְ is קֵינִי, the Kenite, collective term for the tribe.—Tr.]

FN#44 - Judges 1:16.—אֶת, with, near, the people, but still in settlements of their own, cf. Judges 1:21. Dr. Cassel’s unter answers to the English among.—Tr.]

FN#45 - Earlier scholars (Le Clerc, Lightfoot, Opera, ii581) were already struck by the Targum’s constant substitution of שַׂלְמָאָה, Salmaah for Kenite. In this passage also it reads, “the sons of Salmaah.” Even Jewish authors were it a loss how to explain this. As it affords a specimen of the traditional exegesis of the Jews, already current in the Targum on this passage, I will here set down the explanation of this substitution: The Kenite of our passage is identified with the Kinim of 1 Chronicles 2:55, who are there described as “the families of the Sopherim.” But how came the Kenites to hold this office, in after times so highly honored, and filled by men learned in the law (cf. Sanhedrin, p104 a and106 a)? The father-in-law of Moses—(tradition makes him flee from the council of Pharaoh of which he was a member, Sota, 11 a)—is the Kenite who, when the latter wandered in the desert ( Exodus 2:20-21), gave him bread (lechem) and also, through his daughter, a house (beth). Now, the same chapter of 1 Chronicles 1:51; 1 Chronicles 1:54, names a certain Salma, and styles him the “father of Beth-lechem.” The father of this “Bread-house” is then identified with Jethro. Consequently, the sons of the Kenite are the sons of Salmaah, and thus their name itself indicates how they attained to the dignity accorded them. The Targum on Chronicles (ed. Wilna, 1836, p3, A) expresses it thus: “They were the sons of Zippora, who (in their capacity of Sopherim) enjoyed, together with the families of the Levites, the glory of having descended from Moses, the teacher of Israel.”

FN#46 - This view does away with all those questions of which, after earlier expositors, Bertheau treats on pp24, 25.

FN#47 - Into this error, Le Clerc has misled later expositors, and among them, Bertheau, p25. However, the wholly irrelevant passage of Diodorus (iii42), frequently cited to justify the assumption of another City of Palms, was already abandoned by Rosenmüller, p24.

FN#48 - Ishak Chelo, the author of Les chemins de Jérusalem, in the 14 th century, found Arad sparsely inhabited, by poor Arabs and Jews, who lived of their flocks. The Rabbi tends his sheep, and at the same time gives instruction to his pupils. Cf. Carmoly, Itinéraires de la Terre Sainte (Bruxelles, 1847), pp244, 245.

FN#49 - Cf. 1 Samuel 27:10, where the same local position is assigned to the Kenites, and spoken of by David as the scene of his incursions, in order to make the suspicious Philistines believe that he injures the friends of Israel

Verses 17-20

Simeon’s territory is conquered, and Judah takes the Philistine cities

Judges 1:17-20.

17And Judah went with Simeon his brother, and they slew [smote] the Canaanites that inhabited Zephath, and utterly destroyed it [executed the ban upon it].[FN50] And 18 the name of the city was called[FN51] Hormah. Also [And] Judah took Gaza with the coast [territory] thereof, and Askelon with the coast [territory] thereof, and Ekron with the coast [territory] thereof 19 And the Lord [Jehovah] was with Judah; [,] and he drave out the inhabitants [obtained possession] of the mountain [mountains] but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley [for the inhabitants of the low country were not to be driven out],[FN52] because they had chariots of iron 20 And they gave Hebron unto Caleb, as Moses [had] said: and he expelled thence the three sons of Anak.



TEXTUAL AND GRAMMATICAL

1 Judges 1:17.—The חֵרֶם (LXX. ἀνάθεμα), in cases like the present, was, as Hengstenberg (Pent. ii74) expresses it, “the compulsory devotement to the Lord of those who would not voluntarily devote themselves to him.” To render the word simply by “destruction,” as is done in the A. V. here and elsewhere, is to leave out the religious element of the Acts, and reduce it to the level of a common war measure. Cf. Winer, Realwörterb, s. v. Bann; Smith’s Bib. Dict. s. v. Anathema.—Tr.]

2 Judges 1:17.—וַיִּקְרָא. Dr. Cassel translates it as if it were plural, and gives it the same subject with וַיַּחֲרִימוּ, “they called.” Correct, perhaps, as to fact, but grammatically less accurate than the A. V. וַיִּקְרָא is the indefinite third person. Cf. Ges. Gr. 137, 3.—Tr.]

3 Judges 1:19.—Dr. Cassel: denn nicht zu vertreiben waren die Bewohner der Niederung. On the force of כִּי, for (E. V. but), cf. Ges. Gram. § 155, p271.—The construction of לאֹ לְהוֹרִישׁ is unusual. According to Keil (and Bertheau) “לאֹ is to be taken substantively, as in Amos 6:10, in the same sense in which the later Scriptures use אַיִן before the infinitive, 2 Chronicles 5:11; Esther 4:2; Esther 8:8; Ecclesiastes 3:14. Cf. Ges. Gram. § 132, 3, Rem1; Ewald, 237 c.” Idea and expression might then be represented in English by the phrase: “there was no driving the enemy out.” On עֵמֶק, see foot-note on p39.—Tr.]



EXEGETICAL AND DOCTRINAL

Judges 1:17. And Judah went with Simeon his brother. The course of conquest by the tribes is regularly followed, but the narrative delays only at such points as are connected with note-worthy facts. When Judah had reached the south, and was in Arad, the statement was introduced that the Kenite settled there. After the conquest of the south, the conquerors turned toward the low country ( Judges 1:9). In order to get there, they must traverse the territory of Simeon. Consequently, Judah goes with Simeon now, to assist him in gaining possession of his land. This expedition also offered an event which it was important to chronicle.

They smote the inhabitants of Zephath, and called the city Chormah. In itself considered, the mere execution of the ban of destruction on a city otherwise unknown, cannot be of such importance as would properly make it the only reported event of the campaign in Simeon’s territory. The record must have been made with reference to some event in the earlier history of Israel.[FN53] The tribes had just been in Arad, where the Kenites settled. Now, according to the narrative in Numbers 21:1 ff, it was the King of Arad who suddenly fell upon the people in their journey through the desert. The attack was made when the Israelitish host was in a most critical situation, which, to be sure, could not be said to be improved by the ban executed on the cities of the king after the victory was won. Not Arad,—for this retained its name,—but one of the places put under the ban, we are told, received the name Hormah.[FN54] The vow in pursuance of which this ban was inflicted required its subsequent maintenance as much as its original execution. Thus much we learn from the passage in Numbers. That a close connection existed between Arad and Hormah is also confirmed by Joshua 12:14, where a king of Arad and one of Hormah are named together. In the same way are the inhabitants of Hormah and the Kenites in Arad mentioned together, upon occasion of David’s division of booty ( 1 Samuel 30:29). Since Moses was not able to occupy these regions, the banned city, as appears plainly from Joshua 12:14, where a king of Hormah occurs, had been peopled and occupied anew. Hence it was the task of the tribe of Simeon, with the help of Judah, to restore the vow of Israel, and to change the Zephath of its heathen inhabitants once more into Hormah. That, in this respect also, the tribes observed the commands of Moses, and fulfilled what was formerly promised,—adjudging to one, reward, as to the Kenite; to another, the ban, as to Zephath,—this is the reason why this fact is here recorded. Robinson thought that there was every reason for supposing that in the position of the pass Esther -Sufàh, far down in the south, the locality of Zephath was discovered (Bib. Res. ii181). The position, as laid down on his map, strikes me as somewhat remote from Tell 'Arad; and the name Esther -Sufâh, Arabic for “rock,” cannot, on account of its general character, be considered altogether decisive.[FN55] Moreover, another Zephath actually occurs, near Mareshah ( 2 Chronicles 14:10), not far from Eleutheropolis, and Robinson (ii31) makes it probable that by the valley of Zephath in which King Asa fought, the wady is meant which “comes down from Beit Jibrin towards Tell Esther -Sâfieh.” In the Middle Ages, a castle existing there, bore the name Alba Specula, Fortress of Observation, which at all events agrees with the signification of Zephath.

Judges 1:18. And Judah. took Gaza, Askelon, and Ekron. The territory assigned to Judah extended to the sea, including the Philistine coast-land, with their five cities. After the conquest of Simeon’s lot their course descended from the hills into the lowlands (Shephelah, Judges 1:9), most probably by way of Beer-sheba, to the sea. In their victorious progress, they storm and seize Gaza, Askelon, and Ekron, pressing on from south to north. Although Ashdod is not mentioned here, it is natural to suppose, since it was included in the borders assigned to Judah ( Joshua 15), and lay on the road from Askelon to Ekron, that it was also taken, previous to the conquest of Ekron. Josephus, drawing the same inference, expressly includes it. It is said וַיִּלְכֹּד, “they took by storm.” They were not able, at this time, so to take and hold these places as to expel their inhabitants. The tribe of Judah, which, as it seems, now continued the war alone, on the sea-coast fell in with cultivated cities, provided with all the arts of warfare. Israel at that time was not prepared for long and tedious wars. In swift and stormy campaigns, their divinely-inspired enthusiasm enabled them to conquer. On the mountains, where personal courage and natural strength alone came into play, they were entirely victorious, and held whatever they gained. It was only in the plains, where the inhabitants of the coast cities met them with the murderous opposition of iron chariots, that they gave up the duty of gaining entire mastery over the land.[FN56][FN57]



Judges 1:19. For the inhabitants of the low country were not to be driven out, because they had iron chariots.[FN58] The noble simplicity of the narrative could not show itself more plainly. “The Lord was with Judah, and he gained possession of the mountain district; but לֹא לְהוֹרִישׁnot to be driven out,” etc. The expression יָכְלוּ לאֹ, “they could not,” is purposely avoided. They would have been quite able when God was with them; but when it came to a contest with iron chariots their faith failed them. The tribes of Joseph were likewise kept out of the low country because the inhabitants had chariots of iron ( Joshua 17:16); but Joshua said ( Judges 1:18), “Thou shalt (or canst) drive out the Canaanite, though he be strong.” Iron chariots are known only to the Book of Judges, excepting the notice of them in the passage just cited from Joshua. The victory of Deborah and Barak over Jabin, king of Canaan, owed much of its glory to the fact that Sisera commanded nine hundred iron chariots. Bertheau rejects the earlier opinion that these chariots were currus falcati, scythe-chariots, on the ground that those were unknown to the Egyptians. He thinks it probable that the chariots of the Canaanites, like those of the Egyptians, were only made of wood, but with iron-clad corners, etc, and therefore very strong. But such chariots would never be called iron chariots. The Egyptian war-chariots which Pharaoh leads forth against Israel, are not so called. To speak of chariots as iron chariots, when they were in the main constructed of a different material, would be manifestly improper, unless what of iron there was about them, indicated their terrible destructive capacities. It has, indeed, been inferred from Xenophon’s Cyropœdia (vi1, 27), that scythe-chariots were first invented by Cyrus, and that they were previously unknown “in Media, Syria, Arabia, and the whole of Asia.” But even if this Cyrus were to be deemed strictly historical, the whole notice indicates no more than the improvement[FN59] of a similar kind of weapon. It does not at all prove that scythe-chariots did not previously exist. The principal improvement which the Cyrus of Xenophon introduced, was, that he changed the chariot-rampart, formed perhaps after the manner of the Indian battle-array (akschauhini,[FN60] the idea of our game of chess) into a means of aggressive warfare. For this purpose, he changed the form of the chariot, and added the scythe to the axle-tree. But the chariots of our passage must already have been intended for aggressive action, since otherwise the purpose of the iron is incomprehensible. Nor does Xenophon assert that Cyrus was the first who affixed scythes to chariots, although he would not have failed to do so if that had been his opinion. It Isaiah, moreover, in itself not probable. Xenophon mentions that the (African) Cyrenians “still” had that kind of chariots which Cyrus invented.[FN61] And Strabo informs us that in his time the Nigretes, Pharusii, and Ethiopians, African tribes, made use of the scythe-chariot.[FN62] The changes introduced in the chariot by Cyrus, were made in view of a war against the Assyrians, whom Xenophon distinguishes from the Syrians. But from a statement of Ctesias[FN63] we learn that the Assyrian armies already had scythe-chariots. The same occasion induced Cyrus to clothe his chariot-warriors in armor. For at all events, Assyrian monuments represent the charioteers encased in coats of mail.[FN64] It serves to explain the term iron chariots, that Xenophon also speaks of iron scythes (δρέπανα σιδηρᾶ). Curtius (iv9, 4) describes chariots which carried iron lances on their poles (ex summo temone hastœ prœfixœ ferro eminebant), for which the form of Assyrian chariots seems to be very well adapted. Representations of them sufficiently indicate the horrors of these instruments of war, by the bodies of the slain between their wheels.

Judges 1:20. And they gave Hebron unto Caleb. This statement, even after that of Judges 1:10, is by no mèans superfluous. Now, and not before, could Caleb receive Hebron as a quiet possession. Judah must first enter his territory. When the conquest was completed,—and it was completed after the western parts of the mountain region also submitted,—the tribe of Judah entered upon its possessions; and then the aged hero received that which had been promised him. Then also, most likely, transpired that beautiful episode which gave to Othniel his wife and property.


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