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The First Instance of Man-Stealing. There needed no law against man-stealing to assure the conscience of its being a crime; and it has been a subject of wonder that the sons of Jacob could so deliberately and remorselessly plunge themselves into such guilt. But the steps in the history are logical forerunners and sequences. Events follow upon character, and one act produces another, with a perfect moral fitness and fatality. Anything might have been expected, any development could not have been surprising, after the dreadful tragedy at Shechem. The murderous sacking of that city, and the disposal of the captives, had prepared the sons of Jacob, “ moved with envy," (the former passion having been revenge), for the crime of kidnapping. They took their choice between murdering their brother and selling him, it being only the providence of God in the passing of the Ishmaelites just then, from Gilead towards Egypt, with their caravan of camels, laden with spices, and balm, and myrrh, that suggested to them the merchandise as more profitable. So they sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites, for twenty pieces of silver. And the Midianites sold him into Egypt (Gen. 37: 28, 36). The word used for this transaction is in both cases the same, 29. And Potiphar bought him, np. (39: 1). The word bought is from 7=p, and the same is applied (Neh. 5: 8) to the purchase, for redemption, of the Jews that had been sold unto the heathen. Joseph is called by Potiphar's wife (39: 17), the Hebrew servant, am. Joseph describes the transaction by which he was brought into bondage in Egypt as man-stealing; for indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews, mas sis. The chief butler's description or designation of Joseph, is that of a young man, a Hebrew, servant to the captain, 739 S (Gen. 41: 12).
In the course of Joseph's interview with his brethren, the word ?? is very frequently employed, and they and Joseph use it to signify a bondman for crime. 6 Should we steal silver or gold? With whomsoever of thy servants it be
found, both let him die, and we also will be my lord's bondmen,” 79 (Gen. 44: 9, 17). " And he said, He shall be my servant” 797. “Let thy servant abide instead of the lad, a bondman to my lord,” 7x7 (Gen. 44: 33). It signifies here the most degraded slavery, but it was a slavery into which the brethren of Joseph well knew they had themselves, many years previous, most diabolically sold their own brother, for twenty pieces of silver. They were now threatened with the same bondage.
Condition of the Israelites in Egypt.
The question next arises, in the order of the history, whether any of the great store of servants spoken of as formerly belonging to Jacob's household, went down with him into Egypt to settle there. No mention is made of them, and only his own posterity are particularized in the census. “ And Jacob rose up from Beersheba, and the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, and their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him. And they took their cattle, and their goods, which they had gotten in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob, and all his seed with him. His sons and his sons' sons with him, his daughters and his sons' daughters, and all his seed brought he with him into Egypt” (Gen. 46: 5, 7). “ All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, which came out of his loins, besides Jacob's sons' wives, all the souls threescore and six (46:26). The enumeration here is simply all that came out of Jacob's loins; it does not prove that none others were with them; and Joseph is said to have "nourished his father, and his brethren, and all his father's household, with bread, according to their families" (47: 12). mabang. Joseph's own enumeration to Pharaoh was: “ My father, and my brethren, and their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have, are in the land of Goshen.” The two years of sore famine must have greatly reduced the maz, the household establishment of the patriarch, once so rich and numerous. Servants and dependants
would be dismissed, their herds and their flocks would be diminished; nevertheless, we cannot certainly conclude that no servants whatever went with them into Egypt. But there we shortly find the testimony (Ex. 1: 7) that "the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty, and the land was filled with them."
Though they occupied a separate province, yet manifestly at the time of Moses and the Exodus there was much commingling with the Egyptians in social life and in neighborhoods. There was visiting and sojourning between Egyptian and Hebrew families. This is clear from Ex. 12: 21–23 and Ex. 3: 21, 22: “Every woman shall borrow of her neighbor, and of her that sojourneth in her house." A degree of intimacy and familiarity is here intimated, which the oppressive edicts and cruel measures of the Pharaohs had not broken up. Up to the time of the death of Jacob and Joseph and all that generation, their condition in Egypt had been one of honor and prosperity, and their intercourse with the Egyptians was disastrously productive of increasing looseness, luxury, and idolatry in social life, and was full of evil morally, as it was of advantage financially. The system of cruelty at length adopted by the government of Egypt, did not find nor create a corresponding cruelty on the part of the Egyptian people, and their friendly communion with the Hebrews was kept up even to the last.
From Ex. 1: 11, it would seem that the avenue or pretence on which their oppressors began to afflict them, was the collection of the tribute for the king. Operating by means of officers, tax-gatherers, for the collection of the impost, they seem to have required its payment in labor, and to have increased the severity of that labor at their pleasure : “ Let us deal wisely with them. Therefore they did set over them DOO a captains for the tribute, to afflict them with their burdens.” Under these exactors, other officers were appointed, called afterwards by taskmasters (Ex. 5: 10); and under them, from among the Hebrews themselves, were appointed
overseers (Ex. 5: 14—19); in fact, slave-drivers. How
large a proportion of the people were drafted for these burdens, or how many were exempt, we have no means of knowing. It was a servile conscription; but it did not make the whole people, personally, slaves.
Nature of tributary servitude. Case of the Canaanites gene
rally, and of the Gibeonites particularly.
In the prophetic blessing of Jacob upon his children, it is said of Issachar that "he bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute,” som (Gen. 49: 16). line of induction and of argument is historical, taking up the points of statutory law in their regular succession, we propose here to examine the nature of the tributary and personal servitude imposed by the Mosaic laws, and set in practice by Joshua, upon the Canaanitish nations. This phrase, asoom?, a servant unto tribute, applied by Jacob to Issachar, is the generic expression descriptive of that servitude. Let us carefully trace the principle, the law, and its operation.
In Deut. 20: 11, it was enacted that, when any city of the heathen was conquered by the Hebrews, “ all the people found therein shall be tributaries unto thee and they shall serve
The same expression is found in .יִהְיוּ לְךָ לָמַס וַעֲבָדוּךְ ",thee
Josh. 16: 10, of the conquered Canaanites serving the Ephraimites under tribute. The form is exactly that used by Jacob in reference to Issachar, as-or. In Judges 1: 28, 30, 33, 35, we have four instances of the same expression applied to the treatment of the Canaanites - by Manasseh, by Zebulon, by Naphtali, and the house of Joseph. They did not drive out nor exterminate the inhabitants, but they became tributaries unto them, or om? :-?; in verse 28, they put the Canaanites to tribute, ore. In Josh. 17:13 the same expression, varied only in the use of the verb je, they set, or appointed, the Canaanites (o) to tribute. So in Isa. 31: 8, the young men of the conquered Assyrians shall be for tribute, shall serve as tributaries, 1970. We shall see, from comparison of 1 Kings 9: 21, 22 and 2 Chron.
8: 8, 9, precisely what this kind of tributaryship was, in personal service.
The law in regard to the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, was this: that they should be exterminated; nothing should be saved alive" that breatheth,” in any of the cities of the people whose land God had given to the Hebrews for their inheritance (Deut. 20: 15, 16, 17; also, Deut. 7:1–4). And the reason was plain, namely, " that they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods” (20: 18. Ex. 23: 23, 33). Only to the cities of other and distant heathen nations was peace to be proclaimed; and, if accepted, then the people were to be tributaries, as above. But if not accepted, and war was preferred, then all the males were to be destroyed, and the women and the little ones preserved (Deut. 20:12—14). See, for an example of the manner in which this law was fulfilled, Num. 31: 7-18, in the war against the Midianites. The children of Israel took the women of Midian captives, and their little ones. See also, in regard to the cities of the Canaanites, Josh. 6: 21 and 8: 26; also, 10: 32, 35, 37, 39; and 11: 11–19. And, for example of the different treatment of cities not of the Canaanites, see Josh. 9: 15, 27, the league that was made with the Gibeonites under the supposition that they were a distant people; and which was fulfilled, according to the law, as above, by which the distant nations were to be treated. The Gibeonites were made tributaries : “ There shall none of you be freed from being bondmen, and hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God” (Josh. 9: 23).
More than four hundred years afterwards, under the reign of David, this treaty was remembered, and a most tremendous judgment came upon the kingdom in consequence of its violation by Saul. The three-years' famine mentioned in 1 Sam. 21:1 was declared, of God, to be for Saul and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites. According to the treaty made with them by Joshua, they were to be al. ways employed in the menial service of God's house. The treaty was kept. The city of Gibeon, with most of its de