|Noah Webster's Dictionary|
1. (n.) A learning or knowing by inquiry; the knowledge of facts and events, so obtained; hence, a formal statement of such information; a narrative; a description; a written record; as, the history of a patient's case; the history of a legislative bill.
2. (n.) A systematic, written account of events, particularly of those affecting a nation, institution, science, or art, and usually connected with a philosophical explanation of their causes; a true story, as distinguished from a romance; -- distinguished also from annals, which relate simply the facts and events of each year, in strict chronological order; from biography, which is the record of an individual's life; and from memoir, which is history composed from personal experience, observation, and memory.
3. (v. t.) To narrate or record.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
INTER-TESTAMENTAL, HISTORY AND LITERATURE
in-ter-tes-ta-men'-tal. See BETWEEN THE TESTAMENTS.
ISRAEL, HISTORY OF
(1) The Old Testament
(3) The Monuments
2. Religious Character of the History
I. ORIGINS OF ISRAEL IN PRE-MOSAIC TIMES
1. Original Home
2. Ethnographical Origin
3. Patriarchal Origins and History
(1) Patriarchal Conditions-Genesis 14
(2) Ideas of God
(3) Descent into Egypt
II. NATIONALITY UNDER MOSES
1. Israel in Egypt
2. Historical Character of the Exodus (1) Egyptian Version of the Exodus
(2) Geographical Matters
(3) The Wilderness Sojourn
(4) Entrance into Canaan
III. PERIOD OF THE JUDGES
1. General Character of Period
2. The Different Judges
3. Chronology of the Period
4. Loose Organization of the People
IV. THE KINGDOM: ISRAEL-JUDAH
2. The Kingdom of Saul
5. Division of the Kingdom
6. Sources of the History of the Kingdom
7. Chronological Matters
V. PERIOD OF THE SEPARATED KINGDOMS
1. Contrasts and Vicissitudes of the Kingdoms
2. The Successive Reigns
3. The Literary Prophets
VI. TIME OF THE BABYLONIAN EXILE
1. Influence of the Exile
3. Elephantine Papyri
VII. RETURN FROM THE EXILE AND THE RESTORATION
1. Career of Cyrus
2. First Return under Zerubbabel
(1) Building of the Temple
(2) Haggai and Zechariah
3. Ezra and Nehemiah
VIII. THE JEWS UNDER ALEXANDER AND HIS SUCCESSORS
1. Spread of Hellenism
2. The Hasmoneans
IX. THE ROMANS
1. Division of Territory
2. Destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans
Later Insurrection of Bar-Cochba
3. Spiritual Life of Period
Appearance of Jesus Christ
The chief and best source from which we can learn who this people was and what was its history is the Bible itself, especially the Old Testament, which tells us the story of this people from its earliest beginnings.
(1) The Old Testament.
The origins of Israel are narrated in Genesis; the establishment of theocracy, in the other books of the Pentateuch; the entrance into Canaan, in the Book of Joshua; the period preceding the kings, in the Book of Judges; the establishment of the monarchy and its development, in the Books of Samuel, and the opening chapters of the Books of Kings, which latter report also the division into two kingdoms and the history of these down to their overthrow. The Books of Chronicles contain, parallel with the books already mentioned, a survey of the historical development from Adam down to the Babylonian captivity, but confine this account to theocratical center of this history and its sphere. Connected with Chronicles are found the small Books of Ezra and Nehemiah, which probably originally constituted a part of Chronicles, but which pass over the Exile and begin at once with the story of the Return. Then, too, these two books contain only certain episodes in the history of the Return, which were of importance for the restoration of the Jewish theocracy, so that the story found in them is anything but complete. With the 5th century B.C. the Biblical narrative closes entirely. For the succeeding centuries we have nothing but some scattered data; but for the 2nd pre-Christian century we have a new source in the Books of the Maccabees, which give a connected account of the struggles and the rule of the Asmoneans, which reach, however, only from 174 to 135 B.C.
The historical value of the Old Testament books is all the greater the nearer the narrator or his sources stand in point of time to the events that are recorded; e.g. the contents of the Books of Kings have in general greater value as historical sources than what is reported in the Books of Chronicles, written at a much later period. Yet it is possible that a later chronicler could have made use of old sources which earlier narrators had failed to employ. This is the actual state of affairs in connection with a considerable number of matters reported by the Biblical chroniclers, which supplement the exceedingly meager extracts furnished by the author of the Books of Kings. Then, further, the books of the prophets possess an extraordinary value as historical sources for the special reason that they furnish illustrations of the historical situation and events from the lips of contemporaries. As an example we can refer to the externally flourishing condition of the kingdom of Judah under King Uzziah, concerning which the Books of Kings report practically nothing, but of which Chronicles give details which are confirmed by the testimony of Isaiah.
A connected account of the history of Israel has been furnished by Flavius Josephus. His work entitled Jewish Antiquities, however, as far as trustworthiness is concerned, is again considerably inferior to the Books of Chronicles, since the later traditions of the Jews to a still greater extent influenced his account. Only in those cases in which he could make use of foreign older sources, such as the Egyptian Manetho or Phoenician authors, does he furnish us with valuable material. Then for the last few centuries preceding his age, he fills out a certain want. Especially is he the best authority for the events which he himself passed through and which he reports in his work on the Jewish Wars, even if he is not free from certain personal prejudices (see JOSEPHUS). For the customs and usages of the later Jewish times the traditions deposited in the Talmud are also to be considered. Much less than to Josephus can any historical value be credited to the Alexandrian Jew, Philo. The foreign authors, e.g. the Greek and the Latin historians, contain data only for the story of the nations surrounding Israel, but not for the early history of Israel itself.
(3) The Monuments.
On the other hand, the early history of Israel has been wonderfully enriched in recent times through the testimonies of the monuments. In Palestine itself the finds in historical data and monuments have been, up to the present time, rather meager. Yet the excavations on the sites of ancient Taanach, Megiddo, Jericho, Gezer and Samaria have brought important material to light, and we have reasons to look for further archaeological and literary finds, which may throw a clear light on many points that have remained dark and uncertain. Also in lands round about Palestine, important documents (the Moabite Stone; Phoenician inscriptions) have already been found. Especially have the discovery and interpretation of the monuments found in Egypt, Assyria and Babylonia very materially advanced our knowledge of the history of Israel. Not only has the connection of the history of this people with universal history been clearly illuminated by these finds, but the history of Israel itself has gained in tangible reality. In some detail matters, traditional ideas have given way to clearer conceptions; e.g. the chronology of the Old Testament, through Assyriological research, has been set on a safer foundation. But all in all, these archaeological discoveries have confirmed the confidence that has been placed in the Biblical historical sources.
2. Religious Character of the History:
It is true that the rules applied to profane history cannot, without modification, be applied to the historical writings of the Hebrews. The Biblical narrators are concerned about something more than the preservation of historical facts and data. Just as little is it their purpose to glorify their people or their rulers, as this is done on the memorial tablets of the Egyptian the Assyrian, and the Babylonian kings. Looked at merely from the standpoint of profane history, there are many omissions in the Old Testament historical books that are found objectionable. Sometimes whole periods are passed over or treated very briefly. Then, too, the political pragmatism, the secular connection in the movements of the nations and historical events, are often scarcely mentioned. The standpoint of the writer is the religious. This appears in the fact that this history begins with the creation of the world and reports primitive traditions concerning the origin of mankind and their earliest history in the light of the revelation of the God of Israel, and that it makes this national history a member in the general historical development of mankind. Nor was this first done by the author of the Pentateuch in its present shape. Already the different documentary sources found combined in the Pentateuch, namely E (Elohist), J (Jahwist) and P (Priestly Code), depict the history of Israel according to the plan which the Creator of the world had with this people. Also, when they narrate the national vicissitudes of Israel, the writers are concerned chiefly to exhibit clearly the providential guidance of God. They give special prominence to those events in which the hand of God manifests itself, and describe with full detail the lives of those agents of whom Yahweh made use in order to guide His people, such as Moses, Samuel, David, Solomon and others. But it is not the glory of these men themselves that the writers aim to describe, but rather their importance for the spiritual and religious greatness of Israel. Let us note in this connection only the extreme brevity with which the politically successful wars of David are reported in 2 Samuel; and how fragmentary are the notices in which the author of the Books of Kings reports the reigns of the different kings; and how briefly he refers for all the other details of these kings to books that, unfortunately, have been lost for us. But, on the other hand, how full are the details when the Bible gives us its account of the early history of a Samuel or of a David, in which the providential guidance and protection of Yahweh appear in such a tangible form; or when it describes the building of the temple by Solomon, so epoch-making for the religious history of Israel, or the activity of such leading prophets as Elijah and Elisha. Much less the deeds of man than the deeds of God in the midst of His people constitute theme of the narrators. These facts explain, too, the phenomenal impartiality, otherwise unknown in ancient literatures, with which the weaknesses and the faults of the ancestors and kings of Israel are reported by the Biblical writers, even in the case of their most revered kings, or with which even the most disgraceful defeats of the people are narrated.
It cannot indeed be denied that this religious and fundamental characteristic is not found to the same degree in all the books and sources. The oldest narratives concerning Jacob, Joseph, the Judges, David and others reveal a naive and childlike naturalness, while in the Books of Chronicles only those things have been admitted which are in harmony with the regular cult. The stories of a Samson, Jephthah, Abimelech, Barak, and others impress us often as the myths or stories of old heroes, such as we find in the traditions of other nations. But the author of the Book of Judges, who wrote the introduction to the work, describes the whole story from the standpoint of edification. And when closely examined, it is found that the religious element is not lacking, even in the primitive and naive Old Testament narrative. This factor was, from the outset, a unique characteristic of the people and its history. To this factor Israel owed its individuality and existence as a separate people among the nations. But in course of time it became more and more conscious of its mission of being the people of Yahweh on earth, and it learned to understand its entire history from this viewpoint. Accordingly, any account of Israel's history must pay special attention to its religious development. For the significance of this history lies for us in this, that it constitutes the preparation for the highest revelation in Christ Jesus. In its innermost heart and kernel it is the history of the redemption of mankind. This it is that gives to this history its phenomenal character. The persons and the events that constitute this history must not be measured by the standards of everyday life. If in this history we find the providential activities of the living God operative in a unique way, this need not strike us as strange, since also the full fruit of this historical development, namely the appearance of Jesus Christ, transcends by far the ordinary course of human history. On the other hand, this history of Israel is not to be regarded as a purely isolated factor. Modern researches have shown how intimately this history was interwoven with that of other nations. Already, between the religious forms of the Old Testament and those of other Semitic peoples, there have been found many relations. Religious expressions and forms of worship among the Israelites often show in language and in cult a similarity to those of the ancient Canaanites, the Phoenicians, the Syrians, the Babylonians, and the Egyptians. But it is a mistake to believe that the history and the religion of Israel are merely an offspring of the Babylonian. As the Israelites clung tenaciously to their national life, even when they were surrounded by powerful nations, or were even scattered among these nations, as in the Exile, thus too their religion, at least in its official representatives, has been able at all times to preserve a very high originality and independence under the influence of the Divine Spirit, who had filled it.
I. Origins of Israel in Pre-Mosaic Times.
1. Original Home:
The Israelites knew at all times that Canaan was not their original home, but that their ancestors had immigrated into this land. What was their earlier and earliest home? Tradition states that they immigrated from Haran in the upper Euphrates valley. But it is claimed that they came to Haran from Ur of the Chaldees, i.e. from a city in Southern Babylonia, now called Mugheir. This city of Ur, now well known from Babylonian inscriptions, was certainly not the original home of the ancestors of Israel. They rather belonged to a purely Semitic tribe, which had found its way from Northern Arabia into these districts. A striking confirmation of this view is found in a mural picture on the rock-tombs of Benihassan in Upper Egypt. The foreigners, of whom pictures are here given (from the time of the XIIth Dynasty), called Amu, namely Bedouins from Northern Arabia or from the Sinai peninsula, show such indisputable Jewish physiognomies that they must have been closely related to the stock of Abraham. Then, too, the leader of the caravan, Ebsha`a (Abishua), has a name formed just like that of Abraham. When, in later times, Moses fled to the country of the Midianites, he doubtless was welcomed by such tribal relatives.
2. Ethnographical Origin:
The Israelites at all times laid stress on their ethnographical connection with other nations. They knew that they were intimately related to a group of peoples who have the name of Hebrews. But they traced their origin still farther back to the tribal founder, Shem. Linguistics and ethnology confirm, in general, the closer connection between the Semitic tribes mentioned in Genesis 10:21 ff. Undeniable is this connection in the cases of Assur, Aram, and the different Arabian tribes. A narrower group of Semites is called Hebrews. This term is used in Genesis in a wider sense of the word than is the case in later times, when it was employed as a synonym for Israel. According to its etymology, the word signified "those beyond," those who live on the other side of the river or have come over from the other side. The river meant is not the Jordan, but the Euphrates. About the same time that the ancestors of Israel were immigrating into Canaan and Egypt, other tribes also emigrated westward and were called, by the Canaanites and by the Egyptians, `ibhrim. This term is identical with Chabiri, found in the Tell el-Amarna Letters, in which complaint is made about the inroads of such tribes. The Israelites cannot have been meant here, but related tribes are. Possibly the Egyptian Apriu is the same word.
3. Patriarchal Origins and History:
The Israelites declared that they were descended from a particular family. On account of the patriarchal characcter of their old tribal life, it is not a matter of doubt that, as a fact, the tribe did grow out of a single family. The tribal father, Abraham, was without a doubt the head of the small tribe, which through its large family of children developed into different tribes. Only we must not forget that such a tribe could rapidly be enlarged by receiving into it also serfs and clients (compare Genesis 14:14). These last-mentioned also regarded the head of the tribe as their father and considered themselves as his "sons," without really being his descendants. Possibly the tribe that immigrated first to Haran and from there to Canaan was already more numerous than would seem to be the case according to tradition, which takes into consideration only the leading personalities. Secondly, we must remember that the Israelites, because of their patriarchal life, had become accustomed to clothe all the relations of nations to nations in the scheme of the family. In this way such genealogies of nations as are found in Genesis 10 and 11 originated. Here peoples, cities and countries have also been placed in the genealogies, without the author himself thinking of individual persons in this connection, who had borne the names, e.g. of Mizraim (Egypt), Gush (Ethiopia), etc., and were actually sons of Ham. The purpose of the genealogy in this form is to express only the closer or more remote relationship or connection to a group of nations. Genesis 25:1 ff also is a telling example, showing how independently these groups are united. A new wife (Keturah) does not at this place fit into the family history of Abraham. But the writer still wants to make mention of an Arabian group, which was also related to Israel by blood, but in fact stood more distant from the Israelites than did the Ishmaelites. Out of this systematic further development of the living tradition, however, one difficulty arises. It is not in all places easy, indeed not always possible, to draw the line between what is reliable tradition and what is a freer continuation. But it is a misinterpretation of the historical situation, when the entire history of the patriarchs is declared to be incredible, and when in such sharply defined personalities as Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, and others, only personifications of tribes are found, the later history of which tribes is said to be embodied in the lives of these men; e.g. the name Abraham cannot have been the impersonal name of a tribe or of a god. It is found as the name of a person on old Babylonian tablets (Abu ramu); but originally in the nomadic tribe was doubtless pronounced 'abhi ram, i.e. "My father (God) is exalted." The same is true of the name Jacob (really Jakob-el); compare Joseph (Joseph-el), Ishmael, and others, which find their analogies in old Arabian names.
(1) Patriarchal Conditions-Genesis 14.
Further, the conditions of life which are presupposed in the history of the Patriarchs are in perfect agreement with those which from the Tell el-Amarna Letters we learn existed in Canaan. While formerly it was maintained that it would have been impossible for a single tribe to force its way into Canaan at that time when the country was thickly populated, it is now known that at that very time when the ancestors of the Israelites entered, similar tribes also found their way into the land, sometimes in a peaceable way, sometimes by force. Egypt for the time being had control of the land, but its supremacy was at no place very strong. And the `ibhrim, as did others who forced their way into the country, caused the inhabitants much trouble. Especially does Genesis 14, the only episode in which a piece of universal history finds its way into the story of the tribal ancestors, turn out to be a document of great value, which reflects beautifully the condition of affairs in Asia. Such expeditions for conquest in the direction of the Mediterranean lands were undertaken at an early period by Babylonian rulers, Sargon I of Akkad and his son Naram Sin. The latter undertook an expedition to the land of Magan along the exact way of the expedition described in Genesis 14, this taking place in the days of Amraphel, i.e. Hammurabi. The fact that the latter was himself under an Elamitic superior is in perfect agreement with the story of the inscriptions, according to which the famous Hammurabi of Babylon had first freed himself from the supremacy of Elam. The fact that Hammurabi, according to accepted chronology, ruled shortly after the year 2000 B.C., is also in agreement with Biblical chronology, which places Abraham in this very time. These expeditions into the country Martu, as the Babylonians call Syria, had for their purpose chiefly to secure booty and to levy tribute. That the allied kings themselves took part in this expedition is not probable. These were punitive expeditions undertaken with a small force.
Genesis 14 seems to be a translation of an old cuneiform tablet. As a rule the stories of the patriarchal age for a long time were handed down orally, and naturally were modified to a certain extent. Then, too, scholars have long since discovered different sources, out of which the story in its present form has been compiled. This fact explains some irregularities in the story: e.g. the chronological data of the document the Priestly Code (P), which arranges its contents systematically, do not always harmonize with the order of events as reported by the other two leading documents, the Elohist (E) and the Jahwist (Jahwist), the first of which is perhaps the Ephraimitic and the second the Judaic version of the story. But, under all circumstances, much greater than the difference are the agreements of the sources. They contain the same picture of this period, which certainly has not been modified to glorify the participants. It is easily seen that the situation of the fathers, when they were strangers in the land, was anything but comfortable. A poetical or perfectly fictitious popular account would have told altogether different deeds of heroism of the founder of the people. The weaknesses and the faults of the fathers and mothers in the patriarchal families are not passed over in silence. But the fact that Yahweh, whom they trusted at all times, helped them through and did not suffer them to be destroyed, but in them laid the foundation for the future of His people, is the golden cord that runs through the whole history. And in this the difference between the individual characters finds a sharp expression; e.g. Abraham's magnanimity and tender feeling of honor in reference to his advantage in worldly matters find their expression in narratives which are ascribed to altogether different sources, as Genesis 13:8 ff (Jahwist); 14:22 (special source); 23:7 (P). In what an altogether different way Jacob insists upon his advantage! This consistency in the way in which the different characters are portrayed must awaken confidence in the historical character of the narratives. Then, too, the harmony with Egyptian manners and customs in the story of Joseph, even in its minutest details, as these have been emphasized particularly by the Egyptologist Ebers, speaks for this historical trustworthiness.
(2) Ideas of God.
Further, the conception of God as held by these fathers was still of a primitive character, but it contains the elements of the later religious development (see ISRAEL, RELIGION OF).
(3) Descent into Egypt.
During a long period of famine the sons of Jacob, through Divine providence, which made use of Joseph as an instrument, found refuge in Egypt, in the marshes of which country along the lower Nile Semitic tribes had not seldom had their temporary abodes. The land of Coshen in the Northeast part of the Delta, Ed. Naville (The Shrine of Saft-el-Henneh and the Land of Goshen, London, 1887) has shown to be the region about Phakusa (Saft-el-Henneh). These regions had at that time not yet been made a part of the strictly organized and governed country of Egypt, and could accordingly still be left to such nomadic tribes. For the sons of Jacob were still wandering shepherds, even if they did, here and there, after the manner of such tribes, change to agricultural pursuits (Genesis 26:12). If, as is probable, at that time a dynasty of Semitic Hyksos was ruling in lower Egypt, it is all the more easily understood that kindred tribes of this character were fond of settling along these border districts. On account of the fertility of the amply watered districts, men and animals could increase rapidly, and the virile tribe could, in the course of a few centuries, grow into a powerful nation. One portion of the tribes pastured their flocks back and forth on the prairies; another builded houses for themselves among the Egyptians and engaged in agricultural pursuits and in gardening (Numbers 11:5). Egyptian arts and trades also found their way among this people, as also doubtless the art of writing, at least in the case of certain individuals. In this way their sojourning in this country became a fruitful factor in the education of the people. This stay explains in part the fact that the Israelites at all times were more receptive of culture and were more capable than their kinsmen, the Edomites, Ammonites and Moabites, and others in this respect. Moses, like Joseph, had learned all the mysteries of Egyptian wisdom. On the other hand, the sojourn in this old, civilized country was a danger to the religion of the people of Israel. According to the testimony of Joshua 24:14 Ezekiel 20:7 ff; 23:8, 19, they adopted many heathen customs from their neighbors. It was salutary for them, that the memory of this sojourn was embittered for them by hard oppression.
II. Nationality under Moses.
1. Israel in Egypt:
It is reported in Exodus 18 that a new Pharaoh ascended the throne, who knew nothing of Joseph. This doubtless means that a new dynasty came into power, which adopted a new policy in the treatment of the Semitic neighbors. The expulsion of the Hyksos had preceded this, and the opposition to the Semitics had become more acute. The new government developed a strong tendency to expansion in the direction of the Northeast. Under these circumstances it is not surprising that the laws of the empire were vigorously enforced in these border districts and that an end was made to the liberties of the unwelcome shepherd tribes. This led to constantly increasing measures of severity. In this way the people became more and more unhappy and finally were forced to immigrate.
It is still the current conviction that the Pharaoh of the oppression was Rameses II, a king who was extraordinarily ambitious of building, whose long reign is by Eduard Meyer placed as late as 1310 to 1244 B.C. His son Merenptah would then be the Pharaoh of the Exodus. But on this supposition, Biblical chronology not only becomes involved in serious difficulties, since then the time of the Judges must be cut down to unduly small proportions, but certain definite data also speak in favor of an earlier date for the Exodus of Israel. Merenptah boasts in an inscription that on an expedition to Syria he destroyed the men of Israel (which name occurs here for the first time on an Egyptian monument). And even the father of Rameses II, namely Seti, mentions Asher among those whom he conquered in Northern Palestine, that is, in the district afterward occupied by this tribe. These data justify the view that the Exodus already took place in the time of the XVIIIth Dynasty, a thing in itself probable, since the energetic rulers of this dynasty naturally have inaugurated a new method of treating this province. The oppression of Israel would then, perhaps, be the work of Thethroes III (according to Meyer, 1501-1447 B.C.), and the Exodus would take place under his successor, Amenophis II. In harmony with this is the claim of Manetho, who declares that the "Lepers," in whom we recognize the Israelites (see below), were expelled by King Amenophis.
The length of the sojourn of the Israelites in Egypt, according to Genesis 15:13 (P), was in round numbers 400 years; more exactly, according to Exodus 12:40 ff (P), 430 years. But the last-mentioned passage in Septuagint reads, "the sojourn of the sons of Jacob, when they lived in Egypt and in the land of Canaan." (The same reading is found in the Samaritan text, only that the land of Canaan precedes that of Egypt.) Since, according to this source (P), the Patriarchs lived 215 years in Canaan, the sojourn in Egypt would be reduced also 215 years. This is the way in which the synagogue reckons (compare Galatians 3:17), as also Josephus (Ant., II, xv, 2). In favor of this shorter period appeal is made to the genealogical lists, which, however, because they are incomplete, cannot decide the matter. In favor of a longer duration of this sojourn we can appeal, not only to Genesis 15:13 Septuagint has the same!), but also to the large number of those who left Egypt according to Numbers 1 and 26 (P), even if the number of 600,000 men there mentioned, which would presuppose a nation of about two million souls, is based on a later calculation and gives us an impossible conception of the Exodus.
While no account has been preserved concerning the sojourn of the Israelites in Egypt, the history of the Exodus itself, which signifies the birth of Israel as a nation, is fully reported. In this crisis Moses is the prophetical mediator through whom the wonderful deed of God is accomplished. All the deeds of God, when interpreted by this prophet, become revelations for the people. Moses himself had no other authority or power than that which was secured for him through his office as the organ of God. He was the human instrument to bring about the synthesis between Israel and Yahweh for all times. He had, in doing this, indeed proclaimed the old God of the fathers, but under the new, or at any rate hitherto to the people unknown, name of Yahweh, which is a characteristic mark of the Mosaic revelations to such an extent, that the more accurate narrators (E and P) begin to make use of this name only from this period of time on. In the name of this absolute sovereign, God, Moses claims liberty for Israel, since this people was Yahweh's firstborn (Exodus 4:22). The contest which Moses carries on in the name of this God with Pharaoh becomes more and more a struggle between this God and the gods of Egypt, whose earthly representative Pharaoh is. The plagues which come over Egypt are all founded on the natural conditions of the country, but they occur in such extraordinary strength and rapidity at Moses' prediction, and even appear at his command, that they convince the people, and finally Pharaoh himself, of the omnipotence of this God on the soil of this country. In the same way the act of deliverance at the Red Sea can be explained as the cooperation of natural causes, namely wind and tide.
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SUSANNA, THE HISTORY OF
2. Canonicity and Position
4. Fact or Fiction?
6. Original Language
This novelette has, in the Septuagint, the bare title "Susanna" (Sousanna, from Hebrew shoshannah, "lily"). So also in the Syro-Hexapla. In Codex Alexandrinus (Theodotion) it is designated Horasis a (Vision I); see BEL AND THE DRAGON, sec. I. In the Harklensian Syriac (Ball's W2) its title is "The Book of Little (or the child?) Daniel."
2. Canonicity and Position:
Susanna was with the other Additions included in the Bible Canon of the Greek, Syrian and Latin churches. Julius Africanus (circa 230 A.D.) was the first to dispute the right of Susanna to a place in the Canon, owing to its improbable character. Origen replied to him, strongly maintaining its historicity (see Schurer, GJV4, III, 455; HJP, II, 3, p. 186, where the references are given). In the Septuagint, Syro-Hexapla and Vulgate, Susanna is Daniel 14, but in Theodotion (ABQ) it opens Daniel, preceding chapter 1, a position implied in the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) which are based on Theodotion, formerly believed to be the true Septuagint. Yet it is probable that even in Theodotion the original place agreed with that in the true Septuagint (Swete's 87); so Roth (Kautzsch, Die Apok., 172) and Driver (Commentary on Daniel, Cambridge Bible, xviii).
See BEL AND THE DRAGON.
The story of Susanna is thus told in Theodotion's version, and therefore in English Versions of the Bible which follows it. Susanna was the beautiful and devout wife of Joakim who resided in Babylon in the early years of the exile, and owned a fine park which was open to his fellow-exiles (verses 1-4). Two of these last were elders and judges who, though held in high esteem, suffered impure thoughts toward Susanna to enter their minds. One day, meeting in the park, they divulged to each other their lustful passion toward this beautiful woman, and resolved together to seize the first opportunity to waylay her in the park and to overpower her (verses 5-15). A joint attempt was made upon Susanna, who resisted, notwithstanding threats of false accusation (verses 22-26). The elders make a false charge, both in private and in public, and she is accordingly condemned to death (verses 27-41). On the way to execution she is met by Daniel (= judge "of God") who has the case reopened, and by a system of cross-examination of the two elders succeeds in convincing the people that Susanna is innocent of the charge brought against her. She is acquitted, but her accusers are put to death.
The story told in the Septuagint (87) is essentially the same, though varying somewhat in details. Versions 1-4 seem to have been prefixed for clearness by Theodotion, for in Susanna verse 7 of the Septuagint Susanna is introduced for the first time: "These seeing a woman of beautiful appearance called Susanna, the wife of one of the Israelites," etc. The original text began therefore with verse 5, though in a slightly different form. Septuagint omits verses 15-18 which tell of the two elders concealing themselves and watching as Susanna entered the park and took her bath. There is not a word in Septuagint concerning the threats of the elders to defame Susanna in the event of her refusing what they desired (verses 20;); this omission makes the Septuagint form of the story obscure, suggesting that this section has fallen out by error. Nor does the Septuagint mention the crying out of Susanna and the elders (verse 24). The trial took place in the house, according to Theodotion (and English Versions of the Bible) (verse 28), but, according to Septuagint, in the synagogue (verse 28). In Septuagint (verse 30) it is said that the number of Susanna's relatives, servants and servant-maids present at the trial was 500; Theodotion is silent on this. Septuagint (verse 35) makes Susanna pray to God before her condemnation, but Theodotion (English Versions of the Bible, verses 42-44) after. According to Septuagint the young man whom the elders falsely said they found with Susanna escaped unobserved because masked; Theodotion says he got away because the elders had not strength to hold him (verse 39). Septuagint is silent about the two maids who, according to Theodotion (verse 36), accompanied Susanna to the bath. Theodotion does not speak of the angel who according to Septuagint imparted to Daniel the wisdom he displayed (but compare Theodotion, verse 50); but on the other hand he adds the words ascribed to Daniel (verse 51, English Versions), though he leaves out the words imputed to him by Septuagint (= even elders may lie). Septuagint omits the words of the people addressed to Daniel: "What mean these words which thou hast spoken?" (verse 47, Theodotion, English Versions of the Bible). According to Theodotion (verse 50) the people entreated Daniel to act as judge among them; Septuagint omits this statement. Two questions were put to the elders, according to the Septuagint: "Under what kind of tree?" "In what part of the park?" but only one, according to Theodotion (and English Versions of the Bible): "Under what kind of tree?" Septuagint has it that as a punishment the two elders were hurled down the precipice; according to Theodotion they were slain (verse 62). In the last two verses (verses 63) Septuagint points the moral of the story, but Theodotion closes by describing the joy of Susanna's relatives at the happy issue of the trial and the increased respect in which Daniel came to be held. For the dependence of the version see TEXT AND MANUSCRIPTS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT; TEXT OF THE OLD TESTAMENT; VERSIONS.
4. Fact or Fiction?:
It is quite evident that the story is a fabrication and that it came to be attached to Daniel on account of the part played in it by Daniel the judge.
(1) The form of the story differs in Septuagint, Theodotion and the various Syriac recensions, showing that it was a floating legend, told in manifold ways.
(2) No confirmation of what is here narrated has been discovered in written or epigraphic sources.
(3) The grounds on which Susanna was condemned are trivial and wholly inadequate.
(4) The conduct of the judge, Daniel, is unnatural and arbitrary.
Though, however, the story is fictitious, it rests in part or wholly on older sources.
(1) Ewald (Geschichte(3), IV, 386) believed that it was suggested by the Babylonian legend in which two old men are seduced by the goddess of love (compare Koran 2 96).
(2) Brull (Das apokryphische Sus-Buch, 1877), followed by Ball (Speaker's Apocrypha, II, 323-31), Marshall and R. H. Charles, came to the following conclusions:
(a) That the first half of the story rests on a tradition regarding two elders (Ahab and Zedekiah) who seduced certain women by persuading them that they would thus become the mother of the Messiah. This tradition has its origin probably in Jeremiah 29:21-23, where it is said that Yahweh would sorely punish Ahab and Zedekiah because they had "committed villany in Israel," having "committed adultery with their neighbours' wives" (the King James Version). We can trace the above story amid many variations in the writings of Origen and Jerome and in sundry rabbinical works.
(b) The trial scene is believed to have a wholly different origin. It is said to have arisen about 100-96 B.C., when Simon ben Shetach was president of the Sanhedrin. His son was falsely accused of a capital offense and was condemned to death. On the way to execution the accusers admitted that he was innocent of the crime; yet at his own request the son is executed in order that the father's hands might be strengthened in the inauguration of new reforms in the administration of justice. The Pharisees and Sadducees differed as to the punishment to be meted out to false witnesses where the death sentence was involved. The first party advocated a stricter examination of witnesses, and a severer penalty if their testimony could be proved false. The Sadducee party took up a more moderate position on both points. Susanna has been held to be a kind of tract setting forth by example the views of the Pharisee party. If this opinion of the origin of Susanna be accepted, this tract was written by a Palestinian Jew, a position rendered probable by other considerations.
If, as the Greek, Latin and Syriac churches held and hold, Susanna forms an integral part of Daniel, the date of this last book (see DANIEL) is the date of Sus. But there is conclusive evidence that the three "Additions" circulated independently, though we have no means of fixing the date with any certainty. Perhaps this piece arose during the struggles between the Pharisees and Sadducees about 94-89 B.C.; see preceding section. In that case 90 B.C. would be a suitable date. On the date of Theodotion's translation see DANIEL; BEL AND THE DRAGON; VERSIONS; TEXT AND MANUSCRIPTS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT; TEXT OF THE OLD TESTAMENT.
6. Original Language:
Our materials for judging of the language in which the author wrote are slender, and no great probability can at present be reached. The following scholars argue for a Greek original: Fritzsche, De Wette, Keil, Herzfeld, Graf, Holtzmann. The following are some of the grounds:
(1) There are several paronomasias or word-plays, as in Susanna verses 54, schinon ("under a mastick tree").... schisei ("will cut"); verses 58, prinon ("under a holm tree").... prisai ("to cut"). But this last word (prisai) is absent from the true Septuagint, though it occurs in Theodotion (Swete's text, verse 59, has kataprise from the same root). If the word-play in verses 58 is due to a translation based on Septuagint, the first example (verses 54), found in Septuagint and Theodotion, is as likely to be the work of the translator of those verses from the Hebrew.
(2) It is said that no trace of a Hebrew original has been discovered; but up to a few years ago the same statement could have been made of Sir.
There is a growing opinion that the author wrote in Hebrew (or Aramaic?); so Ball, J. T. Marshall, R. H. Charles.
(1) The writer was almost certainly a Palestinian Jew, and he would be far more likely to write in his own language, especially as he seems to have belonged to the Pharisaic party, who were ardent nationalists (see preceding section, at end).
(2) There is a goodly number of Hebraisms, rather more than one would expect had the writer composed in Hellenistic Greek
For versions and literature see BEL AND THE DRAGON; DANIEL; the Oxford Apocrypha, edition by R. H. Charles, 638;.
T. Witton Davies
ARABIC HISTORY OF JOSEPH THE CARPENTER
See APOCRYPHAL GOSPELS.
History (57 Occurrences)
John 21:24 That is the disciple who gives his testimony as to these matters, and has written this history; and we know that his testimony is true. (WEY)
Romans 11:2 God has not cast away his people whom he foreknew. Know ye not what the scripture says in the history of Elias, how he pleads with God against Israel? (DBY)
Genesis 2:4 This is the history of the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that Yahweh God made the earth and the heavens. (WEB)
Genesis 6:9 This is the history of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time. Noah walked with God. (WEB DBY)
Genesis 10:1 Now this is the history of the generations of the sons of Noah and of Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Sons were born to them after the flood. (WEB)
Genesis 11:10 This is the history of the generations of Shem. Shem was one hundred years old and became the father of Arpachshad two years after the flood. (WEB)
Genesis 11:27 Now this is the history of the generations of Terah. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Haran became the father of Lot. (WEB)
Genesis 25:12 Now this is the history of the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's handmaid, bore to Abraham. (WEB)
Genesis 25:19 This is the history of the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son. Abraham became the father of Isaac. (WEB)
Genesis 36:1 Now this is the history of the generations of Esau (that is, Edom). (WEB)
Genesis 36:9 This is the history of the generations of Esau the father of the Edomites in the hill country of Seir: (WEB)
Genesis 37:2 This is the history of the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brothers. He was a boy with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father's wives. Joseph brought an evil report of them to their father. (WEB RSV)
Numbers 3:1 Now this is the history of the generations of Aaron and Moses in the day that Yahweh spoke with Moses in Mount Sinai. (WEB)
Ruth 4:18 Now this is the history of the generations of Perez: Perez became the father of Hezron, (WEB)
1 Kings 14:19 Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how he made war and how he became king, are recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Israel. (BBE)
1 Kings 14:29 Now the rest of the acts of Rehoboam, and all he did, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Judah? (BBE)
1 Kings 15:7 Now the rest of the acts of Abijam, and all he did, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Judah? And there was war between Abijam and Jeroboam. (BBE)
1 Kings 15:23 Now the rest of the acts of Asa, and his power, and all he did, and the towns of which he was the builder, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Judah? But when he was old he had a disease of the feet. (BBE)
1 Kings 15:31 Now the rest of the acts of Nadab, and all he did, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Israel? (BBE)
1 Kings 16:5 Now the rest of the acts of Baasha, and what he did, and his power, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Israel? (BBE)
1 Kings 16:14 Now the rest of the acts of Elah, and all he did, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Israel? (BBE)
1 Kings 16:20 Now the rest of the acts of Zimri, and the secret design he made, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Israel? (BBE)
1 Kings 16:27 Now the rest of the acts which Omri did, and his great power, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Israel? (BBE)
1 Kings 22:39 Now the rest of the acts of Ahab, and all he did, and his ivory house, and all the towns of which he was the builder, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Israel? (BBE)
1 Kings 22:45 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, and his great power, and how he went to war, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Judah? (BBE)
2 Kings 1:18 Now the rest of the acts of Ahaziah, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Israel? (BBE)
2 Kings 8:23 Now the rest of the acts of Joram, and all he did, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Judah? (BBE)
2 Kings 10:34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehu, and all he did, and his great power, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Israel? (BBE)
2 Kings 12:19 Now the rest of the acts of Joash, and all he did, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Israel? (BBE)
2 Kings 13:8 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoahaz, and all he did, and his great power, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Israel? (BBE)
2 Kings 13:12 Now the rest of the acts of Joash, and all he did, and the force with which he went to war against Amaziah, king of Judah, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Israel? (BBE)
2 Kings 14:15 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoash, and his power, and how he went to war with Amaziah, king of Judah, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Israel? (BBE)
2 Kings 14:18 And the rest of the acts of Amaziah, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Judah? (BBE)
2 Kings 14:28 Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, and all he did, and his power, and how he went to war with Damascus, causing the wrath of the Lord to be turned away from Israel, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Israel? (BBE)
2 Kings 15:6 Now the rest of the acts of Azariah, and all he did, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Judah? (BBE)
2 Kings 15:11 Now the rest of the acts of Zechariah are recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Israel. (BBE)
2 Kings 15:15 Now the rest of the acts of Shallum, and the secret design which he made, are recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Israel. (BBE)
2 Kings 15:21 Now the rest of the acts of Menahem, and all he did, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Israel? (BBE)
2 Kings 15:26 Now the rest of the acts of Pekahiah, and all he did, are recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Israel. (BBE)
2 Kings 15:31 Now the rest of the acts of Pekah, and all he did, are recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Israel. (BBE)
2 Kings 15:36 Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all he did, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Judah? (BBE)
2 Kings 16:19 Now the rest of the things which Ahaz did, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Judah? (BBE)
2 Kings 20:20 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his power, and how he made the pool and the stream, to take water into the town, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Judah? (BBE)
2 Kings 21:17 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and all he did, and his sins, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Judah? (BBE)
2 Kings 21:25 Now the rest of the acts which Amon did, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Judah? (BBE)
2 Kings 23:28 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and all he did, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Judah? (BBE)
2 Kings 24:5 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and all he did, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Judah? (BBE)
1 Chronicles 27:24 The numbering was started by Joab, the son of Zeruiah, but he did not go on to the end; and because of it, wrath came on Israel and the number was not recorded in the history of King David. (BBE)
1 Chronicles 29:29 Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the history of Samuel the seer, and in the history of Nathan the prophet, and in the history of Gad the seer, (WEB ASV)
2 Chronicles 9:29 Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, first and last, aren't they written in the history of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam the son of Nebat? (WEB ASV BBE RSV)
2 Chronicles 20:34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, first and last, behold, they are written in the history of Jehu the son of Hanani, which is inserted in the book of the kings of Israel. (WEB ASV)
2 Chronicles 33:19 His prayer also, and how God was entreated of him, and all his sin and his trespass, and the places in which he built high places, and set up the Asherim and the engraved images, before he humbled himself: behold, they are written in the history of Hozai. (WEB JPS ASV BBE)
Ezra 4:19 And I decreed, and search hath been made, and it is found that this city of old time hath made insurrection against kings, and that rebellion and sedition have been made therein. (See NIV)
Nehemiah 1:1 The history of Nehemiah, the son of Hacaliah. Now it came about, in the month Chislev, in the twentieth year, when I was in Shushan, the king's town, (BBE)
Esther 10:2 And all his acts of power and his great strength and the full story of the high place which the king gave Mordecai, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Media and Persia? (BBE)
Isaiah 18:2 Which sends its representatives by the sea, even in ships of papyrus on the waters. Go back quickly, O representatives, to a nation tall and smooth, to a people causing fear through all their history; a strong nation, crushing down its haters, whose land is cut through by rivers. (BBE)
Isaiah 18:7 In that time an offering will be made to the Lord of armies from a people tall and smooth, causing fear through all their history; a strong nation, crushing down its haters, whose land is cut through by rivers, an offering taken to the place of the name of the Lord of armies, even Mount Zion. (BBE)