The Theology And Ethics of the Hebrews

Cover of book The Theology And Ethics of the Hebrews
Categories: Nonfiction

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SETTLEMENT The story of the Settlement in Palestine and the acceptance of agricultural life is one of long and bloody raids, cruelties, and oppressions by the Hebrews, of reprisals by the slowly enfeebled earlier inhabitants, of incorporation of these among the various Hebrew communities. Chief among all these experiences is, for our purposes, the steady tendency toward unity, and the sense that this course was right. It is significant that an early poetical record, which was perhaps something like the Homeric Epic, and which was so well-known and so honoured that extracts were made from it by the early Yahwistic school, was entitled " The Straightforward Man's Kecord."1 The same school tells how in all these ages of the nascent settlements men were trying to be just; but there was no common standard of straightforwardness, and each man followed his own individual mind.2 There were many attempts to secure unity by the election of one king over all, but one after another these projects failed, until at last one man succeeded and the great dynasty was founded which was believed to be after Yahweh's own mind, and which allHebrews so loved that it was called the Dynasty of the " Beloved," i.e., of "David." This final and successful movement must be dated about 1000 B.c., while the long period of loose settlement and of nomadism following the life in Goshen had lasted probably since about 1400 B.C. 1 " Book of Jasher," vid. Joshua x. 13; 2 Sam. i. 18. ' Judges xxi. 25. The progress up to this fairly high attainment was a genuinely moral progress. It touched and included many sides of society. This was, indeed, the first permanent monarchy, and only then were the people all well united under one government in common regard for the benefit of the whole...

The Theology And Ethics of the Hebrews
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