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"3rd gen"(eration). How, then, can the third be turned into the fourth? By a reference to the case of Pharez,--that stumblingblock of Dr. Colenso. He finds three genealogical tables of this troublesome fellow ; of which one makes the exodus happen in the third, another in the fourth, and the last in the fifth! The awkward fifth is got rid of by a " perhaps," and the old self-exploded opinion that Hezron was born in Canaan; and the fourth alone favours the idea that the exodus took place in the third generation. If, again, the appended genealogy of Joseph, prudently kept in a paragraph away from the tabulated list, be taken into account, the confusion becomes beautifully confounded. Joseph's son Manasseh had Machir, and he Gilead, and he Hepher, and he Zelophehad, and this Zelophehad had daughters at Sinai old enough to look after their own business. Here, then, are seven successions, giving, on the Bishop's mode of calculation, a sixth generation as the time of the exodus. Out of five cases one points in his favour, and four refuse to be bribed into acquiescence; and vet, marvellous to say, on this basis Dr. Colenso gets his four generations to show the Pentateuch to be a fable,-a Sikh gooroo to have a species of inspiration, and Christ ill-informed on the Jewish and canonical Scriptures.
If he had gone to Deut. ii. 14, he would have found that in the age of Moses 38 years represented a generation, as in Abraham's time 100 years were reckoned to a generation; and, if we may take antediluvian statistics, several centuries would stand for a generation. If he had gone to Herodotus, whom he can quote when he pleases, he would have learned that among Greeks, some four centuries before Christ, three generations were reckoned to a century. This Grecian estimate is that which modern European statisticians have universally adopted. Now, first, Dr. Colenso ought to have known that a “generation" is a variable quantity according to varying periods of the world's history; and, as his own tables show most conclusively, can never furnish a basis for an attack on the Pentateuch. Secondly, he onght to have taken either the Mosaic estimate as being nearer to the age, and hence a safer estimate, or to have taken that which appears to have been the rule from the time of Herodotus down to our own days. But neither of these natural premises would have suited his purpose; he therefore takes the thing by the wrong handle, and then, of course, the absurdity of the whole - story."
Let us take the best established standard, and see how probable the statistics of the Pentateuch appear. The 70 at the immigration has to be multiplied by 47 as the ratio of progression, and 64 generations as the number of times that 70 has to be multiplied by 4. The first result will be, that in 33 years the Hebrew population, lineally descended, will have increased to 315, and so on till, at the end of 100 years from the immigration, 6,376 (omitting fractional parts); at the end of the second century we shall have 581,013; which may be doubled in another 15 years, giving some 1,162,026 lineally descended persons. Now the total given in the Pentateuch is the sum of “the host," and "them that were numbered with them." Where, then, is the absurdity of the two millions and a half that Moses states left Egypt? If Dr. Colenso's 2,500,000 are correct figures, there were, at the exodus, 1,337,974 persons who belonged to the tribes, and 1,162,026 lineal descendants, making the total of the Pentateuch.
The same fallacy ruins the argument of the fourteenth and eighteenth chapters. Kurtz takes the whole population, and the census of the firstborn into comparison, and gets 42 boys as the average to every Hebrew family. With this the Bishop is anything but satisfied. Mistaking the conventional phrase-matricis apertores, he gives 42 sons to every “mother of Israel” (p. 84), and wastes seven pages upon a forced construction. Polygamy complicated the question of birthright; and though this materially modifies the average, as suggested by Michaelis, Dr. Colenso will not hear of it. The explanation, however, is found in the nature of the question at issue. The Levites were taken in lieu of every firstborn of Israel, and were cut off from all landed property in the future division of Canaan. Now, the petitio principii in the argument consists in assuming, that not only the lineal descendants of Jacob had land claims, but also the armed retainers of the nomad head of each tribe. The 22,273 firstborns may all be, as insisted by him, on the mother's side; but he cannot be allowed to assume that they were the firstborns of masters whose property was in question, and of servants, who had no interest at stake. Had he been less anxious to disprove the inspiration of the Pentateuch, he would have judged, from the impossibility of 42 children being born of one mother, that his premises contained some gross fallacy, and the fourteenth chapter would never have appeared in print.
Danites and Levites are compared in a similar manner; and the eighteenth chapter is devoted to prove, on a basis we have shown to be utterly untenable, that there ought to be 27 warriors among the Danites, while Moses makes them 64,400. Dr. Colenso takes only lineal descendants into account, Moses “the host " of Dan, and “them that were numbered of them.” Hence one cause of the great difference, proving the Bishop to be “counting without the host." The blunder lies nearer home than the critic imagined.
The number of the Levites, we are told, “also involves a great inconsistency," because it appears to Dr. Colenso impossible that “they had only increased in number by 1,000 upon 22,000" in 38 years (p. 109). By taking the 23 per cent. increase during the years 1851-1861,- by no means a period remarkable for mortalityand the population of London, whose rate of increase exceeds almost that of any other European city, he comes to the conclusion that the Levites, in 38 years, “should have increased by more than 26,000" (p. 110). This guessing 33 centuries after date-to set aside the knowledge of facts possessed by a leading actor and contemporary-is one of the weakest propensities of the Bishop. Observe the assumptions on which he bases his hypothetical statistics. “Eleazar was a full-grown priest at Sinai (Exod. xxviii. 1), and was therefore, we must suppose, above the age of twenty, or even that of thirty, at which the Levites were first allowed to do service in the sanctuary, Numb. iv. 47” (p. 110). This is one of his arguments ; look at it. The laborious nature of their future duties was so great, that the Levites were to be exempt from service before thirty, and after fifty, years of age. Now what has this to do with priests, whose age is nowhere limited either in the Pentateuch or anywhere else in the Bible? The very facts, first, that Caleb and Joshua were the only two above twenty who escaped the doom of death in the wilderness (Numb. xiv. 30); and, secondly, that Eleazar was old enough to be a priest, are demonstrative evidence that the limits as to age in the case of Levites do not apply to priests. But we have another curious proof; "in fact, it is repeatedly stated" that the Levites “ were not numbered among the children of Israel,' and the doom is evidently confined to the 'children of Israel,' except Caleb and Joshua” (p. 110). This is a species of logical conjuring—not argument. The phrase--not numbered among the children of Israel-a thousand times repeated, will not prove that the Levites were not involved in the general doom. The reasons stated why they were not thus included arefirst, because their services were required for the sanctuary, and hence they were not to take their station in the camp with the other tribes (Numb. i. 47-53); and secondly, “there was no inheritance given them among the children of Israel” (Numb. xxvi. 62). What on earth has this to do with the general doom of death in the wilderness? The circle may be squared in five minutes, if the terms of a proposition may be turned and twisted after this fashion. Under the curse of the Almighty the increase of 1,000 given in the Pentateuch is high enough ; but the 26,000 guesses of Dr. Colenso are simply absurd.
The 19th chapter is made up of replies to Kurtz, Hengstenberg, and others, which do not concern us; we therefore go back to the 7th chapter, which is the last of the nine on popular statistics which we review in this first affirmative article.
This 7th chapter is full of captious and frivolous objections. He "notices in passing that the expression-shekel of the sanctuary '-(in Exod. xxx. 11-13) could hardly have been used in this way until there was a sanctuary in existence” (p. 41). That is, a church can hardly be called a church till it has come into existence. As the new Houses of Parliament were many years building, the Blue books containing the accounts of the sums voted for their construction are all to be impeached by some future Colenso, because the sovereigns and bank notes are spoken of as belonging to a range of buildings before they had sprung into existence. How on such prin. ciples could God ever have said to Moses, “Speak unto the children of Israel, . . and let them make me a sanctuary"? (Exod. xxv. 2-8). Part of the cavil is disposed of by reference to common and necessary modes of speech; the remainder we shall answer after no. ticing the whole of this captious sentence. “The expression could hardly have been used in this way until it had become familiar in the mouths of the people. Whereas it is put in the mouth of Jehovah, speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, six or seven months before the tabernacle was made." Had Moses put it into the mouths of the people before they were familiar with it, some colour might have been given to the objection; but “in the mouth of Jehovah" it is just where we should look for it.
The suggestion, that the Septuagint renders “the shekel of the sanctuary," by the words, “the sacred shekel," is set aside thus :What could the sacred shekel mean “ before any sacred system was established " (p. 41). If Dr. Colenso were forced to head an Exodus out of the Church of England to form a rationalistic church, nothing contributed to endow a new bishopric must be called by the name of that future system. It must be first established, and then the sovereigns may with “literal accuracy" be called “the Free Church contributions to endow the livings and the see of the Zulu Bishop."
Now the explanation of the Bishop's difficulty is this,-the money used by Abraham was "current with the merchants" (
Gen. xxiii. 16). The coins used by the Hebrews were current among Egyptians (Gen. xlii. 25, &c.). The shekel used in the Hebrew camp was brought from Egypt, and retained the name of Egyptian origin. As other things and names with idolatrous associations were modified, so “the sacred shekel ” of Egypt is now changed into “the shekel of the sanctuary." The Egyptian translators of the Old Testament knew the two names to indicate the same coin, and hence rendered the one into the other as convertible expressions. The least that can be said is, that Dr. Colenso's profound ignorance of the reason why Moses calls a well-known coin by a more appropriate name among Israelites, is not to be turned into learned objections against the credibility of the Pentateuch.
Space will not allow us either to quote in full the next objection, or to enter at length into the necessary explanation. “It is surprising," to Dr. Colenso, “ that the number of adult males should have been identically the same (603,550) on the first occasion as it was half a year afterwards” (p. 42). This proceeds on a grave assumption, namely, that in Exodus xxxviii. 26, and in Numbers i. 1-46, we have notices of two different censuses. Even granting him his premises, all that follows is that the coincidence is “surprising." But was Moses to falsify numbers to avoid giving Dr. Colenso the pain of a surprise ? How, again, does he get an interval of six months between the two assumed occasions ? The tabernacle was set up on the first day of the first month of the second year (Exod. xl. 17), and the only known census was ordered on that day month (Numb. i, 1,2). If the two passages do indeed indi. cate two separate occasions, there was some interval; but how does the Bishop learn the exact time? In the former passage we have 603,550 obtained from shekels paid as a poll tax, and used up in the construction of the sanctuary ; but when the tribute was paid is unknown, and cannot be dogmatically fixed by one guessing away thirty-three centuries after date.
The first passage is proleptical—that is, Moses chose to put the total of the tribute money, with the total of the free-will offering (Exod. xxv. 347; xxxviii. 21), in summing up all the gold, silver, and brass used up in the construction of the tabernacle, instead of mix. ing up the poll tax with the statistics of population given in Numb. i. 46. But this placing the result of the money obtained at the census before the account of it is given, is no proof that a census was taken without the tribute, or a tribute taken without numbering the people. Yet, in this misconception of the reason of the prolepsis, Dr. Colenso finds a variety of surprising contradictions.
Had Dr. Colenso been less anxious to become a sceptic, the very “identity" of the numbers in the two passages would have led him to suspect a fallacy in his premises. The 603,550 should have led him to assume that but one census is indicated in the two passages, and then the following confirmatory facts would have suggested themselves to him. First, the solemn threat that a plague should follow a census unaccompanied by a poll tax (Exod. xxx. 11-16), is a moral evidence against his assumption that the census of Numbers i. 246 was not accompanied by the atonement money. He takes the threat of Moses that not a “single hoof" should be left in Egypt at the exodus, as proof that not one was left behind (p. 62). He should, therefore, have taken a more solemn threat on the part of the God of Moses, as an evidence that, as no plague followed the census, no omission of the tribute occurred. Secondly, he would have seen that the proceeds of the tribute money were used in con. structing the silver hooks, the silver sockets, fillets, and chapiters of the pillars supporting the curtains of the tabernacle (Exod. Xxxviii. 25-28). For a month or so after the tabernacle was set up, the pillars were apparently fixed in the ground, and answered their purpose without silver sockets, and silver fillets, and chapiters. The free-will offerings were exhausted, and when, a month after, the census gave 603,550 half-shekels, they were appropriated to ornament and finish off the pillars and the hooks. Moses, as a good ** book-keeper," puts all that the tabernacle cost at the end of his account (Exod. xxxviii. 21); but, in the fearlessness of an honest and faithful historian, never foresaw that a cavilling Bishop would require a fuller narrative and ampler details to avoid making a shipwreck of his faith in Cbrist.
We have now completed a review of nine out of twenty-one chapters, and must leave the remainder to a second article. So far we have shown that Dr. Colenso has signally failed in his attempt to prove that the Pentateuch is historically untrue.
Until the writer of this article, and the readers of the British Controversialist are again face to face, a month must elapse. During this interval we beg one favour from all unable to refute the