Joshua 8:33: Ceremony at Gerizim and Ebal, Part 1

Verse 33:[1] And all Israel, and their elders, and officers, and their judges, stood on this side the ark and on that side before the priests the Levites, (Deut. 31:9, 25) which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, as well (Deut. 31:12) the stranger, as he that was born among them; half of them over against mount Gerizim, and half of them over against mount Ebal; (Deut. 11:29; 27:12) as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded before, that they should bless the people of Israel.

[Now, all the people…were standing] So that they might enlist with God, and give themselves up to Him by a new oath/sacrament of military service, before they be admitted to the sacred war, then to their inheritance, etc. For this entire ceremony was look towar this, that God and Israel might be mutually obligated, Deuteronomy 26:17, etc. And the great majority of those that had covenanted at mount Sinai had already died (Masius).

[Their elders, etc.] The זְקֵנִים, elders with respect to birth, were the Seventy Elders[2] (Grotius, Drusius, Masius). The שֹׁטְרִים are officers (Grotius), or prefects (Drusius), or preceptors (Masius). These were serving the Eldership (Grotius). They were, as it were, their lictors[3] and apparitors[4] (Drusius). The שֹׁפְטִים are those that, having been placed in charge of thousands and hundreds, were judging in minor matters (Grotius, Drusius).

All Israel, that is, the whole congregation, old and young, male and female, as it follows, verse 35. On this side the ark, and on that side, that is, some on one side of it, and some on the other.

[Hard by mount Gerizim (thus the Septuagint), אֶל־מוּל וגו״] Over against mount Gerizim (Munster, Arabic, Pagnine), toward mount (Tigurinus), opposite to mount (Montanus, Junius and Tremellius, Masius, Jonathan, Syriac), to mount (Arabic), hard by mount (Masius, Drusius). For, in the place of אֶל־מוּל, עַל/ upon in Deuteronomy 27[5] (Masius). The sense: a half part of the people occupied that direction where mount Gerizim was; a half, where mount Ebal was: whether both stood on the very slopes of the mountains as if in a theater, or they remained in the valley close together (Masius, Drusius). Question: Where were these mountains? Response: They were near Shechem (thus Masius, Serarius). Thus Josephus, born and raised in those parts; likewise all the Rabbis, and Brochard, who lived there for an entire decade[6] (Serarius, Masius). It is proven, 1. out of Judges 9:7, he stood on mount Gerizim, and said, Hearken, ye men of Shechem (Serarius). Indeed, Mercator says that mount Gerizim was stretched out by a long and continuous ridge from Shechem all the way to Ai. But this is to invent mountains that are indicated by no ancient Geography or History (Serarius). 2. Out of Deuteronomy 11:30, where these words are gathered, over against Gilgal, near Elon Moreh.[7] Now, it is evident from Genesis 12:6 that Elon Moreh was either the city of Shechem itself, or a place close to it. And what could be more appropriate than that the Israelites symbolically took possession of Canaan in the very place that Abram first received notice of the same matter that was going to be in the future, and where he had entered into the covenant of the promised inheritance with God, with an altar erected (Masius)?

Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal were in the tribe of Ephraim, not far from Shechem, as appears both from Scripture, Deuteronomy 11:29, 30; 27:12; Judges 9:7, and from other authors who lived in those parts, as Josephus and the Jewish doctors.

[As Moses had commanded…. And indeed he first blessed the people of Israel, כַּאֲשֶׁ֙ר צִוָּ֜ה מֹשֶׁ֣ה עֶֽבֶד־יְהוָ֗ה לְבָרֵ֛ךְ אֶת־הָעָ֥ם יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל בָּרִאשֹׁנָֽה׃] As Moses had commanded to bless the people at first (Montanus, similarly Malvenda), especially (Septuagint), in the first place (Pagnine, Dutch), or, for the first time. This is added because this law was to be read every seven years[8] (Dutch). [Others refer the בָּרִאשֹׁנָה to he had commanded:] Just as formerly, or previously, Moses had commanded, etc. (Munster, Tigurinus, Junius and Tremellius, Castalio, English). Now, only the language of blessing is used, because blessing alone is urged. But cursing, as a πάρεργον, a thing subordinate, is subservient to the blessing, the impediments of which it was turning away (Masius).

That they should bless, or curse, which is easily understood out of the following verse, and from Deuteronomy 27:13, etc.

[1] Hebrew: וְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֡ל וּזְקֵנָ֡יו וְשֹׁטְרִ֣ים׀ וְשֹׁפְטָ֡יו עֹמְדִ֣ים מִזֶּ֣ה׀ וּמִזֶּ֣ה׀ לָאָר֡וֹן נֶגֶד֩ הַכֹּהֲנִ֙ים הַלְוִיִּ֜ם נֹשְׂאֵ֣י׀ אֲר֣וֹן בְּרִית־יְהוָ֗ה כַּגֵּר֙ כָּֽאֶזְרָ֔ח חֶצְיוֹ֙ אֶל־מ֣וּל הַר־גְּרִזִ֔ים וְהַֽחֶצְי֖וֹ אֶל־מ֣וּל הַר־עֵיבָ֑ל כַּאֲשֶׁ֙ר צִוָּ֜ה מֹשֶׁ֣ה עֶֽבֶד־יְהוָ֗ה לְבָרֵ֛ךְ אֶת־הָעָ֥ם יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל בָּרִאשֹׁנָֽה׃

[2] See Exodus 24:1, 9; Numbers 11:16-30.

[3] Lictors were attendants of civil magistrates.

[4] Apparitors were officers sent to carry out the decisions of the magistrate.

[5] Deuteronomy 27:12a:  “These shall stand upon mount Gerizim (עַל־הַ֣ר גְּרִזִ֔ים) to bless the people, when ye are come over Jordan…”

[6] Brochardus was a thirteenth century Dominican friar.  He lived in the monastery on Mount Sion for ten years.  He wrote a valuable description of those regions (Desciptio Terræ Sanctæ).

[7] Deuteronomy 11:30:  “Are they not on the other side Jordan, by the way where the sun goeth down, in the land of the Canaanites, which dwell in the champaign over against Gilgal, beside the plains of Moreh (מ֚וּל הַגִּלְגָּ֔ל אֵ֖צֶל אֵלוֹנֵ֥י מֹרֶֽה׃)?”

[8] Deuteronomy 31:9-13.

Joshua 8:32: The Law on Ebal’s Stones

Verse 32:[1] And (Deut. 27:2, 8) he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel.

[And he wrote upon the stones] The Talmudists imagine that these are the same stones that were removed from Jordan and set up at Gilgal.[2] But those were both too large, and set up in Gilgal for a permanent monument (Masius). These stones were different from the stones of the altar. For the stones of the altar were rough and rude; these were made smooth with plaster (Drusius out of Masius). According to the multitude of things to be described the number of stones is also to be taken: perhaps there were twelve, according to the number of the Tribes (Menochius); which is probable from the example of Moses at mount Sinai (Masius).

Upon the stones: Not upon the stones of the altar, which were to be rough and unpolished, verse 31, but upon other stones, smooth and plastered, as is manifest from Deuteronomy 27:2.

[A copy of the law, מִשְׁנֵה֙ תּוֹרַ֣ת וגו״] A reproduction of the law (Masius, Grotius, Syriac, Junius and Tremellius); a duplication of the law (Montanus); an exposition of the law (Jonathan). See Deuteronomy 17:18[3] (Vatablus). Question: What is this? Responses: 1. The Jews invent a fable that he wrote the five books of Moses in their entirety, even indeed in the seventy tongues, so that they might be able to be read by all (Masius); and lest any nation be able to excuse their ignorance[4] (Masius on Joshua 9:25). 2. The Book of Deuteronomy (thus the Arabic and Tostatus in Lapide). 3. Many of the Jews understand it of a compendium of all laws, which sort they read yearly in their Synagogues during the feat of Pentecost (Masius). It is plausible that here were written the principal heads of the Law (Drusius). 4. Others understand the Decalogue (thus Lyra, Estius, Grotius, Junius). Law here is the chief of Law (Grotius). 5. Law here denotes that formula of malediction and benediction, which Moses also calls law, Deuteronomy 27:8, thou shalt write all the words of that law. To this purpose, it is next plainly stated the words of what law were to be proclaimed to the people, namely, of benediction and malediction. Now, it is not probable that one law was inscribed on the stones, and another was recited. Perhaps to these were added all those words in the whole of Deuteronomy 28 (Masius). Moreover, on these individual stones individual portions of the Law were written (Serarius). But to me it is more likely that individual examples of the Law were written in full on the individual stones; thus each Tribe was reading the whole Law on its pillar (Masius). But for what reason was the same thing repeated so many times (Serarius)?

A copy of the law of Moses; not certainly the whole five books of Moses, for what stones and time would have sufficed for this! nor the blessings and the curses here following, which never are nor can without great impropriety be called the law of Moses, seeing they presuppose the law, and the observation or transgression thereof, to which they belong, only as rewards of the one, and punishments of the other: but the most weighty and substantial parts of the law, as may be gathered from the laws which are mentioned, and to the violators whereof the curses are applied, Deuteronomy 27:15, and especially the law of the ten commandments.

[Which he had set in order, etc.] Which he wrote before the children of Israel (Jonathan, similarly the Septuagint, Arabic, Montanus). Others refer them to Moses, which he (that is, Moses) had written before the children of Israel. Joshua wrote an epitome of this law on stone (Munster).

[1] Hebrew: וַיִּכְתָּב־שָׁ֖ם עַל־הָאֲבָנִ֑ים אֵ֗ת מִשְׁנֵה֙ תּוֹרַ֣ת מֹשֶׁ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֣ר כָּתַ֔ב לִפְנֵ֖י בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

[2] Babylonian Talmud Sotah 34a.

[3] Deuteronomy 17:18:  “And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law (אֶת־מִשְׁנֵ֙ה הַתּוֹרָ֤ה הַזֹּאת֙) in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites…”

[4] Babylonian Talmud Sotah 7:5; 8:6, 7.

Joshua 8:31: Sacrifice upon Ebal’s Altar

Verse 31:[1] As Moses the servant of the LORD commanded the children of Israel, as it is written in the (Ex. 20:25; Deut. 27:5, 6) book of the law of Moses, an altar of whole stones, over which no man hath lift up any iron: and (Ex. 20:24) they offered thereon burnt offerings unto the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings.

[Of unpolished stones, which iron has not touched,אֲבָנִ֣ים שְׁלֵמ֔וֹת אֲשֶׁ֛ר לֹֽא־הֵנִ֥יף עֲלֵיהֶ֖ן בַּרְזֶ֑ל] Whole (that is, not cut or hewn, as next he explains himself [Vatablus]) over he had not waved iron (Junius and Tremellius); he did not polish (Vatablus). Namely, either, 1. Joshua; that is, which Joshua had taken care not to be carved, etc. (Masius): or, 2. a stonemason (Vatablus): or, 3. it is translated passively, upon which iron was not lifted (Syriac, Arabic, similarly Jonathan). Thus the Hebrews are wont to translate it, as it is noted in the case of קָרָא, to call[2] (Masius). Question: What is the reason for this? Responses: 1. It was sin to have iron, a thing forged to destroy, serve Divine worship, upon which the salvation of things depends (thus the Hebrews in Masius). Hence Cicero, Concerning Law 2, keeps brass and iron away from temples, as instruments of warfare, not of worship. But iron does not so displease God that He does not order it to be brought into His own treasury, Joshua 6:19 (Masius). 2. Lest that which men are granted at altars from God be able to be credited to human labor. Thus Isaac Arama.[3] The altar of God is perfected, not by artifice, but by its own material, so that those that busy themselves to obtain the favor of God might understand that God is perfect and good in His own nature: Rabbi Levi Ben Gershon (Masius). [But for more concerning these things see Exodus 20:24. Masius observes here that the altars of the ancient Christians were very simple, and our ancestors responded with detestation, if they observe any likeness or image on altars. For which reason Serarius flogs him, and makes a defense of likenesses on altars.]

[1] Hebrew: כַּאֲשֶׁ֣ר צִוָּה֩ מֹשֶׁ֙ה עֶֽבֶד־יְהוָ֜ה אֶת־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל כַּכָּתוּב֙ בְּסֵ֙פֶר֙ תּוֹרַ֣ת מֹשֶׁ֔ה מִזְבַּח֙ אֲבָנִ֣ים שְׁלֵמ֔וֹת אֲשֶׁ֛ר לֹֽא־הֵנִ֥יף עֲלֵיהֶ֖ן בַּרְזֶ֑ל וַיַּעֲל֙וּ עָלָ֤יו עֹלוֹת֙ לַֽיהוָ֔ה וַֽיִּזְבְּח֖וּ שְׁלָמִֽים׃

[2] For example, Genesis 4:26:  “And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon (לִקְרֹא, or, to be called by) the name of the Lord.”

[3] Isaac ben Moses Arama (c. 1420-1494) was a Spanish Rabbi.  He wrote Talmudic and philosophical commentaries upon the Pentateuch (a classic in Jewish homiletics), the Five Scrolls (Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther), and Proverbs.

Joshua 8:30: The Altar at Ebal

Verse 30:[1] Then Joshua built an altar unto the LORD God of Israel (Deut. 27:4, 5) in mount Ebal…

[Then he built an altar, אָ֣ז יִבְנֶ֤ה] They he raised (Drusius, Masius). It is a verb of the future/imperfect tense; but אָז/then, as elsewhere, changes the future/imperfect into the perfect (Drusius, Masius). Thus אָ֚ז יָשִׁ֣יר, then Israel sang;[2] אָ֣ז יַבְדִּ֤יל, then Moses severed[3] (Kimchi in Drusius). Then, that is, with the city conquered (Vatablus). Indeed, this entire ceremony was prescribed in Deuteronomy 11 and 27, and was to be used by them as soon as they had crossed over Jordan: not without good reason, since it pertains to the solemn covenant, which it was right to enter into with God before the beginning of the war. Response 1: Therefore, the Talmudists maintain that all these things were done on the same day in which the Jordan was crossed. But that is hardly able to be true, nor were all those things able to be transacted within that space (Masius). Response 2: This perhaps may appear more likely soon after the Circumcision and Passover were accomplished (now, τὸ ὕστερον πρότερον, hysteron proteron,[4] is common in the Sacred history), for favorable auspices for the great war to be conducted. Objection: But it appears to be a greater distance from Gilgal to Ebal and Gerizim (which were near Shechem, as it is said, and were about sixty miles from Gilgal[5] according to the Talmudists), than the multitude of Israelites, with their enemies not yet subdued, could safely accomplish. Responses: 1. Gerardus Mercator maintains that Gerizim and Ebal were not far from Ai.[6] But in this he is mistaken.[7] 2. At that time their enemies were demoralized with great panic.[8] 3. The danger was not less, while the entire vigor of the soldiers was circumcised. 4. Until the Israelites conducted themselves in a hostile manner, we did not see anyone that opposed himself as an enemy to them. 5. Even if that journey was a bit longer, nevertheless it was able to be completed through a continuous,unobstructed valley. Response 3: If these things were conducted after the overthrow of Ai, an answer is able to be given to the commandment of Moses, that what was predetermined was not so much the first day after the crossing (for thus it was necessary for the uncircumcised to give attention to these sacred rites), as the first suitable occasion that they were going to meet (Masius). Concerning this entire ceremony, see what things are on Deuteronomy 11:29; 27 (Bonfrerius).

Then, to wit, after the taking of Ai. For they were obliged to do this when they were brought over Jordan into the land of Canaan, Deuteronomy 11:29; 27:2, 3, which is not to be understood strictly, as if it were to be done the same moment or day; for it is manifest they were first to be circumcised, and to eat the passover, which they did, and which was the work of some days; but as soon as they had opportunity to do it, which was now when these two great frontier cities were taken and destroyed, and thereby the coast cleared, and the bordering people under great consternation and confusion, that all the Israelites might securely march thither. And indeed this work was fit to be done as soon as might be, that thereby they might renew their covenant with, and profess their subjection to, that God by whose help alone they could expect success in their great and difficult enterprise.

[An altar…on mount Ebal] Thus Deuteronomy 27:4, 5. Not likewise on mount Gerizim: because there ought only to be one altar (Serarius). The altar was for the use of sacrifice at that time, but for the sake of a monument unto posterity, as in Joshua 22 (Grotius).

Built an altar, to wit, for the offering of sacrifices, as appears from the following verse, and from Deuteronomy 27:5-7. In Mount Ebal. Why not on Mount Gerizim also? Answer. Because God’s altar was to be but in one place, Deuteronomy 12:13, 14, and this place was appointed to be Mount Ebal, Deuteronomy 27:4, 5, which also seems most proper for it, that in that place whence the curses of the law were denounced against sinners, there might also be the tokens and means of grace, and peace and reconciliation with God, for the removing of the curses, and the procuring of God’s blessing unto sinners.

[1] Hebrew: אָ֣ז יִבְנֶ֤ה יְהוֹשֻׁ֙עַ֙ מִזְבֵּ֔חַ לַֽיהוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל בְּהַ֖ר עֵיבָֽל׃

[2] Numbers 21:17.

[3] Deuteronomy 4:41.

[4] Hysteron proteron is a rhetorical device which presents ideas in an order other than their logical or chronological.

[5] The distance is only about twenty-five miles in a straight line, but given the mountainous terrain, perhaps the journey was actually this long.

[6] Gerardus Mercator (1512-1594) was a renowned geographer and cartographer of Flanders.  His work included a detailed map of the Holy Land, Amplissima Terræ Sanctæ Descriptio ad Utriusque Testamenti Intelligentiam (1537). Mercator’s interests included theology:  He was a Roman Catholic, but had some Lutheran sympathies.

[7] Ai is roughly twenty-two miles from Shechem.

[8] See, for example, Exodus 23:27; Deuteronomy 11:25; Joshua 2:9.

Joshua 8:27-29: The Disposal of Ai, Part 2

Verse 27:[1] (Num. 31:22, 26) Only the cattle and the spoil of that city Israel took for a prey unto themselves, according unto the word of the LORD which he (Josh. 8:2) commanded Joshua.

 

Verse 28:[2] And Joshua burnt Ai, and made it (Deut. 13:16) an heap for ever, even a desolation unto this day.

[He made it an everlasting mound] In the place where the city had been he place a heap of stones (Grotius). A mound, understanding, of stones (Vatablus). Objection: But the city of Ai is found in Nehemiah 11:31, where it is called עַיָּה/Aija. [Concerning which see on Joshua 7:2.] Therefore, it did not remained destroyed forever. Response: עוֹלָם often signifies, not an everlasting, but a long time. And the Talmudists note a threefold עוֹלָם: 1. from the beginning of the world to Messiah; 2. the entire time of Messiah, and they extend that unto the resurrection of the dead; 3. from the resurrection unto eternity. Now, it was a long time, namely, one thousand and one hundred years, from Joshua to Nehemiah (Masius), under whom perhaps this city was restored (Bonfrerius). Or, that Ai in Nehemiah 11 was not built on the site of the old city, but on land nearby. But you will say, If Ai was inhabited in the age of Ezra, how does it follow, unto the present day? Therefore, neither Ezra, nor any contemporary of him, is the author of those words. Response: But what would prevent that that city was desolate until the return of Ezra, but then at length it was rebuilt (Masius)?

For ever, or, for a long time, as that word oft signifies, as Genesis 6:3;[3] Isaiah 42:14;[4] for that it was after some ages rebuilt, may seem from Nehemiah 11:31, unless that were another city built near the former, there being some little difference in the name also.

 

Verse 29:[5] (Josh. 10:26; Ps. 107:40; 110:5) And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree until eventide: (Deut. 21:23; Josh. 10:27) and as soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his carcase down from the tree, and cast it at the entering of the gate of the city, and raise thereon a great heap of stones, that remaineth unto this day.

[He hanged the king] He crucified him, in the Roman manner. Thus a great many interpreters (Malvenda). It was a shameful punishment, with which, nevertheless, the King of Ai is deservedly punished. Greater punishment was due to the Princes of the Canaanites, who were so far from punishing the sins of their own that rather they went before them by their depraved example and license for sinning (Menochius). He hanged the king, but he had been killed previously. For hanging was not a punishment in that context, but bodies were exposed in this manner for a display, as it was said on Deuteronomy 21:22. So also interpret Joshua 10:26 (Grotius).

And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree: He dealt more severely with the kings of Canaan than with the people, partly because the abominable wickedness of that people was not restrained and punished, (as it should have been,) but countenanced and encouraged by their evil examples and administrations; and partly because they were the principal authors of the destruction of their own people, by engaging them in an obstinate opposition against the Israelites.

[Until evening] According to the law of Deuteronomy 21:22, 23 (Masius).

That they should take his carcass down from the tree, according to God’s command in that case, Deuteronomy 21:22, 23.

[In the very entrance of the city, אֶל־פֶּ֙תַח֙ שַׁ֣עַר הָעִ֔יר] Towards the doorway (into the entrance [Syriac]) of the gate of the city (Montanus, Jonathan); near the gate of the city (Arabic, Junius and Tremellius); into the pit (Septuagint). Either with letters transposed they read פַּחַת/pit in the place of פֶּתַח/entrance; or they wanted to accommodate the present place to the burial of Absalom, 2 Samuel 18:17, where there is mention of a pit[6] (Masius). Into a certain pit, which was next to the gate of the city (Vatablus). Perhaps into the ditch of the city walls (Malvenda). Or, towards the gate: whether because that place appeared more suitable for the raising of that monument (Malvenda); or because in that place many wicked judgment had often been executed; or because, with the whole city just now burning with fire, he was not able to be brought within the walls (Masius).

[With a heap of stones piled over him] It was not hastily heaped up; but with care and order this mound was composed of stones, and the structure was raised as a monument to posterity (Malvenda out of Masius). I think that the King was first covered with soil, and then this monument was set up. וַיָּקִימוּ, and they should raise, signifies this (Masius).

He chose the entering of the gate of the city, either as most commodious, now especially when all the city within the gate was already turned into a heap of stones and rubbish; or because this was the usual place of judgment, and therefore proper to bear the monument of God’s just sentence against him, not without reflection upon that injustice which he had been guilty of in that place.

[1] Hebrew: רַ֣ק הַבְּהֵמָ֗ה וּשְׁלַל֙ הָעִ֣יר הַהִ֔יא בָּזְז֥וּ לָהֶ֖ם יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל כִּדְבַ֣ר יְהוָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר צִוָּ֖ה אֶת־יְהוֹשֻֽׁעַ׃

[2] Hebrew: וַיִּשְׂרֹ֥ף יְהוֹשֻׁ֖עַ אֶת־הָעָ֑י וַיְשִׂימֶ֤הָ תֵּל־עוֹלָם֙ שְׁמָמָ֔ה עַ֖ד הַיּ֥וֹם הַזֶּֽה׃

[3] Genesis 6:3:  “And the Lord said, My spirit shall not strive with man forever לֹֽא־יָד֙וֹן) רוּחִ֤י בָֽאָדָם֙ לְעֹלָ֔ם), for that he also is flesh:  yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.”

[4] Isaiah 42:14:  “I have long time (מֵעוֹלָם) holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once.”

[5] Hebrew: וְאֶת־מֶ֧לֶךְ הָעַ֛י תָּלָ֥ה עַל־הָעֵ֖ץ עַד־עֵ֣ת הָעָ֑רֶב וּכְב֣וֹא הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ֩ צִוָּ֙ה יְהוֹשֻׁ֜עַ וַיֹּרִ֧ידוּ אֶת־נִבְלָת֣וֹ מִן־הָעֵ֗ץ וַיַּשְׁלִ֤יכוּ אוֹתָהּ֙ אֶל־פֶּ֙תַח֙ שַׁ֣עַר הָעִ֔יר וַיָּקִ֤ימוּ עָלָיו֙ גַּל־אֲבָנִ֣ים גָּד֔וֹל עַ֖ד הַיּ֥וֹם הַזֶּֽה׃

[6] 2 Samuel 18:17:  “And they took Absalom, and cast him into a great pitאֶל־הַפַּ֣חַת) הַגָּד֔וֹל) in the wood, and laid a very great heap of stones upon him:  and all Israel fled every one to his tent.”

Joshua 8:23-26: The Disposal of Ai, Part 1

Verse 23:[1] And the king of Ai they took alive, and brought him to Joshua.

[The king they apprehended alive] Whether of their own will, or having been commanded beforehand to do this, so that he might die by an extraordinary sort of punishment, for the terror of the other Kings. For the common people hang upon the sentence of their Kings, and most are imitators of their life rather than devotees of laws. Therefore, by law such were condemned to a severer judgment (Masius). It is the custom of the peoples that a captured Kings yields to the King or General of the army, who renders a recompense to his captors (Grotius).

The king of Ai they took alive: Reserving him to a peculiar and more ignominious punishment, for the terror of the other kings, who were the chief causes of all that opposition and disturbance which Israel met with in gaining the possession of the Promised Land.

 

Verse 24:[2] And it came to pass, when Israel had made an end of slaying all the inhabitants of Ai in the field, in the wilderness wherein they chased them, and when they were all fallen on the edge of the sword, until they were consumed, that all the Israelites returned unto Ai, and smote it with the edge of the sword.

[Heading toward the wilderness, etc., בַּשָּׂדֶ֗ה בַּמִּדְבָּר֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר רְדָפ֣וּם בּ֔וֹ] Verbatim: in the field, in the wilderness which they had pursued them in it (Montanus); in the field, that is, in the wilderness, whither they had pursued them (namely, the Israelites [Vatablus]) in it (Pagnine, Vatablus); in the field (plain [Tigurinus]) of the wilderness where they pursued them (Munster, Tigurinus). But the Syriac encloses this in parentheses, and thus renders it, (for in the fields and in the wilderness they pursued them) (Syriac).

[They smote the city] Hebrew: they smote it[3] (Munster, Montanus, similarly the ancients), the remains of it (Junius and Tremellius), it, that is, the men that were in it (Piscator).

And smote it: that is, The inhabitants of it, the men, who through age or infirmity were unfit for war, and the women, verse 25.

 

Verse 25:[4] And so it was, that all that fell that day, both of men and women, were twelve thousand, even all the men of Ai.

[Twelve thousand] Numbered here are, either, 1. only those that were killed in the city (certain interpreters in Malvenda): or, 2. only the men of Ai, because it is expressly said, all (the inhabitants) of the city of Ai (Bonfrerius): or, 3. the men both of Ai and of Beth-el, which is more probable because of the narration of the scouts: whereby the madness of the men of Ai is greater, who so rashly set themselves against so great a people; and the counsel of God more admirable, who willed His own to conquer, although far superior in number, yet by stratagem, not by force, lest they should ascribe the glory of the victory to themselves, rather than to Him (Masius).

Twelve thousand, even all the men of Ai: Not strictly, but largely so called, who were now in Ai, either as constant and settled inhabitants, or as sojourners, and such as came to them for their help, such as being confederate with them are esteemed as one with them; for it is evident that the men of Beth-el are included in this number, verse 17, the Israelites who took this number being unable to distinguish who belonged to the one city, and who to the other.

 

Verse 26:[5] For Joshua drew not his hand back, wherewith he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.

[He did not draw in his hand] He did not draw back, or retract, his hand (Vatablus, Masius), that is, he did not lay aside the lance that he was holding in his hand (Vatablus): which would have been a sign of retreat. Others: that is to say, energetically and strenuously he fought (Masius). [See what things are on verse 18.]

Joshua drew not his hand back, etc.: Either, 1. He ceased not to fight with that hand. Or, 2. He kept his hand and spear in the same posture, both stretched out and lifted up, as a sign both to encourage them, and to direct them to go on in the work. See on verse 18.

[Until they were destroyed, עַ֚ד אֲשֶׁ֣ר הֶחֱרִ֔ים] Until he destroyed (Montanus, similarly the Syriac), had consumed (Jonathan), extirpated (Munster, similarly the Arabic); right until he had devoted to destruction (Junius and Tremellius), that is, as he had destroyed those devoted to God. It is able to be translated, he had destroyed by slaughter. Hebrew: he had anathematized (Piscator).

[1] Hebrew: וְאֶת־מֶ֥לֶךְ הָעַ֖י תָּ֣פְשׂוּ חָ֑י וַיַּקְרִ֥בוּ אֹת֖וֹ אֶל־יְהוֹשֻֽׁעַ׃

[2] Hebrew: וַיְהִ֣י כְּכַלּ֣וֹת יִשְׂרָאֵ֡ל לַהֲרֹג֩ אֶת־כָּל־יֹשְׁבֵ֙י הָעַ֜י בַּשָּׂדֶ֗ה בַּמִּדְבָּר֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר רְדָפ֣וּם בּ֔וֹ וַֽיִּפְּל֥וּ כֻלָּ֛ם לְפִי־חֶ֖רֶב עַד־תֻּמָּ֑ם וַיָּשֻׁ֤בוּ כָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ הָעַ֔י וַיַּכּ֥וּ אֹתָ֖הּ לְפִי־חָֽרֶב׃

[3] Hebrew: וַיַּכּ֥וּ אֹתָ֖הּ.

[4] Hebrew: וַיְהִי֩ כָל־הַנֹּ֙פְלִ֜ים בַּיּ֤וֹם הַהוּא֙ מֵאִ֣ישׁ וְעַד־אִשָּׁ֔ה שְׁנֵ֥ים עָשָׂ֖ר אָ֑לֶף כֹּ֖ל אַנְשֵׁ֥י הָעָֽי׃

[5] Hebrew: וִיהוֹשֻׁ֙עַ֙ לֹֽא־הֵשִׁ֣יב יָד֔וֹ אֲשֶׁ֥ר נָטָ֖ה בַּכִּיד֑וֹן עַ֚ד אֲשֶׁ֣ר הֶחֱרִ֔ים אֵ֖ת כָּל־יֹשְׁבֵ֥י הָעָֽי׃

Joshua 8:21, 22: Executing the Lord’s Battle-Plan, Part 8

Verse 21:[1] And when Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had taken the city, and that the smoke of the city ascended, then they turned again, and slew the men of Ai.

[And Joshua seeing] Joshua is said to have done this, not because he himself fought with his own hands (Bonfrerius) (for it is certain that he did not take part in the fight, but he stood fixed in some place apart, extending his hand toward the city [Masius]), but because by his leadership and command this was done, with Joshua (as has been said) concurring morally toward victory (Bonfrerius).

[All Israel] Either thus are called those that had feigned flight with Joshua; or, if you prefer this, those are signified under the appellation Joshua: now, all Israel was joining itself to their fellows feigning flight (Masius).

All Israel, that is, all the Israelites there present, or all those who seemed to flee away before.

 

Verse 22:[2] And the other issued out of the city against them; so they were in the midst of Israel, some on this side, and some on that side: and they smote them, so that they (Deut. 7:2) let none of them remain or escape.

The other; they who lay in ambush. So their late success was a real mischief to them, as being the occasion of their total ruin.

[In such a way that no one was spared] Hebrew: until there did not remain to them a survivor or escapee[3] (Montanus). שָׂרִיד signifies one that is taken alive by enemy;[4] but פָּלִיט, one that escapes by flight.[5] And they are certainly forbidden to spare those captured. And here we plainly see that the pious are punished by God unto salvation, but with respect to the impious their felicity is to destruction. Wherefore with equanimity let us entrust the management of our affairs to God. Let us not measure with our reason what things appear to turn out adverse to the pious, favorable to the impious (Masius).

[1] Hebrew: וִיהוֹשֻׁ֙עַ וְכָֽל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֜ל רָא֗וּ כִּֽי־לָכַ֤ד הָֽאֹרֵב֙ אֶת־הָעִ֔יר וְכִ֥י עָלָ֖ה עֲשַׁ֣ן הָעִ֑יר וַיָּשֻׁ֕בוּ וַיַּכּ֖וּ אֶת־אַנְשֵׁ֥י הָעָֽי׃

[2] Hebrew: וְאֵ֙לֶּה יָצְא֤וּ מִן־הָעִיר֙ לִקְרָאתָ֔ם וַיִּֽהְי֤וּ לְיִשְׂרָאֵל֙ בַּתָּ֔וֶךְ אֵ֥לֶּה מִזֶּ֖ה וְאֵ֣לֶּה מִזֶּ֑ה וַיַּכּ֣וּ אוֹתָ֔ם עַד־בִּלְתִּ֥י הִשְׁאִֽיר־ל֖וֹ שָׂרִ֥יד וּפָלִֽיט׃

[3] Hebrew: עַד־בִּלְתִּ֥י הִשְׁאִֽיר־ל֖וֹ שָׂרִ֥יד וּפָלִֽיט׃.

[4] שָׂרִיד is derived from the verbal root שָׂרַד, to escape.

[5] פָּלִיט is derived from the verbal root פָּלַט, to escape.

Joshua 8:19, 20: Executing the Lord’s Battle-Plan, Part 7

Verse 19:[1] And the ambush arose quickly out of their place, and they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand: and they entered into the city, and took it, and hasted and set the city on fire.

[And when he had lifted, etc.] Perhaps the ambush had observed the shield stretched forth: but they do not appear to have ever been commanded to heed that as a sign to arise. Wherefore I think that they perceived the time of rising by Divine instinct (Masius).

[Proceeding to the city[2]] They came to the city (Masius), or, they entered into the city (the Septuagint and Chaldean in Masius). בָּא signifies either (Masius).

[And the set it on fire] Not the whole (for, 1. thus they would have lost the prey that God gave to them, verses 2 and 27 [Drusius out of Masius, Bonfrerius]: 2. Joshua is said to set it on fire again, verse 28 [Bonfrerius, Lapide]), but some part, so that they might raise a smoke, which was a signal to the fleeing Israelites (Masius): namely, the northern part, so that the fire might be able to be seen both by the Israelites and by the men of Ai (Bonfrerius).

And set the city on fire: That is, Not all of it, as appears both from Joshua 8:28, and because then they had lost that prey which God had allowed them; but some part of it, enough to raise a smoke, and give notice to their brethren of their success.

 

Verse 20:[3] And when the men of Ai looked behind them, they saw, and, behold, the smoke of the city ascended up to heaven, and they had no power (Heb. hand[4]) to flee this way or that way: and the people that fled to the wilderness turned back upon the pursuers.

[And they were not able to disperse, וְלֹא־הָיָ֙ה בָהֶ֥ם יָדַ֛יִם לָנ֖וּס] Verbatim: and not were there in them hands to flee (Montanus). [They vary.] There were not among them, or, in them, spaces, or places, of fleeing, or, to flee (Vatablus, Piscator, Pagnine, similarly Masius). יָד/hand is put in the place of place, Numbers 2:17;[5] Job 37:7;[6] Isaiah 10:5;[7] 56:5.[8] Thus, a sea broad in hands, that is, spaces, spacious[9] (Drusius). He relates the reason why they could not flee this way nor that, namely, because they enemy was advancing hence and thence (Masius). Before them was the army of Joshua, which they were pursuing; behind them the ambush, and also on one side, verse 22 (Piscator, Lapide): but on the other side was either the mountain, verse 11 (Piscator), or part of the army of the Israelites, who were extending themselves from the east to the south, so that no one might escape (Lapide). Others translate it, there was in them no courage, or strength, or ability, to flee (Jonathan, similarly the Syriac, Arabic, Junius and Tremellius, Rabbi Salomon and Kimchi in Drusius, Drusius, Munster, Tigurinus). יָד/hand often signifies the ability to act (Masius). It denotes strength, as it appears, for he says בָהֶם, in them; otherwise he would have said לָהֶם, to them (Drusius).

No power, or, place; for so the Hebrew word is oft used, as Numbers 2:17; Nehemiah 7:4;[10] Job 37:7; Psalm 104:25; Isaiah 22:18;[11] 56:5.

[1] Hebrew: וְהָאוֹרֵ֡ב קָם֩ מְהֵרָ֙ה מִמְּקוֹמ֤וֹ וַיָּר֙וּצוּ֙ כִּנְט֣וֹת יָד֔וֹ וַיָּבֹ֥אוּ הָעִ֖יר וַֽיִּלְכְּד֑וּהָ וַֽיְמַהֲר֔וּ וַיַּצִּ֥יתוּ אֶת־הָעִ֖יר בָּאֵֽשׁ׃

[2] Joshua 8:19:  “And the ambush arose quickly out of their place, and they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand:  and they entered into the city (וַיָּבֹ֥אוּ הָעִ֖יר), and took it, and hasted and set the city on fire.”

[3] Hebrew: וַיִּפְנ֣וּ אַנְשֵׁי֩ הָעַ֙י אַחֲרֵיהֶ֜ם וַיִּרְא֗וּ וְהִנֵּ֙ה עָלָ֜ה עֲשַׁ֤ן הָעִיר֙ הַשָּׁמַ֔יְמָה וְלֹא־הָיָ֙ה בָהֶ֥ם יָדַ֛יִם לָנ֖וּס הֵ֣נָּה וָהֵ֑נָּה וְהָעָם֙ הַנָּ֣ס הַמִּדְבָּ֔ר נֶהְפַּ֖ךְ אֶל־הָרוֹדֵֽף׃

[4] Hebrew: יָדַיִם.

[5] Numbers 2:17:  “Then the tabernacle of the congregation shall set forward with the camp of the Levites in the midst of the camp:  as they encamp, so shall they set forward, every man in his place (עַל־יָדוֹ) by their standards.”

[6] Job 37:7:  “He sealeth up the hand of every man (בְּיַד־כָּל־אָדָם); that all men may know his work.”

[7] Isaiah 10:5:  “O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand (בְיָדָם) is mine indignation.”

[8] Isaiah 56:5a:  “Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place (יָד) and a name better than of sons and of daughters…”

[9] Psalm 104:25:  “So is this great and wide (וּרְחַ֪ב יָ֫דָ֥יִם, and wide of hands) sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.”

[10] Nehemiah 7:4:  “Now the city was large (רַחֲבַ֤ת יָדַ֙יִם֙, wide of hands) and great:  but the people were few therein, and the houses were not builded.”

[11] Isaiah 22:18a:  “He will surely violently turn and toss thee like a ball into a large (רַחֲבַ֣ת יָדָ֑יִם, wide of hands) country…”

Joshua 8:18: Executing the Lord’s Battle-Plan, Part 6

Verse 18:[1] And the LORD said unto Joshua, Stretch out the spear that is in thy hand toward Ai; for I will give it into thine hand. And Joshua stretched out the spear that he had in his hand toward the city.

[Lift the shield, נְ֠טֵה בַּכִּיד֤וֹן[2]] Extend, etc. (Montanus); rather, lift (Vatablus). Question 1: What is the כִּידוֹן here? Response: This word occurs here, and in verse 26, and in 1 Samuel 17:6,[3] 45,[4] and in Job 39:23;[5] 41:29,[6] and in Jeremiah 6:23;[7] 50:42;[8] but not elsewhere. Some translate it, shield: thus Josephus, Theodotion, and Symmachus on this passage; thus the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic in Samuel; thus the Chaldean and Jerome in Jeremiah (Bochart’s A Sacred Catalogue of Animals 1:2:8:136). Thus Masius and Grotius. This it appears to signify out of 1 Samuel 17:6 and Jeremiah 6:23 (Grotius). Others: spear, or lance (thus Kimchi, Rabbi Salomon, Rabbi Levi, and Pomarius[9] in Bochart’s A Sacred Catalogue of Animals, Syriac, Jonathan, Bochart’s A Sacred Catalogue of Animals). Spear (Munster, Pagnine, Vatablus), banner (Junius and Tremellius, Piscator). Extend on the banner, in the place of, extend thy hand with the bannder, as it is in Exodus 8:5.[10] This is confirmed out of the following verse and verse 26 (Piscator). The standard-bearing spear (Junius). On the end of the spear was a banner (Vatablus, Hebrews in Masius). But the Hebrews add this of their own (Masius). The Septuagint here translate it γαισὸν, which is a sort of Gallic (and Libyan [Masius]) dart (Bochart’s A Sacred Catalogue of Animals 1:2:8:136, Masius). They explain it as ἐμβόλιον ὁλοσίδηρον (a javelin of iron), or κόντιον (a pike) (Grotius); I would prefer ἀκόντιον, a dart; although even Suidas[11] explains it as κοντὸν/pike (Bochart’s A Sacred Catalogue of Animals 1:2:8:136). Some take γαισὸν as shield (thus Bonfrerius, Serarius). By which they show that they have not made much progress in this literature (Bochart’s A Sacred Catalogue of Animals). Question 2: To what end was he lifting this? Responses: 1. So that he might give a sign to those that were in ambush (Vatablus, thus Junius, Lyra, Tostatus and Josephus and Theodotion in Serarius, Menochius, Lapide): then also to those fleeing, so that they might turn their faces toward their enemies (Junius). To others this is not satisfying. 1. Joshua was a great distance from the ambush, and the city with the valley was lying between Joshua and the ambush (Serarius, Bonfrerius). [But Menochius responds:] The liers in wait were not seeing the shield, but, as it is wont to be done, some were keeping watch in a high place, whence they might alert the liers in wait (Menochius). 2. Concerning such a sign nothing was agreed previously, but it was extemporaneously suggested by God (Bonfrerius out of Serarius). [A response is able to be furnished out of Lapide:] This sign was given to them by Joshua (although Scripture does not express it) (Lapide). 3. Then no reason is able to be rendered why he did not let the shield drop until after the fighting, etc., verse 26 (Bonfrerius). If it was only a sign, with that given, he was able to let his hand fall. 2. Others, therefore, maintain that this was done for a sign and mystery of another matter (Serarius). God willed that Joshua by this lifting of his shield as the moral cause concur unto the destruction of the city of Ai, just like Moses in Exodus 17, etc. (Bonfrerius out of Masius, Serarius out of Cajetan, Calvin, Mayer). It is evidence of this, that he does not draw back his hand until the fighting is over (Masius, Bonfrerius). Then it follows, for I will give it into thy hand, בְיָדְךָ; through thy hand, or by thy hand, morally concurring, I have decreed to deliver it (Bonfrerius out of Masius). I will that this victory depend upon thine hand stretched out with thy shield. In other respects he was sufficiently certain of victory before. Question: Why did God will that he stand idle in one place, detained for the stretching forth of the shield? Response: So that the full glory of the victory might be reserved for God, whose presence he points out as if with a finger, merely extending his hand against the enemy city. Here Joshua shows his obedience, while for this ridiculous, as it appeared, gestured he kept himself free, I would not say despising the glory, but practicing an ignoble idleness (Malvenda). Question: By what sign then did the liers in wait know when to break in upon the city? Responses: Either, 1. by the clamor of the citizens sallying forth from the city (Bonfrerius out of Serarius). It is likely that the sallying forth of the citizens was able to be seen by the ambush, at least to some extent, since they pursued the Israelites toward the North (Masius). Or, 2. by a certain sounding of the trumpet, or similar method (Bonfrerius). Or, 3. by the author and director, God, prompting the commander of the ambush, either by internal inspiration, or by a more external and sensible sign (Bonfrerius out of Masius). I refer it to the hidden efficacy of God, by which He suggested to His people all the right times of the matter to be conducted (Masius). And thus that which follows is able to be understood, that immediately, as Joshua lifted his shield, the ambush sallied forth, that is, with God prompting that it was the right time for the execution of the plan (Bonfrerius). But Joshua himself, who was holding the shield or spear, was not sufficiently able to know when the city was at last emptied of the entire garrison and fit for ambush, except by the secret prompting of God (Masius).

The spear, or, thy banner; or there might be some banner in the end of his spear. This was prescribed and practised, either, 1. For a sign to his host present with him, to stop their flight, and make head against the pursuers; or, 2. For a signal to the liers in wait, as may seem from verse 19, who, though they were at some distance, might know this from persons whom they had set in some high and convenient places to observe Joshua’s motion, and to give notice from one to another, and that speedily, as is common in such cases, until it came to the whole ambush; or, 3. As a mystical token of God’s presence and assistance with them, and of their victory; or as a mean by God’s appointment contributing to their good success, as the like posture of Moses lifting up his hand was, Exodus 17:11, 12, which may be the reason why he continued this posture till the enemies were all destroyed, Joshua 8:26; whereas if it had been a signal only, it was sufficient to do it for a little while. I know no reason why all these ends might not be joined together.

[1] Hebrew: וַיֹּ֙אמֶר יְהוָ֜ה אֶל־יְהוֹשֻׁ֗עַ נְ֠טֵה בַּכִּיד֤וֹן אֲשֶׁר־בְּיָֽדְךָ֙ אֶל־הָעַ֔י כִּ֥י בְיָדְךָ֖ אֶתְּנֶ֑נָּה וַיֵּ֧ט יְהוֹשֻׁ֛עַ בַּכִּיד֥וֹן אֲשֶׁר־בְּיָד֖וֹ אֶל־הָעִֽיר׃

[2] נָטָה can signify to stretch out, or to incline.

[3] 1 Samuel 17:6:  “And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target (וְכִידוֹן) of brass between his shoulders.”

[4] 1 Samuel 17:45a:  “Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield (וּבְכִידוֹן):  but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts…”

[5] Job 39:23:  “The quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear and the shield (וְכִידוֹן).”

[6] Job 41:29:  “Darts are counted as stubble:  he laugheth at the shaking of a spear (כִּידוֹן).”

[7] Jeremiah 6:23a:  “They shall lay hold on bow and spear (וְכִידוֹן); they are cruel, and have no mercy; their voice roareth like the sea…”

[8] Jeremiah 50:42a:  “They shall hold the bow and the lance (וְכִידֹן):  they are cruel, and will not shew mercy…”

[9] David ben Isaac de Pomis (1525-1593) was an Italian physician, philosopher, and Rabbi.  He produced an important Hebrew, Latin, and Italian dictionary (Zemah David).

[10] Exodus 8:5a:  “And the Lord spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch forth thine hand with thy rod (נְטֵ֤ה אֶת־יָדְךָ֙ בְּמַטֶּ֔ךָ) over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds…”

[11] Suidas was the compiler of the Suda, an encyclopedia containing more than thirty thousand entries concerning the ancient Mediterranean world.  It was probably composed in tenth-century Byzantium.

Booklet: The Eschatology of George Gillespie

The Eschatology of George Gillespie:  An Introductory Analysis and Evaluation

The Eschatology of George Gillespie:  An Introductory Analysis and Evaluation

George Gillespie (1613-1648) was a theologian and pastor of the Scottish Presbyterian Church. He lived, worked, and ministered during the tumultuous times of the English Civil War.  He was a theologian and churchman of such distinction that he was appointed to serve as one of the Scottish Commissions to the Westminster Assembly of Divines, in spite of his youth.  Although he died in his mid-thirties, his legacy has endure through his writings, which continue to be an object of fascination to those interested in Scripture, Church History, and Theology.

The seventeenth century was an age of heightened eschatological expectation. Precursor movements to the Reformation were fueled and fortified by this expectation, anticipating the imminent return of Jesus Christ and the overthrow of the Roman Church.  The early Reformers appropriated and refined these expectations; and, in spite of the misappropriation and radicalization of the Reformation eschatology by some,  eschatological thought continued to develop and thrive among the Reformation-minded into the seventeenth century.  Reformation England and Scotland participated fully in this burgeoning interest in eschatology,  and it was in this context that George Gillespie studied and labored (1613-1648).

The purpose of this essay is twofold. First, having been so influential at the Westminster Assembly and in the production of her standards, George Gillespie is a person of enduring interest, and worthy of ongoing study.  This essay is offered as an introductory analysis and evalutation of the structure of Gillespie’s eschatological thought.  Second, it will be readily apparent that Gillespie’s eschatological views are out of step, not only with those of contemporary Evangelicalism, but also with those of mainstream Reformed and Presbyterians in the early twenty-first century.  However, there was nothing idiosyncratic about his views in his own day.  This essay is offered in the hope that the presentation of Gillespie’s views might stimulate interest in, appreciation for, and further study of, the neglected and almost-forgotten eschatology of the Second Reformation.