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The Tabernacle, Its History and Structure

The Tabernacle, Its History and Structure

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By the Rev. W. Shaw Caldecott

(Member of the Royal Asiatic Society)

With a Preface by the Rev. A. H. Sayce, D.D., LL.D.

(Professor of Assyriology at Oxford University)
By the Rev. W. Shaw Caldecott

(Member of the Royal Asiatic Society)

With a Preface by the Rev. A. H. Sayce, D.D., LL.D.

(Professor of Assyriology at Oxford University)

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Apr 09, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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The Tabernacle, Its History and Structure By the Rev. W. Shaw Caldecott (Member of the Royal Asiatic Society) With a Preface by the Rev. A. H. Sayce, D.D., LL.D. (Professor of Assyriology at Oxford University) Our pursuit is to look after the things themselves, leaving the allegorizing of them unto others.— Dr. John Lightfoot, 1650, PHILADELPHIA THE UIO PRESS, 1122 Chestnut Street 1904 PREFACE. By the Eev. A. H. SAYCE, D.D., LL.D. (Professor of Assyriology at the Oxford Umversity) . "ITR. CALDECOTT has written a very interesting -"-L volume. He has been content to study the Old Testament books themselves instead of the commentators upon them, and the result is an unconventional and original work. He has shown that there are discoveries
yet to be made in the text of the Old Testament by those who will put aside traditional interpretations and examine what the Hebrew writers have actually said. All the new views put forward by him are, of course, not likely to win general assent : that is the case with all pioneering work. It is sufficient if the most important of them prove to be established on a firm basis of fact. The kernel of the book is the history and architecture of the Tabernacle. There are mathematical calculations involved in the architectural restoration of the Israelitish sanctuary into which I will not follow him ; they must be left to the professional mathematician. It is naturally only that part of Mr. Caldecott's researches which deals with subjects familiar to me about which I am qualified to write. vi PEEFACE. He has made considerable iise of the much-neglected materials contained in the Books of the Chronicles, and has shown that when properly understood they are worthy of more credit than criticism nowadays is disposed to allow. That David should hare left ' plans ' of the future temple-buildings behind him may seem too modem an idea to many readers, but it is borne out by archaeological fact. Such plans were made in Egypt and Babylonia centuries before the days of David, and some of them have survived to our own time. The profession of the architect is immensely old in the civilised East. One of the points upon which he has rightly insisted is the historical importance of the destruction of Shiloh. It is a point to which I also have drawn attention in my Early History of the Hebrews. That there should be no detailed account of it in the Old Testament is not surprising ; Shiloh was the centre and home of what literary culture there was in Israel during the stormy
period of the Judges, and its destruction necessarily meant a break in the literary and annalistic record. It would have been at the central sanctuary only that a yearly chronicle of events could be kept. The destruction of Shiloh seems to correspond with an archaeological fact which is but just forcing itself upon our notice. The earliest monument of the so-caUed ' Phoenician ' alphabet stiU remains the Moabite Stone, the date of which is the ninth century before our era. The excavations which have been carried on by the Palestine Exploration Fund on the sites of various ancient cities in the south of Canaan have failed to bring to light any PREFACE. vii earlier relic of tlie ' PKcenician ' alphabet. The same result has followed on the Austrian excavations at Taanach, where the Canaanitish population does not appear to have submitted to Israelitish rule until the reigns of David and Solomon. Before that date whatever written documents have been found have been in the language and cimeiform script of Babylonia. At Taanach the official records were kept in cuneiform, and it is probable that what was the case at Taanach was the case also in other cities of the country. In the Tel el-Amarna tablets of the century before the Exodus there is no trace of any other script being known. On the other hand, the Tyrian annals translated into Greek by Menander must have been written in ' Phoenician ' letters, and we know from Josephus that they went back to Hiram, the son of Abibal, the contemporary of David and Solomon. In the Book of Judges we have in the Song of Deborah and Barak a poem which is contemporaneous with the events to which it refers. Supposing that it was handed down in writing and not orally — and the allusion to ' the stafE of the scribe ' in Judges v. 14 raises

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