Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/346

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adopted at a much later period than is commonly supposed, probably not very long before the Babylonian captivity, and was a complete revolution, substituting kinship through males for that through females. It perhaps was included in the book of the law so mysteriously found in the reign of Josiah, and of the provisions of which both he and the people had been entirely ignorant (II Kings, xxii, xxiii). The marriage law seems to have been drawn up for a people just adopting a system of female descents. This is shown by the fact that the only aunt by marriage that a man might not marry was his father's brother's wife; he might marry his mother's brother's wife, or his wife's father's sister. It is also shown in the particular stress laid upon the prohibition of marriage with a father's daughter. This is forbidden in verse 9, and again, with more detail, in verse 11. Such a marriage would be perfectly lawful under a system of female descents, and that of Amnon with Tamar would have been one of this class. From Ezekiel, xxii, 11, it would appear that such marriages continued to be common among the Israelites up to the time of the overthrow of Jerusalem. If the Levitical law is not misplaced, how comes it that, in spite of the particular manner in which such marriages are forbidden, David would not have withheld Tamar from Amnon?

There are, besides, other reasons for supposing that if the books of the Old Testament were arranged in order of publication, Leviticus ought to be placed toward the end of Kings. By the Levitical law only priests and Levites were to offer sacrifices and "inquire of the Lord," yet Samuel, who was neither, did both, as did Saul, and David, and many others, among them Joshua, a Beth-shemite (see I Samuel, vi, 14, 15; xiii, 9; xiv, 37; xxiii, 2, 4; II Samuel, ii, 1; v, 19, 23; vi, 18). The Levitical law also condemned those who sacrificed in "high places," or away from the sanctuary, where the ark was present; yet Samuel (I Samuel, ix, 13) went up to a "high place" to sanctify the sacrifice, and afterward disposed of that portion which, according to Leviticus, vii, 31-34, belonged to the priest; and David is made to say (I Chronicles, xiii, 13), "Let us bring again the ark of our God to us, for we inquired not at it in the days of Saul." All these acts and omissions were violations of stringent laws, yet no one seems to have been aware that they were doing wrong, and the only inference to be drawn is that the laws did not then exist. This gains further support from the fact that we read in I Kings, viii, 9, that when Solomon brought the ark to the temple there was nothing in it but the two tables of stone, though the ark was the place in which the book of the law was to be kept (Deuteronomy, xxxi, 26), and that we hear nothing of any book of the law till Hilkiah, the high priest, alleged that he found one during the reign of Josiah.