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The Wisdom of Israel, by Edwin Collins, [1910], at


It is not to Israel alone that God has spoken and revealed His will; nor even only to recognised prophets, whether in Israel or among the nations. But to all who have His work to do He speaks, much or little, clearly or in parables and visions, according to their needs and according to their fitness to hear and understand.

When a king enters a province, to whom does he first speak? Surely to the Governor of the province, who has all the responsibility for the

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feeding and health of the inhabitants. In like manner God spoke to Moses, who had all the trouble and responsibility of Israel on his shoulders.

But Scripture tells of God speaking to Adam and to Noah; to the common earth man and to him who was the type of the whole human race. * This is like unto a king who speaks to his own husbandmen, his gardeners, and the keeper of his cattle. For God gave to Adam the task of keeping and tilling the Garden of Eden, and Noah he commanded to take care of the cattle, and preserve them alive at the time of the deluge.

In like manner, there is no man who has not some work to do in the world, the garden of God, or that has not some living creatures under his care.

It is no disgrace to the king to talk with the man who keeps his garden and cultivates it, nor with his herdsmen; and the King of Kings will not leave any of His creatures without guidance.

Rabbi Chamma bar Chanina, and Rabbi Issachar of Chapur Mandai, say, that the difference between the prophets of Israel and the prophets of the other peoples of all the earth, is that the prophets of Israel had a fuller revelation. But the rewards and punishments of obedience or heedlessness were only in proportion to the fulness of the revelation given to each. Even the children of Israel were not held guilty under the law

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after the revelation at Sinai, until it had been taught, and explained, and repeated to them from the Tabernacle.

This may be likened to a king who issues edicts. The people in his realm are not punished for transgressing the new laws until time has been allowed for their promulgation.

Comp. Vayikra Rabbah, Chap. I.; Bereshith R., LII.; and Nasso.


30:* There are, in Hebrew, several words for "man." Adam, from the same root as adamah, the red earth, the ground, is used for all mankind in general (Latin, homo), and also as opposed to eesh, the higher type of man; while geber, from a root suggesting strength, is nearly an equivalent for the Latin vir.

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