My Neighbor's Landmark:
Short Studies in Bible Land Laws
by Frederick Verinder
"Justice, justice shalt thou follow." — Deut. 16:20
"Thou hast said that for our sakes. Thou madest this world. … If
the world now be made for our sakes, why do we not possess for an inheritance
our world? How long shall this endure?" — 2 Esd.6:55, 59 [R.V.].
"One came to Hillel to be converted, provided that he could be taught
the whole Torah [Law] whilst he stood on one foot. Hillel said: What is hateful
to thyself do not to thy fellow: this is the whole Torah and the rest is commentary;
go study." — The Talmud.
These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also." — Acts
|§ 1. Every Easter Day the Church keeps the commemoration
of her Lord's Victory over Death, of which the deliverance from Egypt has
always been held to be a type. In her appointed services for the day she
draws the moral of the stupendous miracle of the Resurrection. The average
sensual man would probably expect it to be, on such an occasion, something
unusually transcendental. Yet in the most solemn Service of the day, the
Gospel merely tells us the story of the empty tomb in the simple language
of the Beloved Disciple, while the Collect asks that we may be helped to
bring to good effect the good desires which God has put into our minds,
and the Epistle exhorts us, because Christ is risen, and we are risen with
him to lead clean and wholesome lives and to avoid "covetousness, which
is idolatry." To some this may seem a lame and impotent conclusion, not
far removed from bathos. Yet St. Paul, who wound up some of his deepest
theological discussions with the tritest moral advice about the duties
of men one toward another in their ordinary family and social relations,
would have quite well understood it all. The Epistle is, in fact, selected
from his writings.231
||231 Col. 3:1-6, which see.
|§ 2. Some foreshadowing of this way
of looking at things may be frequently found in the O.T. writers. Note,
for instance, the implied
argument in the following passages: —
Thou shalt not have in thy bag divers weights,
a great and a small. Thou shalt not have in thine house divers measures, a
great and a small. But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect
and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land
which the Lord thy God giveth thee. For all that do such things, and all that
do unrighteously, are an abomination unto the Lord thy God" (Deut. 25:13-16).
"Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the
person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness
shalt thou judge thy neighbor. … Ye shall do no unrighteousness in
judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure. Just balances, just weights,
a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the Lord your God, which
brought you out of the land of Egypt. Therefore shall ye observe all My
statutes, and all My judgments, and do them: I am the Lord " (Lev.
|232 Cp. Ezek.45:10-12; Prov. 11:1, 16:11, 20:10; Hos.
12:6,7; Amos 8:4-6; Mic. 6:10-11.
So, one of the morals of the epoch-making deliverance from Egypt233 is,
that a pound must not weigh less than sixteen ounces, and that a bushel
measure must always be big enough to hold a bushel; and so important is
this elementary sort of honesty, that the national existence depends upon
the faithful observance
|233 It is also quoted as the reason for not charging
interest to a brother Israelite (Lev. 25:35-38) and for not oppressing
or defrauding the "stranger" or the unfortunate (Ex. 22:21, 23:9; Lev.
19:34; Deut. 24:14, 15, 17, 18, and see 19-22), etc.. "The care taken
by Israelite law to protect strangers finds no parallel in Babylonia" (S.
A. Cook, The Laws of Moses and the Code of Hammurabi, p. 276).
| § 3. The Hebrew words234 usually
translated "righteous" and "righteousness," but some times also
translated "just" and "justice,"235 are represented in the Septuagint by the
Greek words, διχαιος and διχαιοςοσνυτ [in
the Vulgate, justus and justitia] They mean primarily "just" and "justice," and
much of the O.T. would have a clearer meaning to us if they were usually so rendered,
especially in the older parts of the O.T. writings, where their significance
is purely ethical.
Consider, for instance, the definition of "righteousness" implied by Jeremiah's
use of the word —
"Thus saith the Lord: Execute ye judgment and
righteousness [justice], and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor
and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow,
neither shed innocent blood in this place. … Woe unto him236 that buildeth
his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong;237 that useth his
neighbor's service without wages, and giveth him not for his work; that saith,
I will build me a wide house and large chambers, and cutteth him out windows;
and it is cieled238 with cedar, and painted with vermilion. Shalt thou reign,
because thou closest239 thyself in cedar? did not thy father eat and drink,
and do judgment and justice, and then it was well with him? He judged the cause
of the poor and needy; then it was well with him: was not this to know Me?
saith the Lord. But thine eyes and thine heart are not but for thy covetousness,240
and for to shed innocent blood, and for oppression, and for violence, to do
it" (Jer. 22:3, 13-17).
|234 Zadak and its derivatives zedek, zaddik, etc. "The
use of 'righteous' as a translation of yashar (= upright) is
less frequent. ... The original implications of the root zadak are
involved in doubt. To be 'hard,' 'even' and 'straight' (said
of roads, for instance) has been suggested as the primitive physical
idea. More acceptable is the explanation that the root notion conveyed
is that a thing, or even God, is what it, or he, should be, that is,
'normal,' 'fit.' . . . In its earliest use among Hebrews the
term 'righteousness' seems to have had a moral intention" (Jewish
Encyclopedia, x.420). The Hebrew word means "conformity to a recognized
norm or standard" (Encyclopedia Biblica, iv. 4102); So used
of a just weight or measure (Deut. 25:15), of a just king or judge
(Lev. 19:15), etc.
235 In Prov. 10:6,7 where the "just" is contrasted with the "wicked," the
R.V., differing from the A.V., uses both "righteous" (verse 6) and "just" (7). In
Isa. 5:7; Prov 3:31,32, the contrast is beytween the "just" and the "oppressor;" "oppression,
violence and robbery" (Amos 3:9, 10); "justice" opposed to spoliatory taxation
(Ezek. 45:9). "Judgment . . . equity . . . iniquity" (Mic.3:9,10).
236 Jehoiakim, King of Judah (cp. verse 18 and 2 Kings 24:4).
237 R.V., injustice.
238 In the English of the time of A.V. = "panelled."
239 R.V., strivest to excel in cedar. At a time of national
poverty, when the nation was under heavy taxation to pay tribute to Egypt (2
Kings 23:33-35; 2 Chron. 36:5), Jehoiakim was building himself a costly palace
by the forced, unpaid labor of the people.
240 R.V. m. dishonest gain.
|§ 4. The conception of JUSTICE as
the foundation of all law, Divine and human, pervades all the teaching
the Law and the Prophets.
|God Himself is immovably just. "He is the Rock, His work is perfect;
His ways are judgment; a God of truth and without
iniquity [in-equity, injustice], just
and right is He."241 "The judgments of the Lord are true and
righteous altogether;" He "is righteous in all His ways;"242 He judges truly
and justly for ever.243
||241 Deut. 32:4.
242 Ps. 19:9, 119:7, 62, 106, 160, 164, 145:17; Ezra 9:15; Neh.
9:8; Isa. 45:21; Job 8:3, 37:23.
243 Tob. 3:2
|Because the just Lord loveth justice244 and delights in it,245 and honors
just,246 He gives just laws to His people. "What great nation is there, that
hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before
you this day?247
||244 Ps. 11:7. Vulg., quoniam justus Dominus et justitias dilexit (cp.
245 Jer. 9:24.
246 Ps. 45:7.
247 Deut. 4:8. "The Jews. . .
live by most just laws" (Artaxerxes in the Apoc. Esth. 16:15). "As to the
laws themselves . . . they are visible in their own nature, and appear to
teach not impiety, but the truest piety in the world . . . they are enemies
to injustice" (Jos., Against Apion, n. 291):
|Because the just God, the Judge of all the world, judges "in
justice,"248 the Law must be justly administered. "He that ruleth over men must
be just, ruling in the fear of God."249 The earthly judge must "judge the people
with just judgment;"250 must have no respect of persons;251 must not take bribes.252
A man might only be punished after diligent inquiry,253 and on sufficient evidence.254
Punishment, on conviction, was not to be excessive, and must be carried out in
the presence of the judge.255 Perjury, which poisons the well of justice, was
severely punished.256 There was provision for appeal to the highest court in
difficult cases.257 "That which is altogether
just shalt thou follow,258 that thou mayst live, and inherit the land
which the Lord thy God giveth thee."
||248 Ps. 9:4 (Vulg. sedisti super thronum qui judicas
justitiam), 8, 67:4, 96:10, 13; Gen 18:25.
249 2 Sam. 23:3; Ps. 72.
250 Deut. 16:18.
251 Justice is to be done
between Hebrew and Hebrew, between Hebrew and stranger, between small
and great (Deut. 1:16, 17; Ex. 23:6; Lev. 19:15).
252 Deut. 16:19.
253 Deut. 17:6, 19:15.
254 Deut. 25:1-3.
255 Deut. 19: 16-21.
256 Deut. 17:8ff.
257 Deut. 16:20. The Hebrew is very emphatic. "Justice, justice shall though follow" (See
|§ 5. But the Hebrew conception of Justice was
not merely forensic. It was not enough that the administration of the national
be just. Justice must rule
all social relations within the Nation. "Justice and judgment are the habitation
of Thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before Thy face. Blessed is the people
that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O
Lord, in the light of Thy countenance."259 Justice must rule in Israel,
because "the just Lord is in the midst thereof,"260 and "they that fear the Lord
shall find judgment, and shall kindle justice as a light;"261 "for the ways of
the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in
||259 Ps. 89:14,15; cp. Isa. 58:2; Hos. 2:19.
260 Zeph. 3:5; Ps. 82: 1-4; cp. Phil. 4:8; 1 Pet. 1:17.
261 Ecclus. 32:16; Prov. 4:18.
262 Hos. 14:9.
|Nor did "Justice" consist in the mere formal observance of written laws
or of binding custom which forbade the invasion of the legal or customary
others; for the Lord exercises "loving-kindness" as well as "judgment and justice
in the earth," and His tender mercies are over all His works.263 Man must be
just before he is generous, because generosity cannot begin till justice has
been done:264 he ought to be both just and generous. The Law secured to him,
under the protection of a curse, the equal right of access to land, and therewith
the right to the produce of his own labor; but it made common to all the spontaneous
growths of the sabbatic year "that the
poor of thy people may eat,"265 and it secured to "the stranger, the fatherless
and the widow" the immemorial right of gleaning,266 and to the wayfarer the right
to satisfy his hunger from the growing crops.267 The just man, enjoying the bounteous
provision which God has made for His children, considers the cause of the poor.268
He should lend to his brother Hebrew in misfortune without grudging,269 and without
interest.270 He should be ready to put himself to trouble in order to
save his "brother,"271 or even his "enemy,"272 from the loss of what justly belongs
to him. Nor might he build a house or dig a well without taking precautions to
protect others from liability to accident.273
||263 Jer. 9:24; Ps. 145:9; cp. Hos. 10:12.
264 Luke 11:41, 42.
265 "That which groweth of its own accord" (Lev. 25:3-7; Ex 23:2).
266 The corners of the field not to be reaped (Lev. 19:9, 10, 23:22);
the forgotten sheaf not to be fetched (Deut. 24:19).
267 Deut. 23:24, 25; Luke 6:1.
268 Prov. 29:7.
269 Deut. 15: 7-10; Luke 6:34, 35.
270 Ex. 22:25; Lev. 25:35-37; Deut. 15: 3, 23:19, 20. Cp.
the law about pawning (Ex. 22:26; Deut 24:6, 10-13; and see Job 24:3).
271 Deut. 22:1-4; Lev. 6:3,5.
272 Ex. 23:4,5.
273 Ex. 21:33, 34; Deut. 22:8, are among the earliest building by-laws
that have come down to us.
|Moreover, the Hebrew conception of justice covered also the conduct of
man towards his still poorer relations, his humbler fellow-creatures of
the stable and the
field. "A righteous (Vulg., justus) man regardeth the life of
his beast."274 The ox that tramped round the threshing-floor must not be muzzled
in sight of the heap of corn;275 a weaker and a stronger animal must not be yoked
together to the same plough.276
||274 Prov. 12:10.
275 Deut. 25:4.
276 Deut. 22:10. Note the curious law about bird's-nesting in the
previous verses (6, 7).
| § 6. Can we wonder that the later Prophets
of Israel, inspired by such ideals as these, looked forward to the time
should conquer the world of humanity, when the kingdom of the Messiah should
in Zion on the "sure
foundation" of Justice?277 Then the Sun of Justice shall arise with healing in
His wings, and all the inhabitants of the world will learn Justice.278 So, through
Justice, shall come Social peace. "Behold a king shall reign in righteousness,
[Vulg., in justitia], and princes shall
rule in judgment. … Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness
[justitia] remain in the fruitful field.
And the work of righteousness [justitiæ] shall be peace; and the effect
of righteousness [cultus
justitiæ] quietness and assurance [securitas] for ever."279
||277 Isa. 28: 16, 17,, 9:7, 11:4, 5; Jer. 23:5,
33:15, 16; Ps 72. The
Apostles referred to Christ as "the Just One" (Acts 3:14, 7:52, 22:14).
278 Mal. 4:2 (Vulg., sol justitiae);
Isa. 26:9 (Vulg., justitiam discent habitores
279 Isa. 32:1, 16,17. For the contrast, see Hos. 10:13, 14.
|§ 7. Yet there was a certain element of narrowness which
tended to limit the practical application of the law of Justice in O.T.
times, in spite of the frequent attempts of legislators and prophets to
break through bounds which were cramping their expanding ethical and religious
conceptions. But not until our Lord, in one of the most dramatic passages
in the Gospels, showed that even the apostate, excommunicated, half-caste
Samaritan280 — the traditional enemy, since the Exile, of the orthodox
Jew — was a "neighbor," and therefore to be loved as oneself; not
until the Apostle of the Nations, following his Master, and even quoting
a Greek poet in support of a Christian dogma,281 formulated, for Jew and
Gentile alike, the doctrine of the Brotherhood of Man, founded on the universal
Fatherhood of God282 — not till then did the Mosaic Law of Justice
reach its full development and expression.
||280 Luke 10:25-37, 9:51-56; 2 Kings 17:4; Ezra 4:8-10; John 4:9,
7:48; Ecclus. 50:25, 26.
281 Acts 17:28.
282 Acts 27:26; Rom. 10:12; Gal. 3:28; Col 3:11. See an eloquent
passage on this side of St. Paul's teaching by the eminent Jewish scholar,
C. G. Montefiore, in his "First Impressions of Paul," Jewish Quarterly Review, April 1894, p. 431.
|When the old Law said, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as
thyself," the context usually shows that "neighbor" means merely "fellow-citizen."283
But the same words in the N.T. always have an infinitely wider meaning, for Christ
has told us that every man is our neighbor.284 To love one's neighbor as oneself
is "the royal law
according to the Scripture"285 It is the only legitimate restraint upon our liberty,286
because "love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling
of the Law."287 It is at once the foundation, the outcome, and the test of our
love for God; for he that
loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. … If we love one another,
God dwelleth in us. … He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen,
how can he love God whom he hath not seen?"288
||283 As Lev. 19:18; Prov 3:29.
284 Matt. 5:43-45; 7:12; 19:19; 22:39-40; Mark 12:31-34; Luke 10:27,
285 James 2:8.
286 Gal. 5:13, 14; 1 Pet. 2:16; Cp. Tobit 4:15; Every man "has freedom
to do all that he wills, provided he infringes not the equal freedom of any
other man" (Herbert Spencer, Social Statics (1850) ch 9, § 1).
287 Rom. 8:9:10.
288 1 John 4:8, 12, 16, 20.
|§ 8. For, when we turn from the Old Testament
to the New, we find that Christ and His Apostles insist, no less than Moses
and the Prophets had done before them, on the fundamental importance of
Justice. In "the Song of the Lamb," as well
as in "the Song of Moses, the servant of God," "righteous and true are Thy ways,
Thou King of the ages289 … all the nations shall come and worship before
Thee; for Thy righteous acts have been made
manifest";290 the great multitude in the apocalyptic heaven, like the singers
in the Jerusalem Temple, tell of the justice of God's judgments.291 Justice is
still the dominant note; but, in the N.T., we hear it in even greater fulness
and richness, for it is sounded with
all its harmonies. The N.T. formula — "Ye have heard that it was said by
them of old time … but I say unto you" — enlarged and extended the
ethical content of the term righteousness" or "justice." "I am not come to destroy
the Law or the Prophets, but to fulfil"292 — to give a wider and deeper
import to the principles they enunciated. It is good to abstain from overt acts
like murder, or adultery, or false swearing. "But I say unto you," don't even
harbor angry feelings unjustly toward your neighbor; don't wrong a woman even
in your inmost thought; speak the truth always, simply and straightforwardly:
be perfectly just in
thought and word and deed, "as your Father which is in heaven is
||289 Many ancient authorities read "King of the
290 Rev. 15:3, 4 [R.V.].
291 Rev. 19:2.
292 Matt 5:21ff. Cp. Paul in Acts 24:14.
293 Cp. Zech. 8:16, 17.
|Even when "righteousness" had became a technical term in the more highly
developed Theology of the post-exilic Jewish Church and of the early Christian
writers, its original ethical meaning was included in, and not superseded
by the new use
of the old word. To be "justified" was to be put into one's right and just and "normal" relation
to God and man. The O.T. writers tell us that "righteousness
exalteth a nation";294 that the keeping of the just Law of God is "not a vain
thing for you; because it is
your [national] life;295 and
through this thing ye shall prolong your days [as a nation] in the land, whither
ye go over Jordan to possess it."296 And when the Son of
Man judges "all nations," it is not by the standard of orthodoxy of belief, but
by the standard of rightness in social conduct — by their treatment of
the hungry, the thirsty, the homeless, the poor and
unfortunate — that He separates the sheep from the goats.297
||294 Prov. 14:34 (Vulg. Justitia elevat gentem).
295 And so of the individual
(Prov. 12:28; Isa. 33:15, 16).
296 Deut. 32:47.
297 Matt. 25:31-46.
|If the great Prophet of Israel promises the material blessings of prosperity,
fruitfulness, and good health to those who are obedient to the just Law
of Jehovah,298 the Prophet greater than he, the Preacher on the mount,
tells us that we shall
cease to be "worried to
death"299 about the supply of our daily, bodily needs only if we "seek first the
kingdom of God and
His [its] righteousness."300 So only shall "all these things" — food as
sure as the birds', clothing as beautiful
as the lilies' — be "added unto us;" "for your heavenly Father knoweth
that ye have need of these things."301 So, in the universal human
prayer — "The Lord's prayer" — we ask first that God's kingdom may
then may we add, "Give us," all of us "day
by day our daily bread."
||298 Deut. 7:12ff., 12:13 ff., etc.
299 "Take no thought" (R.V., "be
not anxious"). Gr. Mn, uepiuvare (cp. 1 Sam, 9:5 with 10:2). The
phrase in A. V. at the time well represented the meaning of the Gr. Baret's Alvearie (1580)
translates "take you no thought" by noli te solicitudine confrere. "The
pale cast of thought" is associated by Shakespeare (Hamlet, III.
I; Ant. and Cleop., IV: 6) with a guilty conscience and with the
contemplation of suicide. So "take thought and die for Caesar,' Jul.
Caes II. I. "Queen Catherine Parr [wife of Henry VIII.] died of thought" (Somers'
Tracts, I. 172). "Gonzales was done to death by Gasca. Soto died of
thought in Florida " (Purchas's Pilgrimage (1613), p. 871). "Hawis,
an alderman of London, was put in trouble, and dyed with thought and anguish,
before his business came to an end" (Bacon, Henry VII. (1622), p.
300 Gr. rhv dlkaioovnv avrov; Vulg. justitam ejus; justice as in Douai Version.
301 Matt. 6:24-34; Luke 12:22-31.
|The message of Jeremiah, "To turn aside the right of a man before the
face of the Most High, to subvert a man in his cause, the Lord approveth
not,"302 is re-echoed with startling emphasis and irresistible appeal in
St. Paul's letter to Timothy: "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth
sure, having this seal. … Let every one that
nameth the name of Christ stand aloof from
||302 Lam. 3:35, 36.
303 2 Tim. 2:19. The A.V. has "depart from iniquity;" R.V. "depart
from unrighteousness." The Gr. is [?]
|Micah of Moresheth-Gath asked the Hebrews of the later monarchy the searching
question: "Will the Lord be pleased with [sacrifices of] ten thousands
or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? … He hath showed thee, O man, what
is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love
mercy, and to walk humbly with
thy God?"304 And in a later generation, the Son of Man told the most religious
Jews of His time, in terms of bitter denunciation, that the most scrupulous observance
of the outward forms of religion, even to the meticulous tithing of the smallest
herbs in the kitchen garden, could not make them fit to enter into the kingdom
of Heaven so long as they were unjust towards their fellows, and plundered the
helpless.305 "Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Ye devour widows'
houses, and for a pretence make long prayers. … Ye pay tithe of mint and
anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of
the law — judgment, mercy and faith."
||304 Mic. 6:6-12; Prov. 21:3; Isa. 1:10-17, 58:5-12,
61:8; Jer. 7:4-7; Amos 5:21-24; Hos. 6:6; Ps,50:7-23 (51:16-19),
69:30, 31; Heb. 13:15,16;
305 Matt. 5:20; 23:4-14, 23-33; Mark 12:38-40; Luke 11:42, 20:47,
cp. James 1:27.
|§ 9. Justice or Equity is, therefore,
the foundation of the law of social life, both in the Old Testament and
in the New. What, then, follows as to the Land Question? Let the results
of our inquiry into the teaching of the Law and the Prophets be briefly
restated in the language of a modern philosopher.
|"Equity," wrote Herbert Spencer in the middle of last century,306 "does
private property in land."
||306 Social Statics, ch. 9 § 2. On Spencer's
later partial retractation, see Henry George, A Perplexed
Philosopher (1892); Spencer, Justice (1891); and the present
writer's controversy with Spencer in the London Daily Chronicle (1904).
(Reprinted: Land Values Publication Department, 376 Strand. rd.)
|"The verdict given by pure equity … dictates the assertion, that the right
of mankind at large to the earth's surface is still valid; all deeds, customs,
and laws notwithstanding" (Social Statics, ix.§3).
"It is impossible to discover any mode in which land can become
private property" (Ibid. § 4).
"The theory of the co-heirship of all men to the soil is consistent with the
highest civilisation … however difficult it may be to embody that theory
in fact, Equity sternly commands it to be done".
It is quite clear that there is no difference, except in literary form, between
Spencer's conclusions, and those which have been deduced, in the foregoing chapters,
from the writings of the Hebrew Lawgivers and Prophets. The famous ninth chapter
of Social Statics might quite well be published,
as the Church Catechism sometimes is, "with Scripture proofs."
|§ 10. Even the modern method for doing
that which, "however difficult," Justice "sternly commands to be done," — the
method inseparably connected with the great name of Henry George, — can
plead scriptural warrant for principle which underlies and justifies it. For,
as we have seen307 it is not by means of "compensation" to landlords, which Spencer
by implication repudiated in Social Statics and
implication defended forty years later in Justice, but by the taxation of land values,
a proposal which he consistently ignored, that we can justly reassert "the co-heirship of all men
to the soil," justly re-establish the
equal "right to the
use of the earth."
||307 Chapter 6.
It is no part of the plan of this little book to work out the application
of this reform to modern social conditions. That is done, in principle,
in Henry George's books: in detail, with reference to English politics,
in the numerous
publications of the Leagues for the
Taxation of Land Values.
|§ 11. Does this "simple
but sovereign remedy" of the Prophet of San Francisco seem too simple to serve as a solvent for an unjust
social system? Is it hard to believe that so prosaic a reform as the
adoption of land values, as the sole basis of taxation do so much that
is claimed for it, can make the doing of so many other reforms so much
easier, or — render them altogether unnecessary? Does not the terrible
nature of our social disease call for something "much more effective" than
the gradual establishment of just conditions under which grown men and
women, using their God-given faculties in a free society, can work out
their own social salvation? "Is not the "nationalisation" and "socialisation" of
all the land by one magnificent financial operation, and the regimentation
of the workers upon it under Commissions of Experts, far better than
all your "Single Tax"?
Hear ye the parable of Naaman the Syrian.—
"Now Naaman, captain of the host of the
King of Syria, was a great man with his master … a mighty man in
valor, but he was a leper. …
"So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at
the door of the house of Elisha. And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying,
Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee,
and thou shalt be clean.
"But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought,
He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord
his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not
Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel?
may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.
"And his servants came near, and spoke unto him, and said, My father,
if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done
it? how much rather then when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?
"Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according
to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh
of a little child, and he was clean." (2 Kings v. 1-12)
|"And if I have written well and to the point in my story, this is what
I myself desired; but if meanly and indifferently this is all I could attain
unto. For as it is distasteful to drink wine alone, and in like manner
again to drink water alone, while the mingling of wine with water at once
giveth full pleasantness to the flavor; so also the fashioning of the language
delighteth the ears of them that read the story. And here shall be the
||308 2 Macc. 15:38, 39.