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[31] And if any part of the city escaped the fire, he overthrew it from the foundation; and he denounced a curse 1 against its inhabitants, if any should desire to rebuild it; how, upon his laying the foundation of the walls, he should be deprived of his eldest son; and upon finishing it, he should lose his youngest son. But what happened hereupon we shall speak of hereafter.

1 Upon occasion of this devoting of Jericho to destruction, and the exemplary punishment of Achar, who broke that duerein or anathema, and of the punishment of the future breaker of it, Hiel, 1 Kings 16:34, as also of the punishment of Saul, for breaking the like chefera or anathema, against the Amalekites, 1 Samuel 15., we may observe what was the true meaning of that law, Leviticus 27:28: "None devoted which shall be devoted of shall be redeemed; but shall be put to death;" i.e. whenever any of the Jews' public enemies had been, for their wickedness, solemnly devoted to destruction, according to the Divine command, as were generally the seven wicked nations of Canaan, and those sinners the Amalekites, 1 Samuel 15:18, it was utterly unlawful to permit those enemies to be redeemed; but they were to be all utterly destroyed. See also Numbers 23:2, 3.

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