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be a just proportion between the extent and fertility of the land, and the number of the inhabitants.

Moses has left an accurate enumeration of the Israelites. The men able to bear arms somewhat exceeded 600,000; and, including the Levites, amounted to nearly 620,000. If, according to the usual principle of calculation, we admit the whole people, women and children included, to have been four times as many, we shall then have nearly 2,500,000 souls for the amount of the population ; that is, about 500,000 more than Busching gives to the kingdom of Sweden. Yet we must add something further on account of Polygamy and slavery, although these only took place in the families of the more opulent; and I should therefore think that, upon the whole, the number of people that Moses had to carry into Palestine, could not have been less than 3,000,000. Now the question is, Was it possible, within the limits of Palestine, to find hereditary possessions and support for so prodigious a population ?

No doubt if we include all the country from beyond Jordan to the Euphrates, there was quite room enough for three millions. But Moses' first object was to bring the whole people into the country this side Jordan, and to leave the nations on the Arabian side of it unmolested, if they granted him free passage into Palestine. The Israelites were not to continue wandering herdsmen, but to learn every one to love and improve his own allotted and heredi. tary fields : and even after the conquest of some of the kingdoms beyond Jordan, none but the two tribes and a half, which could not muster quite 120,000 men, received their settlements there ; so that still 500,000 men able to bear arms, or in other words, a population of about two millions and a half, were to be provided for in the small territory on this side that river. Was this possible ? Pallestine, as to its extent and limits, is not so perfectly known as that I can venture on the mensuration of it in German square miles. But any one who measures it but slightly

on the map will admit, that the part on this side Jordan could not contain less than 300, nor more than 400. Gera man square miles. Now, distributing 500,000 fighting men, or 2,500,000 souls over that extent, each


mile would include about 1500 warriors, or from 6,000 to 7,000 people. This seems to be too great a number ; because allowing that every man would thus have 20 acres allotted him for his support, still there are in every country many pieces of ground quite useless : and besides, people have many more wants than that of bread-corn alone. The whole Prussian territories, including the very populous province of Silesia, had, before the last war, in the year 1756, about 4,700,000 inhabitants; and therefore, exclusive of foreign mercenaries, 1,175,000 natives able to bear arms. They contain, according to Busching's calculation, 3000 German square miles, although in many districts the soil is not fertile, they might undoubtedly support a much greater population, because corn is exported. Agriculture is also improving, and many places, in which the king endeavours to get foreigners to settle, are susceptible of cultivation ; but still, how great the difference between 1,200,000 men able to bear arms, on 3,000 square miles, and 500,000, on 300 or 400 ? Supposing Prussia so much improved as to maintain 1,500 men on a square mile, it would altogether maintain no less than 4,500,000 ; and women and children included, at least 18,000,000 of people. But will any man conceive such a degree of improvement practicable? Nay, though I had here made a mistake in the number of square miles, and they did not quite amount to 3,000, the difficulty would still remain very weighty.

In order, therefore, to remove this objection to the possibility of Moses having been able to put the very first and most important of all his laws in execution, I must beg the reader's attention to the following remarks.

In the first place, it will be allowed from what has been said, in the preceding chapter, on the geography of Palestine, that even the promised land, strictly so called, was more extensive than our maps make it. A good part of Lebanon, with the fruitful vales that intersect it, ought to be included in it; and the ten tribes and a half on this side Jordan, extended their settlements a good way southward into Arabia.

In the second place, Palestine is represented by Moses as a remarkably fertile country ; in which the best modern travellers, particularly Dr. Shaw,* entirely agree with him. I cannot enter into the dispute that has arisen on this point; but it seems to me that we may fairly admit the testimony of Moses as valid. He had himself sent spies into the country, and was at pains to obtain satisfactory information as to its nature ; and these spies, not excepting those who excited the Israelites to mutiny against him, gave their testimony to its extreme fertility. Had all this then been untrue, and Palestine as barren as some modern writers would insinuate, Moses, in designing to introduce so great a multitude into it, and to establish a state on the agricultural system, would have shown himself not only an impostor, but also a fool ; and that, not even his enemies are wont to account him. Those who describe Palestine as unfruitful, appeal to the evidence of Greek and Latin authors; but the passages which they adduce, refer only to the country around Jernsalem ; and what land is there that has not some barren spots ? But of the country in general, Tacitus, the most creditable of all the classic authors, says, on the other hand, that it is as fertile as Italy. His words are, (Hist. v. 6.) Rari imbres, uber solum. Exuberant fruges, nostrum ad morem, præterque eas, Balsamum at Palmæ. Considering the time when it was given, this is a pretty favourable testimony. The country about Jerusalem was no doubt ill adapted for tillage; but its vineyards and olive-grounds highly enriched it. Allowing, however,

* See p. 336, 337, of the English edition of 1757.

that it had been absolutely barren, that was not the case with the whole of Palestine. The great Arabian geographer, Abulfeda, king of Hama in Syria, who in his journey to Egypt had certainly been in Palestine, says, even in the 13th century, that Palestine is the most fertile part of Syria ;* and concerning the neighbourhood of Jerusalem, described by Strabo as very barren, he does not indeed deny its want of water,t but still declares it to be one of the most fruitful parts of Palestine. I Now should we not put more faith in this native Syrian writer, than in a foreigner, who, though an excellent geographer, had never been in Palestine himself ? From the present situation of that country, for now more than a thousand years laid waste by war, and the tyranny of barbarians, no conclusion can be drawn to its times of culture. Having been cultivated like a garden, and, according to Maundrell's remark, the cold rocks being by the hand of industry covered with soil, and thus made fertile, it cannot but have become very unlike itself, after seventeen hundred years devastation; and if the vine was one of the chief bounties which nature had bestowed upon it, it is easy to see how much it must have suffered by its non-cultivation for more than ten centuries, under the dominion of the Mahometans, to whom wine is interdicted. But, independent of these circumstances, let any man consider the present state of Germany with respect to cultivation, and the descriptions which Cæsar and Tacitus have left of this

* See Abulfeda Tabulæ Syriæ, p. 9. Köler's edit.

of See p. 10. of the same book. “ Jerusalem has, some springs excepted, no water, at least not enough to water corn-fields.” But the country is not therefore barren ; for in the first place, it consists not of corn-fields, but of vineyards and olive-grounds; and in the next place, Abulfeda himself had said, a little before, that Palestine was supplied with water from rain, and had its corn and trees watered from heaven. And this, in the East, they account far preferable to artificial irrigation.-See Deut. xi. 10, 11, and my remark upon it, # P. 10. of the same work,

That passage

now so extremely fertile country, and he will be sensible, that if from these it could never have been conceived, that Germany could by culture have become what it now is ; so from the descriptions of desolated Palestine, its former situation, in the times when agriculture and industry flourished, can by no means be judged of. What that really was, may be seen in a very remarkable passage of Josephus, (De Bello Jud. Lib. III. cap. 3) who knew it when in its glory, before the Roman war. where, in a particular manner, the fertility, cultivation, and prodigious population of Galilee, are described, is, however, too long for quotation here.

In the third place, as every Israelite had his land altogether his own, and could inclose and use it as he chose, except in the seventh year ; and as, by the herds being driven into the deserts, common pasturage occasioned no obstruction or damage to individual proprietors; Palestine could thus sustain a greater population than a country equally good, in which, from the rights of common, they are prevented from making the best possible use of their fields.

In the last place, a country of equal fertility in the 32d degree of latitude, will support more inhabitants than in the 51st. Our colder countries require extensive spaces for woods; and if, for each man able to bear arms, I reckon only four cords of wood yearly, (each 216 cubic feet) how much space will be necessarily occupied with timber, where 2,000,000 of cords must be annually felled? In a warm climate, very little wood is required for fuel, and in Palestine that article was actually very scarce.-Again, how much more wool and linen do we require for our clothing than the inhabitants of Palestine? These wants occasion the occupation of a great deal of land, in raising flax and sheep. The Israelites most probably had more wool than they could consume; and of course had it in

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