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thought proper to stay in the same place, as sup- against the men, there was one who exhorted them posing that God there inhabited among men, but not to be unmindful of Moses, and of what great when that removed they journeyed also.* pains he had been at about their common safety,
Moses was also the inventor of the form of the and not to despair of assistance from God. The Hebrew trumpet, which was made of silver. In multitude, however, became still more unruly, and length it was little less than a cubit. It was com- more mutinous against Moses than before; hereupon posed of a narrow tube, somewhat thicker than a Moses, although he was so basely abused by them, flute, but with so much breadth as was sufficient encouraged them in their despairing condition, and for admission of the breadth of a man's mouth ; it promised that he would procure them a great quanended in the form of a bell, like common trumpets. tity of flesh meat, and that not for a few days only, Its sound was called, in the Hebrew tongue, but for many days; and when they could not believe assosra. There were two of them made; and when him, and one of them asked, whence he could obtain the first of them gave a signal, the heads of the such vast plenty of what he promised ? he replied, tribes were to assemble, and consult about the “ Neither God nor I, although we hear such opproaffairs to them properly belonging: but when both brious words from you, will leave off our labours of them sounded, they called the multitude to- for you; and this shall soon appear.” As soon as gether, which was done when the tabernacle was he had said this, the whole camp was filled with to remove. When the second signal was given, quails, and they stood round about them, and gaththose that were on the south quarter did the like. ered them in great numbers. However, it was not In the next place, the tabernacle was taken to long ere God punished the Hebrews for that insopieces, and was carried in the midst of six tribes lence and those reproaches they had used towards that went before, and of six that followed. Now him, for no small number of them died; and to this all the Levites were about the tabernacle. When day the place retains the memory of their destructhe third signal was given, that part which had tion, and is named Kibroth Hattaavah, which is, the their tents towards the west put themselves in graves of lust. motion; and at the fourth signalt those on the north did so likewise. They also used trumpets
CHAP. XIV. in their sacred ministrations, when they were bringing their sacrifices to the altar, as well as on the sabbaths, and on the rest of the festival days. WHEN Moses had led the Hebrews to a place And now it was that Moses offered that sacrifice called Paran, which was near the borders of the which was called the Passover in the wilderness, Canaanites, and a place difficult to be continued in, as the first he had offered after the departure out he gathered the multitude together; and standing in of Egypt.
the midst of them, he said: “Of the two things that
God determined to bestow upon us, liberty, and the CHAP. XIII.
possession of a happy country, the one ye are alOP MOSES'S REMOVAL FROM MOUNT SINAI TOWARDS THE BORDERS ready partakers of, by the gift of God, and the other
you will quickly obtain ; for we now have our abode A LITTLE while afterwards Moses rose up, and near the borders of Canaan, and nothing can hinder went from mount Sinai; and, having passed through the acquisition of it, when we now at last are fallen several mansions, of which we will speak anon, he upon it: I say not only no king, nor city, but neicame to a place called Hazeroth, where the multi-ther the whole race of mankind, if they are all tude began to be mutinous, and to blame him for gathered together, could do it. Let us, therefore, the misfortunes they had suffered in their travels; prepare ourselves for the work; for the Canaanites and that when he had persuaded them to leave a will not resign up their land to us without fighting, good land, they at once had lost that land, and instead but it must be wrested from them by great struggles of the happy state he had promised them, they were in war. Let us then send spies, who may take a still wandering in their present miserable condition, view of the goodness of the land, and what strength being already in want of water, and if the manna it is of; but above all things, let us be of one mind, should happen to fail, they must then utterly perish; and let us honour God, who is our supreme helper yet, while they generally spake many bitter things and assister.”
OF THE SPIES WHO WERE SENT TO SEARCH OUT THE LAND OF
CANAAN, AND THE CONSEQUENCE OF THEIR REPORT.
OF THE CANAANITES.
* Exod. xl. 36, 37.
† These two signals are wanting in the Hebrew and Samari. tan, but extant in the Septuagint, as in Josephus.
# This circumstance clearly evinces the propriety with which Moses is denominated the meekest of men. The provocations
he received would have excited resentment in most men; but on him it had no other effect than to induce him to exert himself the more for the good of the people. B.
§ Numb. xi. 34.
OF THEIR REBELLION :-SKETCH OF THE POWER AND INFLUENCE OF
When Moses had said thus, the multitude requited suspicion of ill success, trusting in God to conduct him with marks of respect, and chose twelve spies us, and following those that are to be our leaders.” of the most eminent men, one out of each tribe, who, Thus did these two exhort them, and endeavour to passing over all the land of Canaan, from the bor- pacify the rage they were in; but Moses and Aaron ders of Egypt, came to the city Hamath and to fell on the ground, and besought God, not for their mount Lebanon; and when they had learned the na own deliverance, but that he would now put a stop ture of the land and of its inhabitants, they returned to what the people were unwarily doing, and would home, having spent forty days in the whole work. bring their minds to a quiet temper, which were now
They also brought with them of the excellent fruits disordered by their present passion. The cloud also which the land bare, and gave an account of the now appeared, and stood over, the tabernacle, degreat quantity of the good things the country af- claring the presence of God to be there. forded, which were motives to the multitude to go to war; but then they terrified them again with the
CHAP. XV. great
difficulty there was in obtaining it, saying, that of the PUNISHMENT THREATENED TO THE ISRAELITES ON ACCOUNT the rivers were so large and deep that they could not be passed over, the hills were so high that they could not travel along for them, and the cities were Moses now came boldly to the multitude, and strengthened with walls and firm fortifications. informed them that God was moved at their abuse They told them also, that they found at Hebron of him, and would inflict punishment upon them, not the posterity of the giants. Accordingly these indeed such as they deserved for their sins, but such spies, who had seen the land of Canaan, when they as parents inflict on their children, in order to their perceived that all these difficulties were greater there correction; for, he said, that when he was in their than they had met with since they came out of tabernacle, and was bewailing with tears that deEgypt, were affrighted at them themselves, and en-struction which was coming upon them, God put deavoured to intimidate the multitude also.
him in mind what things he had done for them, and From this account the people supposed that it what benefits they had received from him, and yet was impossible to get the possession of the country,* how ungrateful they had proved; that just now they and when the congregation was dissolved, they, their had been induced by the timorousness of the spies, wwives, and children, continued their lamentations, as to think their words truer than his own promise to if God would not indeed assist them, but only prom- them, and that on this account, though he would not ised them fair; they also again blamed Moses, and destroy them all, nor utterly exterminate their namade a clamour against him and his brother Aaron, tion, which he had honoured more than any other the high-priest; accordingly they passed that night part of mankind; he would not permit them to take very ill
, and with contumelious language against possession of the land of Canaan, nor enjoy its them;
but in the morning they ran to a congrega- happiness, but would make them wander in the wiltion, intending to stone Moses and Aaron, and then derness, and live without a fixed habitation, and to return into Egypt.
without a city, for forty years together, as a punishBut of the spies there were Joshua the son of ment for their transgression; but at the same time Nun, of the tribe of Ephraim, and Caleb of the tribe he promised to give that land to their children, and of Judah, who were afraid of the consequence, and to bestow on them those good things which their came into the midst of them, and stilled the multi- fathers had forfeited by their ungoverned passions. tude; desiring them to be of good courage, and When Moses had discoursed thus, according to neither to condemn God, as having deceived them, the direction of God, the multitude grieved, and neither to hearken to those who had affrighted them were in affliction; and entreated Moses to proby telling what was not true concerning the Canaan-cure their reconciliation to God, and to permit ites, but believe those that encouraged them to hope them no longer to wander in the wilderness, but for good success, and that they should gain posses- to bestow cities upon them; but he replied that sion of the happiness promised them, because nei- God would not admit of any such trial, for that ther the height of mountains, nor the depth of rivers, God was not moved to this determination from could hinder men of true courage from attempting any human levity or anger, but that he had judithem, especially while God would take care of them ciously condemned them to that punishment. Now beforehand, and be assistant to them. “Let us go we are not to disbelieve that Moses, who was but then,” said they, “ against our enemies, and have no a single person, pacified so many ten thousands
* This was the effect of their unbelief; a sin with which they more aggravated in them, as they had witnessed so many signal are repeatedly charged in the Scriptures, and which was the and repeated exertions of the divine power. B.
# Numb. xiv. 4.
# Numb. xiv. 10.
when they were in anger, and converted them to || in an imperfect condition ; nay, many were not a mildness of temper; for God was with him, and able even at first so much as to enter into the prepared the way to his persuasions of the multi- temple, but went their ways in this state, as pretude; and as they had often been disobedient, | ferring a submission to the laws of Moses before they were now sensible that such disobedience the fulfilling of their own inclinations, even when was disadvantageous to them, and that they had they had no fear upon them that any body could thereby fallen into calamities.
convict them, but only out of a reverence to their This man was indeed admirable for his virtue,.own conscience; so that this legislation, which and powerful in making men give credit to what appeared to be divine, made this man to be eshe delivered, not only during the time of his teemed as one superior to his own human nature. natural life, but even there is still no one of the Nay, farther, a little before the beginning of this Hebrews, who does not act, even now, as if Moses war, when Claudius was emperor of the Romans, were present, and ready to punish him if he should and Ismael was our high-priest; and when so do any thing that is indecent ; nay, there is no one great a famine* was come upon us, that one tenth but is obedient to what laws he ordained, although deal of wheat was sold for four drachmæ, and they might be concealed in their transgressions. when no less than seventy corit of flour was There are also many other demonstrations that brought into the temple, at the feast of unleavened his power was more than human ; and some have bread, not one of the priests was so hardy as to even come from the parts beyond Euphrates, a | eat one crumb of it, even while so great a distress journey of four months, through many dangers, was on the land, and this out of a dread of the and at great expenses, in honour of our temple; law, and of that wrath which God retains against and yet when they had offered their oblations acts of wickedness, even when no one can accould not partake of their own sacrifices, because cuse the actors; whence we are not to wonder Moses had forbidden it, by somewhat in the law | at what was then done, while this very day the that did not permit them, or somewhat that had writings left by. Moses have so great force, that befallen them, which our ancient customs made even those who hate us, confess that he who esinconsistent therewith; so that some of these did tablished this settlement was God, and that it was not sacrifice at all, and others left their sacrifices by the means of Moses, and of his virtue.
* This great famine, as Dr. Hudson observes, in the days of Claudius, is again mentioned in the Antiquities, XX. 4, and Acts xi. 28, as also by Tacitus, Phlegon, Dio, and Africanus.
† These cori are thirty-one Sicilian, or forty-one Athenian medimni.
Containing an interval of Thirty-eight Years.
FROM THE REJECTION OF THAT GENERATION, TO THE DEATH OF MOSES.
said it would be prudent to oppose his arrogant OF THE ENGAGEMENT WHICH TOOK PLACE BETWEEN THE HEBREWS pretences, and to put their confidence in God; and
AND THE CANAANITES, WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF MOSES. to resolve to take possession of that land which he The residence of the Hebrews in the wilderness had promised them, and not to give ear to him, was so disagreeable to them, and they were so who, on this account, and under the pretence of uneasy at it, that although God had forbidden divine authority, forbade them so to do. Conthem to meddle with the Canaanites, yet could sidering, therefore, the distressed state they were they not be persuaded to be obedient to the words in at present, and that in those desert places they of Moses, and to be quiet ; but supposing they were still to expect things would be worse with should be able to beat their enemies, even with them, they resolved to fight with the Canaanites; out his approbation, they accused him; and sus
as submitting only to God, their supreme compected that he made it his business to keep them mander, and not waiting for any assistance from in a distressed condition, that they might always
their legislator. stand in need of his assistance. Accordingly they
When they had come to this resolution, they resolved to fight with the Canaanites, and said, went against their enemies; but those enemies that God gave them his assistance, not out of re
were not dismayed either at the attack itself, or gard to their leader's intercessions, but because at the great multitude that made it: but received he took care of their entire nation, on account of them with such courage, that many of the Hetheir forefathers: whose affairs he took under his brews were slain, and the remainder of the army, own conduct : as also that it was on account of upon the disorder of their troops, were pursued, their own virtue, that he had formerly procured and fled after a shameful manner* to their camp. them their liberty, and would assist them, now Whereupon this unexpected misfortune made them they were willing to take pains for it. They also quite despond, and they hoped for nothing that said, that they were of 'themselves of abilities was good, as gathering from it, that this affliction sufficient for the conquest of their enemies, al- came from the wrath of God, because they rashly though Moses should have a mind to alienate God went out to war without his approbation. from them; and that however it was for their ad
When Moses saw how deeply they were afvantage to be their own masters, and not so far fected with this defeat, and when he was afraid to rejoice in their deliverance from the indignities lest the enemies should grow insolent upon this they endured under the Egyptians, as to bear the victory, and should attack them in order to gain tyranny of Moses, and to suffer themselves to be still greater glory, he resolved that it was proper deluded, and live according to his pleasure: as
to withdraw the army into the wilderness, to a though God did only foretell what concerned them, farther distance from the Canaanites. So the out of his kindness to him; and as though they multitude gave themselves up again to his conwere not all the posterity of Abraham, and that duct; for they were sensible that, without his care, God made him alone the author of all their know- their affairs could not be in a good condition: ledge, and they must still learn it from him. They
Numb. xiv. 45.
OF THE SEDITION OF CORAH AND OF THE MULTITUDE AGAINST
MOSES AND AARON, CONCERNING THE PRIESTHOOD.
and he caused the host to remove, and he went but by his own vote, as bestowing dignities in a farther into the wilderness ; as intending there to tyrannical way upon whom he pleased. He added, let them rest, and not to permit them to fight the that that concealed way of imposing on them was Canaanites before God should afford them a more harder to be borne, than if
harder to be borne, than if it had been done by an favourable opportunity.
open force upon them, because he did not only take
away their power without their consent, but even CHAP. II.
while they were unapprized of his contrivances against them: for whosoever is conscious to him
self that he deserves any dignity, aims to get it by That which is usually the case with great armies, persuasion, and not by an arrogant method of vioand especially upon ill success, to be hard to be lence. But those that believe it impossible to obtain pleased, and governed with difficulty, did now befall those honours justly, make a show of goodness, and the Jews:* for, being in number six hundred thou- do not introduce force; but by cunning tricks grow sand, and by reason of their great multitude not wickedly powerful. That it was proper for the mulreadily subject to their governors, even in prosperity, titude to punish such men, even while they think they at this time were more than usually angry, both themselves concealed in their designs, and not suffer against each other, and against their leader, because them to gain strength, till they have them for their of the distress they were in, and the calamities they open enemies. “What account,” said he, “ is Moses then endured; on which account such a sedition able to give, why he has bestowed the priesthood on overtook them as we have not the like example Aaron and his sons? For if God determined to either among the Greeks or the Barbarians; by bestow that honour on one of the tribe of Levi, I means of this, they were in danger of being all de- am more worthy of it than he is; as being equal to stroyed, but were notwithstanding saved by Moses, Moses, by my family, and superior to him both in who would not remember that he had been almost riches and in age. But if God had determined to stoned to death by them. Nor did God neglect to bestow it on the eldest tribe, that of Reubel might prevent their ruin; but notwithstanding the indigni- have it more justly; and then Dathan and Abiram, ties they offered their legislator and the laws, and and On, the son of Peleth, would have it. For these their disobedience to the commandments which he are the oldest men of that tribe, and potent on achad sent them by Moses, he delivered them from count of their great wealth also.” those terrible calamities which, without his provi Now Corah,
when he said this, wished to appear dential care, had been brought upon them by this careful of the public welfare; but in reality, he was sedition: so I will first explain the cause whence this endeavouring to procure to have that dignity transsedition arose, and then will give an account of the ferred by the multitude to himself. And thus did he, sedition itself
, as also of what settlements Moses out of a malignant design, but with plausible words, made for their government after it was over. discourse to those of his own tribe. And when these
Corah,t a Hebrew of principal account, both by words did gradually spread to more of the people, his family and by his wealth, one that was also able and the hearers still added to what tended to the to speak well, and that could easily persuade the scandals that were cast upon Aaron, the whole army people by his speeches, saw that Moses was in an was full of them. Now of those that conspired with exceeding great dignity, and was uneasy at it, and Corah, there were two hundred and fifty of the prinenvied him on that account: he was of the same cipal men, who were eager to have the priesthood tribe with Moses, and of kin to him. He was par- taken from Moses's brother, and to bring him to ticularly grieved because he thought he better de- disgrace. Nay, the multitude themselves were proserved that honourable post, as being more opulent, voked to be seditious, and attempted to stone Moses, and not inferior to him in his birth : so he raised a and gathered themselves together after an indecent clamour against him among the Levites, who were manner, with confusion and disorder. And now they of the same tribe, and especially among his kindred, all were in a tumultuous manner, raising a clamour saying, that it was a very sad thing that they should before the tabernacle of God, to prosecute the tyrant, overlook Moses, while he hunted after, and paved and to relieve the multitude from their slavery under the way to glory for himself, and by ill arts should him, who, under colour of the divine commands, laid obtain it under pretence of God's command; while, violent injunctions upon them. For that had it been contrary to the laws, he had given the priesthood to God who chose one that was to perform the office Aaron, not by the common suffrage of the multitude, of a priest, he would have raised a worthy person # About an. 1512.
set in opposition to good pursuits, it is generally most preva| Evil example is peculiarly influential, because it strikes in lent. This easily accounts for the success of the conspiracy of with the corrupt propensities of human nature. When it is Corah. B.