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to that dignity, and would not have produced such | tion that he obtained it. For though God were the a one as was inferior to many others, nor have given donor, yet do we not offend when we think fit to him that office: and that in case he had judged it accept of it with your good-will. Yet would it have fit to bestow it on Aaron, he would have permitted been an instance of impiety, not to have taken that the multitude to bestow it, and not have left it to be honourable employment when he offered it: nay, it bestowed by his own brother.
had been exceedingly unreasonable, when God had Now although Moses had long foreseen this cal thought fit any one should have it for all time to umny of Corah's, and had seen that the people were come, and have made it secure and firm to him, to irritated, yet was he not alarmed at it. But being have refused it. However, he himself will judge of good courage, because he had given them good again, who it shall be whom he would have to offer advice about their affairs; and knowing that his sacrifices to him, and to have the direction of matbrother had been made partaker of the priesthood ters of religion. For it is absurd that Corah, who at the command of God, and not by his own favour is ambitious of this honour, should deprive God of to him, he came to the assembly; and, as for the the power of giving it to whom he pleases. Put an multitude, he said not a word to them, but spake as end, therefore, to your sedition and disturbance on loud to Corah as he could; and being very eloquent, this account, and to-morrow morning let every one and having this natural talent among others, that he who desires the priesthood bring a censer from home, could greatly move the multitude with his discourses; and come hither with incense and fire.f And do thou, he said, “ O Corah, both thou, and all those with O Corah, leave the judgment to God; and await to thee, (pointing to the two hundred and fifty men,) see on what side he will give bis determination upon seem to be worthy of this honour. Nor do I pre- this occasion. But do not thou make thyself greater tend, but that this whole company may be worthy than God. Do thou also come, that this contest of the like dignity; although they may not be so about this honourable employment may receive derich, or so great, as you are. Nor have I given this termination. And I suppose we may admit Aaron, office to my brother, because he excelled others in without offence, to offer himself to this scrutiny ; riches; for thou exceedest* us both in the greatness since he is of the same lineage with thyself; and of thy wealth: nor indeed because he was of an has done nothing in his priesthood that can be liable eminent family; for God, by giving us the same to exception. Come ye therefore together, and offer common ancestor, has made our families equal: your incense in public before all the people; and nay, nor was it out of brotherly affection, which when you offer it, he whose sacrifice God shall acanother might yet have justly done. For certainly, cept shall be ordained to the priesthood, and shall unless I had bestowed this honour out of regard to be clear of the present calumny on Aaron, as if I God, and to his laws, I had not passed by myself
, and had granted him that favour because he was my given it to another; as having a closer intimacy brother. with myself, than I have with him. For, surely, it would not be a wise thing for me to expose myself
CHAP. III. to the dangers of offending, and to bestow the happy OF THE DESTRUCTION OF THOSE WHO FOMENTED THE SEDITION; AND employment on this account upon another. But I am above such practices : nor would God have over WHEN Moses had said this the multitude left looked this matter, and seen himself thus despised: off the turbulent behaviour they had indulged, nor would he have suffered you to be ignorant of and the suspicion they had entertained of Moses; what you were to do, in order to please him. But and commended what he had said: for those prohe hath himself chosen one that is to perform that posals were good, and were so esteemed of the sacred office to him; and thereby freed us from that people. At that time therefore they dissolved the care. So that it was not a thing that I pretended assembly. But on the next day they came to the to give; but only according to the determination of congregation, in order to be present at the sacriGod: I therefore propose it still to be contended for fice, and at the determination that was to be made by such as please to put in for it; only desiring that between the candidates for the priesthood. Now he who has already been preferred, and has already this congregation proved a turbulent one, and the obtained it, may be allowed now also to offer him- multitude were in great suspense in expectation self a candidate. He prefers your peace, and your of what was to be done. And some of them would living without sedition, to this' honourable employ- have been pleased if Moses had been convicted of ment; although, in truth, it was with your approba evil practices: but the wiser sort desired that they
OF THE DIVINE APPROVAL OF AARON'S PRIESTHOOD.
* Reland here observes, that although our Bibles say little or nothing of these riches of Corah, yet both the Jews and Ma.
hometans, as well as Josephus, are full of it.
† Num. xiv. 6,7.
might be delivered from the present disorder and those very men, whose being is owing to my ladisturbance; for they were afraid that if this se- bours; come thou, as it is reasonable to hope dition went on, the good order of their settlement thou wilt: thou, I say, who showedst me that fire would be destroyed. But the whole body of people at mount Sinai, and madest me to hear its voice, do naturally delight in clamours against their and to see the several wonders which that place governors; and, by changing their opinions upon afforded ; thou, who commandedst me to go to the harangues
of every speaker, disturb the public Egypt, and declare thy will to this people; thou, tranquillity. And now Moses sent messengers who disturbedst the happy estate of the Egyptians, for Abiram and Dathan; and ordered them to and gavest us the opportunity of flying from our come to the assembly, and wait there for the holy slavery under them, and madest the dominion of offices that were to be performed. But they an- Pharaoh inferior to my dominion; thou, who didst swered the messengers, that they would not obey make the sea dry land for us, when we knew not his summons; nay, would not overlook Moses's whither to go, and didst overwhelm the Egyptians behaviour, who was growing too great for them with those destructive waves which had been diby evil practices. Now when Moses heard this vided for us; thou, who didst bestow upon us the answer, he desired the heads of the people to fol- security of weapons when we were naked; thou, low him, and he went to the faction of Dathan, who didst make the corrupted fountains to flow not fearing to go to these insolent people; so so as to be fit for drinking; and didst furnish they made no opposition, but went along with him. with water that came out of the rocks, when we But Dathan and his associates, when they under- were in the greatest want of it; thou, who didst stood that Moses, and the principal of the people, preserve our lives with quails, which was food were coming to them, came out with their wives from the sea, when the fruits of the ground failed and children, and stood before their tents; and us; thou, who didst send us such food from looked to see what Moses would do. They had heaven, as had never been seen before ; thou, also their servants at hand to defend them, in case who didst suggest to us the knowledge of thy Moses should use force.
laws, and appoint us a form of government: Come But he came near, and lifted up his hands to thou, O Lord of the whole world, and that as such heaven, and cried out with a loud voice, in order a judge and a witness to me as cannot be bribed; to be heard by the whole multitude ; and said, and show how I have never admitted of any gift “O Lord of the creatures that are in the heaven, against justice from any of the Hebrews; and in the earth, and in the sea : for thou art the most have never condemned a poor man, that ought to authentic witness to what I have done, that it has have been acquitted, on account of one that was all been done by thy appointment; and that it rich; and have never attempted to hurt this comwas thou that affordedst us assistance when we monwealth: I am now here present, and am susattempted any thing, and showed mercy to the pected of a thing the remotest from my intentions; Hebrews in all their distresses. Do thou come as if I had given the priesthood to Aaron, not at now, and hear all I say; for no action nor thought thy command; but out of my own favour to him. escapes thy knowledge; so that thou wilt not dis- Do thou at this time demonstrate, that all things dain to speak what is true, for my vindication; are administered by thy providence, and that nowithout any regard to the ungrateful imputations thing happens by chance, but is governed by thy of these men. As for what was done before I was will, and thereby attains its end; as also demonborn, thou knowest best: as not learning them by strate that thou takest care of those that have report, but seeing them, and being present with done good to the Hebrews. Demonstrate this, I them when they were done. But for what has say, by the punishment of Abiram and Dathan, been done of late, and which these men, although who condemn thee as an insensible being, and they know them well enough, unjustly pretend to one overcome by my contrivances. This wilt thou suspect, be thou my witness. When I lived a pri- do by inflicting such an open punishment on those vate quiet life, I left those good things, which by men, who so madly fly in the face of thy glory, as my own diligence, and by thy counsel, I enjoyed will take them out of the world, not in an ordinawith Raguel, my father-in-law; and í gave my- ry manner, but so that it may appear that they do self up to this people, and underwent many miseries not die as other men go out of the world ; let that on their account. I
I also bore great labours; at ground on which they tread open about them, with first, in order to obtain liberty for them, and now their families and goods. This will be a demonin order to their preservation ; and have always stration of thy power to all men; and this method showed myself ready to assist them in every dis- of their sufferings will be an instruction of wisdom tress. Now, therefore, since I am suspected by for those that entertain profound sentiments of
thee. By this means I shall be found a good ser- | tabernacle. Hereupon, so great a fire shone out, vant, in the precepts thou hast given by me. But as no one ever saw in any that is made by the if the calumnies they have raised against me be hand of man; neither in those eruptions out of true, mayest thou preserve these men from every the earth, that are caused by subterraneous burnevil accident, and bring all that destruction on ings; nor in such fires as arise of their own acme, which I have imprecated upon them. And cord in the woods, when the agitation is caused when thou hast inflicted punishment on those that by the trees rubbing one against another; but this have endeavoured to deal unjustly with this people, fire was very bright, and had a terrible flame, such
them concord and peace. Save this as is kindled at the command of God; by whose multitude that follow thy commandments, and irruption on them, all the company, and Corah preserve them free from harm: and let them not himself, weref destroyed so entirely, that their very partake of the punishment of those that have sin- | bodies left no remains. Aaron alone was prened. For thou knowest thyself, it is not just that served, and not at all hurt by the fire; because for the wickedness of those men, the whole body it was God that sent the fire to burn those only of the Israelites should suffer punishment.”. who ought to be burned. Hereupon Moses, after
When Moses had said this with tears in his these men were destroyed, was desirous that the eyes, the ground was moved on a sudden; and memory of this judgment might be delivered down the agitation that set it in motion was like that to posterity, and that future ages might be acwhich the wind produces in waves of the sea. quainted with it; and he commanded Eleazar, the The people were all affrighted, and the ground that son of Aaron, to put their censers near the brazen was about their tents sunk down at that terrible altar, that they might be a memorial to posterity sound, and carried whatsoever was dear to the of what these men suffered, for supposing that the seditious into itself; who so entirely perished, power of God might be eluded. And thus Aaron that there was not the least appearance that any was no longer esteemed to have the priesthood by men had ever been seen there: the earth that had the favour of Moses, but by the public judgment opened itself about them closing again, and be of God, and he and his children peaceabiy encoming entire as it was before: insomuch, that joyed that honour afterwards. such as saw it afterward did not perceive that any such accident had happened. Thus did these men
CHAP. IV. perish,* and became a demonstration of the power of God. And truly, any one would lament them, not only on account of this calamity that befell them, which yet deserves our commiseration; but The sedition, however, was so far from ceasing also because their kindred were pleased with their upon this destruction, that it grew much stronger, I sufferings; for they forgot the relation they bare and became more intolerable. And the occasion to them; and at the sight of this sad accident, of its growing worse was of that nature, as made approved of the judgment given against them: it likely the calamity would last for a long time. and because they looked upon the people about for the men believing already that nothing is Dathan as pestilent men, they thought they perish- done without the providence of God, would have ed as such, and did not grieve for them.
it, that these things came thus to pass not without Moses now called for those that contended God's favour to Moses. They therefore laid the about the priesthood, that trial might be made blame upon him, that God was so angry; and that who should be priest, and that he whose sacrifice this happened not so much because of the wickedGod was best pleased with, might be ordained ness of those that were punished, as because to that function. So the two hundred and fifty Moses procured the punishment: and that these men approached, who, indeed, were honoured by men had been destroyed without any sin of theirs, the people, not only on account of their ancestors, only because they were zealous about the divine but also on account of their own power, in which worship: as also that he who had been the cause they excelled the others. Aaron and Corah also of this diminution of the people, by destroying so came forth; and they all offered incense, in those many men, and those the most excellent of them
nsers which they brought with them, before the all; besides his escaping any punishment himself,
OF WHAT HAPPENED TO THE HEBREWS DURING THIRTY-EIGHT
YEARS IN THE WILDERNESS.
* Numb. xvi. 33.
tius's Epistle to the Magnesians, and from Eusebius, that Corah + It appears here, from the Samaritan Pentateuch, and in was not swallowed up with the Reubenites, but burnt with the effect from the Psalmist, as also from the Apostolical Constitu. | Levites, of his own tribe. tions, from Clement's first Epistle to the Corinthians, from Igna. # Numb. xvi. 41.
had now given the priesthood to his brother so | cities to the Levites, and permit them to enfirmly, that nobody could any longer dispute it joy their suburbs, as far as the limit of two with him; for no one else could now put in for it, thousand cubits would extend from the walls of since he must have seen those that first did so, to the city. And besides this, he appointed that the have miserably perished. Nay, besides this, the people should pay the tithe of their annual fruits kindred of those that were destroyed, made great of the earth, both to the Levites, and to the priests. entreaties to the multitude to abate the arrogance And this is what that tribe receives of the multiof Moses, because it would be safest for them so tude. But I think it necessary to set down what to do.
is paid by all, peculiarly to the priests. Moses, upon his hearing that the people were Accordingly he commanded the Levites to tumultuous, was afraid they would attempt some yield up to the priests thirteen of their fortyother innovation ; and that some great and sad eight cities; and to set apart for them the tenth calamity would be the consequence. So he called part of the tithe which they every year receive of the multitude to a congregation, and patiently the people; as also that it was but just to offer to heard what apology they made for themselves, God the first fruits of the entire product of the without opposing them; and, lest he should em- ground; and that they should offer the first-born bitter the multitude, he only desired the heads of of those four-footed beasts that are appointed for the tribes to bring their rods,* with the names of sacrifices, if it be a male, to the priests, to be their tribes inscribed upon them; and he should slain, that they and their entire families may eat receive the priesthood in whose rod God should them in the holy city; but that the owners of give a sign. This was agreed to; so the rest those first-born, which are not appointed for sacbrought their rods, as did Aaron also; who had rifices, in the laws of our country, should bring written the tribe of Levi on his rod. These rods a shekel and a half in their stead; but for the firstMoses laid up in the tabernacle of God. On the born of a man, five shekels: that they should also next day he brought out the rods, which were have the first-fruits out of the shearing of the known from one another by those who brought sheep; and that when any baked bread-corn, and them; they having distinctly noted them, as had made loaves of it, they should give somewhat the multitude also; and as to the rest, in the same of what they baked to them. Moreover, when form Moses had received them, in that they saw any have made a sacred vow; I mean those that them still : but they also saw buds and branches are called Nazarites,f that suffer their hair to grown out of Aaron's rod, with ripe almonds upon grow long, and use no wine: when they consethem; the rod having been cut out of that tree. crate their hair, and offer it for a sacrifice, they The people were so amazed at this strange sight, are to allot that hair to the priests, to be thrown that though Moses and Aaron were before under into the fire. Such, also, as dedicate themselves some degree of hatred, they now laid that hatred to God, as a corban, which denotes what the aside, and began to admire the judgment of God Greeks call a gift, when they are desirous of beconcerning them. So that hereafter they ap- ing freed from that ministration, are to lay down plauded what God had decreed, and permitted money for the priests; thirty shekels if it be a Aaron to enjoy the priesthood peaceably. And woman, and fifty if it be a man; but if any be too thus God ordained him priest three several times, poor to pay the appointed sum, it shall be lawful and he retained that honour without farther dis- for the priests to determine the sum, as they think turbance. And hereby this sedition of the He- fit. And if any slay a beast at home for a private brews, which had lasted a great while, was at festival, but not for a religious one, they are length composed.
obliged to bring the maw, and the cheek, or And now Moses, because the tribe of Levi was breast, and the right shoulder of the sacrifice, to made free from war and warlike expeditions, and the priests. With these Moses contrived that the was set apart for the divine worship; lest they priests should be plentifully maintained; besides should want, and seek after the necessaries of what they had out of these offerings for sins, life, and so neglect the temple, commanded the which the people gave them, as I have set it down Hebrews, according to the will of God, that when in the foregoing book. He also ordered, that out they should gain the possession of the land of of every thing allotted for the priests, their serCanaan, they should assign forty-eight good vants, their sons, their daughters, and their wives,
Concerning these twelve rods of the twelve tribes of Israel, + Grotius observes, that the Greeks, as well as the Jews, see St. Clement's account, much larger than that of our Bible. sometimes consecrated the hair of their heads to the Gods. On 1 Epist. § 43.
Numb. vi. 18.
should partake as well as themselves: excepting that they were clean. This he enjoined them to what came to them out of the sacrifices that were do also, when the tribes should come into their offered for sins. For of those none of the family own land. of the priests might eat; and in the temple also; Now when this purification, which their leader and the same day they were offered.
made, upon the mourning for his sister, as it had When Moses had made these constitutions, now been described, was over, he caused the after the sedition was over, he removed together army to remove, and to march through the wilwith the whole army, and came to the borders of derness, and through Arabia. And when he came Idumea. He then sent ambassadors to the king to a place which the Arabians esteem their meof the Idumeans, and desired him to give him a tropolis, which was formerly called Arce, but has passage through his country, and agreed to send now the name of Petra: at this place, which was him what hostages he should desire, to secure encompassed with high mountains, Aaron went him from any injury. He desired also, that he up one of them, in the sight of the whole army; would allow his army liberty to buy provisions : Moses having before told him that he was to die. and if he insisted upon it, he would pay down a For this place was over against them. He there price for the very water they should drink. But put off' his pontifical garments, and delivered them the king was not pleased with this embassage to Eleazar his son, to whom the high-priesthood from Moses, nor did he allow a passage for the belonged, because he was the elder brother; and army, but brought his people armed to meet died while the multitude looked upon him. He Moses, and to hinder them in case they should died in the same year wherein he lost his sister; endeavour to force their passage. Upon which having lived in all an hundred and twenty-three Moses consulted God by the Oracle; who would years. He died on the first day of that lunar not have him begin the war first ; and so he with month, which is called by the Athenians, Hecadrew his forces, and travelled round about through tombæon; by the Macedonians, Lous; but by the the wilderness.
Hebrews, Abba. Then it was that Miriam, the sister of Moses, came to her* end; having completed hert fortieth
CHAP. V. year since she left Egypt; onf the first day of the lunar month Xanthicus. They then made a public OF THE CONQUEST OF SIHON AND OG, KINGS OF THE AMORITES ; AND funeral for her, at a great expense. She was buried upon a certain mountain, which they call Sin. And when they had mourned for her thirty days, The people mourned for Aaron thirty days: Moses purified the people after this manner: He and when this mourning was over, Moses removed brought a heifer, that had never been used to the the army from that place, and came to the river plough, or to husbandry; that was complete in all Arnon ; which issuing out of the mountains of its parts, and entirely of a red colour; at a little Arabia, and running through all that wilderness, distance from the camp, into a place perfectly fell into the lake Asphaltites, and became the limit clean. This heifer was slain by the high-priest, between the land of the Moabites, and the land of and her blood sprinkled with his finger seven times the Amorites. This land is fruitful, and sufficient before the tabernacle of God. After this, the en to maintain a great number of men, with the good tire heifer was burnt in that state, together with things it produces. Moses, therefore, sent mesits skin and entrails, and they threw cedar-wood, sengers to Sihon, the king of this country, deand hyssop, and scarlet wool, into the midst of the siring that he would grant his army a passage, fire. Then a clean man gathered all her ashes to- upon what security he should please to require: gether, and laid them in a place perfectly clean. he promised that he should be no ways injured ; When, therefore, any persons were defiled by a neither as to that country which Sihon governed, dead body, they put a little of these ashes into nor as to its inhabitants: and that he would buy spring water, with hyssop; and dipping part of his provisions at such a price as should be to their these ashes in it, they sprinkled them with it, both advantage; even though he should desire to sell on the third day, and on the seventh; and after them their very water. But Sihon refused his
THE DIVISION OF THEIR LAND BY LOT TO TWO TRIBES AND A HALF
* Numb. xx. 1.
Latin copies say, it was on the tenth; and so say the Jewish † Josephus here uses this phrase, when the fortieth year was calendars also, as Dr. Bernard assures us. It is said her sepul. completed, for when it was begun; as does St. Luke, when the chre is still extant near Petra, the old capital of Arabia Petræ, day of Pentecost was completed. Acts ï. 1.
at this day; as also that of Aaron, not far off. I Whether Miriam died, as Josephus's Greek copies imply, § Numb. xx. 28. on this first day of the month, may be doubted; because the