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them by twenties and by tens. And let there be one commander over each number, to be nominated from the number of those over whom they are rulers; but such as the whole multitude have tried and approve* of, as being good and righteous men; and let these rulers decide the controversies they have one with another; if any great cause arise, let them bring the cognizances of it before the rulers of a higher dignity; and if any great difficulty arise, that is too hard for even their determination, let them send it to thee. By these means two advantages will be gained; that the Hebrews will have justice done them, and thou wilt be able to attend constantly on God, and procure him to be more favourable to the people.
This was the admonition of Raguel, which Moses received very kindly, and acted according to his suggestion: nor did he conceal the invention of this method, nor pretend to it himself, but informed the multitude who it was that invented it; nay, he has named Raguel in the books he wrote, as the person who invented the ordering of the people, as thinking it right to give a true testimony to worthy persons, although he might have obtained reputation by ascribing to himself the invention of other men; whence we may learn the virtuous disposition of Moses; but of that disposition we shall have occasion to speak in other places.
mount Sinai, to converse with God, to receive and to bring back with him a certain oracle. But he enjoined them to pitch their tents near the mountain: and prefer the habitation that was nearest to God, before one more remote. When he had said this, he ascended up to mount Sinai, which is the highest of all the mountains,t that are in that country, and is not only very difficult to be ascended by men on account of its vast altitude, but because of the sharpness of its precipices. Nay, indeed, it cannot be looked at without pain to the eyes; and besides this, it was terrible and inaccessible on account of a general rumour that God dwelt there. But the Hebrews removed the tents, as Moses had bidden them, and took possession of the lowest parts of the mountain; and were elevated in their minds, in expectation that Moses would return with promises of the good things he had proposed to them. So they feasted, and waited for their conductor, and kept themselves pure for three days, as he had before ordered them to do. And they prayed to God, that he would favourably receive Moses in his conversing with him, and bestow some such gifts upon them by which they might live well.
They also lived more plentifully as to their diet; and put on their wives and children more ornamental clothing than they usually wore.
Two days passed in this way of feasting; but on the thirdf day, before sun-rise, a cloud spread itself over the whole camp of the Hebrews; such an one as none had before seen, and encompassed the place where they had pitched their tents. And while all the rest of the air was clear, there came strong winds that raised up large showers of rain, which became a mighty tempest. There was also such lightning|| as was terrible to those that nations. Accordingly, when 1 Kings, ix. 8, the Scripture says that Elijah came to Horeb, the mount of God, Jose. phus justly says, Antiq. VIII. 13, that he came to the mountain called Sinai : and Jerome, here cited by Dr. Hudson, says, that he took this mountain to have two names, Sinai and Choreb. De Nomin. Heb. 1 uge 427, (Edit. Benedict.) | Exod. xix. 16.
That fire and lightning should attend the presence of God is a notion so frequent in the most ancient and Oriental theology, that it might possibly give occasion to the worship of fire among the Chaldeans and Persians; to the magi, among the Cappadocians, called Purrethi, which Strabo mentions, and to the vestal fires among the Greeks: and Romans, as well as the ancient Britons..
OF MOSES'S ASCENT TO MOUNT SINAI; AND OF THE DIVINE
LAWS WHICH HE RECEIVED FROM GOD, AND DELIVERED
and told them that he was going unto * This manner of electing the judges and officers of the Israelites by the testimonies and suffrages of the people, before they were ordained by God or Moses, deserves to be carefully noted, because it was the pattern of the like manner of the choice and ordination of bishops, preshyters, and deacons, in the Christian church. See Constitut. Apost. VIII. 4, 16, 18.
† Since this mountain Sinai is here said to be the highest of all the mountains in that country, it must be that now called St. Catharine's, which is one third higher than that within a mile of it now called Sinai, as Monsieur Thevenot informs us, Travels, Part I. chap. xxviii. page 168, 169. The other name of it, Horeb, is never used by Josephus, and perhaps was its name among the Egyptians only, whence the Iraelites were lately come, as Sinai was its name among the Arabians, Canaanites, and other
saw it; and thunder, with its thunderbolts, common advantage. For it is not to be supwere sent down, and declared God to be posed that the author of these institutions is there present in a gracious way to such as barely Moses, the son of Amram and JocheMoses desired he should be gracious. Now bed, but he who obliged the Nile to run as to these matters, every one of my readers bloody for your sakes, and tamed the haughmay think as he pleases: but I am under the tiness of the Egyptians, by various sorts of necessity of relating this history as it is de judgments; he who provided a way through scribed in the sacred books. This sight, and the sea for us; he who contrived a method of the amazing sound that came to their ears, sending us food from heaven, when we were disturbed the Hebrews to a prodigious de distressed for want of it; he who made the gree; for they were not such as they were water to issue out of a rock, when we had accustomed to. And then the rumour that very little of it before; he, by whose means was spread abroad how God frequented that Adam was made to partake of the fruits of mountain, greatly astonished their minds; so the land, and of the sea; he, by whose means they sorrowfully remained within their tents, Noah escaped the deluge; he, by whose as both supposing Moses to be destroyed by means our forefather Abraham, of a wanderthe Divine wrath, and expecting the like de ing pilgrim was made the heir of the land of struction for themselves.
Canaan; he, by whose means Jacob was While they were under these apprehen adorned with twelve virtuous sons; he, by bions, Moses appeared joyful and greatly ex whose means Joseph became a potent lord alted. When they saw him they were freed over the Egyptians; he it is who conveys these from their fear, and admitted more comfort instructions to you by me as his interpreter. able hopes as to what was to come.
The air And let them be to you venerable, and conalso was become clear and pure of its former tended for more earnestly by you than your disorders, upon the appearance of Moses; own wives and children; for if you will follow whereupon he called the people together, in them you will lead a happy life, you will enorder to their hearing what God would say joy the land fruitful, the sea calm, and the to them. And when they were assembled, he fruit of the womb complete, as nature restood on an eminence, whence they might all quires; you will also be terrible to your enehear him, and said, “God has received me mies; for I have been admitted into the
pregraciously, O Hebrews, as he has formerly sence of God, and been made a hearer of his done; and has suggested a happy method of incorruptible voice; so great is his concern living for you, and an order of political go for the welfare of your nation.” vernment, and is now present in the camp. I When he had said this, he brought the therefore charge you for his sake, and the people, with their wives and children, so near sake of his works, and what we have done by the mountain, that they might hear God himhis means, that you do not put a low value self speaking to them about the precepts on what I am going to say, because the com which they were to practise; that the energy mands have been given by me; nor because of what should be spoken might not be hurt it is the tongue of a man that delivers them by its utterance, by that tongue of a man to you. But if you have a due regard to the which could but imperfectly deliver it to their great importance of the things themselves, understanding. And they all heard a voice you will understand the greatness of Him that came from above; insomuch that none whose institutions they are; and who has not of those words escaped them, which Moses disdained to communicate them to me for our wrote in two tables, and though it is not* Ηνικα βλεψης μορφης ατερ ευτερον πυρ,
gives us of the approach of Phoebus, he does in a manner Δαμεπομενον σκιρληδον ολα καλα βενθεα Κοσμα
translate the words of Moses : Κλυθι πυρος φωνην
Tremere omnia visa repente, say the Chaldaic oracles; and as for earthquakes, or
Luminaque, laurusque Dei: totusque moveri shaking of mountains, this is no more than what all nations
Mons circum, et mugire adytis cortina reclusis. suppose have ever come to pass upon God's manifesting
Vide Nicholl's Conference, part 2. B. himself at any time : for it is not only the Psalmist who tells us, that the earth shook, and the heaven dropped, at * Of this and another superstitious notion of the Pharithe presence of God; but in the description which Virgil sees, wbich Josephus complied with, see note on II. 12.
lawful for us to set them down directly, we
that sometimes happens to men, to fall among will declare their import.
wild beasts and perish that way, so it was The first commandment teaches us, that probable enough
probable enough that he might depart and there is but one God, and that we ought to go to God, on account of his virtue; they worship him only. The second, commands therefore were quiet, and expected the event; us not to make the image of any living crea though they were exceeding sorrowful upon ture to worship it. The third, that we must the probability that they were deprived of a not swear by God in a false matter. The governor, and a protector; such an one, in fourth, that we must keep the seventh day, by deed, as they could never recover again. resting from all sort of work. The fifth, that Nor would this suspicion give them leave to we must honour our parents.* The sixth, expect any comfortable event about this man; that we must abstain from murder. The nor could they prevent their trouble and meseventh, that we must not commit adultery. lancholy upon this occasion. However the The eighth, that we must not be guilty of camp durst not move all this while: because theft. The ninth, that we must not bear false Moses had commanded them to stay there. witness. The tenth, that we must not admit When forty days and as many nights were of the desire of any thing that is another's.t || expired, Moses came down; having tasted
Now when the multitude had heard God | nothing of food usually appointed for the himself giving those precepts which Moses nourishment of men. His appearance filled had discoursed of, they rejoiced at what was the army with gladness; and he declared to said; and the congregation was dissolved. them, what care God had of them, and by But on the following day they came to his what manner of conduct they might live haptent, and desired him to bring them besides pily: telling them that, during his absence, other laws from God. Accordingly, he ap God had suggested to him|| also that he would pointed such laws, and afterward informed have a tabernacle built for him, into which them in what manner they should act in all he would descend when he came to them; cases; which laws I shall mention in their and how they should carry it about with them proper place: but I shall reserve most of when they removed: and that there should them forf another work: and make there a be no longer any occasion for going up to distinct explication of them.
mount Sinai; but that he would himself come When matters were brought to this state, and pitch his tabernacle amongst them, and Moses went up again to mount Sinai, of which be present at their prayers. As also that the he had told them beforehand. He made his tabernacle should be of such measures and ascent in their sight; but when he had been construction as he had shewed him; and that absent from them forty days, fear seized upon the work must be immediately begun, and the Hebrews, lest he should have come to prosecuted diligently. When he had said
Nor was there any thing that so this, he shewed them the two tables, with the much troubled them, as the idea that Moses Ten Commandments engraven upon them, had perished. Now there was a variety in five upon each table, and the writing was by their sentiments about it; some saying that the hand of God. he was fallen among wild beasts; and those that were of this opinion were chiefly such as
CHAP. VI.. were ill disposed to him; but others saying that he was departed and gone to God. The wiser sort were led, by their reason, to embrace neither of those opinions with any TOW the Israelites rejoiced at what they satisfaction; thinking that as it was a thing had seen and heard of their conductor;
* As disobedience to parents is, by the law of Moses, It was also one of their promises, Thou shalt live long, threatened to be punished with death ; so, on the contrary,
if thou nourish thy ancient parents. Whence children are lòng life is promised to the obedient; and that in their called by Xenophon repobotxo. Patrick, in locum. B. own country, which God had peculiarly enriched with * Exod. xx. 1 to 18. abundance of blessings. Heathens also gave the very
| This other work of Josephus's, here referred to, same encouragement, saying, that such children should be does not appear to have been ever published. dear to the gods, both living and dying. So Euripides. ... It is a query, whether Josephus, in all his own trans-
OF THE TABERNACLE WHICH MOSES BUILT IN THE WILDER
NESS, FOR THE HONOUR OF GOD.