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slew the sacrifices, and offered them as burnt- || not being in his own power, but moved to offerings, that he might observe some signal say what he did by the Divine Spirit. But of the flight of the Hebrews. Then said he, Balak was greatly displeased, and said, he
Happy is this people, on whom God be- | had broken the contract, whereby he was to stows the possession of innumerable good come, as he and his confederates had invited things; and grants them bis own providence him, by the promise of great presents. For to be their assistant, and their guide : so that whereas he came to curse their enemies, he there is not any nation among mankind, but || bad pronounced an encomium on them; and you will be esteemed superior to them in virtue, bad declared they were the happiest of men. and in the earnest prosecution of the best rules To which Balaam replied: “O Balak, if thoa of life, and of such as are pure from wicked- || rightly considerest this whole matter, canst ness ; and will leave those rules to your ex- thou suppose that it is in our power to be silent, cellent children: and this out of the regard or to say any thing when the Spirit of God that God bears to you, and the provision of seizes upon us? for he puts such words as he such things for you as may render you hap- pleases in our mouths; and such discourses as pier than any other people under the sun. we are not ourselves conscious of. I well reYou shall retain that land to which he bath || member by what entreaties both you and the sent you, and it shall ever be under the com Midianites brought me hither; and on that aca mand of
children; and both all the earth, count I took this journey. It was my prayer as well as the sea, shall be filled with their that I might not put any affront npon you, as glory. And you shall be sufficiently nume to what you desired of me. But God is more rous to supply the world in general, and every powerful than the purposes I had made to region of it in particular, with inhabitants out | serve you. For those that take upon them of your stock.
However, O blessed army! | to foretell the affairs of mankind, as from wonder that you are become so many from their own abilities, are entirely unable to do one father! and truly the land of Canaan it; or to forbear to utter what God suggests can now hold you, as being yet comparatively | to them, or to offer violence to his will. few: but know ye that the whole world is For when he prevents us, and enters into us, proposed to be your place of habitation for nothing that we say is our own. I then did
Your posterity also shall live in the not intend to praise this army, nor to notice islands, as well as on the continent; and shall the several good things which God intended be more numerous than the stars of heaven. I to do to their race. But since he was so faAnd when you are become so many, God will vorable to them, and so ready to bestow upon not relinquish his care of you ; but will afford | them a happy life, and eternal glory, he sugyou an abundance of all good things in times I gested the declaration of those things to me. of peace; with victory and dominion in times But now, because it is my desire to oblige of war. May the children of your enemies thee thyself, as well as the Midianites, whose have an inclination to fight against you; and entreaties it is not decent for me to reject; may they be so hardy as to come to arms, | let us again rear other altars, and offer the and to assault you in battle: for they will not like sacrifices that we did before ; and I may return with victory, nor will their return be see whether I can persuade God to permit me agreeable to their wives and children. To so to bind these men with curses.” Balak readigreat a degree of valor will you be raised by || ly agreed to this proposal ; but God would not the providence of God; who is able to dimi- || even upon * second sacrifices consent to his nish the affluence of some, and to supply the || cursing the Israelites. Then fell Balaam upwants of others."
his face, and foretold what calamities Thus did Balaam speak by inspiration; as would befall the several kings of the nations,
* Whether Josephus had in his copy but two attempts now be certainly determined. In the mean time all other of Balaam in all 10 curse Israel; or whether, by his twice | copies have three such attempts of Balaam to curse them offering sacrifice, he meant twice beside the first time al. in the present history. ready mentioned, which is not yet very probable; cannot
and the most eminent cities; some of which they entreat them to stay, let them not give of old were not so much as inhabited; which their consent, till they have persuaded them events have come to pass among the several to neglect their own laws, and the worship of people concerned, both in the preceding ages that God who established them, and to worand in this, till my own memory, both by sea ship the gods of the Midianites, and Moaband land. From which completion of these ites: for by this means God will be incenspredictions, one may, naturally expect that|| ed against † them.”. Accordingly, when Bathe rest will have their completions in time to laam had suggested this course, he went his
way. Balak, being very angry that the Israelites When the Midianites had sent their daughwere not cursed, sent away Balaam, without ters, as Balaam had exhorted them, the Hethinking him worthy of any bonor. Where-brew young men were allured by their beauty; upon, when he was just upon bis journey, in and besought them not to grudge them the order to pass the Euphrates, he sent for Ba-enjoyment of their beauty, nor to deny them lak, and for the princes of the Midianites, and their conversation. These daughters of the spake thus to him: “0 Balak, and you Mi-Midianites received their words gladly, and dianites that are here present, I am obliged, consented to stay with them. But when they even without the will of God, to gratify you. had brought them to be perfectly enamored, It is true, no entire destruction can seize upon they began to talk of departing. Then it was the nation of the Hebrews; neither by war, that these men became greatly disconsolate at nor by plague, nor by scarcity of the fruits the women's departure; and were urgent with of the earth; nor can any other unexpected them not to leave them ; but begged they accident be to their entire rain. For the pro-would continue there, and become their wives, vidence of God is concerned to preserve them and promised them they should be owned as from such a misfortune; nor will it permit any mistresses of all they had. This they said such calamity to come upon them, whereby | with an oath, calling God for the arbitrator they may all perish. But some small misfor- of what they promised; and this with tears tunes, and those for some time, whereby they in their eyes, and such other marks of concern may appear to be brought low, may still befall as might shew how miserable they thought them. But after that they will flourish again, || themselves without them, and so might move to the terror of those who brought those mis- || their compassion.
their compassion. So the women, as soon as chiefs upon them. So that if you are desi- || they perceived they had made them their rous of gaining a victory over them for a short slaves, and had enamored them with their space of time, you will obtain it by following conversation, began to speak thus to them: my directions. Do you, therefore,* set out the “Oye illustrious young men; we have comeliness of such of your daughters as are houses of our own at home, and great plenty most eminent for beauty, and proper to con- of good things there; together with the naquer the inodesty of those that behold them ; tural affectionate love of our parents and and these decked and ornamented to the bigh-| friends. Nor is it out of our want of any such est degree you are able. Then send them to things that we are come to discourse with
and give them in charge, you; nor did we admit of your invitation that when the young men of the Hebrews with design to prostitute our beauty for gain : desire their company, they allow it them. but, taking you for brave and worthy men, And when they see that they are enamored we agreed to your request, that we might of them, let them take their leave; and if | treat you with such honors as hospitality re
* Such a large and distinct account of this perversion + This grand maxim, that God's people of Israel could of the Israelites by the Midianite women, of which our never be hurt, nor destroyed, but by drawing them to other copies give us but short intimations, Numb. xxxi. I sin against God, appears to be true, by the entire bis. 16. 2 Peter ii, 15. Jule 11. Apoc. ii. 14, is preserved, tory of that people, both in the Bible, and in Josephus; as Reland inforns us, in the Samaritan chronicle, in and is often noticed in them both. See in particular a Philo, and in other writings of the Jews, as well as here most remarkable Ammonite testimony to this purpose: by Josephus.
Judith v. 5,21.
quired. And now seeing you say that you many gods, and resolving that they would have a great affection for us, and are troubled sacrifice to them according to the law of that when you think we are departing, we are not country which ordained them : they both were averse to your entreaties; and if we may re- delighted with their strange food, and went ceive satisfactory assurance of your good will, on to do every thing that the women would we will be glad to lead our lives with you, have them do, though in contradiction to their as your wives; but we are afraid that you will own laws. So far, indeed, that this transgresin time he weary of our company, and willsion was already gone through the whole army then abuse us, and send us back to our pa- | of the young men : and they fell into a sedia rents, after an ignominious manner. Yoution that was much worse than the former, and must, therefore, excuse us in guarding against | into the danger of the entire abolition of their that danger."
own institutions. For when once the youth The young men professed they would give had tasted of these strange customs, they went them any assurance they should desire; nor with insatiable inclinations into them; and did they at all contradict what they requested; some of the principal men, who were illustriso great was the passion they had for them. ous on account of the virtues of their fathers,
* If then," rejoined they, “this be your were also corrupted together with the rest. resolution; since you make use of such cus-Even Zimri, the head of the tribe of Simeoni, toms* and conduct of life as are entirely differ- accompanied with Cozbi, a Midianiiish woent from all other men ; insomuch that your man, who was the daughter of Sur, a man kinds of food are peculiar to yourselves, and of authority in that country; and being deyour kinds of drink not common to others; it sired by his wife to disregard the laws of Mowill be absolutely necessary, if you would ses, and to follow those she was used to, he have us for your wives, that you do withal complied with her: and this both by sacrificing worship our gods. Nor can there be any after a manner different from his own, other demonstration of the kindness which you taking a stranger to wife. say you already have, and promise to have When things were in this state, Moses was hereafter' to us, than this, that you worship | afraid that matters would grow worse, and the same gods as we do. For has any one called the people to a congregation : he then reason to complain, that now you are come accused nobody by name; as unwilling to into this country, you should worship the pro- drive those to despair who, by lying concealper gods of the same country ? especiallyed, might come to repentance; but he said, while our gods are common to all men, and that they did not do what was either worthy of yours such as belong to nobody but your- themselves, or of their fathers; by preferring selves.” So they said tbey must either come pleasure to God, and to the living according into such methods of divine worship as all to his will: that it was fit to change their others came into, or else they must look out courses, while affairs were in a good state; for another world, wherein they might live by and think that to be true fortitude which, inthemselves according to their own laws. stead of offering violence to their laws, en
Now the young men were induced, by the abled them to resist their lusts. And besides fondness they had for these women, to think that, he said, it was not a reasonable thing, they spake very well. So they gave themselves when they had lived soberly in the wilderup to what they suggested, and transgress-ness, to act madly now they were in prospeed their own laws; and supposing there were | rity: and that they ought not to lose in abund.
* What Josephus here puts into the mouths of these son for the great concern that was ever shewn under Midianite women who came to entice the Israelites to the laws of Moses, lo preserve the Israelites from idollewdness and idolatry; viz. that their worship of the God | atry, and in the worship of the true God: it being of of Israel, in opposition to their idol gods, implied their no less consequence than, whether God's people should living according to the holy laws, which the true God be governed by the holy laws of the true God, or by had given them by Moses, in opposition to those impure the impure laws, derived from demons, under the pagan laws, u hicb were observed under their false gods, well idolatry ? deserves our consideration; and gives us a substantial rea
ance, what they had gained when they had he avoided that, lest many should imitate the little. And thus did he endeavor to correct impudence of his language, and thereby disthe young men, and to bring them to repent-turb the multitude. Upon this, the assembly ance for what they had done.
However, this mischievous But Zinri arose up after him, and said, attempt had proceeded farther, if Zimri had “ Yes indeed, Moses, thou art at liberty to not been slain on the following occasion : make use of such laws as thou art so fond Phineas, a man in other respects better than of; and hast, by accustoming thyself to them, the rest of the young men, and also one that made them firm. Otherwise, if things had surpassed his contemporaries in the dignity not been thus, thou hadst often been punished of his father (for he was the son of Eleazar before now, and hadst known that the He- the high-priest, and the grandson of Aaron, brews are not easily put upon. But thou shalt Moses's brother), was greatly troubled at what not have me one of thy followers in thy tyran- was done by Zimri
. So he resolved to inflict nical commands; for thou didst nothing else punishment on him, before his unworthy behitherto, but, under pretence of laws, and of haviour should grow stronger by impunity, God, wickedly impose upon us slavery, and and in order to prevent this transgression from gain dominion to thyself; while thou deprivest proceeding farther : which would happen if us of the sweetness of life, which consists in the ringleaders were not punished. He was acting according to our own wills, and is the of so great magnanimity both in strength of right of free men, and of those that have no mind and body, that when he undertook any lord over them. Nay indeed, thou art harder very dangerous attempt, he did not relinquish upon the Hebrews than were the Egyptians it till he got an entire victory. So he came themselves; as pretending to punish accord-into Zimri's tent, and slew him with his javeing to law every one's acting as is most agree-lin; and with it he slew Cozbi also. able to himself. But thou thyself better de which, all those young men that had a regard servest to suffer punishment, who presumest to virtue, and aimed to do a glorious action, to abolish what every one acknowledges to be imitated Phineas's boldness, and slew those good for him ; and aimest to make thy single that were found to be guilty of the same crime opinion of more force than that of the rest : and with Zimri. Accordingly, many of those who what I now do, and think to be right, I shall bad transgressed perished by the magnani. not hereafter deny to be according to my own mous valour of these young men. The rest all sentiments. I have married, as thou sayest perished by a plague, wbich, God himself inrightly, a strange woman: and thou hearest Aicted upon them. So that all those, who, what I do from myself, as from one that is instead of bindering them from such wicked free : for truly I did not intend to conceal my- | actions, as they ought to have done, had perself. I also own that I sacrifice to those gods suaded them to go on, were esteemed by God to whom you do not think fit to sacrifice; and as partners in the wickedness, and died. AcI think it right to acquire knowledge by in- cordingly there perished out of the army no quiring of many people ; and not like one that fewer than twenty-four thousand at this time. lives under tyranny, to suffer the whole hope This was the cause why Moses was provokof my life to depend upon one man. Nored to destroy the Midianites; concerning which shall any one find cause to rejoice who de expedition we will speak presently, when we clares himself to have more authority over have first related what has been omitted. my actions than myself.”
For it is but just not to pass over our legislaWhen Zimri had said these things, about tor's due encomium, on account of his conwhat he and some others had wickedly done, duct here; because, although Balaam, who the people held their peace: both out of fear was sent for by the Midianites to curse the of what might come upon them, and because Hebrews; and when he was hindered from they saw that their legislator was not willing doing it, by Divine Providence, did still sugto bring his insolence before the public any gest that advice to them, by making use of farther, or openly to contend with him. For which our enemies had nearly corrupted the VOL. 1.-(11.)
OF THE PUNISHMENT INFLICTED ON THE MIDIANITES, BY
multitude of the Hebrews with their artifices ; || the king that built it; but is by the Greeks yet did he do bim great honor, by setting called Petra. Now, when the enemies were down bis prophecies in writing. And while discomfited, the Hebrews spoiled their counit was in his power to claim this glory to try, and took a great prey, and destroyed the himself, and make men believe they were his men that were its inhabitants, together with own predictions; there being no one that the women: only they preserved the virgins, could be a witness against him, and accuse as Moses had commanded Phineas; who inhim for so doing ; he still gave his attestation | deed came back, bringing with his victorious to Balaam, and did him the honor to make army fifty-two thousand beeves, serenty-five mention of him on this account.
thousand six hundred sheep, and sixty thou
sand asses, with an immense quantity of gold CHAP. VII.
and silver furniture, which the Midianites
made use of in their houses; for they were THE HEBREWS; THE APPOINTMENT OF Moses's succes so wealthy, that they were very luxurious. SOR; GRANT OF AMORITE LANDS, &c.
There were also led captive about # thirtyMOSES, for the causes aforementioned, two thousand virgins. So Moses divided the
sent against the land of Midian an ar- prey into parts, and gave one fiftieth part to my of twelve thousand * men ; taking an Eleazar, and to the priests; and another equal number out of every tribe : and ap- fiftieth part to the Levites; and distributed pointing for their commander Phineas, who the rest of the prey among the people. After had
guarded the laws of the Hebrews, and had | which they lived happily, as having obtained an inflicted punishment upon Zimri, when he had abundance of good things by their valors
and transgressed them.
there being no misfortune that attended them, Now the Midianites perceived beforehand or hindred their enjoyment of that happiness, how the Hebrews were coming, and would Moses, being now grown old, appointed suddenly be upon them. So they assembled Joshua for his successor I both to receite ditheir army, and fortified the entrances into | rections from God, as a prophet, and for a their country; and there awaited the enemy's commander of the army, if they should at any approach. When they were come, and had time stand in need of such a one. And this joined battle with them, an innumerable mul was done by the command of God; that to him titude of the Midianites fell; among whom the care of the public should be committed. were their five kings; Evi, Zur, Reba, Hur, | Now Joshua had been instructed in all those and Rekem; the latter of whom was of the kinds of learning which concerned the laws, same name with the capital city of all Ara and God himself; and Moses had been his inbia, which is till now so called by the whole structor. Arabian nation, Arecem, from the name of At this time the two tribes of Gad, and
* Numb. xxxi. 5.
plainly implying, that they were therefore to be destroy. + The slaughter of all the Midianite women, that had led because they were sinners, and not otherwise. In the prostituted themselves to the lewd Israelites; and the pre- || third, the reason is given, why king Agag was not to be servation of those that had not been guilty therein ; which spared: viz. because of his former cruelty. As thy sword latter were no fewer than 32,000, both'here, and Numb. hath made the Hebrew women childless, so shall thy xxxi. 15, 16, 17, 35, and both by the particular com mother be made childless among women, by the Hebrews. mand of God, are highly remarkable; and shew that, | The apostles also, or their amanuensis Clement, gave this even in nations doomed to destruction for their wicked reason of the necessity of the coming of Christ, that men ness, the innocent were sometimes particularly and pro- had formerly perverted both the positive law, and that of videntially taken care of, and delivered from that de nature: and had cast out of their minds the memory of struction. Which directly implies, that it was the wick- the flood, the burning of Sodom, the plagues of the Egypedness of the nations of Canaan, and nothing else, that tians, and the slaughter of the inhabitants of Palestine, occasioned their excision. See Gen. sv. 16. 1 Sam, xv. as signs of the most amazing impenitence and insensi18, 33. In the first of which places, the reason of the bility under the punishment of horrid wickedness. Condelay of the punishment of the Amorites is given; be-stitut. Apost. viii. 12. page 402. cause their iniquity was not yet full. In the second, Saul Numb, xxvii, 22. Deut. xxxiv. 9. is ordered to go and destroy the sinners, the Amalekites;