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to lose in abundance, what they had gained when || father; (for he was the son of Eleazar the highthey had little. And thus did he endeavour to priest; and the grandson of Aaron, Moses's correct the young men, and to bring them to re- brother,) was greatly troubled at what was done pentance for what they had done.
. So he resolved to inflict punishment But Zimri arose up after him, and said, “ Yes, on him, before his unworthy behaviour should indeed, Moses, thou art at liberty to make use of grow stronger by impunity, and in order to presuch laws as thou art so fond of; and hast, by vent this transgression from proceeding farther: accustoming thyself to them, made them firm. which would happen if the ringleaders were not Otherwise, if things had not been thus, thou hadst punished. He was of so great magnanimity, both often been punished before now, and hadst known in strength of mind and body, that when he unthat the Hebrews are not easily put upon. But dertook any very dangerous attempt, he did not thou shalt not have me one of thy followers in relinquish it till he got an entire victory. So he thy tyrannical commands: for thou didst no- came into Zimri's tent, and slew him with his thing else hitherto, but, under pretence of laws, javelin ; and with it he slew Cozbi also. Upon and of God, wickedly impose upon us slavery, and which, all those young men that had a regard to gain dominion to thyself; while thou deprivest us virtue, and aimed to do a glorious action, imitated of the sweetness of life, which consists in acting Phineas's boldness, and slew those that were found according to our own wills, and is the right of to be guilty of the same crime with Zimri. Acfree men, and of those that have no lord over cordingly many of those who had transgressed, them. Nay, indeed, thou art harder upon the perished by the magnanimous valour of these Hebrews than were the Egyptians themselves ; as young men. The rest all perished by a plague, pretending to punish according to the law every which God himself inflicted upon them. So that one's acting as is most agreeable to himself. But all those, who, instead of hindering them from thou thyself better deservest to suffer punishment, such wicked actions, as they ought to have done, who presumest to abolish what every one ac- had persuaded them to go on, were esteemed by knowledges to be good for him; and aimest to God as partners in the wickedness, and died. Acmake thy single opinion of more force than that cordingly there perished out of the army no fewer of the rest; and what I now do, and think to be than twenty-four thousand at this time. right, I shall not hereafter deny to be accord- This was the cause why Moses was provoked ing to my own sentiments. I have married, as to destroy the Midianites; concerning which exthou sayest rightly, a strange woman, and thou pedition we will speak presently, when we have hearest what I do from myself, as from one that first related what has been omitted. For it is but is free: for truly I did not intend to conceal my- just not to pass over our legislator's due encomium, self. I also own that I sacrifice to those gods to on account of his conduct here: because, although whom you do not think fit to sacrifice; and I think Balaam, who was sent for by the Midianites to it right to acquire knowledge by inquiring of many curse the Hebrews; and when he was hindered people ; and not, like one that lives under tyranny, from doing it by divine Providence, did still sugto suffer the whole hope of my life to depend upon gest that advice to them, by making use of which
Nor shall any one find cause to rejoice our enemies had nearly corrupted the multitude who declares himself to have more authority over of the Hebrews with their artifices; yet did he my actions than myself."
do him great honour, by setting down his prophWhen Zimri had said these things, about what ecies in writing. And while it was in his power he and some others had wickedly done, the peo- to claim this glory to himself, and make men beple held their peace: both out of fear of what lieve they were his own predictions; there being might come upon them, and because they saw no one that could be a witness against him, and that their legislator was not willing to bring his accuse him for so doing, he still gave his attestainsolence before the public any farther, or openly tion to Balaam, and did him the honour to make to contend with him. For he avoided that, lest mention of him on this account. many should imitate the impudence of his lan
CHAP. VII. guage, and thereby disturb the multitude. Upon this, the assembly was dissolved. However, this
OF THE PUNISHMENT INFLICTED ON THE MIDIANITES BY THE NEmischievous attempt had proceeded farther, if Zimri had not been slain on the following occa- Moses, for the causes aforementioned, sent against sion : Phineas, a man in other respects better than the land of Midian an army of twelve thousand* the rest of the young men, and also one that surpassed his contemporaries in the dignity of his
* Numb. xxxi. 5.
BREWS; THE APPOINTMENT OF MOSES'S SUCCESSOR; GRANT OF AMORITE LANDS, &c.
men ; taking an equal number out of every tribe ; || of God; that to him the care of the public should be and appointing for their commander Phineas, who committed. Now Joshua had been instructed in all had guarded the laws of the Hebrews, and had in those kinds of learning which concerned the laws, flicted punishment upon Zimri, when he had trans- and God himself; and Moses had been his instructor. gressed them.
At this time the two tribes of Gad and Reubel, Now the Midianites perceived beforehand, how and the half tribe of Manasseh, abounded in a multhe Hebrews were coming, and would suddenly be titude of cattle, as well as in all other kinds of prosupon them. So they assembled their army, and perity; whence they had a meeting, and besought fortified the entrances into their country; and there Moses to give them, as their peculiar portion, that awaited the enemy's approach. When they were land of the Amorites which they had taken by right come, and had joined battle with them, an innume- of war; because it was fruitful, and for feeding rable multitude of the Midianites fell; among whom cattle. But Moses, supposing that they were afraid were their five kings; Evi, Zur, Reba, Hur, and of fighting the Canaanites, and invented this proRekem; the latter of whom was of the same name vision for their cattle, as a handsome excuse for with the capital city of all Arabia, which is till now avoiding that war, called them arrant cowards ; so called by the whole Arabian nation, Arecem, from and said, they had only contrived a decent excuse the name of the king that built it; but is by the for their timidity; and that they had a mind to live Greeks called Petra. Now when the enemies were
Now when the enemies were in luxury and ease, while all the rest were labouring discomfited, the Hebrews spoiled their country, and with great pains to obtain the land they were detook a great prey, and destroyed the men that were sirous to have; and that they were not willing to its inhabitants, together with the women; only they undergo the remaining hard service, whereby they preserved the virgins, as Moses had commanded were under the divine promise to pass over Jordan, Phineas; who indeed came back, bringing with its and overcome those enemies which God had showed victorious army fifty-two thousand beeves, seventy- them, and so obtain their land. But these tribes, five thousand six hundred sheep, and sixty thousand when they saw that Moses was angry with them, asses, with an immense quantity of gold and silver and when they could not deny but he had a just furniture, which the Midianites made use of in their cause to be displeased at their petition, made an houses; for they were so wealthy, that they were apology for themselves; and said that it was not on very luxurious. There were also led captive about* account of their fear of danger, nor on account of thirty-two thousand virgins. So Moses divided the their indolence, that they made this request, but that prey into parts, and gave one fiftieth part to Elea- they might leave the prey they had gotten in places zar, and to the priests; and another fiftieth part to of safety, and thereby might be more expeditious, the Levites; and distributed the rest of the prey and ready to undergo difficulties, and to fight batamong the people: after which, they lived happily, tles. They added, also, that when they had built as having obtained an abundance of good things by cities, wherein they might preserve their children, their valour; and there being no misfortune that and wives, and possessions, if he would bestow them attended them or hindered their enjoyment of that upon them, they would go along with the rest of the happiness.
army. Hereupon Moses called for Eleazar, the highMoses being now grown old, appointed Joshua priest, and Joshua, and the chief of the tribes, and for his successor, both to receive directions from permitted these tribes to possess the land of the God, as a prophet, and for a commander of the Amorites, but upon this condition, that they should army, if they should at any time stand in need of join with their kinsmen in the war, until all things such a one.
And this was done by the command were settled. Upon which condition they took pos
The slaughter of all the Midianite women, that had prostituted ed because they were sinners, and not otherwise. In the third, themselves to the lewd Israelites; and the preservation of those the reason is given, why king Agag was not to be spared ; viz. that had not been guilty therein ; which latter were no fewer because of his former cruelty. As thy sword hath made the than 32,000, both here, and Numb. xxxi. 15, 16, 17, 35, and Hebrew women childless; so shall thy mother be made child. both by the particular command of God, are highly remarkable ; less among women, by the Hebrews. The Apostles also, or and show that even in nations doomed to destruction for their their amanuensis Clement, give this reason of the necessity of wickedness, the innocent were sometimes particularly and prov- | the coming of Christ, that men had formerly perverted both the identially taken care of, and delivered from that destruction. positive law, and that of nature: and had cast out of their minds Which directly implies, that it was the wickedness of the nations the memory of the flood, the burning of Sodom, the plagues of of Canaan, and nothing else, that occasioned their excision. the Egyptians, and the slaughter of the inhabitants of Palestine, See Gen. xv. 16. 1 Sam. xv. 18, 33. In the first of which as signs of the most amazing impenitence and insensibility places, the reason of the delay of the punishment of the Amor- under the punishment of horrid wickedness. Constitut. Apost. ites is given; because their iniquity was not yet full. In the viii. 12, page 402. second, Saul is ordered to go and destroy the sinners, the Ama- † Numb. xxvii. 22. Deut. xxxiv. 9. lekites; plainly implying, that they were therefore to be destroy.
session of the country, and built them strong cities, reasonable not to leave off my endeavours even now and put into them their children, and their wives, for your happiness; but to do my utmost to procure and whatsoever else they had that might be an im- for you the eternal enjoyment of good things, and pediment to the labours of their future marches. a memorial for myself, when you shall be in the
Moses also now built those ten cities, which were fruition of great plenty and prosperity. Let me, to bę of the number of forty-eight, for the Levites. therefore, suggest to you by what means you may Three of these he allotted to those that slew any be happy, and may leave an eternal prosperous person involuntarily, and fled to them; and he as- possession to your children after you; and then signed the same time for their banishment, with that let me go out of the world. And I cannot but deof the life of the high-priest, under whom the slaugh- serve to be believed by you, both on account of ter and flight happened; after which he permitted the great things I have already done for you, and the slayer to return home; the relations of him that because, when souls are about to leave the body, was slain having the power to kill the slayer, if they they speak with the sincerest freedom. Of children caught him without the bounds of the city to which of Israel! there is but one source of happiness for he fled; though this permission was not granted to all mankind, the favour of God: for he alone is any other person. Now the cities which were set able to give good things to those that deserve apart for this flight were Bezer, at the borders of them, and to deprive those of them that sin Arabia ; Ramoth, of the land of Gilead; and Go- against him. If you behave yourselves according lan, in the land of Bashan. There were to be also, to his will, and according to what I, who well unby Moses's command, three other cities allotted for derstand his mind, do advise, you will both be the habitation of these fugitives, out of the cities of esteemed blessed, and will be admired by all men, the Levites; but not till after they should be in pos- and will never come into misfortunes, nor cease session of the land of Canaan.
to be happy; you will then preserve the possession At this time the chief men of the tribe of Manas- of the good things you already have, and will seh came to Moses, and informed him that there was quickly obtain those that you at present are in an eminent man of their tribe dead, whose name was want of.
want of. Only be obedient to those whom God Zelophehad, who had no male children, but left would have you to follow. Nor prefer any other daughters; and asked him whether the daughters constitution of government before the laws now might inherit his land* or not? He made this an- given you; neither disregard that way of divine swer: that if they shall marry into their own tribe, worship which you now have, nor change it for they shall carry their own estate along with them; any other form. And if you do this, you will be but if they shall marry to any of another tribe, they most courageous of all men, in undergoing the shall leave their inheritance in their father's tribe. fatigues of war; and will not be easily conquered And then it was that Moses ordained that every by any of your enemies. For while God is presone's inheritance should continue in his own tribe.
ent to assist you, it is to be expected that you will
be able to despise the opposition of all mankind. CHAP. VIII.
And great rewards of virtue are proposed to you, OF THE POLITY SETTLED BY MOSES, AND HIS DISAPPEARANCE FROM if you preserve that virtue through your whole
lives. Itself is indeed the principal and the first Whent forty years were completed, within thirty reward; and after that he bestows abundance of days, Moses gathered the congregation near Jordan, others. So that your exercise of virtue towards where the city Abila now stands, which place is full other men, will make your own lives happy, and of palm-trees; and when all the people were come render you more glorious than foreigners can be ; together, he spake thus to them:
and procure you an undisputed reputation with “O ye Israelites, and fellow-soldiers, who have posterity. These blessings you will be able to obbeen partners with me in this long and toilsome tain, in case you hearken to and observe those journey. Since now the will of God, and the course laws which, by divine revelation, I have ordained of old age at an hundreds and twenty, requires that for you; that is, in case you meditate upon the I depart out of this life; and since God has forbid wisdom that is in them. I am now going from you, den me to be a patron or an assistant to you in what rejoicing in the good things you enjoy; and I reremains to be done beyond Jordan; I thought it commend you to the wise conduct of your law,
* Numb. xxxvi. 2, et seq.
And his words are so true, and of such importance, that they + From An. 1532 to 1492 B. C.
# Deut. xxxi. 2. deserve to be had in constant remembrance both by Jews and § Josephus, in this one sentence, sums up his notion of Moses's Christians: “O children of Israel! there is but one source of very long and serious exhortations in the book of Deuteronomy. | happiness for all mankind, the favour of God.”
to the becoming order of your polity, and to the them; but to look upon it as for your advantage virtues of your commander ; who will take care to destroy them all; lest if you permit them to live, of what is for your advantage. And that God, you imbibe their manners, and thereby corrupt who has been till now your leader, and by whose your own proper institutions. I also further exhort good-will I have myself been useful to you, will you, to overthrow their altars, and their groves, not put a period now to his providence over you: and whatsoever temples they have among them; but as long as you desire to have him your pro- and to burn all such their nation and their
very tector, in your pursuits after virtue, so long will memory with fire. For by this means alone the you enjoy his care over you. Your high-priest safety of your own happy constitution can be firmalso, Eleazar, as well as Joshua, with the senate, ly secured to you. And in order to prevent your and chief of your tribes, will go before you, and ignorance of virtue, and the degeneracy of your suggest the best advices to you; by following nature into vice, I have also ordained you laws which advices you will continue to be happy: to by divine suggestion, and a form of government; them, therefore, do you give ear without reluc- which are so good, that if you regularly observe tance; as sensible that all such that know well them, you will be esteemed of all men most how to be governed, will also know how to govern, happy.” if they be promoted to that authority themselves. When he had spoken thus, he gave them the And do not you esteem liberty to consist in op- laws and the constitution of government written posing such directions as your governors think fit in a book. Upon which the people fell into tears, to give you for your practice; as at present, in- and appeared already touched with the sense that deed, you place your liberty in nothing else but they should have a great want of their conductor; abusing your benefactors: which error if you can because they remembered what a number of danavoid for the time to come, your affairs will be in gers he had passed through, and what care he had a better condition than they have hitherto been. taken for their preservation ; they desponded Nor do you ever indulge such a degree of passion about what would come upon them after he was in these matters, as you have oftentimes done dead; suppposing they should never have another when you have been very angry at me: for you governor like him; and fearing that God would know that I have been oftener in danger of death take less care of them when Moses was gone, who from you, than from our enemies. What I now used to intercede for them. They also repented put you in mind is not done in order to reproach of what they had said to him in the wilderness, you: for I do not think it proper, now I am going when they were angry; and so were in grief on out of the world, to bring this to your remem- those accounts. So that the whole body of the brance, in order to leave you offended at me; people fell into tears with such bitterness, that it since at the time when I underwent those hard was past the power of words to comfort them in ships, I was not angry at you ; but I do it in order their affliction. However, Moses gave them some to make you wiser hereafter, and to teach you consolation ; and by calling them off the thought that this will be for your security ; I mean that how worthy he was of their weeping for him, he you never be injurious to those that preside over exhorted them to adhere to that form of governyou, even when you are become rich; as you will ment he had given them. And then the congregabe to a great degree when you have passed over tion was dissolved at that time. Jordan, and are in possession of the land of Ca- I shall now first describe this form of naan. Since when you shall have once proceeded ment, which was agreeable to the dignity and so far by your wealth as to a contempt and dis- virtue of Moses; and shall thereby inform those regard of virtue, you will also forfeit the favour of that peruse these Antiquities what our original God: and when you have made him your enemy, settlements were, and shall then proceed to the you will be beaten in war; and will have the land remaining histories. Now these settlements are which you possess taken away again from you by still in writing, as he left them; and we shall add your enemies : and this with great reproaches nothing by way of ornament, nor any thing besides upon your conduct. You will be scattered over what Moses left us. Only we shall so far innovate, the whole world; and will, as slaves, entirely fill as to digest the several kinds of laws into a reguboth sea and land, and when once you have had lar system. For they were by him left in writing, the experience of what I now say, you will repent, as they were accidentally scattered in their delivand remember the laws you have broken, when it ery; and as he, upon inquiry, had learned them is too late. Whence I would advise you, if you of God. On which account I have thought it neintend to preserve these laws, to leave none of cessary to premise this observation ; lest any of your enemies alive, when you have conquered | my own countrymen should blame me, as having
been guilty of an offence herein. Now part of our will be maintained by thus conversing together, and constitution will include the laws that belong to by seeing and talking with one another, and so reour political state: but with respect to those laws newing the memorials of this union; for if they do which Moses left concerning our common conver- not thus converse together continually, they will sation and intercourse with one another, I have appear like mere strangers to one another. reserved that for a discourse concerning our man- Let there be taken out of your fruits a tenth, ner of life, and the occasion of those laws; which besides that which you have allotted to give to the I propose to myself
, with God's assistance, to priests and Levites. This you may indeed sell in write, after I have finished the work I am now the country: but it is to be used in those feasts and upon.
sacrifices that are to be celebrated in the holy city. When you have possessed yourself of the land for it is fit that you should enjoy the fruits of the of Canaan, and have leisure to enjoy the good earth, which God gives you to possess, so as may things of it; and when you have afterward de- be to the honour of the donor. termined to build cities, if you will do what is You are not to offer sacrifices out of the|| hire of pleasing to God, you will have a secure state of a harlot ; for the Deity is not pleased with any thing happiness. Let there be then one city of the land that arises from such abuses of nature; of which of Canaan; and this situate in the most agreeable sort none can be worse than this prostitution of the place for its goodness, and very eminent of itself; body; in like manner no one may take the price of and let it be that which God shall choose for him the covering of a bitch, either of one that is used in self, by prophetic revelation. Let there also be one hunting, or in keeping of sheep, and thence sacritemple therein, and one altar; not reared of hewn fice to God. I stones, but of such as you gather together at ran- Let no one** blaspheme the godstt which other dom; which stones, when they are whitened over cities esteem such. Nor may one steal what belongs with mortar, will have a handsome appearance, to strange temples, nor take away the gifts that are and be beautiful to the sight. Let the ascent to it dedicated to any god. be* not by steps, but by an acclivity of raised earth. Let not any one of you wear a garment made of And let there be neither an altar, nor a temple, in woollenff and linen; for that is appointed to be for any other city. For God is but one, and the na- the priests only. tion of the Hebrews is but one.
When the multitude are assembled together unto He that blasphemeth God let him be stoned, and the holy city for sacrificing; every seventh year, at let him hang upon a tree all that day: and then let the feast of tabernacles, let the high-priest stand him be buried in an ignominious and obscure manner. upon a high desk, whence he may be heard, and let
Let those that live as remote as the bounds of the him read the laws to allgs the people. And let neiland which the Hebrews shall possess, come to that ther women, children, nor servants, be hindered from city where the temple shall be, and this three timest hearing. For it is a good thing that those laws every year; that they may give thanks to God for should be engraven in their souls, and preserved in his former benefits, and may entreat him for those their memories ; that so it may not be possible to they shall want hereafter: and let them, by this blot them out. For by this means they will not be means, maintain a friendly correspondence with one guilty of sin, when they cannot plead ignorance of another with such meetings and feastings together. what the laws have enjoined them. The laws also For it is a good thing for those that are of the same will have a great authority among them, as foretellstock, and under the same institutions, not to be ing what they will suffer if they break them; and unacquainted with each other ; which acquaintance imprinting in their souls by this hearing what they
* This law, both here and Exod. xx. 25, 26, of not going up † Levit. xxiv. 16. to God's altar by ladder-steps, but on an acclivity, seems not to # Exod. xxiii. 14. Deut. xvi. 16. have belonged to the altar of the tabernacle; which was in all Levit. xxvii. 30. but three cubits high : Exod. xxvii. 1, nor to that of Ezekiel, The hire of public harlots was given to Venus in Syria, as which was expressly to be gone up to by steps, xliii. 17, but Lucian informs us, page 878. And against some such vile pracrather to occasional altars of any considerable altitude and large- tice of the old idolaters this law seems to have been made. ness; as also probably to Solomon's altar, to which it is here Deut. xxiii. 18. applied by Josephus; as well as that of Zorobabel's and Herod's ** The Apostolical Constitutions, II. expound this law of temple; which were, I think, all ten cubits high. See 2 Chron. Moses, Exod. xxii. 28: “Thou shalt not revile or blaspheme iv. 1, and Joseph. Antiq. VIII. 3. And the reason why these the gods,” of magistrates; which is a much more probable extemples, and these only, were to have this ascent on an acclivity, position than this of Josephus's of heathen gods. and not by steps, is obvious; that before the invention of stairs, tt Exod. xxii. 28. such as we now use, decency could not be otherwise provided If Levit. xix. 19. for in the loose garments which the priests wore, as the law re- $$ What book of the law was thus publicly read, see the note quired. See Lamy of the Tabernacle and Temple, p. 444. on X. 5. and 1 Esd. ix. 50-55,