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uiul seventy-five, which is the number of remaining shekels over and above the talents, and (he whole sum Taiscd at fifteen-pence the half-shekel, amounts in English coin to, .£.37,721 17*. lid. This sura therefore Moses first raised by the assessment, and after he had collected i(, he moved the people to a voluntary contribution,' as God had directed him; cl which brought in a sufficient quantity of all sorts of materials that were wanted, to the full of what they could have occasion for ;• so that Moses gave commandment to proclaim through the camp, that the people should make no further offerings.r Belalicl and Aholiab, being nominated by a special designation from God himself, began the tabernacle," and in some months towards the end of the year, by their direction, and the assistance of the hands employed under them,h the tabernacle and its appurtenances, the table of shew-bread, the priests' garments, the holy ointments, the golden candlestick, and all the vessels and utensils for the service of the altar, were finished.1
The marginal reference in our English Bibles at Exodus xxx. J2. seems to hint, that this numbering the people for the raising the tax for the tabernacle, was the very same with that mentioned in Numbers i. 2—5. The number of the poll uppcars indeed in each place to be to a man the saine,k and this possibly
• Exod. xzxv. A Vcr.2. * xxxvi. 5.
* Vcr. 6. * xxxv. 30. xxxvi. I.
k xxxvi. 1. xxxix. 43. xl.2. 'xxxix. 32—43.
k Exod. xxxviii. 26. Numb. i. 46.
might lead those who made the reference to mistake, and think that the people had been in truth but once numbered; but it U evident, 1. That the poll mentioned in the first chapter of Numbers, was not taken until the first day of the second month of the second year nfter the exit from Egypt/1 2. The tabernacle was finished a month earlier; for it was erected on the first day of the first month.m The poll taken for raising the assessment, was before the tabernacle was finished; for the silver which the assessment raised, was applied to the making some parts of the tabernacle ;n so that the poll for the assessment must have preceded at least above a month earlier, than that which is mentioned in the first chapter of Numbers. 4, I imagine it was some months earlier; for surely the numbering and assessing the people preceded the free offering of those who were willing," and was therefore before the workmen began the tabernacle. For when the persons ■ employed in the work of the tabernacle found, that the free-offerings had supplied as much of all sorts of materials as were necessary, it was proclaimed through the camp, that no one should oiler any more;11 and therefore had these voluntary offerings been made before the assessment, the assessment would have been superfluous; but we find that it was not so, by the use made of the silver, which came in from it."1 I therefore think it most probable,
•Numb. 1. 1. m Exod. xl. 17.
» xxxrlil. 27, 28. ° xxxvi. 3.
r Ver. 0. « xxxviii. 27, 28.
that Moses first raised the assessment, then ordered the free-will-offering, and when the materials were collected he delivered them to the workmen, and appointed them to begin the tabernacle/ Now if he proceeded thus, the poll mentioned in the first chapter of Numbers was near six months later, than this numbering and assessing the people; for the tabernacle was probably about five months in making, and the poll in Numbers i. was taken a month after finishing and erecting the tabernacle as above. But it may seem very odd, that two different polls of one and the same people, taken thus at two different times, should agree exactly to a man; one would rather imagine, that in a growing people, the number of deaths of the aged could not answer to the advan.ce of young persons to the age they were polled at; but that in the space of one or of six. or seven months, there must be a considerable variation in so great a company as the camp of the Israelites. And if we duly attend to it, we find this was the fact in the case before us. The number of men indeed in each poll is the same exactly, there being 605,530 men in each of them;' but then the same persons were not allowed to be taken down in both the polls. To the first poll came all the Israelites from twenty years old aad upwards;' but in the second poll the Levites were not numbered. ° When the first poll \vas taken,
r Exodi xxxri. 3. • Ibid, xxxviii. 26
Numb. i. 46. . * Exod , xxx. 14.
• Numb. i. 47.
I say, all the Israelites were numbered, no tribe ex* cepted; for the Levites were not then separated from the congregation ;x but at the taking the second poll, the Levites were to be numbered bj themselves, and in another manner.' And thus at taking the first poll, the whole camp, Levites ineluded, consisted of 603,550 men, of and above twenty years old." At the second poll the camp consisted of the like number of 603,550 men,* of the age above-mentioned, without any Levites in the computation; so that as many persons as were grown up to the age of twenty years in the space of time between taking the two polls, as the number of Levites of twenty years old and upwards at the first poll amounted to, supposing, what I think may be allowed, that no one person died in the camp in this interval.b
I The separation of tha Levites was at taking the second poll. Numb. Hi. 6. Gob having directed them not to bo numbered in it. Chap. i. 48, 49.
> i. 48. iii. * Exod. xxxviii. 26. * Numb. i. 46.
II If we consider the whole body of the Israelites at under the protection of a particular providence, and in hopes, each person for himself and children, of living to go into the promised land: if we add to this, that sickness and an early death were not frequent in these ages, but were thought judgments for particular sins. See vol. ii. b. ix. Numb, xxvii. 3. it will not be hard to imagine that five or six months might pass without a death in the camp. And if we further reflect, that tho younger "part
On the first day of the first month, of the second year after the departure out of Egypt, i. e. about the middle of our March, A. M. 2514, Moses reared up the tabernacle, and placed the ark in it, and hung up the vail, and put the table of shew-broad in its place, and set the bread in order upon it, and put the candlestick in its place, and lighted the lamps, and placed the golden altar of incense in the tent before the vail, and he burnt sweet incense thereon; and set up the hanging at the door of the tabernacle, and set the laver in its place, and reared up the court round about the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the hanging of the court-gate. This is what Moses is represented1 to have done this day:d and all the parts of the taber
of the camp were so numerous, as in about eight or nine and thirty years to grow up into a body of 601,730 men of twenty years old and upwards, without the Levitcs, and without any of the persons that were now twenty, except Joshua and Caleb, to be numbered amongst them, Numb, xxvi. 51—64, it may not seem improbable that the persons at this time ucar twenty years old, but not completely so, should be sufficient to afford in fire or six months an ad. dition to the camp, not only equal to the number of Levitcs of twenty years old and upwards, who were taken from it, and who were, I conceive, in number not above eight or ten thousand. See Numbers iv. 48, but also to a farther number of aged men, if any such must be supposed to have died in this interval. c Exodus xl. 17—33.
d What is mentioned ver. 31, 32, that Moses and Aaron and his sons washed their hands and feet at the laver, was