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that he would come down and talk with him, and give them of his spirit to make ' them sufficient for the employment to which they were to be appointed. Thus we may see a very remarkable difference in the institution of the officers upon which our noble author has remarked; if compared with those who were appointed by divine direction. I might go farther and observe, that the several officers whom God had appointed, continued to have their name, title, and authority through all the changes of the Jewish state. The priests, the Levites, the heads of tribes, the seventy elders had, all of them, their stated and respective offices and employments; not only under Moses, but under Joshua, in the time of the judges, under the kings, in all times, and under all revolutions. But as to the captams of thousands, hundreds, of fifties, and of tens; as their institution was not of divine authority, so their office was not thus fixed nor lasting. Moses did not bind his successors to the use of them. God had not prescribed them to him, neither did he prescribe them' to them; for he only gave the Israelites a general rule, to make themselves judges and officers in all their gates throughout their tribes, to judge the people with just judgment/ Accordingly, though indeed we find officers of these names in every age; yet we shall not find that ;he Israelites kept them up in the manner, and to the purpose, for which Moses appointed them; but rather that they varied both their number, and their office, as the

• Numb. xi. 16, 17. f Deut. xriv18.

elrouiuhtoneei of the *tate required, or the perioni who hud the appointing llit'NO olllcer*, thought (It to employ them. Here therefore in the fiillure of our n. .1.1. author'* re (Unit ion . who designed to prove that »ome part of the Jewish polity Win Ii contrivance of Jeihro, and consequently iv mere human institution j but hi* Instance In Ii point, which win Indeed a hunmn Institution, hut not mi essential und cslublIshed part of the Jewish polity. There are Indeed wnno lenrned writer*, who have thought these ollleen of divine appointment;" hut whoever will carefully examine, wilt (hid no good foundation for their opinion; und mny thereby oH'rcluully slhuice u cavil, which our modern deists, from the hint I huve considered, think to raise a|jaln*t the Jewish polity, Jethro made, but a short stay with Moses i for before they departed from Jlephklim, he went hh way into hi* own luml.h

The Israelite*, on the fifteenth day of (he third mouth after their leaving Kgypt, marched from It. phltlim Into the wilderness of Hlnnl, and pitched their camp at the loot of mount Hlual; ' where they Maid

« Vld. 8lgnn. do Hep. Heb. I. 7, o. 7.

* ftsod. xvlil. '47.

• six. 1, 3. The words of Mown Im to me to Intimate, that the Israelites came to Hltittl utt the loth d«y of tlil» month. They earns here, Monen nay*, In the third month *>( (htdr exit from Eaynt [ Pin ova J turfum tumth, on thi> very day, 1. e. of their exit, or on the 16th j tor uu that day of the HrNt month they name out of Nitypt. Themeit tamed Archbishop Usher ludeed tnuk the word* otuerwUe.

vol.. lit. •

almost a year.k In the first three days was transacted what is recorded in the xix. xx. xxi. xxii. xxiii.

He supposes that bejom hazzeh refers to the month, and in. timates that the Israelites came to Sinai on the day of the month the same in number with the month, or on the third day of the third month: see his Annals. Other writers imagine that the words bejom hazzeh signify no more, than that they came to Sinai on the very day they left Rephidim, and that the intimation h«re intended is, that from Rephidim to Sinai was the journey of but one day. Vid. Pool's Synop. in loc. There are some, who would render the ycrse to this purpose, On the third new moon after the exit, on the very day, i. e. of the moon, &c. so as to fix the coming to Sinai to be on the first day of this third month. But to this it is obvious to answer: the word unn must behere translated month, and not new moon; for 1. The Is. Taelites coming out of Egypt in the middle of the first month, the first day of the third month could be only the second, and not the third new moon after their exit. 2. The sacred writers never nse such an expression, as is here before us; for on the fir it day of a month (beachad lachdeshj is on the first day of the month. See Gen. viii. 5.13. Exodus xl. 2. Levit. xxiii. 24. Numbers i. 1. xxxix. 1. xxxiii. 38. Deut. i. 3. Ezra iii. 6. Nchem. viii. 2. Ezek. xxvi. 1. xxxi. 1. xlv. 18, &c; and thus Moses would most probably have here written, if the first day of the month had been here intended by him.

k They came to Sinai on the fifteenth of the third month, in the first year of the exit, and they left Sinai on the twen. tieth day of the second month of the second year; so that they stayed h«r« eleven months and five days.

chapters of Exodus.1 And Moses probably spent some days in writing down the laws and judgments which God had given them ;m after which he built an altar, offered sacrifices, and read what he had written in (In- book," and the people entered into the most solemn engagement to perform what was written in it.0 After this, Moses and Aaron, Nadab und Abihu, and seventy of the ciders of Israel went up some part of tho mountain,* and they saw the God of Israel^ and worshipped him.' And Moses, upon God's commanding it, having given Aaron and Hur the chargo of the people, went with Joshua up to the top of the mount, and was on the mount forty days and forty nights;' during which time he received the directions and commands contained in Exodus xxv. and in the following chapters to the end of the xxxist.

It may be here asked, how and in what Sense, did Moses, Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the elders see the God of Israel? No man hath seen Goo at any time.1 It seems hard to imagine, how the infinite Goo can be cloathed in shape, and bounded within the limits of a form or figure; so as to become the object of sight to a mortal eye. The wise heathens apprehended insuperable difficulties in any such supposition ;u and

'Exodusxix.il. ">xxiv. 4. »Ver. 7.

• Vcr. 7, 8. » Ver. 9. « Ver. 10.

'Vor.1l. «Ver. 12—-18. *lJohniv. 12.

■ fit Si xau aufjutros at$£wiri»n xai vfat if< Tic 9iw Xxi iai/Mfi xtntma Hoi X"{l() '("/" "•* *"' T"r*' *"»"»W<. Hut. i« Numl, p. 62.

it must be confessed, that some of the versions of the Bible do not render the passage literally. The Lis translate it, They saw the place where there stood the God of Israel;* and Onkelos, They saw the glory of the God of Israel.T And the commentators, from what Moses in another place remarks to the Israelites, that they had seen no manner of similitude, generally conclude, that he did not intend here to intimate, that he*or the nobles of Israel did really and visibly see God. But I would beg leave to offer to the reader some thoughts which occur to me, whenever I read this passage.

1. I cannot but observe, that Moses docs not say, that he and the nobles of Israel saw the invisible God; the expression is, that they saw the God of Israel.* No man indeed hath ever seen the invisible God,* nor can see him;fc but the God of Israel, the divine person, who is many times stiled in the old Testament the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,' frequently appeared to them, and was in after-ages made flesh,d and for about three and thirty years dwelt on earth amongst men. 2. That this person appeared to the patriarchs of old in a real body, was evident to them by the same infallible

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