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THII VOLUME II
MOIT HUMBLY DEDICATED,
THE first and second volumes of this history, which I offered some years ago to the public, so fully explain the nature and design of my undertaking, that thpre is no need of any further account of it. This third volume contains the sacred history from the time vrhen the Israelites passed the Red Sea to the death of Joshua; and I have, as in the former volumes, made such observations, as I thought might obviate or answer objections or difficulties in the Scripture accounts of some facts in those times. I have also given such hints of the heathen nations, as belong to this period, and may enable me to deduce the profane history in a clear light, when I shall come down to an age, which may afford plenty of materials for a relation of the affairs of it.
I am sensible that the reader may expect from me some account of the Jewish year, which he will not find in the ensuing volume. If the Israelites, when they came into Canaan, had not been instructed to compute such a number of days to a year, as might come very nigh to the true measure of it, they could not have continued long to keep their set feasts in their proper seasons. "The heathen nations had as yet no notion 3 of the year's containing more than three 1 hundred and sixty days/ Hut such a, year falling short five days, and almost a quarter of a day of a true solar revolution, it must be evident that the stated feasts of Moses' law, if they had been observed in a course of such years, would have returned five days and almost a quarter of a day, in every year, sooner than the true season of the year for observing them could have returned with them, and this in a very few years must have brought them into great
• See Pref. to vol. i.
k They must in a few years have come to celebrate the passover, before they could have had lambs fit to be eaten. The wave sheaf-offering would have come
confusion.b Moses appointed the Passover to be killed and eaten on the fourteenth day of the first month at even/ On the same evening they began to eat unleavened bread,' and continued eating it unto the evening of the one and twentieth day.* The wave-sheaf was to be offered on the second day of unleavened bread.' Fifty days after,* or on the fifth day of the third month, two wave-loaves were to be offered for the wheat-harvest;" and on the fifteenth day of the seventh month,1 they wore to celebrate their ending the gathering in all the fruits of their laud.1
about, before the barley was ripe to be reaped, and (he pentccost before the time of wheat harvest. Pridenux Pref. to part i. of his Connexion.
* Exod. xii. 6—8. Levit. xxiii. 5.
* Exod. xii. 18. * Ibid. 'Joseph. Antiq. lib. 3. c. 10.
'Lev. xxiii. 15, 16. h Exod. xxxiv.32.
1 Lev. xxiii. 39.
* In Canaan the produce of the earth seems to come on in the same course as in Egypt. In Egypt the barley was in the ear, when the wheat and the rye were not grown up, Exod. ix. 31, 32; so in Canaan the barley-harvest came on first; then the wheatharvest, and after these, the gathering their other fruits, the fruits of their vineyards and olive-yards, &c.