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Num.xxiv. 17. These several Prophecies we have recorded in the Books of Moses, and ascrib'd to others and the last, containing so many remarkable things, is from the Mouth of an Enemy.
Mofes himself foretold, That the Children of Israel should, after Forty Years, come into the Land of Pramise ; That they should prove Victorious over the Canaanites; and, That their Country should, by the Divine Care and Protection, be preserv'd in safety, whilst they went up to worship at Jérusalem, thrice every Year: Thrice in the year shall all your men-children appear before the Lord God, the Gid of Israel: For I will cast cut the nations before thee, and enlarge thy borders ; neither shall any man desire thy land, when thou flialt go up to appear before the Lord thy God, thrice in the year, Exod. xxxiv. 23, 24.
Here is the Promise of a conftant Miracle to be fulfillid to the Ifraelites thrice every Year, as long as their Government stood : All their Males were to go up to Jerufalem, at three set and known times, every Year; and yet their
. Enemies round about them, whom they had so many ways provok’d, were, by the Almighty Power of God, restrain’d from taking any Advantage of this Opportunity, which was frequently and notoriously given them, of Invading their Country. The very Nature and Constitution of the Jewish Worship, made it impossible for their Government to subsist in the Observation of their Religion, without a Miracle wrought three times in a Year for their Preservation. And the fulfilling of this promise, which God had made to them-by-Moses, and the preserving of them in the performance of that Worship which he had appointed them, was a continual Confirmation of his Law, and a repeated Asurance that it was from God. That they resorted to Jerusalem every Year to solemnize these three Festivals, we may observe from the Scriptures of the New Testament. And & Fosephus wit8 De Bel. Jud. I. 2. C, 21, 23. 1.7. C. 17.
nesses, hesses, that to the time of the Deftru&tion of Jerusalem, they left their Habitations, and went thither at these solemn Seasons: But ,
Godfor their heinous Wicked ness, having withdrawn his Protection, that which was wont to be the City of Refuge and Security, was the Place of their Ruine and Extirpation.
By the Law of Mofes likewise, every Seventh Year they were permitted neither to sow their Land, nor to prune their Vineyards, nor to gather any Corn or Fruits that grew of their own accord: Which was a Law that must have brought them under great Extremities; and the Observation of it had been impra&icable, if the extraordinary and miraculous Blessing of God had not supplied this constant want of the Seventh Year's Product, with as conftant an Overplas in the preceding Year. For as God, by Moses, foretold, That on the Sixth Day there should fall Manna enough to fupply them on the Sabbath-day; so they had a Promise of Three Years Fruits precisely every Sixth Year,
to supply that Want to which the Sabbatical Year must otherwise have reduced them : And if ye fall say, What shall we eat the seventh year? behold, we shall not fow, nor gather in our encrease : Then I will command my blessing upon you in the fixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years. And ye shall fow the eighth year, and ext yet of old fruit, until the ninth year ; until her fruits come in, ye shall-eat of the old store, Lev. xxv. 20, 21, 22. Which is another clear Instance, that the People of Israel could never have fubfifted in the Observation of their Law, but by the constant and miraculous Accomplishment of the Prophecies, which contain'd the Promises made to them for their Prefervation. But for their Distrust of the Divine Protection, in the violation of this Law, they wese to be punish'd with Captivity, Lev. xxvi. 34. and the time of the Captivity in Babylon was, till the land had enjoyed her sabbaths, 2 Chron. xxxvi. 21. In consideration of this Law, the Tribute of every Seventh Year was
remitted to the Jews, by h Alexander the Great, and by the Roman Emperors. The Observation of the Sabbatical Years, was continued to the time of i Herod, who, in the third Year of his Reign, made his Advantage of it, in possessing himself of Jerusalem; God, for their Sins, as he sometimes punished his People with Famine; then suffering them, in the Sabbatical Year, to have a Scarcity of Provisions, that Herod their King might rule over them, that they might from thence learn, that the Sceptre was to depart from Judah.
Mofes, by God's express Command, denounced this Judgment upon the murmuring Israelites, that all of them fould die in the Wilderness, that their Children should wander there Forty Years; and that at the end of that term of Years, they should be put into poffeffion of the Promised Land: Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the Lord, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you : your carcases shall fall in this wilderness, and all that were numbred of you according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me. Doubtless, ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, Jave Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised; but as for you, your carcafes, they fall fall in this wilderness, and your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, Num. xiv. 28. Nothing can be more express and particular than this Predi&ion, and nothing was ever more exa&ly fulfilled. At the end of Forty. Years, there was not left a man of them, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the fon of Nun, chap. xxvi.or. In blessing the Twelve Tribes of Israel, he foretold the peculiar state and condition of every distinct Tribe, and as Jacob had done, he foretold the Pre-eminence of Ephraim above Manaseh; they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh, Deut. xxxii. 17. He foretold to them all in general, that they should have miraculous success against the Canaanites ; That they should possess themselves of their Land ; That they should set Kings over them ;. That they should have a peculiar Place of Worship, whither they fould all resort; and that they should have the Divine Oracles, and a succession of Prophets, for their direction in all Matters of great importance and difficulty. And Foshua appeals to the Experience of the Children of Ifrael, whether all had not been fulfilled which was promised, as far as his time, and behold, this day I, am going the way of all the earth, and ye know in all your . hearts, and in all your souls that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake coxcerning you : all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof, Josh. xxiii. 14. The extent of the Dominions of the Children of Israel, after they came to be setled in the land of Canaan, is foretold, Exod. xxiii. 31. Deut. xi. 24.- and fulfilled, '2 Sam. viii. 3. Ezra iy. 20. And Solomon, at the Dedication of the Temple, declared in the audience of all the People, That there had not failed one word of all God's good promise, which he promised by the hand of Mofes his Servant, 1 Kings yiii. 56.
h Joseph. Antiq. 1. 11. C. ult. 14. C. 17. ild.l. 14. c. ult. 1. 15. C. I.
Mofes also foretold, that besides a constant fuccefsion of Prophets, for many Ages, there should arisę a Prophet of extraordinary Power and Authority; and whosoever would not hear that Prophet, should be destroyed, Deut. xviii. 18. This Prophet was the great expectation of the Jews, at the time of our Saviour's coming, Joh. i. 21. vi. 14. vii. 40. and the Apostles prove our Saviour to bę him, Afts iii, 22.
vii. 37. Lastly, Moses foretold the Disobedience and the Revolt of the Children of Israel, the Judgments that should befal them for their Iniquities, and their Deliverance upon their Repentance: He foretold so many Years before they had any King, That they, and their King whom they would set over them, should be carried: into Captivity; and that at the same time, when they were taken Captive by the Asyriansy : who are described in the very fame words that the other Prophets use concerning them, the remainder should be carried into Ægypt, Deut. xxviii. 36, 49, 50, 68. and we fee it came accordingly to pass, Fer. xliii. Their Cities were to be laid waste, and their Sanctuaries brought to desolation, Levit. xxvi. 31. And the Siege of Samaria by the Asyrians, and of Jerusalem both by them and the Romans, is particularly described to the very circumstance of their eating the flesh of their fons, and of their daughters, Deut. xxviii. 53. which was before threatned, Lev. xxvi. 29. and is here again repeated, that it might be the more taken notice of; and is a thing that has fcarce ever happend in any other Siege but those of Samaria and of Jerusalem, Lam. ii. 20. and iv. 10. Bar. ii
. 3. 2 Kings vị. 29. This monstrous and dreadful thing was twice known in Jerusalem; first, when it was besieged by Nebuchadnezzar; and again, kwhen it was destroyed by the Romans under Titus : Such a circumstance could not be foretold so long before, but by a Divine Prefcience; and that so strange and unnatural a thing should befal the Children of Israel three several times, according to the express words of a Prophecy, could have nothing of Chance in it.
Thus we see, that besides the Prophecies concerning the other Nations of the Earth, every State and
Joseph. de Bell
. Judaic, 1. 7. c. 8,