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undoubted Tradition among the Jews, That the Tents of the Ifraelites in the Wilderness. contain'd a Square of Twelve Miles, and that the Hoft took up the fame Space whilft they pafs'd Jordan. However, this is certain, that they kept at the distance of about Two thousand Cubits from the Ark, when it stood in the midft of Jordan, Jofh. iii. 4. fo that the Waters must be withdrawn for many Miles in the paffage of the whole Army over the River, if they pafs'd it im a regular March, and in fuch Order of Battle as to be able to oppose the Enemy; or if they march'd in a narrower Body, they must be fo much the longer in their paffage: Which way foever it were, it was a very great and manifeft Miracle. The People being all gone over, and every thing perform'd which God had commanded, the Priefts with the Ark came out of the Channel of the River, where they had all this while stood, and as soon as their Feet were lift up unto the dry land, beyond the Waters which stood then on an heap, and did not flow down as at other times, they refum❜d their Courfe, and returned to their place, and flowed over all the banks, as they did before, Joh. iv. 18. And as a Memorial of this Miracle to all Pofterity, Twelve Stones were fet up in the midft of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant ftood, ver. 8,9. and Twelve Stones more were taken out of Jordan, whilst it was dry, by Twelve Men chofen out the People, One out of every Tribe,, and were pitch'd in Gilgal, ver. 20. Thus did the Lord magnifie Joshua in the fight of all Ifrael; and they feared him, as they feared Mofes, all the days of his life, ver. 14. Here was a Miracle wrought in the moft remarkable manner, to which the whole People were Witneffes, and effectual Care was taken to keep up the Remembrance of it. The Waters of Jordan were cut off, for the paffage of the Children of Ifrael into Canaan,
Lightf. Chorograph. Centur. c. 48. p. 46.
as the Waters of the Red-Sea had been divided, to procure their Efcape out of Egypt; and fuch an Experiment was not to have been made twice, if it had not been a true Miracle.
They were no fooner come in the promised Land, but all the Males were Circumiced, (that Rite having been omitted in the Wilderness) and were thereby difabled for War: Which had been a ftrange Policy, for the Invaders of a Country to wound themselves, and render themselves unfit for Fight, as foon as they arriv'd in the Coafts of the Enemy, if the Canaanites had not been reftrain'd by a miraculous Awe and Power from setting upon them, as the Sons of Jacob did upon the Shechemites, Gen. xxxiv. before they were recover'd of their Soreness, after Circumcifion. And for a perpetual Memorial of this Action, the Place where they were Circumcis'd was call'd Gibeah haaraloth, or, the Hill of the Fore-skins.
The Walls of Jericho were thrown down, only by marching round it feven Days, and blowing with. Trumpets; and this was accompany'd with a Prophecy, That whofoever fhould attempt to rebuild Jericho, fhould lay the foundation thereof in his firft-born, and in his youngest fon fhould he fet up the gates of it, Jofh.. vi. 26. which was fulfill'd in the Reign of Ahab, when Hiel the Beth-elite loft his eldest Son Abiram, upon his laying the Foundation of it, and his youngest Son Se-* gub, upon his fetting up the Gates, 1 Kings xvi. 34. Thefe Miracles, and the Standing still of the Sun and Moon, whilft the Ifraelites purfued and vanquifhed their Enemies; and the prodigious Hail-ftones caft down from Heaven, which flew more of them than the Sword could do; and a continued Course of Vi&ories, never interrupted but for Achan's Offence, ftruck fuch a mighty Terror into the Canaanites, that fome of them fought out ways to make their Peace with the Ifraelites, by Submiffion; and others fled into foreign Countries. And to fhew that they con
quer'd by a Miraculous and Divine Power, not by any carnal Force or Strength; Joshua, by God's Command, deftroy'd the Horfes and the Chariots that he took from the Enemy, Job. xi. 9. which had been a ftrange Action in Human Policy; but by fuch unlikely Means he fubdued one and thirty Kings of the Canaanites, chap. xii. and then divided the Land, not yet conquer'd, amongst the Tribes of Ifrael, being as certain of it, as if they had it already in poffeffion, chap. xiii. 2, 7.
Joshua, after fo many Victories, and fo many Miracles, when the Land of Canaan came to be divided among the Children of Ifrael, took no more for his own Inheritance, than they were willing to fpare him, after the Land had been divided among the Tribes, chap. xix. 49. and at laft, as Mofes had done, he appeals to their own Experience, and to their very Senfes, for the Truth of all the Wonders and Deliliverances, and the mighty Works which God had wrought amongst them, chap. xxiv.
After the Death of Joshua, who had ruled twenty eight Years, God rais'd up Judges out of feveral Families and Tribes, with an immediate and extraordinary Commiffion to govern and protect his People: So that there could be no private Ends; or politick Designs carry'd on, under the pretence of a Divine Commiffion. But upon their Difobedience and Idolatries, they were, from time to time, punifh'd with Slaughter and Captivity; and, upon their Repentance, were as conftantly deliver'd; Judges being purposely raised up to be Conquerors and Deliverers, and never failing of Succefs.
But befides thefe who were impower'd by God, upon extraordinary Occafions, they had other Judges, or Chief Magiftrates, to adminifter Juftice, and to prefide over the Publick Affairs, for the Welfare of
s Maf. ad Jof. xxiv. 31.
the People: fuch were Eli and Samuel. Eli was a great Example, how much Fondness, and Natural Affection, may prevail over good and wife Men; but he was more afflicted to hear that the Ark of God was taken, than at the Death of both his Sons; that gave him his mortal Wound, and he could not out-live the hearing it, 1 Sam. iv. 18. Samuel's Sons were wicked, as well as Eli's, and he doth not conceal their Faults, but plainly fays, That they turned afide after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment, chap. viii. 3. but he appeals to the whole People for his own Integrity, who folemnly declare him free from any Oppreffion or Injustice. He refign'd the Government, tho' he had the Power in his hands to appoint two Kings fucceffively; and by God's Commandment, rais'd both Saul and David out of their Obfcurity, to a Throne. Samuel fays plainly, That when the Elders of Ifrael came to him to ask a King, the thing dif pleafed him, 1 Sam. viii. 6. and he who could make two Kings of two different Tribes, and of no Interest in their respective Tribes, might as well have made himfelf King, if he had acted upon Human Confiderations, and by Human Power and Means. The Divine Power therefore was vifible in the Government of the Children of Ifrael, from the time of Mofes and Jofbua to Saul; for they were conftantly govern'd by Persons of God's Appointment; their Government was a Theocracy, being adminiftred by God's immediate Direction, the Lord their God was their King, 1 Sam. xii. 12.
Of the People of Ifrael under their Kings.
Fter a standing Regal Government was fettled among the People of Ifrael, they were either happy or miferable at home, and either a Defeat or Victory attended their Armies abroad, as they prov'd obedient or difobedient to the Law of Mofes, and to the Word of the Lord, delivered by his Prophets. Upon the Revolt of the Ten Tribes, when Two Tribes only remain'd in the Obedience of Rehoboam, and in the true way of Worfhip, this had been the time, (as already has been faid) if there had been any Imposture hitherto carry'd on, to discover it; for they had all the Temptation, and all the Opportunity to do it, that could poffibly be given. But after the Divifion of the Ten Tribes, Jeroboam durft not fo much as attempt to draw them off from an Acknowledgment of the Divine Authority of that Law by which they were obliged to go up to Jerufalem to facrifice, though he perfuaded them to change the Place of their Worship, and to go no longer up thither. And God had his Prophets in Ifrael, who were as zealous for the Law, as the Prophets of Judah; for in both Kingdoms they had ftill Prophets to admonish them, and to direct them in all Matters of great Importance. Though the Urim and Thummim, and the Shechina, were confined to the Aaronical Priefthood, and the Ark of the Teftament; yet the other kinds of Prophecy were vouchfafed to Ifrael, as well as Judah: and the Captivity both of Judah and Ifrael by the Af Syrians, and the Deliverance of the Jews out of it, befel them according to exprefs Prophecies; and both during the Captivity, and at their Return, they had Daniel, Zechariah, Malachi, and other Prophets aO 2 mongst