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undoubted Tradition among the Fews, 4 That the Tents of the Israelites in the Wilderness. containd a Square of Twelve Miles, and that the Hoft took
up the same Space whilst they pass?d Jordan. However, this is certain, that they kept at the distance of about Two thousand Cudits from the Ark, when it stood in the midst of Jordan, Josh. iii. 4.. fo that the Waters must be withdrawn for many Miles in the pallage of the whole Army over the River, if they passid it in a regular March, and in such Order of Battle as to be able to oppose the Enemy; or if they. march'd in a narrower Body, they must be so much the longer in their passage : Which way foever it were, it was a very great and manifest Miracle. The People being all gone over, and everything perform'd which God hadi commanded, the Priests 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 cimes, they resum d their Course, and returned to their place, and flowed over all the banks, as they did before, Josh. iv. 18. And as a Memorial of this Miracle to all Pofterity, Twelve Stones were set up in the midst of Fordan, in the place where the feet of the priefts which bare the ark of the cosi venant stood, ver. 8,9. and Twelve Stones more were taken out of Fordan, 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: Foshua in the Night 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 most remarkable manner, to which the whole People were Witnesses, and effectual Care was taken to keep up the Remembrance of it. The Waters of Jordan were cut off, for the passage of the Children of Israel into Canaan,
c Lightf. Chorograph. Centur. c. 48. p. 46.
as the Waters of the Red-Sea had been divided, to procure their Escape out of Ægypt; and such an Experiment was not to have been made twice, if it had not been a true Miracle.
They were no sooner come in the promised Land, but all the Males were Circumcised, (that Rite having been omitted in the Wilderness) and were thereby disabled for War: Which had been a strange Policy, for the Invaders of a Country to wound themselves, and render themselves unfit for Fight, as soon as they arriv'd in the Coasts of the Enemy, if the Canaanites had not been restrain'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 Circumcision. And for a perpetual Memorial of this Action, the Place where they were Circumcis'd was calld Gibeah haaraloth, or, the Hill of the Fore-skins.
The Walls of Jericho were thrown down, only by marching round it seven Days, and blowing with Trumpets; and this was accompany'd with a Prophecy, That whosoever should attempt to rebuild Jericho, should lay the foundation thereof in his first-born, and in his youngest son should he set up the gates of it, Josh. vi. 26. which was fulfill'd in the Reign Of Ahab, when Hiel the Beth-elite lost his eldest Son Abiram, upon his laying the Foundation of it, and his youngest Son Se-i. gub, upon his setting up the Gates, 1 Kings xvi. 34: These Miracles, and the Standing still of the Sun and Moon, whilst the Israelites pursued and vanquished their Enemies; and the prodigious Hail-ftones cast 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, struck such a mighty Terror into the Canaanites, that some of them fought out ways to make their Peace with the Israelites, by Submission; and others fed into foreign countries. And to thew that they con
quer'd by a Miraculous and Divine Power, not by any carnal Force or Strength; Fofhua, by God's Command, destroy'd the Horses and the Chariots that he took from the Enemy, Joh. xi. 9. which had been a strange A&tion in Human Policy ; but by such unlikely Means he subdued one and thirty Kings of the Canaanites, chap. xii. and then divided the Land, not yet conquer'd, amongst the Tribes of Israel, being as certain of it, as if they had it already in poffeffion, chap. xiii. 2, 7. Joshua, after so many Victories, and so 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 spare him, after the Land had been divided among the Tribes, chap. xix. 49. and at last, as Moses had done, he appeals to their own Experience, and to their very Senses, 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 Foshua, s who had ruled twenty eight Years, God rais'd up Judges out of several Families and Tribes, with an immediate and extraordinary Commission to govern and protect his People : So that there could be no private Ends, or po-> litick Designs carry'd on, under the pretence of a Divine Commisfion. But upon their Disobedience and Idolatries, they were, from time to time, punish'd with Slaughter and Captivity; and, upon their Repentance, were as constantly deliver'd ; Judges being purposely raised up to be Conquerors and Deliverers, and never failing of Success.
But besides these who were impower'd by God, upon extraordinary Occasions, they had oi her Judges, or Chief Magistrates, to administer Justice, and to preside over the Publick Affairs, for the Welfare of the People: such were Eli and Samuel. Eli was a great Example, how much Fondness, and Natural Affection, may prevail over good and wise 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 says, That they turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment, chap. viii. 3. but he appeals to the whole People for his own Integrity, who solemnly declare him free from any Oppression or Injustice. He resign'd the Government, tho' he had the Power in his hands to appoint two Kings successively; and by God's Commandment, rais'd both Saul and David out of their Obscurity to a Throne. Samuel says plainly, That when the Elders of Israel came to him to ask a King, the thing difpleased 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 himself King, if he had acted upon Human Considerations, and by Human Power and Means. The Divine Power therefore was visible in the Government of the Children of Israel, from the time of Moses and Fofbua to Saul; for they were constantly govern'd by Persons of God's Appointment; their Government was a Theocracy, being administred by God's immediate Direction, the Lord their God was their King, 1 Sam. xii. 12.
s Maf. ad Jof. xxiv. 31.
CH A P. VIII.
Fter a standing Regal Government was settled a
mong the People of Israel, they were either happy or miserable at home, and either a Defeat or Vi&ory attended their Armies abroad, as they prov'd obedient or disobedient to the Law of Moses, 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
the true way of Worship, this had been the time, (as already has been said) 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 possibly be given. But after the Division of the Ten Tribes, Jeroboam durst not so 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 Jerusalem to sacrifice, though he persuaded them to change the Place of their Worship, and to go no longer up thither. And God had his Prophets in Israel, who were as zealous for the Law, as the Prophets of Judah; for in both Kingdoms they had ftill Prophets to admonith them, and to direct them in all Matters of great Importance. Though the Urim and Thummim, and the Shechina, were confined to the Aaronical Priesthood, and the Ark of the Testament; yet the other kinds of Prophecy were vouchsafed to Israel, as well as Judah: and the Captivity both of Judah and Israel by the AfSyrians, and the Deliverance of the Jews out of it, befel them according to express Prophecies; and both during the Captivity, and at their Return, they had Daniel, Zechariah, Malachi, and other Prophets a