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Num. xxiv. 17. These feveral Prophecies we have recorded in the Books of Mofes, and afcrib'd to others; and the laft, containing fo many remarkable things, is from the Mouth of an Enemy.
Mofes himself foretold, That the Children of Ifrael fhould, after Forty Years, come into the Land of Promife; That they fhould prove Victorious over the Canaanites; and, That their Country fhould, by the Divine Care and Protection, be preferv'd in fafety, whilft they went up to worship at Jerufalem, thrice every Year: Thrice in the year fhall all your men-children appear before the Lord God, the Ged of Ifrael: For I will caft cut the nations before thee, and enlarge thy borders; neither fhall any man defire thy land, when thou shalt 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 fulfill'd to the Ifraelites thrice every Year, as long as their Government ftood: All their Males were to go up to Jerufalem, at three fet and known times, every Year; and yet their Enemies round about them, whom they had fo many ways provok'd, were, by the Almighty Power of God, reftrain'd from taking any Advantage of this Opportunity, which was frequently and notorioufly given them, of Invading their Country. The very Nature and Conftitution of the Jewifh Worfhip, made it impoffible for their Government to fubfift in the Obfervation of their Religion, without a Miracle wrought three times in a Year for their Prefervation. And the fulfilling of this Promife, which God had made to them by Mofes, and the preferving of them in the performance of that Worship which he had appointed them, was a continual Confirmation of his Law, and a repeated Affurance that it was Oin God. That they reforted to Jerufalem every Year to folemnize these three Festivals, we may obferve from the Scriptures of the New Teftament. And & Jofephus wit
8 De Bel. Jud. 1. 2, c, 21, 23. 17. c. 17.
neffes, that to the time of the Deftruction of Jerufalem, they left their Habitations, and went thither at these folemn Seafons: But God, for their heinous Wickednefs, having withdrawn his Protection, that which was wont to be the City of Refuge and Security, was the Place of their Ruine and Extirpation.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 likewife, every Seventh Year they were permitted neither to fow 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 Obfervation of it had been impracticable, if the extraordinary and miraculous Bleffing of God had not fupplied this conftant want of the Seventh Year's Product, with as conftant an Overplus in the preceding Year. For as God, by Mofes, foretold, That on the Sixth Day there fhould fall Manna enough to fupply them on the Sabbath-day; fo they had a Promife of Three Years Fruits precisely every Sixth Year, to fupply that Want to which the Sabbatical Year muft otherwife have reduced them: And if ye shall fay, What shall we eat the feventh year? behold, we shall not fow, nor gather in our encreafe: Then I will command my bleffing upon you in the fixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years. And ye shall fow the eighth year, and eat yet of old fruit, until the ninth year; until her fruits come in, ye shall eat of the old ftore, Lev. xxv. 20, 21, 22. Which is another clear Inftance, that the People of Ifrael could never have fubfifted in the Obfervation of their Law, but by the conftant and miraculous Accomplishment of the Prophecies, which contain❜d the Promifes made to them for their Prefervation. But for their Diftruft of the Divine Protection, in the violation of this Law, they were to be punish'd with Captivity, Lev. xxvi. 34. and the time of the Captivity in Babylon was, till the land had enjoyed her fabbaths, 2 Chron. xxxvi. 21. In confideration of this Law, the Tribute of every Seventh Year was L 2 remitted
remitted to the Jews, by Alexander the Great, and by the Roman Emperors. The Obfervation 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 poffeffing himself of Jerufalem; God, for their Sins, as he fometimes punifhed his People with Famine; then fuffering them, in the Sabbatical Year, to have a Scarcity of Provifions, 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 exprefs Command, denounced this Judgment upon the murmuring Ifraelites, that all of them fhould die in the Wilderness, that their Children should wander there Forty Years; and that at the end of that term of Years, they fhould be put into poffeffion of the Promised Land: Say unto them, As truly as I live, faith the Lord, as ye have spoken in mine ears, fo will I do to you: your carcafes fhall 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 fware to make you dwell therein, fave Caleb the Son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the fon of Nun. But your little ones, which ye faid should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have defpifed; but as for you, your carcafes, they fhall fall in this wilderness, and your children fhall wander in the wilderness forty years, Num. xiv. 28. Nothing can be more exprefs and particular than this Prediction, and nothing was ever more exactly fulfilled. At the end of Forty Years, there was not left a man of them, fave Caleb the Son of Jephunneh, and Joshua
h Jofeph. Antiq. 1. 11. c. ult. 14. c. 17.
Id. 1. 14. c. ult. 1. 15. c. 1.
the fon of Nun, chap. xxvi. 65. In bleffing the Twelve Tribes of Ifrael, he foretold the peculiar ftate and condition of every diftinct Tribe, and as Jacob had done, he foretold the Pre-eminence of Ephraim above Manaffeh; they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manaffeh, Deut. xxxiii. 17. He foretold to them all in general, that they should have miraculous fuccefs againft the Canaanites; That they fhould poffefs themselves of their Land; That they fhould fet Kings over them; That they should have a peculiar Place of Worfhip, whither they fhould all resort; and that they fhould have the Divine Oracles, and a fucceffion of Prophets, for their direction in all Matters of great importance and difficulty. And Joshua appeals to the Experience of the Children of Ifrael, whether all had not been fulfilled which was promifed, 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 fouls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God Spake concerning you all are come to pass unto you, and not onething hath failed thereof, Joh. xxiii. 14. The extent of the Dominions of the Children of Ifrael, after they came to be fetled in the land of Canaan, is foretold, Exod. xxiii. 31. Deut. xi. 24. and fulfilled, 2 Sam. viii. 3. Ezra iv. 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 promife, which he promised by the hand of Mofes his fervant, 1 Kings viii. 56.
Mofes alfo foretold, that befides a conftant fucceffion of Prophets, for many Ages, there should arife a Prophet of extraordinary Power and Authority; and whofoever would not hear that Prophet, fhould be deftroyed, 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 Apoftles prove our Saviour to be him, Acts iii. 22.
vii. 37. Laftly, Mofes foretold the Difobedience and the Revolt of the Children of Ifrael, the Judgments that should befal them for their Iniquities, and their Deliverance upon their Repentance: He foretold fo many. Years before they had any King, That they, and their King whom they would fet over them, fhould be carried into Captivity; and that at the fame time, when they were taken Captive by the Affyrians, who are defcribed in the very fame words that the other Prophets ufe concerning them, the remainder fhould be carried into Egypt, Deut. xxviii. 36, 49, 50, 68. and we fee it came accordingly to pafs, Jer. xliii. Their Cities were to be laid wafte, and their Sanctuaries brought to defolation, Levit. xxvi. 31. And the Siege of Samaria by the Affyrians, and of Jerusalem both by them and the Romans, is particularly defcribed to the very cir cumftance of their eating the flesh of their fons, and of their daughters, Deut. xxviii. 3. which was before threatned, Lev. xxvi. 19. and is here again repeated, that it might be the more taken notice of; and is a thing that has scarce ever happen'd in any other Siege but thofe of Samaria and of Jerufalem, Lam. ii. 20. and iv. 10. Bar. ii. 3.2 Kings vi. 29. This monftrous and dreadful thing was twice known in Jerufalem; firft, when it was befieged by Nebuchadnezzar and again, when it was deftroyed by the Romans under Titus: Such a circumstance could not be foretold fo long before, but by a Divine Prefcience; and that fo ftrange and unnatural a thing fhould befal the Children of Ifrael three feveral times, according to the exprefs words of a Prophecy, could have nothing of Chance in it.
Thus we fee, that befides the Prophecies concern ing the other Nations of the Earth, every State and
* Jofeph. de Bell. Judaic, 1. 7. c. 8,