« הקודםהמשך »
serve in the Wars, or to have any Allotment or Inheritance in the Land of Canaan, they might the better continue to reckon themselves by the original round Number Twelve; in Commemoration of the twelve Sons of Jacob. 'Omitting that of Levi therefore, they were as follows. 1. Reuben.
2. Simeon. 3. Judah. 4. Iffachar. 5. Zebulun.
6. Dan. 7. Naphtali. 8. Gad.
10. Ephraim. 11. Manasseh. 12. Benjamin. However, the Scripture does not, always, place them in this Order; and, to do Honour to the Name of Joseph, each of the Tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh are sometimes call’d thereby
The Israelites continuing to multiply wonderfully fast, the Egyptians began to be jealous of them, upon account of their Strength and Numbers; and therefore, thought it advisable, in point of Policy, by some means or other to prevent their Increase, and to subdue and break their Spirits with all manner of rigorous Impositions. At which Time, God, to fulfill the Promises he had made to Abraham, reveald himself to Mofes, a Great - Grandson of
Levi, as he was keeping the Flock of Jethro his Father-in-law, in the Deserts of Arabia ; and gave him a Commission and Power, together with Aaron his Brother, to undertake the Deliverance of his People, out of the Hands of the merciless and
tyrannical Egyptians. This he effected accordingly; and by the extraordinary Allistance of God conducting the Israelites, to the Number of * fix hundred thousand men, besides children, through the Red Sea, led and govern’d them, in the vast Wilderness of Arabia beforemention'd, forty Years.
Soon after their Entrance into this Wil. derness, God again reveald himself to Moses; and, delivering to him a Constitution or Form of Government, consisting of Statutes and Ordinances, political and religious, for the Good of his People; at the same time, enter'd into a Covenant with them, and engag'd to be their Protector in all their Distresses, as long as they continu'd to worship Him, by observing the Laws and the Commandments which He
* An Increase almost incredible in so short a Time, did we not consider the repeated Promises of God in relation to that Particular,
had given them. Notwithstanding which they prov'd to be so refractory and intractable, that God suffer'd them to wander and sojourn in the Desert, forty Years, before they could attain the promised Land; even all the Days of Mofes.
Upon his Death, Joshua the Son of Nun, of the Tribe of Ephraim, undertook the Administration of the Government; ha: ving been thereto appointed, by God himfelf, during the Life of Moses. Under his Conduct, the Ifraelites passing over the River Jordan, took Poliession of the Land of Canaan, conquering the one and thirty Kings thereof; and wresting it, by Force of Arms, out of the Hands of the Inhabitants, reduced the whole Country under their Subjection. Joshua divided it among them, partly by Discretion, and partly by Lot.
The Tribes of Reuben and Gad, and half of the Tribe of Manasseh, had chosen and, by the Consent of Mofes, been allow'd to take their Proportion of the conquer'd Countries, out of the Lands of Sibon King of the Amorites, and Og the King of Bafhan, on the other side, before they passed over Yordan. To the Tribes of
Judah and Ephraim, and the other Half of the Tribe of Manaffeb, was affign'd that Part of the Country which lies between Jordan and the Sea. The rest of the Land was divided, by Lot, among the other seven Tribes; Simeon, Benjamin, Dan, ifsachar, Zebulun, Naphtali, and Afber; in such a manner, that the Tribe of Judah got those Parts that border upon Arabia; those of Naphtali and Asher were seccled over-against them, in that Part of the Country that joins to Syria. So that their Allotment in the whole, as to the utmost Extent of it, reach'd from the City of Dan to that of Beersheba'; one of which lay contiguous to Syria, the other to Arabìa.
But the Tribe of Levi had no Part or Inheritance assign'd them; but, in lieu thereof, by the special Appointment of God, were to have perpetual Possession of the Priesthood, and all other Employments about Religion; and to be sustain'd out of the Revenue of First-Fruits and Tythes, Sacrifices and Oblations. And, beside the Six Cities which God order'd to be as Sanctuaries for those to take Refuge in с
who had committed unpremeditated Murder, Forty-eight Cities with their Suburbs, dispers'd up and down among the nine Tribes on this side Jordan, were given to the Levites; so as to suffice for Habitations for themselves, and Pasturage for their Catile. After which they were very rarely reckon'd as a Tribe, of themselves; but were said to be of that Tribe in whose Territories they happen'd to live: Agreeably to the Instructions God had given to
Mofes, when he commanded him to numNumb. i. ber the rest of the Tribes. But the Levites, 47.
after the tribe of their fathers, were not number'd
them. For the LORD bad Spoken unto Moses, saying; Only thou salt not number the tribe of Levi, neither take the sum of them among the children of Israel. But thou shalt appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of testimony, and cver all the veffels thereof; and they shall minister unto it,
and Mall encamp round about the tabernacle. Judges And therefore we read, of a young man out
of Bethlehem Judah, of the family of Ju
dah, who was a Levite. And Elkanab the 1 Sam. : Father of Samuel is said to be an Ephratite, because he dwelt upon Mount Ephraim;