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And upon his further prophesying that the city mould be given into the hand of the King of Babylon, Therefore the Princes said unto the king, We beseech thee, let this man be put to death. Then Zedekiah the King said, Behold be is in your hand; for the King is not be that can do any thing against you. Which shews that they bore a mighty Sway in the Great Council of the Nation; and that when they pray'd Judgment and Execution against any one, even the King thought it most safe and prudent to comply with them.
The Number of these Rulers, in every City, was in Proportion to the Number of its Inhabitants; as many Thousands as it contain’d, so many Rulers of that Rank and Denomination, belong’d to it; from which Regulation, the Estimation and Consequence of each City was discernible at one View. And from this Consideration arises that fine Allufion of one of the Prophets concerning the place where CHRIST should be born; fo understood
and applied by the Chief Priests and Mat. ii. 5.
Scribes themselves, as the Evangelist inMic. v. 2. forms us. But thou, Bethlehem Ephra
tah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah (in Comparison of those Cities that have Rulers of Thousands be
longing to them) yet out of thee, he shall i come forth unto me, that is to be Ruler in
Israel; whose goings forth have been of old,
forom everlasting. So exactly was almost 1 every minute Circumstance relating to the
SAVIOUR of Mankind, delineated and foretold by those divinely inspired Writers, who liv'd so many hundred Years before he came into the World.
SECT. I. MILITARY Affairs. Having hitherto treated of the reli
gious and civil Affairs of those People who are the Historical Subject of the sacred Writings; it is reasonable, in like manner, that we should trace out such Memoirs as are left us of their military Constitution. In relation to which, the Directions given them by God himself are these which follow,
Deut. When thou goest out to battle against thine XX. I.
enemies, and seest horses and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them; for the LORD thy God is with thee, wbich brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And it shall be, when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the Priest shall approach and Speak unto the people; and shall say unto them; Hear, O Ifrael! You approach this day unto battle against your enemies; let not your hearts be faint; fear not, and do not tremble; neither be
ye terrified because of them: For the LORD your God is He that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.
What noble Spirits, and what an invincible Ardor must such an Exhortation as this infuse into the Hearts of those who were thoroughly prepar'd to receive it, from the Observations they must have made of God's providential and protecting Mercies, fo continually attending them! Such a rational, well-grounded Fortitude is indeed inseparable from every true Believer. Whereas thofe, who are 'not convinc'd of the Truth of a present divine Revelation, and a future State of Rewards and Punish
ments; though they may, in Trials of y the greatest Danger, appear as high-met
tled as the Horse that rusheth into the
Battle, cannot, at the same Time, be supi pos’d to be animated by any more than a brutal Courage. But to proceed.
That we may see what Tenderness was us'd in relation to those who were oblig'd to serve in the Wars; and that none were forc'd, or even decoy'd away from their Families or their domestick Concerns, in à tyrannical unreasonable Manner; it is further directed thus. And the officers shall Deut.) Speak unto the people, saying; What man is XX. 5. there that hath built a new house, and bath not dedicated it? let him go and return to his house, left be die in the battle, and another man dedicate it. And what man is be that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not yet eaten of it? let him also go and return unto his house, left he die in the battle, and another man eat of it. And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? let him go and return unto his house, left be die in battle, and another man take her.
Nay further, if any one Thould have happen'd to be so vile a Creature, as to 1 want the rational Courage and Confidence in God before-mention’d, it was thought his Company might prove infectious to his Fellow-Soldiers; and therefore, if he would acknowledge himself to be so execrable a
Wretch, he was immediately discharg'd
Speak further unto the people, and they shall
When these Proclamations were made,
proceeded to appoint the Officers of the Deut. Army, properly so call’d. And it shall be
when the officers have made an end of Speak
unto the people, that they fall make captains of the armies to lead the people.