תמונות בעמוד

31. Moreover ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a mur

derer, which [is] guilty of death: but he shall be surely put 32 to death. And ye shall take no satisfaction for him that is

fled to the city of his refuge, that he should come again to 33 dwell in the land, until the death of the priest. So ye

shall not pollute the land wherein ye [are :) for blood it defileth the land : and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it ; all

murderers must be punished for the good of their country. 34 Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit, wherein

I dwell : for I the LORD dwell among the children of Israel in a very extraordinary manner, and every thing of this kind is highly displeasing to me.


1. TTTE here see, what was delivered as a curse turned into

VV a blessing ; I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel, Gen. xlix. 7. The dispersion of the priests and Levites among the several tribes, was a very wise and gracious appointment. They had their provision by tythes, that they might have time to study the law, and teach the people ; and by such an appointment the people had access to them, and might ask the law at their mouths. It was a great advantage to the Levites to live near together, that they might consult in difficult cases, and help each other. We have reason to be thankful for the appointment of christian ministers, that they are spread through the country ; and as the Lord has appointed that they who preach the gospel should live by the gospel, so he who is taught in the word, should cheerfully communicate to him that teacheth in all good things. The proportion is not determined now, as it was under the law, but is left to every man's liberality by the law of Christ ; and the more cheerfully it is given, the more acceptable it is to him and his ministers.

2. We may observe, how very tender God is of the lives of his people. This appointment was designed to make men cautious of each other's lives, to prevent any artful attempts to murder persons by pretended accidents, and by that means to have, the land polluted with blood, as well as men's consciences defiled, by those who wickedly should do it : and such are, without repentance, debarred from eternal life. Upon the same principle we should be tender of the health, reputation, and comfort of each other, and cherish a brotherly love to all ; for the gospel declares, that he that hateth his brother is a murderer, and that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

3. Let us be thankful for the provision that is made in the gospel for our security and happiness, notwithstanding our many sins. We are exposed to the condemning sentence of God's

law ; but there is a refuge provided, even the Lord Jesus Christ, and the everlasting covenant, which he hath published and sealed : there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore abide in him, and not wander from him ; for those, and only those, will have strong consolation, and infallible security, who, as the apostle expresses it, in allusion to this appointment, fy for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before them.


The inconvenience of the inheritance of daughters, is remedied by

marrying in their own tribes. 1 A ND the chief fathers of the families of the children of

N1 Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of the sons of Joseph, came near, and spake before Moses, and before the princes, the chief fathers of the children of Israel, who had the care and management of that half

tribe committed to them, which had an inheritance in the land of 2 Canaan : And they said, The LORD commanded my lord to

give the land for an inheritance by lot to the children of Israel : and my lord was commanded by the LORD to give

the inheritance of Zelophehad our brother unto his daughters, 3 to which we cheerfully consented. And if they be married to

any of the sons of the (other] tribes of the children of Israel, then shall their inheritance be taken from the inheritance of our fathers, and shall be put to the inheritance of the tribe whereunto they are received : so shall it be taken from the lot of our inheritance ; that is, the inheritances of this, and.

other tribes, by like accident might in time be changed and con. 4 founded, contrary to the order before set by the Lord. And

when the jubilee of the children of Israel shall be, then shall their inheritance be put unto the inheritance of the tribe whereunto they are received : so shall their inheritance be taken away from the inheritance of the tribe of our fathers ; even in the jubilee year, which was intended to prevent such con. fusion, there will be no return of such land, and this will occasion

debates and contests among posterity. 5 And Moses commanded the children of Israel according to

the word of the LORD, saying, The tribe of the sons of Joseph 6 hath said well.* This [is] the thing which the LORD doth

command concerning the daughters of Zelophehad, saying, Let them marry to whom they think best, no force shall be put upon their inclinations ; only to the family of the tribe of their father shall they marry, it must be one of the same tribe, and of

Moses consulted God upon this occasion, and, by his authority, said that their plea was just and reasonable.

7 their father's family in that tribe. So shall not the inheritance

of the children of Israel remove from tribe to tribe : for every

one of the children of Israel shall keep himself to the inherit. 3 ance of the tribe of his fathers. And every daughter, that

possesseth an inheritance in any tribe of the children of Israel, shall be wife unto one of the family of the tribe of her father, that

the children of Israel may enjoy every man the inheritance of 9 his fathers.* Neither shall the inheritance remove from [one]

tribe to another tribe ; but every one of the tribes of the chil

dren of Israel shall keep himself to his own inheritance. 10 Even as the LORD commanded Moses, so did the daugh11 ters of Zelophehad : For Mahlah, Tirzah, and Hoglah, and

Milcah, and Noah, the daughters of Zelophehad, were marri12 ed unto their fathers brothers' sons : [And] they were mar• ried into the families of the sons of Manasseh the son of Jo

seph, and their inheritance remained in the tribe of the family of their father.

These [are the commandments and the judgments, which the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses unto the children of Israel in the plains of Moab by Jordan (near] Jericho.

REFLECTION. THE only observation we shall make on this chapter is, that

I though inheritances and alliances are not determined by the express appointment of God now, yet wisdom is profitable to direct ; and it becomes us to have a due regard to the leadings of Providence in such important affairs as these. In v. 6. the Lord expressly commanded the daughters of Zelophehad to marry whom they thought best, only confining them to their father's tribe. This naturally suggests, how unreasonable it is for parents to put a force upon the inclinations of their children in those cases on which the comfort and happiness of their lives depend. And though it is of the greatest importance that children should pay a due regard to the judgment and opinion of their parents, yet they are not obliged to comply with any proposals of this kind which they may make, if they are contrary to their own judgment and affections ; for parents to use any methods of compulsion, is the highest degree of cruelty imaginable. This chapter suggests to us that our eyes should ever be toward the Lord, for his direction and blessing in all our settlements and resolutions. To encourage us herein, let us often meditate on that most delightful promise, In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

This law only extended to heiresses, for many of their great men and priests marri. ed wives of other tribes and countries; and other women, who had brethren to inherit, were free to marry into any other tribe, though it seems they generally confined themselves to their own. If their brethren died after they were married into another tribe, they could not inherit, but the estate went to the male heir. The design of this law was, to keep the tribes distinct, and hereby to fulfil the prophecies of old, particularly of the Messiah.

The Fifth Book of MOSES,


INTRODUCTION. THE people that came out of Egypt being all dead, excefit CA

LEB and JOSHUA ; Moses, for the instruction of the new gen. eration that were grown up in the wilderness, and were now ready to enter into Canaan, in this Book rehearses the chief things that had befallen them, both in a way of mercy and of judgment, for forty years together; repeats the law again unto them ; whence this book is called Deuteronomy, the second Law, or a repetition of the former, with some further illustrations. He confirms the whole with firom. ises and threatenings ; teaches them a prophetical song concerning what should befall them from that time to the latter end of the world, when they should become the people of God again, after their long rejection and desolation ; he blesses the several tribes, and views the land of Canaan ; his death; is buried by God ; and JOSHUA made his successor. All this Book was delivered at different times, in the last two months of Moses' life, and many things are repeated in it again, to impress the minds of the people. Those parts only of the history, which were not related in the former books, will be illustrated, and also some instructions given to Israel, which may be useful to us.


Moses, at the end of the fortieth year, briefly rehearses the story of

God's promise, and his anger for their incredulity and disobedience. I THESE [be] the words which Moses spake unto

I all Israel on this side Jordan, in the wilderness, in the plain over against the Red (sea,) between Paran, and Tophel, 2 and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Dizahab. ([There are] eleven

day's (journey) from Horeb by the way of mount Seir unto 3 Kadeshbarnea.) And it came to pass, in the fortieth year, in

the eleventh month, on the first [day] of the month, (that) Moses spake unto the children of Israel according unto all that 4 the LORD had given him in commandment unto them; After

he had slain Sihon the king of the Amorites, which dwelt in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, which dwelt at Astaroth

5 in Edrei : On this side Jordan, in the land of Moab, began

Moses to declare this law, saying, 6 The LORD our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye 7 have dwelt long enough in this mount : Turn you, and take

your journey, and go to the mount of the Amorites, and unto all (the places] nigh thereunto, in the plain, in the hills, and in the vale, and in the sonth, and by the sea side, to the land

of the Canaanites, and unto Lebanon, unto the great river, the 8 river Euphrates. Behold, I have set the land before you :

go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them, and to

their seed after them. 9 And I spake unto you at that time, saying, I am not able to 10 bear you myself alone : The LORD your God hath multiplied

you, and, behold, ye [are] this day as the stars of heaven for 11 multitude. (The LORD God of your fathers make you a

thousand times so many more as ye [are,] and bless you, as 12 he hath promised you !) How can I myself alone bear your 13 cumbrance, and your burden, and your strife ? Take you wise

men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and 14 I will make them rulers over you. And ye answered me,

and said, The thing which thou hast spoken [is] good (for 15 us] to do. So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and

known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties,

and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes. 16 And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear (the

causes) between your brethren, and judge righteously between

[every] man and his brother, and the stranger (that is) with 17 him. Ye shall not respect persons in judgment ; [but) ye

shall hear the small as well as the great ; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment [is] God's : and

the cause that is too. hard for you, bring [it] unto me, and I 18 will hear it. And I commanded you at that time all the

things which ye should do. 19. And when we departed from Horeb, we went through all

that great and terrible wilderness, which ye saw by the way

of the mountain of the Amorites, as the LORD our God.com20 manded us ; and we came to Kadeshbarnea. And I said unto

you, Ye are come unto the mountain of the Amorites, which 21 the LORD our God doth give unto us. Behold, the LORD thy

God hath set the land before thee : go up [and] possess [it]

as the LORD God of thy fathers hath said unto thee ; fear not, 22 neither be discouraged. And ye came near unto me every

one of you, and said, We will send men before us, and they shall search us out the land, and bring us word again by

what means we must go up, and into what cities we shall 23 come. And the saying pleased me well: and I took twelve

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