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lium si vir bonus est et sapiens, illam ipsam consulit æternam, de qua nulli animæ judicare datum est ; “ The au“ thor of temporal laws, if he be good and wise, doth “ therein consult the law eternal, to determine of which " there is no power given to any soul.” And as well prince Edward, in Fortescue's discourse, Nemo potest melius aut aliud fundamentum ponere, quam posuit Dominus ; “ No
man can lay a better or another foundation, than the Lord 6 hath laid.”
CHAP. V. The story of the Israelites from the receiving of the law
to the death of Moses.
Of the numbering and disposing of the host of Israel, for their
marches through the wilderness ; with a note of the reverence
given to the worship of God in this ordering of their troops. WHEN Moses had received the law from God, and published it among the people, and finished the tabernacle of the ark and sanctuary, he mustered all the tribes and families of Israel ; and having seen what numbers of men, fit to bear arms, were found in every tribe, from twenty years of age upwards, he appointed unto them, by direction from the Lord, such princes and leaders, as in worth and reputation were in every tribe most eminent. The number of the whole army was 603,550 able men for the wars, besides women and children; also, besides the strangers which followed them out of Egypt. This great army was divided by Moses into four gross and mighty battalions, each of which contained the strength of three whole tribes.
The first of these containing 186,400 able men, consisted of three regiments, which may well, in respect of their numbers, be called armies; as containing the three whole tribes of Judah, Issachar, and Zabulon. In the tribe of Judah were 74,600 fighting men, led by Naason ; in Issachar 54,400, led by Nethaneel; in Zabulon 57,400,
led by Eliab. All these marched under the standard of the tribe of Judah, who held the vanguard, and was the first that moved and marched, being lodged and quartered at their general encamping on the east side of the army ; which was held the first place, and of greatest dignity.
The second battalion, or army, called in the scriptures the host of Reuben, had joined unto it Simeon and Gad, in number 151,450 : all which marched under the standard of Reuben. In the tribe of Reuben were 46,500, under Elizur; in Simeon 59,300, under Shelumiel; in Gad 45,650, under Eliasaph. These had the second place, and encamped on the south side of the tabernacle.
The third army marched under the standard of Ephraim, to whom were joined the regiments of Manasseh and Benjamin; who joined together, made in number 108,100 able
These marched in the third place, encamping on the west quarter of the tabernacle. Ephraim had 40,500, under Elishama; Manasseh 32,200, under Gamaliel ; Benjamin 35,400, under Abidam.
The fourth and last army, or squadron, of the general army, containing 157,600 able men, marched under the standard of Dan; to whom were joined the two tribes of Nephtali and Asher. And these had the rereward, and moved last, encamping on the north side. Dan had 62,700, under Ahiezer; Asher 41,500, under Pagiel; Nephtali 53,400, under Ahira.
Besides these princes of the several tribes, there were ordained captains over thousands, over hundreds, over fifties, and over tens; as it may appear by that mutiny and insurrection against Moses, Numbers xvi. 1, 2. For there arose up against Moses two hundred and fifty captains of the assembly, famous in the congregation, and men of renown; of which number were Korah, Datham, and Abiram. Which three principal mutiners, with those 250 captains that followed them, were not any of the twelve princes of the tribes, or general colonels before spoken of, as by their names, Numbers i. is made manifest. The blessing which Israel gave to his children took place, not only in the division of the land of promise, and other things of more consequence, long after following, but even in sorting them under their several standards in the wilderness it was observed. For Judah had the precedency and the greatest army, which also was wholly compounded of the sons of Leah, Jacob's wife. Reuben having lost his birthright, followed in the second place, accompanied with his brother Simeon, who had undergone his father's curse; and with Gad, the son of his mother's handmaid. Joseph, who in temporal blessings had the prerogative of the firstborn, a double portion, was accounted as two tribes, and divided into two regiments; the younger (according to Jacob's prophecy) taking place before the elder. He was assisted by Benjamin, his best beloved brother, the other son of Rachel. To Dan, the eldest son of Jacob's concubines, was given the leading of the fourth army, according to Jacob's prophecy. He had with him under his standard none of the children of Leah, or Rachel, but only the sons of the handmaids.
In the middle of these four armies was the tabernacle, or portable temple of the congregation carried, surrounded by the Levites. Near unto which, as the heathens and pagans could not approach, by reason of these four powerful armies which guarded the same ; so was it death for any of the children of Israel to come near it, who were not of the Levites, to whom the charge was committed. So sacred was the moveable temple of God, and with such reverence guarded and transported, as 22,000 persons were dedicated to the service and attendance thereof; of which 8,580 had the peculiar charge, according to their several offices and functions, the particulars whereof are written in the third and fourth of Numbers. And as the armies of the people observed the former order in their encampings, so did the Levites quarter themselves, as in an inner square, on every side of the tabernacle; the Geshurites on the west, within the army and standard of Ephraim, over whom Eliasaph commanded, in number 7,500. The family of Cohath on the south side, guided by Elizaphan, within the army of Reuben, and between him and the tabernacle, in number 8,600. The third company were of the family of Merari, over whom Zuriel commanded, in number 6,200, and these were lodged on the north side within the army of Dan; on the east side, and next within those tribes and forces which Judah led, did Moses and Aaron lodge, and their children, who were the first and immediate commanders, both of the ceremonies and of the people; under whom, as the chief of all the other Levitical families, was Eleazar the son of Aaron, his successor in the high priesthood.
This was the order of the army of Israel, and of their encamping and marching; the tabernacle of God being always set in the middle and centre thereof. The reverend care which Moses, the prophet and chosen servant of God, had in all that belonged even to the outward and least parts of the tabernacle, ark, and sanctuary, witnessed well the inward and most humble zeal borne towards God himself. The industry used in the framing thereof, and every and the least part thereof; the curious workmanship thereon bestowed ; the exceeding charge and expense in the provisions; the dutiful observance in the laying up and preserving the holy vessels ; the solemn removing thereof; the vigilant attendance thereon, and the provident defence of the same, which all ages have in some degree imitated, is now so forgotten and cast away in this superfine age, by those of the family, by the Anabaptist, Brownist, and other sectaries, as all cost and care bestowed and had of the church, wherein God is to be served and worshipped, is accounted a kind of popery, and as proceeding from an idolatrous disposition ; insomuch as time would soon bring to pass (if it were not resisted) that God would be turned out of churches into barns, and from thence again into the fields and mountains, and under the hedges; and the offices of the ministry (robbed of all dignity and respect) be as contemptible as these places; all order, discipline, and church government, left to newness of opinion and men's fancies; yea, and soon after, as many kinds of religions would spring up, as there are parish churches within England; every contentious and ignorant person clothing his fancy with the Spirit of God, and his imagination with the gift of revelation ; insomuch as when the truth, which is but one, shall appear to the simple multitude no less variable than contrary to itself, the faith of men will soon after die away by degrees, and all religion be held in scorn and contempt. Which distraction gave a great prince of Germany cause of this answer to those that persuaded him to become a Lutheran: Si me adjungo vobis, tunc condemnor ab aliis ; si me aliis adjungo, a vobis condemnor ; quid fugiam video, sed quid sequar non habeo: “If I adjoin myself to you, I am con“ demned by others; if I join with others, I am condemned
by you: what I should avoid I see, but I know not what " I should follow."
SECT. II. The offerings of the twelve princes; the passover of the second year ;
the departing of Jethro. NOW when Moses had taken order for all things necessary, provided for the service of God, written the laws, numbered his army, and divided them into the battles and troops before remembered, and appointed them leaders of all sorts ; the twelve princes, or commanders of the tribes, brought their l offerings before the Lord, to wit, six covered chariots, and twelve oxen to draw them, therein to transport, as they marched, the parts of the tabernacle, with all that belonged thereunto, the sanctuary excepted; which for reverence was carried upon the shoulders of the sons of Korah, to whom the charge was committed ; and the chariots, in which were conveyed the other parts of the tabernacle and vessels thereto belonging, were delivered to the Levites for that service ; namely, to the sons of Gershan and Merari.
Besides these chariots, each of these commanders, princes, or heads of tribes, offered unto God, and for his service in the temple, a charger of fine silver, weighing 130 m shekels;
I Numb. vii.
teen grains; so a gerah of silver is m The Hebrew gerah weigheth six- about three halfpence sterling : the