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a silver bowl of seventy shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary; and an incense cup of gold of ten shekels, which they performed at the same time when the altar was dedicated unto God by Aaron, and before they marched from Sinai towards their conquest ; besides the beasts which they offered for sacrifice, according to the law ceremonial, the weight of all the twelve silver chargers, and twelve silver bowls, amounted unto 2400 shekels of silver; and the weight of gold in the incense cups to 120 shekels of gold; which makes of shekels of silver 1200, every shekel of gold valuing ten of silver; so that the whole of gold and silver which they offered at this time was about 4201. sterling. This done, Moses, as in all the rest by the Spirit of God conducted, gave order for the celebrating of the passover; which they performed on the fourteenth day of the second month of the second year; and on the twentieth day of the same the cloud was lifted up from above the tabernacle, as a sign of going forward, Moses beginning his march with this invocation to God, Rise up, Lord, and let thine enemies be scattered, and let them that hate thee fly before thee. Then all the people of Israel removed from their encamping at the foot of the mountain Sinai towards Paran ; the army or great squadron of Judah, led by Naashon, taking the vanguard, followed by Nethaneel and Eliab, leaders of the tribes of Issachar and Zabulon; after whom the rest marched as in the figure expressed. And because the passage through so many
deserts and mountains was exceeding difficult, Moses leaving nothing unforethought which might serve for the advancement of his enterprise, he instantly entreated his father-inlaw, whom in Numbers x. he calleth Hobab, to accompany them in their journey towards Canaan, promising him such part and profit of the enterprise as God should bestow on them ; for this man, as he was of great understanding and judgment, (as appeared by the counsel he gave to Moses for the appointing of judges over the people,) so was he a perfect guide in all those parts, himself inhabiting on the frontier thereof, at Midian, or Madian ; and (as it seemeth) a man of great years and experience, for he was then the priest 'or prince of Madian, when Moses fled first out of Egypt, and married his daughter ; which was fortytwo years before this request made. And though Moses himself had lived forty years in these parts of Arabia, through which he was now to travel ; yet the better to assure his passage, and so great a multitude of souls, which could not be so few as a million, it was necessary to use many guides and many conductors. To this request of Moses it may seem by the places, Exod. xviii. 27. and Numb. x. 30. that Jethro, otherwise called Hobab, yielded not; for it is evident, n that he went back from Moses into his own country. But because it appeareth by other places of scripture, that the posterity of this Hobab was mingled with the Israelites ; it is most likely that this his return to his own country was rather to fetch away his family, and to take his leave of his own country, by setting things in order, than to abide there.
shekel of the sanctuary (as it is expounded Exod. xxx. 13.) containeth twenty gerahs, so a sanctuary shekel of silver is about seven groats; the common shekel is but half so much, to wit, ten gerahs, as it is
usually expounded; though Villalpandus labours to prove, that the common and the sanctuary shekel were all one. Numb. ix. 5. Numb, x, 11. Exod. xl. 34. Numb. ix. 17.
The voyage from Horeb to Kades; the mutinies by the way; and
the cause of their turning back to the Red sea. AFTER this dismission of Hobab, Israel began to march towards the deserts of Paran; and after three days wandering, they sat down at the sepulchres of lust, afterward called Tabeera, or Incensio ; by reason that God consumed with fire those mutiners and murmurers which rose up in this remove, which happened about the twenty-third day of the same month. And from this twenty-third day of the second month of the second year, they rested, and fed themselves with quails (which it pleased God by a sea-wind to cast upon them) to the twenty-fourth day of the third
» Judg. i. 16. and iv, 11. also 1 Sam. xv. 6. and 2 Reg. x. 15. i Chron. ii. 55. Jer. xxxv.
month, to wit, all the month of Sinan, or June, whereof surfeiting, there died great numbers; from whence in the following month, called Thamus, answering to our July, they went on to Hazeroth ; where • Miriam the sister of Moses was stricken with the leprosy, which continued upon her seven days, after whose recovery Israel removed toward the border of Idumæa, and encamped at Rithma, near Kades Barnea, from whence Moses sent the twelve discoverers into the territory of Canaan; both to inform themselves of the fertility and strength of the country, as also to take knowledge of the ways, passages, rivers, fords, and mountains. For Arad king of the Canaanites surprised divers companies of the Israelites, by lying in ambush near those ways, through which the discoverers and searchers of the land had formerly passed. Now after the return of the discoverers of Kades, the wrath of God was turned against p Israel ; whose ingratitude and rebellion after his so many benefits, so many remissions, so many miracles wrought, was such, as they esteemed their deliverance from the 9 Egyptian slavery, his feeding them, and conducting them through that great and terrible wilderness, (for so Moses calleth it) with the victory which he gave them against the powerful Amalekites, to be no other than the effects of his hatred, thinking that he led them on and preserved them, but to bring them, their wives, and children to be slaughtered, and given for a prey and spoil to the Amorites or Canaanites. For it was reported unto them, by the searchers of the land, that the cities of their enemies were walled and defended with many strong towers and castles ; that many of the people were giant-like, (for they confessed that they saw the sons of Anak there,) who were men of fearful stature, and so far overtopped the Israelites, as they appeared to them, and to themselves, but as grasshoppers in their respect. Now as this mutiny exceeded all the rest, wherein they both accused God, and consulted to choose them a captain (or as they call it nowadays, an electo) to carry them back again into Egypt; so did God punish the Numb. xi. xii. and xiii.
a Deut. i. 19.
* Deut. i. 27.
p Numb. xxi.
same in a greater measure than any of the former. For he extinguished every soul of the whole multitude, (Joshua and Caleb excepted,) who being confident in God's promises, persuaded the people to enter Canaan, being then near it, and at the mountain foot of Idumæa, which is but narrow, laying before them the fertility thereof, and assuring them of victory. But, as men whom the passion of fear had bereaved both of reason and common sense, s they threatened to stone these encouragers to death, accounting them as men either desperate in themselves, or betrayers of the lives, goods, and children of all their brethren to their enemies : but God resisted these wicked purposes, and interposing the fear of his bright glory between the unadvised fury of the multitude, and the innocency and constancy of his servants, preserved them thereby from their violence; threatening an entire destruction of the whole nation, by sending among them a consuming and merciless pestilence. For this was the tenth insurrection and rebellion which they had made, since God delivered them from the slavery of the Egyptians. But u Moses (the mildest or meekest of all men) prayed unto God to remember his infinite mercies ; alleging that this so severe a judgment, how deservedly soever inflicted, would increase the pride of the heathen nations, and give them occasion to vaunt that the God of Israel failing in power to perform his promises, suffered them to perish in these barren and fruitless deserts. Yet as God is no less just than merciful, as God is slow to anger, so is his wrath a consuming fire, the same being once kindled by the violent breath of man's ingratitude: and therefore, as with a hand less heavy than hoped for, he scourged this iniquity, so by the measure of his glory (evermore jealous of neglect and derision) he suffered not the wicked to pass unpunished, reserving his compassion for the innocent, whom, because they participated not with the offences of their fathers, he was pleased to preserve, and in them to perform his promises, which have never been frustrate.
s Numb. xiv, 10.
Numb, xiv, 12.
u Numb. xii. 3.
SECT. IV. Of their unwillingness to return; with the punishment thereof, and
of divers accidents in the return. NOW when Moses had revealed the purposes of God to the people, and made them know his heavy displeasure towards them, they began to bewail themselves, though overlate, the times of grace and men's repentance having also their appointment. And then when God had left them to themselves, and was no more among them, after they had so often played and dallied with his merciful sufferings, they would needs amend their former disobedience by a second contempt, and make offer to enter the land contrary again to the advice of Moses, who assured them, that God was not now among them, and that the ark of his covenant should not move, but by his direction, who could not err; and that the enemies' sword, which God had hitherto bended and rebated, was now left no less sharp than death, and in the hands of the Amalekites and Canaanites, no less cruel. But as men, from whom God hath withdrawn his grace, do always follow those counsels which carry them to their own destructions; so the Hebrews, after they had forsaken the opportunity by God and their conductors offered, and might then have entered Judæa before their enemies were prepared and joined, did afterwards, contrary to God's commandment, undertake the enterprise of themselves, and ran headlong and without advice into the mountains of Idumæa. There the Canaanites and the Amalekites being joined and attending their advantage, set on them, brake them, and of their numbers slaughtered the greatest part; and following their victory and pursuit, consumed them all the way of their flight even unto Hormah: the Amalekites, in revenge of their former loss and overthrow at Raphidim ; the Canaanites, to prevent their displantation and destruction threatened. Of which powerful assembly of those two nations, (assisted in all likelihood with the neighbour kings, joined together for their common safety,) it pleased God to forewarn Moses, and to direct him another way than that formerly intended. For he commanded him to return by those painful passages