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Amorites. And although Israel might now have taken a ready way and passage into Judæa, being at this time, and after this victory, at the banks of Jordan; yet he knew it to be perilous to leave so great a part of that nation of the Amorites on his back, as inhabited all the region of Basan, or Trachonitis ; and therefore he led on his army to invade Og, a person of exceeding strength and stature, and the only man of mark remaining of the ancient giants of those parts, and who at that time had sixty cities walled and defenced, lying between the mountain of Hermon (which mountain, saith Moses, the Sidonians call Shirion, and the Amorites Shenir) and the river of Jordan. And it befell unto the king of Basan (who attended Moses's coming at Edrei) as it did unto Sihon ; for he and his sons perished, and all his cities were taken and possessed. After this, Moses withdrawing himself back again to the mountains of Abarim, left the prosecution of that war unto Jair the son of Manasseh ; who conquering the east parts of Basan, to wit, the kingdom of Argob, even unto the nations of the Gessuri and Machati, sixty walled cities, called the same after his own name Havoth Jair; of all which conquests afterwards the half tribe of Manasseh possessed the north part as far as Edrei, but the east part that belonged to Sihon the Amorite, with the mountains of Gilead adjoining, was given to Reuben and Gad.
SECT. IX. of the troubles about the Midianites, and of Moses's death. AFTER these victories, and while Israel sojourned in the valley of Moab, the Midianites and Moabites (over both which nations it seemeth that Balak king of the Moabites then commanded in chief) sought, according to the advice of Balaam, both by alluring the Hebrews to the love of their daughters, and by persuading them to honour and serve their idols, to divide them both in love and religion among themselves ; thereby the better both to defend their own interest against them, as also to beat them out of Moab and the countries adjoining. The Israelites, as they had ever been inclined, so were they now easily persuaded to these evil courses, and thereby drew on themselves the plague of pestilence, whereof there perished y 24,000 persons; besides which punishment of God, the most of the offenders among the Hebrews were by his commandment put to the sword, or other violent deaths; after this, when that Phinehas the son of Eleazar had pierced the bodies of Zimri, a prince of the Simeonites, together with Cosbi, a daughter of one of the chief of the Midianites, the plague ceased, and God's wrath was appeased. For such was the love and kindness of his all-powerfulness, respecting the ardent zeal of Phinehas in prosecuting of Zimri, (who being a chief among the Hebrews became an idolater,) as he forgave the rest of Israel, and stayed his hand for his sake.
In this valley it was that Moses caused the people to be numbered the third time; and there remained of able men fit to bear arms 2601,730, of which, as his last enterprise, he appointed 12,000 to be chosen out to invade the cities of Midian, who, together with the Moabites, practised with Balaam to curse Israel ; and after that sought to allure them (as before remembered) from the worship of the true God to the service of Beth-Peor, and to the rest of their barbarous idolatry. Over which companies of 12,000 Moses gave the charge to Phinehas, the son of Eleazar the high priest; who slew the five princes of the a Midianites, which were, or had lately been, the vassals of Sehon, as appeareth by b Joshua. These five princes of the Midianites slain by Eleazar, were at that time but the vassals of Sehon the Amorite, to wit, Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba, the dukes of Sehon, saith Joshua. He slew also all the men, male-children, and women, saving such as had not yet used the company of men, but those they saved, and dispersed them among the children of Israel to serve them.
And Moses having now lived 120 years, making both his own weakness of body known to the people, and his inability to travel; and also that he was forewarned of his end by the Spirit of God, from whom he received a new commandment to ascend the mountains of Abarim, and thereon to render up his life; he hastened to settle the government in Joshua; whom he persuaded with most lively arguments to prosecute the conquest begun, assuring him of God's favour and assistance therein. And so having spent these his latter days after the conquest of Og and Sihon, kings of the Amorites, in the repetition and exposition of the law, (or an iteration of the law, according to e St. Augustine,) using both arguments, prayers, and threats unto the people; which he often repeated unto them, thereby to confirm them in knowledge, love, fear, and service, of the all-powerful God; he f blessed the twelve tribes, that of Simeon excepted, with several and most comfortable blessings; praising the greatness and goodness of Him, unto whom in his prayers he commended them; he also commanded the priests to lay up the book of the law by the side of the ark of God; the last that he indited was that prophetical song, beginning, 6 Hearken, ye heavens, and I will speak, and let the earth hear the words of my mouth ; and being called by God from the labours and sorrows of this life, unto that rest which never afterwards hath disquiet, he was buried in the land of + Moab, over against Beth-Peor; but no man knoweth of his sepulchre to this day; which happened in the year of the world 2554.
y Numb. xxv. 9.
b Jos. xiii. 21.
Observations out of the story of Moses, how God disposeth both the
smallest occasions and the greatest resistances, to the effecting of his purpose.
NOW let us a little, for instruction, look back to the occasions of sundry of the great events which have been mentioned in this story of the life of Moses, for excepting God's miracles, his promise, and fore-choice of this people, he wrought in all things else by the medium of men's affections and natural appetites. And so we shall find, that the fear which Pharaoh had of the increase of the Hebrews, multiplied by God to exceeding great numbers, was the next natural cause of the sorrows and loss which befell himself and the Egyptian nation; which numbers when he sought, by cruel and ungodly policies, to cut off and lessen, as when he commanded all the male children of the Hebrews to be slain, God (whose providence cannot be resisted, nor his purposes prevented by all the foolish and savage craft of mortal men) moved compassion in the heart of Pharaoh's own daughter, to preserve that child, which afterwards became the most wise, and of all men the most gentle and mild, the most excellently learned in all divine and human knowledge, to be the conductor and deliverer of his oppressed brethren, and the overthrow of Pharaoh, and all the flower of his nation ; even then, when he sought by the strength of his men of war, of his horse and chariots, to tread them under, and bury them in the dust. The grief which Moses conceived of the injuries and of the violence offered to one of the Hebrews in his own presence, moved him to take revenge of the Egyptian that offered it; the ingratitude of one of his own nation, by threatening him to discover the slaughter of the Egyptian, moved him to fly into Midian; the contention between the shepherds of that place and Jethro's daughters made him known to their father; who not only entertained him, but married him to one of those sisters ; and, in that solitary life of keeping of his father-in-law's sheep, far from the press of the world, contenting himself (though bred as a king's son) with the lot of a poor herdsman, God found him out in that desert, wherein he first suffered him to live many years, the better to know the ways and passages through which he purposed that he should conduct his people toward the land promised; and therein appearing unto him, he made him know his will and divine pleasure for his return into Egypt. The like may be said of all things else, which Moses afterwards by God's direction performed in the story of Israel before remembered. There is not therefore the smallest accident
e Aug. 1. 4. de mirab. sacr. scrip. & Deut. xxxii. I. f Deut. xxxii.
h Deut. xxxiv. 6.
which may seem unto men as falling out by chance, and of no consequence, but that the same is caused by God to effect somewhat else by; yea, and oftentimes to effect things of the greatest worldly importance, either presently or in many years after, when the occasions are either not considered or forgotten.
Of the nations with whom the Israelites had dealing after
their coming out of Egypt; and of the men of renown in other nations, about the times of Moses and Joshua, with the sum of the history of Joshua.
SECT. I. How the nations, with whom the Israelites were to have war, were
divers ways, as it were, prepared to be their enemies. IN like manner if we look to the quality of the nations with whom the Israelites, after their coming out of Egypt, had to do, either in the wilderness or afterwards, we shall find them long beforehand, by the disposing providence of God, as it were prepared for enmity; partly in respect that they were most of them of the issue of Canaan, or at least of Ham; and the rest (as the Edomites, Moabites, Ammonites, and Ismaelites) were mingled with them by mutual marriages; whereas the Israelites still continued strangers, and separate from them : and so partly in this respect, and partly by ancient injuries or enmities, and partly by reason of diversity in religion, were these nations, as it were, prepared to be enemies to the Israelites, and so to serve for such purposes as God had reserved them for. To make these things more manifest, we must understand that this part of Syria, bounded by the mountains of Libanus, and Zidon on the north, by the same mountains continued as far as the springs of Arnon on the east; by the way of Egypt, and the Red sea on the south, and by the Mediterranean sea on the west ; was inhabited and peopled
RALEGH, HIST. WORLD. VOL. II.