Obrazy na stronie

to the commonwealth, and, in general, not of perpetual tinguishing between a bare intention and a vow actually endurance. It was to a people who made vows of this sort completed. that Moses gave his laws.' The Rabbins very properly 3. In her youth.' - The Rabbins say that this means till observe, that no vow could be admitted as coming within she was twelve years of age. We should rather think that the scope of these laws, if it bound the person to do a for there was no distinct reference to age; for as we find the bidden thing, or to anything contrary to the honour and husband possessing a power of nullifying his wife's vows, krown will of God. Such vows were in themselves without any restriction as to her age, it is but reasonable void.

to conclude that the father possessed the same power till - 'According to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.'— she was married. And this seems the more probable, when This phrase frequently occurs in connection with vows; we consider that among the Hebrews, as at present in most and it would seem from hence, that to render a vow nations of the East, it was a very rare circumstance for a binding it was necessary that it should be actually uttered female to remain unmarried beyond girlhood, and that she

-not merely made in the heart. Such a mental act was often betrothed long before the actual marriage took would appear to have been regarded rather as a resolu place. The same authorities inform us that when a girl tion to vow than as a vow itself. This limitation is of was betrothed, the concurrence of her father and betrothed more importance than would at first sight appear, and husband was requisite to nullify her vow. We see from was probably intended to prevent the anxiety which con- v. 9, that a woman seems never to have been independent in scientious persons might sometimes be led to entertain this matter, or perhaps in any other, until she either became on account of the difficulty which might occur of dis- | a widow or a divorced wife.


they dwelt, and all their goodly castles, with 1 The Midianites are spoiled, and Balaam slain.

fire. 13 Moses is wroth with the officers, for saving the 11 And they took all the spoil, and all the women alive. 19 How the soldiers, with their cap prey, both of men and of beasts. tives and spoil, are to be purified. 25 The propor

12 And they brought the captives, and the tion whereby the prey is to be divided. 48 The voluntary oblation unto the treasury of the Lord.

prey, and the spoil, unto Moses, and Eleazar

the priest, and unto the congregation of the And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, children of Israel, unto the camp at the plains

2 'Avenge the children of Israel of the of Moab, which are by Jordan near Jericho. Midianites : afterward shalt thou 'be gathered 13 | And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, unto thy people.

and all the princes of the congregation, went 3 And Moses spake unto the people, saying, forth to meet them without the camp. Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let 14 And Moses was wroth with the officers them go against the Midianites, and avenge of the host, with the captains over thousands, the LORD of Midian.

and captains over hundreds, which came from 4. 'Of every tribe a thousand, throughout the battle. all the tribes of Israel, shall ye send to the 15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye war.

saved all the women alive? 5 So there were delivered out of the thou 16 Behold, these caused the children of sands of Israel, a thousand of every tribe, Israel, through the 'counsel of Balaam, to twelve thousand armed for war.

commit trespass against the LORD in the 6 And Moses sent them to the war, a matter of Peor, and there was a plague among thousand of every tribe, them and Phinehas the congregation of the LORD. the son of Eleazar the priest, to the war, with 17 Now therefore ‘kill every male among the holy instruments, and the trumpets to blow the little ones, and kill every woman that hath in his hand.

known man by lying with 'him. 7 And they warred against the Midianites, 18 But all the women children, that have as the LORD commanded Moses; and they not known a man by lying with him, keep slew all the males.

í alive for yourselves. 8 And they slew the kings of Midian, be 19 And do ye abide without the camp side the rest of them that were slain ; namely, seven days: whosoever hath killed any person, ‘Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and and ''wliosoever hath touched any slain, purify Reba, five kings of Midian : Balaam also the both yourselves and your captives on the third son of Beor they slew with the sword.

day, and on the seventh day. 9 And the children of Israel took all the 1 20 And purify all your raiment, and all ''that women of Midian captives, and their little | is made of skins, and all work of goats' hair, ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and and all things made of wood. all their flocks, and all their goods.

| 21 | And Eleazar the priest said unto the 10 And they burnt all their cities wherein | men of war which went to the battle, This is 1 Chap. 25. 17. 2 Chap. 27. 13. Heb. A thousand of a tribe, a thousand of a tribe. Josh 13. 21. 5 Heb. host of war. * Chap. 25. 2. 7 2 Pet. 2. 15. 8 Judg. 21. 11. Heb. a male. 10 Chap. 19. 11, &c. 11 Heh. instrument, or, ressel of skins. VOL. I. 2 D


war, with

I congregation of the Luana plague amo

the ordinance of the law which the LORD com- | 38 And the beeves were thirty and six manded Moses ;

thousand : of which the Lord's tribute was 22 Only the gold, and the silver, the brass, threescore and twelve. the iron, the tin, and the lead,

39 And the asses were thirty thousand and 23 Every thing that may abide the fire, ye five hundred ; of which the LORD's tribute was shall make it go through the fire, and it shall threescore and one. be clean: nevertheless it shall be purified with | 40 And the persons were sixteen thousand ; the water of separation: and all that abideth not of which the LORD's tribute was thirty and the fire ye shall make go through the water. two persons.

24 And ye shall wash your clothes on the 41 And Moses gave the tribute, which was seventh day, and ye shall be clean, and after- | the Lord's heave offering, unto Eleazar the ward ye shall come into the camp.

priest, as the LORD commanded Moses. 25 'T And the LORD spake unto Moses, 42 And of the children of Israel's half, saying,

which Moses divided from the men that 26 Take the sum of the prey "that was warred, taken, both of man and of beast, thou, and 43 (Now the half that pertained unto the Eleazar the priest, and the chief fathers of the | congregation was three hundred thousand and congregation :

thirty thousand and seven thousand and five 27 And divide the prey into two parts; hundred sheep, between them that took the war upon them, 44 And thirty and six thousand beeres, who went out to battle, and between all the 1 45 And thirty thousand asses and five congregation:

hundred, 28 Ănd levy a tribute unto the LORD of 46 And sixteen thousand persons ;) the men of war which went out to battle: one 47 Even of the children of Israel's half, soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and Moses took one portion of fifty, both of man of the beeves, and of the asses, and of the and of beast, and gave them unto the Levites, sheep:

which kept the charge of the tabernacle of the 29 Take it of their half, and give it unto LORD; as the LORD commanded Moses. Eleazar the priest, for an heave offering of the | 48 | And the officers which were over LORD.

thousands of the host, the captains of thou30 And of the children of Israel's half, thou / sands, and captains of hundreds, came near shalt take one portion of fifty, of the persons, unto Moses : of the beeves, of the asses, and of the 'flocks, 49 And they said unto Moses, Thy servants of all manner of beasts, and give them unto have taken the sum of the men of war which the Levites, which keep the charge of the | are under our charge, and there lacketh not tabernacle of the LORD.

one man of us. 31 And Moses and Eleazar the priest did 50 We have therefore brought an oblation as the LORD commanded Moses.

for the LORD, what every man hath 's gotten, 32 And the booty, being the rest of the of jewels of gold, chains, and bracelets, rings, prey which the men of war had caught, was earrings, and tablets, to make an atonement six hundred thousand and seventy thousand | for our souls before the Lord. and five thousand sheep,

51 And Moses and Eleazar the priest took 33 And threescore and twelve thousand the gold of them, even all wrought jewels. I beeves,

52 And all the gold of the offering that 34 And threescore and one thousand they offered up to the LORD, of the captains asses,

of thousands, and of the captains of hundreds, 35 And thirty and two thousand persons in was sixteen thousand seven hundred and fifty all, of women that had not known man by shekels. lying with him.

53 (For the men of war had taken spoil, 36 And the half, which was the portion of every man for himself.) them that went out to war, was in number 54 And Moses and Eleazar the priest took three hundred thousand and seven and thirty the gold of the captains of thousands and of thousand and five hundred sheep:

hundreds, and brought it into the tabernacle 37 And the Lord's tribute of the sheep of the congregation, for a memorial for the was six hundred and threescore and fifteen. children of Israel before the LORD.

19 Heb. of the captivity. 13 Or, goats. 14 Hleb, hand. 13 Heb. found. 16 Heb. heave offering.

of iene, LORD, whine

d and had caught the

housand the gold of all the gold oorb, of the captads,

Verse 2. "The Midianites.' –See the note on Exod. | pets' not as copulative (and), but as explanative (even), and ii. 15. Whatever opinion be entertained concerning the then read, 'the holy instruments, even the trumpets. It origin of the Midianites on the Red Sea, among whom will be recollected that the silver trumpets were to accomMoses found a refuge from the wrath of Pharaoh, there is pany the army, in charge of the priests, who were to sound no question that those who now engage our attention were the war alarm with them. the descendants of Midian, the son of Abraham by Keturah, 8. Balaam also......they slew with the sword.'-It is who, together with his brethren, were sent away by the said, in ch. xxiv. 25, that Balaam went and returned to his patriarch, during his lifetime, eastward into the east own country, that is, Mesopotamia. It seems more procountry, that is, into the country eastward from that part bable that he stopped among the Midianites, after having set of Canaan in which Abraham then was. This was at out with an intention to return home, than that he had Beersheba, in the south of Canaan; and now accordingly already come back from so considerable a distance as Mewe find the Midianites settled in, or at least occupying the sopotamia. However, if he did go home, there was cerregion where, after this indication, we should expect to tainly sufficient inducement for him to come back after he find them, namely, to the east and south-east of the Moab had learned the success of the villanous advice he had ites, who dwelt on the eastern coast of the Dead Sea. Or given to the Midianites on his way. This is the opinion rather perhaps we should say, that, as they appear to have of the Hebrew writers, who say, that when he heard that been to a considerable extent a nomade people themselves, the Israelites had fallen into the snare which he had laid they pastured their flocks in the unsettled country beyond for them, he made no doubt that they would then be easily the Moabites, with whom, as a kindred though a more defeated, and hastened to obtain a share in the spoil. But settled people, they appear to have been on the most others only say, that, on hearing of the plague which had friendly terms; and on whose borders were situated those swept away so many thousand Hebrews, he delayed not to

cities and goodly castles' which they possessed. It will return and claim the due wages of his iniquity from the contribute to the better understanding of the subsequent princes of Midian. His iniquity found other wages. history of this people, as connected with that of the Israel. - Sword.' _The history of warlike weapons forms a ites, to keep in mind this often-forgotten fact, that the curious and instructive chapter in the history of man. Midianites were, to a considerable extent, a nomade tribe, Swords of metal could by no means be the earliest, or one extending their wanderings much beyond any limits which of the earliest, of those weapons which in process of time could be assigned to them as a territorial possession. This men devised for the purpose of defending themselves or of people were induced, by the wicked advice of Balaam offending others. Such an instrument as a sword cannot and with an express and diabolical intention of depriving | well be of anything but metal; and therefore a considerthem of Jehovah's protection—to attempt to seduce the able advance in civilization, indicated by the existence of Hebrews to idolatry and idolatrous whoredom. To their the art of working metals, must have been made before the success in this endeavour, the 24,000 lives which were lost sword was invented. Hence it is that swords and sabres in the matter of Baal-peor, bore awful testimony. Were have never been known to any but civilized or semi-civithe people of Israel to be thus punished, and should the lized nations; nothing of the kind being ever found among primary instigators of the idolatry and rebellion escape ? savages. Yet we see this weapon in the most remote ages Such was not the Divine will; and now we find the Israel- known in Asia. It is in fact the most early weapon menites ordered to execute the Lord's vengeance upon Midian. tioned in Scripture. It was with the sword that Simeon No one can doubt that, in this case, the Hebrews were the and Levi did such terrible execution at Shechem; and the executioners of a judicial sentence; and it is well to remem. patriarch Jacob mentions the sword and the bow, as the ber this, that we may, from this affair, be led to draw po weapons with which he had defeated the Amorites (Gen. inference as to the conduct and results of a war in ordinary xlviii. 22). There is no doubt that the swords of the most circumstances. The sequel exhibits the result. It appears, ancient times were of brass, or rather copper. To speak of however, that only the Midianites who were in the neigh-, a copper sword may seem strange; but it is certain that bourhood of the Hebrew camp, and who were the actual copper was wrought long before iron, and applied to every criminals, were involved in the recorded destruction, great domestic, operative, and warlike purpose for which metal as it was; and this is one proof, among many, of the ex was required. That this was the case in the time of tended habitat and partially nomade character of this Homer, we see from his poems, where we observe brass people. Accordingly, at no great distance of time after applied to almost every use. The Iliad, from its great wards, we find them so powerful as to render the Israelites antiquity, and from its frequent descriptions of arms and their tributaries, and to oppress them greatly for seven armour, is our most valuable guide in this class of subjects. vears. obliging them to seek refuge in dens which are in We there find that there is no sort of weapon which is not in the mountains, and caves, and strong holds. (Judg. vi. some instances, if not always, made of brass; and indeed 2.) From this oppression the Hebrews were delivered by where the material of a metallic weapon is mentioned at Gideon, who, with a very inferior force, almost annihilated all, we usually find it to be brass. As to swords, their the Midianites, so that from that time they appear to have material is not generally mentioned; but the famous sword lost their distinct national existence, and became mixed of Achilles himself was of brass, whence we may conclude with the kindred nations, the Moabites, Ammonites, Edom. that they were generally of that metal. Swords were also ites, and Arabians.

at that early time highly enriched, as we see by the de3. • Arm yourselves.'— The readiness here exemplified scription of Agamemnon's:by Moses in having the command of God executed, well

He slung his sword deserves particular notice, seeing that, according to the

Athwart his shoulders; dazzling bright it shone preceding verse, he was not to die till after this was done.

With gold emboss'd, and silver was the sheath, This consideration seems to have quickened rather than

Suspended graceful in a belt of gold.'—COWPER. retarded his proceedings.

6. The holy instruments and the trumpets.'—What these The swords of the Greeks and Romans continued in * holy instruments' were, as distinct from the trumpets, is not | times long subsequent to be of copper. Specimens also very evident; and the Hebrew, as well as the Christian I of swords of this metal, supposed to have belonged to the commentators, are much divided on the subject. Some Phænicians, and their descendants the Carthaginians, think that the Urim and Thummim are intended, whereby have been dug up in various countries. Some found in the Lord might be consulted about any difficulty that might Ireland, Cornwall, and elsewhere, in countries known to arise in the management of the war; others think it was that people, have been found to coincide with others dug the ark, which we in future times find, on some occasions, up at Cannæ, where the Romans sustained their great overaccompanying the army (Josh. vi. 4, 6, 7; 1 Sam. iv. 4, throw, and which seem to have belonged to their conque5; xiv. 18; 2 Sam. xi. 1). There are serious objections rors. Such weapons must be of peculiar interest in our to both of these opinions; and it seems more probable that inquiry, as they may thus, with great probability, be traced we should regard the 1 vau prefixed to the word 'trum. I to the near neighbours of the Israelites in Canaan, whence we


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may be allowed to suppose that theirs, after their settlement Governor Powball, in the same paper, says of this metal, in that country, were of similar form and material. There that it is of a temper which carries a sharp edge, and is in are specimens of them in Sir William Hamilton's collec- a great degree firm and elastic, and very heavy. It does tion in the British Museum. In their general form they not rust, and it takes a fine polish. He indeed thinks it resemble the Roman swords in the centre of the group re superior to iron for its purpose, until the art of tempering presented in the preceding woodcut; but are not generally steel was brought to a considerable degree of perfection. so broad in proportion to their length, and are without the It is probably on account of this perfection to which the cross bar as a guard. They are straight and tapering, preparation of copper had been brought in consequence of with two edges and a sbarp point, adapted either for cut ihe want of iron, that it continued to be preferred long ting or thrusting; and their breadth somewhat contracts after the art of working iron had been acquired. towards the haft, as in the second figure from the right As a general remark upon ancient swords, it may be hand in the above cut. These sorts of weapons vary in observed that the swords of civilized nations were genelength, from a dagger of two spans, to a sword of two feet rally straight, and those of barbarians curved. The three inches; the last being the size of the largest of those swords used by cavalry were long; but antiquity bad po found in Ireland, and described by Governor Pownall in such thin-bladed narrow swords as are in use in modern the Archaologia, vol. iji. The general resemblance of these Europe ; a guard for the fingers is also usually wanting in swords to those in most common use among the Romans is the most ancient swords. The Egyptians had the straight, accounted for by the fact that they borrowed the shape of tapering, two-edged sword and dagger, which we have the blade from Spain, which country had immemorially described as so common in ancient times; and the handles been the seat of commercial colonies of the Phænicians ard of which were often richly inlaid. They had also curved, Carthaginians, and a considerable part of which the latter single-edged knives and falchions (see the cut under people ultimately held in military possession. As copper is Exod. xiv. 7), the latter having the back often cased a soft metal, and easily blunted, it may be asked how it with brass to give it greater weight. The blades were could be adapted to form cutting instruments? Some either of bronze, or (as appears from the colours with means must certainly have been resorted to for the pur which they are painted) of iron or steel. The hafts pose of hardening it. Tempering secms to have been the are often furnished with strings and tassels. It is inmeans inost commonly used. The ancient writers them teresting to note these forms, from the probability that selves say this; and the observations which have been the weapons of the Israelites in the wilderness were of made on Greek and Roman antiquities seem to confirm a similar character. We learn from Scripture that the this account. The Irish weapons were assayed by Mr. Israelites had daggers and swords, some of the latter Alchorn, who says, “the metal appears to me to be chiefly with two edges, and were 'girded upon the thigh. It copper, interspersed with particles of iron, and perhaps does not appear that they wore them continually, but I some zinc, but without containing either gold or silver: it only as occasion required. The ancient Persians wore seems probable that the metal was cast in its present state, their swords suspended from a belt on the right side. and afterwards reduced to its proper figure by filing. The Herodotus speaks of 'golden swords' as among the iron might either be obtained with the copper from the ore, spoils taken by the Greeks from the Persians; by which or added afterwards in the fusion, to give the necessary he must probably be understood to mean that the Perrigidity of a weapon. But I confess myself unable to de sians had the art of inlaying with gold the hilts and termine anything with certainty. (Archæologia, iii. 355.) | blades of their swords-a practice in which that people


still excel. The cut from the ancient sculptures of Persia | sorts of Greek swords, but we cannot enter into the acwill exhibit the variety and style of their swords. Some count further than to state that some sorts were straight of them have a resemblauce to the Phænician copper for cutting and thrusting; some, intended for cutting, were swords which we have mentioned ; and their straightness curved, and had the edge on the inner curve of the blade. would, according to the above-quoted Roman rule, shew | The hilts were sometimes of ivory and gold, and occathe civilization of that people. But the same rule would | sionally guarded by a cross-bar. The Romans, when they make the Egyptians, with their curved weapons, bar- | relinquished brass and copper for the blade, retained it barous;' whereas, in truth, both the Persians and the for the hilt. Our cut will shew the principal varieties of Egyptians were at least as civilized as those who applied | the Roman swords. The resemblance of the favourite that degrading epithet to them. The early Greeks wore | weapon to the Phænician or Carthaginian has already the sword under the left arm-pit, so that the pummel | been mentioned and accounted for. Several of those touched the nipple of their breast; it hung by a belt, and which the cut exhibits are only slight varieties of the same its length was nearly equal to that of the arm. The scab- | weapon; and those with the 'ilost obtuse points are bard, of the same breadth as the sword, terminated in a l thought the most ancient. The Romans wore the sword nob like a mushroom. Dr. Meyrick describes different l on the right thigh, probably that it might not obstruct the

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