Obrazy na stronie

the journey through the wilderness is a noble example of it. The number of this prodigious ar. my was known by exact lists : each man was set down in his tribe, each tribe in it's quarter under one of the four heads, according to the order of birthright among the patriarchs, and the quality of their mothers.* They marched, by sound of trumpet, always in the same order, and always quartered in the same situation about the tabernacle of the covenant, which was the center of the camp. They took all proper care for keeping their quarters clean,t which was very necessary in so warm a country, and hard to be done in so vast a multitude. In short, we see that the way of encamping, and every thing else that we admire with so much reason in the Greeks and Romans, was taken from the antient models of the eastern people. The Hebrews set a high value upon their booty and spoils, as all the nations of antiquity did: they were marks of honour.

From Joshua's time to the kings, the command of armies belonged to those whom the people chose, or God raised up in an extraordinary manner, as Othniel, Barak, and Gideon: But none were subject to them but the country or the people that chose them, or to whom God gave them for deliverers. The rest of the people, abusing their liberty, often exposed themselves to the insults of their enemies: which made them ask for a king, not only to do them justice, but also to conduct their armies, and make war fos

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them.* From that time too they were in much more safety. The king called the people together when he judged it convenient, and always kept up a great number of forces. It is observed in the beginning of Saul's reign that he maintained three thousand men :f David had twelve bodies of four and twenty thousand each, who served monthly by turns. Jehoshaphat had not a third part of David's kingdom ; and yet he had eleven hundred and sixty thousand fighting men in his service, without reckoning garrisons. I


Their Kings. THE king had power of life and death, and could put criminals to death without the formality of justice. David made use of this prerogative in the case of him that bragged he had killed Saul, and of those that murdered Ishbosheth. The Roman emperors had this power too. The kings of Israel levied tribute upon the Israelites themselves, for Saul promises that all the family of the man that would fight Goliah should be exempted from it:l and it appears that Solomon had laid excessive taxes upon them by the complaints made to Rehoboam. The power of kings was in other respects very much limited : they were obliged to keep the law as well as

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private men, they could neither add to nor diminish it, and there is no instance of any of them making so much as one new law. Their way of living at home was very plain, as we may see by the description that Samuel gave of their manners to put the people out of conceit with them;* he allows them only women for the household affairs. Yet they had a great attendance when they appeared in public. Among the signs of Absalom's rebellion, the Scripture reckons, fifty men that ran before him,t and the same is said of his brother Adonijah. I

The kings lived sparingly as well as private people: the difference was; they had more land and herds. When David's riches are reckoned up indeed, his treasures of gold and silver are put into the account; but so are his tillage, and vineyards, his stores of wine and oil, his plantations of olive and fig-trees, his herds and kine, camels, asses, and sheep. $ Thus Homer describes the riches of Ulysses; he says he had twelve great herds of each sort of cattle upon the continent, besides what he had in his Island. They took out of this great stock what was necessary to maintain their household. There were, in Solomon's time, twelve overseers distributed through the land of Israel, who, each in his turn, sent monthly provisions for the table, which for one day'were thirty measures of fine flour, and threescore measures of meal, ten fat oxen, and twenty out of the pastures, and a hundred sheep, besides harts, and roebucks, and follow deer, and fatted

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forol,* enough to feed at least five thousand people. As this provision was the product of the country itself, there was no need to buy any thing, nor any want of purveyors, treasurers, or comptrollers, nor that vast number of officers, which eat up great lords; so that gold and silver con tinued laid up, or served for its most natural use, to make plate and furniture of. NOMA Sute9117

Hence came the vast riches of David and Solomon. + David prepared all that was necessaty for building the temple, the value of which came to a hundred and eight thousand talents of gold, and a million and ten thousand talents of silver:I that is, about five hundred and thirty four mila lions, eight hundred and fifty nine thousand, seven hundred and eighty four pounds sterling. Besides, he caused great treasures to be laid up in his se pulchre. Solomon built a great number of pa- ; laces, fortified several cities, and finished several * public works. All the plate and furniture of his house at mount Libanus was of pure gold; besides two hundred golden targets, each of which was worth about five hundred and ninety-six pounds; for a hundred and nineteen thousand two hundred pounds sterling in all, and three hundred bucklers, warth two hundred, and seventy five pounds a piece : which amounts to about eightytroo thousand five hundred pounds sterling South

cinci qatos DIETESI 2115003973 to o s ter ob 29 101 soitsiuosi doua ni 1* 1 Kingsliv: 122, &c. '+ 1 Chron. xxix. **.99:1:10

1 Chron.xxii. 14. In the Original, only 100,000 talents of gold.

See the proper method of calculating the Hebrew talent, so as to bring it into English money, in Part IV.

His revenues too were great. Commerce alone brought him in every year sir hundred and sixty-six talents of gold; which make one million, nine hundred and seventy thousand, eight hundred and thirty-four pounds sterling, He made the Israeltes pay tribute, and all foreigners that were under his dominion, the Hivites, the Amorites, and all the other antient inhabitants of the land of Israel, the Idumeans, great part of Arabia, and all Syria: for his empire extended from the borders of Egypt to the Euphrates: and all the countries, that were so rich, sent him every year vessels of gold and silver, cloth, arms, perfumes, horses, and mules. These reflections may serve to make one understand how Cræsus came by his riches in a king. dom of about the same size as that of Solomon. Silver and gold were not yet dispersed through the world. There was but little in Greece, none in Italy and the rest of Europe, except Spain, where they had some mines.

Let us stand still a little to consider the prosperity of Solomon, for it is an agreeable contemplation. If we were to read all history through, we should not find one example of such a perfect conjunction of all the good things that are to be enjoyed in this world : a young prince in the flower of his age, of a handsome person, of great parts, learning, and accomplishments; in such reputation for wisdom that öll the kings of the earth sought to hear him ;* and a queen came in person from a great distance to converse with him,t He was master of a large king

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