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a third part of David's kingdom, he had more troops fit for war; which, altogether, made eleven hundred and threescore thousand men, all under his immediate command, besides the garrisons in his strong places.*
Nor is there any thing incredible in all this : we see examples to the same purpose in profane history. The great city of Thebes in Egypt furnished out of its own inhabitants alone seven hundred thousand fighting men.t In the year 188, from the foundation of Rome, when Servius Tullius first numbered the people, they reckoned eighty thousand citizens fit to bear arms. I Yet they had nothing to subsist upon but the land about Rome, which is now most of it barren and desolate; for their dominion did not extend above eight or ten leagues.
That was the chief foundation of their poli= tics in old time. In the multitude of people, says
the Wise Man, is the king's honour, but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince.
They supported themselves much less by cunning than real strength. Instead of being industrious in setting spies upon their neighbours, and endeavouring to sow divisions among them, or gain credit by false reports, they took pains to people and cultivate their own conntry, and make the most of it they possibly could, whether it was small or great.
They endeavoured to make marriages easy, and the lives of married people comfortable, to get health and plenty, and draw out of the
* 2 Chron. xvii. 14, 15, &c.
Liv. i. 24.
+ Tacit. Annal. ii. 70. § Prov. xiv. 28. .
ground ground all it could produce. They employed their citizens in labour, inspired them with a love of their country, unanimity among themselves, and obedience to the laws: this is what they called politics. These are fine maxims, it may be said; but let us come to matters of fact. Shew us how it is possible, that so small a country as Palestine should maintain so great a number of people. In order to do this, we must have patience to go through a short calculation, and not think it below us to descend to particulars, which is the only way of proving it to satisfaction. titude. Besides, they were obliged by the law to let the land have rest every seventh year,
Josephus has preserved a valuable fragment. of Hecatæus the Abderite, who lived in the time of Alexander the Great, and was a courtier of Ptolemy the First. After relating many remarkable particulars concerning the manners of the Jews, he adds, that the country they inhabited contains about three million arures of very rich and fruitful ground. *. The arure, according to Eustathius, was a hundred cubits, that is, one hundred and fifty feet, which, multiplied into so many square feet, make twentytwo thousand five hundred.t Now, our arpent, or acre of a hundred perches, contains forty thousand square feet, reckoning the perch but twenty feet. So nine of our arpents make sixteen arures.
I have informed myself of the produce of our best land, and find that it yields five quarters of corn per arpent, Paris measure. I have enquired
* Joseph. cont. App. c. i. p. 1408.
likewise, how much goes to the sustenance of one man, and find, that, at the allowance of two pounds and six ounces of bread per day, he consumes half a mine of corn each month, which comes to thirty-six bushels per year. But this would not have been enough for the Israelites; we must give them at least double; and it may be proved from Scripture. When God gave them manna in the wilderness, he ordered each man to take an omer of it every day, neither more nor less;* and it is often said, that it was as much as a man could eat. Now, an omer, reduced to our measure, held above five pints, and its weight was more than five pounds and a half.t It was then about eighty-four bushels per year: consequently, each arpent, or acre, could maintain but two men at most; and three millions of arures making one million six hundred eighty-seven thousand five hundred arpents, would feed three million three hundred and seventy-fiv thousand men.
I know very well this number would not be sufficient to furnish out the one million two hundred thousand fighting men of Jehoshaphat. He had not dominion over half the land : and though all the Israelites bore arms without distinction, there were always a great many persons among them unfit for war. We must reckon nearly as many women as men, a great many old men, and more children: and though in proportion they need less food, however, it must require a great deal to suffice such a mul.
But it must be observed that this passage in Hecatæus relates only to the plow'd lands of the Jews, and those too that were most fruitful. For if we take the whole extent of the land of Israel, it would be fourteen times as much. It cannot be computed at less than five degrees square, according to our maps. Now one degree makes two million, nine hundred thirty thousand, two hundred fifty-nine square arpents; and the five degrees, fourteen million, sir hundred fifty-one thousand, trvo hundred ninety-five arpents. So that it is evident that Hecatæus has reckoned only a small part. He has left out what the Samaritans enjoyed in his time, their lakes, desarts, and barren grounds, vineyards, plantations, and pastures, of which they must have had a large quantity for the support of their great herds of cattle. For, besides what they bred, they had some from other countries. The king of Moab paid Ahab king of Israel a tribute of a hundred thousand lambs, and as many rams. Other Arabians brought Jehoshaphat seven thousand seven hundred rams, and as many he-goats.* All this cattle was a great help to maintaining them, not only by the desh, but the milk. Considering that the Israelites lived in a simple manner, and laid out all their good ground in tillage; for they had few groves, no parks for hunting, nor avenues, nor flower gardens. We see by the Song of Solomon, that their gardens were full of fruit trees and
* 2 Chron. xvii, 11.
aromatic aromatic plants; we may therefore be in still less concern for their lodging than their food, since half, nay a quarter of an acre, is more than sufficient to lodge, not only one man, but a whole family, with ease and convenience.
CHAP. IV. Of the Riches of the Israelites. E ACH Israelite had then his field to till, and the same that had been allotted to his ancestors in the time of Joshua. They could neither change their place, nor enrich themselves to any great degree. The law of jubilee had provided against that by revoking all alienations every fifty years, and forbidding to exact debts, not only this forty-ninth year, but every sabbatical year: for as the ground lay fallow those years, it was but reasonable to put a stop to law proceedings at the same time.* Now this difficulty of being paid again, made it not so easy to borrow money, and consequently lessened the opportunities of running out ; which was the design of the law. Besides, the impossibility of making lasting purchases gave a check to ambition and anriety : every body was confined to the portion of his ancestors, and took a pleasure in making the best of it, knowing it would never go out of the family.
This attachment was even a religious duty, founded upon the law of God: and thence