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tory fó fingular, fo faithful, and fo minutely accurate.
A fcene of wonder is here opened to us : for in the awful declarations of this Prophecy we read the complete account of the most re. markable events in the history of the Jews, It is a recital, that agrees exactly with their fubsequent situations, at various periods of time extremely remote from the date of the Prophecy -- a recital that has no reference or application whatever to any other people. No nation was so peculiarly circumstanced, no one was fo distinguished from the rest of mankind by remarkable laws, government, cuftoms, and character. The conclusion therefore is obvious, that at the time when Moses flourished, he could not have the example of any other nation before his eyes, whose viciffitudes of fortune furnished any grounds for the conditions he proposed to his countrymen. The uncommon fate of an uncommon nation is pronounced at a distance of time, when no reach of human foresight, no calculation of chances could possibly extend to the fucceffive and diftant events of their history.
A commentary on this Prophecy of Moses is the history of the Jews brought down from
their establishment in Canaan to the present times. Referring to authentic writers b. for more particular completions of its other parts, we hasten, in conformity to the confined plan of this work, to select some of those great events, and most striking circumstances, which seemed to have pressed most forcibly upon the mind of the great Lawgiver of Ifrael, and which are illustrations of the following declarations,
Blessed Mall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, and the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Blesed shall be thy basket and thy. fore. And the Lord shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the Lord fware unto tby faibers to give thee. The Lord fall open unto thee his good treasure, the beaven to give the rain into thy land in bis season, and to bless all the work of thine band: and thou shalt lend. unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow,
Patrick's Commentary on the Bible, vol. iii. Parker's Commentary, vol. v. p. 551. Jackson's Works, vol. i, p. 92. 1.6 Deut. xxviii. 4, 5, 11, 12. Levit. xxvi. 3; 4, 5.
- If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my.commandments, and do them; then I will give you rain in due seafon, and the land Mall yield ber. increase, and the trees of the field Ball yield their fruit. And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the Sowing-time : and ye shall 'eat your bréad to the full, and dwell in your land safely. !
• When the Israelites obtained poffeffjon of the promised land, these assurances were realized; they found the soil favourable to the production of the various fruits which are common in the East, and well adapted to pasturage and agriculture. As their numbers were considerable, they found it necessary to practise every method by which the various fruits of the earth could be best cultivated, and produced in the greatest abundance. Their labours were crowned with success. Such was the plenty of corn in one period of their history, that they were not only fur: nished with a sufficient quantity for their own consumption, but were enabled to supply the Tyrians with it. The woods and aromatic plants were favourable to the increase of bees, and olives thrived in the dry parts of Judæa ; and hence they were well supplied
with honey and oil. The sides of the mountains and rocks were covered with vines. The gardens produced melons, gourds, cucumbers, and figs, which were at that time, and now continue to be, the favourite fruits of the natives of that warm climate. The palmtrees that grew around the green pastures of Jericho, yielded a considerable profit ; and the balsam of Gilead, the most valuable shrub of the kind, was famous for its delicious fra. grance, and medical uses. ii
The cultivation of the soil was favoured by the peculiar nature of the institutions of Mofes. To each Ifraelite was allotted his portion of arable land, at the time of the first settlement under Jolhua. And to each district were assigned common pastures for the fupe port of their numerous flocks and herds. The express laws of the Jubilee revoked all alienations of estates every fifty years. Every inhabitant was therefore confined to his patri, mony, and laboured to improve it with the greatest diligence. In the reign of David the Jews were nearly upon an equality with rep fpect to the possession of land. If, by the increase of a family, it was necessary to divide an estate into shares, the smallness of
each of them was compensated by breeding large flocks of cattle in the common paftures.
· Thus were opened to the children of Israel the peculiar sources of affluence promised in their laws. They were not taught to expect gold, silver, or the benefits of commerce, What they were promised they received in abundance ;-the luxuriant produce of fruits and vegetables, of sheep and oxen, of the olive grounds and the pastures, of the harvest and the vintage
This representation of the improved state of Judea in its most flourishing time, is colJected partly from the Bible itself, and partly from the works of Strabo, Jofephus, Hecatæus and Tacitus, who possessed the best
. Some medals are still remaining as old as the time of the Maccabees, upon which are to be seen ears of corn and measures, to show the fertility of the country, and the honour in which agriculture was held. History of the Ifraelites, by Fleury, p. 42, 221, &c. 1 Maccab. xiv. 8, &c. - Jofephus says, that in his time the country round Jerusalem was well planted, and interspersed with gardens for more than eleven miles round the city. Newcombe on the Conduct of our Lord, p. 227. Deut. xxvii. I. 7. 12. 8, 9, 10.