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Law-giver of the Israelites , they own'd that the lsra
the History it self, but only gave wrong Accounts, partly out of Ignorance, and partly out of Malice and Design, of the Manner and Means by which this was effected, and the Reasons and Occasions upon which it came to pass. From the Books of JosephTM against Apion, in which he gives an Account of what the most ancient Authors of other Nations have deliver'd concerning the Jews, and from what the latter Heathens, Strabo, Tacitus, Justin., and others, after the Jews became so odious and contemptible in the Eyes of all Nations, have written \ it is evident, that the great and fundamental Points, as to the Matters of Fact, are confess'd , and the only Dispute is concerning the Manner in which they were brought about, and the Means whereby all was effected.
Now we take the Histories of all other Nations, rather from themselves, than from Foreigners and Strangers to their Affairs, or profess'd Enemies; and it were extreme Partiality to admit the Accounts we have of the Jewifc Affairs, from Authors who liv'd so much too late to have any certain Information of the things they write about, and who, upon every occasion, shew such Disaffection to their Name and Nation, and contradict each other, and themselves too* as Josephm shews , it would, I fay, be notorious Partiality to follow such Authors, rather than credit the Jewisti Records attested and deliver'd down to us by the unanimous Approbation and Testimony of the whole Nation.
And when I come to consider the Miracles wrought by Mosts, I shall prove, that they were of that nature* and perform'd in such a manner, as that they could not be feign'd or counterfeit at first, nor the Account given of them in the Pentateuch falsified afterwards \ and therefore these Five Books of Moses must be ger
they could deny nothing of
nuine, and of Divine Authority, being written by him who had so many ways given Evidence of his Divine Commission.
C H A P. V.
Of the VrediBions or Prophecies contains in the Books of Moses.
IT W3s foretold by God himself, upon the Fall of our First Parents, That the feed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head, Gen. iii. 15. a Maimonides is observ'd to take particular notice, that it was the Seed of the Woman, and not of the Man •, and the Jews, in their Targums, are observ'd to apply this Text to the Mejsias, which was fulfill'd in our Saviour Christ, who was born of a Woman, that was a Virgin , and had no Man to his Father: And therefore this Prediction, express'd thus precisely concerning the Seed of the Woman, could be fulfill'd in no other Person •, and no other Person ever gain'd such Victories over the Enemy of Mankind, who had so long tyrannized over the Sons of Men. God reveal'd the precise Time of the Flood to Noah \ who thereupon built an Ark, and foretold the Destruction of the World to that wicked Generation, and was a Preacher of Righteousness and Repentance to them, Gen. vi. 3. After the Flood, No*h, by a Prophetick Spirit, foretold the Fate and Condition of the Posterity of his three Sons, Gen. ix. 25. That Canaan should be Servant to Shem; which was accomplifh'd, when the Children of Israel, the Posterity of Shem , subdued the Canaanites , and polsess'd their Land, about Eight hundred Years after this Prophecy: That Japhet should dwell in the Tents of
• Maim. More Nevoch. Par. 2. c. 30.
Shem; which was fulfill'd in the Greeh and Romans, descended from Japhet, when they conquer'd Asia: That Canaan should likewise be the Servant of Japheiy as well as of Shem. Upon which Mr. Mede observes, b that the Posterity of Cham never subdued the Children either of Japhet, or of Shem y though Shem hath subdued Japhet, and Japhet hath conquer'd Shem: which made c Hannibal, descended from Canaan, cry out, with Amazement of Soul, Agnofco fatum Carthaginis.
God promiseth Abraham a Son, in his old Age, by Sarah his Wife , who was likewise of a great Age; and declares, that his Posterity, by this Son, mould be exceeding numerous *, that they should inherit the Land of Canaan, after they had been afflicted in a strange Land Four hundred Years, Gen. xv. 13. and that then they should come out of that Land with great substance^ but that God would judge the Nation that had oppress'd them , or that he would procure their Deliverance, by signal Judgments upon their Oppressors } and that in the fourth generation they should be brought back again to the Land of Promise., ver: 16. (the Bounds whereof are described, ver. 18.) which agrees exactly with the Deliverance of the Children of Israel out Of tAigypt, computing the Years from the time that the Promise was made to Abraham, (Exod. xii. 40. Gal. iii. 17.) and reckoning the Four Generations to be betwixt Isaac the Son promised to Abraham, and Moses, in whom the Prediction was fulfill'd. Or if we reckon, as divers d Rabbins do, from the Time when the Children of Israel came into *A£gypt, from Levi to Moses , and from Judah to Caleb , were Four Generations inclusively. Or, if we compute from the first'Generation born in tAlgypt, Moses and Aaron were of the Third Generation, and their Chil
Mede, Book I. Disc. 48. • Liv.l. 27. * Menaff. Ben Mr. oonciliat. Qu. in Gen. 42. §. 1.
dren dren of the Fourth entred into the Promis'd Land. To compute from the Fourth Generation of the Amorites may seem precarious , because we have no other means to know the Number of their Generations, than by an Estimate made from the Generations of the Hebrews. But whatever way we compute the Generations which we find recorded, of the Hebrews ; the Prophecy was certainly fulfill'd. This Promise made to Abraham and his Seedy was renew'd several times, and repeated again to Him, and to Isaac and Jacob-, Gen. xxvi. 3. and xxviii. 14. and was all along depended upon by the Israelites. God foretold of Abraham , That all the nations of the earth should be blessed in him, Gen. xviii. 18. which was fulfill'd, in that God made Abraham's Posterity his Messengers to communicate his Will to the rest of Mankind, and more especially in that Blessing which all Nations receiv'd in the Birth of Christ. This is a remarkable Prophecy concerning the greatest of Blessings, and is often repeated. The Blessing promised to Abraham for IJhmael, was no less punctually fulfill'd. And as for Ijhmael, I have heard thee i Behold, I will bless him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. Twelve Princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great Nation, Gen. xvi. 20. fulfill'd, Gen. xxv. 12. iQbron.i.29.
The Prophecy of Isaac, concerning Esau and Jacob, Gen. xxvii. 40. first. That the Posterity of Esau should serve Jacob\ Posterity, was fulfill'd , in David's Victories over the Edomites, 2 Sam. viii. 14. 1 King. xi. 15. i-Chron. xviii. i$J and by Amaziah, 2 King. xiv. 7. and then that part of it, That the Edomites should break the yoke from off their neck , was accomplistl'd , x King. viii. 20. 2 Chron. xxi. 8. Josephs own Dream, and his Interpretation of the Dream of Pharaoh, when none of the Magicians or Wise-men of sAZgypt were able to interpret it, had remarkable and publick Circumstances , that could neither be mistaken nor forgotten in the Accomplishment. Jacob prefers Ephraim the younger Son of Joseph, before his elder Brother Manasseh, and foretels , that tho' Manasseh lhould be great, yet Ephraim lhould be greater than he., and hit Seed should become a Multitude of Nations, Gen. xlviii. 19. Accordingly we find, that after the Division of the Ten Tribes under Jeroboam an Ephrathite , those Tribes were denominated from Ephraim, as the Two remaining Tribes had their Denomination from Judah ; and the Royal Seat of the Kings of Israel was at Samaria, in the Tribe of Ephraim. Jacob afterwards describes the Borders of their several Possessions in the Land of Canaan, though it were so many years after divided among the Tribes by Lot, Gen. xiix. 13. He foretold the different State and Condition of the 'reft of his Sons, and particularly prophesy'd, That Judah should become very honourable among his Brethren , and victorious over his enemies, and that the scepter should not depart from Judah , until Shilo came; i. e> until the Messias came, as the Jewijh Xargums explain it.. And upon the fulfilling of this and other Prophecies in the Pentateuch , not only the Jews , but the Samaritans , who receiv'd no other Prophecies as they did these , expected the Meffias at the time in which our Saviour appear'd in the World ; and believ'd on him, because they saw the Prophecies fulfill'd in Him, Joh. iv. 25. 29> 39i 42- Joseph took an oath os the children os Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence, Gen. 1. 25-. which they did accordingly, Exod. xiii. 19. Jacob had desired to be bury'd in the Land of Canaan; insomuch that he caus'd Joseph to swear to him, that he would bury him there, and not in tÆgypt; and Joseph and his Brethren went into Canaan to bury their Father, because that was the Land where Abraham and Isaac had been bury'd, and the Land which their Posterity was afterwards to possess: But Joseph, as a farther Token of Assurance to the Israelites, that they lhould inherit that Land * jyould not have his own Corps carry'd thither, at his ■ * '" * 'Death,