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CHAP. XXXIII. 18, to the end.
A continuation of the blessing of the twelve tribes, and the excel
lency of Israel. 18 A ND of Zebulun he said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going
11 out; and, Issachar, in thy tents. These two were born of the same mother, and their posterity were neighbours. Zeb. ulun shall have cause to rejoice in his success in trade at home
and abroad, and Issackar in his tents, in the country employ19 ments of tillage, and feeding cattle. They shall call the peo
ple unto the mountain ; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness; for they shall suck [of] the abundance of the seas, and (of] treasures hid in the sand ; though they had different employments, yet both should be serviceable to promote the interest of God and religion. They should have great success al sea, and great treasures on the land ; and should give cheerfully to support God's worship ; inviting strangers to his temple, by their commerce and their exhortations, and offering sac
rifices of righteousness there. 20 And of Gad he said, Blessed [be] he that enlargeth Gad ;
blessed be God, who bestows so large a portion upon him ; he dwelleth as a lion, and teareth the arm with the crown of the head ; he dwells amidst all his enemies fearless as a lion, and tears to pieces their arm and their head, their armies and princes. And he provided the first part for himself, because there, [in] a portion of the lawgiver, (was he] seated; he first moved to be settled on the other side Jordan, and Moses, by God's permis. sion, allowed him to do 80 ; and he came with the heads of the people, he executed the justice of the LORD, and his judg. ments with Israel ; he came forth to war with the princes and captains, to execute God's judgments on the Canaanites. Moses speaks of this as already done from an assurance that they would
do 80. 22 And of Dan he said, Dan [is] a lion's whelp : he shall leap
from Bashan ; he is strong and valiant, and shall surprise his enemies, as a lion leaps on his prey from Bashan, a place that
was noted for them. See Judges xiv. 5. 23 And of Naphtali he said, O Naphtali, satisfied with favour,
and full with the blessing of the LORD : possess thou the west and the south, a rich, fruitful country, where Christ re
sided much. 24 And of Asher he said, (Let] Asher [be] blessed with chil
dren ; let him be acceptable to his brethren, and let him dip his foot in otl ; thou shalt have a numerous issue, be of a kind,
affable temper, and have a country 80 abounding in olives, that 95 thou shalt wash thy feet in oil. Thy shoos (shall be] iron and
brass, or, under thy shoes shall be iron and brass ; and as the days, (so shall] thy strength [be ;] thy country shall abound in rich mines of iron and brass, and thou shalt grow stronger and stronger all thy days ; thine age shall be as thy youth.
He then concludes the whole with a general account of their 26 happiness, as the people of God. [There is) none of the gods
like unto the God of Jeshurun, (who] rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky; he appears for
the help of his people in the highest magnificence and glory, in 27 the heavens and on the earth, and with infinite power. The
eternal God [is thy) refuge, and underneath Care] the everJasting arms; he is the eternal and unchangeable God; in him they may always find safety and comfort, and always will do 80, if they commit themselves to him: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee ; and shall say, Destroy them ;]
he shall give thee power to thrust out the Canaanites, and a com28 mission to destroy them. Israel then shall dwell in safety alone,
separated from other people, without alliance with them, or dependence upon them : the fountain of Jacob [shall be upon a Jand of corn and wine ; also his heavens shall drop down dew; the posterity of Jacob, who flowed from him as water
from a fountain, shall dwell in a fruitful country, enriched with 99 the dews and showers of heaven. Happy [art] thou, O Israel :
out being unable to express their happiness, he breaks out into admiration of it: who[is] like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD, the shield of thy help, and who [is] the sword of thy excellency ! a shield to defend thee, a sword to destroy thine enemies : and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places ; they shall sub mit, and pretend friendship through fear; and thou shalt destroy their idol temples and all their strong holds. Thus anded the song, and all that Moses spoke or wrote.
1. T ET us learn from the various particulars of these bless,
l ings, to acknowledge the agency and wisdom of God in the different circumstances of states and kingdoms ; in their various products, as well as in the different tempers of the in. habitants. Some are settled in a fruitful soil ; others have rich mines, which generally are most barren above ; some, like Zębylun, are merchants at sea, and are exposed to perils by water, that they may bring abundance from abroad. Others dwell on the land, they live at home, and are engaged in some honourable and useful employment. The different genius and inclinations of men must be ascribed to God, as well as their pursuits and differ ent occupations. Let us acknowledge God in this, who fixes the bounds of our habitation ; and glorify him with our substance, be it of whatever kind it may. Let our merchandise and our hire be holiness to the Lord. Let us learn from the whole,
2. That blessed are the people whose God is the Lord. In what lofty strains does Moses describe the happiness of Israel, because they were near God; God is not ours in the same manner as he was theirs ; but we enter into the best of their privileges. He is our father in Christ Jesus ; he blesses us with spiritual blessings; he is our support and defence. All the fruitfulness and security of our country is owing to him ; that we dwell safely and peace. ably, is all to be ascribed to God. But our spiritual blessings ren. der us truly happy, if we know how to improve them. Remem, ber, Israel lost their good land, and all their blessings, by disobe. dience. Let us, therefore, carefully attend to the apostle's caution, Be not high minded, but fear.
This chapter gives an account of the death, burial, and age of Moses,
and several other particulars. It is uncertain by whom it was written ; some say by Joshua ; but Dan was not called by that name, till after his time. It is more probable that it was added by Samuel, or some other of the sacred writers.
AND Moses went up from the plains of Moab, where 11 Israel was encamped, unto the mountain of Nebo, the highest hill of that ridge of mountains called Abarim, to the top of Pisgah, that [is] over against Jericho, to Pisgah, which was the point or summit of that hil, And the LORD showed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan, by a miraculous power
strengthening his sight, or making a clear representation of all 2 those parts to his view, And all Naphtali, to the north, and the
land of Ephraim, and Manasseh, in the middle of the country,
and all the land of Judah, that lay southwest, unto the utmost 3 sea, or the Mediterranean, And the south, the wilderne88 that
lay south of Judea, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar, called 80, because of many fra. grant trees and shrubs that grew about it ; the whole country was about one hundred and fifty miles long, and near seventy miles over in most places. God, no doubt, gave him such a view
and description of the country, as illustrated and confirmed the 4 prophetic blessing he had given, And the LORD said unto him,
This [is] the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed : I have
caused thee to see [it] with thine eyes, but thou shalt not $ go over thither. So Moses the servant of the LORD died
there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD, as the Lord had foretold and determined he should, because of his 6 transgression. And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor : but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day. God, by the ministration of his Son, or his angels, baried him in some place that Israel knew not, to pre
vent their superstition and idolatry in paying any undue regard 7 to his remains, Jude 9. And Moses [was] an hundred and
twenty years old when he died : his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated; his imagination and natural powers
were as strong as ever, and the splendour of his countenance con8 tinued to the last. And the children of Israel wept for Moses
in the plains of Moab thirty days, which was the usual time for all persons of eminence ; so the days of weeping [and] mourn9 ing for Moses were ended. And Joshua the son of Nun
was full of the spirit of wisdom ; for Moses had laid his bands upon him : and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses. Moses had nominated him before his death, and God had qualified him for the supreme government of Israel, by a spirit of wisdom,
courage, and resolution ; and the people hearkened to him as they 10 had done to Moses. Then follows the character of Moses. And
there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses,
whom the LORD knew face to face ; conwersing familiarly 11 with him, without dreams or visions ; In all the signs and the
wonders, which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt
to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land ; that 12 is, there was none like him in miraculous works, And in all that
mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses showed in the sight of all Israel, doing all his great and tertible works openly, not in a corner. Thus endeth the Pentateuch, contain. ing the history of two thousand five hundred and fifty two years and a half, (according to the best chronologers) from the creas sion of the world, to the death of Moses.
M OOD men, after the example of Moses, should be
U willing to die when God pleases. Moses was healthy and vigorous, capable of many services ; and Israel needed him : though he died in his full strength, he died cheerfully. Nothing passed upon this occasion between God and Moses, but, Go un, and die : as a father commands his obedient children to retire to rest. Good men that have walked with God here, and by faith have seen the good land before them, the happiness of heaven, may cheerfully die. God will be with them, receive their immortal spirits, and take care of their sleeping dust, as he did of the body of Moses, Let us be willing then to quit our most
pleasing prospects in this world, and forego those services we might do, that we may depart in peace, and see God's great sal. vation.
2. The removal of wise and good men, especially of governors and ministers, in the vigour of their days, should be seriously lamented ; Moses stood in both these characters to Israel. Considering how gently and tenderly he had led them ; how often he had saved them by his intercession, and led them like a father, it is no wonder he was bewailed, and that by some, who were perhaps rebellious before. Considering what a loss the world and church sustain by the removal of such men, their death should be lamented. The greater regard we have for the honour of God, and the interest of religion, the more concerned we shall be when useful and good men are taken away.
s. It is a great comfort, when faithful ministers are removed, that others are left to succeed them. Though the prophets do not live for ever, the word of God does; and there will always be a succession of faithful men to dispense it. Joshua, who came in Moses' stead, had much of his spirit ; and was happy in having the favour of God, and the affections of the people. It is a great mercy that God raises up faithful pastors, and that his people are not as sheep without a shepherd. Let us rejoice in this, and continually pray that God would send more faithful labourers into his harvest.
4. Let us learn from the whole history of Moses, and especially from his death, how great our happiness is in having Christ for our prince and commander. Moses was faithful as a servant, Christ as a Son. Moses was familiar with God, but Christ was more so ; he was in his bosom, intimately acquainted with him and his will. He did superior miracles, signs, and wonders ; his character was more perfect ; he introduced a better revelation ; he was without blemish, and without spot. Moses died, and was buried, and saw corruption ; but Christ did not : God would not suffer his holy one to see corruption. He lives again, and lives for over. He is a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. He has no successor, as Moses had, for his dominion shall continue till the consummation of all things. He is for ever sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. He will bring all his faithful people to the heavenly Canaan, and complete all the divine purposes of love and grace to them. Let us rejoice then in Christ Jesus ; be thankful for this unspeakable gift ; and consider ourselves as under the highest obligations to be obedient to all his requisitions, and wait for his salvation. Amen.