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The tabernacle set up at Shiloh. The land surveyed. 1 And the whole congregation 6 Ye shall therefore describe of the children of Israel assem- the land into seven parts, and bled together at Shiloh, and set bring the description hither to me, up the tabernacle of the congre- that I may cast lots for you

here gation there. And the land was before the LORD our God. subdued before them.

7 But the Levites have no part 2 And there remained among among you; for the priesthood the children of Israel seven of the Lord is their inherittribes, which had not yet re- ance: and Gad, and Reuben, ceived their inheritance.

and half the tribe of Manasseh, 3 And Joshua said unto the have received their inheritance children of Israel, How long beyond Jordan on the east, which slack to

to possess

the Moses the servant of the LORD land, which the Lord God of gave them. your fathers hath given you ? 8 And the men arose, and went 4 Give out from among you away: and Joshua charged them three men for each tribe: and I that went to describe the land, will send them, and they shall saying, Go and walk through rise, and go through the land, the land, and describe it, and and describe it according to the come again to me, that I may inheritance of them; and they here cast lots for you before the shall come again to me.

Lord in Shiloh. 5 And they shall divide it into 9 And the men went and passed seven parts: Judah shall abide through the land, and described in their coast on the south, and it by cities into seven parts in a the house of Joseph shall abide book, and came again to Joshua in their coasts on the north. to the host at Shiloh,


Of cultivating arts and sciences. The Israelites were reminded frequently in the Law, that God would choose for Himself the place in which He would be worshipped, by the assembled congregation of the people. This place was still to be appointed, at the time when the men of Gibeon succeeded in making peace with Joshua by craft. For thus the sentence of their punishment is recorded : “ And Joshua made them that day hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation, and for the altar of the Lord, even unto this day, in the place which he should choose.” Ch. 9. 27. There can therefore be no doubt that the tabernacle was set up in Shiloh by express directions from God. Indeed we learn no less than this from the words of the prophet Jeremiah: “Go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it, for the wickedness of my people Israel.” Jer. 7. 12. The place then being chosen by the Lord, and the tabernacle set up, the whole service would henceforth be performed in order here, and here the whole Law set forth by Moses would henceforth be administered. Happy


were the families of the tribe of Ephraim, to have a place selected which lay within their borders. Happy were all they whose dwelling was at Shiloh, to have the Lord pitch his tabernacle in the midst of them. But how much happier are we, who, whatever be the place of our babitation, have God always dwelling amongst us; yea, whose bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost! See 1 Cor. 6. 19.

The first point to be determined, after the removal of the camp from Gilgal to Shiloh, was the settlement of the remaining tribes in their proper territories. “ There remained among the children of Israel seven tribes, which had not yet received their inheritance." The words of Joshua reproving them, shew that they had been in no haste to have this matter settled; even though five tribes had been already provided for. This looked like an indifference to the blessings which God had promised to give them. And Joshua might therefore well reprove them for their sloth; since nothing can be more offensive than to slight a gift; nothing can shew less respect to God, whom we are most deeply bound to reverence, than not to care whether attain unto the

grace and glory, which He offers to bestow. We feel this in such gifts as we present ourselves; we feel anxious to have them valued; we feel hurt if we find that they are lightly esteemed. Oh how can we then so often manifest before men, much more before God who sees our hearts, that we heed not his precious gifts, that we are slack to go to possess the heaven, which He out of his great bounty has given us ?

The directions which are here set down for surveying the country, and the division of the whole “by cities, into seven parts, in a book," prove that there was no small amount of knowledge possessed in those early times, on a subject, which with all the helps of long established art still presents many difficulties. And the application of the art of surveying land, to the business of allotting the territories of the tribes, shews us, that God would by no means discountenance the improvement of our faculties, in such arts and sciences, as add to the comforts and conveniences of life. It is manifestly his design that we should enjoy with thankfulness the good things of earth; subject to those laws which He has impressed upon our nature, and to those commandments which He has given us in his Word. We do well then to study all the works of God, with which we are surrounded, not only with a view to magnify his power in making them, but also with a view to multiply our own enjoyments in using them. We do well to promote a taste for science and for art; not excepting such sciences, and such arts, as most directly tend to the increase and extension of our reasonable pleasures in this present life. But we do better, oh how infinitely better, to make progress in the science of eternity, in the art of holy living, and of happy dying; in the science of knowing God, and his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, in the art of loving Him, and serving Him, and living to his glory, and entering into his eternal rest.

The borders and the cities of the tribe of Benjamin. 10 And Joshua cast lots for En-rogel, them in Shiloh before the LORD: 17 And was drawn from the and there Joshua divided the north, and went forth to Enland unto the children of Israel shemesh, and went forth toward according to their divisions. Geliloth, which is over against

11 And the lot of the tribe of the going up of Adummim, and the children of Benjamin came descended to the stone of Bohan up according to their families: the son of Reuben, and the coast of their lot came 18 And passed along toward forth between the children of Ju- the side over against Arabah dah and the children of Joseph. northward, and went down unto

12 And their border on the Arabah: north side was from Jordan ; 19 And the border passed along and the border went up to the to the side of Beth-hoglah northside of Jericho on the north ward : and the outgoings of the side, and went up through the border were at the north bay of mountains westward; and the the salt sea at the south end of goings out thereof were at the Jordan: this was the south coast. wilderness of Beth-aven.

20 And Jordan was the border 13 And the border went over of it on the east side. This was from thence toward Luz, to the the inheritance of the children side of Luz, which is Beth-el, of Benjamin, by the coasts theresouthward; and the border de- of round about, according to scended to Ataroth-adar, near their families. the hill that lieth on the south 21 Now the cities of the tribe side of the nether Beth-horon. of the children of Benjamin ac

14 And the border was drawn cording to their families were thence, and compassed the cor- Jericho, and Beth-hoglah, and ner of the sea southward, from the valley of Keziz, the hill that lieth before Beth- 22 And Beth-arabah, and Zehoron southward; and the go- maraim, and Beth-el, ings out thereof were at Kir- 23 And Avim, and Parah, and jath-baal, which is Kirjath-jear- Ophrah, im, a city of the children of Ju- 24 And Chephar-haammonai, dah : this was the west quarter. and Ophni, and Gaba; twelve

15 And the south quarter was cities with their villages : from the end of Kirjath-jearim, 25 Gibeon, and Ramah, and and the border went out on the Beeroth, west, and went out to the well 26 And Mizpeh, and Chephiof waters of Nephtoah :

rah, and Mozah, 16 And the border came down 27 And Rekem, and Irpeel, to the end of the mountain that and Taralah, lieth before the valley of the son 28 And Zelah, Eleph, and Jeof Hinnom, and which is in the busi, which is Jerusalem, Gibevalley of the giants on the north, ath, and Kirjath; fourteen cities and descended to the valley of with their villages. This is the Hinnom, to the side of Jebusi inheritance of the children of Benon the south, and descended to jamin according to their families.

LECTURE 393. Of increasing the amount of happiness on earth. Many are the instances on record, wherein some one great chieftain has invaded his neighbours, spoiled them of their goods, seized upon their country; and then divided it out to the partners of his triumph, with no other guide in allotting it, than his own arbitrary will. Often has it thus come to pass, that they who ministered in peace to the corrupt passions of the conqueror, have obtained the share which was due to those, who helped him in war. Often they who helped most largely in war, have contended with their chief, or with each other, for the division of the conquered land; and have quickly turned aside from the joy of their common triumph, to deadly jealousy, and mutual destruction. And almost always the advantages to be gained have been confined to a few; to the chief leaders, and their connexions, friends, and favourites. What a contrast is afforded, to this scene of injustice, confusion, and strife, by Joshua casting lots in Shiloh before the Lord, and therein dividing the land unto the children of Israel according to their divisions ! Truly God is a God of order. Truly He is not the author of confusion, but of peace. And we can but imperfectly have learnt his ways, if either in our public concerns, or in our private business, we proceed without method, calmness, and composure; if either in our social arrangements, or in our domestic habits, we allow disorder to flourish and prevail.

One use of promoting order is to prevent waste. One advantage of this orderly proceeding, in dividing the land amongst the Israelites, was that every family had a portion to itself. Instead of there being large tracts left to lie desolate, and other portions inconveniently crowded, instead of some families having far more than they could cultivate, whilst others had little or none, the whole was distributed equally, “ according to their families.” Each tribe had in proportion to the number of its families, so that each family might have in proportion to its rank and to its wants. A happy state of things ! far happier than that arbitrary division of the soil, to which most nations have to trace the present tenure of land amongst them! Far happier than that state of fearful contrast, between the luxury of the great, and the abject destitution of the poor, at which we in this country have arrived ! God's ways are far better than our ways. And many a lesson we might profitably learn, from his method of settling the Israelites in Canaan, towards enlarging the amount of comfort and happiness, to be enjoyed by our fellow creatures in this present life. Nor let us think that this is a thing beneath our notice, because of their being heirs of eternity. If God thought such matters not unworthy of his care, in providing for his people, if Christ went about doing good to the bodies of men, as well as to their souls, what are we, that we should not thankfully embrace every opportunity of increasing, in ever so small a degree, the amount of enjoyment in the world?

The lots of Simeon, Zebulon, and Issachar. i And the second lot came 12 And turned from Sarid forth to Simeon, even for the eastward toward the sunrising tribe of the children of Simeon unto the border of Chisloth according to their families : and tabor, and then goeth out to Datheir inheritance was within the berath, and goeth up to Japhia, inheritance of the children of 13 And from thence passeth Judah.

on along on the east to Gittah2 And they had in their inhe- hepher, to Ittah-kazin, and goritance Beer-sheba, Sheba, and eth out to Remmon-methoar to Moladah,

Neah; 3 And Hazar-shual, and Ba- 14 And the border compasseth lah, and Azem,

it on the north side to Hanna4 And Eltolad, and Bethul, thon: and the outgoings thereof and Hormah,

are in the valley of Jiphthah-el: 5 And Ziklag, and Beth-mar- 15 And Kattath, and Nahallal, caboth, and Hazar-susah, and Shimron, and Idalah, and

6 And Beth-lebaoth, and Sha- Beth-lehem : twelve cities with ruhen; thirteen cities and their their villages. villages :

16 This is the inheritance of 7 Ain, Remmon, and Ether, the children of Zebulun accordand Ashan; four cities and their ing to their families, these cities villages :

with their villages. 8 And all the villages that 17 And the fourth lot came out were round about these cities to to Issachar, for the children of Baalath-beer, Ramath of the Issachar according to their fasouth. This is the inheritance milies. of the tribe of the children of 18 And their border was toSimeon according to their fa- ward Jezreel, and Chesulloth, milies.

and Shunem, 9 Out of the portion of the 19 And Haphraim, and Shihon, children of Judah was the in- and Anaharath, heritance of the children of Si- 20 And Rabbith, and Kishion, meon : for the part of the child- and Abez, ren of Judah was too much for 21 And Remeth, and En-ganthem : therefore the children of niin, and En-haddah, and BethSimeon had their inheritance pazzez ; within the inheritance of them. 22 And the coast reacheth to

10 And the third lot came up Tabor, and Shabazimah, and for the children of Zebulon ac- Beth-shemesh; and the outcording to their families : and goings of their border were at the border of their inheritance Jordan: sixteen cities with their was unto Sarid:

villages. 11 And their border went up 23 This is the inheritance of toward the sea, and Maralah, the tribe of the children of Isand reached to Dabbasheth, and sachar according to their fareached to the river that is be- milies, the cities and their vilfore Jokneam;


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