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high priest, which was anointed with the Will not the Lord take care of those who holy oil.
trust in him ? Is it not said, While the 26 But if the slayer shall at any
time come lions lack and suffer hunger, they that fear without the border of the city of his refuge,
the Lord shall want no manner of thing that whither he was fled;
is good ? (Ps. xxxiv. 10.) 27 And the revenger of blood find him
Is not godliness without the borders of the city of his refuge,
profitable unto all things? Hath it not the and the revenger of blood kill the slayer; "he
promise of the life that now is, as well as shall not be guilty of blood :
of that which is to come? When our Lord 28. Because he should have remained in exhorts us to seek first the kingdom of the city of his refuge until the death of the God and his righteousness, does he not say, high priest: but after the death of the high
“all these things shall be added unto you?” priest the slayer shall return into the land of his possession.
(Luke xii. 31.) Do not “all these things” 29 So these things shall be for a statute of
take in food and raiment, and all things judgment unto you throughout your genera
needful for present support? Do not these tions in all your dwellings.
truths apply to all that are engaged faith30 Whoso killeth any person, the murderer fully in the service of God? If the Lord shall be put to death by the mouth of wit ordained that they who waited at the altar
but one witness shall not testify should live of the altar, hath he not also against any person to cause him to die. 31 Moreover ye shall take no satisfaction
ordained that they who preach the gospel for the life of a murderer, which is guilty of
should live of the gospel; and that they death: but he shall be surely put to death.
who fear the Lord shall want no manner of 32 And ye shall take no satisfaction for thing that is good ? What encouragement him that is fled to the city of his refuge, that to cast all your care upon him, knowing that he should come again to dwell in the land, he careth for you! What encouragement to until the death of the priest.
be instant in season and out of season, in 33 So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and
doing the work assigned you, leaving all 7 the land cannot be cleansed of the blood
earthly considerations to the love and care that is shed therein, but by the blood of him of him, of whom it is said, “ He that spared that shed it.
not his own Son, but delivered him for 34 Defile not therefore the land which us all, how shall he not with him also freely ye shall inhabit, wherein I dwell: for I the
give us all things?” (Rom. viii. 32.) LORD dwell among the children of Israel.
Secondly, let us improve the cities of (1) Heb. above them ye shall give. (4) Heb. with a stone of the hand. refuge. What were they for? They were (2) Heb. they inherit. (3) Heb. by error. (6) Heb. faulty to die.
for places of safety, to which any unfortunate (7) Heb. there can be no expiation for the land.
person, who had killed his neighbour un
awares, not intending any harm, might flee This chapter informs us of the provision to escape the avenger of blood, who might made for the Levites, who were employed otherwise put him to death (v. 9–29). in the service of God; and of the places to What did they mean? Christ.
They be assigned as cities of refuge for the man were a beautiful type of Christ. All men, slayer to escape the avenger of blood. These as sinners, are exposed to the wrath of God. things are full of instruction, and we must The law we have broken, like the avenger of seek to improve them.
blood, cries aloud for vengeance; pursues the First, let us notice the Levites' provi sinner for death; and, were it to seize him in sion. These eight and forty cities, with their the career of its righteous retribution, would suburbs, were no doubt intended for their cut him off and destroy him for ever. But residence and supply. They must have Christ is the appointed refuge. To him the houses to dwell in, and food to eat.
sinner may flee and find pardon, peace, and were to be employed in the service of God, perfect safety. Then the law cannot touch he would take care of them, and see that they him ; for Christ hath fulfilled it. The sword were provided for.
of vengeance cannot reach him; for Christ Does not this fact teach us many lessons ? hath shut it up in its scabbard. He stands
(5) Heb, no blood shall be to him.
in an impregnable fortress, resisting every saying, The tribe of the sons of Joseph hath assault, answering every demand, and afford
said well. ing perfect peace and safety to all within.
6 This is the thing which the LORD doth But the sinner out of Christ has no safety.
command concerning the daughters of Zelo
phehad, saying, Let them ’marry to whom At any moment he is liable to be cut off. If
they think best; only to the family of the he abide not in the appointed refuge, he may tribe of their father shall they marry. still be visited with the law's tremendous 7 So shall not the inheritance of the chilcondemnation. All the days of the high dren of Israel remove from tribe to tribe: for priest's life must he abide in the city for every one of the children of Israel shall safety. Christ being an everlasting High 'keep himself to the inheritance of the tribe
of his fathers. Priest his people are safe for ever. Ask,
8 And every daughter, that possesseth an then, your own hearts, Have you fled for
inheritance in any tribe of the children of refuge to lay hold of this blessed hope set Israel, shall be wife unto one of the family of before you? Are you in Christ? Do you the tribe of her father, that the children of abide in him ? Only as such is the case are Israel may enjoy every man the inheritance you safe. Only as you are found in Christ of his fathers. is there no condemnation to you.
9 Neither shall the inheritance remove neglect to flee to that refuge you will be cut
from one tribe to another tribe ; but
of the tribes of the children of Israel shall off in your sins. If you forsake that refuge,
keep himself to his own inheritance. after you profess to have fled to him, you will
10 Even as the LORD commanded Moses, perish under the heavier condemnation. Abide so did the daughters of Zelophehad: in Christ, then you will be safe for evermore. 11 For Mahlah, Tirzah, and Hoglah, and
Milcah, and Noah, the daughters of Zelophehad, were married unto their father's
brothers' sons : CHAPTER XXXVI.
12 And they were married into the families 1 The inconvenience of the inheritance of daughters 5 is re of the sons of Manasseh the son of Joseph, medied by marrying in their own tribes, 7 lest the inherit
and their inheritance remained in the tribe of ance should be removed from the tribe. 10 The daughters of Zelophehad marry their father's brothers' sons.
the family of their father. ND the chief fathers of the families of
13 These are the commandments and the the children of Gilead, the son of judgments, which the Lord commanded by Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families
the hand of Moses unto the children of Israel of the sons of Joseph, came near, and spake
in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho. before Moses, and before the princes, the
(1) Heh, unto whom they shall be. (2) Heb. be wires.
(3) Heb. cleave to the, &c. (4) Heb. to some that were of the families. chief fathers of the children of Israel :
2 And they said, The Lord commanded my lord to give the land for an inheritance
Though the last chapter in this book, this is by lot to the children of Israel: and my lord
by no means the least interesting or instrucwas commanded by the Lord to give the in
tive. The case of the daughters of Zelopheheritance of Zelophehad our brother unto his had
had was brought before us in the twentydaughters.
seventh chapter. It was then determined, 3 And if they be married to any of the
that although their father died without sons, sons of the other tribes of the children of
his inheritance was not to pass from his Israel, then shall their inheritance be taken from the inheritance of our fathers, and shall
family, but be settled on his daughters, as be put to the inheritance of the tribe 'where
stated on that occasion. Although the case unto they are received: so shall it be taken was then so far satisfactorily decided; yet it from the lot of our inheritance.
was obvious there might arise some contin4 And when the jubile of the children of gencies not included in that decision, which Israel shall be, then shall their inheritance
would require some further regulation and be put into the inheritance of the tribe
appointment. Such contingencies are here whereunto they are received: so shall their inheritance be taken away from the inherit
anticipated; and the chief of the families of ance of the tribe of our fathers.
that tribe apply unto Moses to have the case 5 And Moses commanded the children of of these daughters satisfactorily arranged, as Israel according to the word of the LORD, a rule for all similar occasions.
Suppose they were to marry persons of the their allotted inheritance. Was this typical? other tribes; the consequence would be, that, Doubtless it was. It taught the unalienable in process of time, their inheritance would nature of the gospel inheritance. That is, pass from the inheritance of their fathers to
never to pass away from those to whom it is the inheritance of the tribe, or tribes, into given. It is an everlasting inheritance. Sewhich they married. Thus one tribe would cured by the gift and grace of a gracious be impoverished, and another enriched. Thus God, it is not liable to change; and incidental one inheritance might be cut up into many difficulties only tend to shew the certainty parcels, and, in course of time, be entirely of its character, and the permanency of its lost, by being merged in the portions of duration. Is not this a delightful thought ? other tribes. Thus their perpetual inherit- Does it not inspire hope, joy, confidence, ance would be marred; and that which the holy love, and devoted obedience ? How Lord intended should for ever remain, would different would be the case were this inheritentirely pass away. Now, what may we learn ance liable to forfeiture or loss? Who could from these things?
ever possess peace? Where could holy and How needful is it that the enactment of filial love dwell? Who must not be distracted lawş should be wise, considerate, and equi- by the tormenting sensations of fear and distable; and that, when cases arise, which are may? Blessed be God for the“ sure mercies not provided for by any specific legislation, of David.” (Acts xiii. 34.) Blessed be God for no time should be lost in making such regu- that “everlasting covenant, which is ordered lations as may tend to promote general satis- in all things and sure.” (2 Sam. xxiii. 5.) faction and the common good. Cases of this One thing more. That the safety of the kind may perpetually occur.
It is the duty inheritance may be secured, they were at of a paternal government to aim at the esta- liberty to marry, but only in their tribe. So blishment of equity and justice for all. And are yon; but “only in the Lord.” For them when men act in the fear of God, seeking to to have acted otherwise, would have been be governed by his word and will, laws will the same as if a professing Christian were to be based on a firm foundation; and blessings unite himself to an unholy sinner. “What may be expected on the whole community. communion hath light with darkness? What The duty of all legislators is, to attend to part hath he that believeth with an infidel?” these matters in the fear of God.
(2 Cor. vi. 15.) Such connexions have been But may we not infer another truth? the occasion, in all ages, of many coming What was the object of these regulations ? short of the heavenly inheritance, and losing To prevent the alienation of any part of their souls for ever.
hearsing the story 6 of God's promise, 13 of giving them
unto all Israel on this side Jordan in the wilderness, in the plain over against the Red sea, between Paran, and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Dizahab.
2 (There are eleven days' journey from
Horeb by the way of mount Seir unto Kadeshbarnea.)
3 And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the LORD had given him in commandment unto them;
4 After he had slain Sihon the king of the Amorites, which dwelt in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, which dwelt at Astaroth in Edrei:
5 On this side Jordan, in the land of Moab, 20 And I said unto you, Ye are come unto began Moses to declare this law, saying, the mountain of the Amorites, which the Lord
6 The Lord our God spake unto us in our God doth give unto us. Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough 21 Behold, the LORD thy God hath set the in this mount:
land before thee: go up and possess it, as 7 Turn you, and take your journey, and the Lord God of thy fathers hath said unto go to the mount of the Amorites, and unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged. all the places nigh thereunto, in the plain, 22 | And ye came near unto me every one in the hills, and in the vale, and in the south, of you, and said, We will send men before us, and by the sea side, to the land of the Ca
and they shall search us out the land, and naanites, and unto Lebanon, unto the great bring us word again by what way we must go river, the river Euphrates.
up, and into what cities we shall come. 8 Behold, I have set the land before you: 23 And the saying pleased me well: and I go in and possess the land which the LORD took twelve men of you, one of a tribe : sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and 24 And they turned and went up into the Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed mountain, and came unto the valley of Eshcol, after them.
and searched it out. 9 And I spake unto you at that time, 25 And they took of the fruit of the land saying, I am not able to bear you myself in their hands, and brought it down unto alone :
us, and brought us word again, and said, It 10 The Lord your God hath multiplied is a good land which the LORD our God doth you, and, behold, ye are this day as the stars give us. of heaven for multitude.
26 Notwithstanding ye would not go up, 11 (The LORD God of your fathers make but rebelled against the commandment of the you a thousand times so many more as ye
God: are, and bless you, as he hath promised you!) 27 And ye murmured in your tents, and
12 How can I myself alone bear your cum said, Because the LORD hated us, he hath brance, and your burden, and your strife ? brought us forth out of the land of Egypt,
13 *Take you wise men, and understand to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, ing, and known among your tribes, and I will to destroy us. make them rulers over you.
28 Whither shall we go up? our brethren 11 And ye answered me, and said, The
have discouraged our heart, saying, The thing which thou hast spoken is good for us people is greater and taller than we; the to do.
cities are great and walled up to heaven; 15 So I took the chief of your tribes, wise
and moreover we have seen the sons of the men, and known, and made them heads over Anakims there. you, captains over thousands, and captains 29 Then I said unto
you, over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and
neither be afraid of them. captains over tens, and officers among your
30 The LORD your God which goeth betribes.
fore you, he shall fight for you, according to 16 And I charged your judges at that time,
all that he did for you in Egypt before your saying, Hear the causes between your bre eyes ; thren, and judge righteously between every
31 And in the wilderness, where thou hast man and his brother, and the stranger that seen how that the LORD thy God bare thee, is with him.
as a man doth bear his son, in all the way 17 Ye shall not respect persons in judg that ye went, until ye came into this place. ment;
shall hear the small as we'l as 32 Yet in this thing ye did not believe the the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face LORD your God, of man; for the judgment is God's: and the 33 Who went in the
before cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto search you out a place to pitch your tents ine, and I will hear it.
in, in fire by night, to shew you by what way 18 And I commanded you at that time all ye should go, and in a cloud by day. the things which ye should do.
34 And the Lord heard the voice of your 19 | And when we departed from Horeb, words, and was wroth, and sware, saying, we went through all that great and terrible 35 Surely there shall not one of these men wilderness, which ye saw by the way of of this evil generation see that good land, the mountain of the Amorites, as the LORD which I sware to give unto your fathers, our God commanded us; and we came to 36 Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he Kadesh-barnea.
shall see it, and to him will I give the land
that he hath trodden upon, and to his chil- life. Last days are solemn days. The last (Iren, because he hath *wholly followed the day of a man's life is a solemn day. The LORD.
last day, when God will judge the world, 37 Also the LORD was angry with me for will be still more so. Let us think of this in your sakes, saying, Thou also shalt not go
time. That day, in both respects, will cerin thither. 38 But Joshua the son of Nun, which
tainly come to us all. May we all stand standeth before thee, he shall go in thither: prepared! May we all be as ready to give encourage him: for he shall cause Israel to our last advice to survivors to meet death, inherit it.
and enter the joy of the Lord, as Moses was 39 Moreover your little ones, which ye on this occasion ! said should be à prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge be
What is the purport of this address? It
is to remind them of the past, and prepare tween good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall
them for the future. That preparation for possess it.
the future he wished to strengthen by a brief 40 But as for you, turn you, and take your review of what had taken place. To look journey into the wilderness by the way of the back
upon our past career, and consider
what sins we have committed, and what 41 Then ye answered and said unto me,
mercies we have received, is a good way to We have sinned against the LORD, we will go up and fight, according to all that the
make us humble, prayerful, and thankful. LORD our God commanded us. And when Who can survey his past life, and not feel ye had girded on every man his weapons of
humbled for his sins? Who can recall his war, ye were ready to go up into the hill. past mercies, and not be thankful ? Who 42 And the LORD said unto me, Say unto
present state, or his them, Go not up, neither fight; for I am not
future wants, and not pray for grace and among you ; lest ye be smitten before your enemies.
mercy to help in every time of need? 43 So I spake unto you; and ye would not
In this review, Moses goes back to the hear, but rebelled against the commandment
commencement of their historical career. He of the LORD, and 'went presumptuously up
reminds them of what took place at Horeb, into the hill.
and afterwards. He tells them how unable 44 And the Amorites, which dwelt in that
he felt himself, at that time, to sustain their mountain, came out against you, and chased
charge ; how he exhorted their judges and you, as bees do, and destroyed you in Seir,
officers to do what was just and right; how even unto Hormah. 45 And ye returned and wept before the
they passed that great and terrible wilderLORD; but the LORD would not hearken to
ness till they came to Kadesh-barnea, and your voice, nor give ear unto you.
what took place there; how their fathers were 46 So ye abode in Kadesh many days, discouraged by the report of the spies, and according unto the days that ye abode there.
refused to take possession of the land, as the (1) Or, Zuph. (2) Heb. all his neighbours.
Lord commanded; how, on account of that (6) Heb. acknowledge faces. (3) Heb. given.
sin, the Lord sware that none of them, save (9) Heb. ye were presumptuous, and went up.
Caleb and Joshua, should see that good land
which he had promised to their fathers; and In this portion of the divine Word, Moses is how their little ones, which they thought giving his last address to the people of Israel. would be a prey to their enemies, should The date is given in the third verse.
come thither and possess it.
These were the eleventh month of the fortieth
that the persons whom Moses now addressed. is, after their departure from Egypt; being There they stood before him, when these one month previous to their entering into words dropped from his lips, as the living Canaan. The whole period of this book is and visible witnesses of the truth of God's comprised in the space of one month. That word, both in judgment and mercy. The remonth was remarkable in two respects. It bellious fathers were all gone ; all dead. was the last month of their sojourn in the Their helpless children, as they thought, wilderness; it was the last month of Moses's
were all present; all alive.
(5) Heb. gave.
(1) Heb. Give.
(7) Heb. melted.