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to the Lord; and of what the people received, a fiftieth part to be given to the Levites. It was all intended for the Lord's service; the persons to be employed, under the direction of the priests and Levites, and the sheep and cattle to be offered up in sacrifice, or for the use of the Levites.
An enumeration was also made by the officers who conducted the expedition, of the number of men under their command who had returned in safety. Not one was missing. This wonderful preservation of life, considering the many battles which they must have fought, and the dangers to which they were exposed, was a most signal proof that God had afforded them his peculiar protection and blessing. They felt it to be so; and the different commanders, while making the statement to Moses, brought with them, in token of the general gratitude, an offering to the Lord. It was a portion of the spoils that all had taken, of various kinds of golden ornaments, amounting to 16,750 shekels, and was received by Moses and Eleazar, and deposited in the tabernacle.
Balaam, as we have seen, was slain among those The economy of divine Providence is wonderful. God worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. When he chooses to overtake and punish the guilty, there is no way of escape. The very means employed to carry into effect the de. signs of the wicked, as it is thought sagaciously and safely, are often the ones which God causes to produce detection, and recoil upon their own heads.
There is no safe course, but that of doing what is right. Every departure from this is dangerous. There is no hope of success in contending against the Almighty. He taketh the wise in their own craftiness," Balaam's end teaches this most forci. bly. Let the lesson, my young friend, not be lost upon you.
flocks of sheep and herds of cattle, and seeing that the land on the east of the Jordan, which had been conquered by the Israelites, was well adapted for pasturage, they were attracted hy its advantages, and desired to have it as their inheritance. Moses expostulated with them on what he conceived to be the sinfulness and folly of their request. He told them it would be very wrong, while the other tribes were crossing the Jordan, and entering upon their career of conquest, and ready to expose themselves to all its toils and dangers, for them to remain in ease and security, and take no part in the common cause.
Such a course, he added, would discourage the rest, and lead them to abandon the enterprise altogether. He reminded them of the conduct of their fathers at Kadesh-barnea, when the spies attempted to dissuade the people from taking possession of Canaan, and how the anger of the Lord was kindled against them. "And behold," said he, " ye
fathers' stead, an increase of sinful men, to augment yet the fierce anger of the Lord toward Israel. For if ye turn away from after him, he will yet again leave them in the wilderness; and ye shall destroy all this people."
But they stated in reply, that it was no part their design to shrink at all from their full share of the common toils and dangers. While their families and possessions remained on this side of the
Jordan, they would furnish their proportion of armed men to pass over it, and co-operate with their brethren in taking possession of the promised land. And they added, that they would continue in the service, until all the other tribes were entirely established in their respective inheritances.
This removed the principal, if not the only objection in the mind of Moses; and he yielded to their request, on condition that what they promised to do, should be most faithfully performed. In doing it, as they afterwards did, it is worthy of notice, that ample provision was made for the protection of their families and flocks. In the last enumeration, we find the tribe of Reuben consisted of 43,730 men, and that of Gad of 40,500. To these add one half of the men of the tribe of Manasseh, 26,350, and there is an aggregate of 110,580. This part of Manasseh is added, because half of that tribe, also, had their inheritance assigned them, with the tribes of Reuben and Gad, on the east side of the Jordan, a few of their principal men, with their soldiers, being the persons who conquered some of the most fertile parts of the territory, and desired to retain them as their portion.
Out of these 110,580 men which the two and a half tribes could furnish, it appears from the sub-, sequent narrative in Joshua, only 40,000 passed over Jordan to assist in the conquest of Canaan; so that 70,580 remained behind, a number abundantly
sufficient for security against any hostile attacks. Such facts deserve mention, to show how easily certain objections which infidels have used against this and other parts of the Sacred History, can be answered, whenever an accurate investigation is made ; and to let us see how careful God was, in the course of his providence, to meet the
peculiar exigencies of his people.
We next find the boundaries of the land of Ca. naan settled by the divine direction, and the men appointed who should apportion it among the se veral tribes. These were Eleazar and Joshua, in connection with a prince, or chief man, from each tribe. As the Levites were to have no inheritance. the Israelites were commanded to give them forty eight cities for their residence, with extensive suburbs around them; and six of which, three on each side of the Jordan, were to be used, as the necessity might occur, for a very peculiar purpose.
It had long been a custom among the Israelites, if one man was killed by another, for the nearest relation of the deceased to avenge his death, by slaving him who had caused it.