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Israel were employed in agriculture. Shamgar was a herdsman, Judges iii. 31. When the angel appeared to Gideon, he found him threshing, Judges vi. 11. After Saul was appointed king, he looked after his father's cattle, 1 Sam. xi. 5. David, in his early youth, was a shepherd.

- You have often remarked, father, that David most likely wrote the twenty-third Psalm when he was watching over the sheep.”

“ I think it very probable that his contemplative mind, when observing the happiness of the flocks in the green pastures, and by the still waters,' was raised to meditate on that blessed relation which the good God sustained towards himself. “The Lord,” said he, is my shepherd, I shall not want.'

“ And Our Lord, you know, father, said he was a shepherd.”

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“ Yes; but this language was figurative, as used by Him ; for He did not personally look after flocks. He meant that as a shepherd provided for, and took care of the sheep committed to him, so he would take care of His servants, and be to them every thing they should need, both here and hereafter. He calls himself “the good shepherd, who laid down his life for the sheep.' And we know that He did die for them, and thus · bare their sins, and carried their sorrows.' And, in a better world, He has told us, that He will lead them to living fountains of water, and wipe away all tears from their eyes.' But, to return to the employment of the Israelites. When they settled in the land of Canaan, every family had a portion of land given to it. They could not part with these inheritances ; at least not altogether. Every fiftieth year,

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hiltec 71637 in Harris. Pau's Church

which was called the year of Jubilee, the land, if sold, came back to the persons who had parted with it, or to their heirs.”

“ Did they always plough the land, father ?”

“ It is not unlikely that it was often turned up, with a kind of spade. Though ploughs were invented very early. They are mentioned, Job iv. 8, and by Moses, Deut. xxii. 10. The prophets often speak of ploughing up the fallow ground, Jerem. iv. 3; Hosea x. 12. Job also speaks of harrows, Job xxxix. 10. Oxen were generally used for cultivating the ground, 1 Sam. xiv. 14. In Gen. xlv. 6, Joseph says, “There are five years in which shall neither be earing nor harvest.' Earing is an obsolete word, which means ploughing ; as appears also from 1 Sam. viii. 12. As the ploughs in ancient times were much smaller and lighter than those which we use, it re

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