« PreviousContinue »
unto his Poseson, and ye shall return every man unto bis family, &c.
No Possession could be entirely alienated from any Family; it could be sold for no longer than the remaining Years till the next Jubilee, when it was to revert, in course, to the original Proprietor : which was done to prevent transferring the Property of any Inheritance from one Tribe to another. And accord. ing to this Intention, we find a Decree made by Moses upon the Case of the Daughters and Coheiresses of Zelopbebad of
the Tribe of Manasseh. The chief FaNumb. thers of the Tribe came before Mofes and
the Princes of the Children of Israel, and said, My Lord was commanded by the LORD, to give the inheritance of Zelophehad our brother unto his daughters. And if they be married to any of the Sons of the other tribes, then shall their inheritance be taken from the inheritance of our fathers, and Mall be
put to the inheritance of the tribe whereinto they are receiv'd; so mall it be taken from the lot of our inberitance. And when the Jubilee of the children of Israel pall be, then all their inberitance be put into
to the inheritance of the tribe whereinto they
are received; small their inheritance be a taken away from the inheritance of the tribe of our fathers.
To which Mofes replied ; This is the thing which the LORD doth command concerning the daughters of Zelophehad; Let them marry to whom they think beft; only, to the family of the tribe of their father ball they marry. And every daughter that poleseth an inheritance shall be wife unto one of the family of the tribe of her father ; that the children of Israel may enjoy, every man, the inheritance of his fathers.
This Sabbatical Year was call'd the á Jubilee, because the Trumpets made use of upon
that Occasion were Ram's Horns, · which, in the Hebrew, are callid Jubelim.
SE Ç T. XVI. The Feast of the DEDICATION. There were other Festivals, but not of divine Institution, appointed occasionally in after Times. Such was the feast of the dedication of Solomon's Temple; which , Chron. was celebrated with great Magnificence, vii. 8, 9. as we observ'd before, in the seventh Month. Ezra. vi.
There was another, of the second Temple,
by Antiochus ; of which we have an Account iv.36.&c.
in the Apocrypha. And, at the close of it, is recorded that Judas and his brethren, with the whole congregation of Israel, ordained that the days of the dedication of the altar should be kept in their season, from year to year, by the space of eight days, from the five and twentieth day of the ninth month Casleu or Chisleu, (November) with mirth
and gladness. John. x. And of this Dedication it is that St.
John speaks in his Gospel. It was, at Jeru-
Direction for the annual Observation of
* There was a Dedication also of the Temple, as it was repair'd and beautified by Herod; which was folemniz'd upon his Birth-Day; as it is recorded by Josephus, Antiq. Book XV.
Besides those of the Dedications, they had other occasional Anniversaries custo
inary among them. One was the yearly Lamentation of the Daughters of Israel for the Daughter of Jephthah, one of their Judges. Jephthab, having vow'd a Vow, That, if the LORD would deliver the
Children of Ammon into his Hands, against 1 whom he was going out to Battle, at his Return, he would offer up for a BurntOffering whatsoever should come forth of the doors of his house to meet him ; and his Daughter, his only Child, unfortunately presenting her self before him, at his Return to his House; it is said, He idid with Judg. xi. her according to his vow which he had vowed. And it was a custom in Israel, that the daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite, four days in a year.
They likewise kept a Day in Commemoration of the Heavenly Fire, which
had been long extinct, and which was rekindled
their Return after the Captivity, and their Building of the Altar. This appears
from Letter in the Apocrypba, written from the Jews at Jerusa2 Mac. i. lem to those at Egypt : in which are these
Words. Whereas we are now purposed to keep the purification of the Temple upon the five and twentieth day of the month Calleu (the Dedication beforemention'd) we thought it necessary to certify you thereof, that ye also might keep it; as the feast of the tabernacles, and of the fire, which was given us when Neemias offered sacrifice, after that he had builded the temple and the altar. For this Reason, abundance of Lights were us’d during the eight Days and Nights of the Feast of the Dedication ; which was kept at the same Time.
They had also an Anniversary Thankfgiving and publick Rejoycing upon the fourteenth and fifteenth Days of the Month Adar (February;) in commemoration of that extraordinary Deliverance of the
Fews from the Persecucion intended aEnh. ix. gainst them by Haman; but prevented and defeated by Esther and Mordecai ; as