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unto his Poffeffion, and ye shall return every man unto kis family, &c.
No Poffeffion could be entirely alienated from any Family; it could be fold for no longer than the remaining Years till the next Jubilee, when it was to revert, in courfe, to the original Proprietor: which was done to prevent transferring the Property of any Inheritance from one Tribe to another. And according to this Intention, we find a Decree made by Mofes upon the Cafe of the Daughters and Coheireffes of Zelophehad of the Tribe of Manaffeh. The chief Fathers of the Tribe came before Mofes and the Princes of the Children of Ifrael, and faid, 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 fons of the other tribes, then fhall their inheritance be taken from the inheritance of our fathers, and shall be put to the inheritance of the tribe whereinto they are receiv'd; fo fhall it be taken from the lot of our inheritance. And when the Jubilee of the children of Ifrael fall be, then shall their inheritance be put into
the inheritance of the tribe whereinto they are received; fo fhall their inheritance be 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 Shall they marry. And every daughter that poffeffeth an inheritance shall be wife unto one of the family of the tribe of her father; that the children of Ifrael may enjoy, every man, the inheritance of his fathers.
This Sabbatical Year was call'd the Jubilee, because the Trumpets made use of upon that Occafion were Ram's Horns, which, in the Hebrew, are call'd Jubelim.
The Feaft of the DEDICATION. There were other Festivals, but not of divine Institution, appointed occafionally in after Times. Such was the feast of the dedication of Solomon's Temple; which 2 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 fecond Temple, in the twelfth Month, Adar (February) likewife very pompous. And a third,
of the Temple, but of the Altar, by Judas Maccabeus, after it had been profan'd Mac. by Antiochus ; of which we have an Account in the Apocrypha. And, at the close of it, is recorded that Judas and his brethren, with the whole congregation of Ifrael, ordained that the days of the dedication of the altar fhould 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 Cafleu or Chifleu, (November) with mirth and gladness.
And of this Dedication it is that St.
John fpeaks in his Gospel. It was, at Jerufalem, the feast of the dedication; and it was winter; which could not be faid of any of the other Dedications: nor do we find any Direction for the annual Obfervation of any other *.
* There was a Dedication alfo 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 Jofephus, Antiq. Book XV.
SE C T. XVII.
Befides those of the Dedications, they had other occafional Anniversaries cuftomary among them. One was the yearly Lamentation of the Daughters of Ifrael for the Daughter of Jephthah, one of their Judges. Jephthah, having vow'd a Vow, That, if the LORD would deliver the Children of Ammon into his Hands, against 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 prefenting her self before him, at his Return to his Houfe; it is faid, He did with Judg. xi. her according to his vow which he had vowed. And it was a custom in Ifrael, that the daughters of Ifrael went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite,four days in a year.
They likewife kept a Day in Commemoration of the Heavenly Fire, which had
had been long extinct, and which was rekindled upon their Return after the Captivity, and their Building of the Altar. This appears from a Letter in the Apocrypha, written from the Jews at JerufaMac. i. tem 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 Cafleu (the Dedication beforemention'd) thought it neceffary to certify you thereof, that ye alfo might keep it; as the feast of the tabernacles, and of the fire, which was given us when Neemias offered facrifice, 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 fame Time.
They had also an Anniversary Thankf giving and publick Rejoycing upon the fourteenth and fifteenth Days of the Month Adar (February;) in commemoration of that extraordinary Deliverance of the Jews from the Perfecution intended aEfth. ix. gainst them by Haman; but prevented and defeated by Efther and Mordecai; as