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And upon his further prophefying that the city should be given into the hand of the King of Babylon, Therefore the Princes faid unto the king, We beseech thee, let this man be put to death. Then Zedekiah the King faid, Behold he is in your hand; for the King is not he that can do any thing against you. Which fhews that they bore a mighty Sway in the Great Council of the Nation; and that when they pray'd Judgment and Execution against any one, even the King thought it most safe and prudent to comply with them.
The Number of these Rulers, in every City, was in Proportion to the Number of its Inhabitants; as many Thousands as it contain'd, fo many Rulers of that Rank and Denomination, belong'd to it; from which Regulation, the Estimation and Confequence of each City was discernible at one View. And from this Confideration arises that fine Allufion of one of the Prophets concerning the Place where CHRIST fhould be born; fo understood and applied by the Chief Priests and Scribes themselves, as the Evangelift inMic. v. 2. forms us. But thou, Bethlehem Ephra
Mat. ii. 5.
tah, though thou be little among the thoufands of Judah (in Comparison of those Cities that have Rulers of Thousands belonging to them) yet out of thee, he shall come forth unto me, that is to be Ruler in Ifrael; whofe goings forth have been of old, = from everlasting. So exactly was almost every minute Circumftance relating to the SAVIOUR of Mankind, delineated and foretold by thofe divinely infpired Writers, who liv'd fo many hundred Years before he came into the World.
SECT. I. MILITARY Affairs.
Having hitherto treated of the reli
gious and civil Affairs of thofe People who are the Historical Subject of the facred Writings; it is reasonable, in like manner, that we fhould trace out fuch Memoirs as are left us of their military Conftitution. In relation to which, the Directions given them by God himself are these which follow.
Deut. XX. I.
When thou goeft out to battle against thine enemies, and feeft horses and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them; for the LORD thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, And it fhall be, when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the Priest shall approach and Speak unto the people; and shall say unto them; Hear, O Ifrael! You approach this day unto battle against your enemies; let not your hearts be faint; fear not, and do not tremble; neither be ye terrified because of them: For the LORD your God is He that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to Save you.
What noble Spirits, and what an invincible Ardor muft fuch an Exhortation as this infufe into the Hearts of those who were thoroughly prepar'd to receive it, from the Observations they must have made of God's providential and protecting Mercies, fo continually attending them! Such a rational, well-grounded Fortitude is indeed infeparable from every true Believer. Whereas thofe, who are 'not convinc'd of the Truth of a prefent divine Revelation, and a future State of Rewards and Punish
ments; though they may, in Trials of the greatest Danger, appear as high-metrtled as the Horfe that rufheth into the Battle, cannot, at the fame Time, be fuppos'd to be animated by any more than a brutal Courage. But to proceed.
That we may fee what Tenderness was us'd in relation to those who were oblig'd to ferve in the Wars; and that none were forc'd, or even decoy'd away from their Families or their domestick Concerns, in a tyrannical unreasonable Manner; it is further directed thus. And the officers fhall Deut.] Speak unto the people, faying; What man is xx. 5. there that hath built a new house, and bath not dedicated it? let him go and return to his house, left he die in the battle, and another man dedicate it. And what man is he that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not yet eaten of it? let him alfo go and return unto his boufe, left he die in the battle, and another man eat of it. And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? let him go and return unto his house, left he die in battle, and another man take her.
Deut. xx. 8.
Nay further, if any one should have happen'd to be fo vile a Creature, as to want the rational Courage and Confidence in God before-mention'd, it was thought his Company might prove infectious to his Fellow-Soldiers; and therefore, if he would acknowledge himself to be fo execrable a Wretch, he was immediately discharg'd from the Service. And the officers hall Speak further unto the people, and they shall Jay, What man is there that is fearful and faint-hearted? let him go and return unto his houfe, left his brethren's heart faint, as well as his heart.
When these Proclamations were made, and every thing was fettled accordingly, then these regulating Officers beforemention'd, (who were either Commiffaries, whose Business it was to muster and enroll the Men, or those who acted, in a civil Capacity, as Rulers of Thousands, &c.) proceeded to appoint the Officers of the And it shall be when the officers have made an end of Speaking unto the people, that they shall make captains of the armies to lead the people.
Deut. Army, properly so call'd.