Page images

that Name, even when the Ifraelites first came over Jordan, had these five, Nazaretb, Nain, Capernaum, Bethsaida, and Tiberias : It was moreover divided into two Parts; Upper Galilee, which extended up as far as the Syriac Sea; and Lower Galilee, which reach'd down to the Sea of Tiberias. The Cities of Palestine or the Philistines, were five; Gath, Gaza, Afbdod or Azotus, Ekron, and Askelon, which were govern'd by five Lords; or Kings, as they are sometimes call’d.

These are enough for our present Enquiry. And we must observe, that in After-times, when the ten Tribes were parted off and gone from them, and their Affairs carne to be in a flourishing State, their whole Country was call’d Judæa; even the same which since the cime of our Saviour, has

gone by the Name of Palestine, and the Holy Land.


The Metropolis of the Holy LAND.

Now as all the twelve Tribes were under one and the fame Constitution and Go


vernment, it was necessary that some one Place should be fix'd upon to be the Metropolis, or Mother-City of the whole Coun

try; which should be the chief Place of | Residence to that Person who presided in

the Administration of the Government, and was intrusted with the Supreme Charge of all their Affairs, both religious and ci

vil : To which they might, upon Occa1 fion, resort out of every Tribe and City; as

at the solemn Times of Worship, their stated Feafts and Festivals ; at their holding the Grand Council; and keeping their High Courts of Judicature; to which all Appeals were to be made.

The Nomination and Appointment of this Place God reserv'd to himself. In the Deut. xii. place which the LORD shall choose in one of 4. thy tribes, there thou shalt offer tby burntofferings, and there thou shalt do all that I command thee. And again; If there arise Deut. a matter too hard for thee in judgment, being matters of controversy within thy gates 3 then shalt thou arise and get thee up unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: And thou shalt come unto the Priests and Levites, and unto the judge that shall be in those F


:4, &c.

xvii. 8,

days, and inquire; and they fall few thee the sentence of judgment.

Now the Places which God chose for this Purpose, were those where his Tabernacle and his Temple stood. These were two; first, Shiloh in Samaria, in the Allotment of Ephraim, which was afterwards rejected; and then Mount Sion in Jerufalem, within the Portion of the Tribe of Yudah.


First, SH I L O H. Of Shiloh we have the following Account. When the Children of Israel had clear'd the Land of Canaan of the ancient

Inhabitants, under the Conduct of Foshua, Joshua and divided it among the Tribes; the whole xviii. 1.

congregation of them assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. Without question, by the Direction of Joshua : for the doing of, which we may conclude he was mov'd by

a divine Impulse. The Inheritances are Joshua divided among the Tribes by lot, in Shixix. 51. loh before the LORD, at the door of the taber


[ocr errors]

xxii. 126

[ocr errors]


nacle of the congregation. And afterwards,
when the Tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Ma-
nafseh had given the rest fome Umbrage by
building an extraordinary Altar, in a dif-
ferent Place, the whole congregation of the Joshua

children of Israel, gather'd themselves togeither at Shiloh to go up to war against them.

Again; when they held a Consultation how to save the Tribe of Benjamin, they come Judges

xxi. 2.12 to the house of God, and fix their camp in Shiloh. Then they said, Behold there is a feast of the Lord in Shiloh yearly, &c.

However, upon some great Provocation, Shiloh was afterwards rejected ; and God chose Jerusalem for his City, and Mount Sion for the Situation of his Temple; and Shilob was left desolate and abandon'd to Destruction : as appears from a threatning Denunciation of the LORD against those who came into his holy Temple, and boasted of their being admitted to so great an Honour, though they were utterly unprepar'd and disqualify'd for it. Go


Jeremia now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my Name at the first; and see wbat I did to it for the wickednefs of my people Israel.


vii. 126

2 Chron.

Afterwards, JERUSAL E M.

God appointed Mount Sion in Jerusalem, in the Time of David; who, having overcome the Jebufites, the antient Inhabitants of it ; whom Yudah and Benjamin, whose Lot it was, had not been hitherto ble to expel; according to God's Direction, plac'd the Ark of the Covenant there, and * made it the Seat of his Empire.

To this Purpose, Solomon introduces the LORD speaking to his Father David. Since the day that I brought forth my people out of the land of Egypt, I chose no city cmong all the tribes of Israel to build an house in, that

my Name might be there; neither chose I any man to be a ruler over my people Israel. But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my Name might be there, and have chosen David to be over my people Israel. True: for in Shiloh, no Temple was built ; only the Ark lodg’d for a while. And tho'God appointed Mofes, Yoshua, Samuel, and the rest of the Judges to preside over their Af

vi. 4.

* To which relates the cxxxii Psalm.

« PreviousContinue »