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THE CITIES OF REFUGE. (1635-1451 B.C.
29. CITIES OF REFUGE. DEATH OF MOSES.
Numbers xxxii.-Deuteronomy xxxiv. The tribes of Reuben and Gad had a very great multitude of cattle ; and when they saw that the land of Jazer and Gilead, which had been taken from Sihon and Og, were good for pasturage, they asked Moses to give them those lands for their possession. Moses told them that Canaan must be first conquered; these tribes then proposed to leave their wives and children in possession of the country, while they went fully armed before their brethren, to conquer Canaan ; and then they would return and possess their land.
The Lord appointed .forty-eight cities to be given to the Levites. Six of them were to be cities of refuge for those who had slain others by accident. Three of the cities, Bezer, Ramoth, and Golan, were on the east of Jordan, and the other
PERIOD III.] THE DEATH OF MOSES. three, Kadesh-Naphtali, Shechem, and Hebron were on the west of Jordan. The man-slayer who had slain another unawares, might flee to a city of refuge, and remain there safe from the 'avenger of blood, until the death of the High Priest, when he might go abroad without fear of punishment.
God made it known that he had appointed Joshua to succeed Moses. Moses wished to go into Canaan, and prayed, saying, “I pray thee let me go over and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain and Lebanon." But the Lord would not permit him to go over because he had smitten the rock at Meribah, when God had commanded him to speak to it only. Before Moses died he repeated the Law to the Israelites ; exhorted them to obedience ; forbade idolatry; and prophesied of Christ. He .foretold that Israel would worship idols after they entered Canaan ; that they would be taken as slaves into a strange country; and after that be scattered over all the world.
Moses ascended Mount Nebo, and from thence he beheld the promised land. He again exhorted the Israelites to obedience. He blessed them and then died. His age was onehundred-and-twenty years. He was buried in a valley of Moab. The people mourned thirty days. And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses whom the Lord knew •face to face, in all the signs and the wonders, which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, in all that mighty hard, and in all the great terror which Moses shewed in the sight of all Israel.
NOTES AND EXPLANATIONS. leave—God had promised protection
forty-eight—these cities were chosen to their wives, children, property, and out of all the tribes of Israel ; the lands, at those seasons when all the men Levites were consequently dispersed of Israel were to appear before him in throughout the entire population, thus the place which he should choose; and fulfilling a great object of their appointas it was a duty on these men to assist ment to the priesthood—that of being their brethren when they crossed over the religious instructors and judges of Jordan, they relied on the same promise the people. Lesson 32, 'forty-eight.' that their inheritane would be preserved free from the invasion of their to those who had caused death by
refuge—this protection extended only enemies. Exodus xxxiv. 23, 24.
NOTES AND EXPLANATIONS. [1635-1451 B.C. accident; if a murderer escaped to one GEOGRAPHICAL NOTES. of these cities he was forbidden pro- JAZER— he that helps ;' a city at the tection, the command being," If a man foot of the mountains of Gilead, near a come presumptuously upon his neigh. small river of the same name, which bour, to slay him with guile, thou shalt falls into the Jordan. take him from mine altar, that he may
BEZER—was in the tribe of Reuben ;
it was situated in a desert part of the adenger-the person to whom the country, near Arabia. right belonged of avenging the blood
RAMOTH-was in Gilead, in the porof the deceased by slaying the offender; tion of Gad; it was not far from the he was generally the nearest kinsman Jabbok, and' but sixteen miles from of the person slain. If, however, the Rabbah; it was in after years the scene man-slayer escaped to one of the cities of many wars. of refuge, the avenger dared not harm him until the case had been investigated;
GOLAN_belonged to the tribe of when, if innocent, he was received Manasseh; it stood a short distance witbin the city; but if guilty, he was west of the lake of Galilee. The district delivered up to the avenger.
around it was afterwards called Gaulo
nitis. death--Jewish writers inform us that
KADESH-NAPHTALI-a city, as its to make the bomicides in the cities of refuge contented with their lot lest,
name imports, in the portion of Naphtali. growing dissatisfied, they should wish SHECHEM-a city in the valley befor the death of the high priest, the tween Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim. mother of the existing Pontiff, or other Lesson 13. friend interested in his prosperity, usu- HEBRON—A very ancient city, forally supplied them with many of the merly called Kirjath-arba ; it was in the necessaries and even with the comforts inheritance of Judah. Abraham, Isaac, of life.
and Jacob resided at Hebron, and it was go abroad—the avenger' dared not
a place of much importance in the later pursue him. When a homicide died history of the Israelites. before the High Priest, his remains
LEBANON—'white;' so called from were given to his relatives to be buried its snow-capped summits; an extensive among his own people.
mountain range on the northern bound
ary of Palestine ; its cedars, streams, repeated—the chief portions of the and wines are often referred to in ceremonial and civil laws, as well as Scripture, At present there are not the moral laws. Lesson 22, “Ten more than 500 cedars growing upon its Commandments; Lesson 24,"laws,' sides, while the vines which once grew .burnt offering,''code,' ordinances.' in abundance on its declivities have
nearly disappeared for want of culture. foretold-Lesson 35, 'served.''
Moses longed to see “that goodly taken-Lessons 108, 118, 120. This mountain, even Lebanon." prophecy has been literally fulfilled. MERIBAH— strife;' one of the places
where the Israelites encamped; it was buried—the Lord buried him over
on the western arm of the Red Sea. against Beth-peor; but this was not Lesson 27, should not.' made known to the Israelites, the proba
NEB0—one of the mountains in the ble reason being lest future generations should attach the superstitious idea of Abarim range; it was opposite Jericho,
and commanded an extensive view of peculiar sanctity to the spot.
the promised land. face to face-apparently as closely and
Moab—the country on the east of the familiarly as one man speaks to another. Dead Sea. Lesson 28.
A PROPHET'S OLD AGE.
“AND MOSES WAS A HUNDRED-AND-TWENTY YEARS OLD WHEN HE DIED; HIS
EYE WAS NOT DIM, NOR HIS NATURAL FORCE ABATED.”
How lightly o'er thy guarded head
How poor the spoils of time,
So splendid and sublime.
Thy natural vigour unimpair’d,
Age could not dim its ray,
The radiance of noon day.
A thing regarded not,
Thy proud, peculiar lot.
To life's last parting hour,
Should own Jehovah's power.
On his eternal truth,
Spring's renovated youth.
PERIOD I V.
ANOINTING OF SAUL.
B.C. 1451-B.C. 1096. 355 years. 30. JOSHUA SUCCEEDS MOSES. JERICHO TAKEN.
Joshua i.-vi. Seventy souls of the house of Jacob went into Egypt when Joseph sent for his father, his brothers, and their families. Six hundred thousand Israelites left Egypt besides the women and the children. Of this large number only two, Joshua and Caleb, were permitted to enter into Canaan. After the death of Moses, Joshua became the leader of the Israelites as God had appointed; the Lord said unto Joshua, “Arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life; as I was with Moses so I will be with thee; I will not fail thee nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage : for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. And this book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt 'meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” Joshua sent two spies to Jericho; and they came into •Rahab's house, and lodged there. The king of Jericho heard of them, and he sent men to take them ; but Rahab concealed the men, and afterwards let them 'escape through a window. Before the men left her house she told them that terror had fallen upon all the people of the land because of the Israelites; and she made them 'promise that when God should give the city into their hand, they would spare her life, and the lives of her parents, and brethren, and sisters.