Page images

unto his Possession, and ye [hall return ever) man unto tis 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 according to this Intention, we find a Decree made by Moses upon the Cafe of the Daughters and Coheiresses of Zelophehad of the Tribe of Manajfeh. The chief FaNumb. thers of the Tribe came before Moses and xxxvi. tjie pr-nces 0f children of Israel, and

said, My Lord was commanded by the Lo R D, 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 Jhall be put to the inheritance of the tribe whereinto they are receivd; so jhall it be taken

from the lot of our inheritance. And when the 'Jubilee of the children of Israel shall be, then Jhall their inheritance be put into


the inheritance of the tribe whereinto they are received; so shall their inheritance be taken away from the inheritance of the tribe of our fathers.

To which Moses replied j Ihis is the thing which the Lokd doth command concerning the daughters of Zelophehad; Let them marry to •whom they think best; only, to the family of the tribe of their father foall they marry. And every daughter that posfefseth an inheritance shall be wife unto one of thefamily of the tribe'of her father; that the children of Israel may enjoy\ every man, the inheritance of hisfathers.

This Sabbatical Year was call'd the Jubilee, because the Trumpets made use of upon that Occasion were Ram's Horns, which, in the Hebrew, are call'd fubelim.


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> 9as we obscrv'd before, in the seventh Month. Ezra. vi. . • Therel6'

There was another, of the second TemplCj in the twelfth Month, Adar (February) likewise very pompous. And a thirds not of the Temple, but of the Altar, by Judas Maccabeus, after it had been profan'd

i Mac. by jlntiochus; of which we have an Account 1V.36.&C. J

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 Cajleu or Chijleu, (November) with mirth and gladnejs.

John. x. And of this Dedication it is that St.


John speaks in his Gospel. It was, at Jerusalem, thefeafi of the dedication; and it was winter j which could not be said of any of the other Dedications: nor do we find any Direction for the annual Observation of any other *

* There was a Dedication also of the Temple, as it was repair'd and beautified by Herod; which was f>lemniz'd upon his Birth-Day; as it is recorded by Josephus, Antia. Book XV.



Other An Niversaries.

Besides those of the Dedications, they had other occasional Anniversaries customary among them. One was the yearly Lamentation of the Daughters of Israel 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 presenting her self before him, at his Return to his House; it is said, He \did with Judg. her according to his now 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,yo«r days in a year.

They likewise kept a Day in Commemoration of the Heavenly Fire, which


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 Apocrypba, written from the Jews at Jerufaa Mac i. ^m to those at Egypt: in which are these Words. Whereas we are now purposed to keep the purification of the Temple upon tk jive and twentieth day of the month Casleu (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 fame Time.

They had also an Anniversary Thanksgiving 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 Persecution intended aEsth. ix. ga'nft them by Haman-, but prevented 2°- and defeated by Esther and Mordecai; as


« PreviousContinue »