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And after the Revolt of the ten Tribes, and even their Captivity into Assyria, the ISTumber of the twelve Princes was continued in the Government of the Kingdom of jsudah; one to represent each Tribe, according to their ancient Constitution. So we read, thatj after the Return from Babylon, at the Dedication of the second ^ra V1* I "Temple, they offered twelve he-goats for a fin-offering for all Israel, according to the number of the twelve tribes. And we find mention of a Proclamation, That Whosoever would not come to Jerusalem within three days, according to the counsel of the Princes and the Elders, all his substance Jhould be forfeited.'
SEC T. XIV.
The, Heads 5/ Families.
Next to the Heads of Tribes, we come to speak of the Heads of Families; as they were next the others in Honour and Im- ,• . portance. For, as the Princes of the Tribes might be suppos'd to represent the twelve Sons of Israel, these represented : his Grandsons; the Families, of which they were Heads, being call'd from ;their Names. Thus,
Thus, when the Lord commands Numb. Moses to number the People, He fays, Takt 2- ye the sum of all the congregation of she children of Israel, after their families, ly the house of their fathers. So, for Exam
— ao. pie, ic is said, The children 'of Reuben, Israel's eldest son, were numbered by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers. The Names of these Families, Generations or Houses, an
—xxvi. cxpresly mention'd in another Place, to which the curious are referr'd; it not being very material to insert them here.
These Families, were again subdivided into Houjholds. And therefore, when they were to make a Scrutiny upon any Occasion, by Enquiry from God, or by Lot, they first pitch'd upon the Tribe; then the Family, then the Houjhold; and so, drill they came at the very Person requir'd. Of this there is a notable Instance in the
jslh. vii. &®ok of Joshuai where the Man is detected, who had made a Concealment of the Spoil. As these is also in the manner of
i Sam. x. testing Saul to b,e King. When Samue/ bad caused all the Tribes, of Israel to come near, the Tribe of j&njamin was taken.
rhen he had caused the Tribe of Benjamin i come near, by their Families, the Fami'of Matri was taken, &c.
"We have frequent mention of them in criptures, thus distinguisiYd; it is said, rhe chief fathers of the families of the chil- Nu.mb
iren of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son f Manafleh, of the families of the sons of Joseph, came near and spake before Moses, and before the princes, the chief fathers of the children of Israel. Again j Then came j0(h. Xxi. near the heads of the fathers of the Levites unto Eleazar the Priejl, and unto Joshua the fin of Nun, and unto the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel. And again, speaking of some of those Heads in the Tribe of Benjamin, f Chron it is said, These were heads of the fathers, viii. 28t by their generations, chief men. These dwelt in Jerusalem.
As to their peculiar Province and Part in the Administration of the Government, it was their Business to hold Assemblies of the Households that were under their Inspection j and to enquire into all Matters and Concerns thereunto, in any wife, relating} as far as they were of a public
Nature. Sometimes they were fiimmoac by the Kings, to meet in the Great Cmcil\ and commanded the Families tk were under their Jurisdiction, in Times of War.
That they had the Care and Management of the Housholds over which t/iey presided, appears plainly from this; thai they only, of all the Magistrates of this Government, preserv'd and exercises their Power, during the Time of the Batyltnifi Captivity. And therefore, upon the Return, we find them active in promoting all Affairs. As soon as the Proclamation came out from Cyrus King of Persia, giving them Leave to go up to Jerusalem, to build the house of the Lord Ezra i. 5. Ged of Israel, Then, it is said, rose up the cbiif fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the Priejls and the Levites, &c. Nehmiab Neh. vii. fays, My God put into my hearts to gather *• together the nobles, and the rulers, and the people, that they might be reckoned by genealogy. ... ;,
To shew that they fate as Judges, we read that Jehojhaphat King of Judah ap
2 Chron. pointed some of the chief of the fathers of xix. 8. jfrie]} fracl, for\the judgment of rf? Lord, ridfor controversies. And that they commanded in the Wars, we (hall fee under particular Article.
The Rulers of Cities.
The third Wheel of their Government, which, as we mention'd before, turn'd within the other two, was the Constitution and Magistracy of every City within it self. As the Weight of superintending the Affairs of every Tribe, was much lighten'd to the Prince thereof, by the subordinate 'Jurisdiction of the Heads of Families; the Political Burden of these latter was, in like manner, considerably alleviated by the Share of Authority which appertain'd to the Rulers of Cities: Every Tribe having several Cities belonging to it, and every City being inhabited by a great Number of Families.
The Chief Magistrate in these Corporations was call'd the Ruler of the Ci~ j ty. When Gaal had enter'd into a Coni spiracy and Rebellion against Abimelech, I (who himself had usurp'd the GovernH h ment