Page images
PDF
EPUB

rageoufly cruel, or wantonly to commit Waste and Depredations. For Example, though it might be convenient, and was therefore allowable for them, to cut down Timber Trees of all Sorts to make their Works and Fortifications with, when they laid Siege to any Place, yet they were always to spare the Fruit Trees of all Kinds; as what would be necessary to support the Lives of the Inhabitants, in future Times; when the little Rancour which was the Occasion of their present Hostilities mould be remov'd and done away. When thou jhalt Deut. be/iege a city a long time, in making war a- xx' i9' gainst it to take it, thou Jhalt not destroy the trees, (Fruit Trees) thereof, by\forcing an ax against them: For thou mayst eat of them, and thou Jhalt not cut them down (for the tree of the field is man's life) to employ them in the siege. Only the trees which thou know est that they be not trees for meaty thou pall destroy and cut them down; and thou Jhalt build bulwarks against the city that maketh war with thee, until it be subdued.

In another Place, there are Instructions relating to the Use and Management of

Trumpets

XXI. 10.

Trumpets in Time of War, as weli as upon Numb, other Occasions. If ye go to war in your *-9- land againji the enemy that oppreffetb you, then ye Jhall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye jhall be remembered before the Lord your God, and ye Jhall be saved from your enemies. .. Those whom they took, Captives in the War, they were allow'd to fell, if they thought fit; as appears from the followDeut.l ing Exception. When thou goe/l forth to war againji thine enemies, and the Lord thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hajl taken them captive, andfeejl among the captives a beautiful woman, and hajl a desire unto her, that thou 'would/I have her to thy wife:. Then thou Jhalt bring her borne to thine house, andjhe Jhall shave her head, and pare her nails. And fie shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and JJjall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: And after that thou Jhalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and Jhe Jhall be thy wij'e. And it jhall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou JJjalt let her go whither jhe will; But thou Jhalt not fell her

at

1 ■ .

at all for money, thou Jhalt not make merchandise of her, because thou haft humbled her. How amiable do the Manners of those appear, in every Light, in every Circumstance of Life^ who are the People of God, and continually adjust their Behaviour according to his Laws! They are, not barely just, but humane, tender, and susceptible of the softest Passions, even in the Hurry of the Battle, and amidst the Spoils of War.

SECT. It.

The Captain of the Host.

The Person who in Scripture is call'd Captain of the Host% is of the fame Nature with him whom in the modern Phrase, we style Generalissimo $ one who had the entire Command of the whole Army. Such were Joshua and the Judges, under the primitive Constitution of their Government, as it was settled by God himself j and such, under Saul their first King, was Abner, We read that Abner {the son of Ner) cap- 2 Sara. tain of Saul'i Host, took IOibosheth the fin "-8of Saul (after his Father's Death) and brought him over to Mahanaim; and made him king over Gilead, and over the Afhu

I i rites,

[ocr errors]

rites, and over Jezreel, and over ftphraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Isr&e\. And, afterwards, when Abner was tteacbe^iii.38. roufly murder'd, The king (David)sail unto his servants, Know ye not that that ther? is a prince, and a great man fallen (bit day in Israel?

What Abner was to Saul, the fame Joab

2 Sani. was to David. It is said, Joab was over all

xx# *3' the host of Israel. And when David was

inclin'd to have Israel and Judab number'd,

—xxiv.z. be said to Joab the captain of the host, which

•was with him, Go now through all the tribes

of Israel, &c.

When Absalom was forming a Rebellion.

2 Sam. against his Father, he made Amaia captain xvii. 25. 0j fhe boj inpad 0jr joab_ And wheDj af_

ter the Death of Absalom, David was desirous of recalling to their A/iegiance, those who had enter'd into the Rebellion with him; he gives Zadok and Abiathar, the Priests, Instructions for negotiating that Affair with the Heads of Absalom's Party? This, among other Expedients, being onej * And say ye to Amafa, art not thou os my

* 2 Sam. xix. 1.3. The Mother of Amafa was DavidV Sifter, as was also the Mother of Joab. 1 Chron. if. 16.

bent bone and of my flesh f God do so to me, and more also, is thou be not captain of the host before me continually, in the room of Joab.

jimasa enjoy'd the Post but a very little j

Time,' if at all. Indeed we find the King ordering him (as in that Capacity) to as ■** xx. 42 semble the men of Judah within three days. But whilst he was out upon that Business, Joab, coming to him with a Shew of ^ Friendship, stabbed him, in the fame treacherous Manner as he had done Abner before. Yet, after these Villainies he had Interest, or rather Power enough to continue Captain of the Host, all the Days of David. But, toward the latter End of them, joining with that Party which would have set up Adonijah, he brought opon himself the Fate which he had long before deserv'd.

When Solomon succeeded to the Throne, We read that Joab fed unto the tabernacle .r. K'nS? of the L o R D, and caught hold on the horns of the altar; where he thought to have found Protection; but, upon refusing to come forth was slain there by Benaiah, at the Command of Solomon. The king said unto him, Fall upon him and bury him; that thou mays take away the innocent blood I i 2 which

« PreviousContinue »