« PreviousContinue »
that Name even when the Israelites first came over Jordan, had these five, Nazareth, Nain, Capernaum, Bethfaidat and Tiberias: It was moreover divided into two Parts j Upper Galilee, which extended up as far as the Syriac Sea j and Lower Galilee, which reach'd down to the Sea of Tiberias. The Cities of Palestine or the Philistines, were five; Gath, Gaza, Ast> dod 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 came to be in a flourishing State, their whole Country was call'd Judæa, even the fame which since the time of our Saviour, has gone by the Name of Palestine, and the Holy Land. '.
Now as all the twelve Tribes were under one and the fame Constitution and Government, vernmenc, it was necesiary that some one Place should be fix'd upon to be the Metropolis, or Mother-City of the whole Country; 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 civil: "to which they might, upon Occasion, resort out of every Tribe and City; as at the solemn Times of Worship, their stated Feasts and Festivals j 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 De«t- xlL place which the Lord Jhall choose in one of c* thy tribes, there thou fialt offer thy burntofferings, and there thou Jhalt do all that I command thee. And again; If there arise" Deut. a matter too hard for thee in judgment, be- XV11, 8* ing matters of controversy •within thy gates; then shalt thou arise and get thee up unto the place which Alord thy God Jhall choose: And thou Jhalt come unto the Priejls and Levites, and unto the judge that Jhall be in those F days,.
days, and inquire; and they Jhall Jhew 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 Jerusalem, within the Portion of the Tribe of Judab.
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 "Joshua, Joshua and divided it among the Tribes; the whole m' ' congregation of them assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. Without question, by the Direction of Jqjhua: for the doing of which we may conclude he was mov'd by a divine Impulse. The Inheritances arc Joshua divided among the Tribes by lot, in Shi*1X'51' loh before the Lord, at the door of the tabernacle nacte of the congregation. And afterwards^ when the Tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manajseh had given the rest some Umbrage by building an extraordinary Altar, in a different Place, the whole congregation of the Joflwsi children of Israel, gather d themselves together at Shiloh to go up to war againjl them. Again; when they held a Consultation how to save the Tribe of Benjamin, they come to the house of God, and fix their camp in I9'/ Shiloh. Then they said, Behold there is a feajl 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 Shiloh 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 ye JertMj now unto my place which was in Shiloh, vu'12i inhere I set my Name at the firfy and fee what I did to itfor the wickedness of my people Israel.
F % SECT,
SECT, IV. .
God appointed Mown/1 in "Jerusalem, in the Time of David; who, having overcome the Jebuftes, the antient Inhabitants of it; whom Judah and Benjamin, whose Lot it was, had not been hitherto able to expel; according to God's Direction, plac'd the Ark of the Covenant there, and * made it the Seat of his Empire. Zhxon. To this Purpose, Solomon introduces the 4" Lord speaking to his Father David. Since the day that I brought forth my people out of the land of Egypt> / chose no city among all the tribes of Israel to build an house in, that my Name might be there j 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 Shi/oh, no Temple was built; only the Ark lodg'd for a while. And tho' God appointed Moses, Jojhua, Samuel, and the rest of the Judges to preside over their Af
* To which relates the cxxxii Psalm.