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third a Sabbath, and the thirtieth a Sabbath: In the eleventh Month, the feventh Day will be a Sabbath, the fourteenth a Sabbath, the twenty first a Sabbath, and the twenty eighth a Sabbath In the twelfth Month, the fifth Day will be a Sabbath, the twelfth a Sabbath, the nineteenth a Sabbath, and the twenty fixth a Sabbath, and the thirtieth Day of this Month would be the fourth Day of a Week: But here it must be remembred, that the first Day of the enfuing, Year, the first of the Month Abib, muft fall upon a a Sabbath (m); so that here, as at the End of the fixth Month two Days must be added to make the Week and the Year end together; that the first Day of Abib may be regularly a Sabbath after a due Interval of fix Days between the laft foregoing Sabbath and the Day of it. In this manner Mofes's Appointments appear to carry the Ifraelites thro' the Year in fifty two complete Weeks, amounting to 364 Days, and this would be a great Approximation to the true and real Solar Year, in comparison of what all other Nations at this time fell fhort of it: But ftill it must be remarked, that even a Year thus fettled would not fully anfwer; for the true length of the Year being, as I have faid, 365 Days and almost fix Hours; Mofes's Year, if thus conftituted, would ftill fall fhort one Day and almoft fix Hours in every Solar Revolution, and this would have amounted to almoft fifty Days in the forty Years, which he was with the Ifraelites, and therefore, had the Ifraelites began and continued computing their Year in this manner, they would have found at their entring into Ca


(m) Vid. quæ fup.


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naan on the tenth Day of their Month Abib, that they were come thither, not just at the time of Harveft, as they might have expected, nor when Jordan overflowed his Banks, as he did annually, but rather they would have been there almost fifty Days before the Season, so that we must endeavour to look for fome further Direction in Mofes's Appointments, or we shall be yet at a lofs to fay how the Ifraelites could keep their Year from varying away from the Seafons: But

I would observe, that there are feveral Hints, in the Injunctions of Mofes, that may lead us thro' this Difficulty: The Feafts of the Lord were to be proclaimed in their Seasons (n), and it is remarkable, that the Season for the Wavefheaf-offering is directed in fome measure by the time of Harveft: When ye be come into the Land, which I give unto you, and shall reap the Harveft thereof, then fhall ye bring a Sheaf(0) thus again: Seven Weeks fhalt thou number unto thee, begin to number the feven Weeks from fuch time as thou beginneft to put the Sickle to the Corn (p): The numbring these Weeks was to begin from the Day of bringing the Sheaf of the Wave-offering (g), and therefore the Wave-fheafoffering and the Pentecoft at the End of the Weeks appear evidently to have been regulated by the Corn-Season, which was fure to return annually after the Revolution of a true Year, however the computed Year might vary from, or not come up to it: And the only Question that can now remain is, whether the Ifraelites

(n) Levit. xxiii. 4. (o) ver. 10. (p) Deut. xvi. 9. (9) Levit. xxiii. 15.


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were to keep all their other Feafts on their fet Days, exactly at the Return of their computed Year, or whether their other Feafts were reguJated along with thefe of the Wave-Sheaf and Pentecoft; fo as to have their computed Year corrected and amended, as often as the Return of Harveft fhewed them there was reafon for it: And this laft Intimation appears plainly to me to have been the Fact; for I obferve, that the fifteenth Day of the feventh Month is fuppofed never to fall before they had gathered in the Fruits of their Land; for on that Day they were always to keep a Feaft for the ending all their Harvest (r): But if the computed Year had gone on without Correction, the fifteenth Day of the feventh Month, every Year falling fhort a Day and almoft a quarter of a true Solar Year, would in a Number of Years have comé about, before the Time for beginning their Harveft: And Mofes lived long enough to have seen it very fenfibly moving towards this Abfurdity, and confequently cannot be fuppofed to have left it fixed in fuch a manner: Rather the whole computed Year was to be regulated by the Season of Harvest: When the Year was ended the Ifraelites were to proclaim for the enfuing Year the Feasts of the Lord (s), and they were, I think, to be kept at their Times according to this publick Indiction of them, and in order to fix their Times right, they were in the first place to observe the Month Abib (u); the Harvest

(+) Levit. xxiii. 39. (s) ver. 4. (a) Deut. xvi. 1. I need not, I think, obferve that the Weather in Judea was not fo variable as in our Climate, and confequently, that Seed time and Harveft were Seafons more fixed with the Inhabitants of this Country than with us.


Month (w), to appoint the Beginning of that to its true Seafon; and this they might do as [often as they found it varying from it, by the Corn not growing ripe for the Sickle at or about the fixteenth Day of this Month, the second Day of unleavened Bread (x), on which they were wont to offer their Wave-fheaf (y)] in the following manner: When, I fay, they found at the End of the Year, from the Experience of two or three paft Years, as well as the Year then before them, that Harvest was not fo forward as to be fit to be begun in about fixteen Days, they might then add fo many Days to the End of their Year as might be requifite, that they might not begin the Month Abib until, upon the fixteenth of it, they might expect to put the fickle to the Corn, and bring the Wave-fheaf in their accustomed Manner: This, I think, might be the Method in which the ancient Ifraelites adjusted their Year to the Seafons; and I conceive, that when they added to their Year in this manner, the Addition they made was of whole Weeks, one, two, or more, as the appearing Backwardness of the Seafon required, that the firft of Abib might fall upon a Sabbath, and the other Sabbaths of the Year follow in their Order, as I have above fixed

(w) It may be queried whether Abib be the Name of a Month: The Ifraelites in thefe Times feem to have named their Months no otherwife than first, fecond, third, &c. Nomina menfium ab initio nulla fuere, Jays Scaliger. The Hebrew Word Abib fignifies ripening, and perhaps Mofes did not mean by Chodeh na Abib, the Month Abib. intending Abib as a proper Name, but the Month of ripening, or of the Corn being fit for the Sickle. (x) Exod. xii. Levit. xxiii. ubi fup.

Vol. III.


them. We may obferve of this Method of adjufting the Year, that it is eafy and obvious; no Depths of human Science, or Skill in Aftro nomy are requifite for the proceeding according to it: The Ifraelites could only want once in about twenty Years to lift up their Eyes, and to look into their Fields (2), and to confider before they proclaimed the Beginning of their Month Abib, whether, or how much they wanted of being white to Harveft, and this with the obferving their Sabbaths as above related, would furnish them with a Year fully answering all the Purposes of their Religion or civil Life: And this Method being thus capable of answering all Purposes without leading them to a neceffity of fixing Equinoxes, eftimating the Motions of the heavenly Bodies, or acquainting themselves with any of those Schemes of human Learning, by which the Heathen Nations were led into their Idolatries, I am the more apt to think, that this was the Method which God was pleafed by the Hand of Mofes to fuggeft to them.

I am aware of but one Point that can furnish any very material Objection to what I have offered: The Ifraelites were ordered by Mofes to keep the Beginnings of their Months as folemn Feafts, on which they were to offer fpecial Sacrifices (a), and they were to celebrate them like their other high Feftivals with blowing of Trumpets (b): And they seem to have carefully obferved this Appointment in their worft, as well as in their beft, from their ear

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