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there they pitched their tents. Whether it was by day or by night that the cloud was taken up, they journeyed. Or whether it were two days, or a month, or a year, that the cloud tarried upon the tabernacle, remaining thereon, the children of Israel abode in their tents and

journeyed not." The order of their march was as follows:-First, in honour and in place, was the standard of the tribe of Judah. With them were marshalled Issachar and Zebulun. The tabernacle was now taken down and committed to the sons of Moses, Gershom, and Merari, whose duty it was to set it up, against the arrival of the sanctuary. Then came the tribes of Reuben, Simeon, and Gad. After these "the Kohathites set forward bearing the sanctuary." Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin followed; and the rereward was formed by the tribes of Dan, Asher, and Naphtali, And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, Lord, and let

thine enemies be scattered;

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and let them

that hate thee flee before thee. And

when it rested, he said, Return, O Lord, unto the many thousands of Israel1." Thus they proceed and arrive, in little more than two months, at Kadeshbarnea.

Since they had now drawn near to Canaan, Moses, with his usual confidence in the divine promises, exhorts the people "to go up and possess it, as the Lord God of their fathers had said unto them 2." But the Jews, contrary to this advice, desire to send men to spy out the land, and to bring them word again. By the command of God their request is complied with; and twelve men, one out of each tribe, are sent on this errand. These persons having penetrated as far as Hebron, return, after an absence of forty days, bearing with them the most satisfactory evidences of the fruitfulness of the country." And they came to Moses, and told him, and said, we came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey.

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Never

2 Deut. i. 21.

theless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled and very great and moreover we saw the children of Anak there 1." Fearful, and dispirited at the report of the dangers to be encountered, and unallured by the prospect of future abundance and enjoyment, the people murmur against Moses and Aaron, resolve immediately to elect another captain, and return into Egypt 2. So deep was their despair, so violent their rebellion, that they attempt to stone Caleb and Joshua, who alone had given a favourable report of the land, and had endeavoured, by reanimating their courage, to induce them to go up and possess it.

In anger at this unprovoked revolt against his supremacy, this unwarranted doubting of his word and power, this continual contempt of "all the signs and wonders which he had showed among them," this utter faithlessness and perversity, the Lord again proposes to "dis

1 Numb. xiii. 27, 28.

2 Chap. xiv. 4.

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inherit" the whole nation, and to smite them with the pestilence; again offers to adopt Moses, to make him the root of another people greater and mightier than they." But still Moses intercedes, still he uses the same argument which had prevailed before; "The Egyptians shall hear it, and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. Then the nations which have heard the fame of thee will speak, saying, Because the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land which he sware unto them, therefore he hath slain them in the wilderness. His intercession prevails. He is heard this time also. Yet he cannot ob

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tain an absolute pardon. Their offences have now been too great, too often repeated. They have filled up the measure of their iniquities, and henceforth "no place is found for repentance, though they sought it carefully with tears 1." They had "refused him that spake on earth," and "afterward when they would

1 Heb. xii. 17.

have inherited the blessing, they were rejected." The Almighty prefaces his decree with the memorable expression, "I have pardoned according to thy word: but as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord." Upon this, Moses is commissioned to denounce to the people their punishment, which is indeed extraordinary. He declares to them that they should continue under his command, even against their inclinations; that they should neither return to Egypt, nor go to the land of Canaan; but, that they should be cut off from all intercourse with mankind for forty years, "each day for a year, according to the number of the days in which they searched the land," until every individual among them, from twenty years old and upward, every one, in fact, capable of raising his arm in rebellion, or his voice in murmuring, should perish and "leave his carcase in the wilderness."

When "Moses told these sayings unto all the children of Israel they mourned greatly." Bitter indeed must this sen

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