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Return, O Lord, unto the many thousands of Israel.' That Jehovah might have had rivals and enemies and persons who hated him, is very probable, but that the omnipotent God of Nature can have enemies, or that any human being can hate him, is utterly impossible. Those who wilfully or Blindly oppose the laws of nature, may be said to be inimical to their fellow-creatures, but they even cannot be enemies to God: for nature, being omnipotent, cannot be resisted, but all created substance must be subject to it. Jehovah was a mere tutelar deity, and cannot, by a rational mind, for a moment, be conceived to imply the God of Nature. The Jews never had any knowledge of the true God of Nature: they have always painted their Jehovah as brutal as themselves; a vengeful, spiteful, and merciless God and people. Shall the God of the Jews continue to be worshipped in the present state of society ? Forbid it nature! Forbid it humanity! Let science triumph, and idolatry be abolished.
In commencing the eleventh chapter, we find Jehovah in an ill humour, for he sends a fire among his chosen people, apparently for his own amusement, for we are only told that the people complained, and a people never complain without just cause. It will be necessary that I insert the eleventh and a few following chapters.
“ | And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord : and the Lord heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the tire of the Lord burnt among them, and consuined them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.
2. And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed upto the Lord, The fire was quenched.
3. And he called the name of the place Taberah: because the fire of the Lord burnt among them.
4. And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?
5 We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick:
6 But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, besides this manna, before our eyes.
7 And the manna was as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium.
8 And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it ir mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it; and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil.
9 And when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna' fell upon it.
10 Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the Lord was kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased.
11 And Moses said unto the Lord, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servantand wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight; tbat thou layest the burden of all this people upon me?
12 Have I conceived all this people have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest uoto their fathers ?
13 Whence should I have filesh to give unto all this people ? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat.
14 I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me.
15 And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness.
16 And the Lord said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee.
17 And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and I will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.
18 And say thou unto the people, sanctify yourselves against tomorrow, and
shall eat flesh; for ye have wept in the ears of the Lord, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for it was well with us in Egypt: therefore the Lord will give you flesh, and ye shall eat.
19. Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, por five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days;
20 But even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you; because that ye have despised the Lord which is among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt ?
21 And Moses said, the people among whom I am, are six hundred thousand footmen; and thou hast said, I will give them flesh, that they may eat a whole month.
22 Shall the flocks and the herds be slain for them, to suffice them? or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to suffice them?
28 And the Lord said unto Moses, Is the Lord's hand waxed short ? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.
24 And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the Lord, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle.
25 And the Lord came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gare it upto tbe seventy elders: and it came to pase, that, when the spirit rested upon thens, they prophesied, and did not cease.
26 But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad : and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp.
27 And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp.
28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of bis young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them.
29 And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake i would God that all the Lord's people were prophets, and that ihe Lord would put his spirit upon them.
30 And Moses gat him into the camp, he and the elders of Israel.
31 And there went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day's journey on this side, and as it were'a day's journey on ibe other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high, upon the face of the earth.
32 And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails: he that gathered least, gathered ten homers : and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp:
33 And while the fleshi was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed; the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord shiote the people with a very great plague.
34 And he called the name of that place Kibroth-bataavalı : because there they buried the people that lusted.
35 And the people journeyed from Kibroth-bataavah unto Hazeroth, and abode at Hazeroth."
This is a most extraordinary fire mentioned in the first three verses of this chapter. There is no cause of complaint stated, for in the close of last chapter, we left them on a march all good friends together. One would imagine, that Jehovah delighted in tormenting them when he had none of their enemies to torment. In the next paragraph we have a fresh complaint, with the cause of it fully stated; the want of flesh to gratify their carnal and gross appetites. Jehovah promises Moses that he will glut them with flesh, and make them eat it until it comes out at their nostrils! This is rather an indelicate expression for a God to make! Moses, however, seems to have lost somewhat of his credulity, and doubts whether it be possible to glut them with what they seem so much to crave, and expresses a fear that the priesthood will be deprived of the cattle for sa
crifice if this takes place. In consequence of this doubt of Moses, Jehovah grows angry with him also, and deprives him of his wonted power, and shares it among some of the elders of the people." Moses expresses satisfaction at this : but the tale is so dark and ridiculous, that it is difficult to apply any sense or meaning to it. It is in some measure the counterpart, or a tale differently told, to that in Exodus, 16th chapter; there we are told that quails were to be sent as regular as the manna, and that they were to eat the flesh in the evening and the manna in the morning. In this chapter we are told that they complain because they have nothing but manna, whilst in the book of Exodus we were told, that manna seemed to them as every kind of food that their appetites could desire. However, quails are again sent, and they are not allowed to eat them for a month, as the early part of the chapter mentioned, but no sooner did they begin to tear the flesh with their teeth, than a plague seized them. This is a complete Jewish tale, stupid and contradictory!
There is a most glaring inconsistency in this tale about the Israelites clamouring for want of flesh, after reading of the immense number of every species of cattle, used for food, which they are instructed to sacrifice to Jehovah. Every year the Passover was to be observed, which might be supposed, at least, to require 600,000 lambs.' Dr. Adam Clark says, that “At the public charge, there was annually offered to God, independently of trespass offerings and voluntary vows, 15 goats, 21 kids, 72 rams, 132 bullocks, and 1,101 lambs." Jehovah must have had a rare appetite for animal food! I should rather think that he soon died of the gout, if he ever consumed as much as is here stated! The reader should recollect that this account has nothing to do with all those offerings, where and when the priests ate the choice parts, and threw away, or burnt the offal and coarse pieces! Yet amidst all this consumption of animal food, we are told that the Israelites clamoured for want of flesh, and we have not the slightest account that they brought a single animal out of Egypt, and if they had, the country through which they passed, would not have supported them. This is not the least of the Bible contradictions, and every rational mind must receive the impression, that in the tale of this journey through the wilderness, there are utter impossibilities related, independent of the miracles. What a flock of sheep must it have been to furnish 600,000 lambs every year for the feast of the Passover!
I proceed to the lwelfth chapter:
" And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses, because of the Ethiopian woman who had married; for he had married an Ethiopiao wo
2 And they said, haih the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? Hath he not spoken also by us? And the Lord heard it.
3 (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)
4 And the Lord spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation; and they three came out.
5 And the Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth.
6 And le said, hear now my words; if there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto hini in a dream.
7 My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.
8. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses ?
9 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them; and be departed.
10 And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle ; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.
ji And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord! I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned.
12 Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother's womb.
13 And Moses cried unto the Lord, saying, heal ber now, O God, I beseech thee..
14 And the Lord said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days ? Let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again.
15 And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again.
16 And afterward the people removed from Hazeroth, and pitched in the wilderness of Paran."
(To be Continued.)
Priated by J. Carlile, 55, Fleet-street,