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Destruction of the Midianites.

Destruction of the Midianites.

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Published by glennpease
BY REV. C. SIMEON, M.A.



Numb. xxxi. 48 — 50. And the officers ivhich were over thou-
sands of the host, the captains of thousands, and captains of
hundreds, came near unto Moses : and they said unto Moses,
Thy servants have taken the sum of the men of war which are
under our charge, and there lacketh not one man of us. We
have therefore brought an oblation for the Lord, what every
man hath gotten, of jewels of gold, chains, and bracelets,
rings, ear-rings, tablets, to make an atonement for our souls
before the Lord.
BY REV. C. SIMEON, M.A.



Numb. xxxi. 48 — 50. And the officers ivhich were over thou-
sands of the host, the captains of thousands, and captains of
hundreds, came near unto Moses : and they said unto Moses,
Thy servants have taken the sum of the men of war which are
under our charge, and there lacketh not one man of us. We
have therefore brought an oblation for the Lord, what every
man hath gotten, of jewels of gold, chains, and bracelets,
rings, ear-rings, tablets, to make an atonement for our souls
before the Lord.

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 16, 2014
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DESTRUCTIO OF THE MIDIAITES. BY REV. C. SIMEO, M.A. umb. xxxi. 48 — 50. And the officers ivhich were over thou- sands of the host, the captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds, came near unto Moses : and they said unto Moses, Thy servants have taken the sum of the men of war which are under our charge, and there lacketh not one man of us. We have therefore brought an oblation for the Lord, what every man hath gotten, of jewels of gold, chains, and bracelets, rings, ear-rings, tablets, to make an atonement for our souls before the Lord. UMBERLESS are the occasions on which we are led to admire the condescension of God to- wards his chosen servants : and one of considerable importance occurs in the chapter before us. He had doomed Moses to die in the wilderness without ever 144 UMBERS, xxxr. 48 — 50. [129. ever setting his foot upon the promised land : and the time was nearly come for the execution of the sentence upon him. But,God graciously determined to give him an earnest of those blessings which were shortly to be poured out on the surviving generation. He therefore directed Moses to ** avenge the chil- dren of Israel of the Midianites, before he should be gathered unto his people." Moses gives immediate orders to carry into effect the divine command : but he remarkably alters the language which Jehovah had used. God had said, " Avenge the children of hrael of the Midianites :" and he says, " Avenge ike
 
Lord of Midian." The Lord marked his tender con- cern for Israel's good ; but Moses shewed a para- mount concern for the glory of his God*. Thus it is that the condescension and kindness of God should ever be received : and whilst He seeks the best inte- rests of his people, we should seek his glory above every other consideration : to that every interest of ours should be subordinated. The order being issued, a thousand from every tribe went forth to battle : (for, when God was with them, it was alike easy to subdue their enemies with many or with few :) and Phinehas, who had displayed his zeal for God in the matter of Zimri and Cozbi, was sent with them, to animate their exertions. We have no particular account of the engagement; but the consequences of it are minutely detailed, and may, not unprofitably, be distinctly considered. We notice, I. Their victory over Midian — [This was most complete. All the five kings who came out against them were slain ; and all their forces destroyed. That all Midian did not come to the battle, appears from this, that in two hundred years afterwards thcv were again a jjowerful nation : but all who engaged in this conflict were destroyed, their cities also were taken, and their fortresses demolished. '* Balaam also," who, though foiled in his former endeavours, had relumed to them, " was slain amongst them with the sword." ow this victory is instructive, whether we regard it in an historical, or typical, view. As on historical fact, it teaches us, that no power can withstand the arm of the Lord ; that, when aided • Compare ver. 2, & 3, 129»] DESTRUCTIO OF THE MIDIAXITES. 145
 
aided by him, we are infallibly sure of victory ; and that all who determinately set themselves against him shall perish. They may boast of their knowledge, and may wish to " die the death of the righteous ;" but they shall surely be numbered with the enemies of God at last. As a type, it shews us what shall ulti- mately be the fate of all our spiritual enemies. Our strength may appear as nothing in comparison of theirs j but it shall pre- vail, and our exertions be crowned with perfect victory.] 11. Their slaughter of the captives — fOn the return of the Israelites from battle, Moses went forth to meet them ; but finding that they had not slain the women with the men, but had taken them, together with the male children, captives, he was much displeased 3 and ordered them to destroy all, except the females who were virgins. Our natural compassion for the weak and helpless makes us to shudder at such an order as this : and to wonder how the soldiers could be induced to carry it into execution. But we must remember that God has a right over his creatures, to take them away at any time and in any manner that he sees fit. Whether he sweep them away by a pestilence, or cut them off by the sword, he is no more to be accused of harshness towards them, than if he take them away by the more common means of disease and age. It must be remembered too, that the women in particular had forfeited their lives by tempting the Israelites to whoredom and idolatry. Al- ready had they occasioned the destruction of 24,000 Israelites; and, if suffered to live, might have successfully renewed their for- mer practices. It was necessary therefore in that view also to cut them off, both mothers and daughters indiscriminately; all hav- ing, either by action or connivance, been accessary to Israel's ruin. As for the male children, they, though not actually in- volved in their parents' iniquities, were justly, as in almost all cases they must be, involved in their parents' punishment. With respect to the Israelites themselves, they were no more to be blamed, than any persons are who act as executioners under the orders of the Civil Magistrate. o one condemns the jury who by their verdict subject their fellow-creatures to the penalty of death ; nor the judge who pronounces sentence; nor the jailer

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