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presented the warlike deities, Mars or Minerva ; but, after the extinction of the commonwealth, the effigies of the emperors and their favourites: it was on this account that the standards were called numina legionum, and held in religious veneration. The standards of different divisions had certain letters inscribed on them to distinguish the one from the other. The standard of a legion, according to Dio, was a silver eagle with expanded wings, on the top of a spear, sometimes holding a thunderbolt in its claws; hence the word aquila was used to signify a legion. The place for this standard was near the general, almost in the centre. Before the time of Marius figures of other animals were used. The vexillum, or flag of the cavalry, was, according to Livy, a square piece of cloth, fixed to a cross bar at the end of a spear." These flags had sometimes fringes and ribands, and were used less restrictedly than Dr. Meyrick seems to state. The divisions of a legion had also their particular ensigns, sometimes simply attached to the end of a spear, but sometimes fixed below the images. An infantry flag was red: a cavalry one, blue : and that of a consul, white. As the Roman standard is in the New Testament mentioned distinctly as “the abomination of desolation,” we have here noticed them particularly under the general subject. As to the hand on the Roman standard, we may observe that at this day the flag.staff of the Persians terminates in a silver hand, as that of the Turks does in a crescent. After Trajan's conquest of the Dacians, the Romans adopted as a trophy the dragon, which was a general ensign among barbarians. The dragons were embroidered in cotton, silk, or purple. Mention is also made of pinna, which seem to have been aigrettes of feathers of different colours, intended for signals or rallying points. Animals also, fixed upon plinths, with holes through them, are often found; and were ensigns intended to be placed upon the ends of spears. In the East, the use of standards fixed upon cars seems to have been long continued. We have observed that this was an usage in ancient Persia, and at a period long subsequent we find it existing among the Saracens: Turpin, in his 'History of Charlemagne,' mentions it as belonging to them. He says, “In the midst of them was a waggon drawn by eight horses, upon which was raised their red banner. Such was its influence, that while the banner remained erect no one would ever fly from the field.” (See Meyrick, vol. i. p. 50.) This custom was afterwards introduced into Europe, and found its way to England in the reign of King Stephen; after which the main standard was borne, sometimes at least, on a carriage with four wheels. The main standard of Henry V., at the battle of Agincourt, was borne thus upon a car, being too heavy to be carried otherwise,

After this rapid glance at ancient standards, it remains to ask, to which of all these classes of ensigns that of the Hebrews approached the nearest? We readily confess that we do not know: but the Rabbins, who profess to know every thing, are very particular in their information on the subject. They leave out of view the ensigns which distinguished the subdivisions of a tribe, and confine their attention to the tribe-standards; and in this it will be well to follow their example. They by no means agree among themselves ; but the view which they most generally entertain is illustrated by the cut prefixed to this chapter, which is in accordance with the prevailing notion among the Jewish interpreters. They suppose that the standards were flags, bearing figures derived from the comparisons used by Jacob in his final prophetic blessing on his sons. Thus they have Judah represented by a lion, Dan by a serpent, Benjamin by a wolf, &c. But, as long since observed by Sir Thomas Browne (Vulgar Errors,' book v. ch. x.), the escutcheons of the tribes, as determined by these ingenious triflers, do not in every instance correspond with any possible interpretation of Jacob's prophecy, nor with the analogous prophecy of Moses, when about to die. The later Jews were of opinion that, with respect to the four grand divisions, the standard of the camp of Judah represented a lion ; that of Reuben, a man ; that of Joseph, an ox ; and that of Dan, an eagle: this was under the conception that the appearances in the cherubic vision of Ezekiel alluded to this division. The Targumists, however, believe that the banners were distinguished by their colours, the colour for each tribe being analogous to that of the precious stone, for that tribe, in the breast-plate of the high-priest ; and that the great standard of each of the four camps combined the three colours of the tribes which composed it. They add, that the names of the tribes appeared on the standards, together with a particular sentence from the law; and were moreover charged with appropriate representations, is of the lion for Judah, &c. Aben Ezra and other Rabbins agree with the Targumists in other respects, but put in other representations than the latter assign. Lastly, the Cabbalists have an opinion that the bearings of the twelve standards corresponded with the months of the year and the signs of the zodiac-the supposed characters of the latter being represented thereon; and that the distinction of the great standards was, that they bore the cardinal signs of Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn, and were also charged with each one letter of the tetragrammaton, or quadraliteral name of God. Thus much for Rabbinical interpretation. Most modern expositors seem to incline to the opinion that the ensigns were flags, distinguished by their colours, or by the name of the tribe to which each belonged. This is certainly as probable in itself as anything that can be offered ; unless the instances we have given from the early practice of other nations do not lead to the conclusion that flags were not the earliest but the ultimate form which standards assumed. We have in most instances seen them preceded by any object that would serve for a distinguishing mark-such as leathern aprons, wisps of hay, pieces of armour, and horse-tails; then by metallic symbols and images, combined sometimes with feathers, tassels, and fringes; and then plain or figured flags, of linen or silk. Besides, the interprepation we have cited is founded on the hypothesis that all sculpture, painting, and other arts of design were forbidden to the Hebrews; and as we are not quite prepared to admit the existence of such a prohibition, we do not feel absolutely bound, unless on its intrinsic probability, to receive an explanation which takes it for granted.


Verse 3. “ Camp.”—This is the only regular description of an encampment which the Bible contains ; but, from incidental allusions, we may gather that the camps which the Hebrews in after-times formed in their mil tary operations, differed in several respects from the present, the admirable arrangement of which is easily perceived, although some difference of opinion exists as to a few of the details. The diagram below will exhibit the apparent order better than a verbal description, however minute. It is thus seen that the camp was formed in a quadrangle, having on each side three tribes under one general standard. How these tribes were placed with regard to each other is not very clear; some fix the leading tribe in the centre, and the two others on each side ; but the description seems rather to indicate that the leading tribe extended along the whole exterior line, and that the two other tribes pitched beside each other, within. The only other alternative seems to be, to suppose that the two minor tribes also extended in full line, the last tribe mentioned in each division, being the innermost. The collective encampment enclosed a large open square, in the centre of which stood the tabernacle. The position which the tabernacle thus occupied still remains the place of honour in grand Oriental camps, and is usually occupied by the tent of the king or general. The distance between it and the common camp was indicative of respect; what the distance was we are not told, except by the Rabbins, who say that it was two thousand cubits, and apparently ground this statement upon Josh. iii. 4. The interval was not however wholly vacant, being occupied by the small camps of the Levites, who had the charge and custody

of the tabernacle, and pitched their tents around it; the tents of Moses, Aaron and the priests, occupying the most honourable place, fronting the entrance to the tabernacle, or rather to the court which contained it. The Jewish writers say that the circumference of the entire encampment was about twelve miles; a statement which would seem sufficiently moderate when we recollect the hollow square in the centre, and consider the vast extent of ground required for the tents of two millions of people. This regular and admirable arrangement of so vast a host, under their ensigns, around the tabernacle, must have given a most striking and impressive appearance to the camp, as viewed from the hills. We know the effect which the view of it produced upon one person, who did view it from the hills, and then broke forth in rapture, exclaiming, “ How goodly are they tents, o Jacob! and thy tabernacles, O Israel! As the valleys are they spread forth, as the trees of lign aloes which the Lord hath planted, and as cedar trees beside the waters.” (Num. xxiv. 5, 6.)

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Aaron, the priests which were anointed,

'whom he consecrated to minister in the 1 The sons of Aaron. 5 The Levites are given to the priests for the service of the tabernacle, 11 in

priest's office. stead of the firstborn. 14 The Levites are num

* 4 *And Nadab and Abihu died before bered by their families. 21 The families, number, the LORD, when they offered strange fire and charge of the Gershonites, 27 of the Kohath before the LORD, in the wilderness of Sinai,

tes, 33 of the Merarites. 38 The place and charge of Moses and Aaron. 40 The firstborn are freed

and they had no children: and Eleazar and by the Levites. 44 The overplus are redeemed.

Ithamar ministered in the priest's office in

the sight of Aaron their father. These also are the generations of Aaron and 5 | And the LORD spake unto Moses, Moses in the day that the LORD spake with saying, Moses in niount Sinai.

6 Bring the tribe of Levi near, and pre2 And these are the names of the sons | sent them before Aaron the priest, that they of Aaron; Nadab the 'firstborn, and Abihu, may minister unto him. Eleazar, and Ithamar.

Ť And they shall keep his charge, and 3 These are the names of the sons of the charge of the whole congregation before 1 Exod, 6. 23. ? Heb. whose hand he filled. Levit. 10. 1. Chap 26.6). Chron. 24. 2.

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the tabernacle of the congregation, to do in the land of Egypt I hallowed unto me the service of the tabernacle.

all the firstborn in Israel, both man and 8 And they shall keep all the instru- beast: mine shall they be: I am the LORD. ments of the tabernacle of the congregation, 14 | And the LORD spake unto Moses in and the charge of the children of Israel, to the wilderness of Sinai, saying, do the service of the tabernacle.

15 Number the children of Levi after the 9 And thou shalt give the Levites unto house of their fathers, by their families: Aaron and to his sons: they are wholly every male from a month old and upward given unto him out of the children of Israel. shalt thou number them.

10 And thou shalt appoint Aaron and | 16 And Moses numbered them according his sons, and they shall wait on their priest's to the Sword of the LORD, as he was comoffice: and the stranger that cometh nigh manded. shall be put to death.

17 And these were the sons of Levi by 11 And the Lord spake unto Moses, their names; Gershon, and Kohath, and saying,

Merari. 12 And I, behold, I have taken the Le-! 18 And these are the names of the sons vites from among the children of Israel in- of Gershon by their families; Libni, and stead of all the firstborn that openeth the Shimei. matrix among the children of Israel: there- 19 And the sons of Kohath by their fafore the Levites shall be mine;

milies; Amram, and Izehar, Hebron, and 13 Because all the firstborn are mine; | Uzziel. *for on the day that I smote all the firstborn 20 And the sons of Merari by their fami• Exod. 13, 3: Levit. 87. 36. Chap. 8. 16. Luke 3: 28. Heb. mouth. Gen. 46. 11. Exod, 6. 16. Chap. 26. 57. 1 Chron. 6. 1.

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lies ; Mahli, and Mushi. These are the , about, and the cords of it for all the service families of the Levites according to the house thereof. of their fathers.

27 9 And of Kohath was the family of 21 Of Gershon was the family of the Lib- the Amramites, and the family of the Izenites, and the family of the Shimites: these harites, and the family of the Hebronites, are the families of the Gershonites.

and the family of the Uzzielites: these are 22 Those that were numbered of them, the families of the Kohathites. according to the number of all the males, 28 In the number of all the males, from a from a month old and upward, even those month old and upward, were eight thousand that were numbered of them were seven and six hundred, keeping the charge of the thousand and five hundred.

sanctuary. 23 The families of the Gershonites shall 29 The families of the sons of Kohath pitch behind the tabernacle westward. | shall pitch on the side of the tabernacle

24 And the chief of the house of the southward. father of the Gershonites shall be Eliasaph 30' And the chief of the house of the the son of Lael.

father of the families of the Kohathites shall 25 And the charge of the sons of Gershon be Elizaphan the son of Uzziel. in the tabernacle of the congregation shall | 31 And their charge shall be the ark, and be the tabernacle, and the tent, the covering the table, and the candlestick, and the altars, thereof, and the hanging for the door of the and the vessels of the sanctuary wherewith tabernacle of the congregation,

they minister, and the hanging, and all the 26 And the hangings of the court, and service thereof. the curtain for the door of the court, which 32 And Eleazar the son of Aaron the is by the tabernacle, and by the altar round | priest shall be chief over the chief of the

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