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tion to have ever been made in the numeral words, denoting these quantities.
ANOTHER plain point is, that the ac, counts left us of the earlier ages of the world, sufficiently evince them to have abounded with gold. And hence, as some learned men think, was derived the fable of the golden age. Hence the accounts left us of Midas, and Cræfus *, whose treasures of gold (to say nothing of filyer) were infinite ; of Saluces and Esubofes of, kings of Colchis, who had intire chambers of gold, beams, and posts, and pillars of filver. Hence the antient Arabs, those of Arabia Felix particularly, whose gold was purest, and in the greatest quantities, (as, Diodorus Siculus informs us, lib. 3.) bartered gold for iron. And the Macrobiž, a people of Ethiopia, bound their slaves in chains of gold, Herodotus, lib. 3. And, above all, hence those treasures of Sardanapalus I, which, from Ctefas's account of them, are almost incre
* Of whom Pliny fays, That they possessed an infinite quantity of it; in infinitum posséderunt, lib. xxii.
cap: Poliny, ibid. nofed by some of Jonah's prea dible.
I Who is supposed by some learned men, to have been king of Nineveb, at the time of Jonah's preaching.
dible. The mines of the earth were then virgin, (as Pliny observes) and many rivers gloried in golden sands, whose wealth hath long since been exhausted; and therefore we are not to judge of the wealth of those ages by our own present poverty.
Another point, which must be confessed, is this: that after David had finished his palace, and other buildings in Jerusalem, which was early in his reign, he made no considerable expence, that we know of, to the end of it; for as to the maintenance of armies, which makes the great expence of other princes, I think it seems agreed among the learned, that his cost him, in the ordinary course of things, nothing : each of the tribes supplying and supporting their own monthly courses ; and in all cases of extraordinary levies, each man's portion of the great spoils taken from the enemy, did more than compensate for their pay. So that if David had any sure fources or funds of wealth, he had great opportunities of amafling, and treasuring it up.
The next point, then, to be inquired into, is, What those sources were, from whence it was possible for David to drain so much
wealth ? And these are confessedly four : husbandry, war, trade, and tribute.
It is well known, that the wealth of the earlier ages originally consisted in the plenty and goodness of the creatures, and fruits of the earth ; from the sale of which arose, in after-ages, their artificial wealth. Nor can it be denied, that David might have abounded in this natural wealth, from the advantage of a country remarkably fruitful, and blessed beyond all others, in a rich foil, and happy climate; and that he neglected no means to improve these advantages, may fairly, I think, be collected from the account left us, (1 Chron. xxvii. 25, &c.) of the proper and distinct officers appointed by him, over his treasures and store-houses, of all sorts ; in cities, fields, villages and castles ; over the tillage of the earth, over the culture of the vineyards, and over their increase for the wine-cellars ; over the olive-trees, and sycamore-trees *, in the low plains; and over the cellars of oil ; over the herds that fed in Sharon, and over the herds in the
* Or, as the Vulgate interprets the original word, ficcta, fig-yards.
valleys ; over the camels, over the asses, and over the flocks.
FROM hence it is natural and obvious to infer, that David had a proper attention to all the parts and branches of huibandry. And it is easy to imagine, what an immense flow of wealth might be derived from this single source, in the course of thirty or forty years ; in a rich country, part bordering, and part extended, upon a sea coast, where the trade and wealth of the whole world then centred.
The next source of David's wealth, was war ; which some learned men have imagined to be so rich a one, as were singly fufficient to account for all the wealth David left behind him. . As the eastern nations abounded in gold, it is sufficiently evident, from the earliest accounts left us of those nations, that they abounded in ornaments at least of that metal, when they went to battle. This is apparent from the eighth chapter of Judges; from whence we learn, that the Midianites not only wore ear-rings of gold themselves, but likewise adorned with chains of gold, the necks of their camels. We learn also, from Numbers
xxxi. that when Israel first conquered the Midianites, the captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds, brought an oblation to God, of the spoil taken from the enemy, and such as every man amongst them had gotten, (ver. 50. and 53.) jewels of gold, chains and bracelets, rings, ear-rings, and tablets ; making in the whole fixteen thoufand seven hundred and fifty shekels. It is true, that as they took the spoil of the whole country, cities, castles,' men and women, but a finall part of this treasure can be placed to the score of the men sain in battle. But it is as true, that if the Israelite men of war, who then went to battle, offered only the five hundredth part of their share of the gold taken from Midian, as they offered only the five hundredth part of the beeves, asses, and sheep ; the treasure of gold then taken in that country amounted, in the whole, to a very great fum ; for but half of the whole fell to their share. And if this one victory brought in fo great a treasure, we may easily imagine, what immense wealth must be raised from David's many victories over nations much richer.