the lamps were trimmed. The priest took some of the sacred fire
in a golden bowl, or censer, off the altar of burnt-offering ; then,
entering the holy place, he threw the incense upon it and placed
it upon the golden altar. He then prayed and performed the oth-
er duties of his office, while the people prayed outside ; and thus
was typified the intercession of Christ in heaven making His peo-
ple's prayers on earth acceptable.
2. The Table of Shew-bread was an oblong table, with legs, about
3 feet long, 18 inches broad, and 27 inches high. It was of shittim-
wood, covered with gold, and its top was finished with u rim of gold.
Upon this table were placed twelve cakes of fine flour, in two rows
f the Altar of Inceiue.
96 SCRIPTURE HISTORY. CHAP. VII.
of six each, with frankincense upon each row. This /S^ew-bread, as
it was called, from being exposed before Jehovah, was placed fresh
upon the table every Sabbath by the priests, who ate the old loaves
in the holy place (Lev. xxiv. 5-9). Besides the show-bread there
was a drink-offeriny of wine placed in the covered bowls upon the
table. Some of it was used for libations, and what remained at the
snd of the week was poured out before Jehovah.
3. The Golden Candlestick, or rather Candelabrum (lamp-stand),
was placed on the left or south side of the altar of incense. It was
made of pure beaten gold, and weighed, with its instruments, a
talent; the value of the pure metal, exclusive of the workmanship,
has been estimated at 5076. It had an upright stem, from which
branched out, at equal distances apart, three arms curving upward
to the right and to the left, each pair forming a semicircle, and
their tops coming to the same level as the top of the stem, so as to
form with it supports for seven lamps. There were oil vessels and
snuffers for trimming the seven lamps, and dishes for carrying away
the snuff, an office performed by the priest when he went into the
sanctuary every morning to offer incense. All the lamps were
lighted at the time of the evening oblation, and were kept burning
during the night. As there were no windows to the tabernacle, the
central lamp was alight in the day-time also. This candlestick
symbolized the spiritual light of life, which God gives to his serv-
ants with the words by which they live (Exod. xxv. 31-40).
(iii.) In the Holy of Holies.
In the Holy of Holies, within the vail, and shrouded in darkness,
there was but one object, the most sacred of all. There stood the
Ark of the Covenant, or the Testimony a sort of chest nearly four
feet long, and a little over two feet in width and height. It was
of shittim-wood, overlaid with gold within and without. It was
enriched with a rim of gold round the top. The cover of the ark
was a plate of pure gold. Standing erect upon it, at opposite ends,
with their faces bent down and their wings meeting, were the cher-
nbim, winged figures made of beaten gold. This covering was the
rery throne of God, and was called the mercy-seat. Hence God
Is said to have dwelt between the cherubim. Inclosed within the
ark were the two tables of stone, inscribed with the Ten Command-
ments, and, in the fact that God's throne of mercy covered and hid
the tables of the law, we may see a foreshadowing of the coming
dispensation of the Gospel (Exod. xxv. 10-22).
Probably there never was so small a structure made at such an
immense cost. As the quantities of the precious metals used in its
construction are stated, some idea can be formed of its surpassing
L.-HAP. VII. HISTORY OP THE TABERNACLE. tf7
richness. The value of the materials, and of the skill and labor
employed in the work, can not have been much less than a quarter
of a million sterling.
HISTORY OF THE TABERNACLE.
As /ojg as Canaan remained un-
canqnered, and the people were still
therefore an army, the Tabernacle
was probably moved from place to
place, wherever the host of Israel was
for the time encamped. It rested
finally at " the place which the Lord
had chosen," at SIIILOH (Josh. ix. 27 ;
xviii. 1). The Ark of God was taken
by the Philistines, and the sanctuary
lost its glory ; and the Tabernacle,
though it did not perish, never again
recovered it (1 Sam. iv. 22). Samuel
treats it as an abandoned shrine, and
sacrifices elsewhere, at Mizpeh (vii.
9), at Ramah (ix. 12, : x. 3), at Gilgal
(x. 8 ; xi. 15). It probably became
once again a movable sanctuary. For
a time it seems, under Saul, to have
been settled at NOB (xxi. 1-0). The
massacre of the priests and the flight
of Abiathar must, however, have rob-
bed it yet farther of its glory. It had
before lost the Ark : it now lost the
presence of the high-priest (xxii. 20 ;
xxiii. 6). In some way or other, it
found its way to Gibeon (1 Chron.
xvi. 39) ; and while the Ark remained
at Kirjath-jearim, the Tabernacle at
Gibeou connected itself with the wor-
ship of the high places (1 Kings iii.
4). The capture of Jerusalem and the
erection there of a new Tabernacle,
with the Ark, of which the old had
been deprived (2 Sam. vi. 17 ; 1 Chron.
xv. 1), left it little more than a tra-
ditional, historical sanctity. It re-
tained only the old altar of burnt-of-
ferings (xxi. 9). The double service
went on ; Zadok, as high-priest, of-
ficiated at Gibeon (xvi. 39) ; the more
recent, more prophetic service of
psalms and hymns and music, under
Asnph, gathered round the Taber-
nncle at Jerusalem (xvi. 4, 37). The
divided worship continued all the
days of David. The sanctity of both
places was recognized by Solomon
on his accession (1 Kings, iii. 15 ; 2
Chron. i. 3), till the claims of both
merged in the higher glory of the
Temple, and the Tabernacle, with all
its holy vessels, was removed by Sclo-
mou to Jerusalem (1 Kings viii. 4)
THE PRIESTS AND LEVITES.
AFTER this description of the tabernacle and its furniture, w<j
nmst now give some account of those who performed its services.
The whole of the people were holy, and, in a spiritual sense, they
were a nation of priests, but from among them the tribe of Levi
were chosen, as the reward of their devotion in the matter of the
golden calf (Exod. xxxii. 28), to be the immediate attendants on Je.
hovah, that they might " minister in His courts." Out of that trib*
the house of Amram was selected, in particular, to perform the funo
98 SCRIPTUKE HISTORY. CHAP, VII.
tions of the priesthood. Aaron, as the head of that house, became
the HIGH-PRIEST the intercessor between Jehovah and His people :
his sons became the Priests, who alone could offer sacrifices, and
the rest of the tribe formed the class of Levites who assisted in the
services of the tabernacle.
I. The HIGH-PRIEST was distinguished from the other priests by
superior and characteristic functions.
1 . In the consecration to the office, the anointing oil was poured
upon Aaron's head to sanctify him alone (Levit. viii. 12); but in
the anointing of his sons, i. e., the common priests, it was sprinkled
ttpon their garments only (Exod. xxix. 21).
2. The high-priest had an official dress, which passed to his
successor at his death. This dress consisted of eight parts the
breast-plate, the e/ihod with its curious girdle, the robe of the ephod,
the mitre, the broidered coat, and the girdle the materials being
gold, blue, red, crimson, and fine (white) linen. To the above arc
added the breeches, or drawers, of linen, and, to make up the num-
ber eight, some reckon the curious girdle of the ephod separately
from the ephod. Among the most remarkable of these articles was
the breast-plate, in which were set twelve precious stones, in four
rows, three in a row, thus corresponding to the Twelve Tribes, each
stone having the name of one tribe engraved upon it. It was these
stones which probably constituted the Urim (light) and Thummim
(perfection) (Exod. xxviii. 15-21).
3. The high-priest had peculiar functions. He alone was per-
mitted to enter the Holy of Holies, which he did once a year, on the
great day of atonement, when he sprinkled the blood of the sin-of-
fering on the mercy-seat, and burnt incense within the vail. He
was also forbidden to follow a funeral, or rend his clothes for the
The Epistle to the Hebrews sets forth the mystic meaning of his
office, as a type of Christ, our great High'Priest, who has passed
into the heaven of heavens with his own blood, to appear in the
presence of God for us (Heb. iv. 14).
II. THE PRIESTS. All the sons of Aaron were priests. They
stood between the high-priest, on the one hand, and the Levites on
the other. In all their acts of ministration they were to be bare-
footed. Before they entered the tabernacle they were to wash their
hands and their feet, and during the time of their service they were
to drink no wine or strong drink. Their chief duties were to watch
over the fire on the altar of burnt-offerings, and to keep it constant-
ly burning both by day and night ; to feed the lamps in the golden
candlestick outside the vail with oil ; to offer the morning and even-
ing sacrifices, each accompanied with a meat-offering and a drink'
II. SACRIFICES AND OBLATIONS. 99
offering at the door of the tabernacle. They were also to teach the
children of Israel the statutes of the Lord (Lev. x. 11).
III. The LEVITES were the assistants of the priests, and included
all the males of the tribe of Levi who were not of the family of
Aaron, between thirty and fifty years of age. They had to carry
the tabernacle and its vessels, to keep watch about the sanctuary,
to prepare the supplies of corn, wine, oil, and so forth, and to take
charge of the sacred treasures and revenues. On the settlement of
the Israelites in the Promised Land, no territorial possessions were
given to the Levites. In place of them they received from the other
tribes the tithe of the produce of the land, from which they, in their
turn, offered a tithe to the priests. Forty-eight cities were assigned
to the whole tribe, that is, on an average, four in the territory of
cacti tribe ; thirteen being given to the priests, and the rest to the
SACRIFICES AND OBLATIONS."
THESE were to be offered as a perpetual memorial of Jehovah's
covenant with the people, as an acknowledgment of His mercies,
and as an atonement for sin. The distinction between sacrifices
and oblations consisted in this that in the former the thing offered
was wholly or partially destroyed, as being Jehovah's only ; in the
latter, it was acknowledged to be His gift, and then enjoyed by the
The sacrifices are divided into burnt-offerings, with the accom-
panying meat-offerings (meat=food in general, especially corn and
flour); peace-offerings, sin-offerings, for sins committed ignorantly;
and trespass-offerings, for sins committed knowingly.
I. The KURNT-OFFERING, or perfect sacrifice, was so called because
the victim was wholly consumed by fire upon the altar of burnt-
offering, and so, as it were, sent up to God on the wings of fire. It
was a memorial of God's covenant, and signified that the offerer
belonged wholly to God, and that he dedicated himself soul and
body to Him, and placed his life at His disposal. Burnt-offerings
were either made on behalf of the whole people, or by one or more
individuals, who must bring them of their own free will (Lov. i. ; vi.
8-13). Only three kinds of animals might be offered, and they must
be free from disease or blemish ; either (1) a young bullock of not
less than one, nor more than three years ; (2) a lamb or kid, a male
of the first year ; (3) turtle-doves or young pigeons. Burnt-offerings
were made on the following occasions :
100 SCRIPTURE HISTORY. CHAP. VIL
1. The Daily Sacrifice of a yearling lamb or kid was offered at the
times of morning and evening prayer, before the priest went into the
tabernacle to burn )m:ense.
2. The Sabbath. Burnt-offering was the daily sacrifice doubled
(Numb, xxviii. 9, 10).
3. The burnt-offerings at the Festivals of the New Moon, the three
great feasts, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Trumpets, were
generally two bullocks, a ram, and seven lambs (Numb, xxviii. 11 ;
4. Private burnt-offerings prescribed by the law at the consecration
of priests, the purification of women, the removal of leprosy, or other
ceremonial uncleanness, the performance or the accidental breach
of the vow of a Nazarite.
II. The MEAT-OFFERING and the DRINK-OFFERING always accom-
panied the burnt-offering, for which, indeed, the meat-offering might
be substituted by the poor. As the burnt-offering signified the con-
secration of life to God, so in the meat-offering the produce of the
land was presented before Him as being His gift, in both cases with
the devout acknowledgment, " Of Thine own have we given Thee"
(I Chron. xxix. 14).
III. The PEACE-OFFERING was not an atoning sacrifice to make
peace with God, but a joyful celebration of peace made through the
covenant. In this part of the ritual we see Jehovah, as it were,
present in His house, and inviting the worshipper to feast with Him
Peace-offerings were presented either as a thanksgiving, or in fulfill-
ment of a vow, or as a free-will offering of love and joy. Only
a part was burnt upon the altar, and was thus offered to Jehovah ;
the breast and the shoulder were the portion of the priests ; the rest
might be eaten by the worshipper.
IV. The SIN-OFFERING was an expiatory sacrifice for sins of igno-
rance, committed either by a priest or by any of the people ; and also
as a purification from possible sin and nncleanness in general. For
each of these cases special victims were to be offered with special
ceremonies (Lev. vi. 24-30).
V. TRESPASS-OFFERINGS were for sins committed knowingly, as
well as for acts of ceremonial uncleanness. They are not very
clearly distinguished from sin-offerings.
VI. OBLATIONS are not clearly distinguished from those sacrifices
which were in the nature of gifts; the following may be mentioned
1. The skew-bread and incense, which were perpetually offered in
the holy place.
2. Free oblations, the fruits of vows and promises.
3. Prescribed oblations namely, (i.) The Jirst-fruits of corn, of-
CHAP. VII. THE HOLINESS OF THE PEOPLE. 101
fered on the day of Pentecost, and of wine, oil, and wool ; (ii.) The
Jirst-born of man and beast ; (iii.) Tithes of the produce of the
THE HOLINESS OF THE PEOPLE.
THE holiness of the people was a principle as sacred as the con.
secration of the priests. It was enforced upon the Jews by ceremo-
nies and restrictions reaching to every detail of their daily lives. It
is the central subject of the book of Leviticus, which, after setting
forth in its earlier portion the laws of sacrifice, next proceeds to es-
tablish the holiness and purity of the people in person, act, speech,
The following institutions were founded upon this principle :
1. Circumcision (Lev. xii. 3). As this rite had been enjoined at
a very early period, its repetition in the later books was unneces-
sary (Gen. xvii. 10-14).
2. The Dedication of the First-born of men and beasts, and tho
offering of the first-fruits of all produce (Exod. xiii. 2 ; Deut. xxvi.
3. The Preservation of personal Purity (Lev. xviii.-xx.). The
law of Moses, like that of Christ, takes cognizance of sins against a
man's own self, from that principle of holiness to God which is so
emphatically laid down by tho Apostle Paul (Rom. vi. 12, 13). It
enacted various provisions for purification, which were to be OD-
Berved both by priests and people in divine worship, and also in
cases of personal uncleanness and of leprosy (Lev. xi.-xiii.).
4. The distinction between clean and unclean animals for food as
well ns sacrifice. Though these laws may have had some reference
to the preservation of health, yet their first signification was a re-
5. The Laws against jiersonal Disfigurement, by shaving the head
and cutting the flesh, especially as an act of mourning (Lev. xix. 27,
6. The Provisions for the Poor, regarded ns brethren in the
common bond of the covenant of God. (Meanings in the field and
vineyard were their legal right (Lev. xix. 9, 10) ; slight trespass was
allowed, such as plucking corn while passing through a field (Ueut.
xxiii. 25); wages were to be paid day by day; loans might not be
refused, nor usury taken from an Israelite; no partiality was to be
shown between rich and poor in dispensing justice (Lev. xix. 15);
and beside* nil this, there are the most urgent injunctions to kindness
102 SCRIPTURE HISTORY. CHAP. VII.
to the poor, the widow, and the orphan, and the strongest denuncia-
tion of all oppression (Deut. xv. 7-11).
7. And great care was taken to enforce humanity in general. If
a slave died under chastisement, his master was punishable ; if he
were maimed, he was at once to have his liberty (Exod. xxi. 20, 26,
27). Runaway slaves from foreign nations were not to be given
up (Deut. xxiii. 15), and stealing and selling a man "was punished
with death (Exod. xxi. 16). The law "even cared for oxen," de-
claring, "thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the
corn " (Deut. xxv. 4). It went farther, and provided against wanton
cruelty, by adding such precepts as those which forbade the parent
bird to be captured with its young, or the kid to be boiled in it?
mother's milk (Deut. xxii. 6, 7 ; Exod. xxxiv. 26).
THE SACRED SEASONS.
THE religious times ordained in the law fall under three heads i
i. Those connected with the institution of the Sabbath namely,
1. The weekly Sabbath itself.
2. The Feast of the New Moon.
3. The Sabbatical Month and the Feast of Trumpets.
4. The Sabbatical Year.
5. The Year of Jubilee.
ii. The three great historical festivals namely,
1. The Passover.
2. The Feast of Pentecost.
3. The Feast of Tabernacles.
iii. The Day of Atonement.
To these must be added the festivals established after the captiv*
ity namely, (1) the Feast of Purim or Lots, (2) the Feast of
i. FESTIVALS CONNECTED WITH THE SABBATH.
1 The SABBATH is so named from a Hebrew word signifying rest
The consecration of the Sabbath goes back to the creation: "And
God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it " (Gen. ii. 3). The
intervals between Noah's sending forth the birds out of the ark lead
us to infer its observance from the earliest period. That this was
one of the institutions adopted by Moses from the ancient patriarchal
usage is implied in the very words of the law, ''Remember the Sab-
CHAP. VII. THE HOLINESS OF THE PEOPLE. 103
bath day to keep it holy." It was to be a sacred pause in the or-
dinary labor by which man earns his bread a season of joyful rest
and recreation in communion with God, who himself " rested and
was refreshed " (Exod. xxxi. 17). The commandment was not in-
tended to impose idleness, but to prohibit work for worldly gain.
The Sabbath is named as a day of special worship in the sanctuary
(Lev. xix. 30). It was proclaimed as a holy convocation, a feast of
the Lord (Lev. xxiii. 3). The public religious services consisted in
the doubling of the morning and evening sacrifice, and the renewal
of the shew-bread in the holy place. On this day the people were
accustomed to consult their prophets (2 Kings iv. 23). It was " the
Sabbath of Jehovah," not only in the sanctuary but " in all their
2. The FEAST OF THE NEW MOON marked the completion of the
lunai month. On the first sight of her new crescent the announce-
ment was made to Israel by the sounding of two sacred silver
trumpets (Numb. x. 10). The day was not kept as a Sabbath, but
observed as a festival. Besides the daily sacrifice, a burnt-offering
was made of two bullocks, a ram, and seven lambs, with a meat
and drink offering, and a goat for a sin-offering. This is one of the
feasts left by the apostle to Christian liberty (Col. ii. 16).
3. The SABBATICAL MONTH and the FEAST OF TRUMPETS. The
month of Tisri, the first of the civil but the seventh of the sacred
year, had a kind of Sabbatic character (Lev. xxiii. 24). The calen-
dar was so arranged that the first day of this month fell on a Sabbath.
This, the civil New- Year's day, was ushered in by the blowing of
trumpets, and hence was called the Feast of Trumpets. It was a
holy convocation, and it had its special sacrifices in addition to those
of other new moons. On the tenth of this month, ihe great Day of
Atonement was kept ; and from the fifteenth to the twenty-second
of the month, th 3 Feast of Tabernacles, the greatest of the whole
year, was celebrated. AH the great festivals were observed within a
Sabbatic cycle of seven months.
4. The SABBATICAL YEAR. As each seventh day and each sev-
enth month were holy, so was each seventh year. As the land
belonged to Jehovah, so also was it to keep its Sabbath to Him. It
was to be a season of rest for all, and of especial kindness to the
poor. The land was not to be sown, nor the vineyards and olive-
yards dressed ; no fruit or produce of any kind was to be gathered
from the soil, but all was to be left for the poor, the slave, the
stranger, and the cattle (Exod. xxiii. 10, 11). The Sabbatical year
is also called the "year of release," because in it creditors were
bound to release poor debtors from their obligations (Deut. xv. 1, 2).
The release of a Hebrew slave took place likewise in this yean as
104 SCRIPTURE HISTORY. CHAP. VII.
well as in the seventh year of his captivity (Deut. xv. 12-18). The
observance of the Sabbatical year was neglected from the very first,
and it was one of the national sins which were punished by the
5. The YEAR OF JUBILEE occurred every fiftieth year, coming,
therefore, after a series of seven Sabbatic years. It completed each
half-century. Its beginning was on the tenth of the seventh month
(Tisri), the great Day or Atonement. After the sacrifices of that
solemn day were ended, the trumpet of jubilee pealed forth its joy-
ful notes, proclaiming "liberty to the captive, and the opening of the
prison doors to those that were bound." The land was left uncul-
tivated, as in the Sabbatic year. The possessions which poverty
had compelled their owners to alienate returned in this year to the
families to whom they had been allotted in the first division of the
Holy Land. The whole institution was based on the principle that
the land was God's, who granted to each family its own portion.
All Hebrew slaves, whether to their brethren or to resident for-
eigners, were set free in the Year of Jubilee. Thus the same prin-
ciple was asserted as in the restitution of the land that the people,
like the soil, belonged to God ; they were His servants, redeemed
from Egypt, and incapable of becoming bondsmen to any one but
Him. The Jubilee completed the great Sabbatic cycle of years, at
the close of which, in a certain sense, "all things were made new."
ii. THE THREE GREAT HISTORICAL FESTIVALS.
In these the whole people were united to seek the face of God,
and to celebrate His mercies. Thrice in the year, at these three
feasts, all males were required to appear before Jehovah at the
tabernacle, or afterwards at the temple not empty-handed, but to
make an offering with a joyful heart (Exod. xxiii. 14-17). No ago
is prescribed : Jesus went up with his parents to the Passover at the
age of twelve (Luke ii. 42) ; Samuel still younger (1 Sam. i. 24).
These festivals not only commemorated great events in the history
of Israel, but each of them had its own special significance. The
Passover marked the Beginning of the harvest, the Pentecost its
completion, and the Feast of Tabernacles the vintage and the in-
gathering of all the fruits of the year. They were connected with
one another so as to form one great cycle. The Passover is in the
first month of the sacred year ; seven weeks afterwards came the
Pentecost; and the Feast of Tabernacles in the seventh month.
At the Passover the Israelites commemorated the beginning of their
history as a nation ; and at the Feast of Tabernacles they marked
the joyful contrast between their settlement in a fruitful load and
fcheir wanderings in the wilderness.
CHAP. VII. THE PASSOVER. 105
1. The PASSOVER which was the most solemn of the three fcsti-
rals, as the memorial of the nation's birth, and the type of Christ's
death was kept for seven days, from the evening which closed the
fourteenth to the end of the twenty-first of the first month of the
sacred year Abib or Nisan (April). We have already noticed i's
first institution in Egypt (page Go) ; but, in the general order of its