Copyright
James Comper Gray.

The Biblical museum : a collection of notes, explanatory, homiletic, and illustrative, on the Holy Scriptures, especially designed for the use of ministers, Bible students, and Sunday school teachers (Volume 2) online

. (page 4 of 66)
Online LibraryJames Comper GrayThe Biblical museum : a collection of notes, explanatory, homiletic, and illustrative, on the Holy Scriptures, especially designed for the use of ministers, Bible students, and Sunday school teachers (Volume 2) → online text (page 4 of 66)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


men. AVhen luxury desires something- more rich and costly for die hyr—Tiiiot-
the table than copper, it finds indulgence, not in silver and gold,
but in china and fine earthenware.



CHAPTER THE SEVENTH

1 — 5. (1) trespass-offering", Heb., asliam, guiltiness. (2)
place, N. of altar, lie, i.e. the priest. (3—5) fat," etc., see
Le. iii. 4, 9,

The power of law. — There are stronger things in the world
than force. There are powers more difficult to overcome than
strong or brazen gates. Suppose we found a prisoner condemned
■to die, and locked up in his cell, and we were to ask ourselves
how he could be saved from execution. There would appear
great difficulty in getting him out of prison. That iron door,
with its great bolt ; that high window, with its guard of strong
bars ; those thick, strong w^alls ; those heavy gates outside ; that
watchful jailer, — how impossible it seems to overcome them all !
Yet these are not the only difficulties, nor the greatest. There is
another thing, stronger than all these, holding the poor prisoner
to death : there is the sente-nce of the law. For, unless he would
himself become a criminal, no m^an dares to help the condemned
one out. Get the sentence repealed, and the other difficulties are
removed. I will take you in thought to two houses : one is your
cwTi ; but the doors and windows are all fast, and you have no
key : it will be hard to get in. Beside it Is another, belonging to
your neighbour, — a house you know you have no right to enter,
and have been forbidden to approach. The door is open, and
nothing withstands your entrance, that you can see. Yet it will
be harder to go in there than into your own house ; for it would
make you a trespasser on rights. An armed fortress belonging
to an enemy might be destroyed by force if a general were sent
to capture it ; but, without a •v\'arrant, would that general go
into the palace of the king 1 "When Eve stood beside the tree of
knowledge of good and evil, there was no fence around it, keep-
ing her stejjs aloof ; no shield to prevent her hand touching the
fruit : yet tliere was a guard more powerful than walls to keep
her from plucking it, till she resolved to sin. The words, '• Thou
shalt not eat of it," so long as her heart was right with God, were
like a rampart of fire around that forbidden tree. If a father
has said to a dutiful child, " There is an object you must not
handle," it is more truly out of the child's reach than if he had
merely placed it high up where the little hand could not get hold
of it.*

6—10,. (6) male," etc., see vi. 16—18. (7) sin-offering,
gee vi. 25 — 30. priest . . it, as his means of living.*^ (8)
priest . . skin, see i. 6. (9) meat-offering-, etc.. see ii. 4—7.
(10) one . . another, lit. man as his brother being equally
divided.*'

llie meat-offcr'wg (on v. 9). — Our translation of this passage
presents a confusion more easily perceived than regulated by the
general reader : — ''And all the meat-offering that is baken in the



son.

h Dr. Kitto.



the law of the

trespass-
offering-



a Ex. xxix. It.



" Huinility and
lovp, wliatever
obsLSurities may
I involve religious
I tenets, constitute
; the essence of
j true religion. The
I humble is formed
to adore ; the
loving to asso-
ciate with eternal
\oye."—Lavater.



"He that has not
religion to govera
his morality ig
not a dram better
than my mastiff
dog: so long as
you stroke him,
atid please him,
and do not pinch
him, he will play
with you as tine
as may be,— he is
a very good
moral mastiff ;
but if you hurt
him, he will fly
in your face, and
tear out your
throat." — Sefden.



b Dr. Edmond.

a Nu. xviii. 9, 10.
b Lu. X. T.



c "In their fa-
thers' house was
bread en^'Ugh."
"Put me. I pray
thea, into one of



84



LEVITICVa.



[Cap. vll. 11-15,



■.0. 1490.



bread " (1 Sa. ii.
3()). This the
Tirshatha would
not suffer those
turncoats to do
(Ezraii.fiS). But
how hard put to
it was that poor
priest that an-
swered younf?
Pareus, asking



peri fratres, nos
nihil habcmus,
aupi3ces,aucaro,
au panis, au
misericordia ha-
bemus.' "- Trapp.



d Taylor in Cal-



oven, and all that is dressed in the frying-pan, and in the pan,
the p r i e B t '8 ^^^^^^ ^^ *^® P^^*^^*'^ *'^^* offers it." It is evident that here are
oEflces, that I may; three terms used, implying three different manners of dressing
eat ft piece of i food. Do we understand them? The term "meat-offering" ia
certainly unfortunate here, as it raises the idea of flesh-meat,
without just reason, to say the least, especially as it stands con-
nected with baking in the oven. Passing this, the following
sentence, also, as it stands connected, expresses a meat-offering,
di-essed in a frying-pan ; and then we have another kind of meat-
offering, dressed in the pan. Of what nature is this pan ? To
answer this question, we must dismiss the flesh-meat. Whetlier
the following extract from Denon may contribute assistance on
him an alms, ac-! this subject, is submitted with great deference. It is his expla-
cording to ' the nation of his plate Ixxxv. " The manner of making macaroni in
tiSls"^' Nos^^au*^ ' ^8"JPt. The manufactory, and the shop for selling it, are both
imes . X OS pau- ^ ^^ once in the street ; — an oven, over which a great plate of
copper is heated ; the maker •sheds on it a thin and liquid paste,
which is strained through the holes in a kind of cup which he
passes up and down on the plate : after a few minutes, the threads
of paste are hardened, dried, and baked, by a uniform degree of
heat, maintained without intermission, by an equal quantity of
branches of palm-tree, by which the oven is kept constantly
heated. The same degree of heat is given in the sam» space of
time to an equal quantity of macaroni, which is perpetually re-
newed on the plate, and sold directly as it is made." ^

11—15. (11) law . . offering's," see iii. 1—17. (12) thanks-
giving-, & for past mercies, fried, see vi. 21. (13) .leavened
bread,'' this a distinct offering, see ii. 2, 9, 11. (14) out . .
oblation, lit. out of each offering, it . . priests, i.e. one cake
was to be a heave-offering'* for the ofBciating priest. (15) eaten
. . offered,* i.e. they were to hasten to obey God : cheerful and
liberal use of Divine mercy, leave . . morning, as doubting
to-morrow's mercy.

The peaee-offering. — I. The particular prescriptions of this law.
1. The matter of which they consisted ; 2. The manner in which
they were offered. II. The occasions whereon the offering was
made. It was offered as — 1. An acknowledgment of mercies re-
ceived ; 2. A supplication for mercies desired./

Example of thajikfulness. — The room is clean, even airy; a
bright little fire bums in the grate ; and in a four-post bed you
will see sitting up a woman of sixty-four years of age, with her
hands folded and contracted, and her whole body crippled and
curled together as the disease cramped it, and rheumatism has
fixed it, for eight and twenty years. For sixteen of these years
she has not moved from her bed, or looked out of the window, or
even lifted her hand to her o"\vn face ; and also is in constant
pain, while she cannot move a limb. But listen I She is eo
thankful that God has left her that great blessing, the use of one
fh/inib f Her left hand is clinched and stiff, and utterly useless ;
but ^e has a two-pronged fork fastened to a stick, with which
she can take off her great old-fashioned spectacles, and put them
on again, with amazing effort. By the same means she can feed
herself ; and she can sip her tea through a tube, helping herself
with this one thumb. And there is another thing she can accom-
plish with her fork : she can turn over the leaves of a large Bible
when placed within her reach. A recent visitor addressed her



the law of

the peace-
offering
a Ps. cxvi. 17,
cxix. 108 ; He.
xiii. 15.

b 2 Ch. xxix. 31 ;
Pb. 1. 14, 23, Gvii.
22.

c Am. iv. 5.
dWu. xviii. 8,11,
19.

« 1 Co. X. 3 ; Col.
lu. 15.

" Gratitude is the
fairest blossom
•which Bprinss
from the soul
and the heart of
man knoweth
none more fra
grant; while its j
opponent, ingra-
titude, is a deadly
■weed; not only
poisonous in it-
Bclf, but impreg-
nating the very
atmosphere in
which it grows
with fcetid va-
pour 8." — H.
Ballou.

"F.picnrus says,
* Gratitude is a
virtue that has
commonly profit
vmexod to ik'



Cap. vii. 16-27.]



LEVITICUS,



25



with the remark, that she wassail alone. *' Yes," she replied in
a peculiarly sweet and cheerful voice, " I am alone, and yet not
alone.'* " How is that?" "I feel that the Lord is constantly
with me." "How long have you lain here?" "For sixteen
years and four months ; and for two years and four months I
have not been lifted out of my bed to have it made : yet I have
much to praise and bless the Lord for." '• What is the source of
your happiness ? " '' The thought that my sins are forgiven, and
dwelling on the great love of Jesus my Saviour. I am content
to lie here so long as it shall please Him that I should stay, and
to go whenever He shall call me."e

16—21. (IG) sacrifice. .. vow, i.e. a peace-ofEering vowed
upon certain conditions, voluntary offering", i.e. one offered
as the simple tribute of a devout heart at peace with God and
man : offered on no external occasion." (17) remainder/ etc.,
as being then unlawful to be eaten. (18) imputed, placed to
his account, abomination, polluted, foul, shall . . ini-
quity, i.e. punishment due to it. (19) flesh, the holy flesh.*^
as .. flesh, i.e. the undefiled flesh. (20) soul . . people, i.e. he
shall be destroyed, shall perish.** (21) soul . . thing"/ the person
doing so became himself unclean, and hence was under the law
of V. -20.

Eafcii the same day that it ovas offered. — We here see that the
fTes-H of some sacrifices was to be eaten on the day of offering ; in
some cases., however, what remained might be eaten on the next
day, but nothing was to be kept for use till the third day — whatever
then remained was to be consumed by fire. As the people of the
East generally eat their meat the same day on which it is killed,
and almost never later than the second day, we are inclined to
concur in the view of Harmer {Observations, i. 457), who thinks
that this regulation was intended to preclude any attempt to
preserve the meat, by potting or otherwise, so that it might be
taken to different parts of the country, and used superstitiously,
perhaps, as peculiarly holy food, or applied in some way incon-
sistent with the intention' of the law. That intention was, that
what became the offerer's share of the sacrifice he had presented,
he should eat cheerfully before the Lord with his friends, and
that the poor and destitute should partake in the benefit. This
object was insured by the regulation which precluded the meat
from being kept beyond the second day/

22—27. (22, 28) ye . . fat,« etc., prob. for physical as well as
moral reasons, ox . . goat, i.e. of such animals as were offered
in sacrifice. (24) may . . use, to wh. fat is applicable, save for
sacrifice or food. (25) beast, named in v. 23. (26, 27) eat . .
blood,^ etc., no exception made as in the case of fat.

Ye shall eat no manner of fat. — This is a very remarkable law ;
but it is not to be understood as an interdiction of all fat, but
only the properly fat pieces which were offered on the altar in
certain sacrifices, and which, partly, no doubt, in consequence of
that appropriation, became too sacred for common food even in
animals which had not been sacrificed. The parts of which this
law interdicted the use were : the fat with which the intestines
are covered, that is, the omentnvi, or caul, all the fat upon the
intestines (mesenterium), the fat of the kidneys, and the fat tail
of a particular species of sheep. It is even uncertain whether



B.C. 1490.

And where is the
virtue, say I, that
has not? But
still the virtue is
to be \aluecl for
itself, end not for
the pr( fit that
attends it."—
Seneca.

f C. Simeon, M.A.
g Tlie Book and
its Mission.

a Spk. Co mm.
Bush.

b Ex. xii 10.

c The holy flesh
of the peace-
offerings.

d he. xxii. 3, t,

e Le. XV. 3.

" True religion ia
the poetry of the
heart : it has en-
chantments use-
ful to our man-
ners ; it gives us
both happiness
and virtue." —
Jouberi.

" The pleasure of
the religious man
is an easy and
portable plea-
sure, puch an one
as he carries
about in his
bosom, without
alarming either
the eye or the
envy of th«
viorld"— South.

fDr.KiliK



law con-
cerning: fat
and blood

a Le. iii. 17, xvii.
10 ; Ma. xxii. 21.
b Ge. ix. 4; Jo.
vi. 53, 54; Lu.
xxii. 17—20.
c See Kitto, Note
on De. xiv. 21.
"It is the pro-
perty of the re-
ligious spirit to
be the most re-
fining of all in-
fluences. No
external advan-
tages, no cultare
of th« UatOB, no



26



LEVITICUS.



[Cap. vii. 28-39,



B.C. 1490.

habit of com-
mand, no asso-
ciation witli the
elegant, or even
depth of affection
can bestow that
delicacy and that
grandeur of bear-
ing which belong
only to the mind
accustomed to
celestial conver-
sation. — all else
is but gilt and
cosmetics, beside
this, as expressed
in every look and
gesture." — Enur-
son.

*' I extend the
circle of real re-
ligion very
widely. Many
men fear God,
and love God,
and have a sin-
cere desire to
serve Him, whose
views of religious
truth are very
imperfect, and in
Bome points ut-
terly false. But
may not many
Buch persons
have a state of
heart acceptable
before God?"—
Cecif.
d Kitto.

the wave-
and heave-
offering-

a 2 Co. viii. 12.

b De. xvili. 3.

"True religion is
always mild, pro-
pitious, and
humble; plays
not th.i tyrant;
plants no laith in
blood, nor bears
destruction on
her chariot-
wheels; but
Btoops 10 polush.
Buocour, and re-
dress, and builds
her grandeur on
the pulilic good."
—Jas. Miller.

c Beecher.

recapitu-
lation

a f^i'l:. Comm,

t AiisiDorifi.



tliese parts were allowed for other purposes than food ; for, in v.
St, the fat of beasts that died of themselves, or were torn of wild
beasts, is allowed for such purposes ; and the omission of a similar
[ allowance for cattle that died under the knife seems to imply
that none was made. Independently of their consecration to the
I altar, it is not difficult to discover other reasons which may have
I operated in causing- this remarkable interdiction of employ in gf
I those parta of animals which are of so much use to us for culinary
I and other purposes. In the opinion of Michaelis, it Avas one of
I the great objects of some of the laws of Moses to change
I the character of the Israelites from that of a nomad and
I pastoral to that of a settled agricultural people. Accordingly,
there are a number of regulations, the combined operation of
1 which rendered such a change almost compulsory. The present
is one of those which tended to wean them from that entire de-
pendence upon their flocks which is usual among nomad people,
and to induce new wants which only agriculture could supply.
Tlie present law, in particular, appears to be one of several, which
seem directed to oblige them to the cultivation of the excellent
[olives of Palestine, the country which they were destined to
I occupy. Being here debarred the use of animal fat, and being
apparently, on the other hand, precluded the use of butter,' no
resource remained for them but to cultivate and employ its oil,
which in fact they did to a great extent when they were settled
in the Promised Land. WTiether this view be correct or not, the
tendency of such a law to prevent falling back on nomad habits
, can hardly be questioned. It was adapted to their condition in
= Palestine ; but since their dispersion they have felt the inter-
( diction of fat and (as they understand) of butter, as one of the
' peculiar evils of their state, and have been driven so to expound
their law as to allow themselves the use of goose-fat as a
substitute.'*

28—34. (28, 29) oblation, gift, i.e. to the priest. (30)
waved .. offering-,* see Ex. xxix. 24—28. (31) breast . ,
sons', as the priests' portion. (32) heave-offering, .^ce Ex.
xxix. 28. (33) right . . part,'' the breast for the high priest
and his household ; this for the officiating priest. (3i) See Ex.
xxix. 28.

Selfish religionists. — There are a great many men who are pious
on this principle : " How economically can I go to heaven ? "
I Virtue is to them like gold to a traveller, and they say, '" Now I
j want to spend just as little as I can. I want to make this voyage
': just as cheaply as possible." Men mean to get to heaven, but
; they do not mean that it shall cost them any more virtue than
:they can possibly help. Everything that the world will allow
\ them to liave they take. Tliey practise as little self-denial as
they can get along with, hoping that there will be an equalisa-
tion of eveiythiilg in the world to come. Oh ! what a dangerous
and degrading condition is that man in whose life lies right
along the twilight line, where he is liable at any moment to he
cftst over into darkness."^

35—38. (3.")) this . . anointing", i.e. the appointed share :«
or reward of the anointing.^ (3(5) in . . them, etc., see Ex. xl.
13—15. (37) burnt, etc., see i. 6 — 13. meat, etc., see ii. 0,
U— 18. sin, etc., ies iv. 24—30. trespass, etc., »ee v. 1—7,



Cap. viii. 1—12.]



LEVITICUS,



27



consecrations, see vi. 22, 23. peace, etc., see iii. (38) [ b.c. 1490.
wilderness/ etc., see Ex. xix. 1.

The nse of oil in anointiyni. — As a cosmetic, — that is to say, as a
means of giving- to the skin and hair a smooth and graceful
appearance — its use has been prevalent in hot climates from the
earliest times. There is abundant histoi'ical evidence of this
usage of oil amongst the Egyptians, the Jews, the Greeks, and
the Romans ; and Pliny"s statement that butter is used by the
negroes, and the lower class of Arabs, for the purpose of anoint-
ing, is confirmed by the observation of all recent African travel-
lers. In hot climates, there is doubtless a practical as well as an
a3sthetic object in anointing. The oil, being a bad conductor of
heat, affords a certain amount of protection against the direct
action of the solar heat ; it is likewise serviceable as a protection
against the attacks of insects, and as a means of checking exces-
sive perspiration. The fact of oily and fatty matters being bad
conductors of heat, serves also to explain why the Esquimaiax and
other dwellers in Arctic regions have recourse to the inunction of
the blubber, etc. In their case the oily investment serves to pre-
vent the escape of the bodily heat.<*



CHAPTER THE EIGHTH

1 — 5.« See Ex. xxix. 1—4.

The duty of ohedience. — If a boy at school is bidden to cipher,
and chooses to write a copy instead, the goodness of the writing-
will not save him from censure. We must obey, whether we see
the reason or not : for God knows best. A guide through an
unknown country must be followed without demur. A captain
yields complete authority to the pilot. A soldier in battle must
fight when and where he is ordered : when the conflict is over, he
may reflect upon and perceive the wisdom of his commander in
movements that, at the time of their execution, were perplexing.
The farmer must obey God's natural laws of the seasons if he
would Avin a harvest ; and we must all obey God"s spiritual laws
if we would reap happiness here and hereafter.

6—12. (6— 9)« See Ex. xxix. 4—6. (10—12)* See Ex. xxx.
2G— 30.

W:is1u'd them orith water. — Here the ceremonies of consecra-
tion ccmmence with ablutions, and we have seen that the priests
were required to bathe their hands and feet whenever they
entered the tabernacle. This doubtless was, not merely to insure
physical cleanness, but also to symbolise that spiritual purity
with A\hich man should appear before God. The present wash-
ing is. however, distinguished from the daily ablution, inasmuch
as the whole person seems now to have been washed, but only the
hands and feet on common occasions. The idea of the fitness of
such a practice is so obvious, that it has been more or less in use
in most religious systems. We find, at the heathen temples,
lavers of a similar use to this at the tabernacle. The Egyptian
priests washed themselves with cold water twice every day, and
twice at night the Greeks had their sprinklings, the Romans
their lustrations and lavations ; the ancient Christians practised
ablution before receiving the sacramesit, and also bathed their i
eyes on entering a church. The Roaaa Catholic Church retains j



c Nu. i. 1 if., xxvl,

63 64.

'• Here Origen,
accorrimg to hia
luanner, turns all
ino allpgories
and mysteries,
and telJs us of a
threefold fensa
of Scripture— (1)
Literal. (-2) Moial,
(3) M>8tical —
coinpariDg them
to the gridiron,
frying-pan. and
oven, used in
dressing the
meat-offering ; ».
V of this chapter.
But this itch of
allegorising dark
and difficult texts
hath no small
danger in it."—
Ti app.
d Chambers' £n»j.



consecration
of the priests
a He. vii. 28, x.
5 — 7; Ex. xxviii.
2,4.

'• Obedience is
not truly per-
formed by the
body of him
whose heart is
dissatisfied. The
shell without a
kernel is not fit
for store." —
Saadi.

anointing- of
Aaron



flPs.cxxxii. 9,16
I Sa. ii. 28; Ex
xxviii. 30, 36— 3a



b Le. xxi. 10, 12;
Ps. cxxxiii. 2.



"Hence, it may
be, God appoint-
ed the breast-
plate to he made
double, that the
Trim andThura-
mim might be
put within, and
be hid on every
Bide. This Uriia



28



LEVITICUS.



[Cap. viii. 13-21.



B.C. 1490.

and Thummim
signifled, saith
one.thatinChriat
are hid(1euall the
treasures of wis-
dom and know-
ledge (Col. ii. 3).
and that He hath I
all secret things I
most perfectly i
known and num- 1
bered out before |
Hira, which He I
revealeth con- !
tinually to Bis j
Church and
chosen, as need '
requireth, by
Buch means as
Himsel f hath
sanctirted (Ps.
XXV. 14; Jo. xlv.
21,26, xvii. 14, 17,



e Dr. Kiilo.



the priest's
Bin-offering



a Ex. xxviii. 2,

40; In. Ixiii. 1, xi.
6 ; Ezek. xliii. 20
—26.



hJerovM,



the priest'
burnt-
offering

a Le. i. G, 8.
"One of the al
most numberless
advantages of
goodness is, that
it blinds its pos-
Bessor to many of
those faults in
others which
could not fail to
be detected by
the morally de-
fective. A con-



something- of the practice of ablution before, and sometimes after
mass ; and Cahnet says that the holy- water vessels at the en-
trance of their churches are in imitation of the lavers of tho
tabernacle. The Oriental Christians have also their solemn wash-
ings ou particular occasions, such as Good Friday. The practice
of ablution was adopted by Mohammed in a very full sense ; for
his followers are not only obliged to perform their ablutions
before they enter a mosque, but before they commence their
]irayers, wherever offered, which they are required to repeat five
times each day. This is certainly the most burthensome system
of ablution which ever existed either in ancient or modern times.
The Hindoos also rejoice in the purifying- virtues of their idol-
ised Ganges, and wash also in other waters, because they believe
that such will be equally effectual, if, whilst they bathe, they
say, '' Gang-es, purify me ! " In fact, nothing is or has been
more common than ablutions in the worship which different-
nations render to their gods ; and there are few acts connected
with their service which are not begun or ended with some rite
symbolical of purification. In the religion of classical antiquity,
the priest was obliged to prepare himself by ablution for offering-
sacrifice ; for which purpose there was usually water at the
entrance of the temple. In very ancient times the priests seem
to have bathed themselves in some river or stream. But such
ablutions were only necessary in sacrifices to the celestial gods,
sprinkling being suiBcient for the terrestrial and infernal
deities.«

13—17." See Ex. xxix. 8—14.

The holiness of the j^r tests.— The priests were chosen from
among men tO be more holy, of which their washing was a sign,
as their splendid robes were to remind them of their dignity and
authority over the people. The high priest had seven special
ornaments : — 1, White linen to denote pui-ity ; 2. A curious
girdle, intimating that he must use discretion in all things ; 3.



Online LibraryJames Comper GrayThe Biblical museum : a collection of notes, explanatory, homiletic, and illustrative, on the Holy Scriptures, especially designed for the use of ministers, Bible students, and Sunday school teachers (Volume 2) → online text (page 4 of 66)