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answer, in what manner the rest of the Law of Moses was communicated to him. We read continually such declarations as these : “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron and say unto him, When thou lightest the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light over against the candlestick.” “ And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Take the levites from among the children of Israel and cleanse them." " And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Command the children of Israel that they bring unto thee pure olive oil beaten for the light, to cause the lamps to burn continually.” “ The LORD spake unto Moses and unto Eleazer the son of Aaron the priest, saying, Take the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel from twenty years old." • The LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites," &c. And this form, “The LORD spake unto Moses, saying," is the ordinary introduction to all those long series of minute and (we might almost say) trivial particulars,such as those which describe every loop and staple, every fringe and selvedge, of the Tabernacle and its curtains,—which it is quite irreverent to ascribe to Divine dictation, except in the most indirect sense, as being the words of one who had a general divine commission to direct these things, and in whose hands they were not, in his circumstances and those of the Jewish nation, trivial. A great part of the legislation of Moses is plainly referable to human wisdom; and, so viewed, shews his eminent qualification for his work; but in these parts, equally with the rest, the introductory phrase, “ The LORD spake to Moses,” is still used. We must take it as the repeated assertion of his divine commission in general, but not too specifically and literally as implying the direct divine command in each human particular.

On duly solemn occasions after the setting up of the Tabernacle, Moses retired alone into it (as before that time he had retired to Mount Sinai), according to the distinct provision of the Law itself, which, after describing the ark of the covenant which was to be deposited in the Tabernacle, says, “ There will I meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the

mercyseat (the covering, literally, or lid of the ark), from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel." That this communion was always, or at any time, vocal, we have no proof. It may have been simply meditative, often or usually. It may have been sometimes by vision. We know nothing positive about the manner of it. But it is observable that, as soon as the Tabernacle was set up, we are told (Lev. i. 1), that “ the Lord called unto Moses and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation."

The formation and erection of this Tabernacle was the solemn installation of the Mosaic system of rites and ceremonies. This structure was the great business of the nine months spent in the neighbourhood of Sinai. Setim wood (the black acacia) grows there abundantly. The people voluntarily contributed all other kinds of material for the work. The artificers in wood and metal wrought with religious and patriotic zeal. The women wove and embroidered. To realize a distinct picture of this portable sanctuary (the model after which the future Temple was to be constructed, on a larger scale and of richer and more durable materials), let the reader consult the "Pictorial Bible," or the little “History of the Jews" already referred to. Some critics have doubted whether such a structure could have been formed by a “ nomadic horde" in the wilderness, and have thought that the description must have been heightened as regards the splendour and ornament of the work, by subsequent Jewish ideas derived from the more magnificent Temple. But the idea of a “nomadic tribe of the desert” is hardly appropriate to these artizans from Egypt. We are sure the work would be the best that religious zeal could make it; and it is possible that the detailed description which the writer so lovingly and proudly gives of each particular, may involuntarily call up before our eyes a somewhat exaggerated picture. But at least there is no room for suspecting exaggeration as regards size ; and when we notice that the whole building was only 45 feet long by 15 broad and 15 high, we feel that within this narrow space the zealous offerings of the multitudes of Israel could not fail to produce a rich display. The service of this Tabernacle will be more particularly alluded to presently. The propriety, or rather the moral necessity, of its formation, is thus illustrated by Dr. Geddes, in his Critical Remarks on Exod. xxv. 8:

“Moses knew too well the nature of his nation not to give them a tabernacle made with hands, as the residence of their peculiar God. They had been long accustomed to see such sanctuaries in Egypt, and had worshiped the divinities which were supposed to reside in them; for it is certain, that during the sojournment of the Israelites in Egypt, they followed the rites and religion of that country, and were (many of them at least) gross idolaters. (See Josh. xxiv. 14 and Ezek. xxiii. 3, 8, 19.) To wean them gradually from that idolatrous and polytheistic worship, Moses wisely indulged them with an external resemblance to it. He gave them a portable temple, an ark, an altar, sacrifices, purifications, festivals, music, dances; which played upon their imaginations and affected their senses, too gross and stupid to savour a pure, simple, genuine religion, by which God is adored in spirit and in truth. Indeed, the bulk of mankind, qui stupet in titulis et imaginibus, seem to have a natural propensity to be pleased with outward show and tinsel splendour, even in matters of religion; and it is well

known how soon Christianity itself began to judaize, nay paganize, in that respect.

“With regard to the Hebrew worship, I have here advanced nothing but what has been allowed by the most learned of the Christian Fathers, whose testimonies the reader may see in Spencer (De Legibus Hebræorum, lib. iii. c. 1). I shall content myself with a single quotation from Theodoret. After a long invective against the heathen sacrifices and superstitions, he makes to himself this objection : ‘But perhaps they will dare to retort all this on the true and eternal God, because they hear of laws relative to sacrifices in the divine scripture! To which he answers, that those objectors are ignorant of the design and scope of the legislator; who, knowing that the Israelites, from their long residence in Egypt, had caught the depraved manners of that nation, and had been taught to sacrifice to idols and demons, and to delight in play, dancing and music; lest they should be indignant at being altogether precluded from those habits, he, like a wise physician, provided for their Egyptian malady this remedy: he indulged them with sacrifices on account of their weakness; but ordered them to immolate what they had formerly adored, beeves, sheep, goats, &c. : for if, as soon as they were delivered from the


of the Egyptians, he had given them perfect laws, they would have resisted, and, refusing the yoke, have returned to their former depravity: for if, even with all this economy, they often attempted to do so, what would they not have dared to do, if God, from the beginning, had enjoined the philosophy of the gospel ?'"

To this it should be added, that not only had the Israelites been familiar with idolatrous sacrifices and ceremonies in Egypt, but they found them prevalent wherever they went,--on their way to the promised land, among the nations of that land, and in every surrounding nation with which they were brought acquainted by trade such as they had, by war, by travel, by captivity. Idolatry was, as it has been forcibly expressed, "the common sense of mankind.”

Sacrificial worship was universal. The former evidently could not for one moment be tolerated in a religious system, the very basis of which was the Unity of God, who made the heavens and the earth. But the latter might be adapted to the transition period of worship. The One True God who is a Spirit might be approached with sacrifice and ceremony, as the vehicle of pious affections, until such time as men should be ready to worship Him who is a spirit in spirit and in truth. Judaism was thus the intermediate step to Christianity.

With the setting up of the Tabernacle at the foot of Sinai, on the first day of the first month in the second year from leaving Egypt, the book of Exodus ends.

LEVITICUS (as implied in its Greek name) contains laws chiefly, but not exclusively, relating to the service of the Tabernacle, and the duties of the priests and levites as connected with it. These laws, and a few others, all given in Horeb (which name seems to denote the mountainous district in general around Sinai, that is, the southern part of the peninsula between the two arins of the Red Sea), together with the narrative of the consecration of Aaron and his family to the priesthood, form the book of Leviticus.

NUMBERS (so described in the Greek version from the numbering of the people, with which it opens) carries on the history till the children of Israel are on the point of entering the promised land.

The numbering, or census, presents a great difficulty. The amount stated appears to most persons incredibly large. We are told they were 600,000 fighting men of above twenty years old ; which, according to the usual proportion of children, women and aged men, would make four times that number, or about 2 millions, for the whole population. This seems almost too many for the

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