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§ 2.- The Superior Officers of the Temple. 6. The heads of the houses of their fathers, in Of these the following were the principal ones:
each course of the priests, were the lowest order, 1. The sagan was the officer next in dignity except the ordinary priests. after the high-priest. There is some difficulty in
7. Besides these officers, there were fifteen overascertaining the precise nature of his duties; but seers, over so many companies, for the purpose of he seems to have been the assistant of the high- seeing to the proper ordering of every thing conpriest while present, and his substitute when nected with the temple service, in which the absent. For as all the affairs of the temple were
utmost regularity and the most rigid punctuality under the direction of the high-priest, and no
were observed. individual could attend to them all, so it was judged requisite to give him an assistant. Hence
§ 3.—The Priests. the
sagan acted as high-priest in all the business of the temple, which was not peculiar to that sacred 1. The age at which the priests were allowed character, when the high-priest himself was either to enter upon their office is not stated in Scripture, absent or indisposed. This office also related to but it is supposed to have been thirty years. the priests below him ; for Maimonides says that From twenty-five to thirty they learned their all the priests were under the disposal of the duties, and from thirty to fifty they served their sagan. In this sense, Lightfoot remarks, Zadok office, when they might retire if they chose. Of and Ahimelech are said to have been priests in their marriages we know but little : like the highthe days of Abiathar, the high-priest : he is also priests, they were forbidden to marry widows, or of opinion, that where Annas and Caiaphas are
women who had been divorced ; but might marry said to have been high-priests together (Luke iïi. virgins, or the widows of priests (Ezek. xliv. 22); 2), the meaning is, that Caiaphas was high-priest, and it was reckoned disgraceful to marry into and Annas his sagan.*
families either of bad character, or bearing he2. The next officers in point of dignity were reditary diseases, Lev. xxi. 7. Great care was taken the kathelikin, or chief overseers of the treasuries. to prevent the ministers of the sanctuary from They were two in number, and, as their title being polluted by any ceremonial defilement, and imports, were placed over the property of the consequently disqualified for public service. In temple. They were to the
that respect they were to be holier than other was to the high-priest.
For besides the general caution to avoid 3. The next office was that of the amerkelin, the ordinary violations of the divine law, which of whom there were seven. They were the over- were binding on all the Israelites, their own parseers of the seven gates round the court of Israel. ticular defilements are specially mentioned (Lev. They had also the keys of the temple wardrobes, xxii. 1-10); and their mourning for the dead, and of the rooms of the several vessels.
and consequent defilement on that account, were 4. The gezberin, or deputy collectors, under the confined to the nearest relations (ver. 1–3), lest kathelikin and amerkelin, were appointed to re- the service of God should be interrupted. ceive all that was due by statute, or voluntarily
2. The dress used by the priests while officiating, offered, to the temple treasury.
The five ranks of consisted of a white linen bonnet, coat, breeches, priests thus noticed are thought by Lightfoot to and a girdle of the same material, embroidered have formed the beth-din, or consistory of the with blue, purple, and scarlet, Exod. xxviii. 40, priests, for transacting the business of the sanc- 42, xxxix. 27–29. The bonnet was of the same tuary; neither inflicting fines nor corporal punish- form as the high-priest's mitre, but not so full and ments, but superintending the service and the ornamented, and without the golden plate, on devoted things. They are called counsellors and which was engraven “ HOLINESS TO THE Lord.” sitters; and Joseph of Arimathea, who was “an The girdle was of considerable length, so as to honourable counsellor,” is supposed to have been fold round them several times, thus serving both one of their number.
for warmth and for strengthening the loins. When 5. The head of the course, or the priest who they were not officiating, they wore the ordinary presided over the course that served for the week, dress of their countrymen, Lev. vi. 11. was the sixth officer in point of dignity. These
3. The duties of the priests are fully described are the same officers who in the gospels are termed in the Pentateuch. They kept alive the sacred
* Temple Service, chap. v., sect. I.
+ Temple Service, sect. 2, chap. vi.
Lightfoot, Hor, Heb., Luke i. 18.
fire on the altar of burnt-offering, in the court of information. But in the time of David we find the priests. They killed the animals which were them so numerous that he divided them into devoted, offering them in the manner appointed twenty-four courses, each of which was to serve a for each. They trimmed the lamps on the golden week in its turn, 1 Chron. xxiv. 1-19; 2 Chron. candlestick in the holy place; prepared, brought, xxiii. 48. Each of these courses had its head and removed the shew-bread ; offered up prayers or chief, of whom we have spoken in enumerating for the people; judged of leprosy, the causes of the principal officers of the temple. This order divorce, the waters of jealousy, vows, uncleanness, seems to have been retained till the captivity; but &c. In short, they had the charge of the sanc- as only four of the classes returned from Babylon, tuary, altar, service, and all the vessels connected Ezra is said to have divided them into their oriwith it (Numb. xvii. 3, 5, 7); to keep them in ginal number, and to have distinguished each order, to free them from pollution, and to preserve course by its former appellation. As the great decency through the whole of the ritual; for number of the sacerdotal order occasioned their which last purpose particularly none were allowed being first divided into twenty-four companies, so to taste wine till the evening, Lev. x. 9; Ezek. in after times the number of each company bexliv. 21. But the duties of the priests were not came too large for them all to minister together ; confined to the temple. They were judges in for there were no less, according to Josephus, civil matters in the thirteen cities appropriated to than five thousand priests in one course in his them (1 Chron. vi. 54–60, xix. 8—10; Ezek. time. Each course was therefore divided according xliv. 24); and would naturally also be employed to the number of the houses of their fathers that in offices suited to their sacred character, either in were contained in it. The chiefs of each house reading, explaining, and translating the law (Deut formed the sixth class of officers noticed above. xxxiii. 10; Neh. viii. 2–8; 2 Chron. xvii. 8, 9), OF, when synagogues were appointed, in sending a sufficient number of their order to the several
$ 4.-The Levites. places of public worship, to conduct the divine service. Nor were they freed from liability to
1. THE Levites were so named because they serve the state in time of danger, of which we
were the posterity of Levi, one of the sons of have numerous examples in the Old Testament Jacob. They were chosen to the service of the history.
sanctuary in place of the first-born of the males 4. The maintenance of the priesthood was de- of Israel, who were counted holy to the Lord, rived from the following sources: the thirteen Numb. iii. 12. In point of dignity the Levites cities
, with their suburbs, which were appointed were of a middle rank, between the priests and to them (Josh. xxi. 4, 13, 19; 1 Chron. vi. 54 the people. They were, properly speaking, the 60); the portions of the sacrifices which were ministers and assistants of the priests, during the reserved from the altar ; the first-fruits presented whole divine service, Numb. iv. 15; 1 Chron. at the temple (Lev. xxii. 10–16); which, by the xv. rabbis, were fixed at the fortieth, or not below the 2. The Levites were at first divided into three sixtieth, of the whole crop ;t the produce of every classes, according to the number of the sons of thing devoted to the Lord; the firstlings of cattle; Levi, viz., the Gershonites, the Kohathites, and the the first fleece of the sheep (Deut. xviii. 4); the Merarites, Numb. iii. 17. Under the tabernacle, price paid for the redemption of the first-born their office was to carry it and its furniture from (Numb. viii. 17, xviii. 16), the tenth of the tithes place to place, each family having its particular (Sumb. xviii. 26–31); the fifth part that was department. At this time they did not enter added to the estimation of trespass in the things upon their office till they were thirty years of age, of the Lord (Lev. v. 15, 16); the fruit of all trees Numb. iv. 3. Under the temple, the age was of the fourth year after they were planted, chap. reduced to twenty, 1 Chron. xxiii. 24. When
the Israelites entered the promised land, the ser5. Concerning the number of the priests during vice of the Levites was somewhat altered; for the continuance of the tabernacle, we have no while part of them attended the tabernacle and
ark, the rest were distributed through the land, in
the several cities that were allotted them. These See Lightfoot, Harm. of the Evangel., p. 1, sect. 7, and cities were thirty-five in number ; which, with the p. 3, sect. 7.
Tix. 23, 24.1
thirteen given to the priests, made forty-eight. 4 Calmet, Bib. Ency., art. Först-fruils; Lightfoot, Hor. Heb., Matt vi, 23
• Brown's Jewish Antiq. vol. i., pt. 3, sect. 3.
|| Second book against Appion.
Their names, with the tribes in which they stood, sustaining the military character, chap. xxvii. 17, may be seen in Josh. xxi. 20—42; 1 Chron. vi. xii. 26–28. 6481. Six of these Aaronical and Levitical 4. The consecration of the Levites to their cities were styled cities of refuge, because they office is mentioned in Numb. viii. 6–22, where were appointed for those who had unintentionally we are informed that, after being sprinkled with been guilty of murder, Deut. iv. 41–43; Josh. water, having their bodies shaved, and their XX. 249. In their several cities, it is supposed clothes washed, they took two young bullocks, the Levites employed themselves in the instruction with the necessary appendages, and gave them to of youth.*
Aaron, to be offered, the one for a sin-offering, 3. In the time of David the Levites were and the other for a burnt-offering. divided into twenty-four courses, that they might 5. Concerning the dress of the Levites we have attend the temple weekly, and only officiate about no information. Calmet says they had no dress two weeks in the year, 1 Chron. ix. 20—34, to distinguish them from their countrymen. In xxiii. 7—23, xxiv. 20—31, xxv. 1, &c., xxvi. the reign of Agrippa, Josephus informs us that 1419. The employment of the Levites about the Levites requested permission from that prince the temple was three-fold, (1) As porters at the to wear the linen tunic, like the priests, which gates of the temple. (2) As guards of its sacred was granted. This innovation was displeasing precincts during the night. Over these was to the priests; and the Jewish historian remarks, placed an overseer, called “the man of the moun- that the ancient customs of the country were tain of the house," whose business it was to see never forsaken with impunity; adding, that that each one did his duty. We are told in the Agrippa permitted likewise the families of the Mishna, that if, in going his rounds, he found Levites to learn to sing and play on instruments, any not standing, he said to him, from a consider that they might be qualified for the temple service ation of human nature, “Peace be unto thee;" as musicians. but if he found any one asleep, he struck him, 6. The sources whence the support of the and might set fire to his garments; which was Levites was derived were, the thirty-five cities. sometimes done. Lightfoot thinks there is an with their suburbs, assigned to them; and the allusion to this in Rev. xvi. 15, “Behold, I tithes of corn, fruit, and cattle; or rather nineas a thief; blessed is he that watcheth, and tenths of all the titheable productions of the keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and eleven tribes; for the priests received a tenth part they see his shame.”+ (3) As musicians and of their tithes, which were regarded as their firstsingers, whose duty it was to conduct the vocal fruits, offered to God, Numb. xviii. 21–24. and instrumental part of the sacred service. This 7. With regard to the numbers of the Levites, class formed the temple choir, and was divided we observe that when numbered in the second year into twenty-four courses. Such was the distri- after the exodus, they were found to be 22,300 bution of the Levites about the temple service ; | (Numb. iii. 22, 28, 34); of which there were to which we may add, that on extraordinary 8,580 fit for the service of the sanctuary.
When occasions they assisted the priests in killing the enumerated by David a little before his death, sacrifices; but were not allowed to meddle with those fit for the sacred service amounted to 38,000, the blood, 2 Chron. xxix. 34, xxx. 16, 17, xxxv. of whom 24,000 were set over the work of the 11. They seem also to have had some share in Lord; 6,000 were officers and judges, 4,000 were the solemn act of blessing the people, at the porters, and 4,000 musicians, 1 Chron. xxiii. 3, conclusion of the public service (chap. xxx. 27); 4, 5. Among those who took advantage of to have joined with the priests in the general Cyrus's decree, and returned from Babylon, we distribution of funds for maintaining the sacer- find only 341 (Ezra ii. 40_42) or 350 (Neh. dotal orders throughout the several cities allotted vii. 24—26) Levites accompanying Zerubbabel. to them (chap. xxix. 5—7, 16–19); to have A few more, indeed, are mentioned in Neh. xii. copied the law for the benefit of their country- 24—26; but they are very inconsiderable. Many men, and even sometimes to have had schools for chose rather to remain in Babylon than to return explaining it; to have acted in the situation of to Judea ; and it is painful to observe, that even officers and judges (1 Chron. xxiii. 4); and to of those who did return, there were several whose have given their proportion of defence to the hearts were not right with God. But they bestate, chap. xxvi. 30–32. We also find them came sensible of the errors into which they had
fallen ; reformed the abuses that had crept in
* Lightfoot, llarm. of the Evang., part i., sect. 7; part iii., sect. I.
* Temple Service, c. vii., s. 1.
Jewish Antiquities, b. 13., c. 8.
among them, and, as a token of obedience, signed Meat-offerings for particular persons--6. The oblations of with Nehemiah the national covenant (Neh.
incense, and tithes of inanimate things—7. Rules prescribed
for offering meat-offerings. VI. DRINK-OFFERINGS. VII. x 9—13), and dwelt at Jerusalem to influence
The obligations to present sacrifices and oblations, and the others by their authority and example, chap. xi. time when they became dae. VIII. The typical nature of the 15—19.*
whole class of sacrifices.
1.-1. The origin of an institution so widely $ 5. The Nethinim and Stationary Men. prevalent as that of sacrifices, is a subject in all
respects calculated to excite the attention and 1. The Nethinim were persons given, as the stimulate the inquiry of the learned ; and, accordname imports, to the priests and Levites, for per- ingly, the ample field of theology scarcely presents forming the servile offices of the tabernacle and any topic upon which the abilities and erudition the temple, Josh. ix. 27. The first of this kind of the most eminent divines have been more of persons were the Gibeonites, who imposed frequently or more warmly exercised. Nor can upon the Israelites by a false statement, and thus it be regarded as a subject of mere literary curisaved their lives, Josh. ix. 21-27. David and osity ; it is a question of great religious interest, Solomon devoted to this service some of the arising from its connexion with the Levitical law, persons taken in war, and “the strangers that and with the Christian doctrine of atonement. were in the land,” Ezra viii. 20; 2 Chron. ii. 17, It derives, too, especial importance from the re18. The latter amounted to 153,600; 80,000 of lation it bears to prophecy; for if the rite of sacriwhom became hewers of wood, and 70,000 fice be a divine institution, it must surely be inbearers of burdens, who were placed under 3,600 vested with a typical character ; that is, it must of the chief of Solomon's officers, 1 Kings v. 16. have been intended as a symbolical representation, Many of these returned from the captivity, pre- adapted to prefigure the expiatory sacrifice of the ferring to sustain the meanest offices in the house Son of God. Writers, however, the most comof God, rather than to dwell in the tents of petent to the discussion, have given sufficient wickedness, Ezra ii. 58, viii. 20; Neh. iii. 26, judgments on the question-whether sacrifice is rü. 46—60.
to be attributed to a divine or a human origin. 2. The stationary men we have had occasion to Among the many distinguished theologians who mention, in treating of the service of the sanc- have advocated the former opinion, Archbishop tuary, whence it has been seen that they were Magee, on account of the acuteness of his intelthe representatives at the temple of the twenty-lectual powers, and the skill with which he wields four classes into which the Jewish nation was his vast erudition, holds a conspicuous rank. His divided. The design of their appointment was “Discourses and Dissertations on the Scriptural to secure, virtually, the presence of the entire Doctrine of Atonement and Sacrifice," are justly nation, when the daily sacrifices and worship were esteemed the most classical work in defence of the offered. There were twenty-four courses of these divine origin of sacrifice. Mr. Faber has followed officers, each of which attended at the temple for in the same track, and has thrown much light a week, during which time it was neither lawful upon the subject, in his treatise on the “Object for them to wash their clothes, nor be trimmed by and Genius of the Three Dispensations.” Bishop a barber.t
Warburton, # Mr. Benson, || and Mr. Davison, ş on the contrary, maintain that we cannot insist on
the divine institution of sacrifices, in its earliest SECTION VI.
age, nor build any thing on that assumption.
2. The positions which are maintained by the
impugners of the divine origin of sacrifice are 1. THE ORIGIN OP Sacrifices—II. The victims to be offered. these : (1) That a divine appointment of sacrifice
III. The several KINDS OF OFFERINGS-1. Burnt-offerings— cannot be maintained, as the more probable ac2. Sin-offerings 3. Trespass-offerings—4. Peace-offerings, count of the origin of that mode of worship. (2) 5. Firstlings and Tithes. IV. DESIGN AND USES of Sacri- that its human institution, if that be admitted,
V. MEAT-OFFERINGS-1. General directions for preparing them—2. The omer of first-fruits—3. The two does not intrench in any manner upon the honour loaves for the day of Pentecost—4. The shew-bread-5. and sanctity of the Mosaic law; nor invade,
SACRIFICES AND OBLATIONS.
* Lightfoot, Temple Service, chap. vii., s. 2. Jennings's Jewish Antiq., b. i., chap. 5; Brown's Jewish Antiq., vol. i., pt. 3, s. 4; Beausobre, Introd. p. 90, 4to.
+ Lightfoot, Temple Service, chap, vü., sect. 3.
Divine Legation, lib. ix., cap.
Davison's Discourses on Prophecy, p. 125 ; and Inquiry into the Origin and Intent of Primitive Sacrifice, passim.
much less invalidate, the essential doctrine of the It cannot, however, be denied, that in the history Christian atonement; and (3) that if any person there is no express mention of the divine institushall still prefer to ascribe the first sacrifices to a tion of sacrifices ; and
this circumstance we divine appointment, there is yet no tenable ground may reason as an acknowledged fact: it may, for the belief, that any revelation of their intent, nevertheless, be fairly doubted whether a negain reference to the future sacrifice and atonement tive argument of this kind can amount to more of the gospel, was joined with them.
than a presumption, which, in the present case, is 3. Of these positions, the first is evidently the much diminished by another fact, namely, that in most important, and it has consequently been the book of Genesis, and the other historical parts eloquently and powerfully enforced by the writers of the sacred volume, there are omissions of equally to whom reference has been made. The proofs important matter. Excepting Jacob's supplication by which it is sought to establish it are derived at Bethel (Gen. xxviii. 18—22), scarcely a single from both the historical and the doctrinal evidence allusion to prayer is to be found in the whole of Scripture. Beginning with the historical evi- Pentateuch. Circumcision, being the sign of dence, much weight is attached to the observation, God's covenant with Abraham, was beyond all that there is a total silence in holy writ as to the question punctually observed by the Israelites ; rise of sacrifice. “ When the offerings of Cain yet, from their settlement in Canaan, no partiand Abel,” says Mr. Davison, “ the first recorded cular instance is recorded of it till the circuminstance of that or any other worship, are intro- cision of Christ, a period comprehending about duced, the record adds nothing as to the authority 1500 years. The observance of the Sabbath is or the appointment of that kind of religious never spoken of in the history of the patriarchal service. Whether commanded of God, or framed ages; and no express mention is made of it in by man, the text leaves wholly unexplained. Not the books of Joshua, Judges, Ruth, the first and only is there no direct information, but neither is second of Samuel, or the first book of Kings. there any implied evidence in the history of the Hence it is argued, that it can be nothing wonfacts, intimating whether the worshipper, when he derful if the first institution of sacrifice, on the came to bring his offering, obeyed a command, or supposition of a divine command, is not recorded acted upon the suggestions of a customary or a in the summary history of the primitive times. spontaneous piety."
5. Having concluded that the historical evidence 4. This negative argument has been powerfully of Scripture is adverse to the belief that primitive urged by Bishop Warburton, and eloquently en-sacrifice was consecrated by a divine institution, forced by Mr. Benson ; nor has it gained any addi- these writers proceed to consider the objections tional force in the hands of Mr. Davison; for, when which have been made to its human origin; the he proceeds to argue, that “this silence of Scrip- first of which is the natural incongruity of sacriture history, neutral in the narration, is far from ficial worship—its unsuitableness to the dictates neutral in its import,” he may be thought either to of reason. The stress of this argument is applied contradict himself, or to argue sophistically. But not to eucharistic, but to piacular sacrifice. The the argument, however propounded, cannot avail former, being an oblation of thanksgiving, is the with the advocates of the opposite system, who natural and spontaneous offering of a heart imdeny the premises. In their view of the question pelled by gratitude to its Creator. The exception, there is “ an implied evidence in the history of the then, taken to the natural reasonableness of sacrifacts ;” since the divine acceptance of Abel's offer- fice, bears only upon the sacrifice strictly so called, ing is, in their estimation, evidence that the wor- that of a living creature, slain, and offered as an ship itself must have been commanded. The same holocaust upon the altar, and presented as an inference, they believe, is deducible from the very offering for sin. “ In this kind of sacrifice," says expressions in the Scripture narrative, from the Mr. Davison, “two conditions are to be distindistinction of clean and unclean beasts, which, guished : the guilt of the worshipper, and the they think, could only be made for sacrificial pur- atonement for, or expiation of, his sin.” In reposes (Gen. vii. 2), and from the appointment of ference to the second condition, the expiatory or the Sabbath as virtually including the appoint- atoning power of sacrifice, the following candid ment of sacrifice ; for they cannot conceive that acknowledgments are made by this writer: “ Inthe Almighty would set apart the seventh day for stead of attempting to deduce the doctrine of religious services, without informing man of the expiation and atonement by animal sacrifice from nature of the services he was bound to perform. the light of nature, or the principles of reason, I
confess myself unable to comprehend, with the
most ignorant, how it can ever be grounded on Davison's Inquiry, p. 9.
any such principles, or justified by then. Thtre