« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
each complete in itself, wonderfully united and forming one tabernacle. These curtains were to be made of fine linen, blue, purple, and scarlet. We have certain authority to consider fine linen as the righteousness of saints. Blue was the vesture of princes and royal personages ; and we find the nations, borrowing from Nioses, clad the images of their gods with it, Jer. x. 9. Esther i. 6. Ezek. xxiii. 6. and xxvii. 7. 24. Blue was used in Solomon's temple, 2 Chron. ii. 7. 14. Purple is also a princely colour, Dan. v. 7. 29. Esther viii. 15. Luke xvi. 19. Rev. xviii. 12. Scarlet, or, what was answerable to it in Solomon's temple, crimson, is used indiscriminately for purple; thus we are told, Matth. xxvii. 28. they put on him a scarlet robe;' and in John xix. 2. it is called a purple robe. The curtains have all one measure ; this expresses the one reed with which alone the temple of God can be measured. These curtains are coupled together by 50 loups of blue and 50 taches of gold. It is very remarkable, that when it is said, ver. 3. that they are coupled one to another, the Hebrew words are, they are
coupled every woman to her sister ; this plainly shews that the curtains of the tabernacle represented the churches of the saints ; and their coupling, their fellowship together. This expression of the coupling of the curtain is expressly adopted by Paul, . in whom, all the building fitly coupled together, groweth into an ' holy temple in the Lord, Eph. ii. 21, 22. and iv. 16. We thus learn what it is which couples the curtains, and unites the churches, till they become one TABERNACLE, the righteousness of Christ, Well
may the loops be called pirecious blue ! well may the taches be called pure gold. These blue loops and golden taches unite the members of every church, as well as the churches, into one tabernacle. With these precious loops and taches, Jerusalem appears as a city compactly built. Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren i to dwell together in unity,' or, coupled together. It is thus that the Spirit, testifying of Christ and his righteousness, unites the disciples of Christ in the bond of peace. Numberless expressions in the apostolic writings point to the same thing, such as the unity of the faith, knit together in love. Thus then we see those characters of the church of Christ, which distinguish her from all others. She is composed of valuable materials, fine linen, blue, purple, and scarlet. There must be no mixture in these valuable curtains. They must be all of one measure. They must be closely united by precious bonds. In all these particulars the Lord's church and tabernacle may be known from her rivals.
From the 7th to the 15th verses, we have, 1. The tent of the ta. bernacle described, and 2. The outer covering. It would appear that the inner curtains inclosed the holy of holies, and that the tent surrounded this, being of larger diinensions. Some consider the inner curtains, as properly speaking the true pattern of the heavenly sanctuary; and that the outer tent, of goats hair, and taches of brass, representing the outward or visible appearance of the church in this world. The hair of goats in eastern countries is very fine ; there is a species of goat from India, of which the hair is softer and richer than the finest silk. It plainly appears that this hair was spun into cloth, Exod. xxxv. 26. There was an outward covering to prije tect the whole, of rams skins dyed red, the figure of that blood of sprinkling, which is the covering and protection of the church of the living God in all ages.
From the 15th to the 30th verse, we have a description of the boards and sockets of the tabernacle. The boards were to bear up the embroidered curtains ; in the Septuagint, they are called pillars. To these, with their silver sockets on which they stood, (verse 19.) Paul alludes, when speaking of God's house, the church, he calls her the pillar and stay of the truth, 1 l'im iii. 15. When Solomon is celebrating the church, as the prince's daughter, Song of Solomon, vii
. 1. he says the joints,' or sockets of thy thighs" (which like pillars support the body) ó are like jewels ;' in the tabernacle, they weighed each of them a talent, or one hundred and twenty pounds of silver, Exodus xxxviii. 27. The expressions in verse 24. are very striking ; they were to be equally joined at foot, and perfectly joined at the head in one ring. From what has been already noticed, the reader will anticipate our remarks on such expressions applied to the church of Christ, perfectly joined together, and no schisms nor divisions among them. Moses is again enjoined attention to the • right fashion' of all this. On the exactness of these couplings and joinings, the glory of the earthly tabernacle consisted, in the same manner that now the glory of a church of Christ is her unity.
In the 31st verse, the veil is described to be executed by cunning workmen, Paul tells us this veil pointed out the flesh of the Son of God; and thus, when he died, the vail of the temple was rent in twain. The flesh of the Son of God, that body which was prepared for him, in which he bare our sins to the tree, which was buried, and in which he now reigns before his ancients gloriously, was indeed wonderfully made, and justly was Moses charged, that the type of it should be executed by cunning workmen. The purpose of this veil was to debar any from entering but the High Priest once a year, the Holy Ghost thus signifying that the way into the ho• liest of all was not yet made manifest, Heb. ix. 8. viz. that the blood of those sacrifices offered year by year, could not have the way into heaven, but when the blood of Christ was sbed, he entered there, and with his own blood consecrated a new and living way
for his guilty people, which should be called the way of holiness. The remainder of this chapter seems to require no additional remarks.
CHAP. XXVII. In the first eight verses of this chapter, we have a description of the altar of burnt offering and its vessels. It was a remarkable figure of the man Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who, at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, in the courts of the tabernacle, poured out his soul unto death, an offering for sin of a sweet-smelling savour. Such are the unsearchable riches of Christ ; such the fulness of grace and truth which came by him, that none of the ceremonial ordinances could singly shadow forth the unspeakable abundance of his great goodness : It was therefore necessary that many types and figures should thus be united, to point forth the One Glorious Person, and his invaluable work of redemption. In him we
find the offerer, the victim, and also that altar which sanctifieth the gift, and of which they have no right to eat who serve the tabernacle, Heb. xiii. 10.
The altar of burnt offering was made of wood; and overlaid, not with gold, but a baser metal, brass ; in like manner as the first altar, erected after the giving of the law, was an altar of earth. So when the true altar was erected at Golgotha, he had no form nor comeliness. The horns of the altar were placed at the four corners ; by these it was transported from place to place; and to it the victims were bound; they were also a place of safety for criminals, 1 Kings i. 50. To these horns the sacrifices were bound, Psalm cxviii. 27. It is temarkable that the Septuagint, in place of Shittim wood, say incorruptible wood. The altar was four square, signifying firmness and stability ; in like manner, the new Jerusalem lieth four square, Rev. xii. 16. The altar is called Ariel, or Harel, by the prophets, Ezek, xliii. 15.
From the 9th to the 20th verse, we have a description of the Court of the Tabernacle. It was a wide place, surrounding the tabernacle, (although the tabernacle did not stand exactly in the centre of it). The hangings of the court were made of fine-twined linen, 100 củ. bits in length on the north and south sides, and 50 cubits in breadth on the east and west sides. The hangings were suspended on pillars, with sockets of brass ; and the hooks which fastened the pillars and their fillets were of silver. In the gate of the court there was a hanging of 20 cubits, of blue, purple, scarlet, and fine-twined linen, wrought with needle-work. So that even the outer court of this sacred tabernacle was most splendid in its materials and workmanship.
It has been much disputed whether there were more than one court. Moses, indeed, mentions but one ; but the dimensions of that, however extensive, were not sufficient, as many suppose, to contain the whole crowd of Levites with their servants, much less the innumerable multitude of Israel: and David repeatedly speaks of the courts of the house of the Lord, Psalın Ixv. 5. Isxxiv. 3, and xcvi. 8. But this manner of speaking, it is said by others, may be easily reconciled to the genius of the Hebrew language, which frequently adopts the plural for the singular, in order to express the excellency of any object. The fact appears to be, that in the tabernacle in the wilderness there was but one court, where the priests and Levites went about the service of the tabernacle. But when the temple was about to be built, there was a new pattern given to David by the spirit of God upon him, which he left with Solomon, and according to which it was executed. Now, by comparing 2 Chron. iv. 9. and xxxiii. 5. 1 Kings vi. 36. and vil. 12. it is very clear that there were two courts, one for the priests, and another for the people. It is equally certain that in later times there was a third court, viz. the court of the nations.
The court seems evidently to have been a representation of the outward profession of Christianity; a figure of the church according to her external order and visible appearance on earth, in which are comprehended all who make the open profession of the faith, and appear to belong to the house of God, whether that profession be in truth or hypocrisy. In Revelation xi. 1, 2. we find the court mentioned, and that as distinct from the temple; it is called the court which is without the temple. The court, inclosed with her hangings, represented the church as separated from the world, and distinguished by her ordinances. In this court it was lawful for the guilty Israelite to stand, and consider limself as connected with, and intimately interested in what the tabernacle contained ; yet he saw none of those things which stood either in the first or second sanctuary ; in the same manner as the guilty sinner takes his standing in the church on earth, as in the courts of the Lord's house, looking forward to the day when he shall be admitted into the holiest of all, whither the forerunner has for us entered, even Jesus, made a high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedec.
The last injunction for the service of the tabernacle, is as to the olive oil, which is more particularly described afterwards, and will be then more fully considered.
Chap. XXVIII.—Moses having received an exact pattern of the worldly sanctuary, God now proceeds to instruct him as to the persons who are to officiate there in the office of the priesthood. This service of ministering to God in that office, was one of the highest and most signal honours ever conferred upon flesh and blood. Nor did
any man ever assume it without the special appointment of God; for, says Paul, “No man taketh this honour unto himself, unless ap• pointed of God as Aaron was.' It was one of the plainest and most remarkable typical representations of the office of the Son of God, who was solemnly appointed to it by God himself, as we shall afterwards have occasion to notice more particularly. It is true we find Cain and Abel offering ; Noah likewise for his family; Jacob also and Job. But when God was now completing the service of the sanctuary, he gave most particular directions as to the priesthood in
all its parts.
The words used as to calling Aaron, are remarkable, Take now • Aaron thy brother.' The priest was brother to the prophet of God; and thus the tribe of Levi was joined in the service of God. But farther, Moses was commanded to take his own brother : he thus prehgured him who was taken from among men, their brother, partaking with them in flesh and blood ; and thus it is added, and • his sons with him, from among the children of Israel.' In like manner, the Great High Priest, Jesus Christ, consecrates the many sons whom he brings to glory, to be a royal priesthood unto God. The first thing enjoined Muses on :.is head, to speak to all the wise hearted to prepare the garments which Infinite Wisdom saw to be, needful, for glory and beauty for the High Priest. On a more parricular examination we shall find them all closely connected with the office of the priesthood. Remarkably to our purpose are the words of God's promise to David, 'I will clothe her priests with salva• tion,' Psalms cxxxü. 16. ; and no less so those of Isaiah, I will • greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall be joyful in my God;
for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation; he hath • covered me with the robe of righteousness,' &c. chap. lxi. 10.
It may simplify the subject to our readers, to mention that the garments of the priests consisted of eight articles, four of them peculiar to the high priest, and four common to all the priesthood. The former were the ephod, robe, breast-plate and holy crown; the latter, the coat, the girdle, the breeches and the bonnet: these we shall shortly notice severally as they occur in the text.
1. Ephod is a Hebrew word, expressive of compassing the body fitly, and be. ing tied or fastened thereto *. There was a kind of ephod, commou to other priests, mentioned i Sam. xxii. 18. ii. 18. and 2 Sam. vi. 14. : these were simply made of linen. But the ephod of the high priest was curiously wrought of gold, blue, scarlet, crimson, &c. It may be remarked in general, that what is said to be curi. ously wrought, is always typical of the work of God. Thus, when speaking of the members of his mystical body, the church, he says, his substance' was curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth,' Psal. cxxxix. 15. As the ephod was the principal article of these garments, to which the breast-plate, &c. was affixed, we should consider it as chiefly representing salvation or redemption ; and as the materials of which it was wrought were most valuable and preci. ous, and the workmanship exquisitely curious, it was a fit representation of the great salvation with which our High Priest was gloriously and beautifully adorned, when he entered the heavenly holy place. It was fastened with a curious girdle of the same materials. Jesus Christ is described arrayed in his priestly robes, Rev. 1. 13.
girt about the paps with a golden girdle.' We are told, that righteousness was the girdle of his loins,' Isaiah xi. 5. That righteousness which sustained him’ in the day of his sufferings; that righteousness which he wrought out for his guilty people, is that which fastens the ephod of salvation. Moses is then commanded to take two beryl stones, and engrave the names of the twelve tribes six on each stone ; to set them in gold, and affix them to the shoulders of the ephod, one on each shoulder, as stones of memorial for the children of Israel. What a grand representation is here given of the Great High Priest, on whose shoulders he carries the memorial of his twelve tribes, the church of the living God. Now on this ephod, opposite to the heart or breast, was affixed, 2. The breastplate. Our translators call it breast-plate, because of its situation; but this is not correct. The Septuagint calls it logeion, or the oracle ornament, because by it God gave the judgement of Urim and Thummim. This breast-plate, or logeion, was to be made of the same valuable materials as the ephod, and affixed to it four
* Pirie says, the word ephod means redemption.