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works: "but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images.

25 And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.

26 There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfil."

27 I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee.

28 And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee.

thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee.

30 By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land.

31 And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out. before thee. 32

Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods.

33 They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, "it will surely be a snare

29 I will not drive them out from before unto thee.

21 Deut. 7. 25. 22 Deut. 7. 14. 23 Heb. neck.

24 Josh, 24. 12.

25 Chap. 34. 15. Deut. 7.2. 26 Deut. 7. 16. Josh. 23. 13. Judg. 2. 3.

Verse 17. "Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord God.”—These times were at the Passover, the feast of Pentecost, and the feast of Tabernacles, each of which continued for a week. These were the "Great Festivals" of the Jews. Every male was then obliged to repair to the place more pre-eminently consecrated to the worship of Jehovah - at first to the tabernacle, and afterwards to the Temple at Jerusalem. The women, although not required to go, frequently attended. We read of Samuel's mother going with her husband, and our Saviour's mother in after-times did the same. The design of this concourse was apparently to unite the Hebrews among themselves, and to counteract the tendency to separation which the division into distinctly marked tribes was calculated to produce. On these occasions, notwithstanding their petty differences, they must have been led to feel that they were indeed brethren and fellow-citizens; and that this was really the case, appears from the fact, that after the separation of the tribes into two kingdoms, the founder of the new kingdom (Jeroboam) became so alarmed on viewing the probable moral effect of the continued resort of his subjects to Jerusalem, the capital of the elder kingdom, that he set up golden calves in Dan and Bethel with a principal view, it would seem, of inducing the people to hold their annual meetings at places within his own dominions (1 Kings xii. 25-33). It is also not unlikely that these meetings of different tribes three times a year in the same place tended very much to promote internal commerce among the Jews, enabling the different tribes to interchange their several commodities with each other, by which these frequent journeys would be rather a profit than an expense to them. Such a procedure was at least obvious, and is at this day exemplified in the case of the Mohammedan pilgrims to Mecca. It was the more necessary in the case of the Hebrews, whose law strongly discouraged any commercial intercourse with foreigners.

Some objections have been made with reference to these frequent concourses of all the male inhabitants in one place. The first is the unreasonableness of leaving their families and homes unprotected, and exposed to the incursions of the hostile people on their borders. The answer is, that they were not unprotected. They had the very best protection. It was expressly promised by God that "no man should desire their land" during their absence (ch. xxxiv. 24); that is, that their homes should be secure from any hostile invasion. And, in fact, their enemies never did avail themselves of the apparent advantages which such occasions seemed to offer; and long experience of the efficacy of the Divine Protection, ultimately taught the Jews to repair to the appointed place, without the least apprehension for the safety of their homes.

The other objection is, how such vast multitudes could find provisions and accommodation in the town where they congregated. The best answer will be found by a reference to the existing practice of the Mohammedans who annually repair to Mecca. The account is derived from our countryman Pitt, who was there towards the end of the seventeenth century, but the statement in its general features is equally applicable at present. After describing Mecca as a mean and inconsiderable town, he observes that four caravans arrive there every year, with great numbers of people in each. The Mohammedans say that not fewer than 70,000 persons meet at Mecca on such occasions; and although he did not think the number, when he was there, so large as this, it was still very great. Now the question recurs, how this vast multitude could find food and accommodation at so small and poor a place as Mecca? The following, from our author, is a sufficient answer:-"As for house-room, the inhabitants do straiten themselves very much, in order at this time to make their market. As for such as come last after the town is filled, they pitch their tents without the town, and there abide until they remove towards home. As for provision, they all bring sufficient with them, except it be of flesh, which they may have at Mecca; but all other provision, as butter, honey, oil, olives, rice, biscuit, &c. they bring with them as much as will last through the wilderness, forward and backward, as well as the time they stay at Mecca; and so for their camels they bring store of provender, &c. with them." Ali Bey confirms this account. He says, indeed, that the pilgrims often bring to Mecca rather more food than they are likely to need, and when there, they compute how much they shall want during their stay and on their return, and, reserving that, sell the remainder to great advantage. He adds," Every hadgi (pilgrim) carries his provisions, water, bedding, &c. with him, and usually three or four diet together, and sometimes discharge a poor man's expenses the whole journey for his attendance upon them."

These facts no doubt apply, in a great extent, to the solution of the apparent difficulty as to the management of the Hebrews in their three annual meetings at the Tabernacle or the Temple. It will also be recollected that Jerusalem was a much larger city than Mecca, and situated in an incomparably more fertile district.

CHAPTER XXIV.

1 Moses is called up into the mountain. 3 The people promise obedience. 4 Moses buildeth an altar, and twelve pillars. 6 He sprinkleth the blood of the covenant. 9 The glory of God appeareth. 14 Aaron and Hur have the charge of the people. 15 Moses goeth into the mountain, where he continueth forty days and forty nights.

AND he said unto Moses, Come up unto the LORD, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off.

2 And Moses alone shall come near the LORD but they shall not come nigh; neither shall the people go up with him.

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3¶ And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments and all the people answered with one voice, and said, 'All the words which the LORD hath said will we do.

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AND the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they 'bring me an 'offering: 'of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering.

12 And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.

13 And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God.

14 And he said unto the elders, Tarry ye here for us, until we come again unto you: and, behold, Aaron and Hur are with you: if any man have any matters to do, let him come unto them.

15 And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount.

16 And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud.

17 And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.

18 And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.

31 Pet. 1. 2. Heb. 9. 20. 4 Chap. 34. 28. Deut. 9.9.

Verse 10. "Sapphire" ( Sappir).—The Greek and Latin names are obviously derived from the Hebrew, apugos, sapphirus. Next after the diamond it is the most valuable of the gems, exceeding all others in lustre and hardness. The Oriental sapphire is of a sky-blue, or fine azure colour, whence the prophets described the throne of God as being of the colour of sapphire (Ezek. i. 26, and x. 2). Pliny says, that in his time the best sapphires came from Media.

CHAPTER XXV.

3 And this is the offering which ye 1 What the Israelites must offer for the making of shall take of them; gold, and silver, and

brass,

the tabernacle. 10 The form of the ark. 17 The mercy seat, with the cherubims. 23 The table, with the furniture thereof. 31 The candlestick, with the instruments thereof.

4 And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair,

5 And rams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins, and shittim wood,

6 Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense,

7 Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the 'ephod, and in the 'breastplate.

4 Or, silk. 5 Chap. 28. 4. 6 Chap. 28. 15.

1 Heb. take for me. 2 Or, heave-offering. Chap. 35. 5.

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13 And thou shalt make staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold.

14 And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them.

15 The staves shall be in the rings of the ark: they shall not be taken from it.

16 And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee.

17 And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof.

18 And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.

19 And make one cherub on the one end,

and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof.

20 And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be.

21 And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee.

22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the Chap. 37. 1. 8 Or, of the matter of the mercy-seat.

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BAS-RELIEF FROM THE ARCH OF TITUS.

14 Heb. the face of it.

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PROBABLE FORM OF THE TABLE OF SHEW-BREAD. (AFTER BERNARD LAMY.) PRIESTS REMOVING THE OLD AND

PLACING THE NEW.

Gold, at 41. per ounce
Silver, at 58. per ounce

·

Brass (or Copper), at 1s. 3d. per lb. avoirdupois

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Verse 3. "This is the offering."-The particulars of this offering are more fully detailed in ch. xxxv., and the amount of the whole is summed up in xxxviii. 21, &c. From these different passages it appears that half a shekel of silver was levied on every man above twenty years of age, besides which every one who was so inclined made voluntary offerings. Moses assembled the congregation (xxxv. 4), and mentioned what classes of articles would be required for the work of the tabernacle, and those persons who possessed any of the articles needed, offered so liberally that more than enough was soon obtained, and Moses forbade anything further to be brought (xxxvi. 5-7). The articles required were so various in character and value, that there was room for almost every person to testify his zeal by som offering or other. The wealthy could bring precious stones and gold, while the poorer sort might furnish the skins and spun hair of goats. The women, it appears (xxxv. 26), exerted themselves in spinning the goats' hair for the tent coverings, as women do to this day in the encampments of the Bedouin Arabs.

The statement in chap. xxxviii. 24-31, is very valuable, as enabling us to form some idea of the expense of this costly fabric. It is there said that the gold weighed 29 talents, and 730 shekels; the silver, raised by a poll tax of half a shekel, was 100 talents and 1775 shekels; and the brass (more probably copper), 70 talents and 2400 shekels. This enables us to form the following calculation, estimating the talent of 3000 shekels at 125 lbs. troy weight:

£. 8. d.

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Total 213,320 3 6

Now we have to consider that this is the value of only the raw material of the metals employed in the structure of the tabernacle; and when we add the value of the wood, the curtains, the dress of the high-priest with its breastplate of precious stones, the dresses of the common priests, and the workmanship of the whole-it must be considered a moderate estimate if we regard the total expense of this fabric as not less than 250,000., however much more it may have been. This mode of estimating value is, however, very fallacious, on account of the difference in the value of the precious metals in different times and countries. There are no very accurate data on which we might be enabled to estimate the actual value of these metals to the Israelites themselves. In Western Asia, at present, the precious metals have a much higher actual value than in Europe; and, judging from existing and past analogies, we might infer that the tabernacle was much more costly at the time before us than it even seems to us at present. But, on the other hand, it is possible that, in Arabia and Egypt, gold and silver were even of much less value than at the present time. Although it is true that mines of gold or silver are not now known or worked in Arabia, we are not bound to reject the concurrent testimony of the ancient writers, whose statements, after allowing for exaggeration, purport that the precious metals abounded there more than in any other known country; and were indeed so common as to remind us of things as the Spaniards found them in Mexico and Peru. Diodorus mentions a river in Deba (Hedjas) that abounded in small lumps of most beautiful gold. Arrian, Strabo, Agatharchides, and others, describe in glowing terms the wealth of the settled Arabians in precious metal. The pillars of their houses were resplendent with gold and silver (like the pillars of the tabernacle); they had vessels and domestic utensils of the

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