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no other. These are distinguished in the New Testament and no longer as the slaves of Egypt. The knowledge of from the Hebrews or native Jews, who spoke what was then this circumstance beautifully illustrates Eph. ii. 11-13.; called Hebrew (a kind of Chaldaico-Syriac), by the appel- where St. Paul, describing the wretched state of the Gentiles lation of HellENISTS, or Grecians as they are termed in our before their conversion, represents them as aliens from the authorized English version. These in all other respects commonwealth of Israel, and, consequently, excluded from were members of the Jewish church; they are repeatedly all its privileges and blessings. Thirdly, circumcision was mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, and it was a party of an open profession of the worship of the true God, and, conthe Hellenistic Jews that requested to see Jesus.'
sequently, an abjuration of idolatry; on this account we are VI. During the time of our Saviour there was a consi- told that during the persecution of Antiochus the heathen put derable number of Jews resident at Rome : Josephus esti- to death those Jewish women who had caused their children mates them at eight thousand ; and Philo, who relates that to be circumcised ;; and such Jews as apostatized to heathey occupied a large quarter of the city, says, that they were thenism took away as much as possible every vestige of circhiefly such as had been taken captive at different times, cumcision. As this ríte was an open profession of the Jewish and had been carried into Italy, where they had subsequently religion, some zealous converts from that faith to Christianity acquired their freedom, and were called LIBERTINES. The strenuously urged its continuance, especially among those synagogue of the Libertines, mentioned in Acts vi. 9. is, by who were of Jewish origin; but this was expressly prohisome critics, supposed to have belonged to this class of bited by St. Paul. (1 Cor. vii. 18.) Jews. 2
Lastly, circumcision was appointed for mystical and moral VII. In consequence of this dispersion of the Jews through- reasons: it was, as baptism is with us, an external sign of out the Roman empire, and the extensive commerce which inward purity and holiness: hence these expressions of they carried on with other nations, their religion became “circumcising the foreskin of the heart,” the “circumcision known, and the result was the prevalence of a somewhat of the heart," the “circumcision made without hands,” the purer knowledge of the true God among the Gentiles. Hence “uncircumcised in heart," &c. so often occurring in the Scripwe find, that there were many who, though they did not tures. adopt the rite of circumcision, yet had acquired a better know- The sacrament of circumcision was enjoined to be observed ledge of the Most High than the pagan theology furnished, on the eighth day (Gen. xvii. 12.), including the day when and who in some respects conformed to the Jewish religion, the child was born, and that on which it was performed ; and Of this description appear to be the “ Devout Men who feared so scrupulous were the Jews in obeying the letter of the law, God," who are frequently mentioned in the New Testament, that they never neglected it, even though it happened on the and particularly the pious centurion Cornelius, of whom the Sabbath-day. (John vii. 22, 23.) This they termed " driving sacred writer has given us so pleasing an account. (Acts x.) away the Sabbath.” If they were obliged to perform circum
VIII. All these persons, with the exception of the last cision, either sooner or later, it was considered as a misforclass, were members of the Jewish church, participated in tune, and the circumcision so administered, though valid, its worship, and regulated themselves by the law of Moses was not deemed equally good with that done on the eighth (or at least professed to do so), and by the other inspired day; and when this ceremony was deferred, it was never Hebrew books, whence their sacred rites and religious in- used to drive away the Sabbath. It was for this reason that struction were derived. No person, however, was allowed St. Paul accounted it no small privilege to have been circumto partake of the sacred ordinances, until he had undergone cised on the eighth day. Accordingly John the Baptist (Luke the rite of Circumcision. This rite is first mentioned in i. 59.) and Jesus Christ (Luke ii. 21.) were circumcised Gen. xvii. 10–12., where we read that it was a seal of the exactly on that day. There was a peculiar fitness in the covenant which God made with Abraham and his posterity: circumcision of Jesus Christ: for, as the Jews reckoned it Afterwards, when God delivered his law to the children of dishonourable to associate with uncircumcised persons (Acts Israel, he renewed the ordinance of circumcision, which from xi. 3.), it was necessary that he should be circuncised in that time became a sacrament of the Jewish religion. Hence order to qualify him for conversing familiarly with them, and the protomartyr Stephen calls it the covenant of circumci- also for discharging the other duties of his ministry. Besion" (Acts vii. 8.); and Jesus Christ also ascribes its insti- sides, as the Messiah was to be descended from Abraham, tution to Moses, though it was derived from the patriarchs. whose posterity were distinguished from the rest of mankind (John vii. 22.). Besides the design which God proposed to by this rite, he received the seal of circumcision to show that himself in establishing this ceremony, he appointed it for he was rightly descended from that patriarch : and as every some other ends, suited to the circumstances of the Israelites; person that was circumcised was " a debtor to the whole law", a brief consideration of which will illustrate many important (Gal. v. 3.), it was further necessary, that Jesus Christ the passages of Scripture. In the first place, it included in it so true Messiah should be circumcised; because, being thus solemn and indispensable an obligation to observe the whole subjected to the law of Moses, he was put into a condition to law, that circumcision did not profit those who transgressed. fulfil all righteousness, and redeem those who were under the (Rom. ii. 25.). Hence the Jews are in the Scriptures fre- law.? (Gal. iv. 4, 5.). quently termed the circumcision, that is, persons circumcised, At the same time that the child was circumcised, we learn as opposed to the uncircumcised Gentiles, who are styled the uncircumcision (Rom. iii. 1. 30. iv. 12. Gal. ii. 7–9. Eph. ii.
s 1 Macc. i. 63. Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xii. c. 7. 11. Phil. iii. 5.); the abstract being put for the concrete. ii. 25–29. Col. ii. 11. Acis vii. 51. Circumcision was that rite of the law by
• See Lev. xxvi. 41, 42. Deut. x. 16. xxx. 6. Jer. iv. 4. ix. 25, 26. Rom. Thus, our Saviour is called the minister of circumcision : and which the Israelites were taken into God's covenant ; and (in the spirit of therefore St. Paul says, that whoever is circumcised, is bound 11) was the same as baptism among Christians. For, as the form of baptism to keep the whole law. (Gal. v. 3.) For the same reason
expresses the putting away of sin, circumcision was another form to the
The Scripture speaks of a “circumcision made without Jesus Christ was circumcised, that he might be made under hands," of which that made with hands was no more than an outward sign, the law, to fulfil the promise of the Messiah, and redeem which depoted in the putting off the body of the sins of the flesh,” (Col. ii. those who were under the law. (Gal. iv. 4.). Secondly, as this inward and spiritual grace of circumcision the apostle speaks expressly only circumcised persons were deemed to be visible members in another place; “Ple is not a Jew which is one outwardly, neither is that of the Jewish church, so none but these were permitted to circumcision which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew which is one celebrate the great festivals, particularly the passover. On iewerly od circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the this account it was that Joshua commanded all the Israelites, circumcision, as a sacrament, was invented after the preaching of the Goswho having been born in the wilderness remained uncir-pel, when the veil was taken from the law; but this doctrine was only en.
forced to those who had it before, and had departed from the sense of their cumcised, to undergo the rite of circumcision, previously to own law; for thus did Moses instruct the Jews, that there is a “foreskin of their entering the land of Canaan (Josh. v. 4. 6. 9.); on the heart” which was to be “circumcised" in a inoral or spiritual
way, which occasion God told them that he had removed or rolled Lord would circumcise their heart, to love him with all their heart, and away the reproach of Egypt from them; in other words, that with all their soul,” (Deut. x. 16. and XXX. 6.); which was the same as to they should thenceforth be regarded as his peculiar people, say, that he would give them what circumcision signified, making them
Jews inwardly, and giving them the inward grace with the outward sign,
without which the letter of baptism avails no more now than the letter of 1 John xii. 20. See also Acts vi. I. ix. 23. and xi. 20. and the commenta circumcision did then : and we may say of the one as is said of the other, tors on those passages.
“He is not a Christian which is one outwarılly, and baptism is not the pul. 9 Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xvii.c. 11. (al. 13.) lib. xviii. c. 3. (al. 4.) $$ 4, 5. ting away the filth of the flesh by washing with water, but the answer of Philo de Legat. ad Caium, p. 1014. Tacitus, Annal. lib. ii. c. 85. Sueto- a good conscience touards God.” (1 Pet. iii. 21.) Rev. W. Jones on the nius in Tiberio, c. 36. Wolfius on Acts vi. 1. has detailed the various Figurative Language of Scripture. (Works, vol. iii. pp. 77, 78.) On this opinions of learned men respecting the Libertines.-See pp. 251, 252. subject Dr. Graves has some excellent remarks, in his Lectures on the supra.
Pentateuch, vol. I. pp. 241-250. See also an excellent discourse of Bishop
Beveridge, entitled "The New Creature in Christianity," Works, vol. il. • Calmet has an elaborate disquisition on the origin and design of cir. Serm. xix. p. 417. et seq. 8vo edit. cumcision. Dissertations, tom. 1. pp. 411–422.
· Macknight and Whitby on Luke ii. 21.
* See Acts xiii. 43. 50. xvi. 14. xvii. 4. 17, and xviii. 7.
from the Gospel, that it was usual for the father, or some removed, to take care of all the instruments and sacred vessels near relation, to give him a name. Thus John the Baptist belonging to it, and when the army pitched their tents to sot and Jesus Christ both received their names on that day. them up again. (Luke i. 59. ii. 21.) It appears, however, that the Jews For the more regular performance of the several duties had several names during the period comprised in the evan- belonging to the tabernacle, the whole business was divided gelical history. Thus it was customary with them, when between the Kohathites, the Gershonites, and the Merarites. travelling into foreign countries, or familiarly conversing with The first were principally concerned in carrying the ark and the Greeks and Romans, to assume a Greek or Latin name sacred vessels belonging to the tabernacle under the conduct of great affinity, and sometimes of the very same significa- of Eleazar the priest (Num. iv. 16.), which being the most tion with that of their own country, by which name they honourable employment, was given to them most probably were usually called among the Gentiles. So Thomas was out of respect to Moses, who was descended from this family. called Didymus (John xi. 16.); the one a Syriac and the The Gershonites and Merarites, under the direction of Ithaother a Greek word, but both signifying a twin. (See Acts mar, had the burden and charge of every thing else belongi. 23. xii. 12. 2 Pet. i. 1. Col. iv. 11. &c.) Sometimes the ing to the tabernacle, as the coverings, hangings, woodwork, name was added from their country, as Símon the Canaan- cords, pins, &c. (ver. 24—34.) When the Israelites were ite, and Judas Iscariot (Matt. x. 4.); but more frequently encamped, these three families of Levites were to pitch their from their assuming a new and different name upon particu- tents round three sides of the tabernacle, and Moses and lar occurrences in life. (See 2 Chron. xxxvi. 4. 2 Kings Aaron with their sons round the fourth quarter ; by which xxiv. 17. John i. 42.) The same practice obtains in the means they were so disposed, as to be each of them as near East to this day.'
as conveniently they could to their respective charges. Such However necessary circumcision was while the ceremonial was the office of the Levites in the time of Moses. Afterlaw remained in force, it became equally indifferent and un- wards, when the Israelites were settled in the promised land, necessary on the abrogation of that law by the destruction this employment of the Levites, in carrying the tabernacle of the temple. Until that time the apostles allowed it to be and its utensils, ceased; and therefore David and Solomon performed on the Jewish converts to Christianity; but they appointed them to new offices. They were chiefly indeed expressly prohibited the imposition of such a yoke on the employed about the service of the temple: but during their necks of the Gentile converts : and therefore St. Paul, who recess, while they were not in attendance there, they were has fully proved how unprofitable and unnecessary it is dispersed through the whole country, and employed in the (1 Cor. vii. 19.), thought it proper to have Timothy circum- service of the state as well as of the church. Dávid made cised, because his mother was of Jewish extraction (Acts xvi. six thousand of them officers and judges (1 Chron. xxiii. 4.); 1-3.); though he would not, on the other hand, allow this they also took care to instruct the people where they resided ceremony to be performed on Titus, because he was a Greek in the Mosaic law, by expounding the several parts of it; (Gal. ii. 3.):-chus giving to the church in all ages a most and, according to the Jews, they kept the public records and excellent pattern, either of condescension or resolution, in genealogies of the several tribes. insisting upon or omitting things indifferent according to the
In the business about the temple some of the chief amongst difference of times and circumstances.
them had the charge of the sacred treasures. (1 Chron. xxiii. 20.) Others of a lower rank were to prepare ìhe shew-bread and unleavened cakes, with the proper quantity of flour for
the morning and evening service. (1 Chron. xxiii. 29.) From SECTION II.
which text it appears also that they had in their custody
within the sanctuary the original standard for weights and ON THE MINISTERS OF THE TEMPLE AND OTHER ECCLESIASTICAL measures, liquid and dry, according to which every thing of
this kind was to be regulated. Hence it is we often read in
Scripture of the shekel of the sanctuary, not that there were 1. Of the Levites.-II. The priests, their functions, mainte- two sorts of shekels, one sacred and another civil, but be
nance, and privileges.—III. The high-priest.- His functions, cause weights and measures, being reckoned among the dress, and privileges.--Succession to the pontifical dignity. sacred things, were kept in the sanctuary, as they were in -IV. Oficers of the Synagogue.-V. The Nazarites; na- the temples of the Pagans, and afterwards in Christian ture of their vows.-V1. The Rechabites.-VII. The pro
churches. Many of the Levites were likewise employed phets.
as porters, to guard the gates and passages into the temple.
(1 Chron. ix. 17.) Others were more honourably employed The Jews, on the establishment of their republic, had no as singers, and were to stand every morning to thank and king but Jehovah himself; and the place appointed for their praise the Lord, and likewise in the evening (1 Chron. xxiii. sacrifices and prayers was at the same time both the temple 30.), and this we find they did in a very solemn manner at of their God and the palace of their sovereign. This circum- the dedication of the temple. (2 Chron. v. 12, 13.) The stance will account for the pomp and splendour of their wor- whole body of the Levites in David's time amounted to ship, as well as the number, variety, and gradations in rank thirty-eight thousand, from thirty years old and upwards of their ministers; which were first established by Moses, (1 Chron. xxii. 3.), of which number he appointed four-andand afterwards renewed by David, with increased splendour, twenty thousand to attend the constant duty and work of the for the service of the temple. . To this service the tribe of temple; and these being divided as the priests were into fourLevi was especially devoted, instead of the first-born of the and-twenty courses (as appears from 1'Chron. xxiii. 24. and tribes of Israel, and was disengaged from all secular labours. 2 Chron. xxxi. 17.), there were one thousand for each week. The honour of the priesthood,
however, was reserved to the Six thousand again were to be officers and judges, as already family of Aaron alone, the rest of the tribe being employed mentioned, four thousand for porters, and four thousand for in the inferior offices of the temple: so that all the priests singers. (i Chron. xxiii. 4,5.) The four-and-twenty courses were Levites, but all the Levites were not priests.
of singers are mentioned in 1 Chron. xxv. 8–31. This disI. Originally, the tribe of Levi was divided into the three position of them was afterwards confirmed by Solomon when families and orders of Gershonites, Kohathites, and Mera- the temple was finished (2 Chron. viii. 14.); and all these rites (1 Chron. vi. 16, &c.), but afterwards the Levites were had their chiefs or overseers as well as the priests. (Ezra divided by David (1 Chron. xxiii.) into four clases. Their viii. 29.). The duty of the porters was not only to be a miliprincipal office was to wait upon the priests, and be assisting tary guard upon the temple, but also to take care that no to them in the service of the tabernacle and temple; so that person who was unclean or uncircumcised might enter the they were properly the ministers and servants of the priests, court of the Israelites. (2 Chron. xxiii. 19.) And however and obliged to obey their orders. (Num. iii. 9. 1 Chron. mean their employment was, yet it was the pious desire of xxiii. 28.) But the particular duties incumbent upon them David, rather to be a door-keeper in the house of God, than to were different in the time of Moses, while the Israelites were dwell in the tents of wickedness. (Psal. lxxxiv. 10.) The in the wilderness, from those which they had to discharge order of singers was instituted by David, and it appears that afterwards, in the days of David and Solomon. In the the whole book of psalms was composed for this kind of wilderness the tabernacle was always in a moveable con- devotion. David (by whom the greatest number was comdition as well as the Israelites : and at that time the chief posed) directed many of them to ihe chief musician, for this business of the Levites was, when the Israelites journeyed, very purpose, that they might be used in the service of the to take down the tabernacle, to carry it about as the host house of God. And we have one particular instance in which " See Harmer's Observations, vol. iv. pp. 431-433.
9 Novels of Justinian, nov. 128. cap. 15.
OR SACRED PERSONS.
it is said, that David delivered this psalm to thank the Lord also in the lamps of the golden candlestick in the sanctuary; into the hand of Asaph and his brethren., (1 Chron. xvi. 7.) they kneaded the loaves of shew-bread, which they baked, The principal persons of this order, who had the superinten- and offered on the golden altar in the sanctuary: and changed dency over all the rest, were Heman and Asaph of the line them every Sabbath-day. Every day, morning and evening, of Gershon, and Jeduthun of the line of Merari, of whom a priest (who was appointed at the beginning of the week we have an account in 1 Chron. xxv.
by lot) brought into the sanctaary, a smoking censer of The mere circumstance of birth did not give the Levites a incense, which he set upon the golden table, and which on title to officiate ; they were obliged to receive a sort of conse- no account was to be kindled with strange fire, that is, with cration, which consisted chiefly in sprinkling them with any fire but that which was taken from the altar of burnt water, in washing, and in offering sacrifices. (Num. viii. 6, sacrifice. (Lev. x. 1, 2.), And as the number and variety of 7, 8.) The usual age, at which the Levites were to enter on their functions required them to be well read in their law, in their office, was at five-and-twenty years, and they continued order that they might be able to judge of the various legal till fifty. (Num. viii. 24, 25.) But there was a particular uncleannesses, &c. this circumstance caused them to be conprecept which restrained the Kohathites (one of the three sulted as interpreters of the law (Hos. iv. 6. Mal. ii. 7, &c. branches) from being employed to carry the holy things be- Lev. xiii, 2. Num. v, 14, 15.), as well as judges of controlonging to the sanctuary, till they were of the age of thirty versies. (Deut. xxi
. 5. xvii. 8–13.) In the time of war, (Num. iv. 30.), probably, because these being the most valu- their business was to carry the ark of the covenant, to sound able and important of all the moveables belonging to the the holy trumpets, and animate the army to the performance tabernacle, required therefore persons of greater experience of its duties. To them also it belonged publicly to bless and strength. Afterwards, when David new-moulded the the people in the name of the Lord. constitution of the Levites, he (by the same authority which The priests were divided by David into twenty-four classes empowered him to give directions about the building and (1 Chron. xxiv. 7--18.); which order was retained by Solosituation of the house of God) ordered that for the future the .mon (2 Chron. viii. 14.); and at the revivals of the Jewish Levites should be admitted at the age of twenty years. religion by the kings Hezekiah and Josiah. (2 Chron. xxxi. (1 Chron. xxiii. 24.) It does not appear by the first institu- 2. xxxv. 4, 5.) As, however, only four classes returned tion of the Levites that they had any peculiar habit in the from the Babylonish captivity (Ezra ii. 36–39. Neh. vii. ceremonies of religion by which they were distinguished 39–42. xii. 1.), these were again divided into twenty-four from other Israelites. None of the Levites, of what degree classes, each of which was distinguished by its original apor order soever, had any right to sacrifice, for that was the pellation. This accounts for the introduction of the class or proper duty of the priests only: the Levites, indeed, were to order of Abiah, mentioned in Luke i. 5., which we do not assist the priests in killing and flaying the sacrifices, and, find noticed among those who returned from the captivity. during the time they were offered up, to sing praises to God: One of these classes went up to Jerusalem every week to and in this sense the two passages in 1 Chron. xxiii. 31. and discharge the sacerdotal office, and succeeded one another on 2 Chron. xxxi. 2. are commonly understood ; neither had the Sabbath-day, till they had all attended in their turn. To they any title to burn incense to the Lord; and though the each order was assigned a president (1 Chron. xxiv. 6. 31. speech of Hezekiah (mentioned in 2 Chron. xxix. particu- 2 Chron. xxxvi. 14.), whom some critics suppose to be the larly ver. 11.) seems to imply otherwise, yet we ought to same as the chief priests so often mentioned in the New Tes. consider that he is there speaking to the priests as well as to tament, and in the writings of Josephus. The prince or the Levites. It was on account of their aspiring to the priest's prefect of each class appointed an entire family to offer the office in this particular of burning incense, that Korah and daily sacrifices : and at the close of the week they all joined his company (who were Levites) were miraculously destroy together in sacrificing. And as each family consisted of a ed, and their censers ordered to be beaten into broad plates, great number of priests, they drew lots for the different and fixed upon the altar, to be perpetual monuments of their offices which they were to perform. It was by virtue of such presumptuous sacrilege, and a caution to all the children of lot that the office of burning incense was assigned to ZachaIsrael, that none presume to offer incense before the Lord rias the father of John the Baptist, when he went into the but the seed of Aaron, who alone were commissioned to the temple of the Lord. (Luke i. 9.) According to some Jewish priestly office.
writers, there were three priests employed in the offering of As the Levites were subordinate to the priests, so they the incense; one, who carried away the ashes left on the (the Levites) had others under them, called NetHinims, altar at the preceding service, another, who brought a pan whose business it was to carry the water and wood that was of burning coals from the altar of sacrifice, and, having wanted in the temple for the use of the sacrifices, and to placed it on the golden altar, departed; a third, who went perform other laborious services there. They were not in with the incense, sprinkled it on the burning coals, and, originally of Hebrew descent, but are supposed to have been while the smoke ascended, made intercession for the people. chiefly the posterity of the Gibeonites, who for their fraudu- This was the particular office which fell by lot to Zacharias ; lent stratagem in imposing upon Joshua and the Hebrew and it was accounted the most honourable in the whole princes (Josh. ix. 327.) were condemned to this employ- service. This office could be held but once by the same ment, which was a sort of honourable servitude. We read person. in Ezra, that the Nethinims were devoted by David and the The sacerdotal dignity being eonfined to certain families, other princes to the service of the temple (Ezra viii. 20.), every one who aspired to it was required to establish his and they are called the children of Solomon's servants (Ezra descent from those families: on this account the genealogies ii. 58.), being probably a mixture of the race of the Gibeon- of the priests were inscribed in the public registers, and were ites, and some of the remains of the Canaanites, whom Solo- preserved in the archives of the temple. Hence, in order mon constrained to various servitudes. (1 Kings ix. 20, 21.) to preserve the purity of the sacerdotal blood, no priest was They had a particular place in Jerusalem where they dwelt, permitted to marry a harlot or profane woman, or one who called Ophel, for the conveniency of being near the service had been divorced; and if any one laboured under any bodily of the temple. (Neh. iii. 26.)
defect, this excluded him from serving at the altar. Purity In order to enable the Levites to devote themselves to that of body and sanctity of life were alike indispensable; nor service, forty-eight cities were assigned to them for their could any one undertake the priestly office, in the early residence, on the division of the land of Canaan ; thirteen of period of the Jewish polity, before he had attained thirty these were appropriated to the priests, to which were added years, or, in later times, the age of twenty years. According the tithes of corn, fruit, and caitle. The Levites, however, to Maimonides, the priest whose genealogy was defective in paid to the priests a tenth part of all their tithes; and as any respect was clothed in black, and veiled in black, and they were possessed of no landed property, the tithes which sent without the verge of the court of the priests; but every the priests received from them were considered as the first one that was found perfect and right was clothed in white, fruits which they were to offer to God. (Num. xviii. and went in and ministered with his brethren the priests. It 21–24.)2
is not improbable that St. John refers to this custom of the II. Next to the Levites, but superior to them in dignity, 3 See Matt. xxvij. I. Acts iv, 23. v. 24. ix. 14. 21. xxii. 30. xxiii. 14. xxv, were the ordinary Priests, who were chosen from the family 15. xxvi. 10.; and also Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xx. c. 8. 58. De Bell Jud. of Aaron exclusively. They served immediately at the altar, lib
. iv. c. 3.67 0.43. et de vita sua, $$ 2. 5. prepared the victims, and offered the sacrifices. They kept
• Macknight, and Wetstein, on Luke i. 9.
Neh. vii. 64. Josephus contra Apion, lib. i. $7. et in vita up a perpetual fire on the altar of the burnt sacrifices, and sua, $ 1. 1 See p. 16. suprà.
enunerated not fewer than 140 bodily defects which disqualified persons Home's Script Hist. of Jews, vol. ii. pp. 214–221. Schulzii Archæol.
for the priesthood. See Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. iii. c. 12. & 2. and com: Hebr. pp. 227-231.
pare Carpzov's Apparatus Antiquitatum Sacrarum, p. 89. et seq.
$ Ezra n. 62.
© Lev. xxi. 7. 17-23.
Num. iv, 3.
2 Chron. xxxi. 17. Mainionides has
Jewish sanhedrin in Rev. iii. 5. Those priests, whose birth of man or beast, were dedicated to God, and by virtue of that was pure, lived in certain apartments of the temple, in which devotion belonged to the priests. The men were redeemed was deposited wood for the altar, and were employed in for five shekels (Num. xviii. 15, 16.): the first-born of imsplitting and preparing it, to keep up the sacred fire. No pure animals were redeemed or exchanged, but the clean particular ceremony appears to have taken place at the con- animals were not redeemed. They were sacrificed to the secration of the ordinary priests, who were admitted to the Lord; their blood was sprinkled about the altar, and the rest exercise of their functions by "filling their hands," as the belonged to the priest; who also had the first-fruits of trees, Scriptures term it,—that is, by making them perform the that is, those of the fourth year (Num. xviii. 13. Lev. xix. offices of their order. But when the priests had departed 23, 24.), as well as a share in the tithes of the spoils taken from their religion, or had been a long time without dis- in war. (Num. xxxi. 28–41. Such were the principal charging their functions (which happened under some of the revenues of the priests, which, though they were sufficient to later kings of Judah), it was deemed necessary to sanctify keep them above want, yet were not (as some writers have anew such priests, as well as those who had never exercised imagined) so ample as to enable theni to accumulate riches, their ministry. (2 Chron. xxix. 34.)
or to impoverish the laity; thus their political influence, The priests were not distinguished by their sacerdotal arising from their sacred station, as well as from their supehabits, unless when engaged in the service of the altar, of rior learning and information, was checked by rendering them these garments there are four kinds mentioned in the books dependent on the people for their daily bread. By this wise of Exodus (xxviii.) and Leviticus (viii.); viz.
constitution of Moses, they were deprived of all power, by 1. Linen Drawers. These were prescribed for the express which they might injure the liberty of the other tribes, or in purpose of covering their nakedness; that is, to preserve the any way endanger the Israelitish polity, by any ambitious priests from an indecorous and ludicrous appearance, when views or prospects : for not only were all the estates of the they stood either above the heads of the people, or when their Levites and priests, but also their persons, given into the office required a variety of bodily gestures in the view of the hands of the other tribes, as so many hostages, and as a multitude. This garment would prevent those indecent security for their good behaviour. They were so separated exposures of their persons, which some heathen idolaters from one another, that they could not assist each other in any esteemed honourable, and even religious in the worship of ambitious design; and they were so dispersed among the their gods.
other tribes, that these could attach the whole subsistence as 2. A Linen Tunic, which reached down to the ankles, well as arrest all the persons of the Levites and priests at fitting Qlosely to the body, and the sleeves of which were once, in the event of any national quarrel, or if they were tightly drawn round the arms: it was without seam, and suspected of forming any evil designs against the other tribes woven from the top throughout. Such was the tunic worn of Israel. Hence we may perceive, that, whatever power or by Jesus Christ, for which the soldiers cast lots.
influence the Mosaic constitution gave the Levites to do good, 3. A Girdle or long sash, made of linen curiously embroi- the same constitution carefully provided, that they should dered, and intended to bind the coat closely around them, have no power, either to disturb the peace, or to endanger and thus to serve at once the purposes of warmth and strength, the liberties of their country.4 of convenience and ornament.
111. Over all the priests was placed the HIGH-PRIEST, who 4. The Tiara was originally a pointed kind of bonnet or enjoyed peculiar dignities and influence. He alone could turban, made of several rolls of linen cloth twisted round enter the Holy of Holies in the temple : the supreme
administhe head; but in the time of Josephus it approached some-tration of sacred things was confined to him ; he was the what to a globular form.3
final arbiter of all controversies; in later times he presided In order that the priests, as well as the Levites, might be over the sanhedrin, and held the next rank to the sovereign wholly at liberty to follow their sacred profession, they were or prince. His authority, therefore, was very great at all exempted from all secular burthens or labours. Of the Le- times, especially when he united the pontifical and regal vitical cities already mentioned, thirteen were assigned for dignities in his own person. In the Old Testament he is the residence of the priests, with their respective suburbs sometimes called the priest by way of eminence (Exod. (Num. xxxv.); the limits of which were confined to a thou- / xxix. 30. Neh. vii. 65.), and sometimes the head or chief of sand cubits beyond the walls of the city, which served for the high-priests, because the appellation of high-priests was out-houses, as stables, barns, and perhaps for gardens of given to the heads of the sacerdotal families or courses, who herbs and flowers. Beyond this they had two thousand cubits were members of the sanhedrin. This appellation, in the more for their pasture, called properly the fields of the suburbs. New Testament, includes not only the person who actually (Lev. xxv. 34.) So that there were in the whole three thou- held the office of high-priest of the Jews, but also those who, sand cubits round the city; and in this sense we are to under having once filled that office, still retained the name. (Matt. stand Num. xxxv. 4, 5. where the word suburbs compre- xxvi. 57, 58. Luke xxii. 50. 54. John xi. 49. 51.) When hends both the houses, without the walls, and also the fields. the high-priest became old, or had accidentally been exBut though the tribe of Levi had no portion in Canaan posed to any pollution, a 130 (sagan) or substitute was apassigned them in the first division of it, yet they were not pointed to perform his duties. Zephaniah, the second priest, prevented from purchasing land, houses, goods, or cattle, out (Jer. lii. 24.) is supposed to have been the sagan or deputy of their own proper effects. Thus we read that Abiathar had of the high-priest Seraiah. Such an officer seems to be inan estate of his own at Anathoth, to which Solomon banished tended in John xviii. 13. and Acts iv. 6.; in which passages and confined him (1 Kings ii. 26.); and the prophet Jeremiah, Annas is called a chief priest either as having formerly been who was also a priest, purchased a field of his uncle's son in high-priest, or as then being actually his sagan. his own town. (Jer. xxxii. 8, 9.) Such were the residences In order that the person of the high-priest might be deemed allotted to the priests. Their maintenance was derived from more holy, he was inaugurated with great splendour ; being the tithes offered by the Levites out of the tithes by them invested (after ablution was performed) with the sacred received, from the first-fruits, from the first clip of wool when habiliments which conferred this dignity, and anointed with the sheep were shorn, from the offerings made in the temple, a precious oil prepared and preserved for this exclusive purand from their share of the sin-offerings, and thanksgivíng- pose. (Exod. xxix. 7. xxx. 23. et seq. Lev. viii. 12.) But, offerings sacrificed in the temple, of which certain parts were after the erection of the second temple, this anointing ceased, appropriated to the priests. ' Thus in the peace-offerings, and the inauguration of the high-priest was accomplished by they had the shoulder and the breast (Lev. vii. 33, 34.) : in arraying him with the pontifical robes worn by his prede the sin-offerings, they burnt on the altar the fat that covered cessor, certain parts of the victim sacrificed; the rest belonged to the Besides the garments which were common to the highpriest. (Lev. vii. 6. 10.). To him also was appropriated the priest, as well as to the inferior members of the sacerdotal skin or fleece of every victim; and when an Israelite killed order, there were four peculiar to himself; viz. an animal for his own use, there were certain parts assigned 1. The Coat or Robe of the Ephod, which was made of blue to the priest. (Deut. xviii. 3.) All the first-born also, whether wool; on its hem there were seventy-two golden bells, sepa
rated from one another by as many artificial pomegranates. 1 Lamy, Apparatus Biblicus, vol. i. p. 213.
As the pomegranates added to the beauty of the robe, so the · Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. iii. c. 7. $ 2. See also the Observations of Emesti, Inst. Interp. Nov. Test. part ii. c. 10. $88. pp. 371–373. It was for a long time supposed that the art of making such vests was irrecoverably
• Schulzii Archæologia, Hebraica, pp. 231—236. Lowman's Civil Governlost. Braunius, however, rediscovered it, and procured a loom to be made, ment of the Hebrews, p. 124. in which tunics were woven all of one piece. See his treatise de Vestitu . Godwin's Moses and Aaron, p. 18. Lightfoot's Horæ Hebraicæ, and Sacerdotum Hebræorum, lib. i. c. 16. p. 264.
Kuinöel, on Luke iji. 2. • Josephus, Antiq. Jud. lib. iii. c. 7. $ 3. Tappan's Lect. on Jewish 6 Similar bells are still in use in the East. See Hasselquist's Travels, Antiquities, pp. 155-157.
p. 58., and D'Arvieux's Travels in Arabia the Desert, p. 226. Vol. II.
sound of the bells gave notice to the people in the outer court of extravagant; but such wild comments serve no other purpose the high-priest's entrance into the holy place to burn incense; than to throw an air of romance, of uncertainty, and of ridiin order that they might then apply themselves to their devo- cule over sacred things. It is sufficient for us to be assured, tions, as an expression of their concurrence with him in his that these minute prescriptions were adapted to wise and offering, and of their hope that their prayers, accompanied excellent purposes, in the comparatively infant state of the with the incense offered by him, would ascend as a fragrant church; and, particularly, that they served the general uses odour before God.
of an emblematical and typical religion, which was intended 2. The Ephod was a vest, which was fastened on the to impress moral and spiritual truth by sensible and striking shoulders, the hinder part reaching down to the heels, while representations. the fore part descended only a little below the waist. It was The high-priest, who was the chief man in Israel, and of fine twisted linen, splendidly wrought with gold and pur- appeared before God in behalf of the people in their sacred ple: to each of the shoulder-straps of this ephod was affixed services, and who was appointed for sacrifice, for blessing, a precious stone, on which were engraven the names of the and for intercession, was a type of Jesus Christ, that great twelve tribes of Israel.
high-priest, who offered himself a sacrifice for sin, who blesses 3. The Breastplate of Judgment, or oracle, was a piece of his people, and who evermore liveth to make intercession for cloth doubled, one span square, and of similar texture and them. The term priest is also applied to every true believer, workmanship with the ephod : on it were set twelve precious who is enabled to offer up himself a spiritual sacrifice acceptstones, containing the engraved names of the twelve sons of able to God through Christ. (1 Pet. li. 5. Rev. i. 6.)5. Jacob, and also the words Urim and Thummim, signifying The pontifical dignity, in its first institution, was held for "lights and perfections,” and emblematical of divine illumi- life, provided the high-priests were not guilty of crimes that nation. Concerning the nature of the Urim and Thummim, merited deposition. For we read that Solomon deprived learned men are not agreed. All that we know with cer- Abiathar of this office for being concerned in treasonable tainty is, that when the high-priest went to ask counsel of practices with Adonijah, who aspired to the throne of Israel. Jehovah, he presented himself arrayed with this breastplate, (1 Kings ii. 27.) At its first institution, also, the high-priestand received the divine commands. This mode of consulta- hood was made hereditary in the family of Aaron (Num. iii. tion subsisted under the tabernacle erected by Moses in the 10.), who was the first person invested with this dignity, wilderness, and until the building of Solomon's temple. As (Lev. viii. 1. et seq. Heb. v. 4,5.) From Aaron it descended God was the political sovereign of the Hebrews, the high- to Eleazar, his eldest son, from whom it passed in Jong sucpriest was of course his minister of state: the names of the cession to Eli; from him, on account of the wickedness of twelve tribes being worn at his breast, when he went to ask his sons, the dignity subsequently devolved to the descendants counsel of his sovereign, were a fit pledge and medium of of Ithamar the second son of Aaron. (1 Sam. ii. 35, 36.) In divine direction. At the same time, these names being worn the reign of Solomon, however, it returned again into the both on his breast and shoulders would forcibly instruct him family of Eleazar by Zadok (1 Kings ii. 35.); in which it to cherish the tenderest affection, and to exert his utmost remained until the Babylonian captivity. During this period power, for their welfare.
the high-priest was elected by the other priests, or else by 4. The last peculiarity in the dress of the high-priest was an assembly partly consisting of priests. a Crown or Mitre, on the front of which was tied, by a blue The first high-priest, after the return from the captivity, riband, a plate of pure gold, on which were engraven nuns was Joshua the son of Josedek, of the family of Eleazar; V9p.(KODESH LaJehovah), or Holiness unto the Lord, emble- whence the succession went into a private Levitical family. matical of that holiness which was the scope and end of the The office was then filled by some of the princes of the law.
Maccabæan family: According to the law, it was or ought With all these vestments the high-priest was necessarily to have been held for life; but this was very ill obeyed under arrayed when he ministered in the tabernacle or temple, but the Roman government, especially during the time of our at other times he wore the ordinary dress of the priests; and Saviour, and in the latter years of the Jewish polity, when this, according to some learned persons, was the reason why election and the right of succession were totally disregarded. St. Paul who had been long absent from Jerusalem, knew The dignity, sanctity, and authority of the high-priest were not that Ananias was the high-priest, when he appeared be- then almost annihilated ; and this office was not unfrequently fore him in the sanhedrin. (Acts xxiii. 5.) The frequent sold to the highest bidder, to persons who had neither age, and violent changes in the pontifical office, which happened learning, nor rank to recommend them; nay, even to indiviin those times, confirms the probability of this conjecture. duals who were not of the sacerdotal race; and sometimes The supreme pontiff was not allowed to rend his garments, the office was made annual. This circumstance will account as the other Jews did, on any occasions of domestic calamity for the variations in the lists of the succession to the high(Lev. xxi. 10.); but in the time of Jesus Christ it had be- priesthood contained in the Scriptures, in Josephus, and in come lawful, or at least was tolerated as an expression of the Talmudical writers ;' and will also explain the circumhorror at hearing what was deemed blasphemy against God. stance of several high-priests being in existence at the same This will explain the conduct of Caiaphas, who is said (Matt. time, or, rather, of there being several pontifical men who, xxvi. 65.) to have rent his garments. 3
having once held the office for a short time, seem to have The Jewish writers have discovered much recondite mean- retained the original dignity attached to the name.8 ing in the pontifical vestments. According to Josephus and
* Besides the authorities already cited in the course of this article, the Philo, the high-priest's linen garments represented the body reader who is desirous of investigating the nature and functions of the of the earth ; thé glorious robe which encompassed it, heaven; Jewish priesthood is referred to Reland's Antiquitates veterum Hebræothe bells and promegranates, thunder and lightning. Or, the 1. cc10, 11. pp. 105–128. ; and to 'schacht's Animadversiones ad lkenii
rum, part ii. cc. 1–6. pp. 141-238. ; Ikenius's Antiquitates Hebraicæ, part ephod of various colours is the universe; the breastplate, Antiquitates
, pp. 471--544. Dr. Jennings's Jewish Antiquities, book i. c. 5. the earth in its centre ; the girdle, the sea; the onyx-stone Op 237.174.1, Michaelis's Cominentaries on the Law of Moses, vol. i. pp. on each shoulder, the sun and moon; the twelve jewels in 351-262 Dr. Csightfoot's Works, vol. i. pp: 401. 915–918. and vol. ii. pp.
377-380. 397. 681. ; Carpzovii Antiquitates Hebr. Gentis, pp. 61-110. the breastplate, the twelve signs of the zodiac; the mitre,
$ The typical nature of the Jewish priesthood, especially of the highheaven ; and the golden plate, with the name of God en- priest, is discussed by the Rev. W. Jones, in his Lectures on the Figuragraven on it, the splendour of Jehovah in heaven. Some ise Language of Scripture, and on the Episue to the Hebrews. (Works,
vol. iij. pp. 58–62. 223— 227.) Christian divines have allegorized them in a manner equally & Josephus de Bell. Jud. lib. iv. c. 3. $$ 7, 8.
• That this was the case with Annas and Caiaphas, is fully proved by Dr.
Lardner, Credibility, book ii. c. 4. $1. (Works, vol. i. pp. 383–386.) The Tappan's Lectures on Jewish Antiq. pp. 157–160. 9 The dress and ornaments of the high-priest above noticed, together Antiq. Ilebr. part ii. c. 2. pp. 160—168. Utrecht, 12mo. 1717; and by Calmet,
various successions of the high-priests are given at length by Reland, with the mode of consecrating him, as directed by Moses, are described at Dissertations, tom. i. pp. 487–490., and Dict. roce Priest, from whom we length in Exod. xxviii. and xxix. 1-37.
have copied the Table in the following pages. 3 Tappan's Lectures, p. 164.
• Antiq. Jud. lib. viii. c. 2. $2. c. 4. $3.