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For a summary of the religious doctrines and moral pre- 1. Allusions to the creation.—Psal. xxxiii. 9. He SPAKE cepts of the patriarchal times, as exhibited in the book of and it was done; he COMMANDED, and it stood fast. This is Genesis, see Volume I. pp. 142, 143.
manifestly an allusion to Gen. i. 3. et seq.-Psal. xxiv. 2. He VII. From an imaginary difficulty in explaining the lite- (Jehovali) hath founded it (the earth) upon the seas, and ral sense of the first three chapters of Genesis, (a difficulty, established it upon the floods.—2 Pet. iii. 5. By the word of however, which exists not with the devout reader of the the Lord the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out sacred volume), some learned men, who admit the Penta- of the water and in the water. In these two passages, the teuch to have been written by Moses, have contended that sacred writers allude to Gen. i. 6. 9.—2 Cor. iv. 6. God, who the narrative of the creation and fall is not a recital of real
COMMANDED LIGHT to shine out of darkness, hath shined into events, but an ingenious philosophical mythos, or fable, in- our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of vented by Moses after the example of ancient Greek writers, God in the face (rather person) of Jesus Christ. Here St. to give the greater weight to his legislative enactments! and Paul alludes to Gen. i. 3. in so specific a manner, that it is imdesigned to account for the origin of human evil, and also possible not to perceive the designed reference. From Eccl. vii. as an introduction to a history, great part of which they 29. and Eph. iv. 24. compared with Col. iii. 10. and Jam. iii
. 9. consider to be a mere poetic fiction. But the inventors of this fiction (for such only can we term it) have assumed that been created, is the moral image of God, viz. uprightness or
we learn, that the divine image, in which man is said to have as proved which never had any existence ; for the earliest Grecian cosmogony extant, namely, that of Hesiod, was not righteousness, true holiness, and knowledge. And the creation composed until at least five hundred and forty-five years citly mentioned as a real fact by our Lord, in Matt. xix. 4. and
of our first parents, related as a fact in Gen. i. 27, 28., is expliafter the death of Moses! Further, the style of these chap: Mark x. 6, as also by the apostle Paul. Compare i Cor. xi. 9. ters, as, indeed, of the whole book of Genesis, is strictly
2. Allusions to the temptation and fall of our first parents, historical, and betrays no vestige whatever of allegorical or figurative description; this is so evident to any one that which are related in Gen. iii.—Job xxxi. 33. If Ï covered my reads with attention, as to need no proof. And since this transgressions like Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom. history was adapted to the comprehension of the commonest
- Matt. xxv. 41. Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting capacity, Moses speaks according to optical, not physical fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.—John viii. 44. Ye truth: that is, he describes the effects of creation optically, are of your father the devil, and the works of your father ye or as they would have appeared to the eye, and without any will [rather, wish to] do. He was a murderer from the beassignment of physical causes. In doing which he has not ginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in merely accommodated his narrative to the apprehension of him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own, for he mankind in an infant state of society, and employed a is a liar, and the father of it.—1 Tim. ii. 13, 14. Adam was first method of recital best suited to a vulgar capacity'; but he formed, then Eve: and Adam was not deceived; but the woman thereby also satisfies an important requisition of experimen- having been deceived, was in the transgression.—2 Cor. xi. 3. tal philosophy, viz. to describe effects accurately and faith- The serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty.—1 Jolin iii. 8. fully, according to their sensible appearances: by which He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth means the mind is enabled to receive a clear and distinct from the beginning. For this purpose was the Son of God maniimpression of those appearances, and thus to reduce them to fested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. their proper causes, and to draw from them such conclusions The reality of the facts recorded in the first three chapters of as they are qualified to yield; for the determination of causes the book of Genesis was acknowledged by the Jews who lived must follow an acquaintance with their effects.”, “ Besides, previously to the time of Christ. Vestiges of this belief are to if it be granted that Moses was an inspired lawgiver, it be found in the apocryphal books of Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus. becomes impossible to suppose that he wrote a fabulous -God created man to be immortal, and made him an image account of the creation and fall of man, and delivered it of his own eternity. Nevertheless, through envy of the devil, as a divine revelation, because that would have been came death into the world, and they that hold of his side do little, if at all, short of blasphemy; we must, therefore, be find it. (Wisd. ii. 23, 24.)—Wisdom (that is, the eternal Son lieve this account to be true, or that it was declared and of God) preserved the first formed father of the world, who anderstood by the people, to whom it was addressed, to be was created alone; and brought him out of his full (by the allegorical. No such declaration was ever made; nor is promised seed of the woman,) and gave him power to rule all there any mention of such an opinion being generally preva- things. (x. 1, 2.)—Of the woman came the beginning of sin ; lent among the Jews in any early writing. The rabbis in- and through her we all die. (Ecclus. xxv. 24.) deed, of later times, built a heap of absurd doctrines upon
If words have any meaning, surely the separate and indethis history: but this proves, if it proves any things that pendent testimonies, here collected together, prove that the their ancestors ever understood it as a literal and true ac- Mosaic narrative is a relation of real facts. To consider the count; and, in fact, the
truth of every part of the narrative whole of that narrative as an allegory " is not only to throw contained in the book of Genesis is positively confirmed by the constant testimony of a people, who preserved a certain whole Pentateuch in doubt and obscurity, but to shake to its
over it the veil of inexplicable confusion, and involve the unmixed genealogy from father to son, through a long succession of ages : and by these people we are assured, that that the seed of the woman should bruise the head of the
basis Christianity, which commences in the promise, their ancestors ever did believe that this account, as far as it fell within human cognizance, had the authority of uninter- serpent.' In reality, if we take the history of the fall in rupied tradition from their first parent Adam, till it was any other sense than the obvious literal sense, we plunge
into greater perplexities than ever. Some well-meaning written by the inspired pen of Moses."}, Further, in addition to the collateral testimony already all difficulties, by considering some parts of the Mosaic his
pious commentators have, indeed, endeavoured to reconcile adduced, to the credibility and reality of the facts related in tory in an allegorical, and other parts in a literal sense; but the first three chapters of the book of Genesis, there are this is to act in a manner utterly inconsistent with the tenor pumerous incidental references, in the Old and New Testa- and spirit of that history, and with the views of a writer, ment, to the creation, temptation, and fall of our first parents, the distinguishing characteristics of whose production are which clearly prove that they were considered as acknowbedged Facis, not requiring proof, and handed down from simplicity, purity, and truth: There is no medium nor palStances, out of very many which might have been cited :- vious, and literal sense, furnishes a key to many difficulties primitive tradition. Of these we select the following in- liation; the whole is allegorical, or the whole is literal."*:
· This notion is current among the divines of Germany, and the modern in philosophy, which would otherwise be inexplicable. Thus Sacr. pp. 351–365.), and by Gramberg (Libri Geneseos Adumbratio nova, it has been reckoned a great difficulty to account for the inLion of the Bible (vol. 1.), and also in his Critical Remarks, of which the the scriptural account of the deluge explains this fact better pp. 16-1 Linse 1923, 30.); and it is adopted by Dr. Geddes in histrans troduction of fossil shells into the bowels of the earth : but learned Bisliop Horsley, in the British Critic (0.5.), vol
. xix. pp. 6–13. The than all the romantic theories of philosophers. It is imposyounger Rosenmüller had adopted this mythical interpretation in the first sible to account for the origin of such a variety of languages edition of his scholia on the Old Testament; but maturer consideration in a more satisfactory manner than is done in the narrative haring led him to see its erroneousness, he, greatly to his honour, returned to the proper and literal interpretation in the new edition of his Scholia, lately published. (Dublin Christian Examiner, May, 18:27, p. 358.)
$ The arguments to prove the literal sense of the first three chapters of 3 Penn's Comparative Estimate of the Mineral and Mosaical Geologies, Genesis, which we have necessarily given with brevity, are ably and fully col. 1. p. 163. (24 edit.) In pp. 165-28. there is an elaborate examination stated in Mr. Holden's elaborate Dissertation on the fall of Man, London, ani vindication of the literal interpretation of the first chapter of Genesis. * Bishop Tomline's Elements of Christ. Theol. vol. i. p. 61.
& Maurice's History of Hindostan, vol. i. p. 868. • See rol. i. pp. 69-78.
* See vol. i. pp. 71, 72
ON THE BOOK OF EXODUS.
of the confusion of tongues which took place at Babel. V. Types Of The Messiah are Aaron (Heb. iv. 14–16. (Gen. xi. 1—9.) And although some futile objections have v. 4, 5.);—the Paschal Lamb (Exod. xii. 46. with John xix. been made against the chronology of this book, because it 36. and 1 Cor. v. 7, 8.);—the Manna (Exod. xvi. 15. with makes the world less ancient than is necessary to support 1 Cor. x. 3.);—the Rock in Horeb (Exod. xvii. 6. with the theories of some modern seif-styled philosophers; yet 1 Cor. x. 4.) ;—the Mercy Seat (Exod. xxxvii. 6. with Rom. even here, as we have already shown by an induction of par- iii. 25. Heb. iv. 16.) ticulars,' the more rigorously it is examined and compared VI. By the Jews the book of Exodus is divided into with the extravagant and improbable accounts of the Chal- eleven paraschioth or chapters, and twenty-nine siderim or dæan, Egyptian, Chinese, and Hindoo chronology, the more sections : in our Bib it is divided into forty chapters, the firmly are its veracity and authenticity established. “ In contents of which are exhibited in the annexed Synopsis :fine, without this history, the world would be in comparative Part I. Account of the Transactions previously to the Depardarkness, not knowing whence it came, or whither it goeth.
ture of the Israelites from Egypt. In the first page of this sacred book, a child may learn more in an hour, than all the philosophers in the world learned
Sect. 1. The oppression of the children of Israel. (ch. i.) without it in a thousand years."
Sect. 2. The youth and transactions of Moses. (ch. ii.-vi.)
tion of the ten plagues. (ch. vii.—xi.)
Part II. The Narrative of the Departure of the Israelites, SECTION III.
(ch. xii.xiv.) Part III. Transactions subsequent to their Exodus. (ch. xiv.
---xviii.) I. Title.--II. Author and date.—III. Occasion and subject- Sect. 1. The miraculous passage of the Red Sea, and the
matter.-IV. Scope.-V. Types of the Messiah.–VI. Sy- thanksgiving of Moses and the people of Israel, on their denopsis of its contents.-VII. Remarks on the plagues in
liverance from Pharaoh and his host. (ch. xiv. xv, 1-22.) flicted upon the Egyptians.
SECT. 2. Relation of various miracles wrought in behalf of the
Israelites. (ch. xv. 23—27. xvi. xvii.) I. The title of this book is derived from the Septuagint
Sect. 3. The arrival of Moses's wife and children with JeVersion, and is significant of the principal transaction which it
thro. (ch. xviii.) records, namely, the EE00x, Exodus, or departure of the Israelites from Egypt. By the Jews, and in the Hebrew Part IV. The Promulgation of the Law on Mount Sinai. copies, it is termed niou abio Ve-Aleh SHEMOTH, “ these are Sect. 1. The preparation of the people of Israel by Moses, for the words," from the initial words of the book, or sometimes the renewing of the covenant with God. (ch. xix.) merely Shemoth. It comprises a history of the events that Sect. 2. The promulgation of the moral law. (ch. xx.) took place during the period of 145 years, from the year of Sect. 3. The judicial law. (ch. xxi.- xxiii.) the world 2369 to 2514 inclusive, from the death of Joseph Sect. 4. The ceremonial law, including the construction to the erection of the tabernacle. Twenty-five passages, ac- and erection of the tabernacle. (ch. xxiv.xxxi. XXXV.cording to Rivet, are quoted from Exodus by our Saviour
xl.) In ch. xxxii.—xxxiv. are related the idolatry of the and his apostles, in express words; and nineteen allusions to
israelites, the breaking of the two tables of the law, the the sense are made in the New Testament.
divine chastisement of the Hebrews, and the renewal of II. That Moses was the author of this book we have
the tables of the covenant. already shown, though the time when it was written cannot be precisely determined. As, however, it is a history of
VII. The circumstances attending the plagues inflicted matiers of fact, it was doubtless written after the giving of upon the Egyptians are fully considered by Mr. Bryant in the law on Mount Sinai and the erecting of the tabernacle; his learned treatise on this subject (8vo. London, 1810), for things cannot be historically related until they have actu- from which the following particulars are abridged. As many ally taken place, and the author of this book was evidently of the Israelites were followers of the idolatry that surroundan eye and ear-witness of the events he has narrated.
ed them, these miracles were admirably adapted to display III. The book of Exodus records the cruel persecution of the vanity of the idols and false gods, adored by their opthe Israelites in Egypt under Pharaoh-Rameses II. ; the pressors, the proud and learned Egyptians. birth, exposure, and preservation of Moses ; his subsequent 1. By the first plague-Water turned into blood (Exod. flight into Midian, his call and mission to Pharaoh-Ameno- vii. 14—25.)—was demonstrated the superiority of Jehovah phis II.; the miracles performed by him and by his brother over their imaginary river-gods, and the baseness of the Aaron : the ten plagues also miraculously inflicted on the elements which they reverenced. The Nile was religiously Egyptians; the institution of the passover, and the departure honoured by the Egyptians, who valued themselves much of the children of Israel from Egypt; their passage across upon the excellency of its waters, and esteemed all the nathe Red Sea, and the destruction of the Egyptian army: the tives of the river as in some degree sacred. The Nile was subsequent journeyings of the Israelites in the desert, their turned into blood, which was an object of peculiar abhoridolatry, and frequent murmurings against God; the promul- rence to the Egyptians. gation of the law from Mount Sinai, and the erection of the 2. In the plague of frogs (Exod. viii. 1–15.) the object tabernacle.
of their idolatrous worship, the Nile, was made an instruIV. The Score of Exodus is to preserve the memorial of ment of their punishment. Froys were deemed sacred by the departure of the Israelites from Egypt, and to represent the Egyptians; but whether from reverence or abhorrence is the church of God, afflicted and preserved ; together with the uncertain.. By this plague, the waters of the Nile became providential care of God towards her, and the judgments a second time polluted, and the land was equally defiled. inflicted on her enemies. It plainly points out the accom
3. The plague of lice (Exod. viii. 16—19.) reproved the plishment of the divine promises and prophecies delivered to absurd superstition of the Egpytians, who thought it would Abraham, that his posterity would be very numerous (com- be a great profanation of the temple into which they were pare Gen. xv. 5. xvii. 4–6. and xlvi. 27. with Num. i. 1- going, if they entered it with any animalcula of this sort 3. 46.); and that they would be afflicted in a land not their upon them. The people, and particularly the priests, never own, whence they should depart in the fourth generation wore woollen garnents, but only linen, because linen is least with great substance. (Gen. xv. 13—16. with Exod. xii. apt to produce lice. The judgment, inflicted by Moses in 35. 40, 41.)
Further, “ in Israel passing from Egypt, this plague, was so proper, that the priests and magicians through the Red Sea, the Wilderness, and Jordan, to the immediately perceived from what hand it came, and conpromised land, this book adumbrates the state of the church fessed that this was the finger of God. in the wilderness of this world, until her arrival at the hea- 4. The plague of flies (Exod. viii. 20—32.) which was venly Canaan,—an eternal rest.''3 St. Paul, in 1 Cor. x. 1, inflicted in the midst of winter, and not in the midst of sum&c. and in various parts of his Epistle to the Hebrews, has mer, when Egypt swarms with flies, would show the shown that these things prefigured, and were applicable to, Egyptians the folly of the god, whom they worshipped, the Christian church. A careful study of the mediation of that he might drive away the gad-fly, whose sting is exMoses will greatly facilitate our understanding the mediation tremely painful. of Jesus Christ.
5. The fifth plague—the murrain among cattle (Exod. ix.
1—7.) destroyed the living objects of their stupid worship. 1 See vol. i. pp. 72–74. - Fuller's Expository Discourses on Genesis, vol. i. p. 1.
The sacred bull, the cow, or heifer, the ram, and the he-goal, • Roberts's Clavis Bibliorum, p. 12.
fell dead before their worshippers. When the distemper
inflicted by this judgment spread irresistibly over the coun- that was in the dungeon ; and all the first-born of cattle : and try, the Egyptians not only suffered a severe loss, but also when Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, beheld their deities and their representatives sink before the and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypi": God of the Hebrews.
for there was not a house where there was not one dead! 6. As the Egyptians were celebrated for their medical skill, and their physicians were held in the highest repute, the sixth plague,—the infliction of boils accompanied with blains (Exod. ix. 8–12.), which neither their deities could
SECTION IV. avert, nor the art of man alleviate, would further show the vanity of their gods. Aaron and Moses were ordered to take
ON THE BOOK OF LEVITICUS. ashes of the furnace, and to scatter them towards heaven, that they might be wafted over the face of the country. This I. Title, author, and date.-II. Scope.—III. Synopsis of its was a significant command. The ashes were to be taken from that fiery furnace, which in the Scripture was used as a type of the slavery of the Israelites, and of the cruelty I. The third book of the Pentateuch (by the Jews termed which they experienced in Egypt. (Deut. iv. 20.), The TP") va-vikra, and he called, from its initial word) is in the process has still a further allusion to an idolatrous and cruel Septuagint styled AESITIKON, and in our version Leviticus, rite, which was common among the Egyptians, and to or the Levitical book, because it principally contains the which it is opposed as a contrast. They had several cities laws concerning the religion of the Israelites, which chiefly styled Typhonian, such as Heliopolis, Idythia, Abaris, and consisted of various sacrifices; the charge of which was Busiris. In these, at particular seasons, they sacrificed men.' committed to Aaron the Levite (as he is termed in Exod. iv. The objects thus destined, were persons with bright hair, 14.) and to his sons, who alone held the priestly office in the and a particular complexion, such as were seldom to be tribe of Levi; which St. Paul therefore calls a “ Levitical found among the native Egyptians. Hence, we may infer priesthood.” (Heb. vii. 11.) In the Babylonish Talmud it that they were foreigners; and it is probable, that whilst is called the luw of the priests, which appellation is retained the Israelites resided in Egypt, they were chosen from their in the Arabic and Syriac versions. body. They were burnt alive upon a high altar, and thus The author of this book, it is universally admitted, was sacrificed for the good of the people. At the close of the Moses; and it is cited as his production in several books of sacrifice, the priests gathered together the ashes of these Scripture. By comparing Exod. xl. 17. with Num. i. 1. we victims, and scattered them upwards in the air, with the learn that this book contains the history of one month, viz. view, probably, that where any atom of this dust was car- from the erection of the tabernacle to the numbering of the ried, a blessing might be entailed: The like was, therefore, people who were fit for war, that is, from the beginning of done by Moses, though with a different intention, and to a the second year after Israel's departure from Egypt to the more certain effect.
beginning of the second month of the same year, which was 7. The plague of hail, rain, and fire (Exod. ix. 13–35.), 1 in the year of the world 2514, and before Christ 1490. demonstrated that neither Osiris, who presided over fire, nor The laws prescribed upon other subjects than sacrifices Isis, who presided over water, could protect the fields and have no chronological marks by which we can judge of the the climate of Egypt from the thunder, the rain, and the times when they were given. hail of Jehovah. These phenomena were of extremely rare
II. The general Scope of this book is, to make known to occurrence, at any period of the year: they now fell at a the Israelites the Levitical laws, sacrifices, and ordinances, time when the air was most calm and serene.
and by those “ shadows of good things to come,” to lead the 8. Of the severity of the ravages, caused by the plague Israelites to the Messiah (Heb. x. 1. with Gal. iii. 24.): of locusts, (Exod. x. 1—20.) some idea may be conceived and it appears from the argument of Saint Paul, that they from the account of those insects in this volume, p. 39. had some idea of the spiritual meaning of these various inThe Egyptians had gods, in whom they trusted to deliver stitutions. (1 Cor. x. 1—4.). their country from these terrible invaders. They trusted This book is of great use'in explaining numerous passages much to the fecundity of their soil, and to the deities, Isis of the New Testament, especially the Epistle to the Heand Serapis, who were the conservators of all plenty. But brews, which, in fact, would be unintelligible without it. by this judgment they were taught that it was impossible in considering, however, the spiritual tendency of Leviticus, to stand before Moses the servant of God. The very winds, care must be taken not to apply the types too extensively: which they venerated, were made the instruments of their the observation of Jerome as to its spiritual import is undestruction; and the sea, which they regarded as their de- doubtedly very pious and just, but few persons will acquiesce fence against the locusts, could not afford them any pro- in his remark, that “almost every syllable in this book breathes tection.
a spiritual sacrament.”3 9. The ninth plague consisted in three days' darkness over III. Leviticus is divided by the Jews into nine paraschioth, all the land of Egypt. (Exod. x. 21–27.) The Egyptians which in our Bibles form twenty-seven chapters: it consists considered light and fire, the purest of elements, to be pro- of four leading topics ; comprising per types of God. They regarded the sun, the great fountain Part I. The Laws concerning Sacrifices, in which the diff r. of light, as an emblem of his glory and salutary influence ent kinds of sacrifices are enumerated, together with their on the world. The sun was esteemed the soul of the world, concomitani rites ; as, and was supposed with the moon to rule all things: and not
Sect. 1. The Burnt Offering (Lev. i.), which prefigured tha only to be the conservators, but the creators of all things.
full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice of Christ, “ to put away Accordingly they worshipped them, as well as night and
sin;" and who, by his “one offering hath perfected for ever darkness. This miraculous darkness would, therefore, con
them that are sanctified.” (Heb. ix. 26. x. 14. 1 John i. 7.) firm still further (if further confirmation were wanting) the
Sect. 2. The Meat Offerings. (Lev. i.) vanity of their idol-deities.
Sect. 3. The Peace Offering (Lev. iii.), which represented 10. The infliction of the tenth and last plague—the de
both Christ's oblation of himself, whereby he became our struction of the first-born (Exod. xi. 1–8. xii. 29, 30.) was
peace and salvation (Eph. ii. 14—16. Acts xiii. 47. Heb. most equitable; because, after the Egyptians had been preserved by one of the Israelitish family, they had (contrary
v. 9. ix. 28.) and also our oblation of praise, thanksgiving, to all right, and in defiance of the stipulation originally
and prayer to God. made with the Israelites when they first went into Egypt,)
Sect. 4. The Offering made for sins of ignorance (Lev. iv. enslaved the people to whom they had been so much in
v.), which, being consumed without the camp, signitied debted; had murdered their children, and made their bond
Christ's suffering " without the gate, that he might sanctify age intolerable. We learn from Herodotus, that it was
the people with his own blood.” (Heb. xiii. 11–13.) the custom of the Egyptians to rush from the house into the
Sect. 5. The Trespass Offering for sins knowingly comstreet, to bewail the dead with loud and bitter outeries : and
mitted (Lev. vi. vii.), in which sacrifice the guilt was conevery member of the family united in the bitter expressions sidered as being transferred to the animal offered up to Jeof sorrow. How great, then, must their terror and their hovah, and the person offering it, as redeemed from the grief have been, when, at midnight, the Lord smote all the first-born of the land of Egypt, from the first-born of Pha- 3"Singula sacrificia, immo singulæ pene syllabæ, et vestes Aaron, et raoh that sat on his throne, unto the first-born of the captive 40s This, and the subsequent references to Jerome's Prefaces, are made
totus Orio Leviticus spirant cælestia sacramenta.”—Epist. ad Paulinuu',
to the collection of them, which is prefixed to the Frankfort edition of the · Plutarch, Is. et Osir. v. I. p. 380. D.
Lib. ii.cc. 86, 86. Latin Vulgate. (1826. 8vo )
penalty of sin. Thus Jesus Christ is said to have made his Almighty over the Israelites, during their wanderings in the
soul an offering for sin. (Isa. liii. 10. with 2 Cor. v. 21.) wilderness, and the temptations and murmurings there by Part II. The Institution of the Priesthood, in which the con- which they provoked and offended their leavenly Protector;
se ration of Aaron and his sons to the sacred office is related, so that, at length, he sware in his wruth that they should not toge?er with the punishment of Nudab and Abihu. (Lev. enter into his rest. (Psal. xcv. 11.) St. Paul, warning the
converted Hebrews, expressly states that they could not enter PART III. %e Laws concerning Purifications both of the peo- 19.) ; and in 1 Cor. x. 1.-11, he states that all these things
into the land of Canaan beciuse of their unbelief (Heb. iii. ple and the Fiests. (Lev. xi.-xxii.) Among these, the regulations concerning leprosy (xiii.) as re- admonition. The method pursued in this book is precisely
happened unto them for ensamples, and they are written fi:r our presenting the universal taint of sin, and those concerning that which would be adopted by the writer of an itinerary';
the scape-goat and the great day of atonement (xvi.), de- the respective stations are noted ; and the principal occurmand particular attention; as typifying the death and resur
rences that took place at each station are related, omitting rection of Christ, and the atonement made thereby (Heb. such as are of comparatively less importance. This cireumix. 7—12. 24—27.); while they at the same time inculcate stance is an additional internal proof that Moses was the the hatefulness of sin, and the necessity of internal purity. author of the Book of Numbers, which is cited as his work Chapters xviii. and xix. contain various cautions to the Is in many parts of Scripture. raelites to avoid the sinful practices of the Egyptians and III. TYPES OF THE MESSIAH, in this book, are, The Water Canaanites, with laws adapted to the peculiar circumstances that issued from the Rock (Num. xx.with 1 Cor. x. 4. 11.); and and situations of the children of Israel, interspersed with the elevation of the Brazen Serpent. (Num. xxi. with John several moral precepts inculcating the duties of humanity iii. 14.) and mercy, and the necessity of strict integrity.
IV. This book contains only one PREDICTION concerning Part IV. The Laws concerning the Sacred Festivals, Vows, the Messiah, viz. Numbers xxiv. 17. 19. which, Rosenmüller
and Things devoted, and Tithes.
some other eminent biblical critics have contended, Chapter xxiii. treats of the seven great festivals, viz. the Sab- cannot apply to Jesus Christ. This passage, it is true, in its bath, the passover, the feast of tirst-fruits
, the feast of Pente- of Israel should arise a mighty prince, who would obtain an
primary and literal meaning, intimates that from the people cost, the feast of trumpets, the great day of atonement, and entire conquest and bear rule over the kingdoms of Moab and the feast of tabernacles. The celebration of these solemn Edom: and it was fulfilled in David, for it is expressly festivals was of singular use for maintaining the system of recorded of him, that he finally subdued those nations. divine worship among the Israelites ; for distinguishing them (2 Sam. viii
. 2. 14.) But, in its túll import, it has invariably from all other people ; for the solemn commemoration of the been considered as referring to that illustrious personage, of mony and great benefits conferred on them by Jehovah ; for whom David was a type and a progenitor: and is, in fact, a the preservation and continuance of the public ministry; splendid prediction of the final and universal sway of the for preserving purity and unity in divine worship; and, Messiah, when the middle wall of partition shall be broken lastly, for prefizuring the manifold and great blessings be down, and both Jews and Gentiles shall become one fold stowed on mankind by the Messiah. In chap. xxiv. vari- under one shepherd. This explanation is perfectly consonant ous ceremonial and judicial rites are enjoined: and in chap. to many other prophecies concerning the Saviour; which, in xxv. is recapitulated the law respecting the sabbatical year similar" language, describe him as acquiring dominion over which had before been given (see Exod. xxii. 10, 11.) ; the heathen countries, and destroying the enemies of his church: observance of the jubilee is enjoined, with various precepts and it is observable, that, in several of these ancient predicrespecting mercy, benevolence, &c. The jubilee was typi- tions, some particular opposers, as the Moabites and Edomcal of the great time of release, the Gospel-dispensation. ites, are put for the "adversaries of the Lord,” in general. (See Isa. Ixi. 1—3. with Luke iv. 19.) Chap. xxvi. presents (See Psal. ii. 8. lxxii. 8. cx. 6. Isa. xi. 14. and xxv. 10.)' various prophetic promises and threatenings which have In this passage, an eminent critic observes, that Balaam, signally been fulfilled among the Jews. - (Compare v. 22. in prophetic vision, descries the remote coming of Shiloh, with Num. xxi. 6. 2 Kings ii. 24. and xvii. 25. with Ezek. under the imagery of a star and a sceptre, or an illustrious v. 17.) The preservation of the Jews to this day, as a dis- prince. Though it was foretold that “the sceptre should tinct people, is a living comment on v. 44. The twenty- depart from Judah” at his coming, this prophecy confirms to seventh and last chapter comprises regulations concerning him a proper sceptre of his own: and our Lord claimed it vows, and things devoted, as well as the tithes which were when he avowed himself a “King” to Pilate, but declared to be dedicated to the service of the tabernacle.
that his “ kingdom was not of this world.” (John xviii. 36, 37.) This branch of the prophecy was fulfilled about 1600 years after; when, at the birth of Christ, “ the Magi from the East”. (who are supposed by Theophylact to have been
the posterity of Balaam) came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where SECTION V.
is the [true] born king of the Jews ? for we have seen his star at its rising, and are come to worship him.” (Matt. ii. 1, 2.);
V. The book of Numbers contains a history of the Israel. I. Title, author, date, and argument.-II. Scope.—III. Types ites, from the beginning of the second month of the second
of the Messiah.—IV. Prediction of the Messiah.—V. Chro- year after their departure from Egypt, to the beginning of nology.-VI. Synopsis of its contents.-VII. Observations on the eleventh month of the fortieth year of their journeyings, the books of the wars of the Lord, mentioned in Numbers 1-that is, a period of thirty-eight years and nine or ten months. xxi. 14.
(Compare Num. i. and xxxvi. 13. with Deut. i. 3.) Most
of the transactions here recorded took place in the second and I. In conformity with the Hebrew custom, this fourth book thirty-eighth years: the dates of the facts related in the middle of Moses is usually termed 237", va-jedubur, and he spake, of the book cannot be precisely ascertained. because it commences with that word in the original text: it
VI. According to the Jewish division, this portion of Holy is also called 12700, Bemidbar, “ In the Desert,” which is the Writ contains ten paraschioth or chapters; in our Bibles it fifth word in the first verse, because it relates the transactions of the Israelites in the wilderness. By the Alexandrian 1 Robinson's Scripture Characters, vol. i. p. 450.--The samne author adds translators it was entitled APIOMO), which appellation was -"Jesus, then, is the Star,' which Balaam foretold; 'the bright and mornadopted by the Greek fathers; and by the Latín translators (liike 1: 78. Rev. xxii. 16.); and to him also the scepire' of universal go;
ing star,' which, 'through the tender mercy of our Gord, hall, visited it was termed Numeri, Numbers, whence our English title is vernment is committed. 'He shall have dominion;' for ne nuust reien till derived; because it contains an account of the numbering of he hath put all enemies under his fort? (1 Cor. xv.2Balzam.. looked for the children of Israel, related in chapters i.-iii. and xxvi. ward to the time of his coming, which is usually called, as in Num. XXI. 14., It appears from xxxvi. 13. to have been written by Moses in now; I shall behold him, bnt not nigh;' which might intimate, Viat liis ap. the plains of Moab. Besides the numeration and marshalling pearance was far removed, and that he should see him only by the spiriter of the Israelites for their journey, several laws in addition to prophecy. But it may also refer to the second advent of the saviour when those delivered in Exodus and Leviticus, and likewise several glory— shall behold him, but not migh' for they shall be driven ont from remarkable events, are recorded in this book.
him with shame and condizion, and be punished with everlasting destruo II. The Scope of the Book of Numbers is, to transmit to fiou from the presence or the Lord, and from the glory of his power.'* posterity, for a perpetual example, the providential care of the 2 Dr. Hales's Analysis of Chronology, vol. ii. book i. p. 229.
ON THE BOOK OF NUMBERS.
Ibid. p. 481.
consists of thirty-six chapters, which comprise four principal -50.) The miraculous budding of Aaron's rod among the parts or sections.
rods of the tribes, as a confirmation of his priesthood, and Part I. The Census of the Israelites, comprising,
as a monument against the rebels (xvii.); which was suc
ceeded by some directions concerning the dignity and supeSect. 1. The enumeration of the twelve tribes, and the marshalling of them into a regular camp; “each tribe by itself
riority of the priestly office over that of the Levites, and
respecting the maintenance of both (xviii.), together with under its own captain or chief, distinguished by its own peculiar standard.” (Num. i. ii.)
regulations concerning the water of separation made with
the ashes of a red heifer, and its use for the purification of The standards or banners of the tribes are not men
those who were unclean. (xix.) tioned by Moses (ii. 2.); but they seem to be pointed out by Rev. iv. 7. with which the tradition of the Jews agrees.
Sect. 7. Their Murmuring in the Desert of Zin for Water, The standard of Judah is a lion; of Reuben, a man; of
the unbelief of Moses, the perfidy of the Edomites, and Ephraim, an ox; of Dan, an eagle. This agrees with
Aaron's death. (xx.) the vision of the cherubic figures in Ezekiel i. 10.1
Sect. 8. Their Murmuring, as “they journeyed to compass Sect. 2. The sacred or ecclesiastical census of the Levites;
the land of Edom,” when “ the soul of the people was disthe designation of them to the sacred office, and the appoint
couraged because of the length of the way,” and also their ment of them to various services in the tabernacle. (iii. iv.)
loathing of manna, by them contemptuously termed “ light
bread," for which they were punished with fiery serpents, Besides the conveniency which would naturally result
but on repentance were healed by looking at a brazen serfrom the numeration and marshalling of the tribes, this
pent. (xxi.) census would demonstrate to the Israelites (as it does to us),
Part IV. A History of the Transactions which took place how faithful God had been to the promise made to the pa
in the Plains of Moab (xxii.—xxxvi.); including, triarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, of multiplying and preserving their posterity. By this, also, they were preserved
Sect. 1. The machinations of their enemies against them, their from all intermixture with their vicious and idolatrous neigh- frustration, and the prophecies of Balaam respecting the bours; each true-born Israelite being obliged and enabled to
Jews and their enemies," the ensnaring of the Israelites to deliver a clear account of the tribe, and even the family,
commit idolatry by the Moabites, with their consequent from which he was descended; which was of still higher
punishment. (xxii.—xxv.) and more special importance for preserving the certain and Sect. 2. A second enumeration of the people (xxvi.); in unexceptionable genealogy of Christ the Messiah, who was which are displayed “the singular providence of God, and to be born of this nation, according to original and repeated the further accomplishment of his promise to the patriarchs, promise.
in multiplying the people of Israel so exceedingly, that in Part II. The Institution of various Legal Ceremonies,-as,
all the tribes there were only 61,020 men” less than at the
first census,5 « notwithstanding the whole of that murmuring Sect. 1. The purification of the camp, by the removal of all
generation” (with the exception of Joshua, Caleb, and a unclean persons from it, and the trial of the suspected adulteress by the waters of jealousy. (Num. v.)
few others) "perished in the wilderness.”
Sect. 3. The remaining chapters relate the appointment of Sect. 2. The institution of the Nazareate. (vi.)
Joshua to be the successor of Moses, and various regulaSect. 3. An account of the oblations made to the tabernacle
tions concerning sacrifices, and the partition of the proby the princes or heads of tribes. (vii.)
mised land. (xxvii.—xxxvi.) The thirty-third chapter conSect. 4. The consecration of the Levites. (viii.)
tains a recapitulation of the several stages of the journeySect 5. The celebration of the passover. (ix.)
ings of the Israelites. As the best elucidation of this subject,
the reader is referred to the accompanying Map, together Sect. 6. Regulations concerning the moving or resting of the
with the table on the following page. camp of Israel during their progress. (x.) Part III. The History of their Journey from Mount Sinai to
(Heb. ii. 17.) “Does not He, while the pestilence of sin is raging in the the Land of Moab, comprising an Account of their Fight world at large, or in the bodies of individuals, stand between us and sin Murmurings in the Way.
with the incense of his intercession, and the offering of his blood, and Sect. 1. The first Murmuring of the People on account of a lively faith in Him? He is able to save them unto the uttermost that
make an atoneinent and stay the plague, and death eternal, 10 all who havo the length of the way; which was punished by fire at come unto God by him, seeing he erer lireth to make intercession for them. Taberah. (xi. 1-3.)
(Heb. vii. 25.)" Plumptre's Popular Commentary on the Bible, vol. i. Sect. 2. Their Loathing of Manna, and Murmuring for + On the accomplishment of all these prophecies delivered by Balaam, Flesh, punished by the sending of quails and a pestilence. sur les Prophéties de Balaam, in the Bible de Vence, tom. iii. pp. 274–313.
consult Bishop Newton's Dissertations, vol. i. diss. v. and the Dissertation (xi. 4–35.)
"Though God had probably rejected Balaain as an apostate prophet, he Sect. 3. The Murmuring of Aaron and Miriam at Moses, oracles; to illustrate the impotency of the heathen arts, and to demonstrate
deigned to employ him on this signal occasion as the herald of the divine for which Miriam was smitten with a leprosy, but was healed the power and foreknowledge of the Divine Spirit" (Bp. Gray.) Bishop at the intercession of Moses. (xii.)
Butler has a fine discourse on the character of Balaam, Works, vol. i. Sect. 4. The instructions given to the spies who were sent to • Roberts's Clavis Bibliornm, p. 26. The following comparative stateexplore the promised land, and their “evil report” of it. ment will show how much some of the tribes had increased, and others
had diminished, since the first enumeration :(xü.) The Murmuring of the People at Kadesh-Barnea ; for which all of them, who were twenty years old and up
Ch. i. Ch. xxvi. ward, were deprived of entering into Canaan: and the men
2,770 decrease 59,300
37,100 decrease that brought up “the evil report of the land died by the
5,150 decrease plague,” excepting Joshua and Caleb. In ch. xv., some or
1,200 increase 54.100
9,900 increase dinances are given for conducting the worship of Jehovah
57,400 in the land of Canaan.
20,500 increase Ephraim
40,300 Sect. 5. The Murmuring and Rebellion of Korah, Dathan,
10,210 increase and Abiram, and their followers, with their punishment.
53,400 (xvi. 1–40.)
11,900 increase Naphtali 53,400
8,000 decrease Sect. 6. The Murmuring of the People against Moses and Aaron, on account of their preceding judgment, and their
1,820 decrease on the whole in 3
years. punishment, with Aaron's intercession for them.3 (xvi. 41
Decrease in all 61,020. Increase in all 59,020
Ch. iii. Ch. xxvi. 1 Reeves's edition of the Bible, vol. i. on Num. ii. 2. Pyle's Paraphrase, &c. on the Old Test. vol. ii. p. 150.
Levites 22,300 23,300
increase 1,000 : In Aaron making intercession for the rebel Israelites, we behold a
Mr. Reeves's edition of the Bible with Notes, on Num. Xxvi. 62. lively type of Jesus Christ, who is a merciful and faithful high-priest, in
Dr. A. Clarke on Num. xxvi. 51. things pertaining to God, to make intercession for the sins of the people. 6 Roberts's Clavis Bibliorum, p. 26. $ 4.
43,730 22.200 40,500 76,500 61,300 60.500