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THE GRAVES OF THE LUSTERS.
lish; but he regulated them, and commanded that if any one would bring a burnt offering, or a meat offering, or a thank offering, he should bring it in the manner now prescribed, and to the appointed place; that sacrificial feasts might not be held under every green tree and upon every high hill. Also, as a punishment for certain transgressions, trespass offerings and sin offerings were appointed. Among the Jews, at the present day, sacrifices no longer exist.
Three times a year, there was a feast of weeks, to which all the males were required to come. There was also the Passover, in commemoration of their deliverance out of Egypt; the feast of Pentecost, in commemoration of the giving of the law at Mount Sinai; and the feast of Tabernacles. These three feasts had a reference also to the cultivation of the land. At the Passover, the first ripe sheaves of barley were to be placed upon the altar; for the time of the feast was just at the beginning of the barley harvest. The feast of Pentecost was called the feast of the first harvest, because the barley harvest was over, and the wheat harvest was beginning; and the feast of Tabernacles was also the feast of thanksgiving after the vintage. Cessation from work, however, was not always connected with the celebration of a feast; but only the first and last days of the feast were sabbath days. Some of these feasts are still observed by the Jews.
26. THE GRAVES OF THE LUSTERS.
WHEN the people had passed a year in the neighbourhood of Mount Sinai, and had celebrated
the anniversary of their deliverance out of Egypt, the pillar of cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle of the testimony, and the people prepared themselves for their departure. This was no doubt a time of joy among the people, for they were to go directly into the land flowing with milk and honey. But much happened be
They had scarcely gone three days' journey in the wilderness, before their zeal cooled. The mixed multitude that was among them lusted after other food, and wept and lamented one to another, "Who shall give us flesh to eat? We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: but now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes." And the Lord said, “Prepare yourselves, and to-morrow the Lord shall give you flesh to eat, not one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days; but even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you: because that ye have despised the Lord which is among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt?" And Moses said, "The people, among whom I am, are six hundred thousand footmen; and thou hast said, I will give them flesh, that they may eat a whole month." And the Lord said unto Moses, "Is the Lord's hand waxed short?" So Moses assembled the children of Israel. And the Lord sent a wind which brought quails from the sea, and scattered them by the camp, as it were a day's journey on this side, and a day's journey on the other side, round about the
camp, and two cubits high upon the face of the earth.
And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and gathered the quails; but before they had eaten them a plague came forth among them; and many of the people that had lusted died, and were buried there. Therefore the place was called "The graves of the lusters." a
27. THE SPIES.
WHEN the people were come into the wilderness of Paran, Moses sent men to spy out the land of Canaan; one man from every tribe. These went through the land from the southern to the
a Numb. xi. 4-34.
northern boundary. And it was about the time of the first ripe grapes; and they cut down a branch with a cluster of grapes, and carried it between two upon a staff; they brought also with them pomegranates, and figs, and other fruits of the land. After forty days, they came back to the camp, and said, "We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are large, and have high walls; and we saw giants there so that we were but as grasshoppers before them."
And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, "Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! And wherefore hath the Lord brought us into this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? Were it not better for us to return into Egypt?" And they said one to another, "Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt." Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: and they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, "The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which flow
THE MURMURING OF ISRAEL.
eth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them not." But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. a
Then the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before the people; and God said, "How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have showed among them? As ye have spoken in my ears, so will I do to you: your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and your children shall wander in this wilderness forty years."
So then all the people that were twenty years of age, who had come out of Egypt, except Joshua and Caleb, were to die in the wilderness; and the children of Israel were to remain in the wilderness nine and thirty years more.
Their principal encampments were in the wilderness of Sinai, in the wilderness of Kadesh, and in Paran, where they remained several years. They had altogether twenty different encampments during the nine and thirty years.
28. THE MURMURING OF ISRAEL.
BUT this was not the last rebellion of the Israelites. One of the heads of families of the tribe of Levi, Korah, a cousin of Moses, joined himself with Dathan and Abiram, heads of families of the
"Numb. xiv. 1-10. b Numb. xiv. 11, 28, 29, 33.