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NOTES AND EXPLANATIONS.
PERIOD III.] reproached severely blamed; chided. Levites-descendants of Levi. Lesson
construct-form; erect; build. tabernacle-tent of the Lord; it had moveable walls of boards, and within it the services of God's worship were performed until the completion of Solomon's temple. Lesson 68.
curtains-to divide the tent, and to separate the most holy from the holy place; also for covering it, and for hanging before the entrance.
ark-a chest in which were deposited the pot of manna (Lesson 21) and the tables of the law; it was placed in the inner division of the tabernacle; the ark was overlaid with gold.
shittim-wood-considered to be a species of acacia which grows abundantly in the deserts of Arabia.
mercy-seat-the lid or covering of the ark. It was so called because a cloud rested upon it indicative of the presence of Jehovah. Before it the high priest stood to ask counsel of the Lord and blessings for the people.
cherubim-small figures with the human face, and the wings of a bird; they were placed at each end of the mercy seat, covering it with expanded wings.
table-upon it were placed twelve loaves of new bread every Sabbath, the old loaves having been previously removed by the priests. Leviticus xxiv. 8. These loaves were set before God in gratitude for his bounty, and as a lively emblem of the oneness of the twelve tribes-for they were all one bread. The priests ate of this bread; but it was unlawful for others to do so. Less. 48, hallowed.'
candlestick-the seven sockets were daily filled with pure olive oil, and the lights were certainly kept burning from
sunset until sunrise, and probably during the day also.
incense-altar-incense was composed of gums & spices which God expressly named; frankincense being the chief ingredient. None but the priests were to burn it, and they were to burn it morning and evening before the Lord.'
burnt-offering-the sacrifice; a type of the sacrifice of Christ for our sins.
vestments-garments; priestly robes. ephod-a small cloak made of linen for the ordinary priests; of cotton, coloured with crimson, purple, and blue, for the High Priest. On each shoulder of the ephod was a precious stone, on which were engraved the names of the twelve tribes, six on each.
breastplate-the breastplate formed the front part of the ephod, it was set with twelve precious stones in frames of gold, bearing the names of the twelve tribes. It is believed that upon it were presented visible manifestations of the Divine Will with reference to any inquiry made by the priest.
robe-a long linen gown of light blue, all of one piece, with a hole at the top for the head to pass through, and on each side for the arms. To this robe bells and pomegranates were attached.
broidered coat-a robe with sleeves to the wrists, it was worn both by the high priest and the ordinary priests.
girdle-this was made of fine twined linen, embroidered with blue, purple, and scarlet; it was long enough to be wound several times round the body, and was worn over the coat.
mitre-a turban of fine linen with a plate of pure gold in front, on which was inscribed "HOLINESS TO THE LORD.”
consecrated-formally set apart for God's service.
glory-the cloud was the token of God's presence. Lesson 22.
sanctify-Lesson 20. The priesthood was from this time vested in the sons of Aaron, and continued in his family till Christ came. The other families of the tribe of Levi had duties assigned to them connected with the service of the tabernacle, but they were not eligible for the priesthood.
THE DIVINE GUIDANCE.
WAITING FOR DIVINE GUIDANCE.
"AND WHEN THE CLOUD WAS TAKEN UP FROM THE TABERNACLE, THEN THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL JOURNEYED."
How beautiful the lessons taught
By Israel's journeyings still appear;
And many a law whose influence sway'd
Our holy progress Zion-ward.
Have we no ark in this our day?
In hope and gladness journey on.
24. NADAB AND ABIHU SLAIN. Leviticus ix.-Numbers x.
When Aaron made his first offerings to the Lord for himself, and for the people, as Moses commanded him, the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people, and there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed the burnt-offering upon the altar, which when all the people saw they shouted and fell upon their faces.
Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them
PERIOD III.] OFFERINGS, ETC. CHARGE OF THE LEVITES.
not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. The people took the bodies of Nadab and Abihu and buried them outside of the camp. God then commanded that the priests should not drink wine nor strong drink when they went into the Tabernacle, lest they should die.
God gave Moses many laws for the Israelites. Some of them are called the ceremonial law; they relate to sacrifices and offerings in general, to religious feasts and fasts, to cleansings of various kinds, to forbidden food and forbidden pleasures. The principal offerings were the Burnt-offering, Meat-offering, Peace-offering, Sin-offering, and Trespass-offering. Another class of laws were for the guidance of the judges and rulers in the government of the nation; these laws are called the civil code. All these ordinances and laws the Israelites were commanded strictly to observe.
Two men strove together in the camp, and one of them blasphemed and cursed God. He was put into prison. Moses inquired of the Lord how he was to be punished. God Isaid he was to die. The people took him outside the camp, and stoned him until he died. His mother was Shelomith, an Israelitish woman, but his father was an Egyptian.
The descendants of Levi were called Levites. When the children of Israel journeyed in the Wilderness of Sin, God said the Levites were to serve him in the Tabernacle. He accepted them instead of the firstborn of the Israelites. Moses consecrated them. Their business was to instruct the people, to wait on the priests, and to take care of all things belonging to the tabernacle. The sons of Levi were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari; their descendants constituted the three orders of Levites; the Gershonites had charge of all the coverings, hangings, and curtains of the tabernacle; they were to encamp on the western side of the tabernacle. The Kohathites were appointed to carry the ark and the sacred vessels, the table, and the candlesticks: they were to encamp on the southern side of the tabernacle. The Merarites had the care of the boards, pillars and sockets, of the tabernacle, and of the court round about; they were to encamp on the northern side of the tabernacle.
"THE STRANGE OFFERING." [1635-1451 B.C.
NOTES AND EXPLANATIONS.
fire-probably the mode by which God testified his acceptance of Abel. Less. 2, accepted;' & Less. 81, 'fire.' censer-a pan, or small vase, used for carrying the fire in which the incense was burned from the altar to other places.
strange-irregular; the fire they used was not taken from the altar, but from
fire in common use.
ceived, or of supplication for blessings needed, the other offerings were atonements for sin.
code-book; body, or series of laws. ordinances-observances; ceremonies ordered to be observed.
stoned-this horrid mode of destroying life was inflicted on idolaters, blasphemers, sabbath-breakers, and rebellious children; the witnesses against them were required to com. mence the dreadful punishment, after which the assembled multitude completed it. Lesson 26, 'stoned.'
instead it was commanded that the first-born of all the tribes should be devoted to God, as Israel's expression of gratitude for their deliverance from the destroying angel; but now God chose the tribe of Levi, and accepted them for his service instead of the first
born of all Israel. Less. 20, 'sanctify.' constituted-formed of parts or sec
THE STRANGE OFFERING.
"AND THERE WENT OUT FIRE FROM THE LORD AND DEVOURED THEM."
This is the abode where God doth dwell,
This is the gate of Heaven,
The shrine of the Invisible,
The Priest, the Victim given.
O holy seat, O holy fane,
Where dwells the Omnipotent,
Whom the broad world cannot contain,
Nor Heaven's high firmament.
Here, where the unearthly guest descends
And sacred love her wing extends
Let no unhallow'd thought be here
Let nought polluted dare draw near,
Or, lo! the avenger is at hand,
CHILD'S CHRISTIAN YEAR.
25. MIRIAM'S LEPROSY. THE SPIES' REPORT.
Numbers x. 33-xiii.
When the children of Israel journeyed from Mount Sinai, the ark of the covenant went before them three days' journey to seek for a resting place for them. And when the ark set forward, Moses said, "Rise up, Lord, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee." And when it rested, he said, " Return, O Lord, to the many thousands of Israel."
The people again complained, and the Lord was greatly displeased; he sent down fire, which consumed many of them. Moses prayed for them, and the fire was quenched. The place was called Taberah. They came to Kibrothhataavah; there they murmured for flesh, God was angry and sent them quails; the people ate them and were afflicted with a great plague; and many died. Moses complained of the great burden of governing the people; God appointed seventy elders to assist him. The spirit of God which rested upon Moses descended on the seventy elders, and they prophesied. Two of them, called Eldad and Medad, did not go into the tabernacle, but taught in the camp; Joshua desired Moses to forbid them from prophesying, but Moses would not; he said, "Would God that all the Lord's people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!" Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses, because he had married an Ethiopian woman. For this the Lord punished Miriam with leprosy; she became white as snow, and was shut out of the camp for seven days.
God commanded twelve men to be sent to search Canaan ; a man out of each tribe. Moses therefore sent twelve men, that were heads of the people, from Kadesh-barnea; and he said unto them, "Go see the land what it is; and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many; and what the land is that they dwell in, whether it be good or bad; and what cities they be that they dwell in, whether in tents, or strong holds; and what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein or not, and be of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land."