Imagini ale paginilor

REPORT OF THE SPIES. [1635-1451 B.C. So they went up, and searched the land, and after forty days, they returned. They brought a bunch of grapes from Eshcol, 60 large, that •two men were required to carry it. All the spies said that Canaan was a good land,-a land flowing with milk and honey. Caleb and Joshua, two of the spies, wanted the people to go and take possession of it; but the ten told them they were not able. They said, “ The cities are strong, and the people who dwell therein are giants.” The people believed the false report, and lifted up their voice and wept that night.

NOTES AND EXPLANATIONS. covenant—the ark was so called be- kinds of leprosy; in this case, and in cause it contained the tables of the law those of Gehazi and Uzziah, the disease on which were inscribed the terms of was a judgment inflicted by the agreement between Jehovah and the Almighty. Lessons 91 and 104. children of Israel; by the observance of seven—this number of days was which they should have secured to them appointed for her cure. possession of Canaan, the privilege of being a peculiar people unto God, and the grapes were borne on a staff be

two men—it is generally supposed that all the temporal blessings connected tween two men, not because of the size therewith. Jer. xxxi. 31-34.

of the cluster, but that the grapes might Rise up, &c.—whether the people moved not be bruised. Travellers state that forward or rested Moses offered a pray- some of the species of grapes of Paleser to God.

tine and Syria are extraordinarily large, afflicted—punished for their murmur- and also that the bunches are larger

than those of France and Italy; the elders—a selection from the large valley of Eshcol still produces grapes number of elders already recognised by of large size and delicious flavour. the several tribes. Lesson 18, elders. flowing witha phrase proverbial

prophesied-spoke with the authority great abundance. of God's messengers, or that of appoint


TABERAH— burning ;' a place of spake against—they were jealous of encampment in the Wss. of Paran. the extraordinary favour bestowed upon KIBROTH-HATTAAVAH – ves of him by Jehovah.

lust; the encampment of the Israel. married—the wife of Moses was the ites at which they lusted for flesh. daughter of Jethro, a priest of Midian, ETHIOPIA--southern Arabia was thus (Lesson 17) in Hebrew she is called á called. Cusbite; this term is generally applied KADESH-BARNEA—a city near the to the Ethiopians of Arabia.

wilderness of Paran on the southern punished-Miriam was evidently the border of the promised land. From chief offender, as Aaron was not in- Kadesh-barnea 'the Israelites had to cluded in the punishment.

turn back into the wilderness, when leprosy—a loathsome and contagious condemned to wander therein forty disease in the skin, still common in years for their rebellions. Syria and the East; it especially affects Eshcol--a cluster of grapes;' when the knees and elbows, and sometimes the land was divided, the valley of the whole ody. There were several 'Eshcol lay between Simeon and Dan.



[blocks in formation]


Pilgrim to the land of rest,

Canaan fair beyond the skies,
Through the desert oft distress’d,

Where the fiery serpent flies.
Zion's road's a chequer'd scene,

Sorrows mingle with our joy,
Lights and shadows intervene,

Here a song and there a sigh.
Earth, 'tis but a howling waste,

Storms of pungent sorrows blow,
Waters bitter to the taste,

From the brooks of Marah flow.
Forward press through sore dismay,

Griefs, and groans, and heavy woes,
Flame by night, and shade by day,

Still the cloudy pillar goes.
See the wat'ry deep divides,

Pharaoh's host to bury there,
Still the flaming pillar guides,

Leads the van, and guards the rear.
Thus the dreary path they trod,

Follow'd by the cloud and flame,
Murmur'd oft against their God,

We, alas ! have done the same.
Did they kiss their calves of gold,
Bow and shameful homage pay

Let it ne'er in Gath be told,

We have kiss'd them every day.
Thou art still our cov'nant God,

Let thy guiding pillar show,
While we tread the self same road,

Where to stand, and when to go.
Eshcol's clusters we have eat,

Sweet their taste, their number few;
Lord, thy visits now repeat,

While we pass the desert through.
Soon with yonder blood-bought crowd,

We shall sing on Canaan's shore,
Songs of triumph, sweet and loud,

War with Amalek no more.

[ocr errors]


Numbers xiv.-xxii. Then all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron ; and the whole congregation said,“ • Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! Let us make us a captain and let us return into Egypt.” Then Joshua and Caleb spake unto all the people, saying, “Rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the

, people of the land; their defence is departed from them, and the Lord is with us.” But all the congregation spake of stoning them. The glory of the Lord then appeared in the tabernacle before all the people ; and the Lord said unto Moses, “ How long will this people 'provoke me? I will smite them with a 'pestilence.” Moses prayed to the Lord not to destroy them. God then said that all the men that came out of Egypt, except Caleb and Joshua, should .wander forty years, and die in the wilderness, and that their children should possess the land. God commanded the Israelites to turn back again into the wilderness. The unfaithful spies died of the plague.

The next day the people marched towards Canaan, 'contrary to God's will. They were met by the Canaanites and the Amalekites, who defeated the Israelites, and slew many of them. The Lord permitted the Israelites to be thus punished because of their great disobedience.

While the Israelites continued in the Wilderness of Paran a man was found gathering sticks on the Sabbath day. God commanded him to be stoned. God had declared that all who worked on the Sabbath should surely die.

Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and On rebelled against Moses and Aaron, The earth opened and swa wed them up; and fire came and devoured two-hundred-and-fifty men who •offered incense with them. The next day the people began to rebel, but God sent a plague among them, and 14,700 died. According to God's command a 'rod for each tribe was placed in the tabernacle ; and on the next day it was found that Aaron's rod had budded, blossomed, and brought forth almonds. The Lord said, “Bring Aaron's rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels.” The rod was a token that God had chosen Aaron and his house to be priests, and none other.

[ocr errors]


the whole congregation—though the from the rebels, saying, that if Korah Israelites were divided into twelve dis- and his company should die a natural tinct tribes, they are, nevertheless, death then the Lord had not sent bim. spoken of as but one assembly.

As soon as the separation was complete Would God, &c.—they wished they the judgments of God fell on the rebels. had died in Egypt, or in the wilderness.

offer incense—the spiritual leadership Let us, fc.—they came to the resolve was the subject of contention. Korah that instead of going forward to Ca- and his company advanced the plea that naan they would go back to Egypt. all the congregation were holy—any of Did they expect that the cloud of God them being equally acceptable to God would lead them, and the manna fall to as priests and teachers. This opinion sustain them in their rebellion ?

was refuted by the sudden destruction provoke-excite to wrath; arouse to of the rebels. indignation; not that Jehovah was provoked as man is, but that their

rod—a shepherd's staff; the great conduct deserved his anger and punish

mass of the people having become dis. ment.

affected, a plague was not only sent pestilence—a destructive and conta- formed in order to shew that the spiri

among them, but a miracle was pergious disease.

tual guidance of Israel was vested in wanderand die—this was the sad the tribe of Levi and in the family of punishment for their unbelief and dis-Aaron. The rods were emblematical obedience. Heb. iii. 17-iv. 2. Lesson of spiritual leadership. Psalm xxiii. 4 ; 23, blot out.

Isaiah xl. 10,11. John X. 11-14. turn backthe first command to turn back (Lesson 20, Pihahiroth') was to

almond-the Hebrew name of the bring ihem into a position of peril where almond-tree denotes its hasty growth & their faith should be tried, and where early maturity; it grows extensively in they should experience God's power and Palestine, and around its borders, and goodness; but now the command to blossoms very early in the year, so early turn is for their punishment. They had as January, it is supposed that the rods arrived within a short distance of the of all the chiefs were made of this tree southern border of the land of Canaan;

the miracle of Aaron's rod alone bude and they were ordered to turn back into ding, blossoming, and bearing fruit at the terrible wilderness' through which

the same time determined the conthe Lord'had safely led them.

troversy as to the priesthood; there

were no more disputes or rebellions on contrary-instead of humbling them- this subject. selves before God, they rashly proceeded to further acts of disobedience.

testimony-meaning the ark of the Korah-Korah was of the tribe of

testimony, or ark of the covenant. Less. Levi; he grew jealous of the dignity constituted the covenant, or agreement,

25, covenant.' The tables of the Law conferred upon the family of AmramMoses being the chosen lawgiver, and

between God and the people. Anron & his sons the appointed priests.

GEOGRAPHICAL NOTE. Dathan, 8C.--these leaders were of the tribe of Reuben, Jacob's eldest son; of Beersheba, and was near to Edom

WILDERNESS OF PARAN_lay south probably they were displeased with the and the wilderness of Zin. Into this pre-eminence of Moses and Aaron, and wilderness Hagar and Ishmael went submitted to Korah's guidance.

when expelled by Abraham. Lesson 9. the earth, 8c.-Moses proposed to try The Israelites entered this wilderness the question of his divine mission and after leaving Mount Sinai ; it is called authority by submitting the decision to by Moses, “the great and terrible God; be therefore separated the people I wilderness."


When Israel's host belov'd of God,

From Egypt sought the desert dread,
By day the cloud before them sped,

By night the fiery pillar led;
Unhurt the Red Sea depths they trod;

He rain'd down bread from Heaven's blue height,
He bade the rock yield water bright,

Till promis'd Canaan met their sight,
With blushing vine and fertile sod.
We seek a land of more delight

Than aught that promis’d Canaan gave;
We have escape'd from sin's dark grave,

Have pass'd the pure baptismal wave;
Christ leads us on by day and night,

The Bread that feeds our weariness,
The Rock that, in the wilderness,

Still gushes pure and free to bless
Our souls with spiritual might.
We must not be like Israel's band,

Who tempted God by deed and thought,
Who scorn'd the law His prophet taught,

Who loath'd the precious food he brought,
And wish'd again for Egypt's land;

His holy faith they would not hold,
But lov'd the tales the heathen told,

And made them idol gods of gold,
Provoking His almighty hand.
These things are our examples given,

That we, who walk in brighter day,
May hold our faith more pure than they;

Nor in this bad world go astray
To sin by evil passions driven;

Till He, whom type and lay foretold
In mystic signs and songs of old,

Shall lead us o'er life's dreary wold,
Safe to our happy home in Heaven.


« ÎnapoiContinuă »