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and Aaron and his sons were consecrated to the office of the ministry.*
Q. How did the Lord converse with Moses in the tabernacle?
A. He spoke to him “from off the mercy-seat, that was upon the ark of testimony, from between the two cherubim."
Q. How did the Lord manifest his approval of the high priest?
A. On the eighth day after his consecration, Aaron having offered sin-offerings and burnt-offerings, to make atonement for himself and the people, the glory of the Lord appeared; and there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed the burnt-offering; which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.
Q. What befel Nadab and Abihu ?
A. Instead of using in their ministrations the sacred fire, which was kept perpetually alives for the purpose, they used common fire, wherefore the Lord smote them and they died. I
* See Levit. viii. for the details of this inauguration. + Numb. vii. 89. Psalm 1xxx. 1.
Lev. vi. 13. Several nations preserved what they termed sacred fire. The goddess Vesta, famous among the Romans, was only a personification of that element, as her name denotes.
The most celebrated fire-worshippers were the Persians, who under this symbol adored Mithras, their mediatorial god. The sect called Guebres is said to have preserved the sacred fire alive upwards of three thousand years.
The law which immediately followed their death, Lev. X. 8. indicates that they were inebriated when they thus transgressed the commandment of the Lord.
Q. What law was enacted, shortly after this, against blasphemy?
A. Blasphemers were condemned to be stoned to death.*
Q. When was the second passover kept ? A. M. 2513. A. On the fourteenth day of the first B. C. 1491. month, in the wilderness of Sinai.t
Q. What occurred in the second month of the second year of the Exodus?
A. Moses took a census of the people, and found their number to be six hundred and three thousand men, able to bear arms. I
* Lev. xxiv. 23. “ Stoning was denounced against idolaters, blasphemers, sabbath-breakers, incestuous persons, witches, wizards, and children who either cursed their pa. rents, or rebelled against them. This kind of punishment is intended by the indefinite term of putting to death. The wit. nesses threw the first stones." --Rev. T. H. Horne's Introd. &c. vol. iii. + Numb, ix. 5.
The Levites were taken separately. Of those from thirty to fifty years old, capable of tabernacle service, there were eight thousand five hundred and eighty. Numb. iv. 48. Of males above a month old, there were twenty-two thousand, who were taken for the Lord's service instead of the first-born sons of the Israelites generally. The latter amounted to twenty-two thousand two hundred and seventy-three, wherefore the overplus "[two hundred and seventy-three] were redeemed at the rate of five shekels each. Numb. iii. 13, 39–48.
To avoid confusion in the march of this great multitude, the people were distributed into four camps, each consisting of
Q. When did they leave Sinai?
A. They left it on the twentieth day of the second month, "and the cloud rested in the wilderness of Paran," three days' journey from Horeb. On the way, some of the people complained, "and the LORD hea d; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp." Wherefore the place was called Taberah, or Burning.
Q. How was this judgment arrested ?
Q. What circumstance caused, at this time, a rebellion in the camp?
three tribes, who, with the priests and Levites, pitched their dore teats in the following order :
See Numbers ii. 2, 3, 10, 18, 25.-_iii. 23, 29, 35, 38. Wbentip they were to march, the priests sounded an alarm on the silveré fait trumpets, x. 5, 6. The east camp first set forward, ii. 9, then and the sonth, v. 16, the Levites with the tabernacle, v, 17.-iii. 35, 1 25—37, the west camp, ii. 24, and lastly, the north camp,.? v. 31. See also x, 14--25.
શ sted, 1
A. The Israelites, and the mixed multitude* that left Egypt with them, despising the manna, lusted for flesh. Moses, deeply grieved,t cried to the Lord for help to enable him to govern this rebellious people; and the Lord therefore poured out his Spirit on seventy of the elders, who began immediately to prophecy in the camp. I
Q. How did the Lord punish the people for their sin ?
A. “He rained flesh upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea. So they did eat, and were well filled : for he
them their own desire; yet they were not estranged from their lust. But while their meat was yet in their mouths, the wrath of God came upon them, and smote down the chosen of Israel." Therefore the place was called Kibroth-battaavah, the Graves of them that lusted.
Q. Had the judgments of God a salutary effect upon their minds?
A. No: "for all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works.”
Q. What happened at Chatzeroth, their next station ? A. Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses, because
* These were probably malecontents, Numb. xi. 4, 5. induced, by the hope of plundering the Canaanites, to accompany the children of Israel. It is not surprising if privations excited their murmurs.
+ The faith of Moses staggered under this trial, Numb. xi. 21–23. and the putting of the Spirit on the seventy elders, v. 24, 25, was designed to encourage him. His reply to Joshua, v. 28, 29, breathes a spirit of ne philanthropy.
To this circumstance the origin of the Sanhedrin has been attributed, but improperly,
Psalm lxxviii. 26-32.
of the Ethiopian* woman whom he had married : on this account the Lord punished Miriam with a leprosy, and though, at the earnest request of Moses, she was immediately healed, she was shut out from the camp seven days.
Q. What happened in Paran?
A. Moses, at the suggestion of the people, and by God's permission,t sent twelve men, one of every tribe, that of the Levites excepted, to spy ont the land of Canaan.
Q. What were the principal nations then inhabiting Canaan?
A. They were - seven in number—the Hittites, Perizzites, Amorites, Hivites, Girgashites, Canaanites, and Jebusites. Their country was in a high state of cultivation; their cities well fortified; and their armies numerous. They were not unacquainted with letters, I and had made considerable progress in commerce and the arts :$ but they were given up to gross idolatry, and to utter demoralization,
* Numb. xii. 1. ha-cushit, the ('ushite woman-Zipporah, the Arabian.
+ Numb. xiii. 1. Deut. i. 22.
#Joshua appears to have been one of several select ivdividuals who served Moses. Numb. xi. 28.
Kirjath-Sepher, Judg. i. 11. signifies the city of the book, or of letters.
The Phænicians, inbabiting Tyre and Sidon, famous in all antiquity for their ingenuity in the arts, skill in navigation, and enterprising spirit, were a Canaanitish tribe. The Hebrew Cenaani signifying both a Canaaniteand a merchant, shows that they were early addicted to commercial pursuits.