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tion.* We must needs go further, however, and observe, that the argument is cumulative. That such a phenomenon should occur once, must be allowed to be extraordinary. That it should be seen repeatedly, is at least a fact of exceedingly great weight, if I may not call it a conclusive one.
The fortieth chapter relates to us that great event, the first institution of the Jewish worship, by the setting up and furnishing of the place of its solemn ceremonial. “In the first month, in the second year, on the first day of the month," that is, one year, within fourteen days, after the people's escape from Egypt, the Tabernacle was erected by Moses, and the sacred objects, which it was to enclose, were installed with proper observance in their respective places.f
In respect to the statement, “Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle," I I am at a loss, such is its brevity, to decide whether or not it is intended to describe a supernatural phenomenon. On the one hand, it is entirely natural to suppose, that a miraculous recognition of the Tabernacle, now first set up, as God's future dwelling, should be exhibited to the people's view.Ş On the other hand, it seems to me, that a cautious critic will hardly feel authorized to deduce confidently from the words more than the following sense; that the fire, which betokened the leader's presence, was now for the first time kindled at the Tabernacle, its smoke ascending over that structure, in the people's view, and thenceforward the Glory of the Lord, the Divine Majesty, the Heavenly Presence, occupied its prepared abode. If
Compare Ex. xxviii. xxix, with Ex. xxxix. and Lev. viii. ix. † The remark in the last two paragraphs may here be repeated. Compare xl. 1-11, with 16- 30. | xl. 34.
Compare xxxiii. 9. || 3pr, commonly translated cloud, is from the verb 33), to cover, and
it be remarked, that this exposition scarcely accounts for the statement in the next verse, that “Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle," I submit, that these words are very naturally understood to denote, that Moses was withheld by a becoming awe from approaching what he henceforward regarded as the Divine abode; or, more particularly, (an exposition which I believe will be sustained by all that we know of Moses' relations to the worship and people,) that, having now arranged the Tabernacle, and prepared it for the occupation of its Divine tenant, his office there was closed, and that, being no priest, but only a common Levite, he might not thenceforward venture to pass its portal.
But, if we adopt the first-mentioned and more commonly received view of the cloud here spoken of, and regard it as a miraculous appearance, — an interpretation, for which there is certainly some color, -I con
appears to be equally susceptible of being used of a vapor raised by combustion, or smoke, as of that collected by evaporation, or a cloud. Compare Lev. xvi. 13; Ezek. viii. 11. Psalm cxlviii. 8, shows how freely such words are interchanged. The word there properly rendered vapor (110"p) is almost always used, though not here, for the vapor produced by flame.
Further; I propose a different translation of verses 33 and 34, as follows; “ So Moses finished the work, and he covered the tent of the congregation with a cloud,” that is, lighted a fire, as the consummating act, from which smoke floated over the Tabernacle. For instances of the verb 709, in the Piel form, governing two accusatives, see Ezek, xvi. 10, xviii. 7, 16. — Such a text as Lev. ix. 23, proves nothing to the contrary of what I have suggested of Moses' right to enter the sacred edifice. Our translation is altogether more definite than the original, which would be very well translated; “Moses and Aaron went to the Tabernacle.” When they came out," it was from the court where the Tabernacle stood, and where, from its small size, “the people,” whom they “ blessed,” could not have been collected. The preposition which in this verse our translators have rendered “into,” is six, the same which is used in Numbers xii. 4, and there properly translated “unto,” since it was plain that Miriam, at least, could not enter the Tabernacle. Compare Deut. xxxi. 14. VOL. I.
ceive, that it would be altogether rash to attribute, on that ground, the same miraculous character to the cloud, related in the last three verses to have been permanently seen above the Tabernacle. On that supposition, what the writer tells us I understand to have been as follows ; By a miraculous manifestation, the Divine Majesty took first possession of the sacred tent prepared for it. He visited and occupied it with the sign of a prince's and a leader's presence.
And thenceforward it was always acknowledged as his abode, by “ the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys”; insomuch that, according as its motion or rest was indicated by the smoke or flame of the fire kindled in its precincts, the march to follow it was marshalled, or the encampment around it remained undisturbed.
LEVITICUS I. 1.- IX. 24.
TIME OCCUPIED BY THE EVENTS RECORDED IN LEVITICUS. THE
WORSHIP OF THE HEBREWS CONSISTED OF OFFERINGS. —QUESTION WHETHER THE WORSHIP OF OFFERINGS WAS ORIGINALLY OF HUMAN OR Divine Institution.— The Mosaic CODE FOUND THE PRACTICE EXISTING.
MATERIALS OF OFFERINGS PRESCRIBED BY THE LAW.- Manner OF PRESENTING THEM, AND OBJECTS DESIGN
TO BE SERVED. - PLACE WHERE THEY MUST BE PRESENTED, AND PURPOSE OF ITS DESIGNATION. REVENUES OF THE PRIESTHOOD. — FORMS OF CONSECRATION OF THE PRIESTS. — ENTRANCE OF AARON ON HIS FUNCTIONS.
The titles of the books of the Pentateuch, as they stand in the Hebrew Bible, consist of the first words of those books respectively. The names by which we know them, intended to be descriptive of their principal subjects, are of Greek origin, having been first used in the Septuagint version, from which they were adopted into the Vulgate.*
The time occupied by the transactions recorded in the book of Leviticus, is one month. We shall find it to consist chiefly of a record of the publication of various laws; laws, which it seems probable that Moses had received authority to promulgate, during his second prolonged stay in the upper mountainous region. | When
• l'irsois, Genesis, Creation, our translators have retained unaltered; to "Ecodos, Departure, and Asvirixò, relating to the Levilical Law, they have only given a Latin termination, following the Vulgate ; 'Aqi@pol, Numbers, they have translated like that version ; and of Acutegovópsov, Second Law, they have but Anglicized the form of the two last syllables.
# Compare Ex. xl. 17, Numbers i. 1. | Ex. xxxiv. 28; Deut. ix, 18.
the first time he had been absent from the camp for several weeks, it was to receive directions respecting the arrangements for a place of worship and a priesthood.* Of the revelations made to him during his second absence, we have no full account in connexion with the recital of the fact.f When, immediately after the erection of a place of worship, we find him announcing rules, many of which could not, from their nature, be observed, till that had been prepared, while all, by their publication from its sacred precincts, would give and receive sanctity through the association, it is natural to regard them as the same, which were the fruit of his meditations, and the subject of revelations received by him, during the period of his retirement. Nor are we at a loss for a reason, why the publication of that portion of them, which might have earlier gone into effect, was delayed through the few months before the Tabernacle was finished. During that time, the attention of no small portion of the people must have been engrossed by the work. The excitement which undoubtedly was created, as it went on and drew towards its conclusion, must have favorably prepared the way for the reception of further revelations; and, after reflecting and practising for a little time upon the compendious law which they had already received, the people would be the better prepared to understand the spirit and uses of regulations designed for its improvement. I
* Ex. xxiv. 18 ; compare xxv - xxxi.
† The brief record in Ex, xxxiv. 10 -27, will not be thought to invalidate this remark.
| The divine communications to Moses had been hitherto made, for the most part, on the mountain. Henceforward they are made “out of the Tabernacle," i. 1. But how “out of the Tabernacle”? In reply, an unauthorized inference is commonly drawn from Ex. xxv. 22. When Moses, standing anywhere within the Tabernacle precincts, received supernatural communications, God was properly said to commune with him from that mercy-seat, where he was represented to have taken up his