Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

A. M. 2513.
B. C. 1491.

A. M. 2513.
B. C. 1491.

Sivan.

Sivan

Laws concerning widows,

EXODUS.

and lending to the poor. 19 Whosoever lieth with a 23 If thou afflict them in any An. Exod. Isr. 1. beast shall surely be put to wise, and they cry at all unto An. Exod. Ist. 1. death.

me, I will surely whear their cry; 20 * He that sacrificeth unto any god, save 24 And my wrath shall wax hot, and I unto the Lord only, he shall be utterly de- will kill you with the sword; and your stroyed.

wives shall be widows, and your children 21 Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor fatherless. , oppress him : for ye were strangers in the land 25 2 If thou lend money to any of my peoof Egypt.

ple that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to 22 · Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fa- him as a usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon therless child.

him usury.

Lev. xviii. 23 ; xx. 15. Num. xxv. 2, 7, 8; Deut. xii. 1, 1. 27.—Deut. xv.9; xxiv. 15; Job xxxv. 9; Luke xvili. 7. 2, 5, 6, 9, 13, 14, 15; xvii. 2. 3, 5; 1 Mac. ii. 24. Chapter w Ver. 23; Job xxxiv. 28; Psa. xvin. 6; cxlv. 19; James v. 4. xxii. 9; Lev. xix. 33; xxv. 35; Deut. x. 19; Jer. vii. 6; Zech. Job xxxi. 23; Psa. lxix. 24.— -y Psalm cix. 9; Lam. v. 3. vii. 10; Mal. iu. 5. - Deut. x. 18 ; xxiv. 17; xxvii. 19; Psa. 2 Lev. xxv. 35, 36, 37; Deut. xxiii. 19, 20; Neh. v. 7; Psa. xv. xciv. 6; Isa. i. 17,23 ; x, 2; Ezek. xxii. 7; Zech. vii. 10 ; James 5; Ezek. xviii. 8, 17.

1

vez

uncover, to remove a veil; to manifest, reveal, make proselytes to your religion, and thus their souls may bare or naked; and sliüllo mecashefat is used to

be saved." In every point of view, therefore, justice,

Neither signify commerce with God. See Wilmet and Gig- humanity, sound policy, and religion, say, geius. The mecashshephah or witch, therefore, was

nor oppress a stranger. probably a person who professed to reveal hidden Verse 22. Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fathermysteries, by commerce with God, or the invisible less child.] It is remarkable that offences against this world.

law are not left to the discretion of the judges to be From the severity of this law against witches, &c., punished ; God reserves the punishment to himself, we may see in what light these were viewed by Di- and by this he strongly shows his abhorrence of the vine justice.

They were seducers of the people from crime. It is no common crime, and shall not be putheir allegiance to God, on whose judgment alone they nished in a common way ; the wrath of God shall war should depend ; and by impiously prying into futurity, hot against himn who in any wise afflicts or wrongs a assumed an attribute of God, the foretelling of future widow or a fatherless child : and we may rest assured events, which implied in itself the grossest blasphemy, that he who helps either does a service highly acceptand tended to corrupt the minds of the people, by lead-able in the sight of God. ing them away from God and the revelation he had Verse 25. Neither shall thou lay upon him usury.] made of himself. Many of the Israelites had, no Joj neshech, from nashach, to bite, cut, or pierce with doubt, learned these curious arts from their long resi- the teeth ; biting usury. So the Latins call it usura dence with the Egyptians ; and so much were the Is- vorar, devouring usury.

"" The increase of usury is raelites attached to them, that we find such arts in called Joj neshech, because it resembles the biting of a repute among them, and various practices of this kind serpent; for as this is so small as scarcely to be perprevailed through the whole of the Jewish history, not- ceptible at first, but the venom soon spreads and withstanding the offence was capital, and in all cases diffuses itself till it reaches the vitals, so the increase punished with death.

of usury, which at first is not perceived nor felt, at Verse 19. Lieth with a beast) If this most abomi- length grows so much as by degrees to devour anonable crime had not been common, it never would ther's substance."--Leigh. have been mentioned in a sacred code of laws. It is It is evident that what is here said must be undervery likely that it was an Egyptian practice; and it stood of accumulated usury, or what we call compound is certain, from an account in Sonnini's Travels, that interest only; and accordingly 70) neshech is menit is practised in Egypt to the present day.

tioned with and distinguished from na tarbith and Verse 20. Utterly destroyed.] The word on che- rana marbith, interest or simple interest, Lev. xxv. rem denotes a thing utterly and finally separated from 36, 37; Prov. xxviii. 8; Ezek. xviii. 8, 13, 17, and God and devoted to destruction, without the possibility xxii. 12.Parkhurst. of redemption.

Perhaps usury may be more properly defined unVerse 21. Thou shalt neither ver a stranger, nor lawful interest, receiving more for the loan of money oppress him] This was not only a very humane law, than it is really worth, and more than the law allows. but it was also the offspring of a sound policy : “ Do It is a wise regulation in the laws of England, that if not vex a stranger; remember ye were strangers. Do a man be convicted of usury—taking unlawful intenot oppress a stranger ; remember ye were oppressed. rest, the bond or security is rendered void, and he Therefore do unto all men as ye would they should forfeits treble the sum borrowed. Against such an do to you.” It was the produce of a sound policy : oppressive practice the wisdom of God saw it essen“ Let strangers be well treated among you, and many tially necessary to make a law to prevent a people, will come to take refuge among you, and thus the who were naturally what our Lord calls the Pharisees, strength of your country will be increased. If refu-pihapyupo., lovers of money, (Luke xvi. 14,) from opgees of this kind be treated well, they will become pressing each other ; and who, notwithstanding the

A. M. 2513.
B. C. 1491.

A. M. 2513.

B. C. 1491. An. Exod. Isr. I.

Sivan.

Sivan.

Concerning pledges, and

CHAP. XXII.

respect to magistrates. 26 * If thou at all take thy | unto me, that I will hear ; for I An. Exod. Isr. 1. neighbour's raiment to pledge, am o gracious.

thou shalt deliver it unto him by 28 d Thou shalt not revile the that the sun goeth down :

• gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people. 27 For that is his covering only, it is his 29 Thou shalt not delay to offer f the 5 first raiment for his skin : wherein shall he sleep? of thy ripe fruits, and of thy h liquors : i the and it shall come to pass, when he bcrieth first-born of thy sons shalt thou give unto me.

a Deut. xxiv. 6, 10, 13, 17; Job xxii, 6; xxiv. 3, 9; Proverbs & Eccles, x. 20; Acts xx11.5; Jude 8.-- Or, Judges ; ver. 8, xx. 16; xxii. 27; Ezek. xviii. 7, 16; Amos ii. 8. b Verse 23. 9; Psa. lxxxii. 6. f Heb. thy fulness. -5 Chap. xxiii. 16, « Chap. xxxiv. 6; 2 Chron. xxx. 9; Psa. lxxxvi. 15.

19; Prov. iii. 9. Lh Heb. tear. - Ch. xii. 2, 12; xxxiv. 19.

law in the text, practise usury in all places of their Verse 29. The first of thy ripe fruits] This offerdispersion to the present day.

ing was a public acknowledgment of the bounty and Verse 26. If thou-take thy neighbour's raiment goodness of God, who had given them their proper to pledge] It seems strange that any pledge should be seed time, the first and the latter rain, and the appointtaken which must be so speedily restored ; but it is ed weeks of harvest. very likely that the pledge was restored by night only, From the practice of the people of God the heathens and that he who pledged it brought it back to his cre. borrowed a similar one, founded on the same reason. ditor next morning. The opinion of the rabbins is, The following passage from Censorinus, De Die Nathat whatever a man needed for the support of life, he tali, is beautiful, and worthy of the deepest attention :had the use of it when absolutely necessary, though it Nli enim (majores nostri) qui alimenta, patriam, was pledged. Thus he had the use of his working lucem, se denique ipsos deorum dono habebant, ex omnitools by day, but he brought them to his creditor in bus aliquid diis sacrabant, magis adeo, ut se gratos the evening. His hyke, which serves an Arab as a approbarent, quam quod deos arbitrarentur hoc indiplaid does a Highlander, (see it described chap. xii. gere. Itaque cum perceperant fruges, antequam vesce34,) was probably the raiment here referred to : it is rentur, Diis libare instituerunt : et cum agros alque a sort of coarse blanket, about six yards long, and five urbes, deorum munera, possiderent, partem quandam or six feet broad, which an Arab always carries with templis sacellisque, ubi eos colerent, dicavere. him, and on which he sleeps at night, it being his only “Our ancestors, who held their food, their country, substitute for a bed. As the fashions in the east the light, and all that they possessed, from the bounty scarcely ever change, it is very likely that the raiment of the gods, consecrated to them à part of all their of the Israelites was precisely the same with that of property, rather as a token of their gratitude, than the modern Arabs, who live in the very same desert in from a conviction that the gods needed any thing. which the Hebrews were when this law was given. Therefore as soon as the harvest was got in, before How necessary it was to restore the hyke to a poor they had tasted of the fruits, they appointed libations man before the going down of the sun, that he might to be made to the gods. And as they held their fields have something to repose on, will appear evident from and cities as gifts from their gods, they consecrated a the above considerations. At the same time, the certain part for temples and shrines, where they might returning it daily to the creditor was a continual ac- worship them.” knowledgment of the debt, and served instead of a Pliny is express on the same point, who attests that written acknowledgment or bond ; as we may rest the Romans never tasted either their new corn assured that writing, if practised at all before the giv- winé, till the priests had offered the FIRST-FRUITS to ing of the law, was not conmon : but it is most likely the gods. Ac ne degustabant quidem, novas fruges that it did not exist.

aut vina, antequam sacerdotes PRIMITIAS LIBASSENT. Verse 28. Thou shall not revile the gods] Most Hist. Nat., lib. xviii., c. 2. commentators believe that the word gods here means Horace bears the same testimony, and shows that magistrates. The original is d'obx Elohim, and should his countrymen offered, not only their first-fruits, but be understood of the true God only: Thou shall not the choicest of all their fruits, to the Lares or houseblaspheme or make light of supr tekallel] God, the hold gods ; and he shows also the wickedness of those fountain of justice and power, nor curse the ruler of who sent these as presents to the rich, before the gods thy people, who derives his authority from God. We had been thus honoured :shall ever find that he who despises a good civil government, and is disaffected to that under which he lives, is one who has little fear of God before his eyes.

Et quoscumque feret cultus tibi fundus honores,

Ante Larem gustet venerabilior Lare dives. The spirit of disaffection and sedition is ever opposed

Sat., lib. ii., s. V., ver. 12. to the religion of the Bible. When those who have been pious get under the spirit of misrule, they infal

“What your garden yields, libly get shorn of their spiritual strength, and become

The choicest honours of your cultured fields, like salt that has lost its savour. He who can indulge

To him be sacrificed, and let him taste, himself in speaking evil of the civil ruler, will soon

Before your gods, the vegetable feast.” DUNKIN. learn to blaspheme God. The highest authority says, And to the same purpose Tibullus, in one of the Fear God: honour the king:

most beautiful of his elegies :

or

Dulcia poma;

A. M. 2613.
B. C. 1491.

C. 1491.

The first-born of oxen and sheep EXODUS.

to be dedicated to the Lord 30 * Likewise shalt thou do 31 And ye shall be m holy A. M. 2513. An. Exod. Isr: 1. with thine oxen, and with thy men

n neither shall An. Exod. lør. 1 sheep : 1 seven days it shall be ye eat any flesh that is torn of with his dam; on the eighth day thou shalt beasts in the field; ye shall cast it to the give it me.

dogs.

unto me :

Sivan.

Sivan.

* Deut. xv. 19. Lev. xxii. 27,---m Chap. xix. 6; Lev.xix. 2 ; Deut. xiv. 21.-

Lev. xxii. 8; Ezek. iv. 14 ; xliv. 31.

Et quodcumque mihi pomum novus educat annus, considered as- completely formed. Among the RoLibatum agricolæ ponitur ante deo.

mans lambs were not considered as pure or clean Flava Ceres, libi sil nostro de rure corona

before the eighth day ; nor calves before the thirtieth: Spicea, quæ templi pendeal ante fores.

Pecoris fætus die octavo purus est, bovis trigesimo. Eleg., lib. i., eleg. i. ver, 13. -Plin. Hist. Nat., lib. viii.

Verse 31. Neither shall ye eat--flesh-torn of “My grateful fruits, the earliest of the year,

beasts in the field] This has been supposed to be an Before the rural god shall daily wait.

ordinance against eating flesh cut off the animal while From Ceres' gifts I 'll cull each browner ear,

alive, and so the Syriac seems to have understood it. And hang a wheaten wreath before her gate.”

If we can credit Mr. Bruce, this is a frequent custom GRAINGER.

in Abyssinia ; but human nature revolts from it. The The same subject he touches again in the fifth elegy reason of the prohibition against eating the flesh of of the same book, where he specifies the different animals that had been torn, or as we term it worried offerings made for the produce of the fields, of the in the field, appears to have been simply this : That flocks, and of the vine, ver. 27 :

the people might not eat the blood, which in this case Illa deo sciet agricolæ pro vitibus uvam,

must be coagulated in the flesh; and the blood, being Pro segete spicas, pro grege ferre dapem.

the life of the beast, and emblematical of the blood of

the covenant, was ever to be held sacred, and was pro“With pious care will load each rural shrine,

hibited from the days of Noah. See on Gen, ix, 4. For ripen'd crops a golden sheaf assign, - Cates for my fold, rich clusters for my wine."

In the conclusion of this chapter we see the grand Id.-See Calmet.

reason of all the ordinances and laws which it contains. These quotations will naturally recall to our memory No command was issued merely from the sovereignty the offerings of Cain and Abel, mentioned Gen. iv. 3, 4. of God. He gave them to the people as restraints on

The rejoicings at our harvest-home are distorted disorderly passions, and incentives to holiness; and remains of that gratitude which our ancestors, with hence he says, Ye shall be holy men unto me. Mere all the primitive inhabitants of the earth, expressed to outward services could neither please him nor profil God with appropriate signs and ceremonies. Is it not them; for from the very beginning of the world the possible to restore, in some goodly form, a custom so end of the commandment was love out of a pure heart pure, so edifying, and so becoming ? There is a lauda- and good conscience, and faith unfeigned, 1 Tim. i. 5. ble custom, observed by some pious people, of dedi- And without these accompaniments no set of religious cating a new house to God by prayer, &c., which duties, however punctually performed, could be pleasing cannot be too highly commended.

in the sight of that God who seeks truth in the inward Verse 30. Seven days it shall be with his dam] For parts, and in whose eyes the faith that worketh by the mother's health it was necessary that the young love is alone valuable. A holy heart and a holy, useone should suck so long ; and prior to this time the ful life God invariably requires in all his worshippers. process of nutrition in a young animal can scarcely be Reader, how standest thou in his sight?

CHAPTER XXIII.

Laws against evil-speaking, 1. Against bad company, 2. Against partiality, 3. Laws commanding acts

of kindness and humanity, 4, 5. Against oppression, 6. Against unrighteous decisions, 7. Against bribery and corruption, 8. Against unkindness to strangers, 9. The ordinance concerning the Sabbatical year, 10, 11. The Sabbath a day of rest, 12. General directions concerning circumcision, $c., 13. The three annual festivals, 14. The feast of unleavened bread, 15. The feast of harvest, and the feast of ingathering, 16. All the males to appear before God thrice in a year, 17. Different ordinances-no blood to be offered with leavened breadno fat to be left till the next day-the first fruits to be brought to the house of Godand a kid not to be seethed in its mother's milk, 18, 19. Description of the Angel of God, who was to lead the people into the promised land, and drive out the Amorites, fc., 20–23. Idolatry to be avoided, and the images of idols destroyed, 24. Different promises to obedience, 25–27. Hornets shall be sent to drive out the Canaanites, fc., 28. The ancient inhabitants to be driven out by little and little, and the reason why, 29, 30. The boundaries of the promised land, 31. No league or covenant to be made with the ancient inhabitants, who are all to be utterly expelled, 32, 33.

A. M. 2513.

B. C. 1491. Ant. Exod. Isr. 1.

Sivan.

Sivan.

Laws against evil-speaking, CHAP. XXIII. bad company, partiality, 4.c.

A. M: 2542: THOU shalt not braise a bear to help him, thou shalt surely An. Exod. Isr. l. false report : put not thine help with him.

hand with the wicked to be an 6 « Thou shalt not wrest the e unrighteous witness.

judgment of thy poor in his cause. 2 Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do 7 Keep thee far from a false matter ; " and evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for to decline after many to wrest judgment : n I will not justify the wicked,

3 Neither shalt thou countenance a poor 8 And • thou shalt take no gift : for the gift man in his cause.

blindeth Pihe wise, and perverteth the words 4 If thou meet thine enemy's ox or his ass of the righteous. going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back 9 Also a thou shalt not oppress å stranger : to him again.

for ye know the heart of a stranger; seeing 5. h If thou see the ass of him that hateth ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. thee lying under his burden, i and wouldest for- 10 And * six years thou shalt sow thy land,

a Verse 7; Lev: xix. 16; Psalm. xv.3; ci. 5; Prov. x. 18 ; for him ; thou shalt surely leave it to join with him.- Verse 2; see 2 Sam. xix. 27, with xvi. 3.- Or, receive.- -- Chap. xx. Deut. xxvii. 19; Job xxxi. 13, 21; Éccles. v. 8; Isaiah x. 1, 2; 16; Deut. xix. 16. 17, 18; Psa. xxxv. 11; Prov. xix. 5, 9, 28; Jer. v. 28; vii. 6; Amos v. 12; Mal. iii. 5. Verse 1; Lev. xxiv. 28; see 1 Kings xxi. 10, 13; Matt. xxvi. 59, 60, 61 ; Acts xix. 11; Luke iii. 14; Eph. iv. 25. m Deut. xxvi. 25 ; Psa. vi. 11, 13. _d Genesis vii. 1; xix. 4, 7; chapter xxxii. 1, 2; xciv. 21 ; Prov. xvii. 15, 26 ; Jer. vit. 6; Matt. xxvii. 4. - Ch. Josh. xxiv. 15; 1 Samuel xv. 9; 1 Kings xix. 10; Job xxxi. 34 ; xxxiv. 7; Rom. i. 18.--- Deut. xvi. 19; 1 Sam. viii. 3 ; xii. 3; Prov. i. 10, 11, 15; iv. 14; Matt. xxvii. 24, 26; Mark. xv. 15; 12 Chron. xix. 7; Psalın xxvi. 10; Prov. xv. 27 ; xvii. 8, 23 ; xxix, Luke xxiii. 23 ; Acts xxiv. 27 ; xxv. 9.-e Ver. 6,7; Lev. xix. 4; Isaiah i. 23 ; v. 23 ; xxxiii. '15; Ezek. xxii. 12; Amos v. 15; Deut: i. 17; Psa. lxxii. 2.

Heb. answer. - Deut. xxii, 12; Eccles. xx. 29 ; Acts xxiv. 26.— Hebrew, the seeing. 1; Job xxxi. 29 ; Prov. xxiv. 17; xxv. 21 ; Matt. v, 44; Rom. 1 Chapter xxii. 21 ; Deuteronomy x. 19; xxiv. 14, 17 ; xxvii. 19; xii. 20; 1 Thessalonians v. 15.- - Deut. xxii. 4.-Or, wilt Psa. xciv. 6; Ezek. xxii. 7; Mal. iii. 5.Hebrew, soul. thou cease to help him? or, and wouldest cease to leave thy business Lev. xxv. 3, 4.

NOTES ON CHAP.' XXIII.

verse : if so, the meaning is, Thou shalt neither be Verse 1. Thou shalt not raise a false report] Acting influenced by the great to make an unrighteous decicontrary to this precept is a sin against the ninth com- sion, nor by the poverty or distress of the poor to give mandment. And the inventor and receiver of false thy voice against the dictates of justice and truth. and slanderous reports, are almost equally criminal. Hence the ancient maxim, Fiat JUSTITIA, RUAT CELUM, The word seems to refer to either, and our translators Let justice be done, though the heavens should be have very properly retained both senses, putting raise dissolved.” in the text, and receive in the margin. The original Verse 4. If thou meet thine' enemy's or going Non as lo tissa has been translated, thou shalt not astray] From the humane and heavenly maxim in thi publish. Were there no publishers of slander and and the following verse, our blessed Lord has formed calumny, there would be no receivers ; and were there the following precept: Love your enemies, bless none to receive them, there would be none to raise them that curse you, do good to them that hale you, them; and were there no raisers, receivers, nor propa- and pray for them which despitefully use

you and

pergators of calumny, lies, &c., society would be in peace. secute you ;” Matt. v. 44. A precept so plain, wise,

Verse 2. Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do benevolent, and useful, can receive no other comment evil] Be singular. Singularity, if in the right, can than that which its influence on the heart of a kind never be criminal. So completely disgraceful is the and merciful man produces in his life. way of sin, that if there were not a multitude walking Verse 6. Thou shall not wrest the judgment of thy in that way, who help to keep each other in counte- poor] Thou shalt neither countenance him in his ñance, every solitary sinner would be obliged to hide crimes, nor condemn him in his righteousness. See his head. But d'an rabbim, which we translate mul- verses 5 and 7. titude, sometimes signifies the great, chiefs, or mighty Verse 8. Thou shall take no gift] A strong ordiones ; and is so understood by some eminent critics in nance against selling justice, which has been the disthis place : “Thou shalt not follow the example of the grace and ruin of every state where it has been pracgreat or rich, who may so far disgrace their own cha- tised. In the excellent charter of British liberties racter as to live without God in the world, and trample called Magna Charla, there is one article expressly under foot his laws." It is supposed that these direc-on this. head: Nulli vendemus, nulli negabimus aut tions refer principally to matters which come under the differemus, rectum aut justitiam.—Art. xxxiii

. “To eye of the civil magistrate ; - as if he had said, “Do none will we sell, to none will we deny or defer, right not join with great men in condemning an innocent or or justice.” This was the more necessary in those righteous person, against whom they have conceived a early and corrupt times, as he who had most money, prejudice on the account of his religion," &c. and gave the largest presents (called then oblata) to

Verse 3. Neither shalt thou countenance a poor the king or queen, was sure to gain his cause in the man in his cause.] The word 47 dal, which we trans- king's court, whether he had right and justice on his late poor man, is probably put here in opposition to side or not. 0'37 rabbim, the great, or noblemen, in the preceding | Verse 9. Ye know the heart of a stranger] Having VOL. I. ( 28 )

417

The Sabbatical

year

and

EXODUS.

the Sabbath to be observed.

A. M. 2513. and shall gather in the fruits thou shalt deal with thy vine- A. M. 2531.
B. C. 1491.

B. C. 1491.
An. Exod. Isr. 1. thereof:

yard, and with thy olive-yard. An. Exod. Isr. 1. Sivan.

Sivan. 11 But the seventh

year

thou 12 Six days thou shalt do thy shalt let it rest and lie still; that the poor of work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest; that thy people may eat: and what they leave, the thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed.

2

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

been strangers yourselves, under severe, long conti- It is very remarkable that the observance of this nued, and cruel oppression, ye know the fears, cares, ordinance is nowhere expressly mentioned in the saanxieties, and dismal forebodings which the heart of a cred writings; though some suppose, but without suffistranger feels.

What a forcible appeal to humanity cient reason, that there is a reference to it in Jer. xxxiv. and compassion!

8, 9. Perhaps the major part of the people could not Verse 11. The seventh year thou shalt let it rest] trust God, and therefore continued to sow and reap on As every seventh day was a Sabbath day, so every the seventh year, as on the preceding. This greatly seventh year was to be a Sabbath year. The reasons displeased the Lord, and therefore he sent them into for this ordinance Calmet gives thus :

captivity; so that the land enjoyed those Sabbaths, “1. To maintain as far as possible an equality of through lack of inhabitants, of which their ungodliness condition among the people, in setting the slaves at had deprived it. See Lev. xviii. 24, 25, 28; xxvi. liberty, and in permitting all, as children of one familý, 34, 35, 43; 2 Chron. xxxvi. 20, 21. Commentators to have the free and indiscriminate use of. whatever have been much puzzled to ascertain the time in which the earth produced.

the sabbatical year began; because, if it began in Abib “ 2. To inspire the people with sentiments of hu- or March, they must have lost two harvests; for they manity, by making it their duty to give rest, and proper could neither reap nor plant that year, and of course and sufficient nourishment, to the poor, the slave, and they could have no crop the year following; but if it the stranger, and even to the catlle.

began with what was called the civil year, or in Tisri “3. To accustom the people to submit to and de- or Marcheshvan, which answers to the beginning of pend on the Divine providence, and expect their sup- our autumn, they would then bave had that year's proport from that in the seventh year, by an extraordinary duce reaped and gathered in. provision on the sixth.

Verse 12. Six days thou shall do thy work] Though 4. To detach their affections from earthly and pe- they were thus bound to keep the sabbatical year, yet rishable things, and to make them disinterested and they must not neglect the seventh day's rest or weekly heavenly-minded.

Sabbath; for that was of perpetual obligation, and was “5. To show them God's dominion over the country, paramount to all others. That the sanctification of and that he, not they, was lord of the soil; and that the Sabbath was of great consequence in the sight of they held it merely from his bounty.". See this ordi- God, we may learn from the various repetitions of this nance at length, Lev. xxv.

law; and we may observe that it has still for its obThat God intended to teach them the doctrine of ject, not only the benefit of the soul, but the health providence by this ordinance, there can be no doubt ; and comfort of the body also. Doth God care for and this is marked very distinctly, Lev. xxv. 20, 21 : oren? Yes; and he mentions them with tenderness, “And if ye shall say, What shall we eat the seventh that thine or and thine ass may rest. How criminal year ? behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our in- to employ the labouring cattle on the Sabbath, as well crease : then I will coinmand my blessing upon you in as upon the other days of the week! More cattle are the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three destroyed in England than in any other part of the years.” That is, There shall be, not three crops in world, in proportion, by excessive and continued labour. one year, but one crop equal in its abundance to three, | The noble horse in general has no Sabbath! Does because it must supply the wants of three years. 1. God look on this with an indifferent eye? Surely he For the sixth year, supplying fruit for its own con- does not. England," said a foreigner, “is the pasumption ; 2. For the seventh year, in which they were radise of women; the purgatory of servants, and the neither to sow nor reap; and 3. For the eighth year, hell of horses." for though they ploughed, sowed, &c., that year, yet The son of thy handmaid, and the strangerbe rea whole course of its seasons was requisite to bring freshed.) .VI)' yinnaphesh may be re-spirited or newall these fruits to perfection, so that they could not souled; have a complete renewal both of bodily and have the fruits of the eighth year till the ninth, (see spiritual strength. The expression used by Moses here ver. 22,) till which time God promised that they should is very like that used by St. Paul, Acts iii. 19: "Reeat of the old store. What an astonishing proof did pent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may this give of the being, power, providence, mercy, and be blotted out, when the times of refreshing (kaipou goodness of God! Could there be an infidel in such avawrzews, the times of re-souling) shall come from a land, or a sinner against God and his own soul; with the presence of the Lord;" alluding, probably, to those such proofs before his eyes of God and his attributes times of refreshing and rest for body and soul origias one sabbatical year afforded ?

nally instituted under the law. 418

( 28* )

66

« AnteriorContinuar »