« AnteriorContinuar »
joined to be in the succeeding years, to the altar, and to the priesthood. Having thus seen their original appointment, let us next consider the nature of their office.
Under the Tabernacle, their office was to carry it, and its furniture, from place to place; after they had been packed up by the priests :and each of the families of the Levites had its particular department. Thus the Gershonites carried the Tabernacle, the tent and its covering, the hanging of the door of the Tabernacle, the hanging of the court, the curtain for the door of the court, which was by the Tabernacle, and by the altar round about, and the cords, for which they were allowed two waggons, drawn by two oxen each. The Kohathites carried the ark, the table of the shew bread, the candlestick, the two altars of burnt-offering and incense, the vessels of the sanctuary, the hangings, and all the service thereof,e for which they were allowed no waggons, because these were carried on their shoulders. The Merarites carried the boards of the Tabernacle, the bars, pillars, sockets, and vessels thereof, and the pillars of the court round about, and their sockets, and their pins, and their cords,s for which they were allowed four waggons, drawn by two oxen each. In this manner they proceeded in all their journeys; and when they settled in a place, and had erected the Tabernacle, the different families pitched themselves around it in the following order :- The Gershonites behind it on the west; the Kohathites on the south ;k the Merarites on the north ;' and Aaron and his sons on the east :m and all of them assisted Aaron and his family in taking care of
a Numb, iii. 41. b Ib, iv. 4—15. c lb. iii. 25, 26; iv. 24–28. d Ib. vii. 7. e Numb. iii. 31; iv. 4-15.
f Ib, vii. 9. & Ib. iii. 36, 37; iv. 31, 32.
h Ib, vii. 8.
í Ib. iii. 23. к Ib, iii, 29.
1 Ib, ш. 35.
- Ib, üi, 38.
the Tabernacle when it was pitched,-only they were not allowed to approach the altar."
Such appears to have been the nature of their service while in the wilderness; but when they came into Canaan, it was somewhat altered : for, while part of them attended the Tabernacle and ark, the rest were distributed through the land, in the several cities that were allotted to them. These cities are commonly said to be forty-eight; but it was not strictly so, for thirteen of them were the residence of the priests, and only thirtyfive the cities of the Levites; the names of which, and the tribes in which they were situated, may be seen by consulting Josh. xxi. 20—42, and 1 Chron. vi. 64–81. It is generally known, also, that six of these Aaronical and Levitical cities were styled Cities of Refuge, because they were appointed for those who had unintentionally been guilty of murder. Now, as the unofficiating Levites had a residence in thirty-five of these cities, and possessed a kind of sacred character, it is natural to think that they would employ themselves in something suited to that character. Accordingly, they are thought to have assisted in preparing the minds of the
for waiting with profit on the public ordinances. In short, while the family of Aaron were the established ministers, they have been considered as the established schoolmasters of the children of Israel. In the days of David, we find a third alteration taking place in the service of the Levites : for, when God accepted his intention of building a temple to his name, he also gave him a draft of that sacred edifice, and of the courses of the Levites that should attend it. While the priests, therefore, were di
· Ib, xvii, 2-7.
b Josh. xxi. 13–19. 1 Chron. vi, 54--60. c Deut. iv. 41-43. Josh. xx. 249. + Lightfoot's Harm. of the Four Evangelists, part i. $ 7, and part iii. $ 17. • 1 Chron. xxviii. 12, 13.
vided into twenty-four courses, that they might attend the Temple weekly, and only officiate about two weeks in the year, the Levites were divided into twenty-four courses also. In the first Book of Chronicles, we have four times twenty-four courses of Levites mentioned, but all their offices are not distinctly stated. The first is in eh. xxiii. 7-23, and stands thus :
1. Jehiel. 2. Zetham. 3. Joel. Laadan 4. Shelomith. 5. Haziel. 6.
7. Jahath. 8. Zina. Shimei
9. Jeush. 10. Beriah. Amram Moses
Gershom. 11. Shebuel Eli
ezer. 12. Rehabiah. Izhar 13. Shelomith, the chief. Hebron
S 14. Jeriah. 15. Amariah. 16. Ja
haziel. 17. Jekameam.
22. Mahli. 23. Eder. 24. Jere
This is the first catalogue of the twenty-four courses ; but I cannot determine to what department they were appointed. It is probable, from the fifth verse, that they were either porters or musicians. Those who examine the passage where they are mentioned, will find Shimei mentioned in the ninth verse: but he is evidently misplaced, for his sons are given in the tenth verse; and the end of the ninth verse plainly tells us, that the persons mentioned in it, were not his sons, but those of Laadan.
We have a second catalogue of Levites. divided into twenty-four courses, in 1 Chron. xxiv. 20—31, as follows:
In this catalogue we have almost the same names as in the former, only the sons of some of them are also added; and the reason given for it is, that “ they likewise cast lots over against their brethren, the sons of Aaron, in the presence of David the king, and Zadok and Ahimelech, and the chief of the fathers of the priests and Levites, even the principal fathers over against their younger brethren.".
The third catalogue is given us in 1 Chron. xxv. 1, &c. where the courses are first classed, according to their employment of musicians, and then in the order in which they served. Their arrangement according to their employment is as follows :
Zaccur, Joseph, Nethaniah, Azarelah.
a 1 Chron, xxiv. 31.
b I have added Jesharelah to make up the six; because, in the third verse, although he is said to have six sons, five only are mentioned; and in comparing them with the courses, Jesharelah is mentioned as one additional. VOL. I.
Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shebuel,
Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, Romamti-ezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, Mahazioth.
According to their courses they served as follows :
1. Joseph; 2. Gedaliah ; 3. Zaccur; 4. Izri; 5. Nethaniah; 6. Bukkiah; 7. Jesharelah; 8. Jeshaiah ; 9. Mattaniah ; 10. Shimei, who I take to be the same as Uzziel in the above table, because all the names correspond but his; 11. Azareel, or Azarelah; 12. Hashabiah; 13. Shubael, or Shebuel; 14. Mattithiah; 15. Jerimoth; 16. Hananiah; 17. Joshbekashah ; 18. Hanani; 19. Mallothi; 20. Eliathah ; 21. Hothir; 22. Giddalti; 23. Mabazioth; and, 24. Romamti-ezer.
After the above list of the musicians, we have only one other calalogue, viz, that of the twenty-four courses of porters: this is inserted in 1 Chron. xxvi. 1-12, and stands as follows :
1. Zechariah. 2. Jedaiel. 3.
Zebadiah, 4. Jathniel, 5.
Othni. 9. Raphael. 10. Obed. 11. Elzabad. 12. Elihu, 13.
Sacur. 17. Nethaneel. 18.
Tebaliah. 24. Zechariah.
These were the twenty-four courses of porters: their different posts are given in 1 Chron. xxvi. 13—16; and it would appear from 1 Chron. xxvi. 17-19, that the