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men might neither be trimmed by a barber, nor wash their clothes ; because they ought to have these things done before they came. And those of the course who were at home, usually met the priests and Levites in the synagogues of their cities, to pray, to read the law, and to beseech of Jehovah for their brethren that attended, that their service at Jerusalem for Israel might be accepted. As every course lasted a week, although we are not told of what number it consisted, nor how many were bound to attend, yet there was great piety shewn among them during that time; for, though they durst not fast on the first and sixth days of the week, on account of their proximity to the sabbath, which was reckoned always a day of spiritual joy and delight, yet they fasted or humbled themselves before God on the other four, viz. the second, third, fourth, and fifth. And the passages of Scripture which they read during the week, were the first and second chapters of Genesis. These they divided into six parts, and read a part every day; the portion for the sabbath being otherwise provided for.
The fourth and last class of ministers in the Temple, were the Nethinim, D'ling, or persons given (as the word signifies) to the priests and Levites for performing the servile offices of the Tabernacle and Temple. Hence the Septuagint render the word in 1 Chron. ix. 2; by dedouevol, or persons given. The Gibeonites (of whom we read in Josh. ix. 21. 27. that Joshua gave (Dino) them for hewers of wood and drawers of water, for the congregation, and for the altar of Jehovah) were the first of this kind. We next read of the Nethinim whom David and the princes gave (173) for the service of the Levites, in Ezra viii. 20; and it is probable, that these were taken from some of the people that were conquered
a Josb, ix. 27.
by David. When Solomon built the Temple, “the strangers that were in the land of Israel,” by which some understand the Nethinim, amounted to one hundred and fifty-three thousand six hundred; eighty thousand of whom were made hewers of wood, and seventy thousand bearers of burdens, under the superintendance of three thousand six hundred of the chief of Solomon's officers. With respect to those mentioned after the Captivity, it is probable that they were partly the descendants of the Gibeonites ; partly the decendants of those whom David and the princes devoted ; and partly the descendants of those Canaanites whom Solomon subjected to bond service;' for we find them mentioned with Solomon's servants in the roll of those who returned from Babylon ;' and who dwelt in Ophel within Jerusalem, over against the Water Gate. It is, indeed, much to their honour, that so many of them are named;' for it shews that they did not think their former service intolerable; that they resumed their employment voluntarily; and that, having become proselytes to the Jewish faith, they preferred a mean office at the Temple, to remaining in the midst of heathen darkness.
* 2 Chron. ii. 17, 18.
6 1 Kings v.
c Ib. ix. 20, 21, Neh. ïü. 26. f Neh. vii. 46-60. Ezra viji. 20.
THE SERVICE OF THE TEMPLE.
n treating of the Temple service, five things present themselves to our review-viz. the vessels of service; the animal sacrifices; meat and drink-offerings; wave and heave-offerings; the ritual of the daily service; and some occasional duties of the priesthood.
The Vessels of Service.
Very many: provided partly by the public, and partly by the piety of indivi
duals; some of them mentioned. The fate of the sacred vessels after the de. struction of Jerusalem,
With respect to the vessels employed in the service, a brief account must suffice; for it is not to be expected that the numbers, names, fashions, and uses of all of them can be clearly ascertained at this distance of time. Indeed, it is doubtful whether many of the priests, even during the time that the Temple stood, were able to give a full enumeration of them. Josephus“ says, that there were in Solomon's Temple, twenty thousand golden oups and vessels ; forty thousand silver ones; twelve thousand candlesticks; eighty thousand wine cups; ten thousand golden vessels and goblets; twenty thousand silver ditto; eighty thousand plates and dishes of gold, to mix the flour in that was destined for the meat-offerings; one hundred and sixty thousand silver plates and
• Antiquities, viii. 3.
dishes ; twenty thousand golden measures, such as the hin and assaron; twenty thousand silver measures; twenty thousand censers for incense; and fifty thousand other censers for the purpose of carrying fire from the great altar into the Temple. But every one that reads these numbers, must be sensible that they are greatly exaggerated. There was surely an abundance, without calling in the aid of exaggeration ; for, besides those which might have been lost during the Captivity, we have in Ezra i. 9, 10. an account of two thousand five hundred and ninety-nine of different kinds; and yet these were not all, for in verse 11. the sum total is said to have been five thousand four hundred. In the Talmud, a ninety-three are said to have been used every day about the daily service; in the treatise Joma, per. 3. it appears, that there were special vessels for the day of expiation; and from the other Talmudical writings, we find, that other particular days had their particular vessels. What a burdensome ritual was it then become, when the form had usurped the power of godliness!
Yet we are not to suppose that all the vessels in use at the Temple were procured by the public as absolutely necessary; for many of them were the gifts of individuals, as expressive of piety. Thus the princes of Israel, or heads of the tribes, gave silver chargers, silver bowls, and spoons of gold.” Joshua dedicated all the silver and gold, the vessels of brass, and the vessels of iron to the service of God, which he found in Jericho, David devoted to the Lord all the vessels of silver, gold, and brass which he had taken from the conquered nations." Monobazes, King of Adiabene, a country of note in As
b Num, vži, 13, &c.
< Cli, vi. 19.
a Tamid, per. 3.
syria,* made golden handles to the vessels that were used on the day of expiation. Queen Helena, the mother of Monobazes, gave the golden candlestick that was over the door, between the porch and the Holy Place; and also the golden tablet over the gate Nicanor, on which was written the section of the law concerning the suspected wife, Num. v. 11–31. And Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt, when sending for persons to translate the Old Testament Scriptures into Greek, dedicated to the Temple gold and silver goblets, golden vials, and an astonishingly rich gold table."
These are a few of the instances in which the liberality of individuals tended to increase the number and value of the vessels of the Temple. And it should not be forgotten, that, in the days of our Saviour, liberality to the Temple was inculcated, even at the expense of filial affection; a striking instance of which we have in Mark vii. 10–13: “ Moses said, “Honour thy father and thy mother,' and ó whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, “If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is corban (or devoted to the Temple,) by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me, he shall be free.' And ye suffer him no more to do aught for his father or mother; making the word of God of none effect by your traditions.” It is easy to see how this false charity would operate on certain characters, and how much it would tend to add to the riches of the Temple. What became of the vessels in the Temple of Solomun, we all know. They were taken to Babylon, and a considerable number of them returned to the second Temple; but it may be proper to state, that those of the second Temple which were found by the Romans,
a So called from the river Adiab, one of the tributary streams of the Tigris, in Kurdistan. b Joma, per. 3.
Jerus Gemara, fol. 41. d Aristeas in Hist. 70. Joseph. Antiq. xü. 2.