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trusted with the care of the priests; who, from walking without shoes on the pavement of the sanctuary, were frequently troubled with dysentery. An eleventh was inspector of the aqueducts of the city of Jerusalem, as well as of the sanctuary. A twelfth prepared the shew bread. A thirteenth compounded the holy incense. A fourteenth provided the curtains, and presided over those who wove them. The number of curtains belonging to the temple were thirteen; seven at the seven gates, one at the porch, one before the outer sanctuary, two before the inner sanctuary, and two in the upper part* of the temple. A fifteenth had the care of the sacred vestments of the temple. But what has been said may suffice on this part of the subject. We are now to shew what was the nature of the temple and the design of that sacred edifice. The reason for doing this will appear in another place. * Called by the Hebrews noby, and by the Greeks umepwox.
Middoth, c. 4. s. 5.
CHAPTER III. The proper Nature and Design of the Tabernacle and
Temple, THE design of the tabernacle and temple was evidently one and the same. Both were equally sacred, and equally, in succession, the sanctuary of God. Not to involve a plain subject in any perplexities, we observe that each was designed to be a sacred mansion for the residence of God, as the king of the Hebrews, in the midst of his subjects. Between that edifice and the synagogues erected in succeeding times there was this important difference : in the synagogues God was merely worshipped, whereas in the temple he not only was worshipped, but resided in a remarkable manner, as we shall proceed to shew.
This is evident from the very command given for the construction of the tabernacle. For his language to Moses on this occasion was: “Let them make
me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them :"* which is the same as if he had said, 'I will dwell in that sanctuary which shall be in the midst of the camp of the people. It was on this account that all unclean persons were to be removed out of the Israelitish camp; that they might not defile that camp in the midst of which God resided.t Nor was there any other reason why God is said to have " walked” in the midst of the camp, than because he conspicuously resided in that tabernacle, which was carried about from place to place with the camp itself during the travels of the people in the wilderness.
Num. v. 3, Deut. xxiii. 14. Levit. xxvi. 11, 12.
Exod. xxv. 8.
As the tabernacle was constructed, so the temple was built, for the express purpose of being the residence of God. Hence Solomon's address to God: “ have surely built thee an house to dwell in, a settled “place to abide in forever.”*
To the same purpose is the song of Moses : “ Thou shalt bring them in, “and plant them in the mountain of thine inherit
ance, in the place, O Lord, which thou hast made “ for thee to dwell in, in the sanctuary, O Lord, “ which thy hands have established.”+ From these passages it may be concluded that the temple was designed to be a sacred habitation, chosen by God for his own residence in the midst of his people, and, as we are about to observe, illustrated by his special presence.
II. The same conclusion also follows from the sanctity of the temple so celebrated on all occasions ; the only foundation of which was its possession of such a presence of God as was not common to it with other places, but was peculiarly its own. There is a twofold sanctity which is applicable to a place ; the one circumstantial, the other local. If you consider it in a circumstantial view, a place is consecrated by a dedication to the worship of God; but a place, as a place, is consecrated by any remarkable presence of God, or symbol of his presence. For though there is no place within which God can bé circumscribed, or from which he can be excluded; yet every one must perceive the possibility of some places being distinguished by his presence, or some symbol of his presence, different from what is common to others, What more illustrious manifestation of the divine * 1 Kings viii. 13.
+ Exod. x, 17.
presence, then, was there in the tabernacle and temple, than in other places ? Certainly that bright and sacred cloud which the scriptures denominate “ glory,"* and the Jews call shechinah ; t which for a long time accompanied the tabernacle, and afterwards removed into the temple. I Nor is it usual in the scriptures for the appellation of " holy” to be given to any places, but such as were illustrated by that preternatural cloud, or by some other remarkable symbol of the divine presence. Thus the place in the neighbourhood of the bush from which the Lord addressed Moses, was called “holy 65 'ground,"ş on account of the glory of God displayed in that bush. Thus also Sinai and Sion were called “holy’| mountains, because they were both illustrated with the splendid symbol of the divine presence. The same remark may be applied to that which the apostle Peter has called “the holy
mount;" which, like the others already mentioned, had been consecrated by the same glory. The same character also belongs to “ the sanctuary of the “Lord"** at Shechem; which was distinguished by that appellation, because God had formerly appeared there to Abraham.ft The sanctity of the place was the sole reason of the command given to Joshua near Jericho, to put off his shoes from his feet; and the only cause of that sanctity was the presence of the angel who was “the captain of the Lord's host,” the representative as it were of God himself: of whom Kimchi says; · His dignity and sanctity consecrated the place where he appeared to Joshua.'11
7922 Exod. xvi. 10. xxiv. 16. tnudu or habitation. I 1 Kings viii. 11. $ Exod. iii. 5. || Psal. lxviii. 17. ii. 6. Il Pet. i. 18. Matt. xvii. 2.
** Josh. xxiv, 26., tt Gen, xji. 6, 7, 11 In Josh. v. 15.
It is of no importance, that this splendour, denominated “the glory of the Lord,” did not at all times display its radiance in the sanctuary in a manner visible to the corporeal eye. For the Deity, whose presence that splendour represented, having once entered into his sanctuary, would have it thenceforward considered as his permanent habitation.* He said, “I have hallowed this house, to put my "name there forever; and mine eyes and mine heart “shall be there perpetually.”† And there he continued his residence till he removed and fixed it in a far most illustrious manner in his spiritual temple, the christian church.
III. It is worthy of observation also, that God prohibited sacrifices to be offered to him any where except in his sanctuary ;£ that the priests who entered into it to minister, were considered as “coming
near to God and standing before him ;"that those who appeared in the sanctuary are said to have " appeared before the Lord God;'| that whatever was done there is represented as having been done “before the Lord;" and that from the innermost part of the sanctuary God used to deliver his sacred oracles :** all which were so many indications of his special presence.
IV. The same conclusion may be drawn from the metaphorical use of the word temple. For the sole ground upon which Christ gave this appellation to his body,tt was, that in him " dwelt all the fullness" II of that divine majesty, which in a shadowy and symé bolical manner inhabited the ancient temple. His
* Exod. xv. 17. +1 Kings ix. 3. IDeut. xii. 13, 14. $ Ezek. xliv. 15. || Exod. xxiii. 17. xxxiv. 24. Exod. xxviii. 12; xxx. 8.
Levit. i, 5. #* Exod. xxv. 22. Numb, vii. 89. ++ John ii, 19, 21.
I Col. ii.