« AnteriorContinuar »
After all these commands had been attended to, it seems, these princes, out of love to the service of the Lord, and in honor of his holy name and worship, presented themselves before the door of the tabernacle, with their presents. These were of two sorts: the one of waggons, and oxen to draw them, was for the service of the tabernacle; the other, of vessels of gold and silver, oxen, rams, lambs, and he-goats, with their meat-offerings and their drink-offerings, were for the service of the altar. The offering for the service of the tabernacle was, six covered waggons and twelve oxen: a waggon for two of the princes, viz. two of them joined in the expence, and each of them gave an ox. They brought, or caused these waggons aud oxen to be brought before the tabernacle of the congregation. Moses, at the commandment of the Lord, received these presents, and properly applied them unto the vise of the tabernacle of the congregation.
As the service of the Merarites consisted in having the charge of the boards of the tabernacle, the bars thereof, the pillars and sockets of it, and also the pillars, sockets, pins, and cords of the court, Moses gave unto them four waggons and eight oxen. And these waggons served to carry these things in when the people, at the Lord's command, removed from one place to another. Unto the Gershonites, their service being to take charge of the curtains of the tabernacle, with all the coverings, vails, and hangings, both of the tabernacle and its court, Moses gave two waggons and four oxen, to convey these things and keep them from the dust. Ithamer, the son of Aaron, was an overseer over both the Gershonites and the Merarites. He gave out these things unto them, and they were to look to their charge, and return them faithfully when the tent was again to be set up. Unto the Kohathites belonged the care of the ark, table, candlestick, and all those ministerial things which were to be borne upon the shoulders.
After the princes of the twelve tribes had voluntarily given the waggons and oxen to carry the tabernacle, and found it acceptable to God, they brought and offered most freely presents of silver chargers, bowls, spoons, and oxen, lambs, rams, he-goats, and meat and drink-offerings. The whole number of them, and their worth, were as follows: there were twelve chargers, or dishes, fit to carry part of the sacrifices in to the altar, these were of silver, each was an hundred and twenty shekels, so that each was in value, according to Brown, sixteen shillings and sixpence. The whole twelve silver bowls given by the princes, were to receive the blood of the sacrifices, which was to be sprinkled round about the altar, and carried within the vail. The silver bowl was in value about eight pounds. The twelve golden spoons were to carry the incense in to the golden altar, each of them was worth eighteen pounds five shillings sterling, according to Brown, who computes the whole value of the silver chargers and bowls to be two hundred and seventy-three pounds fifteen shillings sterling; and the whole value of the golden spoous to be about one hundred and ninety-nine pounds sterling.
The number of animals for sacrifices were, twelve bullocks, twelve lambs, twelve rams, and twelve he-goats. These, in the sum total, were twenty-four bullocks, sixty rams, sixty he-goats, sixty lambs. This was the dedication of the altar by the princes of Israel. Mr. Romaine says, this record of the offering of the princes, of the number and weight of their vessels, declares that God is not unrighteous to forget the works and labour which proceed from love, which is shewn for his name sake. See Heb. vi. 10. I proceed,
Secondly, To shew the Lord's command concerning these princes, when their sacrifices should be offered.
If we look back to the tenth and eleventh verses of this chapter, we read thus; "And the princes offered for the dedicating of the altar, in the day that it was anointed, even the princes offered for their offering before the altar. And the Lord said unto Moses, they shall offer their offering, each prince on his day for the dedicating of the altar:" this is my text. Here we have the Lord's command concerning these people; what they brought was pleasing and acceptable in the sight of God: and for the honour of his worship, he appoints each prince to offer on his day, and that in order. This was for the greater solemnity, and also to shew that each, and all the princes and tribes, had an equal right in the altar and sacrifices offered on it.
The captains or princes of each tribe, offer not according to their births, or as they are named in the first chapter of this book, but according to the order wherein God had set them round. about the tabernacle: they began at the east quarter, proceeded to the south, then to the west, and ended at the north, according to the course of the sun.
. Thus the Lord would have the same order kept for their oblation, which he had appointed for their situation, Numb. ii. and so likewise for their journies, Numb. x. xiv. xvii. The excellent Mr. Ainsworth says, God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.
The prince of the tribe of Judah offered first, to typify the honour of Christ, who was to be of his tribe, according to the flesh. The offerings were one silver charger, the weight thereof was an hundred and thirty shekels; one silver bowl of seventy shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary; both of them were full of fiue flour mingled with oil, for a meat-offering; on« spoon of ten shekels of gold, full of incense; one young bullock, one ram, one lamb, of the first year, for a burnt-offering; one kid of the goats, for a sin-offering; and for a sacrifice of peace-offerings, two oxen, five rams, five hegoats, and five lambs of the first year. Here were burnt-offerings, sin-offerings, peace-offerings, and meat and drink-offerings, for the dedicating the altar.
The burnt-offering was a figure of reconciliation, by the death of Christ. The sin-offering was a figure of the putting away of sin, by the sacrifice of Christ. The peace-offering shewed how Christ would make peace by the blood of his cross, and would thereby become our peace; and that our sacrifice of prayer and praise, should be offered up to God by faith in him, the glorious Mediator. The meat-offering was symbolical of our sanctification before God, in Christ. The drink-offering was expressive of our Lord's pouring out his soul unto death, and that his love to his church was stronger than death, and would be remembered by his church and people more than wine. The services repeated by each of the princes for twelve days together, shew how the Lord esteemed these religious services, which when done, it pleased the Lord to sum up the offerings of the princes, the number of vessels, and the weight of them, and