« AnteriorContinuar »
§ 366. of the PRIESTs. 461
§ 366. Of the priests.
The posterity of the sons of Aaron, viz. Eleazar and Ithamar, (Lev. 10: 1–5. 1 Chron. 24: 1, 2.) had so increased in number in the time of David, that they were divided into twenty four classes, which officiated a week at a time alternately. Sixteen classes were of the family of Eleazar, and eight of the family of Ithamar. Each class obeyed its own prefect or ruler. The class JoJAR1b was the first in order, and the class Abia was the eighth, 1 Macc. 2: 1. Luke 1: 2. 1 Chron. 24:3–19. This division of the priesthood was continued as a permanent arrangement, after the time of David, 2 Chron. 8: 14. 31: 2. 35:4, 5. Indeed, although only four classes returned from the Captivity, the distinction between them, and also the ancient names were still retained, Ezra 2: 36— 39. Neh. 7:39–42. 12:1. Josephus, DE vita sua $ 1. and Antiquities, VII. 14, 7. The first-born succeeded Aaron in the high priesthood. Josephus (Antiquities, W. 11.5. VIII. I. 3.) asserts, that Eli, the high priest, was not of the posterity of Eleazar, the first-born of Aaron, but of the family of Ithamar, and that Solomon took this office away from Abiathar, a descendant of Ithamar, and conferred it upon Zadok, who descended from Eleazar, 1 K. 2:26, 27. But it does not appear, whether the sources, from which Josephus drew his information, be entirely worthy of credit. After the Captivity, the posterity of Eleazar succeeded to this office by hereditary right, till the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, who sold it to the highest bidder. In the year 152 before Christ, Alexander, the king of Syria, conferred the office of high priest on the heroic general Jon AthAN, who belonged to the class Jojarib, 1 Macc. 10:18—20; whose brother Simon was afterwards created by the Jews both prince and high priest, 1 Macc. 14: 35–47. His posterity, who at the same time sustained the office of kings, occupied the station of high priest, till the time of Herod, who took the liberty to change the incumbents in that office at his pleasure;
a liberty, which the Romans ever after exhibited no restraint in exercising.
462 $ 367. consecration of priests AND High priest.
A vice-high priest, (one, who might take his place on occasions,) is not mentioned in the Scriptures under the name, which is assigned to such a personage by the later Jews, viz. 138, but is made known to us by the phrase Hiwo. To the second priest, Jer. 52: 24. comp. 1 K. 4:4. It seems quite necessary in truth, when it is recollected, that it was incumbent on the high priest to enter, on the day of propitiation, into the Holy of holies, and to perform other duties, which it was not lawful for any other person to perform, that some one should be duly qualified to take his place in case of unexpected sickness or uncleanness, Josephus, Antiquities, XVII. 6.4.
§ 367. The Consecration of the PRIEsts ANd of the HighPriest.
Aaron, the High priest, was set apart to his office by the same ceremonies, with which his sons, the priests, were, with this exception, that the former was clothed in his robes, and the sacred oil was poured upon his head, Exod. 29: 5–9. Lev. 8:2. The other ceremonies were, as follows. The priests, all of them, with their bodies washed, and clad in their appropriate dress, assembled before the altar; where a bullock, two rams, unleavened bread, and wafers of two kinds in baskets, were in readiness. When they had placed their hands upon the head of the bullock, he was slain by Moses, as a sin-offering. He besmeared the horns of the altar with the blood, poured the remainder of it round its base, and placed the parts, which were to compose the sacrifice, on its top. The remaining parts of the animal were all burnt without the camp, Exod. 29; 10–14. Lev. 8: 2 —3, 14—17. They, in like manner, placed their hands on the head of one of the rams, which was also slain by Moses for a whole burnt of fering, the blood was sprinkled around the altar, and the parts of the ram were separated and burnt upon it, Exod. 29: 15–18. Lev. 8: 18–21. The other ram, when the priests had lain their hands upon him was likewise slain by Moses, for the sacrifice of consecration. He besmeared with the blood the tip of the right ear of the priests, the thumb of the right hand, and the great toe of the
§ 368. DRess of the phiests. 463
right foot. The rest of the blood he sprinkled in part upon the bottom of the altar, and a part he mingled with the consecrated oil, and sprinkled on the priests and their garments. He anointed the high priest, by pouring a profusion of oil upon his head; whence he is called rior the anointed, Lev. 4: 3, 5, 16. 6:15. Ps. 133: 2. Certain parts of the sacrifice, viz. the fat, the kidneys, the haunches, “the caul above the liver,” and the right shoulder, also one cake of unleavened bread, a cake of oiled bread, and a wafer were placed by Moses upon the hands of the priests, that they might offer them to God. This ceremony was called “filling the hands;” an expression, which accordingly in a number of passages means the same, as consecrating. Consult Exod. 32: 29. Lev. 16:32. 1 Chron. 29: 5. All the parts, which have been mentioned, as being placed in the hands of the priests, were at last burnt upon the altar. Of the remaining parts of the animal sacrificed, the breast was assigned to Moses, but the others, together with the unleavened bread and wafers, fell to the priests and were eaten in the Sanctuary. If any thing remained, it was burnt on the following day, Exod. 29: 19—34. Lev. 8:22–36. This ceremony, which continued for eight days, forever separated the priests from all the other Israelites, not excepting the Levites; so that there was subsequently no need of any further consecration, either for themselves, or their posterity, Exod. 29: 35–37. Lev. 10; 7, compare Rom. 1: 1. Eph. 3: 3. Acts 13: 2, 3. That the ceremonies of inauguration or consecration, however, were practised at every new accession of an high-priest to his of fice, seems to be hinted in the following passages, viz. Exod. 29. 29. Lev. 16:32. 21: 10. Num. 20: 26–28. 35:25.
§ 368. ConcerNING THE DRess of The PRIEsts.
It was not customary for the priests to wear the sacerdotal dress, except when performing their official duties, Exod. 28:4– 43. Ezek. 42:14. 44; 19. The description of the dress of the priests, which is given in the twenty eighth chapter of Exodus, is quite defective, as many things are passed in silence, apparently
464 $ 368. concerNING THE DREss of THE PRIESTs.
for the reason, that they were at that time sufficiently well known, without being expressly stated. Some additional information is communicated to us by Josephus, (Antiquities, III. 7. 1–3.) but the dress of the priests, as he describes it, may have been in some respects of recent origin. It was, as follows, I. A sort of hose, made of cotton or linen, +- "to:52, which was fastened round the loins, and extended down so as to cover the thighs, Lev. 6: 10. Ezek. 44; 18. II. A tunic of cotton, so n:rz, which extended, in the days of Josephus, down to the ankles. It was furnished with sleeves, and was fabricated all of one piece, without being sewn, Exod. 28. 39, 41. 29: 5. Josephus, Antiquities, III. 7, 2. comp. John 19:23. III. The girdle, ty::N. According to Josephus, it was a hand's breadth in width, woven in such a manner as to exhibit the appearance of serpents' scales, and ornamented with embroidered flowers in purple, dark blue, scarlet, and white. It was worn a little below the breast, encircled the body twice, and was tied in a knot before. The extremities of the girdle hung down nearly to the ankle. The priest, when engaged in his sacred functions, in order to prevent his being impeded by them, threw them over his left shoulder, Exod. 39: 27–29. IV. The mitre or turban, H:37, was originally acuminated in its shape, was lofty, and was bound upon the head, Exod. 28. 8, 40. 29. 9. Lev. 8: 13. See § 126. In the time of Josephus, the shape of the mitre had become somewhat altered ; it was circular, was covered with a piece of fine linen, and sat so closely on the upper part of the head, for it did not cover the whole of the head, that it would not fall off, when the body was bent down. This kind of mitre was called in Hebrew, nox”. The Hebrew priests, like those of Egypt and other nations, performed their sacred duties with naked feet; a symbol of reverence and veneration, Exod. 3: 5. Josh. 5: 15.
§ 370. DREss of the High PRIEST. 465
§ 369. Of the Duties of the PRIESTs.
Not only a descent from the family of Aaron, (Ezra 2: 62. Neh. 7:64. Life of Josephus $ 1. Josephus against Apion 1. 7.) but also a freedom from all bodily defects, was requisite, in order to a person's being qualified for the exercise of the sacerdotal office. Lev. 21: 16, 17. The priests were commanded to abstain, when performing the sacred duties, which devolved upon them, from wine and every inebriating drink, Lev. 10:8–11. In the ages, immediately succeeding their original consecration to God, the priests entered upon their office at thirty years of age, but in later periods, at twenty, Num. 4: 3. 2 Chron. 31: 17. Each class assigned by lot to every individual of the class his duties for the day. One, for instance, burnt incense, another on the Sabbath day changed the Shew-bread, another tended the fire on the altar for burnt-offerings, etc. Luke 1: 9.
§ 370. DRess of the High Priest.
Some of the articles of dress, which were worn by the highpriest, were very simple; for we are informed, (Lev. 16:4, 23.) that, when, on the day of propitiation, he entered the Holy of holies, he was clad with a tunic, girdle, mitre, etc. made wholly of linen. Other articles of his dress, which were as follows, were very splendid. I. The Meil, boy” (mantle or outer garment.) This garment was likewise worn by the more wealthy of the laity. (See the 122d section.) The colour of this garment, when intended for the high priest, was blue, and the hem at the bottom was embroidered with pomegranates in purple and scarlet. Between the pomegranates, were suspended small bells of gold, which occasioned a tinkling sound, when the wearer of the mantle walked, Exod. 28. 31–35. 39: 5. comp, the Travels of Hasselquist, p. 55, 73. II. The Ephod, Ties. This article of dress was worn by laymen also, as well as by the high priest. (See the 122d section.) The sacred Ephod, the one made for the high priest, differed from the others, in being fabricated of cotton, which was coloured