Imágenes de páginas

486 § 384. on the MEANING of sacrifices.

in the fulfilment of his part of the covenant, whatever might be the delinquencies of men. The victims for sins and trespasses, which were new kinds of expiations, introduced by Moses, signified the punishment, which was due to the persons, who had thus erred, and showed, at the same time, that God would not fail of what he had said in reference to them. Finally, those sacrifices, which are denominated peace-offerings, and eucharistical offerings, had a symbolic meaning, as well as others; being indications of the punishment, which threatened the Hebrews, if they should neglect to walk in that religious way, which they had promised. In other words, the meaning of them was as much as if they had said; “It shall not be so with us, as with these sacrifices, for we will adhere to our promises.” Hence, being confirmed anew on these occasions, in their resolutions, they felt themselves at liberty to indulge in conviviality. The sacrifices, therefore, in which animals were slain, were all symbolical or had a meaning. The divine promises were confirmed by them, and the Hebrews, on the other hand, imparted, in this way, new sacredness to the engagements, which they had made, to continue true to their religion : and were thus excited to new desires after piety of feeling and rectitude of conduct. If very many of the Hebrews were disposed to go further than this, and to attribute an inherent efficacy to the sacrifices in themselves considered, and to trust in the multitude of victims with whatever mind they might be offered, this is nothing against the truth of our statement, especially as this errour is very frequently condemned, and in very decided terms, Ps. 50: 8–13. 40: 5, 6. Is. 1: 11—15. comp. 1 Sam. 15:22. Hos. 6:6. Mic. 6: 6, S. Mal. 2: 1—9. That these symbolic substitutions, however, of victims in place of transgressors, prefigured a true substitution in the person of Jesus Christ, seems to have been known but to very few of the prophets, Is. Liii. Still this obscurity in respect to the prospective import of sacrifices is no more proof against the actual existence of such an import, than a kindred obscurity, in another case is against the existence of prophecies, some of which the prophets themselves confess they did not understand. But, although § 385. of bloodless sacrifices. 487

the people did not originally understand this particular meaning of the sacrifices, they were prepared to perceive it at last. Hence the death of violence, which Jesus suffered, is every where termed in the New Testament a sacrifice; for expressions of this kind are not mere allusions, such as occur in Rom. 12: 1. 15: 16. Philip. 2: 17. 2 Tim. 4: 6. Heb. 13: 15, 16; but they indicate a real sacrifice in the person of Christ, which the sacrifices of the Old Testament prefigured, as is expressly stated in Heb. 9: 3 –28. 10: 10–14, 18, comp. Matt. 26: 28. Mark 14; 24. Luke 22. 20. 1 Cor. 11:24, 25. Heb. 12: 24. 1 Pet. 1: 2. comp. Exod. 24: 8. John 1:29, 36. 19:36, 37. 1 Cor. 5: 7. 1 Pet. 2: 24, comp. Is. 53: 5–12. 2 Cor. 5: 21. Eph. 5: 2. Rom. 3: 23–25. 7:25. I John 2: 2. 4: 10. -

§ 385. Of Bloodless Sacrifices.

Bloodless sacrifices consisted, some of wine, and some of fine wheat flour. To this general remark, there was this exception, that the sacrifice of this sort on the second day of the passover was a sheaf of barley, and that the trespass-offering of a suspected wife was of barley meal. The flour was offered sometimes with, and sometimes without preparation. It was salted, sometimes oil was poured upon it; sometimes it was kneaded with oil and afterwards besmeared with it, and by some persons was offered with frankincense. Honey and leaven were not used, Lev. 2: 10, 12. excepting, however, in the two leavened cakes on the feast of Pentecost, and the cakes of the eucharistical and peace offerings, and, indeed, these were not to be placed upon the altar, Lev. 7: 13. 23: 17. 2: 11. The sacrifices, of which we have been speaking, accompanied the bloody sacrifices, and were in addition to them. To this remark, there are the following exceptions. I. The twelve loaves of shewbread in the sanctuary, which were changed every sabbath, which were esteemed peculiarly holy, and were to be eaten by the priests, either in the tabernacle or the temple, Lev. 24: 5–9. 1 Sam. 21: 3–6. comp. Mark 2:26. II. The sheaf of barley, offered on the second day of the passover, Lev. 23: 10.

488 $386. on the PURIFICATION of the UNCLEAN.

III. The loaf, which, on the day of Pentecost, was offered, as the first fruits, Lev. 23: 17—20.

IV. The sun-offering, consisting of four merely, brought by a poor man, who was unable to bring turtledoves or young pigeons, Lev. 5: 1–4, 11–13. In all other cases, the cakes and the flour were considered, as a part of the sacrifice, in addition to the victims, which were slain. To the bullock were assigned three tenths of an ephah of the finest wheat flour, and a half an hin of oil; to the ram two tenths of an ephah of flour, and a third of an hin of oil ; to a sheep or lamb a tenth part of an ephah of flour, and a fourth part of an hin of oil, Num. 15: 3–12. 2S: 7—29.

A libation of wine was added, the same in quantity with the oil, Num. 15: 3–12. 28; 7––29; but it was not poured out, as the Rabbins assert on the horns of the altar, but round about it. See Josephus, Antiquities, III. 9, 4.

§ 386. ON THE Purification of the UNcleAN.

UNCLEANNesses, with the exception of those, which were expressly interdicted, and those, by means of which the high priest and Nazarites were contaminated, from whom all such defilements were to be removed, were not accounted sins; but the neglect of purification, when uncleanness had happened, was an errour, (technically a tREspass or a six,) which resulted in exclusion from intercourse with the rest of the people.

The most of the instances of uncleanness ceased of themselves after the expiration of a certain period of time, provided that the unclean person, at the expiration of said time, washed his body and his clothes. But in other instances, unclean persons were unable to free themselves from the stain of their defilement, until they had first gone through certain ceremonies of purification, prescribed in the ritual.

For instance, a person who had been rendered unclean by the touch of a dead body, of a sepulchre, or the bones of a dead person, was sprinkled on the third and seventh day, by a clean person with hyssop, dipped in water mixed with the ashes of a red heifer. When this was done, he washed his body and clothes, and on the seventh day was clean.

§ 387. PURification of Leprous persons. 489

Tents, houses, and furniture, contaminated by the dead, were to be purified in the same way, Num. 19:11—21.

Of the Red Heifer.

The ashes of the heifer here mentioned were prepared in a singular manner. The animal, which was to be one of a red or rather yellowish colour, inclining to a brown, free from all defect, and which had never submitted to the yoke, was led to the priest. She was then conducted out of the city or the encampment, as the case might be, by some other person, and slain. The priest, who had accompanied, dipped his finger in the blood, and sprinkled it seven times towards the Sanctuary.

Presently the heifer was burnt whole in the same place, the priest, in the meanwhile, heaping upon the altar piles of wood, and throwing into it, at the same time, hyssop and scarlet thread. The persons who performed the various offices of leading out, slaying and burning the heifer, and of carrying away the ashes, also the priest, who officiated, were unclean, till the evening, Num. 19: 6, 8, 10, 21. There seems to have been no improper superstition, connected with this rite.

§ 387. Purification of leprous Persons.

The man, who had been healed of leprosy, underwent an examination from a priest, beyond the limits of the encampment, while the Israelites were in the wilderness, but subsequently, without the boundaries of the city, Lev. 14:1–7. Matt. 8:4. Mark 1:44. If found perfectly restored, he obtained another man to bring two living birds, (doves or young pigeons,) cedar wood, scarlet, and hyssop. One of the birds was slain and the blood received into an earthern vessel, partly filled with water.

Into this, the priest dipped the other bird alive, the cedar wood, the scarlet, and hyssop; sprinkled the once leprous man seven times; and let the living bird go free, as a symbol of his liberation from the leprosy, Lev. 14:1––7. (This ceremony was observed likewise in the purification of a leprous house, Lev. 14: 48–53.) The subject of these ceremonies, having then washed his body and his clothes, and shaved himself, was accounted clean, but was not permitted to enter the encampment or the city, until 490 § 388. of The FIRST-Born.

the seventh day from this time. On that day, he shaved off not only the beard and eyebrows, but the hair from every part of the body, washed again his body and his clothes, and was then esteemed perfectly purified, Lev. 14: 8, 9. He brought also on the same day two rams of a year old, and a sheep of the same age, into the Tabernacle or Temple, also the customary quantity of flour overspread with oil, and a Log of oil in addition. The priest then presented the leper and the animals before God. He slew one ram, as a trespass offering, and offered the Log of oil to God, (per re-r as a wave-offering. He then put some of the blood of the trespass offering on the tip of the right ear of the recovered leper, on the thumb of his right hand, and the great toe of his right foot. He scattered of the oil, moreover, which was poured out into his palm, seven times towards the Sanctuary with the finger of his right hand, besmeared with it, as he had done before with the blood, the thumb of the right hand and the great toe of the leper's right foot, and poured the remainder of it upon his head, Lev. 14: 10–18. He then slew the sheep for a sin offering and the other ram for a burnt offering. In case of poverty, two turtle doves and two young pigeons could be substituted in place of the sheep and the second ram, Lev. 14: 19–32. comp. Luke 17: 12–14. Matt. 8: 2–4. Mark 1:40–44.

§ 388. Of the First-born.

The first-born, on-lo-'z, both of men and animals, were to be consecrated to God. The first-born children were to be presented before the Lord, and to be redeemed according to the estimation of a priest, but the amount of the sum paid in this redemption could not exceed five shekels. They could not be redeemed before the age of a month, and, for the most part, were not so, till the ceremony of purification for child birth, Num. 18: 14—16. Exod. 13: 13. Luke 2: 22.

The first-born of cattle, of goats and sheep, from eight days to a year old, were to be offered in sacrifice, and the parts designated being burnt, the remainder was left to the priests, Num. 18: 17, 18. Lev. 27: 26. Even in case there was any defect in the goats, sheep, or bullocks, so that they could not be legally of

« AnteriorContinuar »