« PreviousContinue »
OF THE PURIFICATIONS.
continues seven days, wherein they feed on un- | they remained till another sabbath; and then leavened bread; on every one of which days two other loaves were brought in their stead, while bulls are killed, and one ram, and seven lambs. the loaves were given to the priests for their food, Now these lanıbs are entirely burnt, besides the and the frankincense was burnt in that sacred fire kid of the goats which is added to all the rest, for wherein all their offerings were burnt also; and sins; for it is intended as a feast for the priest on so other frankincense was set upon the loaves inevery one of those days. But on the second day stead of what was there before. The high-priest of unleavened bread, which is the sixteenth day of also, at his own expense, offered a sacrifice twice the month, they first partake of the fruits of the every day. It was made of flour, mingled with oil, earth, for before that day they do not touch them. and gently baked by the fire. The quantity was And while they suppose it proper to honour God, one tenth deal of flour. He brought the half of it from whom they obtain this plentiful provision, in to the fire in the morning, and the other half at the first place they offer the first fruits of their night. The account of these sacrifices I shall give barley, and that in the manner following: They more accurately hereafter, but I think I have pretake a handful of the ears, and dry them; they mised what for the present may be sufficient conthen beat them small, and cleanse the barley from cerning them. the bran; they then bring one tenth deal to the altar to God, and casting one handful of it upon
CHAP. XI. the fire, they leave the rest for the use of the priests; and after this it is that they may publicly or privately reap their harvest. They also, at Moses took out the tribe of Levi from commuthis participation of the first fruits of the earth, nicating with the rest of the people, and set them sacrifice a lamb as a burnt-offering to God. apart to be a holy tribe, and purified them by
When a week of weeks has passed over after water, taken from perpetual springs, and with this sacrifice, which weeks contain forty and nine such sacrifices as were usually offered to God on days; on the fiftieth* day, called by the Hebrews the like occasions. He also delivered to them the Asartha, which signifies Pentecost, they bring to tabernacle, and the sacred vessels, and the other God a loaf made of wheat flour, of two tenth deals curtains which were made for covering the taberwith leaven; and for sacrifices they bring two nacle, that they might minister under the conduct lambs; and when they have only presented them of the priests, who had been already consecrated to God, they are made ready for supper for the to God. priests: nor is it permitted to leave any thing of He also determined concerning animals, which them till the day following. They also slay three of them might be used for food, and which they bullocks for a burnt-offering, and two rams, and were obliged to abstain from, which matters, when fourteen lambs, with two kids of the goats for this work shall give me occasion, shall be farther sins: nor is there any one of the festivals but in explained, and the causes shall be added by which it they offer burnt-offerings. They also allow he was induced to allot some of them to be our themselves to rest on every one of them: accord- food, and enjoined us to abstain from others. ingly the law prescribes in them all what kinds However, he forbade us entirely the use of blood they are to sacrifice, and how they are to rest en- for food, and esteemed it to contain the soul and tirely, and must slay sacrifices in order to feast spirit. He also forbade us to eat the flesh of the
animal that died of itself, as also the caul, and the However, out of the common charges baked fat of goats, and sheep, and bulls. bread was set on the table of show bread without He also ordered that those whose bodies were leaven, of twenty-four tenth deals of flour, for so afflicted with leprosy, and that had a gonorrhoea, much is spent upon this bread; two heaps of these should not come into the city ;t nay, he removed were baked; they were taken the day before the the women, under certain situations, till the sev. sabbath, but were brought into the holy place on enth day, after which he looked upon them as the morning of the sabbath, and set upon the holy pure, and permitted them to come in again. The table six on a heap, one loaf still standing over law permits those also who have taken care of against another, where two golden cups, full of funerals to come in after the same manner, when frankincense, were also set upon them; and there this number of days is over; but if any continued
* Levit. xxiii. 16.
the tabernacle itself a holy house, with allusion to the latter + We may here note that Josephus frequently calls the camp city, temple, and holy house, which he knew so well long afterthe city, and the court of the Mosaic tabernacle a temple, and wards.
longer than that number of days in a state of pol But if any one suspected that his wife had been lution, the law appointed the offering two lambs guilty of adultery, he was to bring a tenth deal of for a sacrifice, one of which they are to purge by, barley flour: they then cast one handful to God, the fire, and the other the priests take for them- and gave the rest of it to the priests for food. selves. In the same manner do those sacrifice who One of the priests set the woman at the gates that have had the gonorrhæa; but for the lepers he are turned towards the temple, and took the veil suffered them not to come into the city at all, nor from her head, and wrote the name of God on to live with any others, as if they were in effect parchment, and enjoined her to swear that she dead persons. But if any one had obtained, by had not at all injured her husband, and to wish prayer to God, a recovery from that distemper, that if she had violated her chastity, her right and had gained a healthful complexion again, such thigh might be put out of joint, that her belly a one returned thanks to God with several sorts might swell
, and that she might die thus: but of sacrifices, concerning which we will speak that if her husband, by the violence of his affechereafter.
tion, and of the jealousy which arose from it, had Hence one cannot but smile at those who say, been rashly moved to this suspicion, that she that Moses was himself afflicted with the leprosy might bear a male child on the tenth month. Now when he fled out of Egypt, and that he became when these oaths were over, the priest wiped the the conductor of those who on that account left name of God out of the parchment, and wrung the that country, and led them into the land of Ca- water into a vial. He also took up some dust out naan: for had this been true, Moses would not of the temple, if any happened to be there, and have made these laws to his own dishonour, which put a little of it into the vial, and gave it her to indeed it was more likely he would have opposed drink, whereupon the woman, if she were unjustly if others had endeavoured to introduce them: and accused, conceived a child, and brought it to perthis the rather, because there are lepers in many | fection; but if she had broken her faith of wednations, who are yet in honour, and not only free lock to her husband, and had sworn falsely before from reproach and avoidance, but who have been God, she died in a reproachful manner :* her thigh great captains of armies, and been intrusted with fell off from her, and her belly swelled with a high offices in the commonwealth, and have had dropsy: and these are the ceremonies about sacthe privilege of entering into holy places and rifices, and about the purifications thereto betemples : so that nothing hindered, but if either longing, which Moses provided for his countrymen. Moses himself, or the multitude that was with him, He also prescribed the following laws to them. had been liable to such a misfortune, he might have made laws about them for their credit and
CHAP. XII. advantage, and have laid no manner of difficulty
OF SEVERAL LAWS INSTITUTED BY MOSES. upon them. Accordingly, it is a plain case that it is out of violent prejudice only that they report As for adultery, Moses forbade it entirely, as these things about us. But Moses was pure from esteeming it a happy thing that men should be any such distemper, and lived with countrymen wise in the affairs of wedlock, and that it was who were pure of it also, and thence made the profitable both to cities and families that children laws which concerned others that had the distem- should be known to be genuine. He also abhorred per. He did this for the honour of God; but, as a man's connexion with his mother, father's wife, to these matters, let every one consider them after aunt, sister, or son's wife, as instances of abomiwhat manner he pleases.
nable wickedness. He also forbade a man to lie As to the women, when they have borne a child, with his wife when she was defiled; and not to Moses forbade them to come into the temple, or come near brute beasts; nor to approve of the to touch the sacrifices, before forty days were lying with a male in order to hunt after unlawful over, supposing it be a boy; but if she hath borne pleasures on account of beauty. To those which a girl, the law is that she cannot be admitted be- were guilty of such insolent behaviour, he ordainfore twice that number of days be over; and when, ed death for their punishment. after the aforementioned time appointed for them, As for the priests, he prescribed to them also a they perform their sacrifices, the priests distribute double degree of purity;t for he restrained them them before God.
in the foregoing instances, and also forbade them
Num. v. 27.
several instances. This was the case also among the first Chris. + These words of Josephus are remarkable, that the lawgiver tians of the clergy, in comparison of the laity, as the apostolical of the Jews required of the priests a double degree of purity, in constitutions and canons everywhere inform us. comparison of that required of the people, of which he gives
to marry a harlot, a slave, or a captive, and such the fruits gathered, and on the other hand of the as got their living by cheating trades, and by expenses laid out upon it. If the fruits gathered keeping inns; as also a woman parted from her come to more than the expenses laid out, he that husband on any occasion whatsoever. Nay, he did sold it takes the land again; but if the expenses not think it proper for the high-priest to marry prove more than the fruits, the present possessor even the widow of one that was dead, though he receives of the former owner the difference that allowed that to the priests; but he permitted him was wanting, and leaves the land to him : but if only to marry a virgin, and to retain her; whence the fruits received, and the expenses laid out, it is that the high-priest is not to approach one prove equal, the present possessor relinquishes it that is dead,* although the rest are not prohibited to the former owner. Moses would have the same from coming near to their brethren, parents, or law obtain as to those houses also which were children, when they are dead, but they are to be sold in villages: but he made a different law for unblemished in all respects. He ordered that the such as were sold in a city; for if he that sold it priest, who had any blemish, should have his por- tendered the purchaser his money again within a tion indeed among the priests; but he forbade him year, he was forced to restore it; but in case to ascend the altar, or to enter into the holy house. a whole year had intervened, the purchaser was He also enjoined them not only to observe purity to enjoy what he had bought. This was the conin their sacred ministrations, but in their daily stitution of the laws which Moses learned of God conversation, that it might be unblamable also; when the camp lay under mount Sinai, and this he and on this account it is, that those who wear the delivered in writing to the Hebrews. sacerdotal garments are without spot, and emi
Now when this settlement of laws seemed to be nent for their purity and sobriety. Nor are they well over, Moses thought proper to take a review permitted to drink wine so long as they wear those of the host, in order to settle the affairs of war: garments.t Moreover, they offer sacrifices that so he charged the heads of the tribes, excepting are entire, and have no defect whatever.
the tribe of Levi, to take an exact account of the Moses gave them all these presents, being such number of those who were able to go to war; for as were observed during his own lifetime: but as to the Levites they were holy, and free from though they lived now in the wilderness, yet did all such burdens. Now, when the people had been he make provision how they might observe the numbered, there were found six hundred thousand same laws when they should have taken the land that were able to go to war, from twenty to fifty of Canaan. He gave then rest to the land from years of age, besides three thousand six hundred ploughing and planting every seventh year, as he and fifty. Instead of Levi, Moses took Manasseh, had prescribed to them to rest from working every the son of Joseph, among the heads of tribes, and seventh day, and ordered that then what grew of Ephraim instead of Joseph. It was indeed the its own accord out of the earth should in common desire of Jacob himself to Joseph, that he would belong to all that pleased to use it, making no give him his sons to be his own by adoption,g as I distinction in that respect between their own have before related. countrymen and foreigners; and he ordained that When they set up the tabernacle, they received they should do the same after seven times seven it into the midst of their camp; three of the tribes years,f which in all are fifty years; and the fiftieth pitching their tents on each side of it, and roads year is called by the Hebrews the Jubilee. At were cut through the midst of these tents. It was that time debtors are freed from their debts, and like a well-appointed market, and every thing was slaves are set at liberty, which slaves became such, there ready for sale in due order, and all sorts of though they were of the same stock, by transgress- artificers were in the shops, and it resembled noing some of those laws whose punishment was thing so much as a city that sometimes was movanot capital; but they were punished by this method ble, and sometimes fixed. The priests had the of slavery. This year also restores the land to its first places about the tabernacle ; then the Levites, former possessors in the following manner; when who, because their whole multitude was reckoned the jubilee is come, which name denotes liberty, from thirty days old, were twenty-three thousand he that sold the land, and he that bought it, meet eight hundred and eighty males; and during the together, and make an estimate on one hand of time that the cloud stood over the tabernacle, they
* Levit. xxi. 11.
+ We must here note with Reland, that the precept given to the priests of not drinking wine, while they wore the sacred garments, is equivalent to their abstinence from it while they
ministered in the temple, because they then only wore those sa-
Book II. chap. 8.