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Who constituted the Priesthood.

The PRIESTHOOD was thus

constituted. Aaron and his descendants for ever were priests, from whom one was elected to the office of High-priest. The rest of the tribe of Levi were merely ministering Levites. First high-priest. The first high-priest was Aaron,

the elder brother of Moses. His garments. The garments of the high-priest were: (1) a breast-plate; (2) an ephod; (3) a robe; and (4) a mitre. He wore besides, in common with other priests, an embroidered linen garment, linen drawers, and a girdle. The breast-plate. The breast-plate was made of gold and fine linen. In it were set twelve jewels in four equal rows, on which were engraved the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Some think that these twelve jewels constituted the famous Urim and Thummin, which indicated by some diversity of lustre the will of God whenever the high-priest went to consult Him on points of doubt or difficulty. Others think that nese stones, by their lustre, indicated to the

How it was confined.

The robe.

high-priest, whether or not he might present himself before the mercy-seat to learn the will

of God. The ephod. The ephod was a mantle “made of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet linen.” It buttoned on each shoulder with a large jewel, on which were inscribed the names of the twelve tribes.

It was confined by a girdle, which

crossed over the chest, and, being passed round the waist, hung down before as low as the ground.

The robe of the high-priest was of a deep blue colour. A hole was cut in the centre to pass the head through. The hem at the bottom was ornamented with 72 golden bells, separated from one another by artificial pomegranates of diverse colours.

The mitre was of fine linen, twisted into a turban. On the front of it was engraved on a gold plate, “ Holiness to the Lord."

The linen coat and girdle of the other priests were not embroidered, and their turban had no golden plate.

The DUTIES of the high-priest the high-priest.

were: (1) to judge the people; (2) to make atonement once a year for their sins; and (3) to consult God in cases of doubt or difficulty.

The mitre.

The duties of


The duties of the The duties of the other priests other priests.

were: (1) to offer sacrifices; (2) to keep alive the sacred fires; (3) to burn incense; (4) to make the shewbread; (5) to instruct the people; (6) to examine lepers ; and (7) to purify the unclean ; &c.

At a subsequent period the whole body of priests were divided into 24 classes, each of which ħad a president. Of these presidents one was appointed sagan or deputy high-priest, who officiated for the high-priest when necessary. The classes officiated by turns week by week, the selection being made by lot.

The duties of the Levites were to

wait on the priests, to sing and perform the music of the temple, and to assist in teaching the people.

They entered their office at the age of 25served 20 years—and officiated week by week. There was also an order of ecclesiastical slaves, called Nethinims, who performed the more menial duties of the temple, such as carrying wood and water. The Gibeonites were the first appointed to this office, afterwards all the Canaanites whose lives were spared when the land was conquered. Ezra viii. 20.

The duties of the Levites.




What were

The sacrifices. SACRIFICES were offerings in which blood was shed. They were of four sorts :(1) Burnt-offerings; (2) Sin-offerings; (3) Trespass-offerings; and (4) Peace-offerings.

OBLATIONS were offerings in which oblations.

no blood was shed- as when fruits and vegetables were presented to God. By whom They were made generally by the poor,

who could not afford to offer an animal. (Lev. vi. 14, &c.)

The animals allowed for sacrifice

were bullocks and calves, sheep and lambs, goats and kids, doves and pigeons. (Lev. i. 3—14.) The choice. The choice was according to the

ability of the offerer, except in the case of national sacrifices, when the nature and number of the animals was fixed. Burnt-offering. A burnt-offering was

a free-will

Animals used in sacrifco.

how made.

offering for sin, in which the entire animal was consumed by fire on the altar of burntoffering Burnt offerings, The offerer, having taken his victim how offered. to the altar, laid his hands upon

the creature's head, confessed his sins, and prayed that the life of the animal might be accepted as an atonement. Sin-offering. A sin-offering was a sacrifice for sin inadvertently committed. Only the fat of the animal was burnt on the altar, the flesh being a perquisite of the officiating priest. How offered. It was offered without oil or frankincense, to indicate how offensive sin is in the sight of God. Trespass-offering. A trespass-offering was made for ceremonial or minor faults not sufficiently grave to demand a sin-offering. This sort of sacrifice was never offered for the people, but only by private individuals. Peace-offering. A peace-offering, was a thanks

giving for some mercy or blessing. It was generally accompanied with cakes and unleavened bread.


offered by the Hebrews daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Daily sacrifices. The daily sacrifices were a young lamb every morning at 9, and every evening



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