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to prevent its leaping, he tumbled the animal over the rock, and it was dashed to pieces by the fall. The person appointed to discharge this duty returned to the nearest booth, and remained there till the evening, when he bathed, and washed his clothes, and went back to the city. Maimonides thus speaks of this ceremonial: “The scape-goat expiates all the sins mentioned in the law, whether light or heavy, whether committed through contumacy or error, whether done ignorantly or knowingly. Every one who repents is thus atoned for by the scape-goat; but if any one do not repent, then only his lighter transgressions are expiated by the scape-goat.” Surely Christians should learn to look to Him who was typified by the scape-goat.
Meanwhile the priest disposed of the carcases of the sinofferings; only the fat was burned upon the altar, the rest being burned without the city, as directed Lev. viii. 17, by some of the priests, who also bathed and washed their clothes before their return.
At the time when they supposed that the man with the scape-goat had gone three miles from Jerusalem, the high priest entered a pulpit in the court of the women, and read Lev. xvi. and xxiii. 27—32, the passages in the law concerning this solemnity. He also repeated eight short prayers. Then, returning to the inner court, he washed his hands and feet at the laver, went again to a chamber on the north side, where he bathed and put on his rich garments, and again washed his hands and feet at the laver; this being required of every priest each time he quitted the court and re-entered it. He then offered two rams for a burnt-offering.
By this time the hour for the evening service had arrived, and when it was offered, the high priest again washed and bathed, and putting on his plain garments, washed and went into the holy of holies a fourth time, to bring away the censer and incense plate. His being said to enter once, Heb. ix. 12, has reference to his entering only one day in the
year. He again washed, bathed, put on his rich garments, washed, and went into the holy place to offer the evening incense and trim the lamps. Then washing for the last time, the high priest laid aside his rich apparel and retired to his own house, accompanied by the multitude, who rejoiced that God had not mingled his blood with that of the sacrifices.
Thus ended this solemn ceremonial, and there is much in
it that deserves serious attention. It was a day of fasting for national humiliation, and surely other nations ought to copy the example statedly, and humble themselves before the Lord. The scape-goat, figuratively bearing away the iniquities of the people, reminds of the Saviour, who bare the sins and sorrows of his people, as the burnt-offerings remind of Christ's sufferings, while the high priest's offering for himself as well as others, reminds that all mankind have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. But the solemn entrance of the high priest into the most holy place was especially to represent Jesus, the Great High Priest of our profession, who, when, by the one offering up of himself, he had made expiation for sin, entered into heaven itself, with his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption for all his people, there to appear in the presence of God for them, and to make continual intercession for them, Heb. ix. 24–28. The apostle, Heb. ix. x., declares how much the intercession of Christ was superior to that of any mere man; also that sacrifices of bullocks and goats were only of avail to take away ceremonial pollution, for it was not possible these should atone for sin. Hence the apostle, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, concludes, “If the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot to God, purge” the believer's “conscience from dead works,” (deeds deserving of death,)“ to serve the living God,” Heb. ix. 13, 14. Here again remark, with Outram, the manner in which Christ united in his own person the various parts of this typical service—as Offerer, as Victim, and as High Priest. He offered himself willingly in our behalf, both as offerer and offering; he was the victim slain ; and he was both the High Priest and the slain victim, when he entered the heavenly sanctuary where he now pleads for us.
After the captivity, the Jews instituted other fast and feast days, in addition to those prescribed by the law. The two principal were the feast of purim and that of the dedication. The feast of purim, or lots, was to commemorate the deliverance of the Jews from the plot of Haaman, for their extirpation, as recorded in the book of Esther. One day was kept as a fast, in reference to the day on which the Jews were to have been destroyed, the two following as feasts for their deliverance. This is still observed, but
there are no particulars as to the manner in which it was celebrated in the temple.
The feast of dedication was appointed by Judas Maccabeus, as a new consecration of the temple, after it had been polluted by Antiochus Epiphanes, who destroyed the books of the law, plundered the temple, and even erected an altar on the top of the great altar, where he caused a sow to be sacrificed, and sprinkled the courts and temple with broth of swine's flesh, thus rendering them as defiled as it was possible to be, in the view of the Jewish people. This defiled altar was taken down by the Maccabees, and the stones laid up in a chamber at the north-west part of the court of Israel. A new one was built, and the hallowed furniture again supplied. The re-dedication then took place, B.c. 170. The festival continued eight days; but the chief distinctive observances were, singing the hallel, or Psalms 113 to 118, on the first day, with a general illumination for eight successive nights. The rabbins connected with it a story of a miraculous increase of the temple oil after Antiochus had been overcome. This festival is noticed, John x. 22, from whence it appears that our Lord sanctioned it by his
presence, and that it took place in the winter.
The festival of the sabbatical year claims attention elsewhere, in connexion with the observance of the sabbath day; and the feasts connected with the new moons, and the beginning of the year, come under view when noticing the spiritual worship of the Jews.
THE USE OF SALT-CIRCUMCISION-LAWS AGAINST NECRO
MANCY THE RED HEIFER-CLEANSING THE LEPER.
In Levit. ii. 13, is an injunction, "With all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.” Salt was an emblem of friendship and faithfulness, and was used in their sacrifices, and in their covenants which were confirmed by sacrifices, as a token of confirmation : see Lev, ii. 13; Numb. xviii. 19; 2 Chron. xiii. 5. In the latter passage, Abijah speaks of the covenant or promise, sent to David by the prophet Nathan, as an assurance by a covenant of salt. In the figurative language of Scripture, salt denotes that incorruption of mind, and sincerity of grace, which is necessary in all who would present an acceptable offering to God, as well as hold communion with him in the exercises of worship.
Large quantities of salt were used in the temple with the sacrifices; it was chiefly rock or earth salt, which abounds in several places in the neighbourhood of Judea; and nothing can be more solitary or desolate than these districts, even the birds and beasts shun them. The sentence denounced against idolatrous Judah, Jer. xvii, 6, was, that her land should be as desolate as one of these dreary wastes. This salt loses its savour by exposure to the air; it was then scattered over the marble pavement of the temple, to render it less slippery in wet weather. Our Saviour is supposed to refer thereto, Matt. v. 13; and his words present an affecting caution, as. well as an encouragement to every professing Christian. “Ye are the salt of the earth,” preserving it from being destroyed through the corruptions of the wicked, but justly cast forth as worthless refuse, if that great object is not duly attended to by you. With respect to the confirmation of covenants, if an Arab gives a traveller salt, he may be assured of his protection. It is related of an Arab robber, that having broken into a palace, he was about to depart with a considerable booty, when he kicked something with his foot in the dark; on putting it to his mouth he found it was a lump of salt. Considering that he had, though
unconsciously, partaken of the salt of the owner of the property, he laid down the articles he had collected, and hastened from the spot.
The Jews, in Scripture, are frequently called the circumcision, in allusion to their being the chosen people of God, the descendants of Abraham, and taken into covenant with Jehovah: see Gen. xvii. 4–8, “Thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham ; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
Circumcision was ordained as a token of this covenant, and Abraham and his descendants were to be circumcised, as a token of their partaking its benefits, and that the remembrance of it might not be forgotten. But the freeness of the grace of justification, which was promised to Abraham and all his spiritual seed by this covenant, preceded the institution of the rite of circumcision. This point is strongly pressed by St. Paul, in Rom. iv. The apostle also shows the spiritual or mystical intent of this ordinance, by teaching that as he is not a Jew who is only one outwardly, so neither is that (the true) circumcision which is outward in the flesh; but “he is a Jew,” or true Israelite, “who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God,” Rom. ii. 28, 29; see Col. ii. 11.
The Jews, when boasting of their privileges, often called themselves “the circumcision,” and spoke of the Gentiles with contempt as the uncircumcised. It was the sign or mark of their profession as worshippers of the true God; and no Jew, without this, could be admitted to partake of the passover, Exod. xii. 48.
Thus it was enforced as an observance of the Levitical dispensation; and thus Christ ascribes the institution of circumcision to Moses, though it was derived from the patriarchs, John vii. 22. It was a