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relief of his parents: as if he should say to them, “May I incur o all the infamy of sacrilege and perjury if ever ye get any thing - from me;” than which it is not easy to conceive of any thing spoken by a son to his parents, more contemptuous or more barbarous, and therefore justly denominated waxoxyla, “opprobrious language.” WI. The PREscRIBED oblATIONs were either first-fruits or tithes. 1. All the First Fruits, both of fruit and animals, were consecrated to God (Exod. xxii. 29. Numb. xviii. 12, 13. Deut. xxvi. 2. Neh. x. 35, 36.);” and the first-fruits of sheep's wool were offered for the use of the Levites. (Deut. xviii. 4.) The amount of this gift is not specified in the law of Moses, which leaves it entirely to the pleasure of the giver: the Talmudical writers, however, inform us, that liberal persons were accustomed to give the sortieth, and even the thirtieth; while such as were covetous or penurious gave only a sixtieth part. The first of these they called an oblation with a good eye, and the second an oblation with an evil eye. To this traditional saying our Lord is, by some learned men, supposed to have alluded in Matt. xx. 15. Among animals, the males only belonged to God: and the Jews not only had a right, but were even obliged, to redeem them in the case of men and unclean animals, which could not be offered in sacrifice. These first-fruits were offered from the feast of pentecost until that of dedication, because after that time the fruits were neither so beautiful nor so good as before. Further, the Jews were prohibited from gathering in the harvest until they had offered to God the omer, that is, the new sheaf, which was presented the day after the great day of unleavened bread: neither were they allowed to bake any bread made of new corn until they had offered the new loaves upon the altar on the day of pentecost; without which all the corn was regarded as unclean and unholy. To this St. Paul alludes in Rom. xi 16. ; where he says, If the FIRST-FRUIt be holy, the lump also is holy. The presentation of the first-fruits was a solemn and festive ceremony. At the beginning of harvest, the sanhedrin deputed a number of priests to go into the fields and reap a handful of the first ripe corn: and these, attended by great crowds of people, went out of one of the ates of Jeru-lém into the neighbouring corn-fields. The firstruits thus reaped were carried with great pomp and universal rejoicing through the streets of Jerusalem to the temple. The Jewish writers say that an ox preceded them with gilded horns and an olive crown upon his head, and that a pipe played before them until they approached the city: on entering it they crowned the first-fruits, that is, exposed them to sight with as much pomp as they could, and the chief officers of the temple went out to meet them. They were then devously offered to God in grateful acknowledgment of his providential goodness in giving them the fruits of the earth. These first-fruits, or handful of the first ripe grain, gave notice to all who beheld them that the general harvest would soon be gathered in. How beautiful and striking is St. Paul's allusion to this religious ceremony in that most consolatory and closely reasoned chapter, the fifteenth of his first Epistle to the Corinthians, in which, from the resurrection of Jesus Christ, he argues and establishes the certainty of the general resurrection: and represents Christ as the firstfruits of a glorious and universal harvest of all the sleeping dead! .Now is Christ risen, and become the FIRST-FRUits of them that slept. (1 Cor. xv. 20.) The use which the apostle makes of this image is very extensive. “In the first place, the growing of grain from the earth where it was buried is an exact image of the resurrection of the body : for, as the one is sown, so is the other, and neither is quickened except it first die and be buried. Then the whole harvest, from its relation to the first-fruits, explains and ensures the order of our resurrection. For, is the sheaf of the first-fruits reaped then is the whole harvest ready. Is Christ risen from the dead then shall all rise in like manner. Is he accepted of God as an holy offering f then shall every sheaf that has grown up with him be taken from the earth and sanctified in its proper order:Christ the FIRST-FRUIts, and afterwards they that are Christ's at his coming.” (1 Cor. xv. 23.) 2. Besides the first-fruits, the Jews also paid the Tenths or Tithes of all they possessed. (Numb. xviii. 21.) They were in general collected of all the produce of the earth. (Lev. xxvii. 30. Deut. xiv. 22, 23. Neh. xiii. 5. 10.), but chiefly of corn, wine, and oil, and were rendered every year except the sabbatical year. When these tithes were paid, the owner of the fruits further gave another tenth part, which was carried up to Jerusalem, and eaten in the temple at offering feasts, as a sign of rejoicing and gratitude to God. These are called second tithes.” The Levites paid a tenth of the tithes they received to the priests. Lastly, there were tithes allotted to the poor, for whom there was also a corner left in every field, which it was not lawful to reap with the rest (Lev. xix. 9. Deut. xxiv. 19.); and they were likewise allowed such ears of corn, or grapes, as were dropped or scattered about, and the sheaves that might be accidentally forgotten in the field. Field-tithes might be redeemed by those who desired it, on paying one-fifth in addition: but all conversion of the tithes of cattle was prohibited. (Lev. xxvii. 32, 33.) The payment and appreciation of them Moses left to the
* Campbell's Translation of the Four Gospels, vol. ii. pp. 379–382, third llion. *From the Jewish custom of offering first-fruits to Jehovah, the heathens bor. owed a similar rite. See. Pliny, Nat. Hist, lib. xviii. c. 2. Horace, Sat, lib, ii. Sat. v. 12. Tibullus, Eleg. lib. i. El. i. 13.
1 Jones's Works, vol. iii. p. 64. Harwood's Introd. to the New Test vol. ii. p.397. Michaelis's Commentaries, vol. iii. pp. 146–149. Beausobre's Introd. to the New Test, (vol. iii. p. 200. of Bishop Watson's Collection of Tracts.) Dr. Lightfoot's Works, vol. i. p. 984, vol. ii. pp. 184. 306, 307, folio edit. Lamy's Apparatus, vol. i. p. 204. Ikenii Antiq. Hebr. part i. c. 15. pp. 210–224. Schulzii Archaeol. Hebr. PP.287–292. Lamy's Apparatus Biblicus, vol. i. o: 203–206. l
• *On the application of these second tithes, see Michaelis's Commentaries, vol. iii. pp. 142, 143.
consciences of the people, without subjecting them to judicial or sacerdotal visitations, but at the same time he did not prohibit the Levites from taking care that they duly received what was their own. The conscientious accuracy of the people, with respect to the second tithe, he secured merely by the declaration which they made every three years before God. From trifling articles he in no case required tithes; though we learn from the Gospel that the Pharisees affected to be scrupulously exact in paying tithes of every the least herb. (Matt. xxiii. 23.) If, however, a person had committed a trespass against the sanctuary, that is, had not paid the tithes of any particular things, and if at any time afterwards, his conscience were awakened to a sense of his guilt, he had it in his power to make an atonement, without incurring any civil disgrace, by simply paying an additional fifth, with his tithe, and making a trespass-offering." (Lev. v. 14–16.) The custom of giving tithes to the Deity existed long before the time of Moses. Thus Abraham gave Melchisedek king of Salem (who was at the same time the priest of the Most High God,) the tithe of all that he had taken from the enemy, when he returned from his expedition against the four kings who were in alliance with Chedorlaomer. (Gen. xiv. 20.) And Jacob consecrated to God the tenth of all that he should acquire in Mesopotamia. (Gen. xxxviii. 22.) The same custom obtained among various antient nations, who devoted to their gods the tenth part of every thing they obtained.
1 Michaelis's Commentaries, vol. iii. pp. 141–145. WOL. III. 38
CHAPTER IV. SACRED TIMES AND SEASONS OBSERVED BY THE JEWS.
I. THE SABBATH.—How observed.—Jewish worship on that dayTheir prayers, public and private ; attitudes at prayer; forms of prayer.—II. Their manner of worshipping, in the temple.—lll. New Moons.—IV. Annual festivals.-V. THE PAssover; when celebrated, and with what ceremonies; its mystical or typical reference.—VI. THE Day of PENTEcost.—VII. THE FEAST OF TABERNAcLEs.—VIII. THE FEAST of TRUMPETs.-IX. Day of Expiation.—X. Annual festivals instituted by the Jews.-FEAST of Purum.—XI. THE FEAst of dedication.—Other festival, observed at stated intervals.-XII. THE SABBATICAL YEAR,XIII. THE YEAR of JUBILEE.
IN order to perpetuate the memory of the numerous wonders God had wrought in favour of his people, Moses by the divine command instituted various festivals, which they were obliged to observe: these sacred seasons were either weekly, monthly, or annual, or recurred after a certain number of years. I. Every seventh day was appropriated to sacred repose, and called the SABBATH ; although this name is in some passages given to other festivals, as in Levit. xxv. 4., and sometimes it denotes a week, as in Matt. xxviii. 1., Luke xxiv. 1., Acts xx. 7. and 1 Cor. xvi. 2. (Gr.) It was originally instituted to preserve the memory of the creation of the world (Gen. ii. 3.): whether it continued to be observed by the Israelites as a day of rest and holy convocation during their residence in Egypt, is a question concerning which learned men are by no means agreed. When, however, God gave them rest in the land of Canaan, he gave them his sabbaths to be statedly kept. (Exod. xx. 10, 11. and xvi. 23.) In the observance of the sabbath, the following circumstances were enjoined by divine command. 1. This day was to be held sacred as a day of worship, in memory of the creation of the world by Jehovah, and also as a day of repose both for man and beast, that they might be refreshed, and not have their bodily strength exhausted by uninterrupted labour (Gen. ii. 1–3. Exod. xx. 10, 11. Ezek. xx. 20.); hence the celebration of the sabbath was the making of a weekly profession that they received and revered the Creator of heaven and earth, and was closely connected with the fundamental principle of the Mosaic law, whose object was to keep the people from idolatry, and to maintain the worship of the one true God; and hence also the punishment of death was denounced against the wilful profanation of this solemnity. 2. On this day they were most religiously to abstain from all manner of work. (Exod. xx. 10. xxiii. 12. Xxxi. 12–17. xxxv.2. Deut. v. 14, 15. Jer. xvii. 22.) It was therefore unlawful to gather manna. (Exod. xvi. 22–30.), to light a fire for culinary purposes (Exod. xxxv. 3. Numb. xv. 32—36.), and to sow or reap. (Exod. xxxiv. 21.) To these enactments the Jewish doctors added a variety of other regulations, for which there is not the slightest foundation in the law of Moses. Thus, it was formerly accounted unlawful to repel force by force on the sabbath-day; and how much its observance was strained by the traditions of the elders in the time of our Lord, is sufficiently manifest. Hence, we find it was deemed unlawful to pluck ears of corn (Matt. xii. 2.) to satisfy the cravings of nature, because that was a species of reaping. We learn from the talmudical writers that it was unlawful to use oil medicinally, though they allowed it as a luxury; the anointing of the body with fragrant oils being then, as it is now, in the East, one of their highest enjoyments. It was a traditional rule of the antient Jewish doctors, that “whatever could possibly be done on the day before, or might be deferred until the following day, ought not to drive out the sabbath;” an excellent maxim when rightly understood, but when applied to cases of infirmity or sickness, they manifestly showed that they did not comprehend the meaning of the divine declaration—I will have mercy and not sacrifice. In chronical diseases, therefore, of which description were those cured by Jesus Christ on the sabbath day, they conceived that the persons who had so long struggled with them might very well bear them a day longer, rather than prepare medicines or in any way attempt to be cured on that day. The knowledge of this circumstance will greatly illustrate the conduct of our Lord in healing the sick on the sabbath day, and particularly the man who had been born blind. (John ix.) The rule above stated was made before he began to teach, and he gladly availed himself of the first opportunity to refute their erroneous notions, and expose their gross prevarication in interpreting many of the sabbatical laws. Further, seeing it was prohibited to put fasting spittle upon or into the eyes of a blind man on the sabbath day, our Saviour effected a cure by using both clay and spittle (John ix. 6, 14.), to show his divine authority, in employing means to human reason the most improper, even on that sacred day, directly in opo to the above rule; which was good and just in itself, but ypocritical, superstitious, and cruel, when applied to the case of healing on the sabbath.” The services of the temple, however, might be performed without profaning the sabbath, such as preparing the sacrifices (Lev. vi. 8–13. Numb. xxviii. 3–10. Matt. xii. 5); and it was also lawful to perform circumcision on that day. (John vii. 23.) 3. The sabbath was to be devoted to cheerful rest,
* 1 Macc. ii. 31–38. See other examples in Josephus, Ant. Jud, lib. xii, c. vi. § 2. De Bell. Jud, lib. ii. c. 16. § 4. lib. iv. c. 2, § 3. and de vitā suá, & 32.
*Dr. Wottom's Misna, title Shabbath, pp. 101–103. 123. The sabbath, we may *serve, was a type of that eternal rest, which all the true servants of Godwill hereafter enjoy in heaven. See Jones's Lectures on the Epistle to the Hebrew. Lect. ii. (Works, vol. iii. pp. 240–242) - $o