Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

which vibrated from it, was like to the eye-the bright hue of the bdellium. It would not be far from the truth to say, that these eyes were of the nature of those we call eyes in a peacock's feathers; i. e. that they were spots peculiarly embellished with colors, or streaks like those of the golden pheasant of China.' These remarks are equally applicacable to the use of the word in the other passage.

CHAPTER 26. 14.

It is not expressly stated whether the curtains lay flat or sloping on the top of the tabernacle; if flat, there was more need of so many distinct coverings to prevent the rain from soaking through and injuring the inner and finer set, or from dropping into the sanctuary. It is more probable, however, that the tabernacle was so constructed as to afford a gentle slope to the superincumbent curtains. It may also be supposed that in good weather, and on more solemn occasions, the exterior and coarser hangings were folded up on the sides so as to let the inner and finer appear in all their beauty; and as it is certain that neither of the inner hangings came lower than to the upper side of the silver ground-sill, that splendid foundation would be thus exposed to view, and together with the exquisitely wrought tapestry of the innermost curtains, would present to the eye of the beholder a magnificent spectacle. In bad weather or at night the skin-coverings were probably let down to their full length, which was sufficient to cover the silver sleepers, and thus protect them from rain

or snow.

CHAPTER 26. 36, 37,

As it appears that the mode of entrance into the tabernacle was by turning aside or lifting up the curtain which formed its entire eastern side, the rendering the Heb. word 'Petheh,' by door is not precisely accurate unless door be taken with more than its usual latitude as equivalent to the Lat. introitus, entrance-way. The present rendering, moreover, prevents the reader from entertaining a clear conception of the reason of some of the rites and expressions which have reference to this entrance to the tabernacle. For instance, what was done at the entrance of the tabernacle is expressly said in several passages to have been done

'before the Lord,' Ex. 29, 11. 42. Lev. 1. 3. as though these were equivalent modes of speech. Now the reason probably why these two expressions are tantamount to each other is, that it was regarded as a point of etiquette by the sovereigns of the East not to vouchsafe the honor of a near approach to their persons to any but their immediate ministers, favorites, and attendants. This was particularly the case on special and extraordinary occasions. They were there accustomed to take their seat on their thrones, which were covered by a canopy above, and surrounded on all sides by fine curtains, not drawn quite close, so that they could easily see those who approached them, while their own persons were scarcely perceptible to those without. In allusion to this custom of the Orientals, the whole tabernacle was to be regarded as the earthly throne of the Divine Majesty. Consequently when any one was to be admitted to the honor of appearing more immediately 'before the Lord,' he was to appear at the entrance of the tabernacle.'

CHAPTER 29. 42.

The Hebrew phrase which our translators have all along rendered by 'Tabernacle of the congregation,' ought properly to be rendered Tabernacle of meeting.' The former rendering implies that it was so called merely from the fact of the peoples' there congregating to attend upon the worship of God, whereas the genuine force of the original expression imports not only the meeting of the people with each other, a general assembling of the host, but the meeting of God also with them, according to his promise, v. 43. And there will I meet with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle shall be sanctified with my glory.' The Hebrew 'Moad,' the term in question, strictly signifies a meeting by appointment, a convention at a time and place previously agreed upon by the parties.

[ocr errors]

THE END.

1

[graphic]
[graphic]
« AnteriorContinua »