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The day of Pentecost was to be “a holy convocation, and no servile work was to be done therein ;"—that is, it was to be a sabbath. (ver. 21.) *
FEAST OF TABERNACLES AND ATONEMENT.
On the first day of the seventh month was 66 the Memorial of blowing of trumpets.” It was to be a sabbath, and
* The following remark not being immediately connected with the above, I add it in a note. The Jews reckoned their weekly sabbaths from the Passover to Pentecost, from the sabbath of the Passover, or of unleavened bread, which they called the first. Thus they said, “ the second after the first,” “the third after the first," and so on until Pentecost. This explains that difficult passage in St. Luke vi. i. “ the second sabbath after the first:" DEUTEPOTwtov, the proper name of that sabbath. But why was the Evangelist so particular in marking the precise sabbath on which this occurrence took place, which he has not done in any similar case? Because it was so near the Passover; and by Lev. xxiii. 14, they were forbidden to eat either bread, or parched corn, or green ears, until the first fruits had been presented, which was on the morrow after the first sabbath, and, consequently, before this second sabbath. They were allowed to pluck and eat the ears of corn as they passed through their neighbour's field, by Deut. xxiii. 25. And the Evangelist shows, that the only time when it would have been unlawful, was past. And therefore, that the only ground of the Jews accusing them of acting unlawfully, was because they had done what would have been perfectly lawful on any other day, on the sabbath. Such minute proprieties and harmonious coincidences between sacred writers, at such an interval of time, and not discovered, perhaps, until long after, are brilliant proofs of the sterling truth of scripture, dictated to such a variety of writers by the same Spirit of Wisdom, with whom a thousand years are as one day, and who is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.
a holy convocation, and no work to be done. (Lev. xxiii. 24 & 25.) On the tenth day of the same month was the “day of atonement,” which also was a sabbath of the same kind. (ver. 27 & 28.) And on the fifteenth day of the same seventh month was the feast of tabernacles. (ver. 34.) On the first day, and on the eighth day, was to be a sabbath, and a holy convocation, and no servile work to be done. This eighth day is called (John vii. 37) the last or great day of the feast.
The feast of tabernacles was instituted in memory of the Israelites dwelling in tabernacles, or booths, in the wilderness. (ver. 40.) “ And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook. And ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days.” And (ver. 42) “ Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths.”
They remained a whole year in the wilderness of Sinai, until the passover of the second year,—and afterwards, until the twentieth day of the second month. Therefore they were thirteen months in the wilderness from the time they passed the Red Sea. All that time they dwelt in booths, and the feast of tabernacles, kept in remembrance of that period, was kept exactly in the middle of it, viz. on the fifteenth day of the seventh month to the twenty-third day.
There were seven sabbaths attending these feasts; two at the Passover, one at Pentecost, one on the blowing of trumpets, one on the day of atonement, and two at the feast of tabernacles.
ON THE EARLY MODES OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN GOD
“ In the beginning was THE WORD, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made. * In him was life, and the life was the light of men. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.”
It appears from the above passage, that our adorable Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was not only the Maker of the world and of man, but also the organ of communication with him from the very beginning. It is with reference to us, and to his being the organ of communication with us, that he is emphatically called “ The Word;” and that name was given to him from the beginning, and before he was made flesh. “ His life was the light:" it was he that first said, “ Let there be light.” He is also “ the light of men.” He it is, who “ lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” How emphatically is it expressed, not only that “ all things were made by him,” but also that “ without him was not anything made that was made !" Who can doubt, that it was the same divine person, who made the world, who also held with man the first communication of which we read? See the close connexion of the two sub
* Creation is also attributed to him. 1 Cor. viii, 6; Eph. iii. 9; Col. i. 16, 17; Heb. i. 2; Rev. iv. 11.
jects in Gen. i. 26, 27:—“ And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, &c. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them.”
28. “ And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
29, 30. “ And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed, to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so."
Who can doubt that it was the same divine Person who, in verses 26 and 27, created man, and passed the decree for giving him the dominion over the earth, and who, in the 28th verse, did actually, and personally, and verbally give it, and who, in the 29th and 30th verses, did declare to them that it was He who had given it ?
In the same manner, in Gen. ii. 2, 3, can it be doubted that it was the same Person who “ rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made,” and who “ blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it, because that in it He had rested from all his work, which God had created and made ?” And how could he have blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, without making a communication to man to that effect, and issuing his commands that he and his posterity should on that account keep it holy?
In like manner, verses 8, 9:—“And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden: and there he put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food; and the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” Who did all this but He, without whom “ was not anything made that was made ?” And must it not have been the same person who, in verse 15, “ took the
put him into the Garden of Eden, to dress it and to keep it ?” and who, in the 16th and 17th, “ commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.” And in verse 19, it is clear that the same Person who made the beasts and the fowls, also brought them to Adam, and desired him to give names to them; and for this purpose taught him the use of language, and the knowledge of their natures, for every name Adam gave contained the essence and definition of their natures.
It also follows that, as the same Person, who made man, placed him in the garden, and gave him the command not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, so likewise the same Person, who gave that command, held the long communication with him after the fall, in which he said, 6 Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?”
From the above, it appears that until the fall, and immediately after the fall, communications with man were held directly face to face by the Divine Word. How long man continued in a state of innocence we know not; the account of those transactions is very brief, and gives only what it concerns us to know. It might have been a long time, and during that time it is probable that the same communications, of which the above are a specimen, were constantly