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the Presence, in general, was a symbol of special grace and favour. Dr. Lightfoot's remark is not therefore very certain : the perpetual light (of the lamps) resembled the word and doctrine of salvation, the light of the Lord, in which we see light. The Scriptures make the candlesticks, or lamps, to resemble the churches ; so they are explained to St. John in his vision: And Rev.i.20. the seven candlesticks which thou sawest, are (signify) the seven churches. The two olive-trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth, are interpreted of the two witnesses, which were to prophesy during the period of antichristian corruption, in defence of truě religion and true Christianity. And I will Rev. xi. give power unto my two witnesses, and 3, 4. they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. The representation of them as olive-trees and candlesticks, seems taken from the prophecy of Zechariah. The Zech. iv. Prophet beheld the candlestick all of gold, 2, 3. and his seven lamps, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, and two olive-trees, one of each side ; these are explained to be the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth. These signify (says Mr. Lowth, very justly) the kingdom and the priesthood, as they were exercised by Zerubbabel and Joshua. The candlestick Lowth on
the place. represented the Jewish church'; the olive
trees, a supply of oil, to keep it bright and burning : and, to stand before the Lord, is the same as to minister to him. Light, as a proper emblem of truth and understanding, of purity and holiness, might be an emblem of God's presence in the church ; and so it was; but I conceive not in the candlestick, but in the glorious light of the Shechinah. The candlestick, as an emblem of the church, rather seems designed to ex: press with what truth and purity, understanding and holiness, the church should worship God, how a people consecrated to God's honour and service, should appear as burning and shining lights in the world.
Josephus has suggested a thought which deserves notice, as coming from such an author-that these seven lamps, as they were according to the number of the seven planets, so they were designed to represent them, and so teach, that these glorious lights of heaven, as creatures of the one God, the sole Creator of all things in heaven and earth, are to be considered
joining with the church in showing forth Josephus, his praises. So far are these stars from de
serving religious worship, that they pay III.c.x. religious honour to the one God, who
alone is to be worshipped. It is left to every one what credit is to be given to this opinion of Josephus; it was fit to mention it, as he was himself an Hebrew, and ell acquainted with the history and rites of his nation.
Next to the holy place was the oracle, Ritual of or most holy place : this will deserve par- holy ticular attention ; for here was the pre- place. . sence, the Shechinah, the glory of Jehovah, between the cherubim, over the mercy-seat, or the covering of the ark.
The ritual directs this ark to be made Exod. of Shittim wood : two cubits and a half 11.
xxv. 10, shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. And thau: that overlay it with pure gold, within and with: out shalt thou overlay it, and shalt, make upon it a crown of gold round about. The ark, then, was a chest or cabinet made of the finest wood, overlaid with gold, near four foot long, and somewhat above two foot in breadth and in height: round about this cabinet, at the top, was a crown or coronet of gold, in part as an ornament, and in part to keep the mercy-seat steady, which was to be placed in it to cover the ark.
The mercy-seat is directed to be made of
pure gold, as the ark itself, and just of the same length and breadth. The original word we translate mercy-seat, may signify nyo either a covering or an expiation ; as, in the language of Scripture, to cover sins, means
Psalm the same thing as to forgive them. The xxxii. 1. LXX have joined both these senses together, and expressed them by two distinct 'Inasemplova words. And there is full reason to show, the eramuto
word in the original was intended in both senses, as a covering and as a propitiatory.
The use of this ark is further explained Exodus, in the ritual: And thou shalt put the mercyxxv. 21,
seat above upon the ark, and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee; and there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee. The ark is therefore styled the ark of the testimony, and very frequently the ark of the covenant, be, cause the tables of the covenant were put
into it. Here also was the pot of manna Heb jaid up before the Lord, with Aaron's rod xvi. 33. that budded. These well preserved the
memory of God's faithfulness to his covenant with this people, and the authority of his constitutions with them, in settling their priesthood, worship, and ritual; and of his mercy towards them, when his
presence was over the mercy-seat, the propi. tiatory and covering of the ark, in which the tables of the law were placed, as the holy rule of his government, but covered with a mercy-seat, an emblem of his
grace, It is further to be observed, concerning this Exodus, ark, and its covering the mercy-seat, And xxv. 18, 19, 20.
thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy-seat. And, says the ritual, make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end : even of the mercy-seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. And the cherubims
shall. stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy-seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another towards the mercy-seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. Here was the presence and oracle, between the wings of the cherubim, and the mercy-seat the covering of the ark : from hence the oracle, or word of Jehovah, was given; or, as one 'well expresses it, hence Jehovah spake to the children of Israel by his Shechinah, oracle, as from his imperial throne, more imperatorio de tribunali loquebatur.
There are many questions not easy to be answered, concerning the form of these cherubims. Josephus was of opinion, no Josephus, man could tell what they were like, for Ant. Jud. their form, he says, was not like any thing c.i. . known by man. Bochart (says Bishop Patrick) seems to me to speak judiciously, when he says they were not figures of angels, but rather emblems, whereby the angelical nature was in some sense expressed. Let Bochart express his own meaning, in his own words. The cherụbim were not images of God, as the calves of Jeroboam, nor of any angels, but emblems by which the angelical nature was in some manner expressed *.
* Præterea cherubini neque Dei erant imagines, ut vituli Jeroboami, neque angelorum ullius, sed emblemata potius quibus angelica natura utcunque exprimebatur.Bochari Hieroz. P. I. c. xxxiv. vol. ii. p. 308.