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viii. 5. The LORD spake unto Mofes, Jaying, Take the Levites from among the children of Ifrael, and cleanse them: And thus fhalt thou do unto them to cleanse them ; fprinkle water of purifying upon them, and let them have all their fiefh, and let them wash their clothes, and fo make themfelves clean. Then let them take a young bullock with his meat-offering, even fine flower mingled with oyl; and another young bullock fhalt thou take for a finoffering. And thou shalt bring the Levites before the tabernacle of the congregation; and thou shalt gather the whole affembly of the children of Ifrael together, and thou shalt bring the Levites before the LORD, and the children of Ifrael fhall put their hands upon the Levites: And Aaron fhall offer the Lêvites before the LORD, for an offering of the children of Ifrael; that they may execute the Service of the LORD. And the Levites fhall lay their hands upon the heads of the bullocks; And thou shalt offer the one, for a fin-offering, and the other for a burnt-offering, unto the LORD, to make an atonements for the Levites. And thou shalt fet the Levites before Aaron, and before his fons, and offer them for an offering unto the LORD
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Thus fhall thou feparate the Levites from among the children of rack; and the Levites fhall be mine. I have taken the Levites, for all the firft-born of the children of Ifrael.And again; This is it that belongeth unto the Levites; from twenty and five years sold and upward, they fhall go in to wait upon the fervice of the tabernacle of the congregation. And, from the age of fifty years, they shall cease waiting upon the fervice thereof, and shall serve no more. But shall minifter, with their brethren, in the tabernacle of the congregation, to keep the charges 1) and shall do no (laborious) fervice.
se But, though they were, in general, admitted, at the age of five and twenty; we find another Precept, which restrains the Numb. Kohathites, one of the three Branches, iv. 3. from being employ'd to carry the holy Things which belong'd to the Sanctuary, The Ark, Table of Shew-Bread, Candleftick, and Altar of Incenfe, till they were of the Age of thirty; These being the moft valuable and important of all the Moveables.
Soy And, we find afterward, when David
Temple, and the Service of the Tabernacle was to ceafe, he new-moulded the Conftitution of the Levites, divided them into proper Stations and Courfes for the Service of the Temple; and, by the fame Autho rity, by which he was empower'd to build and fix the fituation of the House of God, order'd that for the future they should be
1 Chron. admitted, at the Age of twenty Years. xxiii. 24. We read further, that the Number of them, at that time, was no less than Eight xxiii. 3, and Thirty Thousand, from thirty years old and upwards. Of which, he injoin'd that Four and Twenty Thousand should attend the conftant Duty and Work of the Temple; which, divided into four and twenty Courses, was a Thousand a Week. Six Thousand, to be Officers and Judges; probably, in the nature of our Spiritual Courts; Four Thousand, to praise the LORD, with vocal and instrumental Mufic; and Four Thousand, to be Porters or Doorkeepers. All which were likewife to
+ And poffibly, in all caufes fpiritual and temporal; according to the Precept in the Law. Judges and Officers shall thou make thee in all thy Gates, &c. Deut. xvi. 18.
be in waiting in their feveral Turns and Courfes; and had their Chiefs, as well as the Priests.
From this Divifion, we come to diftinguish the Levites, properly so call'd, being fo the Four and Twenty Thoufand, who were to attend upon the conftant Service of the Temple: This Difpofition being afterwards confirmed by Solomon, when the Temple was finish'd. He appointed, according to 2 Chron. the order of David his father, the courses of the priests to their fervice, and the Levites to their charges; to praise and minifter before the priests, as the duty of every day required the porters alfo by their courses, at every gate: for fo had David, the man of God, commanded.
Thus, when King Hezekiah began his Reformation of Religion, after the Land had been polluted with the Idolatry of his Ancestors, he gathers together the Priests and the Levites, and makes a Speech to them; Hear me, ye Levites; fanctify now xxix. 4 your felves, and fanctify the house of the &c. LORD God of your fathers; and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place. For our fathers have trefpaffed, &c. And at
the Conclufion, he fays; My fons, be not now negligent ; for the LORD bath chofen you, to ftand before Him, to ferve Him, and that you should minifter unto Him, and burn incenfe. And it follows; Then the Levites arofe and did according to the com mandment of the king.
Again, we are told; Hezekiah appointed the courfes of the Priefts and the Levites, after their courses; every man according to bis fervice; the Priefts and Levites for burnt-offerings, and for peace-offerings, to minister and to give thanks, and to praise, in the gates of the tents of the LORD.
And thus, when, upon the like occafion, Jofiah had renew'd the Covenant of the Law, with God; and had caused all that were prefent, in Jerufalem and Benjamin, to ftand to it; he speaks unto the Levites, that taught all Ifrael which were holy unto the 2 Chron. LORD; and fays; Put the holy ark in the XXXV. 3, house which Solomon, the fon of David, king of Ifrael, did build; it shall not be a burden upon your shoulders: ferve now the LORD your God, and his people Ifrael; and prepare your felves by the houses of your fathers, after your courses, according to the