« PreviousContinue »
-- viii. 5. The LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Take
the Levites from among the children of H. rael, and cleanse them: And thus foalt thou do unto them to cleanse thems sprinkle water of purifying upon them, and let them foare alltheir fefla, and let them wash their clothes, and so make themselves clean. Then let them take a young bullock with his meat-offering, even fine flower mingled with oyl; and an other young bullock fbalt thou take for a finoffering. And thou shalt bring the Levites before the tabernacle of the congregation; and thou shalt gather the whole assembly of the children of Israel togetber, and thou shalt bring the Levites before the LORD, and the children of Israel shall put their hands upon the Levites: And Aaron shall offer the Levites before the LORD, for an offering of the children of Ifrael; that they may execute the Service of the LORD. And the Levires shall lay their hands upon the beads 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 atonement for the Levites. And thou halt set the Levites before Aaron, and before bis fons, and offer tbem for an offering unto the LORD, ang bat
Thus hall thou fèparate the Levites from a crevan among the children of Israel;~ and the Le vices fall be mine. I bave taken the Ler vics, Yor all the first-born of the children of -Ifraela And again; This is it that belongeth *unta tbe Levices; from twenty and five year's zold and upward, they fhall go in to wait
upon the service of the tabernacle of the cona gregation. And, from the age of fifty years, they fall cease waiting upon the service thereof, and shall serve no more. But shall minifter, with their brethren, in the taberna
cle of the congregation, to keep the charge; in and shall do no (laborious) service.
S8+ But, though they were, in general, ad. mitted, at the age of five and twenty ; we find another Precept, which restrains the Numb. Kobathites, one of the three Branches, from being employ'd to carry the holy Things which belong’d to the Sanctuary, The Ark, Table of Shew-Bread, CandleStick, and Altar of Incense, till they were of the Age of thirty; These being the most valuable and important of all the Moveables.
And, we find afterward, when David had projected a magnificent Design for a
Temple, and the Service of the Tabernacle was to cease, he new-moulded the Constitution of the Levites, divided chem into proper Stations and Courses for the Service of the Temple; and, by the fame Auchority, by which he was empower'd to build and fix the situation of the House of God,
order'd that for the future they should be 1 Chron. admitted, at the Age of twenty Years.
We read further, that the Number of
them, at that time, was no less than Eight I Chron.
and Thirty Thousand, from thirty years old &c.
and upwards. Of which, he injoind that Four and Twenty Thousand should attend the constant 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, t in the nature of our Spiritual Courcs; Four Thousand, to praise the LORD, with vocal and instrumental Mųsic; and Four Thousand, to be Porters or Doorkeepers. All which were likewise to
+ And posibly, in all causes spiritual and temporal; according to the Precept in the Law. Judges and Officers Thall thou make thee in all thy Gates, &c. Deut. xvi. 18.
be in waiting in their several Turns and
Ezra, viii. Courses ; and had their Chiefs, as well as
the Priests. i ? From this Division, we come to distin: guish the Levites, properly so call’d, being
the Four and Twenty Thousand, who were to attend
the constant Service of the Temple: This Disposition 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 service, and the Levites to their charges; to praise and minister before the priests, as the duty of every day required : 'the porters also by their courses, at every gate : for yo 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; sanctify now xxix. 43
2 Chron. your felves, and sanctify the house of the &c. Lord God of your fathers; and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place. For our fathers have trespassed, &c. And at
the Conclusion, he says ; My fons, be not now negligent ; for the LORD bath chofer you, to fand before Him, to serve Him, and that you should minister unto Him, and burn incense. And it follows ; Then the Levites arose and did according to the com
mandment of the king. 2 Chron. XXII, 2.
Again, we are told; Hezekiah appointed the courses of the Priests and the Levices, after their courses; every man according to bis service; the Priefts and Levites for burnt-offerings, and for peace-offerings, to minister and to give thanks, and to prais, in the gates of the tents of the LORD.
And thus, when, upon the like occasion, Johab had renew'd che Covenant of the Law,with God; and had caused all that were present, in Jerusalem and Benjamin, to stand to it; he speaks unto the Levites, that
taught all Israel which were boly unto the 2 Chron. LORD; and says; Put the boly ark in the
house which Salomon, tbe fon of David, king of Israel, did build; it fball not be a burden upon your shoulders: serve now the LORD your God, and his people Israel; and prepare your felves by the houses of your fa thers, after your courses, according to the
XXXV. 3, &c.