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of gold, together with a crown of gold in the middle, and at each end was placed an offering of the shew bread, viz. six loaves in a pile, to represent the twelve tribes. The bread was. changed every day, and not allowed to be eaten by any but the priests.
"Over against this table, on the south side, stood the candlestick, which was made of pure gold, upon a basis of the same metal, and had seven branches on each side, and one in the middle. The branches were at equal distances, adorned with six flowers like lilies, with as many knobs like apples, and little bowls like half almond shells placed alternately, and upon each of these branches there was a golden lamp, which was lighted every evening, and extinguished every morning.
"Betwixt the table and the candlestick was placed the Altar of Incense, which was but one cubit in length and breadth, and two cubits high; but it was covered with plates of brass, and had a crown of gold over it. Every morning and every evening, the priest in waiting for that week offered incense of a particular composition upon this altar, and for this end he carried a smoaking censer filled with fire, which he took from the altar of burnt offerings into the Tabernacle, and having placed it upon the other altar, retired.
"The ARK was a kind of chest or coffer, made of Shittim wood, overlaid with pure gold within and without it was two cubits and a half long, a cubit and a half broad, and the same in height, and round the top of it was a crown of gold: it had rings of gold at each corner, and there were staves made of Shittim wood, covered over with gold, to put through them to bear it by.
"On the top of the Ark was the mercy-seat, which served as a covering to it, and at each end of this was a cherub,
cherub, with his face towards the other, their wings extended, so that they met and covered the mercyseat* In this Ark was deposited the Tables of Testimony, and it was placed in the Holy of Holies.
"Anciently every head of a family was a priest; but as the LORD had appointed a Tabernacle, or habitation of His holiness, and would not allow the people to enter the place where He designed to display His glory, He thought proper to establish an order of priests, to be His immediate servants."
When Moses was on the mount the first time, he received command from the LORD to separate Aaron and his sons for the priests' office, and gave directions in respect to the habits they should wear, which were afterwards made. The dress of Aaron, as High Priest, was very magnificent. It consisted of the Ephod, with the breast-plate and girdle, the robe of the Ephod, the embroidered linen coat, and the mitre. These were all of linen, and covered the whole body from the neck to the heels; over these was a purple or blue tunick, which reached not so low, but was curiously wrought all over, and at the bottom of it were pomegranates and bells, at equal distances ; the pomegra nates were made of purple and crimson wool, and the bells of gold: the intent of the latter was to let the people know, by the sound of them, when the High Priest was going into the Sanctuary, and when he was coming out; and also to intimate to them, that he should not go without ceremony into the presence of GOD.
The Ephod was a kind of girdle, embroidered with gold thread, and other threads of divers colours, which, being brought from behind the neck over the two
*The form of the Cherubim cannct from Scripture be exactly ascertained.
shoulders, was put across upon the stomach, and hung down as low as the feet. Upon that part of it which crossed the shoulders were two large precious stones, on which were engraven the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, six on each stone; and where the Ephod crossed the breast, there was a square ornament called the breast-p'ate, wherein were set twelve precious stones, with the names of the twelve tribes engraven on them, on each stone one. In the breast plate was the URIM and THUMMIM, or the ORACLE OF GOD, by which the Divine Will on particular occasions was made known. The girdle of the Ephod was embroidered like the rest, and fastened close to the waist.
The Mitre was of fine linen; it covered the head, and on the forehead was a plate of gold; on which was engraven, HOLINESS TO THE LORD; this plate was also called the Holy Crown. The mitre was tied behind with two ribbons fastened to its ends.
The other priests had only a simple tunick, a linenmitre or bonnet, and a girdle, &c.
There was a great variety of utensils for the Tabernacle service, such as censers, basons, spoons, &c. made of gold or brass.
It is impossible for us to know all that was meant by the institutions under the Mosaic dispensation; but we may collect, from several parts of the New Testament, that they were designed as types or representations of various particulars in the heavenly kingdom; and also as pledges of the blessings that God's faithful people should enjoy in a future state.
We have before observed, that Moses was the Mediator between the LORD and the people: his mediation, after the establishment of the priesthood, seems to have related chiefly to their temporal affairs; but he as
the prophet of the LORD exhorted and instructed them in this duty. In respect to spiritual concerns, the High Priest was the Mediator, who was to make atonement and intercession for them, and his dress indicated the nature and efficacy of his office: its magnificence implied he dignity of that Great Being, whose minister he was.
The literal meaning of the words URIM and THUMMIM, are said to be light and perfection; or the shining and the perfect. There are various conjectures concerning the URIM and THUMMIM; but as the Scriptures are silent, it is impossible to come at any certainty on this head: all we know is, that the Breast-plate contained within it something which was the appointed means of making known the Divine will on solemn occasions.
The inscription on the golden plate, which was on the front of the mitre, signified, that the people were not to adore the High Priest; but to ascribe holiness to the LORD only. The common priests were assistants to the High Priest.
In about six months, all the work of the Tabernacle, and all its appendages was completed. The whole amount of the gold that the people offered, was about 159,0001; in silver, about 34,0001, of our money; ex clusive of 80501, of brass *.
THE SETTING UP OF THE TABERNACLE.
From Exodus, Chap. xxxix, xl.
THUS was all the work of the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation finished: and the children of Israel
The chapters which give an account of these things are omitted, as too long for insertion.
did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so did they.
And they brought the tabernacle unto Moses, the tent and all his furniture.
The clothes of service to do service in the holy place, and the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and his sons' garments to minister in the priest's office.
According to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so the children of Israel made all the work.
And Moses did look upon all the work, and behold they had done it as the LORD had commanded, even so had they done it and Moses blessed them.
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, On the first day of the first month shalt thou set up the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation.
And thou shalt bring Aaron and his sons unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and wash them with water. And thou shalt bring a bullock for a sin offering, and two rams, and a basket of unicavened bread.
And thou shalt put upon Aaron the holy garments, and anoint him, and sanctify him that he may minister unto me in the priest's office.
And thou shalt bring his sons, and clothe them with
And thou shalt anoint them, as thou didst anoint their father, that they may minister unto me in the priest's office for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood, throughout their generations.
And it came to pass, in the first month, in the second year, on the first day of the month, that Moses reared the tabernacle..
And he took and put the testimony into the ark, and set the staves on the ark, and put the mercy seat above upon the ark.