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sin-offering, vow, or what not-and does not refer to what was on a public behalf and recurrent, in the stated sacrifices. This was what enhanced, not the sin, but the scandal caused by the sin, of Eli's sons. It revolted the laity, some of whom were always present at these sacrifices thus brought of their own free will.
But these dues arising directly from sacrifices, since the latter could only be offered at the central sanctuary, contemplate a resident priesthood at that centre, whereas various other passages which we have had occasion to cite (xii. 12, 18; xiv. 27, 29; xvi. 14; xviii. 6) as clearly contemplate a provincial body of Levites in dispersion through the tribes, yet within the walls of towns-so the phrase "within the gates” at least suggests--in short, just such a distribution as would arise from the direction in Num. xxxv. 2–8 (cf. Josh. xxi. 2-42) as to Levitical cities, being executed in fact. Here then we have a religious ministry in two groups, and the case is next contemplated (Deut. xviii. 6-8) of a member of one of them seeking to change from the provincial sphere to the central. How far these groups correspond with those so clearly distinguished in Leviticus Numbers, shall be further considered, if occasion offers.
Before passing on to that, we may observe that in the forty years' wandering some social changes evidently happened. In Num. iii. 41, 45, the Levites are cattle-owners, and (xxxv. 3) are contemplated as being so when settled in the land. In the fortieth year the two eastern tribes (for the tenure of Manasseh eastward rested on other grounds) have become the chief herdsmen, and on that fact their claim for an early settlement is founded. They had already entered into that heritage, and had placed their cattle in undisturbed possession there. Thus the law of Deut. xii. 21, which released the Israelite from killing flesh for food at the door of the tabernacle (Lev. xvii. 3, 4), was for them already a necessity, owing to distance.
In regard to the large class of sacrifices known as “
peaceofferings," under which three varieties of "thank, vow, and freewill offerings" are distinguished in Lev. vii. 15, 16, there is no distinct assignment which exhausts all the parts of the victim. The fat and blood of course went to the altar (ver. 25, 27, 31), the breast or brisket and right leg are the priests' portion (ver. 30-34), the rest of the flesh is to be eaten on the same or next day (ver. 16, 17)—but by whom? We are left to infer that the worshipper partook of it, probably with his family or invited guests. But this in the priestly ritual is not actually stated. It was not to the purpose of mere priestly regulation. But when we turn to Deuteronomy, which gives the popular side of the matter, we read in xii. 27, after a prohibition of the blood (ver. 23-25), a distinct permission to the worshipper, “The blood of thy sacrifices? shall be poured out upon the altar, and thou shalt eat the flesh." Thus we find, conversely, that where priestly rules leave a question open Deuteronomy fills a gap in Leviticus, and both are in harmony. At the same time we see the reason why the “Ö'ne Israel," not the o'ne Aaron only, are, in Lev. vii.23 foll., directly charged to observe the rules there prescribed, because they were parties in the division of the victim, and a dividend of it went by custom to them for enjoyment. The whole proves the mutual interdependence of the popular and the priestly corpus iuris, and shows that, without reference to Leviticus-Numbers, we cannot clearly comprehend Deuteronomy. In short, it overthrows a great deal of modern theory on the subject of the Pentateuch. Nor will it be difficult to confirm this position by a similar careful analysis of other
1 The same observations apply to Lev. xix. 5-8 ("peace-offerings” at the offerer's "own will"), where the same injunction recurs, “it shall be eaten,” etc., no doubt by the offerer and friends.
? Here again the language is general. There were, of course, holocausts, to which “thou shalt eat the flesh" would not apply. But “thy sacrifices” includes the great majority of the popular offerings which it was necessary to regulate.
parts of the Deuteronomic legislation, especially those, like the Law of the Refuge cities, on which, by reason of a difference of standpoint merely adopted by the legislator, hostile critics are wont to rely. It may be said without exaggeration that the most evidentially useful parts of Deuteronomy are its difficulties—those knots in the timber, which, while they turn the edge of the tool, attest the genuineness of the grain.
THE DESCENT OF THE NEW JERUSALEM,
BY THE REV. WILLIAM E. BARTON.
We have made needlessly hard work of interpreting the Apocalypse. Its date is more certainly indicated than that of any other New Testament book. If to the Occidental mind some of its minutiæ defy accurate analysis, its three or four leading ideas may be read by him who runs, and about these the imagery of the book is draped in such a way, that, if each separate fold and festoon convey to the modern mind no separate and complete meaning, at least the whole is congruous and appropriate. Indeed, when the book is read with these leading ideas in their true perspective, it becomes extremely probable that no effort to understand the book is likely to prove so utterly bewildering as that which concerns itself with microscopic search for the meaning of the details.
Omitting from present consideration the latter part of the closing chapter, which contains the finale, and the first three chapters, which contain the introduction and the messages to certain groups of churches whose messages have no more reason to be considered an epitome of universal history than any of Paul's letters to the churches of the same region, and whose distortion to this end is a conspicuous braving of the curse against those who add to the words that are written in this book, there are four leading thoughts in the work. These are treated somewhat in the order indicated, but merge more or less into each other. The plan of the book is iterative, and cumulative. It is a work of art. Among works of art, however, there is a difference. The painter who decorates the stage of a theatre may be as great an artist as another who decorates china, or the third who engraves a steel plate under a lens; but the work must be judged according to different standards. He would be a poor art critic who would examine a drop curtain or the sliding scenery of a stage with the same minuteness that he would give to the inspection of a bit of cloisonné or the vignette of a bank note. It must be seen at proper distance, and with a glare of light here and a deep shadow there, to do its artistic qualities justice. Then the very defects, as they appear on close inspection, the incongruities, the gaudy patches of paint, and the daubs of color, will be found to blend harmoniously, and to sustain their due relation to the play. The Apocalypse might be spoken of as a magnificent drama, with marvellous and changing drapery, with chorus and orchestra, with Jerusalem, Rome, Patmos, the ocean, and heaven itself among its scenes, and with kings and angels and the hosts of earth and heaven among its characters. Thunders, lightnings, earthquakes, hail, conflagration, war,-these are among the scenes portrayed. The stage fittings vary with the scenes. The lights are turned down until the horror of a great darkness is felt: then the red light of the torch and of the stake illumine the scene with an unearthly glare; and then there streams a pure radiance from the great white throne. The mistake of the ages, as respects this book, has been that it has been viewed through a microscope instead of an opera glass.
Without attempting careful and exact divisions, but only as introductory to the present theme, we may group the leading ideas of the book thus:-
The Overthrow of Jerusalem.--The city that was holy has become “Sodom and Egypt," and if there be a worse thing that can be said of it, it is, that it is "where also the Lord was crucified.” The city and its temple still stand, with obsolete rites mocking the real Sacrifice, but it is already measured for destruction. Forty and two months shall it be