Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

tioned. There are some persons who guard the palace; į In this very striking engraving (No. 1) the shrine is reothers who execute offices belonging to the royal dignity, presented at rest upon the ark in the sanctuary of the temple. who furnish the banquets, and do other necessary services The anomalous feature is the boat, which, in this and most for the monarch; others who daily entertain him with of the other examples, rests immediately upon the ark, and music, both vocal and instrumental. In a royal palace supports the covered shrine. To explain this, it should be there is a place appointed for the preparation of victuals, and observed that some of the Egyptian gods were carried another (nearer the Presence) where perfumes are burned. across, or up or down, the Nile, in splendid boats, on par

• In the palace of a king there is also a table, and an ticular festivals, and were sometimes thus absent several apartment exclusively appropriated to himself, which no days from their temples. From this circumstance, the one ever enters, except him who is next in authority, or shrine of such gods was usually represented as in a boat, those whom he regards with the greatest affection. In and in that form was carried about in land processions. like manner it was the will of God to have all these in There was nothing of this in the Hebrew tabernacle; and his house, that he might not in anything give place to the as most of the idolatrous symbols are connected with the kings of the earth. For He is a great king, not indeed in boat, we at once see what a great difference this omission want of these things : but hence it is easy to see the reason must have produced. Having given this dispensing ex. of the daily provisions given to the priests and Levites, planation concerning the boat, the reader must suppose its being what every monarch is accustomed to allow his ser | omission in this and the subsequent illustrations. Supvants. And all these things were intended to instruct the | posing, then, the boat omitted, we have first the ark, or people that the Lord of Hosts was present among us, “ For sacred chest, on which, as on a pedestal, the shrine is he is a great king, and to be feared by all the nations." placed. The Egyptian arks are very similar to one an

These analogies will be the more apparent when it is other in their form, which, as nearly as can be imagined, remembered that the comparisons are to be referred to an correspond to the description of the Hebrew ark; but their Oriental rather than to a European palace.

proportions are varied. That in the above engraving has We are now prepared to show that the kind of assimila not the proportions of the Hebrew ark, being higher than tion, which we have described, to the Egyptian forms of it is long; but we can show others which more exactly the utensils of ritual service, so far as these forms were

agree. innocent, or might be rendered useful, was not excluded The diameter of the shrine which is upon the ark, as in even from the most sacred parts of the Hebrew ritual - the mercy-seat which was upon the tabernacle ark, coinnot even from the Holy of Holies. And if not from these, cides at its base with that of the ark, but diminishes as it how much less from things of smaller consequence.

ascends. It happens that we do not know how high the In the adytum, or small inner chamber of the Egyptian 'covering' of the Hebrew ark rose. Josephus says it was a temples—answering to the most holy place of the Hebrew hand's breadth. We do not suppose it rose like this shrine, tabernacle-were placed the peculiar symbols, images, or because it would have been without purpose in the tabersigns of the god to whom the temple was dedicated. In nacle. It contained the image, or some peculiarly sacred the case of some of the principal of the gods, those which symbols of the god, which were thus enthroned upon the were the most ancient and the most generally worshipped, ark. But in the tabernacle, the ark was the throne of the the contents of the sanctuary were closely similar, if not | Shekinah, or radiant symbol of the Divine presence, and identical, with those of the most holy place of the taber- | an enclosing shrine for that would have been absurd. It nacle, - with the omission, in the latter, of the superfluities is evident that the Shekinah gloriously filled the place in and idolatrous appendages which the former offered the Hebrew tabernacle upon the ark which an ensbrined While, therefore, the sculptures of Egypt, in which some l image occupied in the Egyptian temples. Thus the Heof these ancient sanctuaries are represented, afford the | brews were effectually prevented from placing an image only discoverable materials for making out the outline there, and, in fact, they never did; for although, in the forms and some of the details of the ark and that which end, they went so far as to place idols in the sanctuary, belonged to it, they will at the same time afford not a few they never dared to place an idol in the place thus miraintimations of the simplifying and expurgatory process culously pre-occupied. by which these things were fitted for the use of the Hebrew The over-shadowing wings, in the Egyptian shrines, people.

afford an accompaniment similar in kind to that of the Our further observations must take the form of a com cherubim in the Hebrew tabernacle. In this case it is a mentary on the cuts which we now produce, and on which solar symbol ; and although we have no precise knowledge we rely for the proof of the statements we have offered. of the form of the Hebrew cherubim, it does not appear

to us that they resembled this in form or position. It is interesting, however, to learn that winged symbolical figures of some kind or other are invariably found in the Egyptian sanctuaries.

Before leaving this engraving the reader will not fail to notice that the poles by which the shrines were carried in processions were left remaining in it when at rest in its place, as was the case with the Hebrew ark. The figures placed beside the ark in this engraving, under the poles, may indicate the manner in which the pot of manna and other articles were laid up beside the ark' in the Hebrew sanctuary.

We introduce the cut No. 2 for the sake of shewing that we have rightly interpreted the shrine which we see placed upon the Egyptian arks, as containing an idol. Here the shrine is uncovered, and the god is revealed. From the attitude, the god appears to be Harpocrates. In this instance the shrine is very rich and elegant, and its canopy exhibits a duplication of the winged symbol to which we have already directed attention.

The cut No. 3 exhibits the form of the ark, which seems to us to agree, as nearly as possible, in its shape and proportions, with that which the present chapter describes. Even the staves are similarly placed, and the covering is about a

hand's breadth in height or thickness. We disregard, of w 1. SARINE IN ITS SANCTUARY.

course, the image upon this ark, symbolizing the Nile, and

[graphic]

TUOTETT METODE

[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

the hieroglyphics on its side. We must, however, call attention to the two small figures which stand at the opposite extremities of the ark. They occupy the place usually assigned to the cherubim in all the pictures of the Hebrew ark, as indeed seems to be required by the text, 'two cherubim of gold .... in (or at) the two ends of the mercy-seat' (Exod. v. 18); and the hindermost of them takes the very attitude which the more current pictures and descriptions supply. Their faces, however, are not turned to each other, and they are mere human figures without wings. The value of the illustration is, therefore, in this—that, besides the proper idol, image, or symbol, it was usual among the Egyptians to place small figures upon the ark in significant attitudes.

When the Hebrew ark was removed from its place, it was not taken into parts, but the chest itself, the mercyseat, and the cherubim were carried together as one piece, precisely as they had stood in the sanctuary. The under neath engraving (No. 4) shews the same practice among the Egyptians. Here we again see small figures in postures of adoration.

The cut No. 5, however, shews that, in some cases,

3. ARK BORNE BY PRIESTS. the shrine was taken off from the ark, and carried separately by the Egyptians. But we have introduced it chiefly on account of the winged figures which it exhibits, and more particularly of those which are represented on the side of the shrine, which certainly offer the most remarkable approximations in form, posture, and place to the Hebrew cherubim that have ever been produced. Let it be observed that the usual representations of the cherubim are taken from the description which Ezekiel (cb. i.) gives of those which he saw in his vision, as compared with the slight intimations supplied by Moses. Now, Ezekiel describes them as having human shapes, with four faces, and four wings. The four faces are those of a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle (or hawk); but few writers suppose that the ark-cherubim had more than one of these faces, and they generally take that of a man or an ox, seldom choosing the lion or the eagle. In this Egyptian example we have one of the four faces--that of the hawk. The wings are precisely the same as described by Ezekiel, — Their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies.' So it is here: each figure is intended to be represented with four wings, two of which fall down and cover the body, while the other two stretch upward, both pairs of wings in each of the figures nearly meeting those of the one opposite. Their position, indeed, with their faces towards each other, is strikingly illustrative.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

The two preceding cuts further shew the manner in movals the ark was covered with a veil (Num. iv. 6), and which the Egyptian shrine was carried by the priests on might only be carried on the shoulders of the priests or their shoulders, as the ark was by the Levites. The taber Levites. The Rabbins think, with some reason, that it nacle itself was removed in waggons; and, in like manner, was only carried by the priests on extraordinary occasions, although the Egyptians had wheel-carriages in great abun being ordinarily borne by the Levites. No other form of dance and variety, the shrine or ark was never removed conveyance was allowed, nor were any other persons perbut on the shoulders of the priests.

mitted to interfere with it. David thought, perhaps, to do · 10. · Ark.'— The identity of name, to denote two such

it honour by putting it on a new cart when he purposed to different things as the 'ark' of Noah and that of the taber

remove it to Kirjath-jearim: but the result convinced him nacle, does not exist in the original. The former is called

of the necessity of adhering to the established practice (2

Sam. vi. 3). On that occasion, Uzzah, being an unau72A tebah, and the latter 117x aron. The Septuagint

thorized person, was struck dead for putting his hand to rendered both terms by the same Greek word, kibwrós, the ark in order to steady it when shaken by the oxen, and has been followed by our own and other ver After the Israelites had passed the Jordan, the ark genesions. The ark, in the present instance, was a coffer or rally occupied its proper place in the tabernacle, and was chest of shittim wood overlaid with gold, in which were afterwards placed in the temple built by Solomon. From deposited the tables of the Ten Commandments—not only the direction given by Josiah to the Levites (2 Chron. the entire ones, say the Jews, but also those that were Xxxv. 3) to restore the ark to its place, it would seem to broken--together with Aaron's rod (staff) that budded, have been previously removed ; but it is not known whether and the golden pot of preserved manna. This chest seems this was done by the priests, to preserve it from profanato have been of the dimensions of three feet nine inches in tion, or by the idolatrous kings Manasseh or Amon, to length, by two feet three inches in breadth and depth, ac make room for their idols. It seems that the ark, with the cording to the common cubit of eighteen inches, but larger, other precious things of the temple, became the spoil of if, as we think preferable, we take the Egyptian cubit of Nebuchadnezzar, and was taken to Babylon; and it does twenty-one inches. Around the upper edge there was a | not appear that it was restored at the end of the captivity, rim or cornice (called in the text a crown') of pure gold; or that any new one was made. What became of the ark and on each side were fixed rings of gold to receive the after the captivity cannot be ascertained. Some of the poles of shittim wood, covered with gold, by which the ark Rabbins think that it was concealed, to preserve it from was carried from place to place. The staves always re the Chaldeans, and that it could not again be discovered, mained in the rings, even when the ark was at rest. The nor will be till the Messiah comes and reveals it. Others ark had at top a lid or cover of solid gold; for such was say that it was indeed taken away by the Chaldeans, but what the text calls the mercy-seat,' and which the Septua was afterwards restored, and occupied its place in the gint renders inarthplov, or propitiatory,' by which name second temple: but the Talmud and some of the Jewish it is mentioned by St. Paul in Heb. ix. 5, and which was writers confess, that the want of the ark was one of the probably so called, because, on the great day of atonement, 1 points in which the second temple was inferior to that of the blood of the expiatory sacrifice was sprinkled on or | Solomon: to which we may add, that neither Ezra, Nehebefore it. Upon the two ends of this lid, and of the same miah, the Maccabees, nor Josephus, mention the ark as matter with it, that is, solid gold, were placed two figures extant in the second temple; and the last authority exof cherubim which looked towards each other, and whose pressly says that there was nothing in the sanctuary when outstretched wings, meeting over the centre of the ark, 1 the temple was taken by Titus. Its figure certainly does overshadowed it completely. It was here that the Shekinah not appear on the arch erected at Rome in honour of that or Divine Presence more immediately rested, and, both in conqueror, and on which the spoils of the temple are dis the tabernacle and temple, was indicated by a cloud, from played ; although some writers have attempted to identify the midst of which responses were delivered, in an audible it with the table of shewbread, which is there reprevoice, whenever the Lord was consulted in behalf of the people. Hence God is sometimes mentioned as He that Sacred chests, bearing much the resemblance in prin. • dwelleth'or sitteth between the cherubim.' In its re- ciple to this ark, have been found in different ancient and

[merged small][ocr errors]

sented.

modern nations; and expositors have entered into many wearying disquisitions on the question whether this ark, or the ark of Noah, or else some primitive model (the existence of which is inferred from chap. xxxiii, 7, 10), suggested the first idea ; while Spencer and others think, as they do in the case of the tabernacle itself, that the Hebrew ark was itself copied from the heathen.

23. *A table of shittim wood.'— This table, like the ark, was of shittim wood, overlaid with gold; and it seems to have borne as much resemblance to the ark as a table can be supposed to bear to a chest. It was also furnished with rings, through which were passed the staves by which it was carried, in the same way as the ark. The staves of the table did not remain in the rings when at rest, like those of the ark, but were, as Josephus informs us, removed, that they might not be in the way of the priests in their weekly ministrations at the table. The table was inferior to the ark in breadth by half a cubit, but it was of the same height. It stood lengthwise, east and west, at the north side of the holy place. It is difficult, from the description, to form any very distinct idea concerning the

details of its form; and speculations on the subject have
been sufficiently abundant. What we seem to learn from
the text is, that the platform of the table being raised, pro-
bably on four legs, to the stated height, was faced with a
perpendicular border of a hand's breadth, above which,
and on the lower edge of which, was an ornamental rim
(crown') of gold. The upper rim, according to the
Rabbins, rose above the superficial level of the table, and
was calculated to prevent what was deposited thereon from
falling off. They also state that each end of the table was
furnished with a tall three-pronged fork, one at each
corner, standing perpendicularly, for the purpose of keep-
ing the loaves, which were piled one upon another at the
end of the table, in their proper places. For these forks,
however, there is no evidence in the text, or in the only
authentic representation we possess, which is that in the
arch of Titus at Rome, on which the spoils of the temple
are represented. This last, however, was not the table of
the tabernacle. It is generally agreed that this was
among the spoils carried away by Nebuchadnezzar, and
that when the Jews were restored to their own land, they

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

6. BAS-RELIEF FROM THE ARCH or Titus, SHEWING THE GOLDEN CANDLESTICK AND TABLE OF SHEWBREAD.

made a new table. It seems to have differed in size, and - Covers' nip kesoth.--These were probably inin some details, from the original table. Its form will be

tended for covering both the loaves and the incense. The seen from the cut representing that part of the Roman sculpture in which it is comprehended. The table of shew

Septuagint renders the word, wherever it occurs, by bread has often been pointed out as one of the marked

otovõela, “libation vessels.' peculiarities of the Hebrew ritual. But nothing can be - Bowls' – Dispao menakkiyoth—Septuagint, kváou more incorrect than this assertion; for numerous examples • wine-cups,' which is probably correct; for although we of such a table, very similar in shape and proportion, do not read that any wine was set upon the table, yet, as occur in nearly all the representations of Egyptian sanc libations were made to God, by pouring out wine before tuaries. But there was only bread and wine on the him in the holy place, there is nothing improbable in the Hebrew table; while those of the Egyptian temples were Jewish tradition, that a bowl of excellent wine was always in many instances (not in all) heaped with meats of every kept upon the table ; and that once a week, when the description.

bread was changed, the contents were poured out as a 29. Dishes'-nya ke-aroth; in the Septuagint libation before the Lord. Josephus confirms this tradition Tpubxía, plates' or platters.' On these the loaves were by relating that, when Pompey went into the holy place, set, according to Jarchi and others: who also states that he saw there cups for libation among the sacred vessels. they were of the same form as the loaves, and that there

30. Shewbread' D on lechem-panim ; literally were two sorts, one of gold and the other of iron, the bread being baked in the latter and then transferred to the

• bread of faces; and which perhaps modern translators former, to be set on the table. But others assign different

better render by presence-bread.' The bread consisted of uses to these dishes.

twelve unleavened loaves which were rather large, each

containing about five pints 1-10th of flour. The Rabbins - Spoons'-nos kappoth, more properly cups or censers, say that the loaves were square, and covered with leaves their use being for holding incense, of a concave form, like of gold; but of this the Scripture says nothing. The same spoons, or the hollow of the hand, which is the primitive authorities inform us that the loaves were placed in two meaning of 92 kaph. It is commonly thought that they piles of six each, one upon another, on the opposite ends of were two, and contained the frankincense which, as we the table; and that between every two loaves were laid learn from Lev, xxiv. 7, was set upon each pile of bread. | three semi-tubes, like slit canes, of gold, for the purpose of

247

keeping the cakes the better from mouldiness and cor and one in the middle. These branches were all parallel ruption by admitting the air between them. The golden to one another, and were worked out in knobs, flowers, forks, which are stated to have been employed to keep the and bowls, placed alternately. The whole number of these loaves in their places, we have already noticed. The new ornaments amounted to seventy (Josephus). The Jews say bread was set on the table every Sabbath with much cere that the flowers were lilies, and the knobs were in the mony and care, it being so managed that the new bread form of pomegranates. On the extremities of the branches should be set on one end of the table before the old was were seven golden lamps, one on each branch. A great taken away from the other, in order that the table might number of fanciful representations of this magnificent lampnot be for a moment without bread. The old bread might stand have been given. That on the Arch of Titus is the only be eaten by the priests; yet there was the famous best general authority; but the base, as there represented, exception in the instance of David, who, when in great has figures of birds and marine monsters, which we cerwant, ate the shew-bread, and incurred no blame (1 Sam. tainly should not expect to find in an utensil consecrated xxi. 6-9). This instance is quoted by our Saviour to to the service of Jehovah. This is a confirmation of the justify the apostles, when they plucked ears of corn and statement of Josephus, who, in speaking of the triumph of ate them on the Sabbath-day. Jewish traditions state, that, Vespasian and Titus, and of the sacred utensils which to render the bread more peculiar and consecrated from its were paraded on that occasion, says that the candlestick origin, the priests themselves performed all the operations was somewhat altered from the form which it had borne of sowing, reaping, and grinding the corn for the shew in the temple; and, among other alterations, he expressly bread, as well as of kneading and baking the bread itself. says that the shaft was fixed on a new base. After the We have already mentioned the incense and (probably) triumph, the candlestick, together with the table of the wine, which was set with the bread upon the table: it | shew-bread, were lodged in a temple built by Vespasian. is also thought that salt was added, as we read in Levit. ii., and consecrated to Peace. It is to be observed, however, that not only were the meat-offerings to be seasoned with I that the candlestick in question was not the same as that salt, but that salt was to form part of all offerings.

made for the tabernacle. This was, with the other sacred We find among the ancient heathens usages having some utensils, transferred to the temple built by Solomon, and conformity to this of the table with its shew-bread, though became the prey of the Chaldæans. It does not appear that it is difficult to determine from what source the analogy it was ever restored, but that a new one was made for the arose; unless we suppose the idea in itself so natural, as to second temple. It is not certain that this candlestick bore render it unnecessary to conclude that the usage must be precisely the same form as that made under the direction derived from one nation to another. We even find some of Moses; but there was doubtless a general resemblance. thing very similar in our own day among various and dis The light of the lamps was supplied from pure olive-oil. tant tribes of barbarians and savages. The heathens had, It is disputed whether the lamp was kept burning night in their temples, tables on which they set meat and drink and day, or only at night. In chap. xxx. 7, 8, it is menin honour of the gods. In general this became the pro- i tioned as the duty of the priest to dress 'the lamps every perty of the priests, but in many instances the priests morning, and to light' them every evening: but in the alleged that the gods themselves consumed what was set parallel text in Levit. xxiv, 2, it is said that the lamps were before them. There is a famous instance of this in the to burn continually; and the context says nothing about a pocryphal story of Bel and the Dragon. The Egyptians lighting, but only that the priest was to order' the lamps were among those who had this custom. Jerome, in his morning and evening. We are disposed to consider from gloss on Isaiah Ixv. 11, observes, that it was an ancient the two passages, taken together, that the lamps were to be custom among the idolaters of Egypt, on the last day of kept continually 'burning at night, being kindled in the the last month in the year, to place tables, covered with evening, and extinguished in the morning. If they were several kinds of victuals, in the temples of the gods. This kept burning night and day, the lighting in the evening information is confirmed by the monuments; although from may mean no more than that the light had been extinthe latter one cannot determine whether the tables of guished while the lamp was trimmed, and the oil and wick edible offerings which we see laid out before the Egyptian renewed. It is not in itself improbable that the lamps idols, were periodical only, as he states, or permanent. were kept burning by day, for light could only be admitted

into the tabernacle through the curtain at the east or un-31. Candlestick'-77p menoraha candelabrum or boarded end : if that curtain were thick, the holy place lamp-bearer.- This candlestick was wholly of pure gold, might have been so dark as to render artificial light not and it weighed a talent (about 125 lbs.), although, as Jo- less requisite by day than by night. The most holy sephus informs us, it was hollow within. It consisted of place, in which the ark lay, was at all times left in dark. a base and stock, with seven branches, three on each side, ness.

CHAPTER XXVI.

curtain four cubits: and every one of the 1 The ten curtains of the tabernacle. 7 The eleven

curtains shall have one measure. curtains of goats' hair. 14 The covering of rams' 3 The five curtains shall be coupled to-1 skins. 15 The boards of the tabernacle, with their | gether one to another; and other five curtains | sockets and bars. 31 The vail for the ark. 36 shall be coupled one to another. The hanging for the door.

1 4 And thou shalt make loops of blue upon ! MOREOVER thou shalt make the tabernacle the edge of the one curtain from the selvedge with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and in the coupling; and likewise shalt thou make ! blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims in the uttermost edge of another curtain, in 'of cunning work shalt thou make them. the coupling of the second.

2 The length of one curtain shall be eight 5 Fifty loops shalt thou make in the one and twenty cubits, and the breadth of one / curtain, and fifty loops shalt thou make in the

1 Heb. the work of a cunning workman, or, embroiderer.

« PoprzedniaDalej »