« PoprzedniaDalej »
II. A Summary of the Geography and Natural History of the Holy Land,
with a special reference to the narratives, opinions, and imagery of the
rate and vivid conception of the scenes and localities of which they speak:
portion to the position which they severally hold in the great picture, and
the subject matter in a series of brief memoirs :
chosen people,' exhibiting the rise, progress, decline, and ruin of the
literature, and social condition of the Israelites :
Usages, and Institutions of the Hebrew race in the several periods of its
VI. An exhibition of opinions set forth or implied in the Bible, accompanied
by observations as to their source and permanent validity; comprising
ing the contents of the Old and New Testament:
showing the grounds on which repose the religions of Moses and the Lord
the Gospel, and its claim to be accounted a Divine Revelation:
teachings, death, and ascension, of the Saviour of the world :
senting views and sanctions of Christian morality in its application to indi-
Where an appeal to the eye seemed desirable, wood-engravings, plans, and
After all his endeavours, the writer is painfully impressed with the feeling
A. M. denotes the year of the world, according to the Septuagint, or Greek version
of the Bible. A. C. the year before the birth of Christ, according to the same authority. V.
the year before the birth of Christ, according to the common (Usher's)
chronology. A. D.
the year since the birth of Christ. A.
a word of Arabic origin. F.
Greek, G. after T. or Ger. German. H.
Teutonic or Saxon.
DICTIONARY OF THE BIBLE.
A A R
AARON (H. mountain of strength. A. M. A description of the dress he was to wear 3819; A. C. 1729 ; V. 1574), first son of in his sacred office may be found in Exod. Amram and Jochebed, of the tribe of Levi, xxviii. We refer to the cut for the breastbrother of Moses and Miriam, was born in plate of judgment with cunning work, having the land of Goshen, 115 years after the death four rows of three precious stones each, of Jacob, and three years before the birth bearing the names of the twelve tribes like of Moses. His wife's name was Elisheba, the engravings of a signet,' which Aaron who bore him Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar was to wear upon his heart when he went and Ithamar. While Moses was absent in into the holy place, for a memorial before the land of Midian, Aaron remained in Egypt Jehovah. The position which Aaron and with his people; but, when his brother re- Moses held, and the power which they exturned, Aaron went forth to meet him, and ercised, excited against them Korah, of the from that time co-operated with Moses for tribe of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram, and the liberation of the Israelites. Aaron was others, who, joining to themselves two hunnaturally eloquent, and was therefore made dred and fifty princes of the assembly, men spokesman to Moses in presence of Pha- of renown, boldly charged Moses and Aaron roah. As Moses was appointed a God to with taking too much upon themselves. Pharoah, so Aaron was a Prophet to Moses. Moses put the issue on the rebels dying a While Moses was absent during forty days natural death; and the earth is said to have in the Mount, Aaron yielded to the wishes opened her mouth, and swallowed up Korah of the people, and made a golden calf as a and his associates. This only incensed the symbol of Jehovah, in imitation of the entire body, who employed threats towards Egyptian god Apis or Mnevis. After the re- their leaders. On this, Jehovah is repredemption of Israel, Aaron, not unnaturally sented as preparing to destroy them all, when considering the part he had taken, was ap- Aaron, under the direction of Moses, makes pointed High Priest of the Mosaic religion an atonement, and the plague is stayed, after (Lev. viii. Exod. xxix.). His consecration 14,700 had died, besides those that had to that office was, at the divine command, perished with Korah. As, however, the dissolemnised by his brother Moses. Our en- content had not disappeared, an appeal is graving represents the moment when the ordered to be made to Jehovah by lot, after prophet, having purified Aaron with water, the manner of the Arabians, who determine and put on him the holy vestments, poured doubtful events by casting lots with their of the anointing oil upon Aaron's head, and staffs. Accordingly, a rod is taken to repre. anointed him to sanctify him.'
sent each of the twelve tribes, to be laid up in the tabernacle: the rod that blossomed betokened on whom the choice and favour of God rested. That rod proved to be Aaron's. These accounts are not without their difficulty to the apprehensions of modern readers; but, in order to form a correct judgment, we must view them, not from our position, but from the position in which the actors stood. It is clear, that, unless the authority of Moses had been sustained, the purposes of God, in the establishment of his religion, would not have been realised. And the question which asks whether Moses and Aaron were disinterested and honest, must be determined, not by this or by any other particular event, but by their general conduct, and the general character of their institutions. Nadab and Abihu were destroyed for offering strange fire before Jehovah. This repeated destruction of life
is deplorable. The benevolent mind cannot lost his meekness, and might have forfeited but wish that the aims of the leaders of Israel his piety. Had Aaron been unsupported by could have been secured at less cost. Years the strong mind of his brother, his skill in after the death of Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar words would have vanished into air. Had and Ithamar, Aaron's younger sons, were Moses been more, or Aaron less, than they called to perpetuate the priesthood in their severally were, the due proportion of their own family. Aaron and the Levites were to influence would have been impaired; the have no part of the inheritance in the land, martial element would have been superabunbut all the tenth in Israel for their service dant, the religious element would have been in the tabernacle. Aaron, as well as Moses, defective; and as the soldier was only the was not permitted to enter with the people forerunner of the priest, so was it essential into the land of promise, because of the re- that Aaron should have his own virtues and bellion at the waters of Meribah; but, being his own sphere; nor perhaps can we easily conducted to the top of Mount Hor, was there measure the amount of good which the speakstripped of his priestly garments, which were ing and administrative ability of Aaron con. put on his son Eleazar; after which, Aaron ferred on the structure of the Mosaic polity. died (Numb. xx.) on the top of Mount Hor The greatest men are individually unequal (comp. Deut. x. 6. Numb. xxxiii. 38), and to the execution of the grand purposes of God. was mourned for by the people during the It is only in Jesus Christ that history prespace of thirty days. Mount Hor is a hill sents us with a perfect human model and an of considerable height, which is found in all-sufficient Saviour; and, for the carrying Arabia Petræa, near Wady Musa. It is still forward of his work, most various and diverse named by the Arabs, Harun's Hill. On it ministrations were required and supplied. a building, called Aaron's tomb, is shown, Ordinary men should be content and thankwhich is in reality a comparatively modern ful, if, unable to command or persuade, they structure.
are permitted to stand and wait.' It is Aaron was no slavish instrument in the equally true, that, in the great vineyard, there hands of Moses. He had a will of his own, is work for every hand, as also there is (will and did not fear to give expression to it when men but be faithful) a hand for every work. he saw fit. In this independence we have a How deeply idolatry was engrained in the guarantee of the trustworthiness of the Mosaic souls of the Israelites, is proved by the share enterprise, as it affords an evidence that there which Aaron took in the setting-up of the was no collusion between its two great leaders. golden calf. To eradicate idolatry was most An exemplification of our position may be important, as well as most difficult. This found in the following incident: - Moses, was the first great work. The wound, if it having married an Arab wife, had thereby could not be healed, must even be cut out. given dissatisfaction to his brother Aaron and Hence arose the necessity of severe courses, his sister Miriam, who do not stop at general which, if we thoroughly understood their aim reproaches, but even call in question his au- and tendency, we should be less prone to thority. From the fact that the chief punish- reprobate. For the same great purpose was ment was made to fall on Miriam, we think designed the display of the divine symbols, it probable that jealousy between the two made on Mount Horeb, when Moses, Aaron, females was at the bottom of this outbreak of and the seventy elders, were admitted into discontent. The divine will, however, inter- Jehovah's presence (Exod. xxiv. 9, seq. Deut. poses: Moses is pronounced guiltless and iv. 10). Two things were to be accomplished, faithful; Miriam is struck with leprosy. Here I. That the Israelites, who had been used for are circumstances which would have proved centuries to ocular impressions as to divinifatal to an impostor. Against the destructive ties, and so needed something in the way of influences of jealousy, suspicion, imputations, evidence which appealed to the senses, might, and penalties, nothing but an honourable in some sense, see the invisible God; and, II. cause could have stood (Numb. xii.).
That they who were to be the founders of a That the Scriptures do not pretend to give system of religion, whose very essence lay in a complete history of its events, or a full pic- God's absolute spirituality, might not, while fure of its characters, is evident from the fact, they were instructed, receive gross and matethat they furnish no details of Aaron's history, rial notions, but be raised to a pure and lofty till, in his eighty-third year, he is called to conception, of the Creator. These most imbis official duties.
portant results appear to have been signally The wisdom of Providence is exemplified attained by the interview, when, though the in the different gifts which Moses and Aaron company came nigh to God, beheld awful possessed. A union of the qualities of both tokens of his presence, and are even said to was necessary. Moses was fitted to command; have seen the God of Israel,' they were yet Aaron, to obey. The first had the high power duly admonished of the impiety of making which legislation requires: the second pos- any likeness or image of the Almighty; for, sessed the eloquence which can give effect to as Moses expressly observes, they heard Jehogreat ideas. Had Moses combined the excel- vah speaking to them out of the fire, but saw lences of Aaron with his own, he would have no similitude. The expression, 'the God of