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ingredient is more frequently mentioned in the sacred volume than any of the others. It was to be put into the meat-offering which the priest was to burn before the Lord (Levit. ii. 1, 2, 15). The sinoffering of the poorest was to have no oil or frankincense (ver. 11). Frankincense was to be put on “the twelve cakes” placed on "the pure table before the Lord” (xxiv. 7). It was excluded from the offering at the trial of jealousy (Numb. v. 15). The royal Bridegroom was perfumed with it (Song iïi. 6). And the Bride consoles herself with the resolution, “ until the daybreak and the shadows flee away,
I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense" (iv. 6); a highly figurative expression for her determination to take delight in the service of God and of the sanctuary, even when darkness is round about her. Throughout Isaiah (chapters xliii. 23, lx. 6, lxvi. 3), and Jeremiah (vi. 20; xvii. 26; xli. 5) lévõnāh is rendered incense. This spice is named libanos by Matthew (ii. 2) as one of the gifts brought to the infant Saviour by the Eastern magi. The last reference to it is in Revelation viii. 3, 4, where the censer is named “libanoton,” from the frankincense burned in it.
Chapter xxxi. 3-5, is noticed under Gen. iv. 22; chapter xxxii. under 1 Kings xii. 28, 29; chapter xxxiii. 3, under 2 Kings xviii. 32; and chapter xxxiv. 13, under Micah v. 14.
ADGERS' skins” are named among the offerings asked for
the making of the tabernacle (ver. 7). Badger, Hebrew tahhash, is mentioned fourteen times in the Old Testament. Some have proposed to render tahhash a colour, blue or purple;
others think the word refers to a species of hyæna, and others believe it means a seal. Bochart pleads strongly and ably for the first meaning. But the reference in Ezekiel xvi. 10, is against this—“I have shod thee with badgers' skins.” On the whole, an examination of the following passages is in favour of an animal, most likely the badger; Exod. xxv. 5; xxxv. 7, 23; xxxvi. 19; xxxix. 34; Numb. iv. 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 25; and Ezek. xvi. 10.
The badger belongs to the family Melidæ, which is intermediate between the Mustelido, or weasels, below, and the Ursidae, or bears, above. It rests the whole sole of its foot on the ground when walking. From this feature it forms one of the natural group of plantigrade animals. It lives on frogs, insects, roots, and different kinds of fruit. The common badger (Meles taxus) is met with all over Europe and in Asia Minor. Its skins would thus be within reach of the Israelites during their sojourn in Egypt, and might be obtained from specimen met with in their wanderings.
Verses 21-23—see under Gen. iii. 21. Verse 26—"All the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom, spun goats' hair.” Cloth was frequently made from the long, silky hair of the Syrian goat, xxvi. 7; xxxv. 6; Numb. xxxi. 20; 1 Sam. xix. 16. “He made boards for the tabernacle of shittim-wood,” ch. xxxvi. 20. Shittim-wood is mentioned twenty-six times in the Bible. All the passages occur in the books of Moses. In Isaiah's magnificent description of the mighty acts of Jehovah, in introducing the latter day glory, reference is made to the tree from which the wood is obtained :-"I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah-tree, and the myrtle,” Isa. xli. 19. The shittah is a species of acacia (A. vera), very widely distributed in the East. It is met with on the sandy plains of Upper Egypt, in the Arabian desert,
Shittim-wood (Acacia vera).
and thence to India. . This tree, specially fitted for the purposes for which the Israelites were ordered to use it, was plentiful in the region in which they at this time wandered. Its wood is comparatively light, and very durable. Its bark is covered with sharp and formidable thorns. Another acacia (A. gummifera) yields the well-known gumarabic of commerce. The shittah abounded in the plains of Moab, and gave its name to a place there, Abel-Shittim, Numb. xxii.; Micah vi. 5. On account of the lightness of its wood, its durability, power of resisting damp, and susceptibility of polish, it was peculiarly well fitted for making the ark of the covenant (Exod. xxv. 10), and for the boards of the tabernacle.
HERE is no book, in the whole compass of that inspired volume which the Holy Ghost has given us, that contains more of the very words of God than Leviticus. It is God that is the direct speaker in almost every page;
his gracious words are recorded in the form in which they were uttered. This consideration cannot fail to send us to
the study of it with singular interest and attention. It has been called 'Leviticus,' because its typical institutions, in all their variety, were committed to the care of the tribe of Levi, or to the priests, who were of that tribe. The Greek translators of the Pentateuch devised that name. The Talmud for similar reasons calls it 'the law of the priests. But Jewish writers in general are content with a simpler title ; they take the first words of the book as the name, calling it 'Vayikra,' as if they said, the book that begins with the words, “And the Lord called '” (A. Bonar). The first chapter opens with the Lord's commands to Moses, touching those offerings and sacrifices which were all typical of the priesthood of the promised Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ. One or other of two thoughts meet us in all these arrangements. Either the worshipper's sense of sin is pointed to, leading bim to show that remission of sin is through the shedding of blood-true expiation; or his gratitude as a forgiven man is shown—true thanksgiving.
This chapter is devoted to the “burnt-offering,” which was a free will offering—"he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle” (ver. 3). The design of the offering was to make atonement—"it shall be accepted for him, to make atonement for him” (ver. 4) It might be a “bullock” (ver. 5), a "sheep,” or a goat' (ver. 10—see under Gen. iv. 2, and xxvii. 9); a “turtle dove," or a
young pigeon” (ver. 14). “He shall kill the bullock,” literally the son of a bull. The offering was to be a male without blemish (ver. 3). It was the type of Christ, the second Adam, the holy one, and therefore it must be unblemished. Two words are chiefly used in Hebrew for bullock. Both occur in this book. The one (bakār) is used here. It is met with one hundred and sixty-five times in Scripture. The other (pār) is rendered “bullock” in Levit. iv. 3, literally a steer, the son of a bull. It occurs one hundred and twenty-two times. In Genesis xxxii. 15, it is translated “bull”—“forty kine and ten bulls,” and in Hosea xiv. 2, it is employed figuratively—“Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously, so will we render the calves of our lips.” Calves were offered in sacrifice, and the people who here pray for forgiveness say, that they will render unto God the sacrifices of praise and of thanksgiving—" the calves of their lips.” The difference between the two terms seems to be, that the latter (pār) is much more definite than the former (bakār), which in other portions of Scripture is rendered in a very general sense. It is translated oxen, Gen. xii. 16; herds, xiii. 5; beeves, Levit. xxii. 21; calves, 1 Sam. xiv. 32; kine, 2 Sam. xvii. 29; and cow, Ezek. iv. 15. The terms were interchangeable, but, when a particular variety was specially meant, pār was employed.
“ Turtle dove,” Hebrew tõr, belongs to the Columbidæ, or dovefamily. Two species appear to be mentioned in Scripture, the true Syrian dove, or collared pigeon (Turtur rīsorius), and the turtle dove proper (T. auritus); the former is a permanent resident in Palestine, the latter is migratory. The reference in Jer. viii. 7, is to this species -- which see. The collared pigeon is that generally kept in cages in this country, and known as the turtle-dove. Turtur auritus visits the south of England in spring, and retires to the north of Africa in September. It visits Palestine and nests there at the same season. Turtur risorius is the species named in all passages in which the Hebrew yönāh is rendered pigeons or doves, except two, Song ii. 14; Jer. xlviii. 28—which see. This species is also noticed under Gen. viii. 8–12, which see. It is the “pigeon” of this passage No doubt, the migratory habits of the turtle dove are taken into account in the alternative presented to the poor, in regard to this offering. It was either to consist of turtle-doves or young pigeons; the former to be taken at the season when they visited Palestine, the latter at any time.
Assumed here as a type of the promised Messiah, the dove is often referred to by the writers of Scripture. The well-known habits of the different species with which the people were acquainted, are used to express and illustrate many points of great interest connected with the person of the Saviour. Though not bearing on the words now under notice, reference may be fitly made to one or two of these here. To some they may suggest fresh aspects of Scripture illustration in bringing the truth of God under the attention of men. They are not fanciful, but fully warranted by the words of the Bible. What