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AARON (H. mountain of strength. A.M. 5S19; A.C. 172U; V. 1574), first son of Antrim and Jochebed, of the tribe of Levi, brother o'. Moses and Miriam, was bom in the land of Goshen, 115 years after the death of Jacob, and three years before the birth of Hoses. His wife's name was Elisheba, who bore him Nadab and Abihn, Eleazar and Ithamar. While Moses was absent in the land of Midian, Aaron remained in Egypt with his people; but, when his brother retamed, Aaron went forth to meet him, and from that time co-operated with Moses for the liberation of the Israelites.. Aaron was naturally eloquent, and was therefore made spokesman to Moses in presence of 1'liaroah. As Moses was appointed a God to Pharoah, so Aaron was a Prophet to Moses. While Moses was absent during forty days ia the Mount, Aaron yielded to the wishes of the people, and made a golden calf as a symbol of Jehovah, in imitation of the Egyptian god Apis or Mnevis. After the redemption of Israel, Aaron, not unnaturally considering the part he had taken, was appointed High Priest of the Mosaic religion (Lev. viii. Exod. xxix.). His consecration to that office was, at the divine command, solemnised by his brother Moses. Our engraving represents the moment when the prophet, having purified Aaron with water, and pot on him the holy vestments, 'poured of the anointing oil upon Aaron's head, and anointed him to sanctify him.'

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A description of the dress he was to wear in his sacred office may be found in Exod. xxviii. We refer to the cut for the breastplate of judgment with cunning work, having four rows of three precious stones each, bearing the names of the twelve tribes ' like the engravings of a signet,' which Aaron was to wear upon his heart when he went into the holy place, for a memorial before Jehovah. The position which Aaron and Moses held, and the power which they exercised, excited against them Korab, of the tribe of Levi, with. Dathan and Abirnm, and others, who, joining to them selves two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, men of renown, boldly charged Moses and Aaron with taking too much upon themselves. Moses put the issue on the rebels dying a natural death; and the earth is said to have opened her mouth, and swallowed up Korah and his associates. This only incensed the entire body, who employed threats towards their leaders. On this, Jehovah is represented as preparing to destroy them all, when Aaron, under the direction of Moses, makes an atonement, and the plague is stayed, after 14,700 had died, besides those that had perished with Korah. As, however, the discontent had not disappeared, an appeal is ordered to be made to Jehovah by lot, after the manner of the Arabians, who determine doubtful events by casting lots with their staffs. Accordingly, a rod is taken to represent 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 modem readers; but, in order to form a correct judgment, we must view them, not from our position, but from •he position in which the actors stood. It is clear, that, unless the authority of Moses had been sustained, the purposes of Ood, 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 solemnizing. The benevolent mind cnnnol but deplorethat the frowardness of the Israelites should have rendered necessary chastisements so awful. Tears after the death of Nadab and Abilm, Eleazar and Ithamar. Aaron's younger sons, were called to perpetuate the priesthood in their own family. Aaron and the Levites were to have no part of the inheritance in the laud, but all the tenth in Israel for their service in the tabernacle. Aaron, as well as Moses, was not permitted to enter with the people into the land of promise, because of the rebellion at the waters of Meribah; but, being conducted to the top of Mount Hor, was there stripped of his priestly garments, which were put on his sou Eleazar; after which, Aaron died (Numb, xx.) on the top of Mount Hor (comp. Deut. x. 6. Numb, xxxiii. 38), and was mourned for by the people during the space of thirty days. Mount Hor is a hill of considerable height, which is found in Arabia Petraea, near Wady Musa. It is still named by the Arabs, Harun's Hill. On it a building, called Aaron's tomb, is shown, which is in reality a comparatively modern structure.

Aaron was no slavish instrument in the hands of Moses. He had a will of his own, and did not fear to give expression to it when he saw lit. In this independence we have a guarantee of the trustworthiness of the Mosaic enterprise, as it afiords an evidence that there was no collusion between its two great leaders. An exemplification of our position may be found in the following incident: — Moses, having married an Arab wife, had thereby given dissatisfaction to his brother Aaron and his sister Miriam, who do not stop at general reproaches, but even call in question his authority. From the fact that the chief punishment was made to fall on Miriam, we think it probable that jealousy between the two females was at the bottom of this outbreak of discontent. The divine will, however, interposes: Moses is pronounced guiltless and faithful; Miriam is struck with leprosy. Here are circumstances which would have proved fatal to an impostor. Against the destructive influences of jealousy, suspicion, imputations, and penalties, nothing but an honourable cause could have stood (Numb. xii.).

That the Scriptures do not pretend to give a complete history of its events, or a full picture of its characters, is evident from the fact, that they furnish no details of Aaron's history, till, in his eighty-third year, he is called to his official duties.

The wisdom of Providence is exemplified in the different gifts which Moses and Aaron possessed. A union of the qualities of both was necessary. Moses was fitted to command; Aaron, to obey. The first had the high power which legislation requires: the second possessed the eloquence which can give effect to great ideas. Had Moses combined the excellences of Aaron with his own, he would have

lost his meekness, and unfitted himself for Lis misninn. Had Aaron been unsupported by the strong mind of his brother, his skill in words would have vanished into air Had Moses been more, or Aaron less, than they severally were, the due proportion of their influence would have been impaired; the martial element would have been superabundant, the religious element would have been defective; and as the soldier was only the forerunner of the priest, so was it essential that Aaron should have his own virtues and his own sphere; nor perhaps can we easily measure the amount of good which the speaking and administrative ability of Aaron conferred on the structure of the Mosaic polity. The greatest men are individually unequal to the execution of the grand purposes of God. It is only in Jesus Christ that history presents us with a perfect human model and an all-sufficient Saviour; and, for the carrying forward of his work, most various and diverse ministrations were required and supplied. Ordinary men should be content and thankful, if, unable to command or persuade, they are permitted 'to stand and wait.' It is equally true, that, in the great vineyard, there is work for every hand, as also there is (will men but be faithful) a hand for every work. How deeply idolatry was engrained in the souls of the Israelites, is proved by the shore which Aaron took in the setting-up of the golden calf. To eradicate idolatry was most important, as well as most difficult. This was the first great work. The wound, if it could not be healed, must even be cut out. Hence arose the necessity of severe courses, which, if we thoroughly understood their aim and tendency, we should be less prone to reprobate. For the same great purpose was designed the display of the divine symbols, made on Mount Horcb, when Moses, Aaron, and the seventy elders, were admitted into Jehovah's presence (Exod. xxiv. 1), seq. Deut. iv. 10). Two tilings were to be accomplished, I. That the Israelites, who had been used for centuries to ocular impressions as to divinities, and so needed something in the way of evidence which appealed to the senses, might, in some sense, see the invisible God; and, II. That they who were to be the founders of a system of religion, whose very essence lay in God's absolute spirituality, might not, while they were instructed, receive gross and material notions, but be raised to a pure and lofty conception, of the Creator. These most important results appear to have been signally attained by the interview, when, though the company came nigh to God, beheld awful tokens of his presence, and are even said to have seen 'the God of Israel,' they were yet duly admonished of the impiety of making any likeness or image of the Almighty; for, as Moses expressly observes, they heard Jehovah speaking to them out of the fire, but saw no similitude. The expression, 'the God of Israel," whom they saw, is worihj of attention, u marking the jet limited extent of the divine omnipresence, which was revealed to the Hebrews, who, being unable to conceive folly and properly of a universal providence and an all-sustaining Creator, were instructed to form a somewhat just conception of 'the God of Israel;' the God whose people they were; under whose guardianship they were about to take possession of the land promised to their fathers; and who, in process of time, would pass in their minds from being their national God, to be the sole Governor of heaven and of earth. At first the Creator was known as the God of on individual, namely, Adam; then, of a family, namely, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; then, of a nation, namely, the Israelites; then, of the world, the God and Father of our Lord iesaa Christ Divine light shone forth gradually upon earth, and in proportion as men's eyes grew strong enough to receive and bear its radiance.

ABADDON (H.; in Greek, Apollyon, signifying dettroyer).—By this word is indicated,

I. The plague by which the Israelites were destroyed in the wilderness, and at which they murmured (Numb. xiv. 2—37. 1 Cor. x. 10).

II. A punishment acting like a consuming fire (Jobxxxi. 12. Ps. lxxxviii. 11). III. The place of the dead; Jin Jet in Greek, in Hebrew Scheol (Jobxxvi. 6; xxviii. 22. Prov. xv. 11; xxvii. 20). IV. The angel of the bottomless pit, Antichrist, the Roman empire (Rev. ix. 11; comp. 2 Thess. ii. 3).

ABANA {H. perennial), one of the rivers of Damascus mentioned 2 Kings v. 12, together wim Pharpor, which two streams were probably tributaries of the Barrada, that issues from Antilibajms, and waters the wide plain in which Damascus stands, — producing the utmost fertility and vegetable beauty on the very verge of a desert; so that Nunman may well have preferred these his native rivers to those of Judea, which, with the exception of the Jordan, are shallow, and often dry, efleeting little for the lands through which they flow.

In Solomon's Song (iv. 8), Amona is mentioned as part of Mount Lebanon. From this Amona the river may have had its sources and in name.

ABABIM (H. transits) is the name of a mountainous range in the country of the Hoabites (Numb, xxxiii. 47, 48), which (according to Dent xxxii. 49, and Josephus, Antiq It. 7) lay opposite to Jericho, and was very high. Mount Nebo, on which Moses died, was a part of the range; and from it a view could be had of the land of Canaan. A ford is found at its foot, whence its name may have been derived.

ABBA. — This is a Chaldaic form of the Hebrew word ab, which signifies father, and baa been retained in the common English translation, in Mark xiv. 30. Rom. viii. 15. Gal ir. 6. The word ab frequently enters as

an element into compound words, forming proper names: thus, Abner means the father of light; Abigail, father or cause of joy.

ABDON (H. tervant of judgment), the twelfth judge of Israel, 'son of Ilillel, a Pirathonite' (Judg. xii. 13), who 'had forty sons and thirty nephews, that rode on threescore and ten ass colts.' 'He judged Israel eight years.' This record shows in what wealth and state consisted in the days of the judges, and enables us to form some idea of the low degree of civilisation to which the Hebrews had sunk.

There was another Abdon, the son of Micah, whom Josiali sent, with Hilkiah and Ahikam, to HuMuh the prophetess, on the discovery of a copy of the law, to inquire what the remnant of Israel and Judah should do to avoid the punishments denounced against them (2 Chron. xxxiv. 20). In 2 Kings xxii. 12, he is called Achbor, the son of Michaiah.

Abdon is also the name of a city in the tribe of Asher, which was given to the Levitc family Gershon (Josh. xxi. 30. 1 Chron. vi. 74), probably the same as Hebron (the r being taken in place of d, which is not uncommon in Hebrew), reckoned in Josh, xix. 28 among the towns of Asher.

ABEDNEGO (C. Nego's tlave), one of the children of Judah,' namely, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishoel, and Azariah, who, when Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had conquered Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and carried him and bis subjects away captive into his own empire, were, by express command of the king, given to Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, chosen of' the king's seed and of the princes, children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom and cunning,' in order that they might'be taught the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.' Chaldean names were also given them, — to Daniel that of Belteshazzar, to Hananiah that of Shadrach, to Mishael that of Meshach, and to Azariah that of Abednego. And God gave these four children of the Jews, knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams' (Dan. i.). In consequence of Daniel's skill in interpreting a dream, he was himself mode supreme judge in the highest court, while his three companions were ' set over the affairs of the province of Babylon.' But one of those great and sudden changes ensued, to which Eastern courts are liable. Not improbably, by the intrigues of the native priests, who disliked the Hebrew favourites, a huge image of gold was set up in the plain of Dura; and when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to fall down and worship it, they were ' cast into a burning fiery furnace.' Being wonderfully preserved, however, they were set at liberty, and promoted; while a royal decree was issued, threatening, with the penalty of death, all who spake against their Got), 'because there is no oilier god that can deliver after this sort' (Ban. iii.). The conduct of these Hebrew confessors is worthy of the highest praise, and may advantageously be studied in an age when men are so prone to bow down to the golden idols which the world sets up to receive their homage.

ABEL (H. more properly Hebel, vanity), the second son of Adam, gave himself to the shepherd's life; thus, while Cain, his brother, pursued hunting, representing the second state in a progressive civilisation. He oflered to God an offering which was accepted, while his brother's was refused; on which Cain beenme jealous, and, being enraged, slew Abel (Gen. iv. 8). In Heb. xi. 4, the preference which was given to Abel's offering is ascribed to its being offered in faith. Let us murk the difference between the two offerings. A bel 'brought of the firstlings of his flock' (Qen. iv. 4) to the altar. Cain, on the contrary, presented an offering of fruits. Abel's offering was a confession that he was a sinner, and as such, liable to death. Thercf re, he offered in sacrifice an in ocent lamb, in the faith that God, in accordance with His own institution of sacrifice, would graciously accept its life in the room of his own. Cain, by his offering of fruits, said, in effect, I have not sinned, I have not forfeited my life. I need no substitute, and so I bring no lamb to the altar. Abel's offering was an acknowledgment of the Fall. Cain's was a denial of it. Abel looked to Christ, the 'true propitiation.' Cain renounced the promise and hope of a future redemption. Thus vast is the difference between the two offerings. This example is set up at the opening < f the world to teach the great lesson that there is no salvation but by blood. This constitutes the essential point of difference between the many religions of man and the one religion which is of God.—W.

AUEL ^ 11. a oiuxs-plvl), the inline of several places in Palestine, distinguished one from another by some additional word, which appear to have been spots of peculiar fertility: thus, in 2 Chron. xvi. 4, we read of, I. Abel-maim, that is, the green spot near the waters. From 2 Sam. xx. 14, and following, this seems to have been an ancient place of religious and social note, and was also termed AUl-beth-maachah (1 Kings xv. 20). It lny in the north of Palestine, and belonged to the tribe of Naphthali. Another place was denominated, II. Abel-thittim (Numb, xxxiii. 40, that is, the green spot of acacias; it was in the plain of Moab, the same as Shittim (Numb. xxv. I. Mic. vi. 0). Josephus places it a short distance from the Jordan. The Hebrews delayed here some time before they entered Palestine: hence Joshua sent his spies (Josh. ii. 1), and hence be began to pass the Jordan. III. AbeUktramim, which, though translated in our version (Judg. xi. 38) 'the plain of the vineyards,' was really a proper

name: the place lay on the eastern side of the Jordan, in the country of the Ammonites, and was celebrated for its wine in the time of Eusebius. IV. Abelmizraim, the green sward of the Egyptians, called originally ' the thrashing-floor of Atad' (Gen. i. 11): the name was changed because there Joseph bewailed his father when carrying his corpse for burial into the land of Canaan. Jerome places it on the west side of the Jordan, as the direction which the mourners took suggests, though others assign the east side as its locality. It obviously lay not f<ir from that river, and must have been on the southwest of the cave of Macpeloh, near Mamre or Hebron, in the country of the Hittites. V. Abel-meholah, the dancing plot (1 Kings iv. 12; xix. 16), lay in the north-west extremity of tlie land of Issachar, and is remarkable as probably the birthplace of the prophet Elisha.

ABIA (H. Jehovah-father), the designation of one of the twenty-four courses or companies into which the priests were divided, from the time of David, for conducting the service of the temple in Jerusalem (Luke i. 5—10). Abia was the name of a descendant of Elenzar, Aaron's son, from whom, together with his brother Ithamar, the Mosaic priesthood was derived. The company was called Abia, from its original head; for every course had a chief, whose business was to superintend the discharge of the duties of the course. These twenty-four bands took the office in turn, week by week. Abia was the eighth company. Among the duties was fhnt of burning the incense, morning and evening (' at the time of incense,' ver. 10), on the altar of incense, before the mercy-seat, which was the place appropriated for the appearance of Jehovah, and the manifestation of his will. Accordingly, here it was that Zacharias had his vision relating to the birth of John the Baptist The whole scene, as depicted by Luke, is intensely Hebraic (1 Chron. xxiv. 3. 2 Chron. viii. 14; xxiii. 4; xxxv. 4; xxxvi. 14. Neh. xii. 7. Ezra x. 5. 2 Kings xi. 39. Joseph. Antiq. vii. 4, 7; xx. 7, 8).

ABIGAIL (H. father ofjoy), wife of Nabal, a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance, whose husband was churlish and evil in his doings (1 Sam. xxv. 3), dwelling in Carmel, in great substance. David, when flying from Saul, sought aid from Nabal, whose property he had protected; and, being refused, proceeded with a band of men to punish him for his ingratitude, but was met by Abigail, who, without her husband's knowledge, had gone forth to meet David, with a large present Her husband, through her entreaties and generosity, was spared. On this, Nabal made a great feast, and was not informed by his wife of what she had done till the day after his carousing; on hearing which, his heart died within him, and he became as a stone. Shortly afterwards he ra a corpse. David then married Abigail, who bore him his second child, Chileab (2 Sam. iii. 3), who, in 1 Chron. hi. 1, is called Daniel.

The address which Abigail utters in order to deter David from his purposes of revenge, offers a remarkable combination of simplicity, shrewdness, and skill. It bears in itself the evidence of its truth. No one who knows any thing of oriental manners in ancient times, can doubt its reality. It affords also a permanent testimony to not merely the good sense, but the high culture, of Abigail, who, failing to make any good impression on the great lines of her husband's character, must have felt herself most unequally yoked, and, having a princely soul, well deserved to become David's queen. The promptitude with which she undertakes to try whether she could appease David's wrath, while the poor churl, Nabal, could do nothing but sit still and await the storm, shows the laudable decision of virtuous energy. A good conscience is the source of the noblest impulses.

ABIHU (H. he it my father), a Bon of Aaron, who, with his brother Nadab. was devoured by the fire which come out from the tabernacle, in consequence of the unbidden and strange fire which they offered in their censers (Lev. x. 1). The offence appears to have consisted, not merely in the oblation being unbidden, and therefore likely to interfere with the purity of divine worship, but in the improper state in which resort to strong drink had brought the young men (ver. 8— 11). In untold instances, alas! has 'strong drink' annihilated in men's minds the essential 'difference between holy and unholy, and between clean and unclean;' causing its inextinguishable and most deadly 'fire' to 'devour,' first their hearts, and then their bodies; leaving them, in regard to eternity, without God and without hope.

ABIJAH (H. my father Jah. A.M. 4802; AC. 946; V. 938), the name given in the Chronicles to the second king of Judah, the follower of Rehoboam. In the Book of Kings, be is termed Abijam. He began his reign in the eighteenth year of his father, and reigned three years in Jerusalem. Iu ascendin; the throne, Abijah had all the advantages which birth could convey, and on that account teems to have cherished the project of bringing; the ten tribes back under the sceptre of Jodab: but, if they were given to idolatry, be was not free from its abominations; and me great ends of Providence in the furtherance of monotheism would have been little promoted by allowing his wishes to be readied, and so strengthening the kingdom of Jodah. Even the power which Abijah did fwivs*, was greater than he knew how to use rdigioasly. However, he made an attempt to rarry his plan into execution, and for that purport engaged in war with Jeroboam. But > feasible pretext was required. Accord

ingly, having marshalled his troops, to the number of 400,000 'valiant men of war,' he proceeds, after the ancient custom, to address his enemy, and for this purpose ascends Mount Zemaraim, in the territories of Jeroboam; and then mokes a speech, which shows that he possessed more talent than honesty, reproving the king of the ten tribes with the idolatrous practices to which he himself was not a stranger. Then came the battle, which ended in favour of Abijah, and in the slaughter of 000,000 chosen men on the opposite side. The chronicler ascribes the victory to the divine assistance; nor is it difficult to believe, that the Judahites, not having become religiously so corrupt as the Israelites, were superior, as in strength and courage, so in a consciousness of the favour of God (1 Kings xv. 2 Chron. xiii.). This victory increased Abijah's power, who, in the true spirit of (in oriental monarch, had a hatem of fourteen wives, and a family of twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters. As Abijah appeared as the champion of the national religion, so he took care to borrow from it more than the aid which words could give. A body of priests was placed in his army, whose office it was, at the onset of the forces, 'with sounding trumpets to cry alarm against tjie enemy;' and, no doubt, the worshippers of the golden calves retained in their bosoms enough of the influence of the old national religion, to be struck with a superstitious panic when they heard a blast, which, reminding them of the solemnities of the temple worship, sounded like the voice of God, uttered against their rebellion and idolatry.

The enemies of religion have endeavoured to rum to their own account the vast numbers arrayed and slain on this occasion and on others. The case is not without difficulty. We subjoin a few remarks, which may lessen the objection. Mistakes are easily mude by transcribers in copying numbers, especially, from the nature of the Hebrew notation, the higher numbers. It may even be questioned, whether the apparent exaggeration rests with the historian, or with our misconception of his mode of reckoning. These large are also round numbers, and do not therefore pretend to more than a general accuracy, which is sufficient for the object that the writers hod in view. We must not look at these armies with modern eyes. They were not regular standing troops, but a sort of levy ett masse, brought together for the occasion, and comprising the bulk of the adult population. This fact goes far to account for their magnitude, as well as for the extent of slaughter which ensued on a defeat; for the flight would be no less confused and scattered than precipitate, and the ravages of a pitiless and bloodthirsty conqueror would, in the first flush of victory, be fearful.

It is an old, but not the less blame-worthy expedient, for uiubiliuu and tyranny to cover

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