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livered them out to the Levites, and appointed what instruments should every day be used. And he who had the charge of the table made the priests draw lots, and assigned every one his office.”' If the reader has a mind to see more of this, I refer bim to the book itself; and shall only add here, that there was another officer besides these, whose business it was to take care of the priests: that fell sick, which often happened. For, as they wore nothing but a single tunic, and drank no wine, and were obliged to go barefoot in the temple, which was paved with marble, they were very subject to the colic. But I must not forget to observe here, that David chose out two hundred and eighty-eight Levites to be masters of music, and teach the others to sing ;9 so that, as there were four and twenty courses of singers, each class had twelve masters; and in their performances they mixed both voices and instruments together.
7thly, and lastly, As the priests had the Levites under them, so had the Levites also others under them, whose business it was to carry the water and wood that were used in the temple. Joshua at first made use of the Gibeonites" for this purpose ; and afterwards other nations were employed in it; and called Nethinim,' that is, persons who had given themselves up, from the Hebrew inj nathan, which signifies to give.
In Chelim, chap. vii.
91 Chron. xxv. 7. r Josh. ix. 3—27. • Ezra viii. 20. See De Tabern. lib. vii. c. 3. sect. 4.
From the consideration of the Levites we pro
2dly, To that of the Priests. In which we shall mention, Ist, their order, 2dly, their election ; 3dly, their manner of life ; Athly, their laws; 5thly, their functions; 6thly, their habits ; 7thly, the consecration of the High-priest; Sthly, his succession ; and, 9thly, his dress.
Ist, The order that was observed among the priests was this :- They were divided, as we have seen, into four and twenty classes, each of which had its head, who was called the prince of the priests. Every week one of these classes went up to Jerusalem to perform the offices of the priesthood; and every sabbath-day they succeeded one another, till they had all taken their turns: but on the solemn feasts they all assembled there together. The prince of each class appointed an entire family every day to offer the sacrifices, and at the close of the week they all joined together in sacrificing. And as each class had in it different families, and each family consisted of a great number of priests, they drew lots for the different offices which they had to perform. And it was thus that the lot fell upon Zacharias the father of John the Baptist, to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.
2dly, From considering their order, we proceed to consider the manner in which the priests were chosen, and the defects which excluded them from
. Luke i. I.
the priesthood. Among the defects of body, which rendered them unworthy of the sacerdotal functions," the Jews reckon up fifty which are common to men and other animals, and ninety which are peculiar to men alone.' The priest, whose birth was polluted with any profaneness, was clothed in black, and sent without the verge of the priests! court; but he who was chosen by the judges appointed for that purpose was clothed in white, and joined himself to the other priests. And I know not whether St. John does not allude to this custom when he says, He that overcometh the same shall be clothed in while raiment, and I will not blot his name out of the book of life." They whose birth was pure, but who had some defect of body, lived in those apartments of the temple wherein the stores of wood were kept; and were obliged to split and prepare it, for keeping up the fire of the altar.
3dly, All the time the priests were performing their offices, both wine and conversation with their wives were prohibited. And they had no other food but the flesh of the sacrifices, and the shewbread. They performed all their offices standing," and barefoot, and with their heads covered,” and feet washed. Athly, The laws which God laid upon
the priests are these :-God said unto Aaron, Do not
Lev. xxi. 16, 21. " De Tabern. lib. jii. c. 9. sect. 3.
Exod. xix. 15. Lev. x. 8-11. Maim, de Ratione adeundi Templ. c. v. 2 Lev. x. 6. and xxi. 10.
. Exod. xxx. 19.
drink wine nor strong drink, thou nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die. The priests shall not be defiled for the dead among his people, but for his kin. They shall not take a wife that is a whore or profane, neither shall take a woman put away from her husband. The daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father, she shall be burnt with fire.
5thly, As to the functions of the priests, their business was to keep up the fire upon the altar of burnt-offerings, that it might never go out ;' to guard the sacred vessels ; to offer the sacrifices; to wash the victims; to make the aspersions, whether of blood or water, upon the persons offering, upon the victims, or on the book of the law; to burn the incense upon the altar ;' to dress the lamps ; to put the new shew-bread upon the table, and to take away the old. And to them only it belonged to catch the blood of the victims, and sprinkle it upon the altar. Such as were of the sacerdotal race, and were excluded from the priesthood, on account of any defect, had the care of cleaving the wood, which was burnt upon the altar; for they were very nice in choosing it, and
Lev. X. 8, 9.
· Lev. xxi. 1, 2. a Ibid. ver. 7.
• Ibid. ver. 9. " Lev. vi. 13. Maimon. de Ratione Sacrif. c. v. n. 7.
+ This was the first business of the day. De Tab. lib. 7. c. 6. sect. 2, 3. " Ib. sect. 5. Exod. xxx. 7. 2 Chron. xxvi. 16-19.
thought it unlawful to use any there which was rotten, or worm-eaten. All the offices just now mentioned, were in common to the priests and highpriests: but besides them was a particular one, annexed to the latter dignity only; and that was, that the high priest alone went into the Holy of Holies once a year on the day of expiation ; and he alone could offer up the sacrifice, which was then prescribed, both for his own sins and those of all the people.
6thly, As to the names and forms of the sacerdotal habits, we find them in Exodus' and Leviticus. Those that were common to all the priests were, Ist, linen-drawers; 2dly, the linen robe, which was so strait that it had no fold in it; 3dly, the girdle ; and, Athly, the tiara, which was a sort of bonnet or turban, made of several rolls of linen cloth twisted round about the head.
7thly, All the priests had over them a highpriest, whose habits were different from theirs, and who was consecrated with some particular ceremonies.' At the time of his consecration they poured a precious oil upon his forehead, and this unction was made in the form of the Greek letter X. Maimonides tells us that this was not observed in the second temple, and that the high priest was then no otherwise consecrated than by the pontifical habits which he wore. But when it was observed, it was done in such plenty, that we are not to wonder if