Notes on the Pentateuch: Lev. 5:14 -14:57
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As His dispute with the Jews heated up, Jesus noted that Moses had indeed given them the Law but none of them kept it John In the ensuing dispute with the Jews, Jesus attributes the giving of circumcision to Moses. But John notes here that it actually did not come from Moses but from the Patriarchs. The institution of circumcision came through Abraham Gen 17 as the sign of the covenant God made with him, yet it comes down to the Jews through the Law of Moses John Significantly, the reference to Moses' giving the Jews circumcision implicitly attributes the authorship of Genesis to Moses.
Genesis is the most difficult of the five books to link to Moses, thus if some connection can be made between Moses and the Book of Genesis a case can be made for Mosaic authorship of the entire Pentateuch. The Pauline epistles use "Moses" in a similar manner as, for example, in Romans where Paul says that "Moses describes.
In 2 Corinthians Paul refers to the veil that covers the hearts of the Jews "when Moses is read. Nowhere in the New Testament is there any hint that some individual authored the Pentateuch other than Moses. Demonstrating the literary unity of the Pentateuch does not prove Mosaic authorship. However if such unity can be shown for major portions of the Pentateuch an argument can be made for unity of authorship which can be used to support a claim for Mosaic authorship.
Unity of composition for the Pentateuch is not argued for in detail here but only broadly from the perspective of continuity in the overall story, narrative structure, and grammatical features. The five books of the Pentateuch present a coherent picture of the origins of mankind, its fall into a state of sin, and the result of that fall. It also presents a coherent picture of the birth and development of Israel as a nation in covenant—relationship with Yahweh Wolf Furthermore, except for Genesis, these books focus on the life and ministry of Moses whom God raised up to lead the sons of Israel out of bondage in Egypt and into that covenant-relationship with Himself, and to, but not into, the Land of Promise as a fulfillment of His promise to Abraham.
The continuing role of Moses as the protagonist in Exodus through Deuteronomy, and the central focus of Yahweh's developing covenant—relationship with Israel, in accordance with the promises He made to Abraham, serve to unify the books of the Pentateuch. The main narrative sections of the Pentateuch are concluded by poetic material sometimes followed by an epilogue see, for example, Sailhamer For example, at the close of the patriarchal narratives stands the blessings of Jacob which are written in poetic form in Genesis 49 and an epilogue in chapter The Exodus narratives are concluded by the song of Moses Exodus 15 written in poetic form, and the wilderness wanderings are followed by Balaam's oracles Num written in poetic form.
And at the end of the Pentateuch there is a double poetic section containing Moses' song of witness and blessing on the twelve tribes Deut , followed by an epilogue Deut Along with the overall continuity in the narrative, there are also certain grammatical features that underscore the unity of the Pentateuch. For some reason, as Wolf points out, these books fail to distinguish between the third person pronouns "he" and "she.
While it is possible to conclude as some have that the witness of the Pentateuch itself to Mosaic authorship can be understood as confirming only that certain portions of the text were written by Moses, there is nevertheless other credible biblical evidence to support his writing of the text.
And while it would seem that certain portions of the Pentateuch were additions from later periods of Israel's history see, Wolf , it does not invalidate that Moses could have written the majority of the text. For example, the declaration of the humility of Moses Num would hardly be convincing if it came from Moses' own judgment. Equally difficult to determine in the Book of Numbers is the origin of the Balaam story Num Since Moses was not a participant in these events, or even an observer of them, their origin as Scripture is somewhat problematic.
These and other examples suggest later additions to the text of the writings. Nevertheless, there is reasonable evidence to support Mosaic authorship, and it is reasonable, therefore, to conclude along with both Jewish and Christian tradition, that authorship of the majority and essential content of the Pentateuch is to be ascribed to Moses. From a Jewish perspective, the dominant figure of the Pentateuch and, to a certain extent, of the entire OT is Moses. Abraham plays a key role in Genesis, but his stature and accomplishments do not match those of Moses.
Although Abraham was the founding father of Israel, Moses was the one who organized the nation, promulgated their laws, and, under God, led them for forty years through the wilderness.
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Though he was born into a Jewish household as a member of the tribe of Levi, he was raised an Egyptian by Pharaoh's daughter and given an education befitting a prince of the royal household. Moses' concern for his people in later life led directly to his self-imposed exile from Egypt.
His calling by God after forty years in the desert of Midian set him aside as a prophet, one who would speak the word of God to the sons of Israel and to Pharaoh. In his role as a prophet, Moses was unique. When Aaron and Miriam claimed that God spoke through them as well as through Moses, God replied that he spoke with Moses face to face, not through dreams and visions Num The uniqueness of Moses' role as a prophet of God is demonstrated in his prediction that God "will raise up for you a prophet like me" Deut , After many centuries of prophets coming and going, Israel was, at the time of Christ's appearance, yet looking for the prophet of whom Moses spoke John According to Acts this was fulfilled in Christ.
Closely associated with Moses' prophetic role were the "miraculous signs and wonders" that Yahweh performed through him, first in Egypt, and then in the wilderness Deut A prophet was also a man of prayer interceding on behalf of others see for example, Gen Moses' intercession on behalf of Israel Exod clearly demonstrates his function as a mediator between God and Israel. The year that Israel spent at Mount Sinai was a significant time for Moses, for it was then that he served as lawgiver and became mediator of the covenant Yahweh entered into with the sons of Israel. The people were afraid to listen to the powerful voice of God, so God spoke to Moses and Moses gave them the laws and statutes Exod Moses "wrote down everything Yahweh had said" and read to the people from "the Book of the Covenant" Exod , 7.
Moses' role as lawgiver is clearly connected with the writing of the Pentateuch since all five books are referred to as "the Law. At Mount Sinai Moses also directed the establishment of national worship under the leadership of the priests and Levites. Moses officiated at the ordination of the priests, offering the prescribed sacrifices and applying the blood required by the Levitical law Lev 8.
Thus, before Aaron was installed as high priest, Moses was Israel's priest. It is evident from this that in order for Moses to officiate at the inauguration of the Aaronic priesthood he necessarily must have been sanctified. Since there is no record of this happening, it is clear that God Himself must have sanctified Moses, likely at the burning bush incident when he was told by God to take off his sandals because he was on holy ground Exodus ; compare this with Isa And it was Moses who received from Yahweh the plans for the construction of the Tabernacle and the regulations for the various offerings Exod ; Lev Significantly, Moses remained the spiritual leader of Israel even after the priests and Levites were carrying out their responsibilities.
The importance of chronology in establishing a history of a nation has been underscored by Thiele :. Absolute chronology is the fixed central core around which the events of the nation must be correctly grouped before they may assume their exact position in history and before their mutual relationships may be properly understood. Without exact chronology there can be no exact history. Until a correct chronology of a nation has been established, the events of that nation cannot be correctly integrated with the events of neighboring states. If history is to be a true and exact science, then it is of fundamental importance to construct a sound chronological framework about which may be fitted the events of states and the international world.
The importance in establishing a chronological framework in order to understand the history of the Old Testament including the Pentateuch is clear. It is beyond the intent of this brief section to discuss what is meant by an absolute chronological framework. Suffice it to say that such a framework can be established for examining the history of a nation in relationship to other nations based on historical records of that nation.
In order to establish an absolute chronology some chronological reference point needs to be established or identified. The Western world choose the birth of Christ as that reference point. Given that point see Hoehner for a detailed determination of the date of the birth of Christ , a chronology can be derived backwards and forwards in time. This does not solve all the problems associated with establishing a robust chronological framework, one that will allow for the study of all nations.
It is critical that there be points of intersection between nations, societies, cultures see Daniel as an instance of intersection between Israel and Babylonia. In establishing a chronological framework for the Old Testament including the Pentateuch, often times more data than the biblical record is needed. The primary sources for developing an Old Testament chronology include, but are not necessarily limited to, biblical data, archaeological data, and astronomical data.
The primary source for knowledge of biblical events is, as Archer declares, the Bible itself. The frequent references to individual life spans and to regnal years of kings, as well as such chronological data as the interval between the Exodus and the building of the Temple of Solomon 1 Kings , and the length of the Egyptian sojourn Exod , 41 , serve to establish major chronological data points of OT Hebrew history.
Chart 1 summarizes biblical chronological data important for establishing a chronology of the Pentateuch. It is important to observe from this summary that much of this data provides chronological reference for the events relative to the Exodus. Thus establishing an absolute date for the Exodus is important for establishing a chronology of the Pentateuch. This is done in a subsequent section. Biblical Source. The Exodus from Egypt takes place on the 15 th day, of the 1 st month, of the 1 st year Note: from this point on, time in the Pentateuch; is referenced with respect to the date of the Exodus.
Israel lived in Egypt years to the day; Note: this is referenced back in time from the Exodus. Israel arrived at Mount Sinai on the 15 th day, of the 3 rd month, of the 1 st year after the Exodus;. Erection of the Tabernacle on the 1 st day of the 1 st month of the 2 nd year after the Exodus;.
Taking of the first census commanded at Sinai on the 1st day, of the 2 nd month, of the 2 nd year from the Exodus;. Israel's departure from Sinai occurred on the 20 th day, of the 2 nd month, of the 2 nd year after the Exodus;. Israel arrives at Kadesh Barnea in the 1 st month of the 40 th year? Israel traveled to the plains of Moab and camped along the Jordan across from Jericho in the 40 th year ;. Israel set out from Rameses on the 15 th day of the 1 st month of the 1 st year the day after the Passover see also, Exod ;.
Aaron died on Mount Hor on the 1 st day, 5 th month, of the 40 th year after the Exodus;. Moses spoke to Israel on the East bank of the Jordan the plains of Moab on the 1 st day of the 11 th month of the 40 th year after the Exodus;. Israel wandered in the wilderness for 38 years from the time they left Kadesh Barnea until the Exodus generation died off and Israel arrived at the plains of Moab;. Moses died on the Plains of Moab when he was years old therefore Exodus to Deuteronomy spans years ;.
Israel entered the Land on the 10th day, of the 1st month, of the 41st year after the Exodus;. Israel moved about in the desert forty years from the time they had left Egypt until the time they entered the land of Canaan;. Caleb was 85 years old at the time of the division of the Land 45 years from the time Moses spoke to him about his inheritance ;. Archaeological artifacts are important in establishing a chronological framework for the Pentateuch and the rest of the Old Testament because they can be used to determine the time period of successive layers of ancient Near Eastern archaeological sites.
Study Guide for Leviticus 5 by David Guzik
For the most part, these time periods provide only relative dating and show which occupational levels were contemporaneous with comparable strata in other sites Archer Livingston has noted that Palestinian archaeologists have discovered that the most reliable means to establish relative dating sequences is to carefully observe and record layers of soil through which they dig. For in these layers they have discovered that particular types of pottery are repeatedly found in particular layers that have the same sequence. Study of this archaeological condition has revealed that both soil layer and its matching type of pottery were tied with a specific people and their culture.
Pottery chronology has, Livingston observes, been refined to the extent that archaeologists can, for the most part come within about fifty years of dating the beginning and end of any occupation site. Other artifacts found by archaeologists that aid in identifying people and dating events include such things as buildings, home utensils, implements used for farming, hunting, and manufacturing, weapons of war, art objects, tombs, bones, weights, coins, and, most importantly, inscriptions.
Incomplete limmu lists, recovered from archaeological artifacts, go back prior to B. A complete collection, however, has been assembled from records dating from to B. Thiele has dealt at length with the issue of dating the Hebrew kings in detail and has established a complete list. As Livingston points out the king lists permit a largely relative chronology within Egyptian history, providing us with the knowledge that a certain king and the events of his reign preceded or followed some other king. What is not known from this information, however, is when these things occurred with respect to an absolute reference point, which for the West is the birth of Christ.
Help in such cases can come from astronomical data. Livingston provides a good example of the importance of astronomical data in helping to establish an absolute chronological framework from a stream of historical data that provides only a relative chronology. Writing on the Egyptian dynasties as reference points, he notes that the Sothic cycle makes it possible to assign an absolute date to the major dynasties and to many individual kings in Egyptian history. From the king lists a fairly complete relative chronology may be determined. However, it is not known from this data when these things occurred with respect to the absolute reference which the West has accepted, namely, the birth of Christ.
However, given the event which marked the beginning of the solar year for the Egyptians, namely, the rising of the Dog Star, Sothis, it is possible to correlate the relative chronology of the Egyptian king lists with the absolute chronological framework accepted in the West. Livingston records that on good evidence the rising of Sothis occurred in A. With this information, it has been possible to take the three instances of when Sothis is reported to have risen on a certain calendrical day in a certain royal year and, ascertaining where the calendar was in its cycle, assign and absolute date to the royal year.
The earliest of these, he says, is B. Having determined this chronological framework, it is possible, Livingston argues, to establish a fixed checkpoint for another culture whenever that culture intersects with that of Egypt. Also referencing the Sothic cycle, Archer observes that it is possible to establish that the ninth year of Amenhotep I was B. In the ninth year of Amenhotep I, a heliacal rise of Sothis was observed on the ninth day of the third month of summer. Modern astronomers have calculated that, if the observation was made from Memphis or Heliopolis, such an observation could only have been made on that day in BC.
If the observation was made in Thebes, however, it could only have taken place in The latter choice is usually accepted as correct since Thebes was the capital of early 18th dynasty Egypt; hence, Amenhotep I is given an accession date in BC, although the possibility of BC is not entirely dismissed. This is significant from a biblical perspective because if, as argued for below, the Exodus took place in BC the early date then it took place in the reign of the Egyptian Pharaoh Amenhotep II who followed Amenhotep I.
In establishing a chronology for the Pentateuch two broad time periods are considered; the time period for Genesis, and the time period for Exodus through Deuteronomy. For Genesis, there are two chronological frameworks to be considered; that which is prior to the Patriarchs, and that which is for the Patriarchs. In the case of Exodus through Deuteronomy, the prominent chronological factor which establishes the chronological framework is the date of the Exodus.
In constructing a chronology for the Pentateuch is important to understand that for the time period before the Patriarchs Gen , OT data are very limited and concise and there exists the possibility of gaps in the genealogical biblical records recorded in Genesis 5 and 11 Archer as such genealogies were not intended to serve a narrow chronological purpose as is the case in the modern sense.
Rather, like those in Matthew 1 or Luke 3, their main purpose was theological see Kitchen ; and Archer One may question, therefore, whether these genealogies are really to be understood as being continuous throughout. There are indications which suggest that this is not the case. One such indication is found in the phrase "A begat B" which does not always imply direct parenthood.
This is shown by its use in Matthew 1 in cases where links are known from the OT to have been omitted. Terms like "son" and "father" can mean not only ' grand son' and ' grand father' but also 'descendant' and 'ancestor' respectively. Thus, in Genesis 5 and 11, 'A begat B' may often mean simply that 'A begat the line culminating in B.
In addition, there are some problems associated with the biblical data and external evidence as well. For example, Kitchen has observed that the time covered by the genealogies from Adam to Abraham, if taken to be continuous, is not nearly long enough when compared with external data. If the birth of Abraham is taken to be about B. However, on the basis of Mesopotamian evidence this date is excluded because it would fall some or years after the period of the Gilgamesh of Uruk for whom in both Epic and Sumerian King List the Flood was already an event of distant past.
All of this, however, does not necessarily mean the genealogical data recorded in Genesis 5 and 11 are without any factual basis. On the other hand, given present knowledge, it is not possible to establish any absolute dates Kitchen It is not even possible to establish a relative chronology from Adam to Terah with reasonable certainty owing to the possibility of gaps in the genealogical biblical record Archer Biblical scholars are not all agreed on the date of the Patriarchal age Kitchen There are three independent 'main lines' of approach, Kitchen argues, that can be taken to establish a chronological framework for this important period of Israel's history.
One approach seeks to determine if any major events in the Patriarchal narratives can be linked with external history. Another approach seeks evidence of chronological data preserved in the details of the narratives, such as personal names, legal usages, etc. A third approach gives consideration to possible chronological links between the Patriarchal era and later epochs. According to Kitchen , the main event of this kind is the raid of the four Eastern kings of Genesis Archaeological data in the Transjordan suggests a date of ca.
Additionally, the system of power-alliances four kings against five is typical of Mesopotamian politics within the period ca. Again according to Kitchen , the personal names of the Patriarchs and their families can be directly compared with identical or similarly formed names in Mesopotamian and Egyptian documents of the 20 th to 18 th centuries B. Further, seasonal occupation of the Negev region on the southwest border of Palestine is archaeologically attested for the 21 st to 19 th centuries B. It is known from Genesis ; , that Abraham and Isaac spent time in this area, and from Genesis ; that they were keepers of flocks and herds and occasionally grew crops of grain.
This activity would best fit the period of ca. Additionally, Patriarchal customs of inheritance find close parallels in the Mesopotamian culture of ca. And lastly, the price of twenty shekels of silver paid for Joseph in Genesis is the price that would have been paid for a slave in about the 18 th century B. Earlier than this, slaves were cheaper, with an average price of ten to fifteen shekels, while later they became steadily more expensive. Kitchen has observed that certain passages and genealogies in the Pentateuch link the Patriarchs to the period of the Exodus.
One such link is found in Genesis , where Abraham was informed that his descendants would dwell in a foreign land where they would be oppressed as slaves for years, and in Exodus , which records that the people of Israel had lived in Egypt for precisely years. The discrepancy in these time periods can be accounted for, Kitchen suggests, by understanding the years as a round figure in prospect , while the years should be understood as more precise in retrospect.
An additional link between the Patriarchal period and the time of Moses is found in Galatians where Paul, in speaking of the promises of the Abrahamic Covenant, mentions that the Law came years after the promises were given. Several explanations have been set forth concerning the years noted by Paul see Kitchen Some have suggested that it began with Abraham, in which case the years included Israel's time of about years in Canaan and about years in Egypt.
The Septuagint supports this view, but this conflicts with the clear statement in Exodus , 41 that the Egyptian sojourn was years exactly. Another suggestion is that the period began with the confirming of the Abrahamic Covenant with Jacob Gen A third and perhaps best view is that the period began with the final confirmation of the Covenant to Jacob just prior to his moving to Egypt Gen According to this last view, the period of time noted in Galatians corresponds to the period of the sojourn in Egypt and correlates exactly with Exodus Another link is found in Genesis where Abraham was told that his descendants would return to Canaan in 'the fourth generation' Hebrew dor.
The simplest explanation is that the four dor correspond to the years, not to 'generations' in the modern sense. This, Kitchen says, is suggested by clear evidence from Ugaritic and early Assyrian sources which indicate that dor or daru can mean a 'span' or 'cycle of time' of eighty years or more. Yet another link is found in the genealogies. Some scholars, Kitchen says, dismiss the figure of four centuries between the Patriarchs and the Exodus by appealing to Exodus , a 'genealogy of Moses and Aaron, which they interpret as four literal generations lasting in total only a century or more.
But in doing so they overlook the following facts:. Exodus is not a full genealogy, but only gives the tribe Levi , clan Kohath , and family-group Amram by Jochebed to which Moses and Aaron belonged, and not their actual parents.
Evidence for this is found in the fact at the time of the Exodus the Amramites were numerous, and so Amram must be considered as having lived much earlier. Then too, the statement that 'Jochebed bore to Amram Aaron and Moses in Exodus does not prove immediate descent. Evidence here is found in, for example, Genesis which indicates that the children that Zilpah 'bore' to Jacob include great-grandsons. Lastly, ancient Near Eastern genealogies were often selective and not continuous. The genealogies cannot, therefore, be used to contradict the stated period of years, and, therefore, in cases like this, continuity of genealogies has to be proved, not assumed.
Based on all these considerations, Kitchen concludes that the total evidence accords well with a chronological framework for the Patriarchs between the 20 th to 18 th centuries B. The major event which occurred during the time period which is recorded in Exodus through Deuteronomy was, as noted above, the Exodus. The date which this event took place is critical for establishing a chronological framework as all other events after it are keyed to it. It is important, therefore, to establish this date in an absolute chronological framework i.
The date of the Exodus is much debated. Two principal views exist concerning this date: the early date view ca. Support for the early date comes from the biblical record and archeological data while support for the late date comes primarily from archaeological data Hannah Much has been written on this issue. What follows is a very brief argument in favor of the early date. The traditional date of ca. It is has been established that the fourth year of Solomon's reign was ca.
This would establish the date of the Exodus at B. These figures seem to be corroborated by evidence found in Judges where it is recorded that Jephthah said that Israel had possessed the land of Canaan for years. C see, for example, Merrill If the years spoken of in Judges refers back to the time when the Conquest proper began, then adding 40 years from the Exodus to the beginning of the Conquest, a date of B. C is obtained for the Exodus. On the other hand, if the years spoken of in Judges refers back to the time when the Conquest proper ended, then adding another six or seven years for the conquest of the land results in a date of or B.
While this evidence is approximate, it clearly supports the early date as opposed to the late date see, Kaiser Second, as Hannah points out, archeological evidence from Egypt during this period corresponds with the biblical account of the Exodus see Unger ; and Archer , particularly with respect to Amenhotep II. Third, events in the region of Canaan about B.
In particular, archaeological evidence found at Jericho, Ai, and Hazor suggest that they were destroyed about B. Waltke has noted that all the accredited Palestinian artifactual evidence supports the literary account that the Conquest occurred at the time specifically dated by the biblical text. While the argument advanced by proponents of the early date is straightforward and based on biblical evidence, proponents of the late dating of the Exodus, such as Kitchen , argue the following points which are first stated and then argued against see, for example, Hannah :.
The Exodus could not have take place until after B. This point is discredited on the basis of historical considerations. While Exodus states that Rameses is one of two cities built by the Israelites, Genesis also states that Jacob and his sons settled in "the land of Rameses. It appears from Exodus 1 and 2 that Moses had not been born until after Rameses was built, and yet he was 80 years old at the time of the Exodus. The same problem exists with the appearance of the name "Rameses" in Genesis , hundreds of years before the reign of Rameses II.
A likely explanation is that in both cases earlier names were updated by a later editor who used the more recent name. Support for this explanation is found with regards to Genesis where Abraham pursued the captors of Lot as far as Dan. But the name of the city was Laish until the tribe of Dan captured it and renamed it in the days of the Judges Judg The Remnant — Past and Present.
Restoration A Risen Saviour. The Throne and the Altar. The Two Musts. The Blind Man, and the Pharisees who said "We see. The True Ground of Peace. Unity: What is it? And am I confessing it? Fifteenth Letter to a Friend. The Church. God in Everything False Worship. A Word on Christian Intercourse.
Jacob Alone With God. Jesus Risen. Law and grace Exemplified. The Lord Our Shepherd. The Love of Jesus. The Prisoner of Hope. Inside the Veil, Outside the Camp. The snuffers were of pure gold. The fiery trials through which we may be brought will not be joyous, but grievous. Nevertheless they work for us an eternal weight of glory. The trial of your faith is "more precious than gold" 1 Peter The snuffers are not used for pain, but for profit, that the lamp should shine all the brighter.
Golden trials in the hands of a merciful high priest who looks to the "afterwards. Work then in us both to will and to do of Thy good pleasure. Beloved fellow-believer, in the day of trouble consider the golden snuffers. Leviticus "Outside the veil of testimony in the tent of meeting, Aaron shall keep it in order from evening to morning before the Lord continually; it shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations.
You shall make a veil of blue and purple and scarlet [material] and fine twisted linen; it shall be made with cherubim, the work of a skillful workman. Ex As well, we are never to take a break from being the light of the world Matthew , but we can only do this as we are continually supplied with oil the Holy Spirit and have our wicks trimmed undergo training through trials. Leviticus "He shall keep the lamps in order on the pure gold lampstand before the Lord continually. Jesus' affirmation that He was the light of the world was a polemic against those who put their faith in a menorah that was only the symbol of a greater reality Mark Rooker on lamps..
Here the igniting of the lamps is actually being implemented. On the arch of Titus the Roman soldiers are displayed carrying the lampstand from Jerusalem. The lampstand came to be one of the best known symbols of Judaism, and its depiction has been found on a coin from the reign of Antigonus 40—37 B. New American Commentary. Zechariah —6 connects oil for burning with the Holy Spirit and identifies that lampstand as the two faithful servants of God.
What does the tabernacle lampstand signify? I personally think that the golden lampstand first of all symbolizes the Word of God, the light that God gives us in this dark world Ps. Nobody outside the holy place could see the light from the golden lampstand, but those within appreciated its light. The light from the lampstand illuminated the beautiful hangings in the holy place and also revealed the bread on the golden table. The illuminating ministry of the Spirit of God makes the things of God real and clear to us. God called Israel to be a shining light in a very dark world, but they had to shine first of all in His presence before they could witness to their pagan neighbors see Isa.
Of course, Jesus is the light Luke ; John , 9; ; , and only through Him can we see and appreciate spiritual things. The Apostle John compared local churches to individual golden candlesticks that are supposed to shine and bear witness in their cities Rev. What happened in the presence of God was far more important than what happened elsewhere in the camp!
Sad to say, many a local church has had its light go out before both God and the world because of the unfaithfulness of the members. They failed to pray, give, and allow the Holy Spirit to use them. If the light is to be kept burning, somebody has to provide the oil.
Be Holy. We must shine as lights in the world. We must dispel the darkness, and guide wanderers through the murky night. Light is soft and still, and is thus a fitting emblem of the influence of a holy life, which burns steadily on before the Lord continually, and is unaffected by the heed or comment of man. If no one seems the better for our consistent testimony, aim to satisfy the Lord. The lamps of the pure candlestick of a holy life are not for man only, but for Him.
But they can only be maintained through the constant supply of the pure oil of the Holy Ghost, ministered by Him who walks amid the seven golden candlesticks. We must be as bread to God. The two rows of six cakes foreshadow the unity and order of the Church; the fine flour, its holy, equable character; the pure frankincense, the fragrance of Christian love. There is a testimony in all these to the world; but we do not always realize the satisfaction afforded to the great God, who has made such costly sacrifices on behalf of his Church. Our Daily Homily. Leviticus "Then you shall take fine flour and bake twelve cakes with it; two-tenths of an ephah shall be in each cake.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge - The loaves of bread which the officiating priest placed every sabbath day upon the golden table in the Sanctum, before the Lord, were twelve in number, representing the twelve tribes of Israel. The loaves must have been large, since two tenth deals about six pints of flour were used for each, Le. They were served up hot on the sabbath day in the Sanctum, when the stale ones, which had been exposed the whole week, were taken away, and none but the priests were allowed to eat them.
In an extraordinary extremity, David and his men partook of the shew-bread, see 1 Sa. The Hebrew signifies bread of faces, or, of the face. The " showbread " consisted of twelve loaves of bread representing the Twelve Tribes before the Lord. The loaves were replaced weekly, on the Sabbath. The Hebrew term for this bread meant literally "bread of face" or "bread of presence" because it was set before God, or perhaps represented His presence. He is the sustainer of life. Criswell - The twelve cakes of showbread Ex. The bread was to be made from fine flour -- no impurities, no unevenness whatsoever -- as the bread foreshadowed the perfect humanity of our Lord cf.
The Structure of Leviticus 1–5
John The cakes were to be replenished each Sabbath, the old bread being eaten only by the priests cf. Bramer on Loaves of bread hallot —The "bread of presence" was conceived of as a "grain offering" cf. Since this is so, this bread would have been unleavened bread see Lev.
By eating this bread the priests would signify their belief, based on the ritual they had performed that week, that the 12 tribes of Israel were in spiritual fellowship with the LORD. Leviticus "You shall set them in two rows, six to a row, on the pure gold table before the Lord. They were a constant reminder of God's provision for the Israelites every day and especially during the wilderness period. The 12 loaves represented the 12 tribes of Israel, pointing to the totality of God's provision.
Jesus affirmed that He was the Bread of Life Jn ,35,48,51 , satisfying the spiritual hunger of humanity. Some do not see the Bread of the Presence or Showbread as a picture of Jesus because they say there were 12 loaves and not just one loaf. Leviticus "You shall put pure frankincense on each row that it may be a memorial portion for the bread, even an offering by fire to the Lord. And the priest shall offer [it] up in smoke [as] its memorial portion on the altar, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the LORD. Frankincense wikipedia was placed either on the loaves, or possibly between the rows of bread, for later burning at the altar of incense.
Since a portion of this bread was to be burned as a representative offering see Lev , it would have been unleavened or made without yeast. In chapter 2 Moses wrote " No grain offering , which you bring to the LORD, shall be made with leaven , for you shall not offer up in smoke any leaven or any honey as an offering by fire to the LORD. Lev Leviticus "Every Sabbath day he shall set it in order before the Lord continually; it is an everlasting covenant for the sons of Israel.
The Table of Shew-bread: its Structure. The Table of Shew-bread, as we generally call it, stood on the right-hand side of the Holy Place, as the priests entered it. It was three feet long, a foot and a half broad, and two feet three inches high. It was thus quite a small table, narrow for its length, and rather below the ordinary height.
It seems to have been regarded as of primary importance, because in this chapter its description follows immediately on that of the Ark. It was, like other articles, of acacia-wood, overlaid with pure gold; the surface was surrounded by an edging or border; and the legs were held together by a broad flat bar, which strengthened their framework. This is described as "the border of an hand-breadth round about. The spoons, or incense-cups, the flagons and chalices were all of gold, and were employed for the libations and the burning of incense, which accompanied the weekly presentation of the twelve loaves, or cakes of bread.
The Shew-bread. These were renewed on each Sabbath-day, the stale ones being consumed by the priests in the Holy Place. The loaves were specially made of fine flour, and were known as "the bread of face," or "bread of presence," because they were set before the face or presence of God, who dwelt in the Holy Place, and the intention, so far as we can spell it out, was to suggest that, as man feeds upon the bread, which God gives in answer to his daily prayer, so man must provide the Divine Nature with food on which the Divine Spirit also may feed. Man cannot exist without the impartation of God's nature, and in turn must minister to Him what shall afford Him satisfaction.
We are to walk worthy of God unto all pleasing. Our bodies are to be a living sacrifice acceptable to God. Probably the Lord's Supper was intended to convey this dual thought. Whilst we eat of the bread and drink of the wine, which God has given to us in Jesus Christ, He also draws near to commune with us. Our Lord is His beloved Son, in whom He is well pleased; and our faith, love, obedience, and adoration provide Him with profoundest satisfaction.
Its Symbolism. The injunction was very precise: "Thou shalt set upon the table the Presence-bread before Me alway. When the trumpet gave the signal for the march, the loaves and vessels were left undisturbed in their accustomed places, and over them all three coverings were placed, of blue, of scarlet, and of sealskin. There was therefore no interruption of the continued symbolism of the Unity of the chosen people. This thought pervades the Scriptures. If we go back to the days of the Judges, when the land was repeatedly swept by whirlwinds of judgment, when every man did as seemed right in his eyes, and there was no unity of government or authority, we find that the Presence bread was still offered with undeviating regularity.
This is established by the incident told of David, when he sought the hospitality of the High-Priest at Nob, and "did eat the shew-bread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests" Mark — Evidently, through those stormy centuries the twelve loaves still stood before God, an emblem of the essential unity of Israel. When, afterwards, schism came, and the ten tribes, under the leadership of Jeroboam, broke away from the house of David, still upon the holy table, in Solomon's temple, the twelve loaves were presented, representing an unimpaired oneness.
So when Elijah repaired the altar of the Lord, that had been broken down by Jezebel's orders, he took twelve stones, "according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the Lord came, saying, Israel shall be thy name. A Witness to the Unity of the People. When the ten tribes were carried into captivity, and scattered far and wide through Babylonia, Persia, and Asia Minor, still each Sabbath the priests brought the twelve loaves, and placed them on the Table of Presence, as though God knew well where to find his scattered people, and in His judgment they continued one.
Then followed the captivity of the seventy years, and afterwards the return to the Temple of the priests, the people, and the holy bread. And in our Lord's time, though Israel was rent and scattered, and Simeon and Dan had long since disappeared, still the twelve loaves were presented; and in a remarkable sentence Paul, speaking before Agrippa of the promise made unto the fathers, expressed his belief in the unbroken number of the tribes, when he said: "Unto which promise our twelve tribes, earnestly serving God, night and day, hope to attain.
Our Lord assured His Apostles, that in the regeneration they should sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. On the twelve gates of the New Jerusalem are written the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. Dan is indeed missed out of the enumeration of Rev.
Remember also Ezekiel's unfulfilled prophecy Ezekiel , etc. The Unity of Christ's Church. Throughout this is one of those deep and subtle suggestions of the way in which the objective ideal of the Church, as an undivided and sacred unity, stands before God, upon the pure table of our Lord's nature, in which the gold of Deity and the shittim-wood of humanity blend. Amid all the storms that have swept the world since our Lord constituted His Church, throughout those disastrous periods of division and distraction, there have still been, in the Divine estimation, "one body, and one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all.
Not Necessarily a Visible Unity. It need hardly be remarked that this unity was never intended to be organic, because Jesus prayed that His own might be one as the Father and He were one. It is mystical and spiritual. It is therefore certain that those who suppose that the unity of the Church must be patent to the senses have wholly misconceived the Divine ideal. The members of the body of Christ were never intended to be gathered into one organisation, to repeat one formulary, or march in military array. Uniformity is far removed from unity; and you may have perfect unity apart from uniformity.
A tree is a unity, though there is a vast diversity between the gnarled branches and the cones which it tosses on the forest-floor. A house is a unity, though there is no similarity between the gabled roof and the deep-laid foundations. A body is a unify, but the eyelash differs widely from the bones of the skeleton. Uniformity is impossible where there is life, as the most superficial consideration of the autumnal produce of orchard, field and garden proves.
Wherever, therefore, Uniformity has been insisted on, death has ensued. Just before the Reformation of the sixteenth century, it seemed as though the Inquisition had extinguished every trace of nonconformity with the tenets and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. Indeed, she might have almost literally adopted the proud boast of Babylon: "As one gathereth eggs that are forsaken, so have I gathereth all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or that opened the mouth, or chirped" Isaiah , R.
But at this period it is incontestable that the religious life of Christendom was dead; except where the limited Piedmontese, in the high Alps, kept a spark burning amid the grey ashes. External Uniformity Unattainable. The same mistake is perpetrated by those who demand uniformity of creed as by those who insist on uniformity of ritual. You cannot make all men climb alike, or express identical conceptions in identical words. A creed is, after all, an intellectual effort, whereas religion is not the creature of the mind or reason, but of the heart and spirit. It is a life, the importation and reception of the divine nature, the inauguration of that eternal condition of existence which will be still young when all human formularies and conceptions have been put away, as a man puts away the things of childhood.
If your soul is united to the Head of the Church by a living faith, through which the life of Christ enters and pervades it, you must be reckoned a member of the Body, though you may have passed through none of those ecclesiastical systems which at the best are but broken lights, reflecting the sunlight at different angles. Variety Within the Church of Christ. In the Church there is room, therefore, for an infinite variety.
Each brings his own contribution; and we must gather with all saints, if we would comprehend the length, and breadth, and depth, and height of the love of Christ. You cannot see the whole sky, the whole mountain, the whole broad ocean, nor can I; but I will tell you what I have seen, tasted, and handled of the Word of Life, and you shall tell me what you have experienced.
Thus our spirits shall have fellowship one with another. There will be a mutual exchange in commodities, as we report our discoveries of the unsearchable riches of Christ. For none has exactly the same view-point as another has; and none exactly the same definition or formula. Be yourself!
Leviticus’ Rhetorical Presentation of the Sin and Guilt Offerings
Make your own discoveries of the manifold grace of Christ. If you cannot bring grapes from Eschol, bring pomegranates or figs. Bartimaeus and the man born blind had different stories to tell of the way in which they were healed, but they both saw, and owed the sight which revealed the world to the same voice and touch.
Whether you swam to shore or floated on a broken piece of ship-furniture, or a spar; makes very little difference, so long as you have been saved from the storm, and stand there with the rest in the circle round the fire lighted because of the cold. You are probably right in what you affirm, but wrong in what you deny. You are justified in holding firmly to your special fragment of Truth, but be willing to admit that you have not everything, and that others may be as conscientious, as true to truth, and as eager for its maintenance and diffusion as yourself.
Seek to gain from others whatever will perfect your religious life, rounding it to a more complete circle, and touching it to finer issues. Christ the Bond of Unity. Christ is the bond of unity to His Church--Christ in each individual, and each individual in Christ. Let us never forget that gracious reciprocity. The sponge must be in the ocean and the ocean in the sponge. Each believer is written in the Lamb's Book of Life by the same fingers. Each of us has been grafted into the true Vine, though in different places.
Each of us has some function in the mystical body. We were in Him when He died, and rose, and entered the Father's presence. In Him we have access into this grace wherein we stand. We are in Him, as those twelve loaves stood on that pure table. The gift of Christ, on the other hand, has been made to each one of us, that He might realise Himself through all the experiences of all His members. As of old it required four Gospels to reveal to mankind what Jesus Christ was, so all believers are required to set forth and exemplify to the world all the excelling glories of our Emmanuel.
It is for this reason that we are told that the Church is His Body, "the fulness of Him that filleth all in all" Ephesians It demands a great multitude, which no man can number, to reveal the full beauty of the Second Adam, the Lord from heaven.
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One in Him. Was it not of this that our Lord spoke, when He said: "The glory which Thou gavest Me, I have given them, that they may be one, even as we are one, I in them, and Thou in Me" John — In such radiance the Church now stands before God. He sees her essential unity. Its denial does not disintegrate it. Its obscuration does not impair it. The very members of the Church that compose the Unity may be unaware of it, and may denounce each other; but, even so, the twelve stones are in the same breastplate and the twelve loaves stand side by side on the same table.
The members of a large family of boys and girls may be scattered far and wide over the world, but to the mother, in her daily and nightly prayer, there is but one family, and to her they seem sheltered still under the wings of her brooding love. When Savonarola was about to be burned, the Papal Legate, dressed in his scarlet robes, stood beside his scaffold, and cried: "I cut thee off from the Church triumphant and the Church militant. But as surely as the Lord accounts us members of the same mystical Body, He bids us give diligence to keep the unity of that Body in the bonds of peace.
We are not required to create the unity, but to manifest it. We are to recognise as one with us, those who may differ not only in their ritual, and credal expression, but in heart and spirit, giving no sign of recognition or fellowship; but, notwithstanding, we are to think of them as one with us. Without the other neither can be made perfect. Let us, therefore, in this way hasten the time when our Lord shall present the Church to Himself, a glorious Church, without spot, wrinkle, or any such thing. Leviticus "It shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place; for it is most holy to him from the Lord's offerings by fire, his portion forever.
The priests could then eat the old loaves, but they had to do it in the holy place Because the LORD God was present among his people, they were required to use their income to ensure that the lamps lit the way into the holy place. Believers of every age have had the responsibility of lighting or showing the way to God. But what they could do only in part, Jesus the Messiah could do fully, for he is the true light of the world. Even today gifts of thanksgiving offered to the LORD, which may be used by ministers as part of their provision from God, are offered in gratitude for all his provisions, both physical and spiritual, but most of all for the provision of the bread of life, Jesus Christ.
Every believer is duty bound to share in the work of the ministry by offering a token out of gratitude to God for his benefits to them.
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And then the believers, as a kingdom of priests, offer the bread of life to the world. Holiness to the Lord. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. Bread has come to be regarded as something less than what it was in Bible times. These loaves reminded Israel that God always provides for His own when they come to Him on His terms.
For the Christian today, bread may represent food, the Bible, Jesus Christ, fellowship, and the many provisions God has made for our spiritual and physical needs. But His offer is not unconditional. Yes, the Lord cares for those who willingly receive their physical and spiritual food from Him—on His terms. Leviticus Now the son of an Israelite woman, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the sons of Israel; and the Israelite woman's son and a man of Israel struggled with each other in the camp. Son of an Israelite woman We read that when Israel came out of Egypt "A mixed multitude also went up with them, along with flocks and herds, a very large number of livestock.
Leviticus Anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord must be put to death. He emphasizes this point in his recent book, The Name. Why is this story placed in the section of Leviticus dealing with seasons and festivals? It may be to show the flip side of the importance of worship. That is, during the feasts the Israelites gathered to honor the name of the Lord.