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Professor in the United Presbyterian 

Theological Seminary 

Xenia, Ohio 

" Others have labored, and ye are entered into their labor" 
—John 4:38, R. V. 


W. J. Shuey, Publisher 


Copyright, 1895 

By W. G. Moorehead 

All rights reserved 


Much has been written on the Mosaic institutions — 
particularly on the tabernacle and the priesthood. Why 
add another book to the long list of those which treat of 
the same general subject? Two answers may be returned 
to this query. Twenty years ago a wide-spread interest 
prevailed as to the main features of ancient Judaism. 
Christians took great delight in its study. Models of the 
tabernacle were constructed and exhibited, and lectures 
were delivered to attentive audiences. For some years 
past this interest seems almost entirely to have subsided. 
Little concern for such studies is auywhere manifested. 
One aim of this little book is to help remove the apathy 
referred to, and to stimulate, with God's blessing, the 
minds of those who read it to a renewed interest and 
search into the books of Moses, that the prime truths 
touching God's way of saving sinners — unchangeably the 
same in all dispensations — may be apprehended in some- 
thing of their fullness and preciousness. 

Moreover, it cannot be denied that, by the attacks 
against the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch now so 
frequent and persistent, and by the efforts of the so-called 
" higher critics" to prove that Judaism, in its main 
features, is of comparatively recent date — that scarcely 
anything of the elaborate system existed at the time of 
Moses, not a few Christians have become perplexed and 
troubled, and hardly know what to think or believe. 
Now, if it can be shown that there was a prophetic 
element in ancient Judaism; that it was planned and 
established with the distinct aim to portray before the 


eyes of the chosen people God's gracious purposes with 
respect to the person and work of his Son, Jesus Christ 
our Lord, — if it can be shown that Judaism and Chris- 
tianity bear to each other the relation of prediction and 
fulfillment, then Judaism was of God, was arranged and 
organized by an infinite Mind, that knows the future 
no less certainly than the present or the past, and, there- 
fore, we may possess our souls in peace, and remain 
steadfast and unmovable in the presence of the skeptical 
assaults on the books of Moses ; for if they are of God, 
they are inspired, genuine, and authoritative. If in any 
measure this little volume contributes to such an end, 
none will rejoice more than the author. 

The author has availed himself of all the helps acces- 
sible to him in the preparation of these studies, among 
which may be more particularly specified Edersheim's 
"Temple Service," Cave's "Doctrine of Sacrifice," 
Oehler's "Biblical Theology" (by Professor Weidner), 
Fairbairn's "Typology," Jukes's "Law of the Offerings," 
Seiss's "Holy Types," and various commentaries. One 
book, which furnished both help and delight, deserves 
special mention: Dr. Andrew Bonar's Commentary on 
Leviticus, than which none is more reverential, spiritual, 
and able. 


Xenia, Ohio, November 1, 1895. 



Preface, iii 

List of Illustrations, - - - - xi 



The Gospel in the Old Testament, ------ 13 



I. The Conditions of Worship, ------ 31 

II. The Names of the Tabernacle, ----- 34 

III. Description of the Tabernacle, - 36 

IV. The Position of the Tabernacle, ----- 38 
V. The Court and Its Contents, ------ 40 

1. The Brazen Altar, --------41 

(1) Its Form, .-42 

(2) The Horns of the Altar, 44 

(3) The Position of the Altar, - 46 

2. The Laver, 48 

(1) Its Material, 48 

(2) Its Form, 49 

(3) Its Position, - 49 

(4) Its Typical Significance, ----- 49 

VI. The Sanctuary and Its Furniture, - - - - 55 

1. The Candlestick, 56 

(1) Description, --------56 

(2) Its Typical Meaning, ------ 57 

2. The Table of Show bread, ------ 62 

3. The Golden Altar of Incense, 66 

(1) The Place of This Altar in the Description 

of the Tabernacle and Its Furniture, - 66 

(2) The Position of the Golden Altar, - 69 

(3) The Incense Burned Upon the Altar, - - 70 

(4) The Connection of the Altar of Incense 

with the Altar of Sacrifice, - 70 

(5) The Altar Symbolized Communion with 

God in Prayer and Worship, - - - 71 

(6) The Altar Symbolized Prayer in Conjunc- 

tion with Christ's Intercession, - - 72 

(7) The Altar Symbolized the Efficacy of Christ's 

Intercession, 73 



VI. The Sanctuary and Its Furniture, continued. pagb 

4. The Veil, 73 

5. The Ark of the Covenant, ------ 75 

(1) The Cherubim, ------- 76 

(2) The Contents of the Ark, 78 

(3) The Ark God's Throne, 79 

(4) The Mercy-Seat, 80 

VII. Typical, Significance of the Tabernacle, - 82 

1. It Symbolized God's Presence with His Chosen 

People, 83 

2. It Was Designed to Show the Identification of 

God with His Chosen Flock, - 83 

3. A Remarkable Illustration of God's Method of 

Bringing Sinners to Himself, - - - 85 

4. A Prophecy of Christ's Incarnation, - - 88 



I. The Universality of the Priestly Office, - - 91 

II. Priesthood a Real Office, 91 

III. The Two Great Priests of the Old Testament, - 92 

IV. The High Priest in Israel, ------ 93 

1. The High Priest's Dress, 95 

(1) The Ephod, 95 

(2) The Breastplate, 96 

(3) The Miter and Golden Plate, - 98 

(4) Urim and Thummim, ------ 99 

2. The High Priest a Type of Christ, - 99 

3. The Functions of the High Priest, - - - - 101 
V. The Nature of the Priestly Office, - - - 105 

1. It Implies Choice, -------- 105 

2. It Implies the Principle of Representation, - - 106 

3. It Implies the Offering of Sacrifice, - - - - 109 

4. It Implies Intercession, - - - - - - -111 

5. It Implies Action Toward God, ----- 113 

VI. The Consecration of Aaron and His Sons, - - - 114 

1. Aaron and His Sons Shared in the Consecration, 114 

2. Their Washing with Water, 115 

3. The Investiture, - 115 

4. The Anointing of the High Priest, - - - - 115 

5. The Bloodshedding and the Application of the 

Blood to the Priests, 120 

6. The Anointing of Aaron's Sons, - - - - 121 

7. Retirement of the Priestly Family, - 122 

8. Priestly Blessing of the Chosen People, - 123 





General Observations, --------- 128 

1. The Prevalence of Sin, 128 

2. God's Holiness, 128 

3. God's Remedy for Man's Sin — Bloodshedding, - 129 

4. The Parties to the Sacrifice, ------ 131 

5. The Offerings of Leviticus Pictures of the One Su- 

preme Offering of the Lord Jesus Christ, 131 

6. Classification of Offerings, ------ 132 

7. Order of Arrangement in Leviticus,- - 133 

8. Ceremonial Perfection Required, - 136 

I. The "Sweet-Savour" Offerings, - - - - -138 

1. The Burnt-Offering, 138 

(1) Its Varieties, 139 

(2) Ceremony of the Offering, - - - - - 139 

(3) The Nature of the Burnt-Offering, - - - 141 

(4) The Typical Significance of the Burnt-Offer- 

ing, 143 

2. The Meat-Offering, 147 

(1) Its Varieties, 147 

(2) Its Materials, 147 

(3) The Ceremonial of the Meat-Offering, - - 149 

(4) The Nature of the Meat-Offering, - - - 149 

(5) The Meat-Offering as a Type, - - - - 151 

3. The 1 eace-Ottering, 158 

(1) Its Name, 158 

(2) Its Materials, -- 159 

(3) Its Place, 161 

(4) Its Nature, 161 

(5) Its Spiritual Import, - 164 

(6) Qualifications of Partakers, - 166 

(7) The Offering Looked Forward and Backward, 167 

II. The Sin-Sacrifices, 168 

1. Distinction Between Sih- and Trespass-Offerings, - 170 

2. The Sin-Sacrifice, 171 

(1) Its Significance, - 171 

(2) Its Varieties, -------- 172 

3. The Trespass-Offering, - 177 

4. Fundamental Principles Embodied in These Sac- 

rifices, 180 

(1) Substitution, - 180 

(2) Imputation, 180 

(3) Vicarious Atonement, ----- igo 

(4) Propitiation, --------181 





I. The Day Itself, 183 

1. A Day of National Humiliation, - - - - 183 

2. It Imposed Most Solemn Anxieties and Severest 

Duties on the High Priest, - - - 184 

3. Special Services Performed by the High Priest 

Alone, 184 

4. Typical of Christ, 185 

II. The Offerings of the Day, 185 

1. The Sin-Offering for the High Priest and His 

House, 186 

2. The Sin-Offering for the Congregation, - - - 187 

3. Transfer of the Sins of the Congregation to the 

Scapegoat, -------188 

4. The Two Goats Only One Offering, - - - - 190 

III. Entrance of the High Priest into the Most Holy 

Place, 191 

IV. Truths Taught and Symbolized by the Day of 

Atonement, ------- 193 

1. The Value of the Sin-Sacrifice, - - - - - 194 

2. Expiation of Sin, - - - - - -- -194 

(1) The Word "Atonement" Employed, - - 195 

(2) "Atonement" Means a "Covering," - - 195 

(3) The Blood of the Sacrificial Lamb the Means 

of Effecting Atonement, - - - - 197 

(4) The Atonement Vicarious, - - - - 197 

(5) The Idea of Expiation, Propitiation, In- 

cluded in Atonement, - - - - 198 

3. The Prominence of the Blood of Expiation, - - 199 

4. The Action of the High Priest Typical of Christ, 200 

5. The Day a Graphic Picture of Christ's Work of 

Atonement, -------202 

Summary, 203 


Number and Names of the Feasts, ------ 207 

1. The Sabbath, ----------208 

II. The Passover, 211 

III. The Feast of First-Fruits, ------- 215 



IV. Pentecost, 217 

V. The Feast of Trumpets, -222 

VI. The Day of Atonement— The Year of Jubilee, - 228 

1. The Term "Jubilee," 230 

2. The Beginning of the Jubilee, - - - - - 230 

3. The Jubilee Brought Rest to the Land, - - - 230 

4. The Privileges and Immunities of the Jubilee, - 232 

VII. The Feast of Tabernacles, - - 236 

1. A Hebrew Thanksgiving, ------ 237 

2. The Most Joyous of the Festivals, - - - . 237 

3. A Commemoration of Tent Life in the Wilder- 

ness, 238 

4. The Sacrifices Offered, -----_. 239 

Concluding Remarks, .240 

Index, ■% 243 


The Tabernacle according to Fergusson, - - Frontispiece 

Opposite V»g« 

The Tabernacle according to Brown, 31 

Ground Plan of the Tabernacle, - 40 

The Brazen Altar, 41 

The Layer, 48 

The Candlestick, ----56 

The Table of Hhowbread, -62 

The Golden Altar of Incense, 66 

The Ark of the Covenant, 75 

High Priest, ----91 






"The figure was made by the truth and the truth was 
recognized by the figure. . . . Jesus Christ, whom both 
Testaments regard, the Old as its expectation, the New as 
its exemplar, both as their center." — Pascal. 

Novum Testament urn in Vetere latet: 

Vet-us Testament um in Novo patet. — Augustine. 

"The New Testament in the Old is concealed; 
The Old Testament in the New is revealed." 

The gospel of the grace of God was as certainly 
preached by Moses as by Isaiah or Ezekiel. In 
the tabernacle of the wilderness, in the preisthood 
and sacrifices, the same fundamental doctrines of 
reconciliation with God, of access to him and 
communion with him, are found in type and 
symbol as are revealed in the Gospels and the 
Epistles. The New Testament is the guaranty 
for our belief in the typical element in the Old. 



Jesus said, "For had ye believed Moses, ye would 
have believed me: for he wrote of me" (John 
5 : 46 ) ; " These are the words which I spake unto 
you, while I was yet with you, that all things 
must be fulfilled which were written in the law 
of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms, 
concerning me" (Luke 24 : 44). In the twenty- 
seventh verse of Luke 24 we read, "And beginning 
at Moses and all the Prophets, he expounded 
unto them in all the scriptures the things con- 
cerning himself." The Lord Jesus, after his 
resurrection and shortly before his ascension into 
glory, most solemnly affirmed and testified that 
he himself is the center and subject of the Old 
Testament Scriptures and of every part of them. 
The testimony of Paul is as explicit as that of 
Jesus. To the chief men of the Jewish colony 
at Pome he " expounded and testified the kingdom 
of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both 
out of the law of Moses, and out of the Prophets, 
from morning till evening" (Acts 28 : 23). The 
Son of God and his greatest apostle alike found 
in the law of Moses, in the rites and offices insti- 
tuted by Moses, no less than in the Prophets, 
abundant proof of the person, work, and glory 
of the promised Deliverer. With Christ and his 
apostles the economy of Moses was instinct with 
preintimations of the Messiah. They saw in it 


the foregleams of our glorious dispensation, and 
of the coming glory. Moses preached the gospel. 
Various terms are employed by the New Testa- 
ment writers to designate this typical element. 
They speak of the Mosaic institutions as being a 
shadow (exta) of things to come (Col. 2 : 17; Heb. 
10 : 1), as if the substance or reality that was still 
future had cast its shadow forward into the old 
economy. "Shadow" implies both dimness and 
transitoriness ; but it implies also that there was a 
measure of resemblance between the one and the 
other. The apostle adds, " The body is of Christ " ; 
that is, Christ is the reality and realization of 
Judaism as a system. Another term is parable 
(napapoXrj) (Heb. 9:9); the tabernacle and its serv- 
ices formed an illustration, outline, or figure for "the 
time then present." A third term is type (runog), 
the image or representation of something yet 
future. Of the priests in Israel we read, "Who 
serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly 
things, as Moses was admonished of God when he 
was about to make the tabernacle : for, See, saith he, 
that thou make all things according to the pattern 
[type] showed to thee in the mount" (Heb. 8:5). 
This quotation from Exodus 25 : 40 is introduced to 
confirm the apostle's statement, that the tabernacle 
and the priesthood of Israel were adumbrations 
of heavenly realities. What are we to under- 


stand by this pattern or type exhibited to Moses? 
Was it a visible model ? Was it a drawing ? Or 
was it something presented to his mind in a 
vision? We cannot tell. But this much is surely 
a legitimate inference from the language: that 
Moses modeled the earthly sanctuary according to 
the supernatural view presented to him in the 
mount ; that it was designed and fitted to be a 
type or copy of heavenly things ; and that the 
priestly functions connected with it related to the 
same exalted truths. The whole constituted a 
picture or object-lesson for the instruction of the 
Lord's people. Hence no liberty was allowed 
Moses in making it. His orders were to adhere 
strictly to the pattern showed him. Any devia- 
tion from it would have marred the type, and in- 
curred the Lord's displeasure. Man's genius and 
art had no play or part either in the plan or the 
purpose. Even Bezaleel, the chief craftsman, was 
inspired for his work (Ex. 31 : 1-5). Yet the 
prescriptions were so strict and precise that there 
was no room for the display of invention or taste. 
Furthermore, we are told that "Christ is not 
entered into the holy places made with hands, 
which are the figures of the true ; but into heaven 
itself, now to appear in the presence of God for 
us" (Heb. 9: 24). Noteworthy is the word ren- 
dered " figures " in this verse — antitypes, " outlines," 


"like in pattern" (Bf.V.); and its meaning here 
is the exact opposite of that commonly attaching 
to it. Here it signifies foretypes; that is, types 
instituted beforehand to prefigure the glorious 
Archetype. The earthly sanctuary reflected the 
heavenly. There is an analogy between the one 
and the other, between the way of reaching the 
sacred shrine of the one and of entering into the 
ineffable glory of the other. As Aaron passed 
from the altar of sacrifice into the most holy place 
and sprinkled the blood on the mercy-seat, thus 
completing the propitiation for the sins of the 
people, so Christ has entered into heaven itself, 
having by his own blood obtained eternal redemp- 
tion for us. The first is the foretype of the second. 
In the divine economy the two stand related as 
promise and realization, as prediction and fulfill- 
ment. According to this profound verse, there- 
fore, the great doctrine of redemption by the 
blood of Christ was in the ceremonial law, veiled 
indeed, but not altogether concealed. As a Pur- 
itan expressed it, it was hidden therein, yet 
shining ("et latet et lucet"). 

A fourth term is pattern, copy (u7r63£tyfia), a 
word which ordinarily exhibits to the eye the 
sketch or image of something that is invisible. 
Thus we read in Hebrews 9 : 23, " It was therefore 

necessary that the patterns of things in the heav- 


ens should be purified with these ; but the heav- 
enly things themselves with better sacrifices than 
these." The term "patterns" in this verse repre- 
sents the Greek word cited above, and it is 
rendered "copies" in the Revision. It is here 
affirmed that the priests serve the copies, sketches, 
or delineations of the heavenly things. But these 
copies are the tabernacle and its complex rites, 
and they are closely connected with the heavenly 
realities ; they exist by virtue of the realities. The 
conclusion is unmistakable : the earthly sanctu- 
ary, the priesthood and their services, were all 
types, and only types. The religious system estab 
lished through the agency of Moses was not an 
end in itself; it was the pledge and promise of 
our great High Priest, Jesus Christ, and of the 
eternal sanctuary of which he is Minister. The 
value of it all lies in this, that it was a picture 
drawn by the hand of God himself of the plan of 
salvation. Accordingly, it was perfectly adapted 
to the purposes for which it w T as appointed, but it 
was temporary and preparatory. Dawn is not 
day, though the two are inseparably connected. 
The Old Testament saints had light, but it was 
reflected light, for the Sun of Righteousness was 
not yet risen. The true Light now shines. But 
it is the same light then and now, — then seen 
as in a glass darkly, now blazing with undimmed 



splendor. The Mosaic institutions are a prophecy 
of the Lord Jesus Christ and of the redemption 
we have in him. 

But the evidence is not yet all in. The terms 
which the inspired writers employ to describe the 
typical element in ancient Judaism, rich and sug- 
gestive as these terms are, do not exhaust the 
divine testimony on the subject. Far more than 
this is furnished us in the scriptures of the New 
Testament. We turn to another line of evidence 
which to an old-fashioned believer in the supreme 
authority of the Bible settles the question as to 
the predictive character of the Mosaic institu- 

Two ordinances lie at the foundation of Israel's 
relation to God as the covenant nation — the Pass- 
over and the Day of Expiation. The national 
history began with the Passover and the exodus. 
All subsequent legislation assumes the national 
existence, and rests on the two prime facts of 
redemption and deliverance. But what is the 
deepest significance of the paschal lamb, of which 
not a bone was to be broken ? " For even Christ 
our passover is sacrificed for us," is Paul's answer. 
Majestic was the ritual of the Day of Atonement, 
when Aaron passed beyond the veil into the 
most holy place, and, standing before the awful 
Presence at the ark, sprinkled the blood of the 


sin -offering on the mercy-seat. But had this 
solemn transaction, the most sacred of all the 
Mosaic rites, no ulterior object — no higher aim 
than to cover ceremonially the sins of' the congre- 
gation — than to effect a sort of scenic expiation? 
Let Romans 3 : 25 answer : " Whom God hath set 
forth to be a propitiation [a mercy-seat] through 
faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for 
the remission of sins that are past, through the 
forbearance of God." Let Hebrews 9 : 7-12 also 
make the conclusive answer : " But into the second 
went the high priest alone once every year, not 
without blood, which he offered for himself, and 
for the errors of the people : the Holy Ghost this 
signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was 
not yet made manifest, while as the first taber- 
nacle was yet standing : which was a figure for 
the time then present, in which were offered both 
gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that 
did the service perfect, as pertaining to the con- 
science ; which stood only in meats and drinks, 
and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, im- 
posed on them until the time of reformation. But 
Christ being come an High Priest of good things 
to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, 
not made with hands, that is to say, not of this 
building ; neither by the blood of goats and 
calves, but by his own blood he entered in once 


into the holy place, having obtained eternal re- 
demption for us." Here is both contrast and 
comparison : two holy places, two sacrifices, two 
entrances with blood, two priests, two expiations. 
The one was Aaron, the other Christ; the one 
was the blood of a sacrificial beast, the other was 
his own blood ; the one was the earthly sanctuary, 
the other the heavenly ; the one was a symbol, the 
other its reality ; the one was picture, the other its 
original ; the one was the prediction, the other 
its fulfillment. We may summarize it all thus : 
Israel 1 s day of atonement perfected in the person and 
work of the Lord Jesus Christ 

While both these ordinances, the Passover and 
the annual Expiation, were intended to effect, 
and they did effect, a positive good during the 
time of their observance by Israel, yet this by 
no means exhausts the divine intention in their 
institution. They were filled with a noble proph- 
ecy ; they looked forward to a blessed future ; and 
the Holy Spirit in the New Testament has knit 
together the prediction and its accomplishment. 

In the discussion hitherto conducted we have 
had frequent occasion to refer to the Epistle to 
the Hebrews. We turn to it now to study its 
general bearing on the question of the typical 
character of the Mosaic institutions. 

The epistle is an inspired commentary on an- 


cient Judaism. All the prominent features of 
that system are graphically reviewed by the 
writer, and at his touch each of them becomes 
instinct with life, and glows with a profound 
meaning. The thoughts spring from the heart 
of the Old Testament. The language is largely 
drawn from the books of Moses. The imagery 
is taken bodily from the tabernacle, the priest- 
hood, the altar, and sacrifices of Israel. The 
doctrinal portion of the epistle (chs. 1-10) falls 
into two main divisions. The theme of the first 
division is, Jesus our High Priest (chs. 1-7). 
The theme of the second is, The Offering of 
Our High Priest, Himself (chs. 8-10). Even the 
exhortations with which it abounds are based on 
events in the history of the Hebrew people. The 
first is found in chapter 2 : 1-4, and it is based on 
the scenes connected with the giving of the law 
at Sinai. The second exhortation is chapter 
3:7-4:5, and its powerful appeal is grounded 
upon the wilderness journey. The third is chap- 
ter 4 : 6-16, and has for its background the rest 
of Canaan. The fourth is chapter 10 : 19-31, and 
here the tremendous appeal is drawn from the 
temple and its sprinkled blood. The last exhorta- 
tion is chapter 12 : 18-29, and it is taken, as to 
its metaphors, from the holy city, Jerusalem. 
This very brief and compressed analysis will 


serve to show how closely Hebrews is interwoven 
with the history and worship of Israel. 

But there is much more in this precious scrip- 
ture. The Spirit is here constantly finding the 
germs of the New Testament dispensation in 
the rites and ceremonies of Moses. Under his 
handling, " shell and husk, in which the precious 
kernel is hidden, fall away one after another until 
at length the kernel itself, the Christ, appears 
personally." 1 

History gives Melchizedek a very small niche 
(Gen. 14 : 18-20 ; Ps. 110 : 4). Hebrews 7 draws 
out at length the striking parallelism between 
the priesthood of Melchizedek and of Christ. 
The summing up of the argument is in verse 
21 : "The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou 
art a Priest for ever after the order of Melchis- 
edec." Instantly at the touch of this verse 
Melchizedek becomes transparent, and a greater 
Priest is seen through him ; he almost disap- 
pears in the person of the Messiah. 

Aaron and his successors stood at the head 
of the priestly office in Israel. But those high 
priests were compassed with infirmity ( 5 : 2 ) ; 
they must needs offer sacrifices for their own sins 
( 5 : 3 ) ; and they were not suffered to continue in 
the office by reason of death (7 : 23). But the 

1 Herder. 


Lord Jesus Christ, who is the perfect embodiment 
of all priestly types, has an unchangeable priest- 
hood because he continues forever, and he is 
holy, undefiled, and undeniable (7 : 24, 26). The 
whole Levitical order now disappears, for it has 
found in him its realization and its completion. 

The sacrifices offered under the law could not 
take away sins ; and so they must be multiplied. 
Day by day and year after year fresh victims 
must bleed ; the altar was always wet with blood, 
and the smoke of the holocaust ever ascended 
(10 : 1-4). But Christ "now once in the end of 
the world hath appeared to put away sin by the 
sacrifice of himself" (9 : 26). "But this man, after 
he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat 
down on the right hand of God" (10: 12). The 
Levitical offerings were only shadows cast before 
of that one perfect offering which in due time our 
blessed Lord was to present to God whereby all 
believers were to receive remission of sins ; but 
the two offerings — that under the law, this by 
Christ — are bound together as type and antitype, 
as picture and reality. 

Priestly ministry under the law related to the 
ritual service of the earthly sanctuary (9: 6-9). 
" We have such an High Priest, who is set on 
the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in 
the heavens ; a minister of the sanctuary, and of 


the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and 
not man" (8 : 1, 2). Christ is here declared to be 
the minister of "the true tabernacle." The word 
"true" {alr^t^) must not be taken in the sense 
of opposition to what is false. There is another 
Greek term that expresses this idea (a/tytf^). The 
earthly sanctuary w y as not a lie. The word here 
employed signifies, not antagonism, but contrast. 
It answers to the perfect ideal ; it stands opposed 
to all more or less imperfect representations. It 
means real and genuine, as distinguished from 
what is temporary and symbolical. "The true 
tabernacle" is the heaven of glory, 1 and it is the 
perfect and eternal realization of all that the wil- 
derness tent foreshadowed, just as the "true bread 
from heaven" is the veritable food of the soul, of 
which the manna was no more than a symbol. 
The manna was bread, though not the true bread. 
Christ alone is that. The heavenly sanctuary is 
the everlasting original, of which the earthly was 
no more than a dim and distant copy. But the 
one corresponds to the other as shadow and sub- 
stance, as type and antitype. 

The covenant of Sinai by which the Hebrew 
people were constituted into the theocracy w T as 
but the harbinger of the new covenant (8: 6-13). 
The promises of the old covenant contemplated, 

1 Delitzsch. 


for the most part, earthly privileges and bless- 
ings, as the possession of the land, and the 
enjoyment of the divine protection and favor, so 
long as the people remained obedient. But it 
was temporary and preparatory. The new cov- 
enant rests on three "better" things — a better 
ministry, better covenant (that is, better in its 
terms and provisions), and better promises. The 
old could boast of nothing more than the symbol 
of the divine presence ; this secures the abiding 
indwelling of the Spirit in God's people. 

The rest of Canaan was but a figure of the 
better rest, the true sabbath-keeping, which re- 
mains for the people of God (ch. 4). 

The earthly Jerusalem was but an imperfect 
image of the heavenly city, and the congregation 
but a dim reflection of the "general assembly 
and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in 
heaven" (12: 18-23, R. V.). 

The marvelous correspondence between Juda- 
ism and Christianity, as it is developed in the 
Epistle to the Hebrews, is neither accidental nor 
fortuitous. God is the author of both, therefore 
the remarkable connection between them. But 
Judaism was fashioned to prefigure Christianity, 
not the latter the former. The antitype is not 
constructed to resemble the type, but the type is 
constructed to bear the likeness of the antitype. 


It is because of the antitype that the type exists. 
The Mosaic economy, being a rough draft of 
Christianity, presupposed its existence. Had 
Judaism been an end in itself, had it terminated 
in present observance, it could not have been the 
subject of apostolic exposition. But the New 
Testament writers do treat it as a prophetic 
system, as holding in itself the germs of future 
and more glorious revelations of the grace of 
God. They do treat it as a system which both 
showed and foreshowed. Therefore they fatally 
err who regard Judaism as the natural expression 
of the religious sentiment common to mankind, 
and who would class it with the various ethnic 
religions which have prevailed. No less do they 
err who refuse to see in it any prophetic or dis- 
pensation al truth. They have read the New 
Testament to no purpose who thus treat the 
Mosaic institutions. 

It should be remembered that the knowledge 
or the ignorance of the Old Testament worshipers 
touching the truth embodied in the ordinances 
which they observed is not the standard by which 
our intelligence of them is to be regulated. The 
typical teaching was intended indeed for them, 
but also for us, and it is profitable for us perhaps 
even more than it was for those ancient worthies. 
Scripture belongs to all God's people, and to all 


time. There is a manifoldness and comprehen- 
siveness in it that no other writing possesses. The 
Spirit of God often combines a variety of ends 
and aims in what he is pleased to communicate. 
That others were in view when Judaism was 
established, is clear from Paul's words, "Now all 
these things happened unto them for ensamples 
[types] : and they are written for our admonition, 
upon whom the ends of the world are come" 
(I. Cor. 10 : 11). The ways of God with his peo- 
ple in the various world periods that are past 
reproduce themselves in the gospel age : the light 
that shone then shines now, only with the added 
glory of our dispensation : all gathers into the 
present time ; all now instructs with a clearness 
and power that could not be known then. The 
Old Testament saints had no more than the rudi- 
mentary sketch, the dim outline. But it was 
enough for their guidance and faith, for it was 
divinely planned. Through that system there was 
presented to their faith the Lamb slain from the 
foundation of the world. The eye of faith might, 
as it gazed on the gorgeous ceremonies and fol- 
lowed the splendid ritual, be able to fill in the pic- 
ture, and see in the distant future the great High 
Priest, who was promised, offering the most costly 
victim, himself ; an altar consecrated by blood pre- 
cious beyond all parallel, his own blood. Jesus 


said that Abraham saw his day and was glad (John 
8 : 56). A fuller light was given through Moses 
than Abraham enjoyed, and it is quite possible 
that not a few clear-eyed saints read much of the 
gospel of God's grace as it shone through the 
skillfully carved lattice-work of their ordinances. 

For Judaism had a voice for the chosen people, 
and its voice was prophetic. Its voice was the 
significant word Wait. Wait, and the true Priest 
will come, the Priest greater than Aaron, than 
Melchizedek. Wait, and the Prophet like unto 
Moses, but far greater than Moses, will appear. 
Wait, and the true Sacrifice, that of which all 
other offerings were but faint pictures, will be 
presented and sin be put away. 

Weighty are the words of one equally eminent 
for his piety as for his learning : " God has been 
pleased to give, as well in remarkable persons of 
the Old Testament, in whose case something un- 
usual occurred, as in the whole institution of 
religion, a true delineation — and one worthy 
of so great an artist — of Christ, together with 
his spiritual body." 1 As weighty are the words 
of another : " That the Old Testament is rich in 
types, or rather forms in its totality one type, of 
the New Testament, follows necessarily from the 
entirely unique position which belongs to Christ 

1 Witsius. 


as the center of the history of the world and 
of revelation. As we constantly see the principle 
embodied in the vegetable and animal kingdoms, 
that the higher species are already typified in a 
lower stage of development, so do we find, in the 
domain of saving revelation, the highest not 
only prepared for, but also shadowed forth, by 
that which precedes in the lower spheres." 1 The 
words of a Greek writer (quoted by Taylor) we 
may venture to translate : " For what is the law ? 
It is the gospel proclaimed beforehand. And 
what is the gospel? The law fulfilled." 

To refuse to recognize any relation between Juda- 
ism and Christianity, as some now pretend to do ; to 
regard the world periods and economies of the past 
as altogether dissevered from the present age, is to 
deny the unity of Scripture and of God's plan of 
redemption, — is to negate the witness of the New 
Testament, and to deprive us of a legacy which God 
surely meant should enrich our Christian thought. 

The following studies in the Tabernacle, Priest- 
hood, Sacrifices, and Feasts of ancient Israel have 
one aim, and only one, to wit : to show, however 
feebly, that the Mosaic institutions were planned 
and designed to teach the way of salvation, and to 
reveal Christ as God's appointed Prophet, Priest, 
and King. 

*Van Oosterzee. 













Organized worship implies a recognized body 
of worshipers. From the beginning God had 
his witnesses in the world. In the family of 
Abraham he formed his servants into a corporate 
body, and gave them a perfect system of worship 
— perfect for the ends for which it was estab- 
lished. The government under which Israel was 
placed was a theocracy. God was their King, 
and the twelve tribes formed the priestly king- 
dom (Ex. 19 : 6). One of the tribes, Levi, was 
set apart to the special service of Jehovah ; one 
family of this tribe, Aaron's, was chosen the 
priestly family of the nation, and charged with 
the duties and functions of the priesthood (Ex. 
28 : 1; Lev. 8; Num. 3: 10). The priest was 
to minister before the Lord in behalf of the con- 
gregation (Ex. 28 : 1; Heb. 5 : 1), and to interpret 
and teach the law to the people (Lev. 10: 8-11; 
Neh. 8: 2, 8). 

By reason of its sinfulness the congregation 

3 31 


could draw near to Jehovah only on the ground 
of an adequate atonement. This supreme want 
was provided for by a series of sacrifices, which 
were offered to God through the mediating agency 
of the priesthood (Lev. 1-7). A sacred calendar 
was also provided, which designated the times 
and seasons when the chosen people in a more 
solemn manner recognized their covenant rela- 
tions with the Lord (Lev. 23, 25). One other 
appointment completed the organization of Israel 
as a corporate witness of the Lord in the earth, 
namely, a central place of worship. This the 
tabernacle was until it gave place to the more 
permanent house of the Lord, the temple at 

In the theocratic organization of Israel, accord- 
ingly, four features are made very prominent : the 
place of worship, the ministry of worship, the 
means of worship, the times of worship. A brief 
scriptural study of these essential parts of ancient 
Judaism is the object of the present writing. We 
begin with the Tabernacle. 

The tabernacle was the first sanctuary built for 
God at his own command, and it was rendered 
forever illustrious by his indwelling presence. A 
dozen chapters of the Pentateuch are devoted to a 
description of its structure and contents, — hardly 
two to the record of the creation of the world. 


Its pattern and the instructions relating to its 
complicated services were directly communicated 
to Moses by Jehovah. The materials required for 
its construction were the gifts of a willing-hearted 

The tabernacle and the system of ordinances of 
which it was the center, was, and was designed to 
be, an adumbration or prefiguration of greater 
and better things to be enjoyed in the dispensa- 
tion of the grace of God under the gospel. In 
Hebrews 9 : 9 the inspired writer describes it and 
its services as a " figure for the time then present" 
— rather, a parable (napapoXTj). It was an acted 
parable, designed to instruct the Old Testament 
saints in God's plan of redemption. In a shadowy 
form it foretold the blessings and benefits to be 
brought to the world by the advent of the Mes- 
siah. It preached the gospel. It was a divine 
object-lesson, an embodied prophecy of good 
things to come, a witness to the grace and saving 
power of Him who had devised and was now re- 
vealing his way of bringing sinners to himself. It 
taught salvation through propitiation, forgiveness 
through bloodshedding. Access to God and wor- 
ship it disclosed. The holiness of God, the sinful- 
ness of man, and the reconciliation which in due 
time should be effected, are all clearly set forth by 
the tabernacle and its rites. 


Much of the language of the New Testament 
is drawn from this ancient sanctuary and its 
ordinances. " Mercy-seat," "propitiation," "veil," 
"washing of regeneration," "high priest," "re- 
demption," "intercession," "cleansed," "purged," 
"sacrifice," "offering," "access to God," "drawing 
near to God," etc., are words and phrases that 
either have arisen from or are illustrated by the 
tabernacle and its ceremonies. The doctrine of 
substitution, central in the Christian system, is 
elucidated in the rites of ancient Judaism with 
a clearness which perhaps is not surpassed in any 
other portion of the Bible. 


Three principal titles are given to the taber- 
nacle. The first is tent (ohel) (Ex. 26 : 36). 
Those who have examined the word closely 
(Gesenius, Cook, Plumptre), are of the opinion 
that it denotes the outer coverings ; namely, the 
curtain of goats' hair, the rams' skins dyed red, and 
the " badgers' skins." Granting this general appli- 
cation of the term, it would be precarious to 
build on this uncertain foundation the imaginary 
structure which Mr. Fergusson, the British archi- 
tect, has contrived and pictured for us in Smith's 
Dictionary of the Bible (Article "Temple"); 
namely, an outer tent with a ridge-pole, beneath 


which the tabernacle proper was housed. Those 
who have profoundly studied the subject, as 
Soltau and W. Brown, are persuaded that the 
plan of the London architect is wide of the mark. 

The second name is tabernacle (mishkan) (Ex. 
25 : 9), a w T ord which Plumptre derives from one 
that means to settle down, to dwell; hence, a 
dwelling. This title seems to be used in a some- 
what indefinite way ; for example, for the cur- 
tains, for the frame- work of boards, and for the 
entire structure. Generally, however, it desig- 
nates the sacred dwelling of the Lord with all 
its belongings. These two names are sometimes 
found joined together, as in Exodus 40 : 2, 6, 
29: "the tabernacle of the tent of meeting" (R.V.). 

The third name is sanctuary (Ex. 25 : 8 : "And 
let them make me a sanctuary") (mikdasK), a 
name, w r e are told, never applied to the temple 
of heathen deities. It denotes especially the 
holiness of the place of worship, the dwelling 
of Him who is infinitely holy, and who can 
tolerate no evil. 

Other descriptive titles are given the sanctuary, 
two of which deserve a brief notice. In the so- 
called Authorized Version of the Scripture we 
often find this expression : "the tabernacle of the 
congregation" (Ex. 29: 42, 44, ff.) — a somewhat 
misleading translation, for it seems to indicate 


the place of meeting for the children of Israel. 
The Revised Version renders it, "the tent of 
meeting"; that is, the place of meeting between 
God and the people — "where I will meet with you, 
to speak there unto thee. And there I will meet 
with the children of Israel" (Ex. 29 : 42, 43). It 
was at the tabernacle, with its priesthood and 
sacrifices, that God met with his chosen people, 
the only place where he could meet with sinners 
— the place of propitiation and reconciliation. 

In Numbers 1 : 50, 53, another descriptive title 
is found : "the tabernacle of testimony." Oehler 
is of the opinion that this phrase designates 
the sanctuary as the place of revelation. Cer- 
tainly God did declare his will there, but he 
specially testified to them by his holy Law, which 
within the ark witnessed to the covenant engage- 
ments they had assumed at Sinai, and against 
their sins. 


The tabernacle was a rectangular structure, 
thirty cubits long and ten wide. The cubit is 
reckoned at eighteen inches. It was the measure 
of a man's arm from the elbow to the tip of the 
middle finger. 1 Accordingly, it was forty-five 
feet in length, fifteen wide, and fifteen high. It 

1 Fergusson. 


was divided into two rooms, or compartments, 
the first being the Holy Place, which contained 
the Candlestick, Table of Showbread, and Altar 
of Incense. Behind it was the Most Holy Place, 
a cube in form, being ten cubits every way. The 
only object in the Holy of Holies was the Ark 
of the Covenant. This room was the Shrine, the 
dwelling-place of the God of Israel, therefore 
called "the Holiest of all" (Heb. 9:3). The 
two rooms were separated by a gorgeous hanging 
or veil of fine twined linen in blue, purple, and 
scarlet, and inwrought with cherubic figures. 

The frame of the tabernacle was constructed out 
of boards of acacia (" shittim ") wood, a species of 
locust or thorn with which the Peninsula of Sinai 
abounds. The Septuagint translates the word 
"shittim" into "incorruptible wood," probably 
because it was of a solid and durable fiber. There 
were forty-eight such boards, each furnished with 
two tenons that fitted into two corresponding 
sockets of silver. The Israelites contributed one 
hundred talents of silver for these sockets (Ex. 
38: 25-28), and it is described as atonement 
money (Ex. 30: 16). So this portable temple 
rested on silver, which the people paid as their 
ransom. It was a costly foundation, for about 
two hundred thousand dollars went into it. Be- 
sides, the boards of the framework were overlaid 


with gold, and gold entered largely into the 
construction of all the furniture of the tabernacle. 
Kitto's estimate of its cost is one million two hun- 
dred and fifty thousand dollars ; that of W. Brown, 
one million five hundred thousand dollars. 

Ten magnificent curtains, wrought of fine linen 
and beautified with royal colors of blue, purple, 
and scarlet, interwoven with cherubim in the 
most skillful manner, formed the ceiling. Three 
outer coverings of goats' hair, rams' skins dyed 
red, and badgers' skins were provided to protect it 
from the inclemency of the weather. From these 
exterior covers the name of "tent" seems to be 
derived. The Revisers have changed "badgers' 
skins" into "sealskins," and in the margin "por- 
poise-skins" is given as an alternate rendering. 
Whatever animal is meant by the term, whether of 
the land or the sea, it was likely a large creature. 
Sandals were made out of the same skins (Ezek. 
16 : 10 : "I have shod thee with badgers' skin"). 
Is it possible that the shoes which the Israelites 
wore during the long wilderness journey, and 
which so effectively protected them that their feet 
" did not swell," were made of these skins ? 


The tabernacle occupied a central place among 
the tribes. Whether in the camp or on the 


march, it was always in the center. The encamp- 
ment was in the form of a hollow square, with 
three tribes stationed on each of its four sides. 
The sacred tent was pitched in the center of this 
square, with its door always facing the east. On 
the side opposite, to the eastward, was the division 
of Judah, with 186,000 men of arms. On the 
south was the division of Reuben, which num- 
bered 151,450 men of war. On the west was the 
division of Ephraim, 108,100 strong. On the 
north was the division of Dan, 157,600 strong. 
The men of w T ar comprising these four grand 
divisions of Israel's army numbered 603,550. 
(Num. 1.) Each division had its own appro- 
priate standard, each tribe and family its own 
ensign. It is impossible to determine what the 
standards w T ere. Canon Cook infers from the 
significance of the name (to glitter, to shine 
afar), that it was a solid figure mounted on a 
pole, "such as the Egyptians used," which is no 
more than a guess. Tradition alleges that the 
standards represented the cherubim — the lion, 
man, ox, and eagle, but there exists no means of 
verifying it. Within the space enclosed by the 
camp the tabernacle stood, and the tribes faced it 
on the four sides of the square. Just what the 
distance was from it to each division cannot be 
determined ; perhaps about a mile. At any rate, 


the tent was in the center of Israel in the 

In the journeys of the wilderness the taber- 
nacle held a similar central position. When the 
pillar of cloud gave the signal to march (Num. 
9 : 17), Judah was the first to strike his tents and 
set forth. Then the frame- work and coverings of 
the tabernacle, in charge of the sons of Gershon 
and Merari, followed (Num. 10 : 17). The second 
division, that of Reuben, marched next ; and the 
sanctuary, in charge of the Kohathites, followed 
(Num. 10 : 21). The other two divisions marched 
after the sanctuary, that of Dan bringing up the 
rear. Thus the tabernacle was again in the cen- 
ter, six tribes being in the van and six in the 
rear. " God is in the midst of her ; she shall not 
be moved : God shall help her, and that right 
early" (Ps. 46 : 5). How forcible this language 
becomes when we remember the central position 
of the tent of meeting. 


A distinguishing feature of the sanctuary was 
the Court that surrounded it. This court, or 
enclosure, was a double square, one hundred 
cubits long and fifty broad. It was formed by 
pillars or graceful columns standing upright 
in sockets of brass, the spaces between being 

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ts, or 7fi 












| Ark. | 




Holy of 





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t~i rr 




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Holy Place. 














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Laver. O 
















Ascent , 

to 1 

Altar of 









50 Cubits, or 75 Feet. 









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filled by hangings of fine twined linen (Ex. 27 : 
9-18). At the east end was the gateway, twenty 
cubits wide and guarded by an immense screen 
of fine twined linen in blue, purple, and scarlet. 
Within this enclosure the Levites and the priests 
were stationed. The Levites, in three divisions 
(named after the three sons of Levi), occupied 
the northern, southern, and western sides, while 
the priests held the place of honor, the east end 
of the court opposite the door of the sanctuary. 
Between the door of the court and the door of 
the tabernacle stood two objects of great interest. 
The first was the Altar of Burnt- Offering ; the 
second was the Laver. 

1. The Brazen Altar. 

(Ex.27: 1-8; 38: 1-7.) 

The altar of sacrifice was a conspicuous part 
of the Mosaic system. All priestly ministry and 
every act of worship were connected with it. If 
the individual Israelite or the congregation in its 
corporate capacity sought to draw near to God, 
the altar was the one indispensable means. It 
is hardly too much to say that the life of Israel 
as a nation, and the life of each member of the 
nation, was in some important respects bound up 
with the altar. The Scriptures designate it in 
three ways : First, it is called simply "the altar" 


(Ex. 27 : 1, R.V.), a name which expresses the idea 
of sacrifice, for the Hebrew term is derived from 
one meaning to kill or slay. The altar signifies 
preeminently bloodshedding, expiation. Second, 
"thealtar of the burnt offering" (Lev. 4 : 7, 10, 18). 
It was thus named, doubtless, because of the 
prominence of the burnt-offering in the Levitical 
system. A deeper thought, however, seems to lie 
in the name. The word burnt-offering denotes 
that which ascends ; and it is applied to the altar 
because what was consumed upon it was given 
up to God, and ascended to him, and was for his 
satisfaction. Third, "Thou shalt set the altar of 
burnt offering before the door of the tabernacle 
of the tent of meeting" (Ex. 40 : 6, R.V.). This 
verse designates neither a new nor a different 
name nor a function of the altar. It designates 
its position before the tabernacle door, and empha- 
sizes the truth that propitiation for sins precedes 
entrance into God's presence. It was the one 
way, the only one, of access to God in the sanctu- 
ary. It signified that a door of entrance was 
provided, that all who came by it would be 
accepted ; but it forbade the notion that any other 
way of approach to God could be had. 

(1) Its Form. The altar was square, five 
cubits in length and breadth by three cubits in 
height ; hollow, without a covering and without a 


bottom. The frame was of acacia, overlaid with 
heavy plates of brass ; hence it is sometimes called 
" the brasen altar " (Ex. 38 : 30). The corners or 
angle-posts projected above the upper surface, and 
were fashioned into horns. Dr. Murphy thinks 
that the height of the altar was measured from the 
top of the horns to the bottom, not from the table 
or upper plane. 1 The priests, accordingly, could 
perform their functions at the altar with conven- 
ience while standing on the ground. 

Considerable difference of opinion exists as to 
the "compass," and the " grate of network of 
brass" (Ex. 27: 4, 5). Some hold that the 
"compass," or "'ledge" (R.V.), was a sort of shelf 
or platform running round the altar on the out- 
side and midway its height, and the grate was 
the support of this platform, parallel with its 
edge and reaching to the ground. Others think 
the "compass" was a cincture or band at the top 
for ornamentation, as the ark, table, and altar of 
incense had borders or crowns ; that it reached 
down to the grate, which was placed in the 
interior, and on which the sacrifices were burnt. 
The rings by which it was borne cut through the 
angles of the altar and caught into the corners 
of the grate and held it firm. This last view 
is favored by the Septuagint Version so far as the 

1 See Commentary in loc. 


" grate" is concerned, which it renders "hearth" 
or "fireplace" (t<r%dpa). We are inclined to the 
latter view ; namely, that the grate of network 
of brass was set in the interior of the altar. 

If the grate was inside and midway its height, 
then the mercy-seat and the grate were exactly 
on a level. Mercy and expiation are coordinate ; 
forgiveness and atonement are coextensive ; " with- 
out shedding of blood is no remission." Moreover, 
the table of showbread was of the same height as 
the mercy-seat and the brazen grate of the altar 
— a fact that seems to symbolize that communion 
with God is grounded in atonement. Pardon, 
reconciliation, and fellowship with God depend on 
the Blood! 

(2) The Horns of the Altar. These were of 
a piece with the altar itself, not separate attach- 
ments of it (Ex. 38 : 2). "Horns were not usual 
adjuncts of altars ; indeed, they seem to have 
been peculiar to those of the Israelites." 1 One 
use of them is clearly indicated in Psalm 118 : 
27 : " Bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto 
the horns of the altar." If it was the living 
animal that was thus confined, the horns must 
have been of great strength and firmness. Per- 
haps it is from this fact that the idea of power 
and might, so often in Scripture connected with 

1 Rawlinson. 


horns, is derived. "The horns were symbolical 
of power, protection, and help ; and at the same 
time, of glory and salvation." 1 This statement 
is justified by such passages as I. Samuel 2 : 1, 
10; II. Samuel 22 : 3 ; Psalm 89: 17; 112: 9, 
etc. A certain inviolability attached to the altar's 
horns. He who laid hold upon them was re- 
garded as safe, and enjoyed immunity, except 
in the case of criminality (I. Kings 1: 50; 2: 
28). It is likely that this notion of sanctuary 
arose from the deep truth that salvation is asso- 
ciated in Scripture with the horns of the altar. 
Because of propitiation there made, the idea of 
immunity probably originated. 

It is noteworthy that it was the blood of the 
sin-offering which was sprinkled on the horns of 
the brazen altar, and it was the same blood which 
was carried into the most holy place and sprinkled 
on the mercy-seat, and on the veil, and smeared 
on the horns of the golden altar (Ex. 29 : 12; 
30 : 10 ; Lev. 4:7, etc.). From these and similar 
passages it is inferred that salvation was closely 
allied in the minds of God's people with the blood 
of expiation. The horns lifted up the blood of 
atonement, as it were, into the sight and presence 
of God — the blood without which no approach 
to him was possible. 

1 Kalisch. 


(3) The Position of the Altar. "And thou 
shalt set the altar of burnt offering before the 
door of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting" 
(Ex. 40 : 6, R. V.). The expression seems to in- 
timate that the altar directly faced the door of the 
sacred tent. But in point of fact it was nearer 
the gate of the court than the door of the taber- 
nacle. The laver stood between it and the door 
of the latter (Ex. 40 : 30). 

Its position was very significant. It was the 
first object which the approaching worshiper en- 
countered on passing into the court. There was 
no drawing nigh the dwelling of the God of 
Israel without first going by the altar. Before 
the sinner can meet with God in peace and hold 
communion with him, he must be forgiven and 
accepted. The whole question of sin, as between 
him and God, must be divinely settled before any 
true fellowship with God can be enjoyed. At the 
altar of sacrifice that question was definitely and 
finally settled. The description of the tabernacle 
and its furniture starts with the holy of holies 
and moves outward to the court (Ex. 25-27). 
The order observed is the following : the ark, 
table, candlestick, frame and curtains, altar of 
sacrifice. God goes forth from his dwelling-place 
and meets the sinner at the altar. How can the 
holy and just God receive and forgive guilty 


man ? No more tremendous problem could be 
propounded. In his infinite love and grace God 
himself answered the question in a way perfectly- 
consistent with the demands of his righteousness 
and truth and man's supreme need. The altar is 
the answer to all Divine claims of law and justice 
on the one hand, and to the sinner's dire necessity 
on the other. * There sin was punished in the 
person of a substitute ; death, the penalty due sin, 
inflicted ; satisfaction rendered to law and justice, 
and reconciliation effected ; and the justified one 
may pass into the awful Presence, and worship 
God in peace and comfort." 3 

The altar stood at the door of entrance — this 
signifying, that access to God is had only through 
expiation. The position of the altar taught a 
mighty truth, a vital and fundamental lesson : 
namely, we draw nigh to God by the way of 
atonement, the blood-sprinkled way. Christ is 
the only way to the Father ; " I am the way, and 
the truth, and the life : no man cometh unto the 
Father, but by me" '(John 14:6). "I am 
the door : by me if any man enter in, he shall be 
saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture" 
(John 10 : 9). "Neither is there salvation in any 
other : for there is none other name under heaven 
given among men whereby we must be saved" 
(Acts 4 : 12). (No man, no matter how religious 


or devout, how generous and philanthropic, how 
strictly controlled by principles of rectitude in 
his relations with his fellow-men, how splendid 
his gifts and how varied his acquirements, — no 
man, no matter who or what he be, will ever 
enter the true heavenly tabernacle who refuses 
first to come to the Altar of Sacrifice^ Sin must 
be judged and blotted out before we can be 
admitted into fellowship with God, and into the 
holy society of heaven. 

2. The Laver. 

( Ex. 30 : 17-21 ; 38 : 8.) 

( 1 ) This important article was made out of 
the brass mirrors contributed by the women who 
assembled at the door of the tent of meeting (Ex. 
38 : 8). The Revision describes them as "the 
serving women which served at the door," etc. 
Just what is meant by this statement it is not 
easy to determine. Probably they were devout 
women who loved the public services of Jehovah, 
and who manifested their devotion by their at- 
tendance on his worship. They may have been 
the same persons who spun the linen and the goats' 
hair needed for the construction of the tabernacle 
(Ex. 35 : 25, 26) : the "wise-hearted" and devoted 
women. Certainly they were no order, or guild, 
like nuns or " sisters." Israel had no such order. 



(2) Tlie form of the laver is not described, 
but most likely it was of a roundish shape, 
and sufficiently large to contain all the water 
required for the priestly ablutions, and prob- 
ably also for the washing of the parts of the 
burnt - offering (Lev. 1: 9). The basin rested 
on a base called the "foot." This is constantly 
mentioned; the phrase is, "the laver and his 
foot." The foot seems to have been something 
distinct from the body or bowl, and perhaps 
was separable. Some are of the opinion that 
the foot was a saucer-like basin, which received 
its supply of water, as needed, from the laver, 
which it supported by a shaft arising out of 
its center. 

(3) The laver stood between the altar of sacri- 
fice and the door of the tabernacle. There, every 
time the priests entered the sanctuary for any 
service, they were obliged to wash their hands 
and their feet. So strict was the injunction that 
death was the penalty for neglect. Twice these 
solemn words are used : " that they die not " 
(Ex. 30:20, 21). 

(4) The laver sets forth typically sandification, 
holiness. The psalmist alludes to its cleansing 
efficacy when he says, "I will wash mine hands 
in innocency : so will I compass thine altar" (Ps. 
26 : 6 ; 73 : 13). Water is nature's great purifier. 


All the world wash with water as well as quench 
their thirst. There is a solvent power in it which 
removes what is foul, and purifies what is pol- 
luted, — expressive type of that cleansing without 
which fellowship with God is impossible. The 
unwashed priest perished. God's holy presence 
demands nothing less. Complete and perfect 
purity alone is fitted to be near him. The priest 
drew nigh to God by the shedding of sacrificial 
blood at the altar, and by washing his hands and 
feet at the laver. His action was symbolical. 
We draw nigh to God through that of which 
both altar and laver were only shadows ; namely, 
the atoning work of Christ and the regenerating 
power of the Holy Spirit. The priestly washings 
at the brazen laver have their antitype in all the 
means God has ordained for our sanctification ; 
for example, the word, the ordinances, and espe- 
cially in the gracious influences of the Holy 

The laver prefigures regeneration. In Titus 
3 : 5 we read, "Not by works of righteousness 
which we have done, but according to his mercy 
he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and 
renewing of the Holy Ghost." The phrase, 
"washing of regeneration," literally rendered, is, 
laver of regeneration. The Greek term is the same 
as that used by the Septuagint in Exodus 30 : 18. 


The reference seems to be to the laver of the tab- 
ernacle. The renewing by the Spirit is a creative 
act, and is identical with being born again, or 
born anew. This regeneration is described as 
being by the laver, or washing by the Spirit. 
But what is the laver? Baptism? We think 
not. In Ephesians 5 : 25, 26, Paul tells us that 
" Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for 
it ; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the 
washing [laver, rtD h>uTpw~\ of water by the word." 
The word is here represented as achieving the 
results of the bath — cleansing, sanctifying. Is 
this the office of baptism? We certainly think 
not. The means the Holy Spirit employs to effect 
this radical and profound change in a sinner, 
which is called regeneration, is the word, the truth 
of God. James writes, " Of his own will begat he 
us with the word of truth" (Jas. 1 : 18). Peter 
writes, "Being born again, not of corruptible 
seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, 
which liveth and abideth for ever" (I. Pet. 1 : 23). 
This testimony is unmistakable and conclusive. 
The agent of regeneration is the Spirit ; the in- 
strument he employs in effecting it is the word of 
God ; no ordinance, however important, — no rite, 
however precious, can ever effect it. This sheds 
light on John 3:5: " Except a man be born of 
water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the 


kingdom of God." Surely the rite of baptism 
cannot here be meant, else would it become a 
necessary part of salvation, which it certainly is 
not. It is the word the Spirit employs in effecting 
the new birth. That the word is compared to 
water and its action, Ephesians 5 : 26 clearly 
proves : " that he might sanctify and cleanse it 
with the washing [laver] of water by the word." 
So also in John 15 : 3 Jesus says, " Now ye are 
clean through the word which I have spoken 
unto you." The word acts as a pruning-knife 
(John 15 : 1-5) ; as a sword (Heb. 4 : 12) ; a fire 
(Jer. 23:29); as water (I. Pet 1:22). "The 
washing of regeneration" is an expression taken, 
not from baptism, but from the provision for 
priestly purification, the laver of the court. 

The laver prefigures Christ's personal and abid- 
ing interest in his people. This truth, we con- 
ceive, is illustrated by the Lord's washing the 
disciples' feet (John 13 : 1-17). That act was 
designed to teach his followers the lesson of 
humility, of self-abnegation, and of reciprocal 
service and affection. Like his love for them 
was theirs to be for one another ; his ran through 
all his ministry and association with them, and 
up to the very end of his earthly life : " Having 
loved his own which were in the world, he loved 
them unto the end." But did his love stop short 


at that point ? Surely not. He would love them 
none the less when glorified — nay, all the more. 
To Peter he said, " He that is bathed needeth not 
save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit" 
(John 13 : 10, R. V.). There is a bath which re- 
quires no repetition, which is accomplished once for 
all. Regeneration is never repeated. A child of 
wrath, become a child of God, remains evermore 
God's child. Justified once, we are justified for- 
ever. Both acts, regeneration and justification, 
are simultaneous, instantaneous, complete, and 
final. " And such were some of you ; but ye 
were washed, but ye were sanctified, but ye were 
justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and 
in the Spirit of our God" (I. Cor. 6 : 11, R. V.). 
But the believer comes into daily contact with 
the world's defilement, and is polluted by his 
own remaining corruption. The old nature is 
still in him, although he is not in it, and con- 
stantly must he lament his failures, and confess 
his shortcomings. How is he to be kept clean? 
How is interrupted communion to be reestab- 
lished ? " If any man sin, we have an advocate 
with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" 
(I. John 2:1). By washing the disciples' feet 
he gave them and us the assurance and the 
pledge that on going to the Father's right hand 
he would not be unmindful of us who are left 


behind ; he would undertake to keep us clean, 
and so meet for service here and glory hereafter. 

The consecration of Aaron and his sons for 
the duties and the privileges of the priestly office 
serves to illustrate this point still further. First, 
they were washed, or bathed ; next, Aaron was 
anointed ; then the offerings were presented, and 
the sons were anointed with the holy oil and the 
blood. These acts were never repeated. The 
consecration was final and complete from the 
beginning. But each time they entered the sanc- 
tuary to perform the functions of their high 
office, they had to wash their hands and feet. No 
matter how often they entered the sacred pre- 
cincts, every day and many times in a day they 
must wash. The provision for their purification 
was the brazen laver. Their consecration was 
at the altar; their cleansing at the laver. Our 
pardon, acceptance, and separation unto God are 
secured for us by the death of Christ. Our daily 
cleansing likewise through him is no less sure. 
Jesus prayed, "I pray not that thou shouldest 
take them out of the world, but that thou 
shouldest keep them from the evil." Christ is 
our Laver. 

Two things are indispensable in order to glorify 
God and enjoy him forever : right relations with 
God and a right character in us. By right re- 


lations with God is meant a justified relation, 
a peace relation with him. By right character 
in ourselves is meant, deliverance from the do- 
minion and the pollution of sin. Both believers 
have in Christ, and in him both are perfect. 
Both, too, are symbolized by the altar and laver 
in the court of the tabernacle. At the one, 
propitiation for sins is signified ; at the other, 
purification from sins. At the one, justification is 
typified; at the other, sanctification, with regenera- 
tion as its initial step. At the altar, sin is judged 
and forgiven. At the laver, sin is washed away 
from the person. Jesus Christ in his atoning 
death and prevailing intercession is the glorious 
Antitype of both. Pardon, purity, power, — these 
are the stages. 


The sanctuary was a rectangular structure, forty- 
five feet in length by fifteen feet in width. It was 
divided into rooms, or compartments. The first 
was the Holy Place, thirty feet long ; it contained 
the Candlestick, the Table of Showbread, and the 
Altar of Incense. Gold predominated in the sanc- 
tuary. All the sacred vessels were either wholly 
made of it, as the candlestick, the mercy-seat, and 
cherubim, or overlaid with the precious metal, as 
were the table, altar, and ark. Nothing suits God's 


presence but the best and purest. The value of 
the material increases as we approach from the 
court to the shrine. Beyond the veil was the holy 
Oracle, God's side : the holy place was the people's 
side. The gorgeous hanging, with its magnificent 
colors of blue, purple, and scarlet, parted the one 
room from the other, thus " signifying, that the 
way into the holiest of all was not yet made man- 
ifest," for redemption was only pledged, not yet 
an actual fact. Jesus must die before access to 
God for all men who will draw near could be se- 

1. The Candlestick. 

(Ex. 25:31-39; 37:17-24.) 

(1) The candlestick had a central shaft from 
which six arms or branches, three on each side, 
and each surmounted by a lamp, curved upward 
to a level with the lamp on the shaft. So it is rep- 
resented on the bas-relief on the Arch of Titus at 
Rome. "It was a peculiarity of the candlestick 
that all the branches were on the same plane." 
A talent of gold ($27,375) was used in its con- 
struction. The lamps were lighted every evening 
at sunset and burnt till morning, when the high 
priest "dressed" them (Ex. 30 : 7, 8). A statute 
obligated the children of Israel to furnish "oil 
beaten for the light, to cause a lamp to burn con- 
tinually" (Ex. 27:20, R. V.; Lev. 24:2). It 



was placed on the south side of the room (Ex. 
40 : 24), and shed its light directly on the table, 
which stood opposite, on the north side, and on 
the altar of incense, which was set in the center 
and near the veil. The design of the candlestick 
was to furnish light for the holy place, and thus 
enable the priests to perforin the prescribed min- 
istry therein. 

(2) The typical meaning of the candlestick 
does not depend on our reasoning nor on logical 
deductions. Happily, the Bible itself furnishes 
us with the needed information. Light is one of 
the commonest biblical figures of speech. It is 
used to designate the holiness and immaculate 
purity of God, who is ''light, and in him is no 
darkness at all" (I. John 1:5); Christ, who is 
"the light of the world" (John 8:12); and 
Christians, who to those who are in spiritual 
darkness are also "the light of the world" (Matt. 
5 : 14). It is to Christ and believers more par- 
ticularly that the great chandelier in the taber- 
nacle was intended to witness. And there are 
two passages of scripture which perhaps more 
than any others illustrate and expound its signifi- 
cant teaching. These two passages are Revelation 
1 : 10-20 and Zechariah 4. They teach a twofold 
lesson : First, the church is designed to be a 
faithful witness for the Lord, and to shine for 


him amid the world's gloom. Second, the 
church's shining power depends solely on the 
grace and Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Revelation 1 : 10-20 records a most imposing 
vision, the glorified Redeemer in the midst of his 
church. It was seen by John on the Lord's day, 
that is, certainly, the first day of the week, the 
Christian Sabbath. "The Lord's dav" and "the 
day of the Lord " are never used in the New Testa- 
ment interchangeably, or as convertible terms. 
(Cf. I. Cor. 11 : 20 — "the Lord's supper," and Rev. 
19 : 17 — "the supper of the great God.") 

The whole church of Christ of John's time 
and of all time is represented by seven golden 
candlesticks (Rev. 1 : 11, 12, 20). Seven is the 
sacred number, the number of completeness and 
perfection. Gold, too, is the sacred metal, the 
metal of the sanctuary. 

In the midst of the candlesticks walked the 
Son of God (vs. 13-17). His dress indicates his 
priestly dignity and regal authority. He is the 
Defender, Provider, and Judge of the church. 
Its relation to him is that of dependence, loyalty, 
and witness-bearing. Its life and its light are 
communicated by him. Without him neither is 
possible. In the vision Christ is seen, like Aaron 
of old, dressing the lamps, correcting, instructing, 
warning the churches as they severally need. 


Obviously, the symbolism is drawn bodily from 
the great candlestick of the tent and the temple, 
and from the priestly functions connected there- 
with. It is New Testament truth in the dress of 
Old Testament symbol that we are here shown, 
and the two match exactly. The one sole business 
of the candlestick was to give light. For this 
end it was made, furnished with lamps and oil, 
and was dressed and cared for by the attendant 
priest. Apart from this it had no right to exist. 
The one prime object of the church is, likewise, 
to shed light, to shine, that the glory of Christ, 
who has redeemed it with his precious blood, may 
be manifested, and that they who sit in darkness 
may have light. Its business is to be a light- 
holder, a lampstand (Phil. 2 : 15, 16). "For God, 
who commanded the light to shine out of dark- 
ness, hath sinned in our hearts, to give the light 
of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face 
of Jesus Christ " ( II. Cor. 4:6). He shined m, 
that they might shine out For this end the 
church is called and chosen. For this end 
Christ endows and enriches it with his Spirit, 
gifts, and graces ; rules, supplies, and dresses it. 
If it fail or refuse to shine, it becomes both useless 
and hurtful, a cumberer and hindrance. Better 
no street lamp-post on a dark night than one 
unlit or gone out; the danger is less for the 


belated passer. Better no professing body than 
one that has quenched its light — that has lost 
its illuminating power. 

Zechariah 4 contains a vision which presents 
another and very important feature of the general 
truth taught by the great light of the tabernacle. 
The details of the vision are simple and clear. 
No more description of it is required than will 
put us in possession of the main facts. The 
candlestick had a bowl upon the top of it, and 
seven lamps, and seven pipes which connected the 
lamps with the bowl. (The Revision reads, 
"seven pipes to each of the lamps.") Two olive 
trees, one on each side of the bowl, furnished the 
oil needed for the light. 

The central principle of the vision is verse 6 : 
"Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, 
saith the Lord of hosts." This vital truth is illus- 
trated by the relation of the lamps to the bowl, 
and of the bowl to the olive trees. The two sons 
of oil (see margin) supplied the bowl; the bowl 
supplied the lamps. Without the trees the 
bowl was altogether useless ; without the flow of 
the oil to the lamps the candlestick was likewise 
useless. The application of the vision to God's 
people in the prophet's time, and to us of the 
present day, is not difficult. 

(a) The power to shine lies in the oil, and in 


the oil alone. It need not be repeated that oil is 
the scriptural symbol for the gift and grace of the 
Spirit. The Lord by his Spirit is the only power 
that can make a believer's life bright and fruitful. 
Apart from him we can do nothing (John 15 : 5). 
The wick in the lamp is for one single purpose, 
to convey the oil from the bowl to the flame. 
Even faith, precious as it is, has no more virtue 
in itself than the wick. Faith is the conductor 
of grace, not its source. No Christian is a fountain 
of light or of power in himself. "Our sufficiency 
is of God" (II. Cor. 3:5). We know what the 
result is when a lamp is lit which contains no oil : 
all it can do is to smolder and smoke, and 
give forth an offensive odor. We know just as 
well how dark and cheerless our life is, how false 
and hollow the pretensions to shining, when the 
flow of grace is obstructed or arrested. 

(b) The supply is inexhaustible (II. Cor. 9:8). 
The seven lamps could not, by any possibility, 
exhaust the fullness of the bowl, for it was con- 
stantly fed and filled by the olive trees. No 
more can the whole church exhaust the grace of 
God in Christ (Phil. 4 : 19). It matters not how 
many draw, or how often, or how much : the sup- 
ply is ample for all. Grace abounds, grace reigns. 
The water in the reservoir of a great city never 
runs low, for it is always filling. No matter how 


great the drain on the reservoir, there is no 
diminution. As a watchman of such a one once 
said when asked about the danger of running 
short, " it makes no odds up here." * 

(c) Note, also, that the flow is without effort 
or toil. It was the business of the two sons of 
oil to furnish all that was required. The bowl, 
pipes, lamps, wicks, had nothing to do either to 
create or to increase the quantity needed. The 
supply was not dependent on human inventions. 
The trees, without man's devices, and without his 
help, furnished all and furnished abundance. It 
is " not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit." 
It is the Lord's work to supply, ours to receive. 
As much as we need, and up to the full measure 
of our need, we may draw ; we can neither lower 
the supply, nor take more than we can use. Just 
what the lamp can consume will the wick draw, 
and no more ; it cannot hoard. Nor can we. A 
present supply for present need is the ruling 

2. The Table of Showbread. 

( Ex. 25 : 23-30 ; Lev. 24 : 5-9. ) 

The table of showbread was set on the north 
side of the holy place and directly opposite the 
candlestick. It was made with a " border " and a 
" crown," terms which, according to Soltau and 

1 Brooke. 
















Newton, designate two different things ; namely, 
the border being the elevated edges running round 
the table, and the crown being another elevation 
within the plane of the table. The first was in- 
tended to secure the golden vessels (Ex. 25 : 29) 
connected with it, and the other the twelve loaves. 
The name, " table of showbread," is derived 
not so much from the table itself as from the 
bread placed on it. It was the Bread of Presence 
or Presentation (lit., "bread of the face") that is 
meant (Matt. 12: 4). Its design was not an ac- 
knowledgment by the people of their dependence 
on God for their food, nor of their gratitude for 
their temporal supplies, though these ideas may 
be remotely suggested by it ; but it was a mem- 
orial before God continually (Lev. 24: 7). In 
this verse it is expressly said that the frank- 
incense which was spread over the loaves was " for 
a memorial." On the removal of the stale bread 
and the supply of fresh (which occurred every 
Sabbath), the frankincense was burned on the 
golden altar ( so much is inferred from Lev. 24 : 
7,8). The vessels of the table must have been 
used for this purpose, for none are here mentioned 
as belonging to the altar. 1 This ceremony con- 

1 The Revision gives Numbers 4: 12 thus: "And they shall take 
all the vessels of ministry, wherewith they minister in the sanc- 
tuary, and put them in a cloth of blue," etc. This neither affirms 
nor denies that the altar of incense had vessels of its own. 


nected the table and altar, and it shows, more- 
over, that the bread and the incense belonged 
peculiarly to God, and were not merely an expres- 
sion of the gratitude of the people for their 
material supplies. The bread of presence was a 
perpetual memorial unto God of his chosen 
people. There were twelve loaves, one for each 
tribe. All were represented — little Benjamin as 
well as royal Judah, and Dan as certainly as the 
priestly Levi. And there was just as much for 
the one tribe as for another. No part of God's 
family was overlooked or forgotten ; each was as 
fully presented as it could be. And they were 
always before him (Ex. 25 : 30). Never for a mo- 
ment were they out of his sight — the continuous 
reminder to him, as we may say, of his covenant 
relation to them, of his promises and mighty 
pledges to be their God and Redeemer. 

Nor are they forgotten amid their national dis- 
memberment and dispersion and the sorrows of 
their exile. Their Memorial has not perished. 
Jesus of Nazareth, a Jew according to the flesh, 
who died for that nation in a sense in which he 
died for no other (John 11: 51, 52). is now their 
Bread of Remembrance before the face of God 
continually. " And now I stand and am judged 
for the hope of the promise made of God unto 
our fathers : unto which promise our twelve 


tribes, instantly serving God day and night, 
hope to come," are Paul's noble words to King 
Agrippa. " Our twelve tribes hope to come " ! 
Unbelief may stupidly stare about and ask, 
Where are the twelve tribes? Our answer is: 
Their Memorial is on high, and in God's good 
time they will be restored : Jerusalem shall yet 
be the joy of the whole earth, the center of bless- 
ing for the world (cf. Rom. 11). 

Furthermore, what the bread of presence was 
for Israel in the olden time, Jesus Christ now is 
for all his people. He is all that the loaves sym- 
bolized. He is before God in his public character. 
The Father sees in him not only his well-beloved 
Son, but likewise the Representative and Surety 
of the saved from among men. They are in him, 
and as being united with him they, too, are before 
the Father. All Israel was before the face of God 
in the twelve loaves. All believers are in his 
presence in the person of the Saviour. " For we 
being many are one bread, and one body " ( I. Cor. 
10 : 17 ). Christ in the glory is at once the 
pledge and the assurance that the inheritance is 
safe for believers, and they are safe for it (I. Pet. 
1 : 3-5 ) : " For all the promises of God in him 
are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God 
by us " (II. Cor. 1 : 20). Every believer is there in 
him — the most obscure and humble equally with 


the most illustrious, the weakest as well as the 
strongest ; not one is ignored, nor one forgotten. 
Again, the bread, when removed from the table, 
was eaten by the priests in the holy place (Lev. 
24: 9). The antitype is found in our communion 
with the Father through the Son. But before 
the bread was eaten the frankincense was carefully 
gathered and burned as an offering to the Lord, 
probably on the altar of incense. Here, then, is 
the union of the table and the altar ; that is, com- 
munion is grounded in intercession. We have 
fellowship with the Father through the Son, who is 
now in his presence for us. Besides, it must not 
be forgotten that the priests are always the type of 
the people of God, while the high priest is that of 
Christ. Accordingly, we have in this rich symbol 
of the table the Lord Jesus as the True Bread for 
the sustenance of the family of God. He is God's 
infinite provision for our hungry souls. How 
appropriate, satisfying, and enriching he is, need 
not now be told, for all who have tasted see and 
know that the Lord is good. " Eat, friends ; drink, 
yea, drink abundantly, beloved " (S. of S. 5 : 1). 

3. The Golden Altar of Incense. 

( Ex. 30 : 1-10. ) 

(1) The place of this altar in the description of 
the tabernacle and its furniture is peculiar. Its 



"natural place," writes Rawlinson in the "Pulpit 
Commentary" on Exodus, "would seem to have 
been chapter 25: 10-40"; and he goes so far 
as to say that w T hether it was an omission from 
that chapter which Moses afterward supplied, or 
whether Divine wisdom saw fit to give the direc- 
tions in the order we now have them, "cannot be 
determined." This is unworthy of so great and 
good a student of the Bible. Whether or not we 
are able to explain the difficulties of the Bible, 
our duty as loyal believers in God's Word is 
reverently to receive it. There is, however, an 
explanation for the seeming irregularity in the 
description of the tabernacle furniture which is 
quite satisfactory to the present writer at least. 
Exodus 25-27 describes the tabernacle and its 
contents, the altar of sacrifice, and the court. In 
chapters 28 and 29 we have the record of the 
appointment of Aaron and his sons, the descrip- 
tion of the high priest's vestments, and the direc- 
tions for their consecration. But in all these 
chapters there is not a word about the altar of 
incense or the laver. Chapter 30 appoints these, 
orders the ransom money, the making of the 
holy oil and the holy incense. In chapters 25-27 
the mercy-seat and the brazen altar are brought 
together, thus symbolizing the fundamental truth 
that acceptance with God is founded upon atone- 


ment. In chapter 30 the altar of incense and the 
laver are brought together, because communion 
and purification are inseparably connected. There 
can be no communion where defilement is pres- 
ent. Between the ark and the brazen altar on the 
one hand and the golden altar and the laver on 
the other, stands the priesthood, indispensable to 
both. Reconciliation with God is first, and pre- 
cedes every other relation of the sinner with God, 
in the divine order ; sanctification and fellowship 
follow it ; and both are indissolubly bound up 
with the divinely appointed priesthood. 

Furthermore, the expression, "And the Lord 
spake unto Moses, saying," is of very frequent 
occurrence in the middle books of the Penta- 
teuch. In every instance where it is introduced 
it marks a fresh revelation from Jehovah, and 
hence a new division. The Revisers of the Old 
Testament recognize this fact, and begin a par- 
agraph with each repetition of the phrase. Par- 
ticularly is it noticeable in Exodus 30. 

Now it is very significant that in Exodus 25 : 1 
the phrase in question is found, and not again 
until 30 : 11 ; that is, between Exodus 25 : 1 and 
30 : 11 it is omitted. Accordingly, the whole sec- 
tion lying between these two verses forms a con- 
tinuous revelation, and is a unit. It begins with 
the ark (25:10), and ends with the altar of 


incense (30: 1-10). "That which is first in design 
is last in execution, is a law which even philoso- 
phy delights to enforce and illustrate." 1 The main 
design of the tabernacle and its rites was wor- 
ship, communion with the living God, the God of 
Israel, who dwelt among the chosen people. This 
it was the preeminent aim of the incense-altar to 
set forth. The golden altar is the climax of all, 
the goal of the revelation contained in Exodus 
25-30: 10. Hence it is the last prescribed. 

In Exodus 30 : 11-38 four times the phrase, 
"And the Lord spake unto Moses," is found. 
The subject of these verses is, The Conditions of 
Acceptable Worship. Four things are indispen- 
sable to it: (a) redemption (vs. 12-16); (b) puri- 
fication (vs. 17-21); (c) anointing (vs. 22-33), 
that is, the presence of the Spirit; (d) pure 
incense (vs. 34-38) — adoration, supplication, in- 
tercession. There is such a thing in the Bible 
as structural inspiration. The arrangement of the 
divine communications in Exodus 25-30 is evi- 
dence of it. 

(2) The Position of the Golden Altar. It stood 
before the veil, and directly in front of the mercy- 
seat in the most holy place (Ex. 30 : 6 ; 40: 5). 
Although the veil interposed between it and the 
ark, nevertheless God speaks of it as before the 

1 Erdinan. 


ark, as if nothing intervened, — "the altar which 
is before the Lord" (Lev. 4: 18). It sustained, 
therefore, most intimate relations with the ark and 
the mercy-seat, and with the presence of God, the 
Shechinah (Heb. 9: 4). 1 

(3) The Incense Burned Upon the Altar (Ex. 
30:34-38). Just what were the ingredients of 
which the incense was compounded, cannot be 
satisfactorily determined. Much that is written 
about it is mere conjecture. It is pretty generally 
agreed that the expression "tempered together" 
(v. 35) should be "salted" (cf. Lev. 2 : 13). It is 
described as "pure and holy," and "most holy." 
The people were strictly forbidden to make any 
incense or perfume like it. It was for God alone. 
Morning and evening the high priest, Aaron, was 
to burn the incense on the altar. 

(4) The altar of incense was closely connected 
with the altar of sacrifice. The coals of fire by 

1 By the expression " golden censer " of Hebrews 9 : 4 is most 
probably meant the altar of incense. Exodus 30 : 6 ; 40 : 5, closely 
connect the golden altar with the ark and mercy-seat. The lan- 
guage of I. Kings 6 : 22 seems decisive : "Also the whole altar that 
was by the oracle "—"that belonged to the oracle" (R.V.). We 
know that the golden altar was placed near the ark and was 
separated from it only by the veil ; and by its position and the 
priestly functions performed at it, it seems to have been regarded 
as belonging rather to the holy of holies than to the holy place. 
Besides, if there was a golden censer kept in the most holy place 
and employed only on the Day of Atonement, how was it brought 
from thence? The high priest's first entrance was with a censer 
full of coals of fire and incense (Lev. 16: 12). That censer could 
not have been kept in the most holy place, for it would have been 
inaccessible to the priest. (For a convincing exegesis of the 
passage, see Delitzsch on Hebrews.) 


which the incense was burned were taken from 
the altar in the court (Lev. 16 : 12 ; cf. 10: 1). 
The blood of the sin-offering, which was slain at 
the brazen altar, was also sprinkled on the horns 
of the golden altar, thus bringing the two into 
very close relation. 

(5) The altar of incense symbolized communion 
with God in prayer and worship (Ex. 30: 36). 
" Let my prayer be set forth before thee as in- 
cense, and the lifting up of my hands as the even- 
ing sacrifice" (Ps. 141: 2). In Revelation 5: 8 
we read of the vials or bowls of incense "which 
are the prayers of saints." Note: (a) The altar 
was " before the Lord," was intimately related to 
the throne of God. Prayer brings us into the 
presence of the Searcher of hearts, (b) Accept- 
able prayer rests on the atoning work of Christ. 
The blood of the sacrifice for sin was put upon its 
horns. The appeal of the suppliant was backed 
by the appeal of the blood of expiation which 
was lifted up by the four horns. No prayer or 
cry to God can avail that does not rest on the 
blood of Christ, (c) Acceptable prayer must be 
accompanied with purification. The priests 
washed their hands and feet at the laver before 
entering the holy place. Those parts of their 
person which came into constant contact with de- 
filement needed constant cleansing. " I will 


therefore that men pray every where, lifting up 
holy hands, without wrath and doubting " (I. Tim. 
2:8). (d) Prayer is a daily duty (Ex. 30 : 7, 8). 
" Perpetual incense before the Lord " reminds us 
of the apostolic injunction, " Pray without ceasing " 
(I.Thes. 5: 17). 

(6) It symbolized prayer in conjunction with 
Christ's intercession. In Revelation 8:3, 4, we 
read that much incense was offered at the golden 
altar with the prayers of all the saints. The 
reference is unmistakably to the altar of incense 
and its design. It is not needful to identify this 
angel with Christ, though he is represented under 
this name in the book. The angel who, with up- 
lifted hand, makes his most solemn asseveration 
in chapter 10, is Christ (cf. Dan. 12 : 7). The two 
sickle visions (Rev. 14: 14-20) relate to the time 
of the end, when Christ will first gather his own 
wheat to himself, and next the wicked for their 
doom (cf. Matt. 13 : 40-43). Angels will be the 
executors of his will, but he himself is present 
and orders all. Observe, the passage clearly dis- 
tinguishes between the incense and the prayers. 
The incense is added to the prayers, mingles with 
the prayers, perfumes them, and makes them 
acceptable to God. The teaching is, that Christ's 
intercession purifies, perfects, and renders accept- 
able to God the supplications of the saints. With- 


out his presence and merit no prayer, however 
urgent and fervent, would ever reach the divine ear. 
(7) It symbolized the efficacy of His intercession. 
Each ingredient composing the holy incense was 
of equal weight with the others (Ex. 30 : 34), and 
all of them were salted together and most holy. 
The symbol presents the idea of the equality and 
uniformity of the work and perfections of the 
Lord Jesus. In him no one feature, or grace, or 
attribute preponderates over another. In him all 
is adjusted with infinite precision. Justice does 
not override mercy ; pity does not displace truth ; 
righteousness does not overbalance love. All is 
right and holy and good. Therefore, our Advocate 
is a perfect and a prevailing One. Moreover, we 
must remember the close relation of the two altars. 
The blood shed at the one was put on the horns 
of the other. In the brazen altar we have Christ 
in the value of his atoning sacrifice ; in the golden 
altar we have him in the value of his intercession. 
But the latter is bound up with the former. 
Because of his perfect work for us on the cross, we 
know how perfect and efficacious is his work for 
us now in glory (Rom. 8 : 34 ; Heb. 9 : 25). 

4. The Veil 

( Ex. 26 : 31-33 ; Heb. 10 : 19-22. ) 

The veil to which reference is made is that 
which separated between the holy and most holy 


place, called in Hebrews 9:3 "the second veil." 
It was made of fine twined linen, in blue, purple, 
and scarlet, interwoven with cherubic figures. 
The wise-hearted women furnished it (Ex. 35 : 25). 
In Hebrews 10 : 19, 20, we are told that we have 
" liberty " or " boldness to enter into the holiest by 
the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, 
which he hath consecrated for us, through the 
veil, that is to say, his flesh." Here is inspired 
authority for teaching the typical significance 
of the rending of the temple veil at the death of 
Christ. In all its outward form and circumstance 
a more humiliating and shameful death than that 
of being crucified as one with two convicted 
felons our Lord could not have suffered. On the 
one side of that dreadful cross was God with 
averted face ; on the other, Satan exulting in 
his triumph. The world took sides with Satan. 
" His darling was in the power of the dog," and 
there was none to pity, none to help. Wicked 
men and the devil sought one day of free action, 
unrestrained liberty, and they employed it in 
crucifying the Son of God. But here, as in so 
many other instances, Samson's riddle becomes 
God's riddle — "Out of the eater came forth meat, 
and out of the strong came forth sweetness " ( Judg. 
14 : 14). By his cross Jesus spoiled principalities 
and powers, making an open show of them. By 










it the way was laid bare for all who will to enter 
into the holiest, for "the veil of the temple was 
rent in twain from the top to the bottom" (Mark 
15: 38). That veil was no old, thin, faded piece 
of drapery, but a new and strong fabric. Jewish 
authority attests that it was four inches in thick- 
ness, tightly woven, and renewed each year. No 
human power rent it. Two unseen hands of 
superhuman strength grasped the firm hanging 
at the top and tore it downward to the very bot- 
tom, and flung it apart, so that the mercy-seat 
was made visible, and the way to the awful 
Presence unobstructed. 

Jesus' death was voluntary. Neither man nor 
devil took his life from him. He laid it down of 
himself (John 10 : 18). He gave himself for us. 
Matthew's expressive words are, "Jesus . . . yielded 
up his spirit" (Matt. 27 : 50, R. V.). Access to God 
is now made manifest, for an infinite expiation 
has been presented. We may draw near with 
boldness, with a true heart, in full assurance of 
faith, for the new and living way hath been con- 
secrated for us by the blood of Jesus ' ( Heb. 
10: 19-22). 

5. The Ark of the Covenant. 

( Ex. 25 : 10-22. ) 

The ark of the covenant was the only object 
found in the holy of holies, and it was the most 


sacred object of the tabernacle. About it the 
most important of the Mosaic rites arranged 
themselves. It was the center of the whole sym- 
bolic service. Every act of worship was related 
directly or indirectly to the ark. It was a chest 
or coffer of acacia wood, covered with a heavy 
plating of gold within and without. It was two 
and a half cubits in length, and a cubit and a 
half in depth and breadth. Its lid, or covering, 
was a slab of pure gold, held firmly in its place 
by the crown of gold (the elevated edges of the 
ark ) into which it was closely fitted. This cover- 
ing was the Mercy-seat. From its ends rose the 
Cherubim, which were formed out of the gold of 
the mercy-seat itself, not separate attachments. 
Their wings were projected over their heads and 
forward, thus forming a sort of canopy for the 
ark. Their faces were turned toward each other, 
their eyes bent downward toward the mercy-seat. 
(1) The Cherubim. Of these symbolic figures 
no exhaustive study can be here attempted, yet 
some general observations touching them seem to 
be in place. They are first mentioned in Genesis 
3 : 24, where they are represented as the guardians 
of the Garden of Eden and of the tree of life. 
Here they make their appearance immediately 
after the fall. Next, they are found in the veil, 
curtains, and ark of the tabernacle. In Ezekiel 


1 : 5-26 a marvelous description is given of them, 
one that associates them most intimately with the 
throne of God, and one which seems to preclude 
the opinion, held by many, that they symbolize 
redeemed humanity. Revelation 4, 5, reveals to 
us four living creatures (or beings) that almost 
certainly must be identified with the cherubim of 
other scripture. Here likewise they belong to the 
throne. If we are to follow the revised text of 
this book, these four living creatures must be 
distinguished from the redeemed : " For thou wast 
slain, and didst purchase unto God with thy blood 
men of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and 
nation, and madest them to be unto our God a 
kingdom and priests," etc. (Rev. 5 : 9, 10, R. V.). 
The attitude of the cherubim, gazing on the 
mercy-seat, reminds one of the words of Peter, 
who represents the angels as desiring to look 
intently into the mystery of redemption (I. Pet. 
1: 12). But they seem not to be designed to 
prefigure the angels. Less still are they to be 
taken as symbols of the four Gospels, or as the 
heads of redeemed creation. Two things are very 
manifest with respect to them : First, they are 
intimately associated with the throne of God. 
Both Ezekiel and John in the Apocalypse make 
this clear. Even in the ark they are connected 
with the throne, for such the ark was. Second, 


they are closely connected with the judicial gov- 
ernment of the Most High, and appear to be 
executors of the divine will. With the speed of 
the lightning-flash they come and go, doing the 
behests of Him who is on the throne above them, 
according to Ezekiel. In the Revelation they are 
connected with the providential judgments which 
are inflicted on the wicked. 

The view that commends itself as being more 
satisfactory than perhaps any other, is that which 
regards the cherubim as hieroglyphs of certain 
divine attributes, as justice, righteousness, truth, 
and mercy. They, together with the sword, guard 
the way of the tree of life ; and yet the sword 
one day awakes against the man who is Jehovah's 
fellow (Zech. 13 : 7). Mercy toward the lost and 
justice on behalf of the Throne unite and embrace 
in the cross of Christ. Over the mercy-seat the 
cherubim stand, guarding and overshadowing, yet 
with fixed gaze they behold the blood of atone- 
ment sprinkled there, which satisfies every claim 
of law and justice, and harmonizes all the attri- 
butes of God. By virtue of the shed blood justice 
and righteousness can unite with mercy and love 
in the pardon and acceptance of the guilty. 

(2) The Contents of the Ark. First of all, within 
it was the Testimony, that is, the two tables of 
stone engraved by the finger of God (Ex. 25 : 21; 


40: 20). Next, the Pot of Manna (Heb. 9:4; 
Ex. 16: 33). The manna was laid up in the 
ark "before the testimony," that is, in front of 
the two tables. The "hidden manna" of Reve- 
lation 2 : 17 is an allusion to the pot of manna 
in the ark. Finally, it contained Aaron's Rod 
that budded (Num. 17: 10; Heb. 9: 4). It 
appears from the account in Numbers that the 
rod was kept for a time in the tabernacle, as a 
witness against the rebels, before it was deposited 
in the ark. The sacred chest, however, was de- 
signed chiefly to be the depository for the tables 
of the covenant, the Decalogue. These two tables 
lay at the base of all the other laws of Moses, and 
constituted the very essence of the covenant rela- 
tion of Israel with God. 

(3) The ark was GooVs throne, the place where 
he met with the priest, and communicated his 
will for the instruction and guidance of his peo- 
ple (Ex. 25 : 22 ; Ps. 80 : 1). Its form resembles 
a throne, of which the mercy-seat was the base, 
the cherubim the sides and supports, and their 
wings the canopy. It can hardly be doubted that 
it is the foundation for the beautiful and signifi- 
cant expression, "the throne of grace" (Heb. 4: 
16). For it was here that expiation for sins was 
effected, here that reconciliation between the holy 
Lord and his offending people was wrought, and 


here that mercy and forgiveness were bestowed 
on the guilty. As the ark was the place where 
the divine manifestation took place, and pardon 
and blessing were dispensed by Him who dwelt 
there, it is called "the throne of judgment," "the 
throne of righteousness." 

(4) The Mercy-Seat It is not too much to say 
that this was the supreme feature of the taber- 
nacle, and of the Mosaic rites. It is spoken of in 
the Scriptures not simply as the lid or covering of 
the ark, but as a distinct object, almost as if it did 
not belong to the ark (Ex. 30 : 6 ; 31 : 7 ; 35 : 12, 
etc.). In Leviticus 16 : 2 we have "the mercy-seat, 
which is upon the ark." In Numbers 7 : 89, R.V., 
we read, "And when Moses went into the tent of 
meeting to speak with him, then he heard the 
Voice speaking unto him from above the mercy- 
seat that was upon the ark of the testimony, from 
between the two cherubim." These passages re- 
move the mercy-seat from anything like a second- 
ary or subordinate place, a mere appendage of the 
ark, and invest it with the utmost importance. In 
I. Chronicles 28: 11 the holy of holies is called 
"the place [R. V. marg., "house"] of the mercy- 
seat" (beth-hakkap-poreth). Both the Septuagint 
and the Vulgate render this phrase "the -house 
of propitiation." The reason for the application 
of this name to it is discovered in the intimate 


relation which subsists between the mercy-seat 
and the atonement for sins which was effected 
thereat. The blood of the sin-offering was sprin- 
kled on it, whereby propitiation was made (Lev. 
16 : 13, 14, 16). For this reason the mercy-seat is 
called "the propitiatory" (tia<TT7jptov) in Hebrews 
9:5; because it was the place where the atone- 
ment was completed, where satisfaction to the 
divine claims was made, and where pacification 
was secured by the covering (atonement) of the 
sins of the people. Beneath it w r ere the two 
tables, the Ten Words, which testified : first, that 
God's government is founded on justice and 
righteousness ; second, that Israel was in covenant 
relation with him ; third, that their sins were ever 
present before him, and that he was perfectly 
acquainted with their rebellious ways (Deut. 31 : 
26, 27). The blood on the mercy -seat met the 
demands of the law and satisfied the claims of 
justice, for it covered the sins from the Divine 
presence, obliterating them altogether. The atti- 
tude of the cherubim attests the complete par- 
don and acceptance of the guilty people. For if 
they are the symbols of certain attributes we can 
readily perceive how, with their eyes fixed on the 
Propitiatory, they seem to declare that mercy 
and truth are here met together, righteousness 
and peace kiss each other (Ps. 85 : 10, 11). 


What the mercy-seat did ceremonially or sym- 
bolically for Israel, Christ accomplishes perfectly 
and graciously for all believers, for him "God 
hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith 
in his blood" (Rom. 3: 25). God hath pre- 
sented, put forward, his own Son as a mercy-seat, 
and so he is now justified in justifying the 
ungodly, even, who believe in Jesus. The throne 
of judgment is now the throne of grace to which 
we may confidently and confidingly come. 

Nor is this all. The ark sometimes served as 
a leader and guide to the people, particularly 
when difficulties arose or dangers threatened. It 
went before the congregation a three days' jour- 
ney once (Num. 10: 33). God proved to his 
people that he, not Hobab, would be to them 
"instead of eyes." It went before them at the 
passage of the Jordan, and at the capture of 
Jericho. Nor has God forgotten his pledge that 
is bound up in the very name — ark of the cove- 
nant; for in one of the apocalyptic visions it is 
seen in the opened temple, the enduring witness 
of his faithfulness to Israel (Rev. 11: 19). 


We may dismiss as unworthy of consideration 
the Jewish absurdities of its being the symbol of the 
heavens, and German vagaries of its being a type of 


man in his complex constitution of body, soul, 
and spirit. Let us rather seek the true import 
of this ancient structure from the Word of God. 

1. It symbolized GooVs 'presence with his chosen 
people. When the command was given to Moses 
to build a sanctuary, the Lord said, "Let them 
make me a sanctuary ; that I may dwell among 
them" (Ex. 25: 8). "And I will dwell among 
the children of Israel, and will be their God" 
(Ex. 29: 45). This, then, was one main pur- 
pose of the tabernacle, this its chief aim, — to 
represent the sublime truth which is so often 
insisted on in other scripture, namely, that God 
actually does so draw near his people as that it 
may be truthfully said that he dwells with them, 
and makes his home among them. The language 
of the New Testament is just as explicit. In II. 
Corinthians 6 : 16 the Spirit of God thus testifies: 
" For ye are the temple of the living God ; as God 
hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in 
them ; and I will be their God, and they shall 
be my people." 

2. Another design of the tabernacle was to show 
how completely God identified himself ivith his chosen 
flock. He dwelt among them, making a tent his 
abode, himself a Pilgrim and Wayfarer as they. 
If there were obstructions to be encountered, if 
hardships were to be borne, if enemies to be 



met, he would share in every trouble and every 
danger. "In all their afflictions he was afflicted." 
His identity with them was so close that assaults 
against them he resented as aimed against him- 
self, as we see in the instances of Amalek and 
Balaam. He might have serious dealings with 
his people on account of their follies and sins, as 
we know he often had. But this was discipline 
in his own family — the authority he wielded and 
the obedience he required in his own house. But 
these were matters to be adjusted between himself 
and those whom he had brought into covenant 
relation with him. He would not permit a 
stranger to intermeddle therewith. 

It was in virtue of God's presence in the taber- 
nacle that holiness was so repeatedly enjoined 
upon Israel (Lev. 20: 26; 21: 8, etc.), and all 
impurity and uncleanness so strictly forbidden 
(Num. 5 : 3, etc.). It was his dwelling among 
them that made them all they were, and what 
they were — a peculiar people, a separate and holy 
people, God's own possession and portion. All 
this was a historical reality in Israel. Neverthe- 
less, it was a type, an adumbration, of something 
better and more glorious — for the church now, 
and for the redeemed in glory. God now identifies 
himself with his children even in a more intimate 
way than in the tabernacle (John 14: 23 ; Eph. 


2 : 20-22 ; I. John 4 : 16). He once dwelt among 
his people ; now he dwells in them. 

But this type looks forward to a still more 
majestic realization. It will find its last and 
most complete fulfillment when the eternal City 
of God shall descend out of heaven and glorify 
the redeemed earth with its effulgent light, its 
unapproachable splendor ; when it shall at length 
be proclaimed, "The tabernacle of God is with 
men, and he will dwell with them, and they 
shall be his people, and God himself shall be 
with them, and be their God" (Rev. 21: 3). 

3. It was a remarkable illustration of GooVs 
method of bringing sinners to himself. "Having 
therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the 
holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and 
living way, which he hath consecrated for us, 
through the veil, that is to say, his flesh ; and 
having an High Priest over the house of God ; let 
us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance 
of faith" (Heb. 10: 19-22). Three great truths 
are embraced in this passage : First, an accepted 
sacrifice, by which the sins of all believers are 
expiated and put away. Second, an opened sanc- 
tuary. Christians are now admitted into the very 
presence of God, and stand before him accepted 
in the same measure as the blessed Redeemer 
himself. Third, a glorious Intercessor, whose 


plea for his people never fails, because based on 
his own finished work. But now it must be 
apparent to all readers of the Epistle to the 
Hebrews, that the inspired writer is here, as in 
so many other places, drawing his imagery from 
the rites observed at the tabernacle, and clothing 
his thoughts in the priestly and sacrificial lan- 
guage of the sanctuary of the wilderness. Just* 
as an Israelite could approach God only by means 
of blood, so Christians now come to God through 
the blood of Christ, who is both the Sacrifice 
and the Priest. Access to God beyond the veil in 
the olden time was only through the blood of 
atonement. Access to God now in heaven is not 
otherwise. It is, it can only be, by means of the 
Great High Priest who offered himself without 
spot unto God. For a thousand years and more 
God taught his people by a mighty object-lesson 
that salvation comes alone through propitiation 
for sins. The tabernacle was a parable and a 
picture, graphic and vivid, of God's way of saving 
the lost. — 

The same vital truth is taught in Hebrews 9 : 
23 : " It was therefore necessary that the patterns 
[copies] of things in the heavens should be puri- 
fied with these ; but the heavenly things them- 
selves with better sacrifices than these." This 
verse is not without considerable difficulty. In 


what sense are we to understand the tabernacle 
and its services to be copies of things in the 
heavens? Certainly the earthly sanctuary was 
not a literal diagram of the unseen world. The 
universe is not built after the fashion of the tent, 
with its two compartments and its court. What 
the verse seems to teach is this : that there is a 
correspondence between the way to the mercy-seat 
in the tabernacle and the way to God's presence on 
high. That way is by blood. The one is the 
"copy" of the other. There is no access to God but 
through atonement. What is meant by "the heav- 
enly things themselves," which must be purified 
by better sacrifices, that is, by Christ's sacrifice ? 
The answer seems to be, heaven. Verse 24 makes 
this plain ; Jesus has entered into heaven itself 
now to appear in the presence of God for us. But 
how did God's uncreated abode require purifica- 
tion ? Surely not as being defiled by sin. Scrip- 
ture represents it as the place of untroubled light 
and blessedness. The answer is not to be sought 
by substituting some other word for "purify," as 
consecrate. The term to be supplied in the last 
clause of the verse must surely be that found in 
the first clause, namely, "purify." The thought 
appears to us to be this : God's forgiving mercy 
and saving grace could reach the lost only through 
an adequate atonement. His justice and law must 


be vindicated, his wrath appeased, and every 
charge against the guilty be canceled in right- 
eousness, before he could pardon and save. This 
was the supreme necessity. And Christ did meet 
fully and forever the tremendous necessity. By 
his own blood he entered into the holy place and 
settled the question of sin for believers before the 
face of God (vs. 11-14). Our Great Priest satis- 
fied God perfectly about sin, and obtained eternal 
redemption for us. By him we now come to 
God, and have the right and privilege to come. 
By him we have the same measure of acceptance 
with the Father, and the same standing, as Jesus 
himself. The new and living way to God is now 
opened to all who will draw near. 

4. It was a prophecy of Christ's incarnation. 
In John 1 : 14 occurs this weighty sentence : 
'•'And the Word was made flesh [became flesh], 
and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, 
the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) 
full of grace and truth." The incarnation is here 
asserted. The Son of God assumed human nature 
— took unto himself a "true body and reasonable 
soul." He did not cease to be the Word, the Son 
of God, when he became man. For John imme- 
diately adds that he dwelt among us — he, the 
eternal Word. Literally, it is, "He tabernacled 
with us." The use of this picturesque term points 


to the tabernacle and the presence of the Lord 
in its most holy place. This is put beyond a 
doubt by the words following — "and we beheld 
[ contemplated ] his glory, the glory as of the only 
begotten of the Father." 1 When the tabernacle 
was completed and set up according to the divine 
directions, we are told that the glory of the Lord 
filled it (Ex. 40 : 34). Thus John connects the in- 
carnation and. personal presence of the Son among 
men with the earlier presence of the Lord with his 
people in the wilderness. He there dwelt with 
them, and walked among them (Lev. 26 : 11, 12 ; 
II. Sam. 7:6). But now he is come to take up 
his permanent abode with men by "wedding him- 
self forever to their flesh." This word "taber- 
nacled" (£(TX7jva><T£v) is peculiar to John, and is 
employed to denote a permanent stay, an everlast- 
ing abode (Rev. 7 : 15 ; 12 : 12 ; 13 : 6 ; 21 : 3). 
Besides, it should be remembered that Jesus 
identified his own body with the "temple" (John 
2 : 19). Thus the building of a house for the 
Lord, and his visible occupancy of it, was a pre- 

x The term " glory "( 8o£a ) carries on the parallel between the 
tabernacle and the incarnation already indicated by the phrase, 
'•tabernacled among us." As the Shechinah dwelt in the most 
holy place ( Ex. 40 : 34 ; I. Kings 8 : 11 ), so the divine glory dwelt in 
the person of Christ, even during his humiliation. The dazzling 
brightness with which his person glowed in his transfiguration 
was not reflected, was not put on from without: it was essential 
to him, his own glory, and was identical with the glory of the 


figuration and preintimation that in due time he 
would identify himself with his people in a far 
more intimate and glorious way — that he would 
in grace and truth take up his abode with them, 
becoming one with them in human nature, and 
so fulfill the mighty prediction of his servant 
Isaiah, " Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear 
a son, and shall call his name Immanuel [With 
us God]" (Isa. 7:14). 

We note a sort of progress in the manifesta- 
tion of God to his people : first, his presence in 
the tabernacle ; second, the incarnation of Christ ; 
third, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in 
believers ; fourth, the descent of the New Jerusa- 
lem into the glorified earth. 




The tabernacle, with its appointments, was of 
little practicable advantage to the mass of the 
Israelites, for it was to them inaccessible. They 
could only gaze on the dwelling-place of the 
Lord at a distance ; they could not enter its sacred 
precincts. The Priesthood was the bond of union 
and medium of communication between the 
Holy One and the sinful people. The priest was 
the mediator between them. 


All religions are based on priesthood, for the 
office is essential to religion. Communion with 
God is impossible without it. Even Christianity 
has its glorious Priest, our Lord Jesus Christ ; and 
all believers in him are kings and priests to God. 
Hidden and suffering priests they are now ; glori- 
fied and royal priests they are to be. 


Priesthood is a real office, definite and specific. 
It is needful to insist on this point, for the noble 



word "priesthood" has been misappropriated and 
misapplied, so that its intrinsic and peculiar im- 
port has been impaired. There is a certain liter- 
ary slang abroad which talks of "the priests of 
nature," the "priests of science," and similar 
absurdities. The idea of priesthood, if priesthood 
is to have any real and definite meaning, can 
have no place whatever in science or literature or 
nature or anything of the kind. It belongs to 
the realm of grace, presupposing, as it does, sin 
and the divine purpose to remove it. Hugh 
Martin writes that he "would as soon think of 
transferring the language of geometry and algebra 
to botany, and talk of the hypothenuse of a 
flower and the square root of a tree, or the differ- 
ential coefficient of a convolvulus, as to speak 
of the priesthood of nature or letters." The 
priesthood, therefore, is an office, embracing very 
specific duties and functions. 


The two great priests of the Old Testament were 
Melchizedek and Aaron. No others that ever bore 
the name or discharged the office among the chil- 
dren of men rank with them, except, of course, our 
Lord ; and of the two Melchizedek is the greater 
(Heb. 7 : 1-9). There are two reasons why they 


are to be considered the chiefs : First, because they 
are the first in their respective orders. Melchizedek 
was not only the head of his order, but he had no 
successor. It began and terminated with him 
( Heb. 7:3). The Levites and the common priests 
(the sons of Aaron) depended for their official 
existence on Aaron. Apart from him they could 
not be. Second, because the priesthood of Christ 
is typified by both. The office in both is summed 
up and completed in Christ. Indeed, it was in vir- 
tue of the reality of his priesthood that Melchizedek 
and Aaron were inducted into the office. They 
were called and consecrated in order that they 
might be types and shadows of Him in whom the 
priesthood has its origin, perfection, and perma- 
nence. In the Epistle to the Hebrews the priest- 
hood as represented by them is combined and 
completed in the Lord Jesus. Christ is the anti- 
type of both. But let it be carefully noted that 
while he is of the order of Melchizedek he exercises 
the office after the pattern of Aaron. In the execu- 
tion of the office he perfects all that was done by 
Aaron, while at the same time, by divine decree, he 
is a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. 


The ministers of the sanctuary in the Mosaic 
economy were divided into three sections : First, 


Levites. Properly, they were not priests, although 
they belonged to the priestly tribe. They were 
the servants and attendants of the priests proper. 
They were formed into three classes after the three 
sons of Levi — Gershon, Kohath, and Merari ; and 
to each class was assigned a well-defined service. 
Their duties related to the taking down, transpor- 
tation, and setting up of the tabernacle and its 
furniture. Second, the sons of Aaron. They were 
priests, consecrated to the office, in virtue of their 
relation to their father, the priest. "Take thou 
unto thee Aaron . . . and his sons, . . . that he 
may minister unto me in the priest's office" (Ex. 
28 : 1). They ministered at the altar of sacrifice 
and in the holy place. They were also to teach the 
children of Israel the statutes of the Lord (Lev. 
10: 11; Deut. 33: 10). Third, the high priest, 
whose office was the foundation of all the others. 
The Levites, when entering upon their functions, 
were first of all brought to Aaron, and "given unto 
him " (Num. 3:9). They were to keep his charge, 
and were to minister before him. The priests, sons 
of Aaron, and their father constituted the priestly 
family ; but the sons were dependent for their offi- 
cial standing on their father. We might say with- 
out exaggeration that if the high priest could have 
performed all the priestly duties of the theocracy 
no others would have been associated with him. 


1. The High Priest's Dress. 

The high priest's dress was very elaborate, and 
is minutely described. It was deemed of so much 
importance that the Spirit has devoted an entire 
chapter to its description (Ex. 28). It appears to 
consist of seven parts, though some find, or try to 
find, eight ; namely, the ephod, breastplate, robe of 
the ephod, miter, broidered coat, girdle, and linen 
breeches, or drawers. Only a few of the more 
prominent parts of this priestly attire may claim 
our attention. The dress was a very gorgeous 
one, one of " glory and beauty." Magnificent as 
is the papal attire on great occasions, attire which 
is but a counterfeit and admixture of that of 
Israel's high priest and of the pontifex maximus 
of pagan Rome, it sinks into comparative insig- 
nificance by the side of this splendid apparel. 
With its various parts of the richest material and 
of the most brilliant colors, with its golden bells, 
and miter or turban with its golden plate and 
solemn inscription, "Holiness to the Lord," it 
may be doubted whether anything more beautiful 
or imposing was ever worn. 

(1) The Ephod. It was the outermost gar- 
ment, being worn over the blue robe. It con- 
sisted of two parts, of which one covered the 
front, the other the back, and reached, it is 
thought, nearly to the knees. It was held to- 


gether at the shoulders by pieces or straps, which 
were clasped firmly by two large onyx stones, 
and at the waist by the "curious girdle," which 
appears to have been a part of the ephod itself. 
The ephod was very costly and magnificent, being 
made of gold thread or wire, blue, purple, and 
scarlet. But its principal feature was the onyx 
gems that rested on the priest's shoulders. In- 
deed, the ephod was made for them, not they for it. 
These are thought to have been the sardonyx, the 
best kind of onyx, with its layers of black, white, 
and red. The names of the tribes were graven 
on them, six on the one stone, and six on the 
other. Thus the priest bore the names of the 
tribes of Israel on his shoulders when acting as 
the mediator of God and men. 

(2) The Breastplate. It was made of the 
same material as the ephod, was four-square, 
doubling back upon itself so as to form a sort of 
pouch. It was fastened above and below to the 
ephod by threads of gold and ribbons of blue to 
rings of gold. It was filled with twelve precious 
stones, on each of which was engraved the name 
of a tribe. These gems were set in four rows, 
with three stones to a row. They thus corre- 
sponded to the twelve tribes, and they were prob- 
ably arranged and engraved according to the 
divisions of the tribes in their camps. Israel 



thus stood doubly represented by the high priest 
in the presence of God. On the brilliant stones 
that rested on his shoulders, their names were en- 
graved according to their birth. Soltau gives 
them as follows (reading from right to left) : 

On the onyx on the 

On the onyx on the 

left shoulder. 

right shoulder. 













The stones in the breastplate were arranged 
according to the tribes, probably as follows : 

The first row. 





The second row. 






The third row. 






The fourth row 








According to this arrangement of the stones in 
the breastplate, the place of honor is given Judah. 



He stands at the head of the list. Similar was 
his position in the encampment. He faced the 
door of the tabernacle. So, too, in the enumera- 
tion of the " sealed ones " from among the tribes 
of Israel in Revelation 7:1-8, Judah takes prece- 
dence of the others. The reason of this distinc- 
tion probably is, that Judah was the royal tribe, 
the one from whom was to spring the Messiah, 
David's princely Son and Lord. 

(3) The Miter and Golden Plate. This formed 
the head-dress of the high priest. Josephus tells 
us that it was "not a conical cap, but a sort of 
crown, made of thick linen swathes." It was 
totally unlike the tiara of the pope or the miter 
of a bishop. It was in reality a species of turban. 
The color was white, and its only ornamentation 
was the gold plate, with its blue ribbon or fillet. 
The gold plate was the most conspicuous and 
most significant feature of the miter. Its position 
made it "the culminating point of the whole 
priestly attire." 1 The plate bore the inscription, 
"Holiness to the Lord." It taught that the very 
highest crown and the truest excellence of all 
religion and ceremony is holiness. It set this 
prime truth before the eyes of all Israel. It 
taught the high priest himself not to rest on out- 
ward forms, to put no trust in mere rites, but to 

1 Kalisch. 


be holy in himself, both personally and as holding 
the highest office in the theocracy. To all it an- 
nounced, " Holiness becometh thine house, 
Lord, for ever" (Ps. 93 : 5); "Follow . . . holi- 
ness, without which no man shall see the Lord" 
(Heb. 12 : 14). 

( 4 ) Urim and Thummim. It appears from Ex- 
odus 28 : 30, that these mysterious objects were 
placed within the breastplate. At any rate, they 
are described in such fashion as to leave little 
doubt but that they were distinct from the breast- 
plate, and something additional to it. What they 
were is extremely uncertain. Very much that is 
written of them is pure conjecture. But as Scrip- 
ture connects the ephod with the use of teraphim, 
some sober interpreters are of opinion that the Urim 
and Thummim resembled these objects, if they 
were not identical with them ( Judg. 17: 5 ; 18 : 14, 
17, 20 ; Hos. 3:4). It seems quite probable that 
the teraphim were not always objects of idolatrous 
worship, nor were they images precisely. The 
words " Urim " and " Thummim " signify lights and 
'perfections. By means of them in some inexplicable 
manner God's will was made known to the priest. 

2. The High Priest a Type of Christ 

That the high priest was a remarkable type 
of Christ, in his office, functions, and sacerdotal 


dress, is certain. The Epistle to the Hebrews 
puts this beyond question. In that scripture 
Jesus receives the name, our "High Priest," and 
he fulfills the duties of the office after the pattern 
of Aaron. Indeed, it is in virtue of the tran- 
scendent fact of Christ's priestly office that Aaron's 
was instituted in Israel ; Christ's reflects backward 
and gives to that of Aaron all the efficacy and 
meaning that it possessed. In Revelation 1 the 
glorified Saviour is seen by John as clothed with 
priestly robes that strikingly resemble those of 

Aaron was Israel's representative before God. 
His office, his bearing the names of the twelve 
tribes on his shoulders and on his breast, and the 
legend over his forehead, "Holiness to the Lord," 
attest this fact. In his priestly character he 
stood for the whole nation. When God was 
pleased with him, he was pleased with the whole 
nation. In the sight of God he was Israel. The 
inscription on the gold plate of the miter was not 
designed so much to denote what he was to be in 
his individual person and private life : it was 
public and official ; it pertained more especially to 
his office as the mediator between God and the 
people. Israel stood at a distance from God be- 
cause of sin ; even their holy things were full of 
defilement and pollution. They needed a priest 


who, by virtue of divine appointment, could act 
in their behalf and mediate for them with God. 
And this the high priest was. As mediator he 
bore the tribes into the very presence of the Holy 
One. Our High Priest, Jesus Christ, bears his 
people into God's presence. On his mighty 
shoulders they rest. On his heart they are found, 
loved, cherished, guarded, and cared for, with a 
patience and an affection which nothing can extin- 
guish. They need never fear that he will grow 
weary of the burden, or displace them from his 
shoulders or his breast, for he is the merciful and 
faithful High Priest, who can be touched with 
a feeling of our infirmities (Heb. 4 : 15, 16). He 
is the Lord our righteousness, and in him we be- 
come the righteousness of God, for he is the per- 
fectly Holy One. 

3. The Functions of the High Priest. 

The functions of the high priest and of the 
priestly family are minutely prescribed in the 
law. In the institution of the office the Lord's 
words to Moses were, "Take thou unto thee Aaron 
thy brother, and his sons with him, from among 
the children of Israel, that he may minister unto 
me in the priesfs office" (Ex. 28 : 1). Their duties 
were strictly religious. They had no political 
power conferred upon them. Their services, their 


dependent position, and the way in which they 
were sustained, precluded them from exercising 
any undue influence in the affairs of the nation. 
It is true that in process of time the office degen- 
erated and sank into such corruption as to become 
a thing of barter and bribe, and a tool in the 
hands of unscrupulous rulers ; but as originally 
instituted, the priesthood in Israel was not a 
caste, nor a hierarchy, nor a political factor, but 
a divinely appointed medium of communication 
between God and the people. 

The Hebrew priests in no wise interfered with 
the individual conscience. In this respect they 
differed totally from heathen priests, and from 
those now found in Roman Catholicism. It is 
the main business of Rome to thrust its priestly 
power and craft between the souls of men and 
God, to seize upon the conscience and to mold 
and manipulate it to its own interests. Probably 
there is no politico-religious system on earth that 
more effectively dominates and perverts the hu- 
man conscience than that of Rome. Israel's priests 
were not father confessors. The Hebrew worshiper 
of his own free will and according to his own 
ability confessed his sins to God and laid his 
hand on the head of his sacrifice. His conscience 
was left perfectly free and untrammeled. 

There were certain duties which were peculiar 


to the high priest. He only could wear the 
"garments for glory and for beauty." To him 
alone it pertained to enter the most holy place 
and to sprinkle the blood of the sin-offering on 
the mercy-seat. To him alone it belonged to 
represent the congregation before the Lord as 
mediator, and to receive the divine communi- 
cations. He was to be ceremonially pure and 
holy. God is holy, before whom the high priest 
served as the representative of the people, and 
therefore must he be also. He must be physically 
perfect. Any defect or deformity disqualified a 
member of the priestly family to perforin the 
duties of the office (Lev. 21: 17-21). The law 
spoke with the utmost precision as to the domestic 
relations of the high priest. He could marry 
neither a widow, nor a divorced woman, nor one 
polluted, nor a harlot ; only a virgin of his own 
people, a Hebrew of pure extraction, could become 
his wife (Lev. 21: 14, 15). Nor was he to come 
in contact with death. He must not rend his 
clothes, nor defile himself even for his father or 
his mother (Lev. 21: 10, 11). His sons might 
defile themselves for their kin, but the high 
priest must not. For he was the representative 
of life. Death did not exist for him, in so far as 
he was a priest. God is the Ever Living, the Life- 
Giving ; and his priest, who had " the crown of 


the anointing oil of his God upon him," had to 
do with life alone. There is deep significance in 
the miracle of Aaron's rod that budded and bare 
almonds (Num. 17). It was a visible sign of the 
legitimacy of Aaron's priesthood and a confirma- 
tion of it, and a symbol of its vitality and fruit- 
fulness. The twelve rods that represented the 
tribes were dead sticks of wood, and remained 
dead ; Aaron's alone exhibited life and produced 
blossoms and fruit. It was symbolical of his 
priesthood, which correlated itself with life, and 
had nothing to do with death. 

All this looked forward to a Greater Priest 
and to a more perfect office. What the high 
priest was ceremonially and symbolically, the 
Lord Jesus is intrinsically and divinely. By his 
incarnation he "wedded himself with our nature," 
that as a man he might act for men, and offer a 
sacrifice in the nature that had sinned. But 
Scripture is very careful to explain that the 
humanity he assumed was absolutely holy and 
pure. The angel announced to Mary, his virgin 
mother, that "that holy thing which shall be born 
of thee shall be called the Son ot God" (Luke 
1:35). "Who did no sin, neither was guile 
found in his mouth" (I. Pet. 2 : 22). "For such 
an High Priest became us, who is holy, harmless, 
undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher 


than the heavens" (Heb. 7 : 26). Although as 
to his humanity Christ was descended from a 
long line of impure ancestors, yet he brought not 
the slightest taint or stain into the world with 
him. Although he long .conversed with sinful 
men and grappled with fierce temptations, yet he 
contracted no blur, nor breath of guilt. He could 
touch the leper and the unclean, and yet remain 
undefiled, for he was undeniable. So also his 
priesthood is both vital and vitalizing. In him 
was life, for he is the Prince and principle of all 
life, and he came to give life, even the more 
abundant life (John 1:4; 10: 10). He was 
made a Priest "after the power of an endless life" 
(Heb. 7 : 16) ; "wherefore he is able also to save 
them to the uttermost that come unto God by 
him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession 
for them" (Heb. 7 : 25). 


Since the Lord Jesus Christ is the antitype of 
Aaron and accomplished perfectly all that the lat- 
ter foreshadowed, the inquiry is pertinent and 
important : What was the character of the 
Aaronic office ? What did it involve ? 

1. It implies choice. Not only was the office 
of divine institution, but the priest himself was 
appointed of God to the office. "For every high 


priest taken from among men is ordained for men 
in things pertaining to God. . . . And no man 
taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is 
called of God, as was Aaron" (Heb. 5:1,4). 
The priest was not self-appointed, much less was 
he elected by the people. Divine selection sev- 
ered him from those for whom he was to act. " So 
also Christ glorified not himself to be made an 
High Priest ; but he that said unto him, Thou 
art my Son, to-day have I begotten thee" 
(Heb. 5: 5). Our glorious Priest came not into 
the world unsent. He received his commission 
and his authority from God, the fountain of all 
sovereignty. At the opening of his ministry he 
said, "He hath anointed me . . . ; he hath sent 
me" (Luke 4: 18). He came bearing heavenly 
credentials, and what he did and suffered he had 
a divine warrant for from the God of glory. 

2. It implies the principle of representation. The 
institution of the office (Ex. 28, 29) was God's 
gracious provision for a people at a distance from 
him, who needed one to appear in the divine 
presence in their behalf. The high priest was to 
act for men in things pertaining to God, to "offer 
both gifts and sacrifices for sins " (Heb. 5 : 1 ), " to 
make reconciliation for the sins of the people" 
(Heb. 2 : 17). Accordingly, he was the mediator 
between the offended Lord and the guilty people. 


"The high priest," says Vitringa, "represented the 
whole people. All Israelites were reckoned as 
being in him. The prerogative held by him be- 
longed to the whole of them (Ex. 19 : 6), bnt on 
this account it was transferred to him because it 
was impossible that all Israelites should keep 
themselves holy as became the priests of Jeho- 
vah." That the high priest did represent the 
entire congregation in his official character ap- 
pears, first, from his bearing the tribal names upon 
his shoulders and over his heart ; second, because 
his committing heinous sin involved the people in 
his guilt — "If the anointed priest shall sin so as 
to bring guilt on the people" (Lev. 4 : 3, R. V.). 
The version of the Septuagint is, "to make the 
people sin." The anointed priest was the high 
priest ; no other can be meant in this place. 
When he sinned, the people sinned. His official 
action was reckoned as their action. The whole 
nation was involved in the transgression of their 
representative. The converse appears to be just 
as true. The official acts of the high priest were 
reckoned as done by the congregation. Such is 
the legitimate inference from the transactions on 
the Day of Expiation (Lev. 16). It was for the 
congregation as a corporate body that Aaron car- 
ried the blood into the holy of holies and 
sprinkled it on and before the mercy-seat; for 


the nation also he symbolically transferred the 
sins of Israel to the head of the scapegoat, which 
bore them away into a land of forgetfulness. 
"Every high priest ... is ordained for men" 
(unep dvdpd>7:wv, for their benefit and in their place) 
(Heb. 5:1). The plain teaching of this text is, 
that the high priest acted in behalf of the people 
— represented them. 

The representative principle in the priesthood 
of Israel was symbolical and most significant. It 
set forth the mighty truth, so essential in Chris- 
tianity, that the true Priest, of whom Aaron was 
but a dim shadow, a faithful but faint picture, 
sustains to his people relations far more intimate 
and real than did the high priest to Israel ; that 
the Mediator of the new covenant stands as the 
representative of believers — »is their Surety and 
Redeemer (Rom. 5 : 15-19 ; II. Cor. 5 : 21 ; I. Pet. 
3 : 18). By virtue of Christ's representative char- 
acter the Scriptures affirm that whatever he did 
as Saviour and Mediator is reckoned as having 
been done by believers. Did he die ? They all 
died with him (II. Cor. 5 : 14). Was he quick- 
ened from the dead ? They are said to be 
quickened together with Christ, and are raised up 
with him, and with him they are seated in the 
heavenlies (Eph. 2 : 5, 6). In fact, so complete is 
the identity between him and them that Paul ex- 


horts the saints who have died to sin in Christ 
now to reckon themselves to be indeed dead unto 
sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus (Rom. 
6 : 11). The Bible recognizes two great heads of 
our race, Adam and Christ. Both are representa- 
tive persons ; the acts of each reach far beyond 
himself. The act of Adam ruined humanity. 
The act of Christ in grace on the cross redeems 
and restores to eternal life all who trust in him. 
The one is as certainly a representative as the 
other. It is this truth which lies at the founda- 
tion of the atonement, and it is this alone which 
adequately explains the history of the race, the 
Mosaic economy, and God's ways with this rebel- 
lious world. 

3. It implies the offering of sacrifice. Nothing 
can be clearer than the teaching of Scripture as 
to the prominence of this priestly function. It is 
the chief duty of a priest to reconcile men to God 
by atoning for their sins ; and this he effects by 
means of sacrifice — bloodshedding. "For every 
high priest ... is ordained for men" (Heb. 5:1), 
that he may offer both "gifts and sacrifices" 
(Heb. 8:3). He would be no priest who should 
have nothing to offer. By the expression "gifts 
and sacrifices," is probably meant both the blood- 
less and bloody offerings of the law. Both kinds 
were presented to God on the Day of Expiation 


(Num. 29 : 7-11). This the high priest did for 
men — in their behalf and in their stead. Besides, 
it was the high priest who sprinkled the blood of 
the sin-sacrifice on the mercy-seat, thus symbolic- 
ally covering the sins of the people from the sight 
of Jehovah, who dwelt between the cherubim 
(Ps. 80: 1). It was he, likewise, who marked 
with the same blood the horns of both altars, 
that, as one has truthfully said, the red sign of 
propitiation might be lifted up toward Jehovah. 
That the action of the high priest in Israel was 
typical of our Lord's sacrificial action in behalf 
of his people, must be apparent to every reader 
of the Bible. In Hebrews 8 : 3 (R. V.) we read, 
"Wherefore it is necessary that this high priest 
also have somewhat to offer." Why the necessity ? 
Because otherwise he could not be a priest, for 
this is the distinctive duty of a priest. A priest 
without a sacrifice is like a king without a king- 
dom, or a prophet without a message or a mission. 
In verse 2 Christ is called "a minister of the 
sanctuary" — an appropriate designation of his 
exalted position. His offering as far exceeds 
the Levitical sacrifices as his glorious person 
transcends that of a mere man ; for it w r as him- 
self (Heb. 7: 27), it was his own body (Heb. 10: 
10), his ow r n blood (Heb. 9: 12), that he pre- 
sented. His priestly ministry as far excels that 


of Aaron as does the heavenly sanctuary the 

4. It implies intercession. This also is an ele- 
ment of the priestly office. In the ministry of 
the high priest it is not so expressly set forth as 
are his other functions, but it is certainly im- 
plied and involved therein. For intercession is 
grounded in sacrifice. There can be no effective 
advocacy on behalf of the guilty until the guilt is 
expiated and removed. The sprinkling of the 
blood of the sin-offering on the mercy-seat served 
to cover the guilt from the face of God, and at 
the same time it was an appeal to him to forgive 
and bless his people according to the covenant 
promise. So we read that after Aaron had thus 
sprinkled the blood he came forth from the 
sanctuary to bless Israel (Levr. 9 : 22-24 ; ef. Num. 
6 : 22-27 ; I. Chr. 23 : 13 ; Deut. 21 : 5). Aaron 
"lifted up his hands — the very hands that had 
been wet with blood — and blessed the people. It 
was as if he was pouring over them all the grace 
and peace that flow from the blood of Jesus." 1 
He well could bless the chosen of the Lord, since 
atonement had been made for their guilt, recon- 
ciliation effected, and peace established. 

The Scriptures expressly combine Christ's inter- 
cession and his sacrificial death. In his interces- 

1 Bonar. 


sioiial prayer (John 17) the place he takes is 
beyond the cross. He contemplates his work as 
finished ; and on the ground of accomplished 
redemption he presents his petitions to the Father. 
So, also, in I. John 2 : 1, 2, his advocacy is joined 
with his propitiation. So, too, in Hebrews 9 : 24 
he is said to appear before the face of God for us 
(see Greek). He presents himself before God as 
our representative. His perfect manhood, his 
official character, and his finished work plead 
for us before the throne of God. All that the 
Son of God as incarnate is, and all that he did 
on earth, he is and did for us ; so that the 
infinite dignity of his person and the infinite 
perfection of his redemptive work combine and 
unite in his glorious intercession. If on the 
ground of the blood of bulls and goats the high 
priest in Israel could thrice repeat the name 
and the blessing of Jehovah upon the chosen 
people, how much more efficacious and availing 
is the plea of Jesus, who pleads the precious 
merits of his own blood, as of a lamb without 
blemish and without spot? " Wherefore he is 
able also to save them to the uttermost that 
come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth 
to make intercession for them" (Heb. 7: 25). 
"To the uttermost" (e?$ rd xavTeXe?) — completely, 
perfectly, out and out. And so Paul could fling 


abroad his mighty challenge : " Who shall lay 
any thing to the charge of God's elect ? . . . Who 
is he that condemneth ? It is Christ that died, 
yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at 
the right hand of God, who also maketh inter- 
cession for us" (Rom. 8 : 33, 34). 

5. It implies action toward God. Priesthood, 
with all its accompanying acts, is directed pri- 
marily to him. "For every high priest taken 
from among men is ordained for men in things 
pertaining to God" (r« npd? rdv 0e6v) (Heb. 5:1). 
Its object is God. It looks and acts toward him. 
It propitiates him, and satisfies his justice. It 
intercedes with him. It seals his covenant love. 
It gives effect to his eternal purpose and grace. 
For it removes every obstruction to the outflowing 
of his favor and blessing. 

It is remarkable that this very expression — 
"things pertaining to God" — is applied to Christ 
— "Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be 
made like unto his brethren, that he might be a 
merciful and faithful High Priest in things per- 
taining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins 
of the people" (Heb. 2: 17). Here is the great 
Archetype. The heavenly High Priest makes the 
true propitiation for the sins of his people ; meets 
every requirement in their room, whether of law, 
or justice, or death; satisfies every divine claim 


against them ; reconciles them to God ; establishes 
the friendship with God which their sins had 
utterly forfeited, and satisfies God with respect to 
them most blessedly and perfectly. 

We may here sum up some of the perfections 
of Christ's priesthood. As a priest 

(1) He is appointed of God (Heb. 5:5). 

(2) He is consecrated with an oath (Heb. 
7 : 20-22). 

(3) He is sinless (Heb. 7:26). 

(4) His priesthood is unchangeable (Heb. 
7 : 23, 24). 

(5) His offering is perfect and final (Heb. 
9 : 25-28). 

(6) His intercession is all-prevailing (Heb. 
7 : 25). 

(7) As God-man Mediator he is qualified to 
act both for God and in behalf of men (Heb. 
1, 2). 


The record of this significant transaction is 
found in Exodus 29 ; Leviticus 8. The first of 
these chapters gives specific directions as to the 
consecration ; the second records its performance 
after the tabernacle was erected. Brief notes on 
the solemn act are appended. 

1. Aaron and his sons shared in the consecration, 


for together they formed the priestly family. But 
the high priest takes the precedence and has the 
preeminence, for he is chief, the sons being sub- 
ordinate and dependent on him for their official 
standing. Typically, they represent Christ and 
believers who constitute the household of God, 
the royal and priestly family, of whom our Lord 
is the glorious Head, " the first-born among many 
brethren" (Rom. 8: 29). 

2. Their Washing with Water. This was the 
first step in the ceremony of their consecration. 
Aaron and his sons were washed at the same time. 
It was probably at the laver that they were 
washed. It was indispensable that they should 
be ceremonially clean. Nothing could be done 
until all defilement had been removed. His ab- 
solution rendered the high priest symbolically, 
what Christ was intrinsically, holy. 

3. The investiture of Aaron followed the wash- 
ing with water (Lev. 8: 7-9). It should be 
observed, that at this point in the proceeding the 
high priest parts company with his sons. His 
robing and anointing preceded that of his sons. 
They had to wait until the sin-sacrifice had been 
offered before they received the holy oil, though 
their robing appears to have succeeded the anoint- 
ing of their father (v. 13). 

4. The Anointing of the High Priest. It was 


with the precious oil described in Exodus 30 : 22- 
33 that this prime feature in the consecration was 
consummated. For the making of it God himself 
gave a minute prescription, and solemnly forbade 
any imitation of it, or its use by any private 
person as a mere unguent, precisely as he did 
in the case of the holy incense. It is called " an 
holy anointing oil unto me" (Ex. 30: 31). It 
belonged in some peculiar sense to God, and was 
to be employed only as he directed. The reason 
for these specific orders it is not difficult to dis- 
cover. The holy anointing oil was designed to 
be the emblem of the gift and grace of the Holy 
Spirit (II. Cor. 1 : 21; I. John 2 : 20, 27). And 
our Great High Priest was anointed with the 
Holy Ghost, accomplishing thus as the Antitype 
what was symbolically done in the person of 
Israel's first high priest (Acts 4 : 27 ; 10: 38). 

Note ( 1 ) : Moses poured of the anointing oil on 
Aaron's head (Lev. 8: 12). When he anointed 
the tabernacle and its furniture he sprinkled the 
oil. In the case of the high priest there was a 
profusion, an abundance, in which neither the 
tent nor Aaron's sons shared. To this reference 
is made in Psalm 133 : 2 : "It is like the precious 
ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the 
beard, even Aaron's beard ; that went down to 
the skirts of his garments." So copious was it 


that the priest's person from head to foot was 
touched by and brought under the power of the 
sacred oil. All this strikingly foreshadowed the 
fullness of the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Lord 
Jesus that he might be set apart and qualified 
for his great mission. Long before his advent it 
had been predicted that he should be anointed 
with the Spirit for his work (Isa. 61: 1-3). In 
one of his first public discourses, that at Nazareth 
(Luke 4), Jesus read this Messianic promise and 
announced its fulfillment that day. It was in 
the power of the Spirit that he spoke ; so we 
read in John 3: 34 — "For he whom God hath 
sent speaketh the words of God : for God giveth 
not the Spirit by measure unto him." Whether 
in the second member of this verse the word 
"God" be omitted (with Revised Version, West- 
cott and Hort), or retained (with Textus Receptus, 
Vulgate, etc.), the meaning undoubtedly is, the 
gift of the Spirit in an unlimited degree to the 
Son of God. As Aaron was consecrated as a 
priest unto God and inducted into his office by 
being anointed with the holy oil, so and much 
more was the Lord Jesus anointed and introduced 
to his public life as the High Priest of our pro- 
fession by the unmeasured gift of the Spirit. 

Note (2): Aaron was anointed before the 
bloody sacrifices were offered ; his sons not until 


afterward. The record distinctly relates that it 
was not until after they had been marked by 
the blood that they were anointed (Ex. 29 : 20, 
21 ; Lev. 8 : 24, 30). Now this is most remark- 
able and suggestive. Vivid pictures of profound 
realities are here drawn for us. Long before the 
cross Jesus was anointed with the Holy Ghost, as 
we have just seen. At his baptism the Spirit 
descended upon him in visible form, and the 
Father testified to his satisfaction with him. 
John the Baptist bore witness that this was the 
sign whereby he was to recognize the Messiah 
(John 1 : 33, 34). But the disciples, who are the 
antitypes of the sons of Aaron, did not then re- 
ceive him. John most emphatically affirms that 
"this spake he of the Spirit, which they that 
believed on him were to receive : for the Spirit was 
not yet given ; because Jesus was not yet glori- 
fied" (John 7 : 39, R.V.). The reference is cer- 
tainly to the outpouring of the Spirit on the day 
of Pentecost. Of course, all know that the Old 
Testament attests the presence and work of the 
Spirit from the beginning of our race, for it has 
always been his office to apply the redemption of 
Christ to believers. But in a fuller way, with an 
outpouring beyond anything ever experienced 
before, was the Spirit to be given after Jesus was 
glorified. Christ himself said that it was expe- 


dient that he should go away, else the Comforter 
would not come (John 16 : 7-15); that on his 
withdrawal from the world another Comforter 
would take his place: "another" — One instead 
of himself ; One like himself ; One that would be 
to the disciples all that he had been, and even 
more, as Jesus seems to intimate. 

It was not till the Saviour was glorified that 
the Holy Spirit came with power upon the 
church. Peter affirms that what the multitude 
witnessed on the day of Pentecost was the result, 
the blessed and glorious fruit, of Christ's death 
and resurrection (Acts 2). "Being therefore by 
the right hand of God exalted, and having 
received of the Father the promise of the Holy 
Ghost, he hath poured forth this, which ye see and 
hear" (Acts 2 : 33, R.V.). 

Note (3): Aaron received a greater unction 
than his sons. The holy oil was poured on his 
head, and his whole person was perfumed with 
its fragrance. Jesus was likewise anointed with 
the oil of gladness above his fellows (Heb. 1:9). 
In all things and everywhere Christ has the pre- 
eminence. His infinite grace associates him with 
his brethren, brings him near them, and they in 
turn were brought near him. Nevertheless, he is 
above them. They received the Spirit according 
to the measure of their ability ; but he without 


measure. Our High Priest is first, and always 

5. The Bloodshedding, and the Application of 
the Blood to the Priests. It is noteworthy that the 
whole round of Levitical sacrifices was observed 
in the consecration of the priests. The ceremony 
began with the sin-offering ; the altar must first 
be purified. That is, there can be no progress in 
the rite until sin is judged and put away. Next, 
a burnt-offering was presented. Propitiation is 
succeeded by the "savour of a sweet smell." 
Further, the ram of consecration was offered, 
which corresponds to the peace-offering, and this 
was followed by the meat-offering. 

The blood being shed, it was applied to the 
high priest and his sons. On the tip of the right 
ear, on the thumb of the right hand, and on the 
great toe of the right foot, was the blood put by 
Moses (Lev. 8 : 24). That is, his whole career as 
priest was brought under the power of the blood. 
He had a blood-stained ear, that he might hear 
and obey the divine communications ; a blood- 
stained hand, that he might execute the services 
of the sanctuary ; and a blood-stained foot, to 
tread the courts of the Lord's house. The blood 
here, as everywhere else, is the foundation for sin- 
ners and saints alike in all their relations with 



6. The Anointing of Aaron 1 s Sons. It followed 
the application of the blood to their persons ; and 
it consisted of the holy oil and the blood from 
the altar (Lev. 8 : 30). Just what is meant by 
the " blood which was upon the altar," it is diffi- 
cult to determine. Clear it is, however, that it 
could not have been that of the sin-offering, for 
whatever object that touched, whether garment or 
vessel, it defiled, because it was blood loaded with 
sin (Lev. 6 : 27, 28). It must have been either 
that of the burnt-offering or of the ram of conse- 
cration — most probably the latter. Moses mixed 
the oil and blood and sprinkled it on Aaron and 
on his garments ; on his sons, also, and on their 
garments. For, although Aaron in his high- 
priestly character was an eminent type of Christ, 
he was, nevertheless, like his sons, a sinner, and 
needed purification no less than they. Jesus, the 
Archetypal Priest, was supremely holy, and re- 
quired no offering for himself. After the sin- and 
burnt-offerings and the ram of consecration had 
been presented, the sons were anointed with the 
oil and the blood. Shadows of good things are 
passing before us in their divine order. It was 
after Jesus died and rose again that the Holy 
Spirit was given to the disciples and the church. 
The promise of the gift of the Spirit could only 
be fulfilled when the mighty sin-sacrifice by the 


Son of God at Calvary had been accomplished, 
and Jesus was glorified (John 7 : 38, 39 ; 16 : 7). 
7. Retirement of the Priestly Family at the Con- 
clusion of the Consecration Ceremonies Proper (Lev. 
.8 : 31-36). For seven days they were to remain 
within the tabernacle enclosure. On pain of 
death they were forbidden to go forth from thence. 
Of the peace- and meat-offerings they were to eat 
in the meanwhile. No other but priests could 
partake of them. Then when the " eighth day " 
(Lev. 9:1) arrived, they were to come forth, offer 
sacrifices for the people, and bless the people in 
the great name of Jehovah (Lev. 9 : 22, 23). 
"And the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the 
people." The shadows of good things are again 
passing before us. One is reminded of the quiet 
retirement of the disciples and their assembly in 
the upper room at Jerusalem during the interval 
between Jesus' ascension and the day of Pente- 
cost. Patiently and unitedly they waited and 
prayed that the promise of the enduement with 
power might be fulfilled. Fifty days after the 
most amazing Passover ever observed, the Pass- 
over when Jesus was crucified, the promise of the 
Spirit was accomplished, " and they were all 
filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak 
with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utter- 


The eighth day was fully come. Generally, the 
eighth day corresponds with the first day of the 
week, the Lord's day. The fiftieth day, that is, 
the day of Pentecost, answers likewise to the 
eighth day, the Lord's day. And on that fiftieth 
day the glory of the Lord appeared to the dis- 
ciples at Jerusalem as it had appeared long before 
at the consecration of Aaron and his sons (Lev. 
9 : 23). The two events are related as prediction 
and fulfillment. The one is the shadow, the other 
the reality. 

8. Priestly Blessing of the Chosen People (Lev. 
9: 23). The closing act in connection with the 
consecration, of the priests was a most impressive 
and instructive one. The record of this act is in 
the ninth chapter of Leviticus, and is worthy of a 
more careful study than can here be given it. Its 
more prominent features only are noticed. 

At the end of the seven days' retirement the 
first priestly act of Aaron was performed. It was 
the eighth day. By direction of Moses, the whole 
round of sacrifices was observed — the sin-, burnt-, 
meat-, and peace-offerings were presented, first, 
for Aaron himself and his priestly family, and 
second, for the congregation. The order observed 
in this first great official sacrifice is worthy of at- 
tention. The sin-offering in both instances was 
first made ; then followed the sweet-savor sacri- 


flees, which were for acceptance and worship. 
Guilt must first be dealt with and removed in a 
way in strict accordance with the justice of God ; 
then worship, communion, and peace may be 
enjoyed. Bonar is of opinion that these offer- 
ings were made at the time of the morning 
sacrifice. Afterward, Moses and Aaron retired 
into the tabernacle (v. 23). It was Aaron's first 
entrance into the sanctuary in his character as 
high priest. During this retirement Moses, as 
representative of Jehovah, committed to Aaron 
the care of the things within the tabernacle, as 
he had already given him the charge of all the 
sacrifices of the court. 1 

Here again the shadow of good things to come 
passes before us. When our Great High Priest 
had finished his sacrificial work at Calvary, he 
too retired into the presence of the Father, and 
to him was given all power in heaven and in 
earth (Matt. 28: 18). He now is invested with 
all mediatorial authority, as the perfected Captain 
of our salvation (Heb. 2: 10), to administer the 
affairs of the sanctuary. He is there now, man- 
aging the interests of his people and his cause, 
preparing for them the many mansions, preparing 
for it the most stupendous victory. "The Father 
. . . hath given all things into his hand." No 

1 Rawlinson, Bonar. 


name is surrounded with such splendor. Our 
Priest on high has no superior and no rival. No 
sphere, however high or distant, is exempted from 
his control ; no creature, however mighty or ex- 
alted, has a coordinate jurisdiction. We may 
well trust him, for his power is more than a 
match for all our adversaries ; his mercy and 
love are pledged in our behalf. 

The people remained in the court waiting the 
reappearance of the law-giver and the priest. We 
know that this period of expectancy was one of 
no little anxiety, at least on other occasions. 
When the high priest entered the most holy 
place on the Day of Expiation, the congregation 
waited his return with earnestness and deep 
solicitude, for his reappearance was at once the 
signal and the assurance that the atonement 
which he had gone within to present before the 
mysterious Presence was accepted. When our 
High Priest went up on high, the two heavenly 
visitants said to the disciples: "Ye men of 
Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven ? 
this same Jesus, which is taken up from you 
into heaven, shall so come in like maimer as ye 
have seen him go into heaven" (Acts 1: 11). 
And the attitude of believers now with respect to 
this transcendent event, the greatest the world is 
ever to see since our Lord's ascension, is to be 


precisely that of Israel of old ; waiting, watching, 
expecting, until he shall come again. 

At length (how long after they had gone 
within we do not know), Moses and Aaron came 
forth again, and " blessed the people : and the 
glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people." 
It was no doubt the priestly blessing which was 
pronounced — "The Lord bless thee, and keep 
thee ; the Lord make his face shine upon thee, 
and be gracious unto thee ; the Lord lift up his 
countenance upon thee, and give thee peace" 
(Num. 6 : 24-26). In all this we see the very 
figure and outlines of the Lord's second coming, 
who shall appear the second time to them that 
look for him without sin unto salvation (Heb. 
9 : 28). His promise is, "A little while, and ye 
shall not see me : and again, a little while, and 
ye shall see me; because I go to the Father" 
(John 16 : 16). To many of the saints the little 
while has been long and weary, for amid disap- 
pointments, blasted hopes, sorrows, and tears they 
have waited for his return. Earth has been a 
sort of prison to them, and the time that of night. 
But the night will pass round, the morning break, 
the blissful morning of his coming, and then the 
time that seemed so long in the waiting will 
appear as only a "little while" for the gladness 
and joy which they shall have. 


It was the eighth day ; and the glory of the 
Lord appeared unto all the people ; and all 
the people shouted and fell on their faces. It 
will be the eighth day indeed, the Millennial 
Day, when our Lord shall come again. What a 
shout of ecstasy shall burst from his people ! Can 
we not pray with the saintly Andrew Bonar : 
"And soon, soon come forth again! yea, even 
before we have slept with our fathers, if it seem 
good in thy sight ; come forth to bless us, and to 
receive the shout of multitudes adoring and con- 
fessing that thou art Lord alone ! " 

All through this marvelous transaction in the 
wilderness so long ago we see, we cannot but 
see, type and antitype most wondrously matching 
and combining. The spiritually minded need no 
other proof than this, and such as this, to be pro- 
foundly persuaded of the inspiration of the books 
of Moses. Face to face with this manifest pre- 
science of the Spirit of God, how incredible to 
the believer, how steeped with silly nonsense, is 
the hypothesis of the higher criticism, that Levit- 
icus is the fraudulent product of impostors, who 
wrote it at the close of the Babylonian exile, and 
in the name of Moses to give it authority and cur- 
rency with the Hebrew people ! 





(Lev. 1-7) 

In the appointments and ordinances of the 
tabernacle there are certain great principles 
which underlie the whole, without a knowledge 
of which the entire service becomes meaningless, 
if hot puerile. Before passing to the study of the 
offerings made on the brazen altar, let us state 
some of these principles and truths. 

1. The Prevalence of Sin. All sacrifice is 
grounded in the fact of sin. The Levitical leg- 
islation is wholly occupied with it. Sin, man's 
sin, — sin before and after justification, is the 
secret of Judaism, and the secret likewise of the 
gospel. Face to face with the Mosaic ritual we 
are face to face with sin. Guilt, universal, defil- 
ing, excisive, destructive, is the primal cause of 
God's provision in the offerings. 

2. God's Holiness. He is represented through- 
out all Scripture as being totally unable to tolerate 



sin, even in his people. He is of purer eyes than 
to behold evil, and he cannot look upon iniquity 
(Hab. 1 : 13). He may pity and love, as assuredly 
he does, but he cannot connive at sin. He cannot 
slur it over, or treat it with indifference. " Shall 
not the Judge of all the earth do right ? " While 
God is God, sin must receive its just deserts. His 
holiness, his righteousness, his truth, — every 
attribute of his being, demands the infliction 
of the penalty due to sin. In the sacrificing 
priest and the fire which consumes the sacrifice ; 
in the blood which streams from the dying 
victim ; in the ashes and the water ; in the incense 
and the prayer ; in the distance between himself 
and the people ; in the darkness and loneliness 
of the most holy place, his dwelling, we have 
the solemn portraiture of God's holiness and 
justice — his infinite purpose, impelled by his 
very nature, to punish sin, to expunge and blot 
it out, and annihilate it forever. 

3. God's Remedy for Man's Sin — Bloodshedding, 
This is the central idea in the offerings. They 
were God's gracious provision to meet the require- 
ments of his own character and man's need. In 
the Old Testament the most general term for 
"sacrifice" is corban. Professor Cave is of the 
opinion that this word was employed in the Law 

to describe the "genus, of which sacrifices of all 


kinds were species." " It is expressly predicated 
of the burnt-offering, the peace-offering, the 
thank-offering, and the votive-offering, the sin- 
offering, the trespass-offering, the Passover, the 
meat-offering, the sacrifice of the Nazarite, the 
whole range of national sacrifices, the first-fruits, 
and even offerings made to Jehovah of the spoils 
of battle. In short, corban is the word which 
expresses what every form of sacrifice shared in 

The important thing is to ascertain the precise 
meaning of this word corban. Happily, we are 
not left to lexicons or commentaries in the matter. 
The Bible itself furnishes the needed information. 
Our Lord defines it as it was understood and 
employed by the Jews at his time : " If a man 
shall say to his father or his mother, That where- 
with thou mightest have been profited by me is 
Corban, that is to say, Given to God; ye no longer 
suffer him to do aught for his father or his 
mother" (Mark 7 : 11, 12, R.V.). This settles the 
import of this sacrificial term. Corban is a gift 
to God — something devoted to him, and therefore 
sacred. A sacrifice in the Levitical sense was an 
offering made to Jehovah. The chief element in 
it was that of propitiation, or atonement. It was 
presented for the specific end of propitiating the 
Lord as touching sins committed. That this is 


the essential idea in the sacrifices of Leviticus no 
fair-minded man can for a moment doubt. God's 
righteousness and man's sin : the blood shed at 
the brazen altar, and the body of the victim 
burned with fire, that satisfaction to divine justice 
may be rendered by the offender in the person of 
a substitute, — this vital truth lies at the founda- 
tion of all the offerings of the Mosaic system. 

4. The Parties to the Sacrifice. These are the 
priest, the offerer, and the offering. The priest 
acts as a mediator. In his official character the 
priest and priestly action imply God and a sinner, 
who are to be brought together, and a relationship 
of favor and peace established between them. 
The offering points unmistakably to sin com- 
mitted and to the absolute need of expiation. 
The offerer is the offending party, who in every 
bloody sacrifice is regarded as identified with his 
offering. The life of the animal is substituted for 
the life of the man, and, it being reckoned guilty 
through the symbolical transference of his sins to 
it by the imposition of his hands on its head, 
dies in his place. 

5. The offerings of Leviticus are pictures of the 
one supreme offering of the Lord Jesus Christ. He 
is the sum and substance of them all. As no one 
of them could be anything like an adequate type 
of him, five were instituted in order to set forth 


as in a kind of object-lesson the perfection of his 
sacrifice. In the application of sacrificial types 
all the features that distinguish them are found to 
unite and combine in the person and work of the 
Lord Jesus. He is at once the Priest, the Victim, 
and the Offerer. In his death there is priestly 
action ; the offering he presents is himself ; and 
in it all he and those for whom he acts are identi- 
fied. Thus did he conceive of his work — "And 
for their sakes I sanctify [consecrate — a distinctly 
priestly term] myself, that they themselves also 
may be sanctified in truth" (John 17 : 19, K. V.). 
6. The offerings described in Leviticus 1—7 are 
divided into two classes; namely, first, the "sweet- 
savour" offerings, which are three, to wit : Burnt-, 
Meat-, and Peace-offerings ; and second, those 
designed more especially for the expiation of sin, 
namely, the Sin- and Trespass-offerings. The meat- 
offering was vegetable ; all the others were animal 
sacrifices. The victims were selected from the class 
of clean animals appropriated for the support of 
human life. They were taken from those that 
stand nearest to man, and on which human life 
largely depends for subsistence, as the ox, the 
sheep, and the goat. They were to be free from 
all blemish. The law was very strict on this 
point (Lev. 22 : 20-25). Even in the meat-offer- 
ing the finest flour was to be used. This physical 


perfection was typical of the freedom from all sin 
of Him who is the fulfillment of all the rites 
established by Moses. 

These two classes of offerings differ from each 
other both as to design and as to the ceremonial 
observed. The "sweet-savour" offerings were for 
acceptance and worship, the sin-offerings for 
expiation of sin. In the first, guilt is not the 
main idea — sin is not even mentioned ; in the sec- 
ond, guilt is most prominent. In the former we 
see God's satisfaction, and communion with him 
as founded on his satisfaction, preeminently set 
forth ; in the latter we see God's judgment exe- 
cuted on the victim as charged with the sin of 
the offerer. So, likewise, there is a difference in 
the ceremonial observed in the two classes. The 
burnt-offering, the chief of its class, was wholly 
consumed on the brazen altar, while only a small 
portion of the sin-sacrifices was burned on the 
altar, the body of the victim being consumed 
without the camp (Lev. 4 : 11, 12). 

7. Another preliminary observation to be made 
respects the order in which the sacrifices are 
arranged in these chapters of Leviticus. It will 
be observed that the sweet-savor offerings are 
first described, and the sin-sacrifices follow these. 
But the former undoubtedly were presented for 
acceptance with God, and for worship , whereas 


the latter had to do exclusively with expiation 
of sin. But in the order of nature the sin-sacri- 
fices take the precedence over the others. There 
must first be expiation made ere man can enjoy 
acceptance with God, or worship him. The ques- 
tion of sin must first be settled before there can be 
communion or service. How are we to account 
for the arrangement in Leviticus ? 

(1) The sin-sacrifices, though last in the order 
of institution, were first in the order of presenta- 
tion ; for example, Exodus 29 ; Leviticus 8, 9 ; 
II. Chronicles 29, etc. In all these passages the 
sin-offerings invariably precede the sweet-savor 

(2) There appears to be a typical significance 
in ihe order in which the offerings are described 
in these chapters of Leviticus : namely, volun- 
tary devotion (Lev. 1 : 3) is prerequisite to 
expiation. The institution of these sacrifices 
gives us certain aspects of the work of Christ. 
In the order in which they are instituted in 
Leviticus 1-7, the sweet-savor offerings are men- 
tioned first because Christ, the great Antitype 
of all the sacrifices, first gave himself in perfect 
obedience to God before he became sin for us on 
the cross. He was first of all, m his life of com- 
plete and perfect obedience to God, everything 
typified by the burnt-, meat-, and peace-offerings ; 


and the very fact of his being thus perfect fitted 
him to be the Sin-sacrifice. This appears to be 
the truth symbolized by the arrangement of the 
offerings in these chapters. And a very precious 
truth it is. In his life Jesus fulfilled the precepts 
of the divine law ; in his death he bore its awful 
penalty. Both were necessary in order to our sal- 
vation. His life, I cannot but believe, is the 
blessed realization of what was dimly shadowed 
forth by the "sweet-savour offerings." In all that 
he was and in all that he did he glorified God. 
What more remarkable feature, morally, can 
there be than this : a Person who, while he was 
everything, was content to be nothing ; who, 
while he was man here below and heir of all 
things, never acted upon his own independent 
title ; who always, under every circumstance, 
great or small, sought and was subject to his 
Father's will ? And the Father took infinite 
delight in him — testified once and again that he 
was "well pleased with him." No doubt the 
Father was well pleased in his death also ; but 
we must remember that he did not manifest his 
complacency in him as he hung suspended on 
the cross. There he hid his face from him. But 
in his life of perfect devotion to him the Father 
beheld and enjoyed "an odour of a sweet smell." 
Nor was the delight of the Son any less or differ- 


ent. In contemplating the Saviour as he is 
revealed to us in the sacrifices of the tabernacle, 
let no one think of him as a reluctant and strug- 
gling victim led to the slaughter. God forbid ! 
His own exultant language is : " Wherefore, when 
he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and 
offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou 
prepared me: in burnt offerings and sacrifices 
for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, 
Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is writ- 
ten of me,) to do thy will, God" (Heb. 10 : 5-7 ; 
cf. Ps. 40: 8). 

8. Ceremonial perfection was required in the sac- 
rifices. Repeatedly and emphatically the law 
declares that the offering must be " without blem- 
ish." Even in the case of the meat-offering the 
chief ingredient is described as "fine flour," that 
is, flour of the best quality. Leviticus 22 : 19-25 
designates the animals to be employed in sacri- 
fice, and enumerates the several defects which 
disqualified for such service. The prescribed 
victims are " beeves," "sheep," "goats" (v. 19), and 
in cases of extreme poverty turtle-doves and 
young pigeons (Lev. 5:7). The sacrifices were 
to be "perfect," that is, free from disease, from 
any natural deformity, and from mutilation. To 
offer an unclean or defective sacrifice would have 
been a violation of the law and a misrepresenta- 


tion of the aim of the rite, and would have incurred 
the Divine displeasure. Malachi charged the 
Jews of his time with offering to God "polluted 
bread," and with reserving the faultless for them- 
selves, thereby provoking his curse (Mai. 1 : 7, 13, 
14). God claims the purest and the best from 
his people. Nothing suits his presence but what 
is perfect. The worship which is sincere and 
true is alone acceptable with him. 

As the object of the sacrifices was to effect 
symbolic reconciliation with God, only a perfect 
victim of the prescribed class could be laid on his 
altar. The sacrifices were pictures of the person 
and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. The type 
must of necessity match, in certain important 
particulars, the Antitype. As Christ, the great 
Antitype, was morally perfect, so must that be 
ceremonially perfect which represented him. For 
"type and antitype do not mean different things 
under the same form, but the same things under 
different forms." 1 He "offered himself without 
spot to God " ( Heb. 9:14). He was " a lamb with- 
out blemish and without spot" (I. Pet. 1 : 19). 
He was "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from 
sinners" (Heb. 7 : 26). And the types must like- 
wise be pure, unblemished. Fairbairn's golden 
rule holds here, as in so many similar cases: 

1 Cave. 


"Nothing in itself evil can be a type of that 
which in itself is good." 

The physical defects that disqualified an animal 
from being an offering to God correspond closely 
with those which excluded from the exercise 
of the priestly office (Lev. 21: 17-21). Priest 
and offering alike were to be perfect of their kind. 
What they were physically and ceremonially 
Christ is personally and intrinsically — "without 
spot and blameless." 


1. The Burnt- Offering. 

( Leviticus 1. ) 

The burnt-offering heads the list because it was 
the principal offering in the Jewish ritual, and 
because it had some of the distinctive features of 
all the others. It was the daily sacrifice which 
morning and evening was presented to Jehovah 
on the brazen altar; hence called the "continual 
burnt offering" (Ex. 29 : 42). Besides, the burnt- 
offering seems to have been the prevalent sacrifice 
in the times preceding Moses. It was this which 
Abraham and Job offered ; this also probably that 
Abel observed. It seems evident likewise that in 
those times it was of the nature of a sin-sacrifice ; 
the latter did not exist as a distinct institution. 
Moses really introduced the sin-sacrifices ; and he, 


in fact, gave to all the* offerings the special char- 
acter which they bore in the Jewish system. 

( 1 ) Its Varieties. The burnt-offering consisted 
of three grades : it might be a victim of the 
herd, or of the flocks, or of the fowls (Lev. 1 : 3, 
10, 14). God's gracious provision to meet the 
circumstances and needs of his people was seen 
in this variety. Poverty could bar no one from 
offering the sacrifice and participating in the 
blessing. If unable to present a bullock or a 
lamb, a pigeon or dove was within his reach, and 
was just as acceptable as the more costly gift. It 
was the lowest grade of the burnt-offering, it would 
appear, that Joseph and Mary laid upon the altar 
at Jerusalem when they redeemed the child Jesus 
according to the law (Luke 2 : 22-24), an inci- 
dental proof of that great word of Paul, " For ye 
know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, 
though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became 
poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich " 
(II. Cor. 8:9). 

(2) Ceremony of the Offering. The animal sac- 
rificed must, in accordance with the high rank 
of the offering, be a male without blemish, taken 
from among the most perfect of the beasts of 
sacrifice. If the animal were not perfect of its 
kind, it would not serve the moral or the typical 
purpose for which it had been selected. It is 


worthy of note that the same word which the 
Septuagint translators used for " without blemish " 
(afiojjuLo?) is applied to Christ (Heb. 9 : 14 ; I. Pet. 
1 : 19). The offerer then came with his offering 
to the door of the tabernacle, and stood face to 
face with the brazen altar. Here he was " before 
the Lord." The object of his approach was to 
find "acceptance with the Lord," and to worship. 
These words, "before the Lord," which occur three 
times in Lev. 1, are of profoundest import. 
The Lord and the offerer meet here at the altar. 
The question of sin is here to be settled, the claims 
of the Lord upon the offerer are to be recognized 
and met, and reconciliation effected. At this 
point the priest approached, and led the man 
with his sacrifice on to the altar. The offerer 
then laid his hand upon the head of the victim 
— pressed or leaned his hand firmly on it. The 
word is the same with that of Psalm 88 : 7, "Thy 
wrath lieth hard upon me." "We lean our soul 
on the same person on whom Jehovah leant his 
wrath." 1 This act symbolized the acknowledg- 
ment on the part of the offerer of his guilt, and 
the substitution of the animal for himself as the 
one upon which the punishment should fall. 
The slaughter of the victim immediately fol- 
lowed, and the streaming blood was caught by 

1 Bonar. 


the priest, and sprinkled round about upon the 
altar. These two acts, the laying on of the hand 
and the sprinkling of the blood, were common to 
the burnt-, the peace-, and the sin-offerings, and 
were essential parts of the sacrifice. The use of 
the blood in these offerings is profoundly instruct- 
ive, but into that subject, tempting as it is, we 
cannot now enter. Suffice it to say that the rela- 
tion of the Hebrew people to God, both as a 
nation and as individual members of the nation, 
rested on the blood — on atonement. 

Afterward, the skin was removed, which became 
the property of the priest (Lev. 7:8). The body 
of the victim was then cut in pieces. The sacrifice 
was thus reduced to a mangled mass of flesh and 
bones. Entire dislocation of every joint and separa- 
tion of every limb and member took place. The 
legs and intestines were then washed with water, the 
various parts were carefully disposed on the wood, 
and the whole was reduced to ashes on the altar. 

(3) The Nature of the Burnt- Offering. Two 
things, which, though really one, may yet be 
separated in thought, seem to be made prominent 
in this sacrifice. 

(a) It was a sweet-savor sacrifice. It was 
wholly given up to Jehovah, and was for his satis- 
faction and delight. Three times in Leviticus 1 
it is called " a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by 


fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord" (vs. 9, 13, 
17), that is, acceptable and grateful to him. It 
differs from all the others in that it was com- 
pletely devoted to the Lord. The ordinary name 
given it designates its purpose — olah, "that which 
ascends or rises to God in the fire." 1 Holocaust 
is the patristic name. "Whole burnt offer- 
ing," "whole burnt sacrifice," are other titles. 
The idea is that of total devotedness to Jehovah. 
With the exception of the skin, the burnt-offering 
was given entirely to God. 

(b) It was for atonement or acceptance (Lev. 1 : 
3, 4). The words, " He shall offer it of his own vol- 
untary will" (v. 3), really mean that he shall offer 
it that he may be accepted before the Lord. The 
animal, representing the offerer, w T as presented by 
the latter that he himself might be accepted. And 
his acceptance was secured through the shedding 
of its blood, whereby atonement was made. " For 
the life of the flesh is in the blood : and I have 
given it to you upon the altar to make an atone- 
ment for your souls : for it is the blood that 
maketh an atonement for the soul" (Lev. 17 : 11). 
In the satisfaction with which the Lord regarded 
the bloodshedding and the consumption of the 
offering on the altar as "a sweet savour" unto 
himself, there was the pledge of the acceptance 

1 So Keil, Delitzsch, Oehler. 


both of the person and of the worship of the 

(4) The typical significance of the burnt-offering 
it is not difficult to discover. The words of the 
apostle in Ephesians 5 : 2 unmistakably point to 
it : " Christ also hath loved us, and hath given 
himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God 
for a sweet-smelling savour." The words "offer- 
ing and a sacrifice" may include both the blood- 
less and bloody sacrifices of the law ; but as the 
apostle qualifies them by the expression " sweet- 
smelling savour," probably the burnt-offering and 
its accompanying meat-offering are particularly 
meant. Paul's Greek phrase here is the same as 
the Septuagint for Leviticus 1 : 9. The verse 
exhibits the surrender of the Lord Jesus to God 
as a whole burnt-offering. It intimates that he 
was the fulfillment of this ancient rite of Moses 
in its deepest sense and significance. Christ 
loved us with an affection that nothing could 
arrest or chill. That his love might reach and 
save the objects of it he gave himself for us. 
Nothing held he back. All, absolutely all even 
he had to give, went on the altar of God and was 
for God. He had frequent and fair opportunities 
of gratifying self, had any selfish passion dwelt 
within his unsullied nature. But we are assured 
by the Word of truth, that "even Christ pleased 


not himself" (Rom. 15 : 3) ; that he sought not his 
"own glory" (John 8 : 50) ; that he came not to 
do his "own will" (John 5 : 30). His body and 
his soul, with all the faculties, the activities, 
and latent powers of each, were devoted wholly 
to the glory of the Father. His thoughts and 
affections, his time and his strength, his ease and 
his comfort, his home and his kinsmen, were 
surrendered to God. Every journey he took, 
every miracle he wrought, every sermon he 
preached, was in perfect and loyal obedience to 
the Father. Whether in the house of the car- 
penter at Nazareth, himself often covered with 
the dust and shavings of his trade (Mark 6:3), 
or whether confronting the hostile Pharisees or 
sneering Sadducees, or weeping at the grave of 
his friend Lazarus, or sitting at the table with the 
traitor by his side, or groaning in agony in 
the garden, or dying on the cross, or rising in 
matchless victory from the grave — always and 
everywhere he is the obedient One, doing per- 
fectly God's will. His self-sacrifice included the 
whole range of his humanity and human rela- 
tions ; it lasted throughout his life ; its highest 
expression was his death on the accursed tree. 

Christ sums up the whole Law in one sentence : 
" Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy 
heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy 


strength, and with all thy mind ; and thy neigh- 
bour as thyself" (Luke 10: 27). How perfectly 
he obeyed, it needs not to be demonstrated ; his 
whole life attests it. But there is something 
suggestive in the mention of the tripartite divi- 
sion of man — heart, soul, mind. One is reminded 
of the threefold division of the burnt-offering, 
namely, "the head," "the inwards," "the legs." As 
the Burnt-offering, Jesus gave to God, without res- 
ervation and without division, his thoughts, his 
affections, and his activities. 

In the type the victim and the offerer were 
necessarily distinct, yet the hand of the one was 
pressed on the head of the other in token of the 
identity of the two. But Christ was both. He 
gave himself. He laid down his own life for us. 
When he obeyed, he obeyed for us ; when he 
suffered, he suffered for us. His life of perfect 
obedience and of perfect conformity to the will 
and law of God was in behalf of his people. 
Theologians rightly distinguish between the pre- 
cept and penalty of the law. Our obedience is 
due to its precept ; its penalty is visited on its 
transgressors. And Christ has fully met and 
satisfied both features : he has kept the law 
perfectly, as the Burnt-offering ; he has borne the 
penalty as the Sin-offering. In him we have 

obeyed, and in him suffered. " For what the law 


could not do, in that it was weak through the 
flesh, God, sending his own son in the likeness of 
sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the 
flesh : that the righteousness of the law might be 
fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but 
after the Spirit" (Rom. 8 : 3, 4). 

In all the delight which God finds in the odor 
of Christ's sacrifice believers are accepted. Is God 
perfectly glorified in it ? Then he is glorified in 
them that believe also, for we are "accepted in the 
Beloved." Does God find rest and satisfaction in 
the work of his Son? Then he finds rest and 
satisfaction with believers also, for they are in him ; 
he and they are identified. It is not only that sin 
is put away, great and blessed as this truth is, but 
they are accepted in Christ, who offered himself to 
God as a sweet-smelling savor for them ; and they 
stand in the full measure of his acceptance. 

Out of this wondrous devotion of Christ to God 
as the Burnt-offering there springs the idea of the 
Christian's devotion. He is to yield himself unto 
God as alive from the dead, as risen with Christ. 
It is here, in connection with the burnt-offering, 
that Romans 12:1 has its profound application — 
" I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies 
of God, that ye present your bodies a living sac- 
rifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your 
reasonable service." 


2. The Meat- Offering. 

( Lev. 2 ; 6 : 14-18. ) 

When our excellent translation of the Scrip- 
tures was made (1611), the word meat did not 
signify flesh, as it now does, but food in general. 
This must be remembered while we study the 
second offering of Leviticus, for the expression 
"meat offering" is somewhat ambiguous. The 
Revision of the Old Testament more accurately 
renders, "meal offering." It was a vegetable obla- 

(1) Its Varieties. The meat-offering had three 
grades: first, unbaked flour (Lev. 2:1); second, 
baked loaves or cakes (vs. 4-10); third, green 
ears of corn (wheat), parched or roasted (v. 14). 
These grades correspond with those of the burnt- 
offering, and no doubt were designed to meet the 
exigencies of the people. 

(2) Its Materials. These were the fine flour, 
oil, frankincense, and salt. Frankincense was a 
resinous gum obtained from a tree of the turpen- 
tine-bearing species, which when burnt was very 
aromatic. The frankincense was not mixed with 
the fine flour, as was the oil, but was put on it 
after the oil had been poured over the flour. Salt 
was an essential ingredient of the meat-offering, 
as it was of all the sacrifices (Lev. 2: 13; cf. 
Mark 9: 49). It is a symbol of incorruption 


(Matt. 5: 13; Mark 9 : 50), as also of the per- 
petuity of God's covenant with his people, some- 
times called "a covenant of salt," to indicate its 
inviolability (Num. 18 : 19 ; II. Chr. 13 : 5). 

Two kinds of fermentation were forbidden — 
leaven and honey : " No meat offering, which 
ye shall bring unto the Lord, shall be made with 
leaven : for ye shall burn no leaven, nor any 
honey, in any offering of the Lord made by fire" 
(Lev. 2 : 11 ). Nothing sweet or sour was to enter 
into the meat-offering. Leaven was forbidden, be- 
cause it contains a principle of corruption. Honey 
is likewise corruptible, readily ferments, and easily 
becomes sour. In frankincense the full fra- 
grance is not brought out until the perfume is 
submitted to the action of fire. In honey it is 
just the reverse ; heat spoils it. The New Testa- 
ment leaves no room to doubt that leaven is the 
common symbol for malice and wickedness (Matt. 
16 : 6 ; Luke 12 : 1 ; I. Cor. 5:6-8; Gal. 5 : 9, etc.). 

By the rigid exclusion of leaven and honey 
from the meat-offering the Hebrew worshiper was 
taught that only what is pure and holy is accept- 
able to God. Insincerity, hypocrisy, malice, and 
wickedness (leaven), as likewise a heart given 
over to worldly pleasures and to the gratification 
of carnal desires — the sweets of the flesh — 
(honey), can neither be concealed from his 


searching eye nor escape his just condemnation. 
Duplicity and selfishness in any who approach 
him God must judge. As there has been but 
One who ever offered himself without spot to 
God, in whose thoughts and ways no leaven nor 
honey was ever found, — the Lord Jesus, — he is 
the true Meat-offering. In him alone all that 
this ancient rite expressed has its ample fulfill- 

(3) The Ceremonial of the Meat- Offering. First, 
it w T as presented before the Lord (Lev. 2:1). Next, 
a representative handful of the flour and oil was 
burnt on the altar as a "memorial." The frank- 
incense likewise was burnt. This was the Lord's 
portion. The remainder was eaten by the priests ; 
the offerer partook of no part of it. When, how- 
ever, the meat-offering was offered as a sacrifice 
for the priests themselves, no portion of it was 
eaten ; it was wholly burnt (Lev. 6 : 23). 

(4) The Nature of the Meat- Offering. It was a 
" sweet-savour " but bloodless oblation. The main 
distinction between the burnt- and the meat-offer- 
ings is this : life was given to God in the one, the 
fruits of the ground in the other. Life God 
reserves for himself. It belongs peculiarly to him. 
Hence the prohibition as to the eating of blood : 
"But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood 
thereof, shall ye not eat" (Gen. 9:4; Lev. 17: 


11). The blood was God's portion, the satisfac- 
tion of his claims upon the creature ; the fruits 
of the earth are man's, and represent his satisfac- 
tion, the meeting of his deep need. 

Furthermore, the meat-offering was an adjunct 
of a bloody sacrifice. It appears to have always 
been presented with one of these, and never 
alone. Thus, in Leviticus 23 : 18 we read of 
burnt-offerings "with their meat offerings." In 
Ezra the offerings are summed up as "bullocks, 
rams, lambs, with their meat offerings and their 
drink offerings" (Ezra 7 : 17 ; cf. Num. 28 : 7-15 ; 
29 ; Judg. 13 : 19, etc.). Accordingly, the meat- 
offering appears to have been essentially the com- 
plement of the burnt-offering. This fact furnishes 
us with a clue to the meaning of Abel's sacrifice 
and that of Cain. Abel came to God with blood. 
He took his place before him as a guilty sinner, 
but as a sinner who sought the divine acceptance 
on the ground of atonement. Cain, on the con- 
trary, presented the fruits of the earth. His was 
essentially the meat-offering ; but no burnt-sacri- 
fice preceded it. He came on the footing of 
nature, as the natural man, with no recognition 
of sin or of satisfaction for his sin — atonement. 
An exile from Eden, despising the blood, and re- 
fusing to acknowledge God's claims upon him, he 
presumed to approach and worship God as though 


no propitiation were required, and he was re- 
jected. Thus it must ever be. "Without shed- 
ding of blood is no remission." Man's best and 
most praiseworthy actings in nature, whether of 
morality, or benevolence, or philanthropy, or hon- 
esty, may receive the plaudits of men, but with 
God they may share the fate of Cain's fruits 
— rejection. God measures everything now — 
actions, motives, and men — by his Son Jesus 
Christ. Whatever is done in him is accepted 
and rewarded, no matter how small or feeble. 
Whatever is done apart fiom him, in the energy 
of the flesh, to please men or self or both, fails 
utterly with God, no matter how grand and 

(5) The Meat -Offering as a Type. What does 
it signify in the economy of redemption ? That 
it prefigures some feature in the glorious work 
of our Lord Jesus no student of the Bible can 
doubt ; for it stands in so intimate relation with 
the whole sacrificial system of Moses that it must 
in some sense be a type of Christ. Here, how- 
ever, we encounter a variety of opinions, not only 
as to its primary teaching, but more especially as 
to its bearing on the work of Christ. 

(a) Some see in it no more than the recogni- 
tion on the part of the offerer of his dependence 
on God for his necessary food, and thankful 


acknowledgment of the bounties of Providence. 
There is some truth in this view. The word for 
meat-offering (minchah) is used in Scripture to 
designate gifts of various kinds from one to an- 
other ; for example, II. Samuel 8 : 2, 6 ; I. Kings 
4 : 21 ; II. Kings 17:4, etc. In these passages 
gifts were sent to David, to Solomon, and to the 
king of Assyria, in token of submission to and 
dependence upon the sovereign. But that this 
meaning exhausts the teaching of the meat-offer- 
ing we cannot believe. The fact that only a 
memorial handful was burned on the altar as 
God's portion, while the rest of the fine flour and 
the oil and salt were eaten by the priests, clearly 
indicates that something more was meant by it 
than a grateful acknowledgment for daily food. 
(b) Others find in it' the consecration of the 
worshiper's person and property to the Lord. 
There is truth likewise in this view. The use of 
the term minchah (offering or tribute) in other 
places of the Old Testament justifies us in under- 
standing it as expressive of devotedness. But here, 
also, as in the former interpretation, the cere- 
monies connected with the offering require a 
deeper meaning. If consecration to the Lord be 
its design, why was it not wholly burnt on the 
altar, as was done with the burnt-offering, which 
was certainly a sacrifice of devotion to God ? 


Admitting that there is a measure of truth in 
these and the like views, we hold that they do 
not express the full import of the ordinance. If 
Christ is the substance and reality of all the 
sacrifices, he must be found in the meat-offering. 
But how? What feature of his work does it 
present ? Confessedly, of the five Mosaic sacrifices 
this is the most difficult of interpretation. Hence 
dogmatic assertion as to its typical teaching should 
not be indulged. 

(c) The key to the meat-offering is found in 
its relation to the burnt-offering. The phrases, 
"the burnt offering and the meat offering there- 
of," "and his meat offering," etc., indicate that 
the two are regarded as one, the latter being the 
complement of the former. Bahr, Kurtz, and 
Bonar affirm that there is no evidence in Scripture 
that the meat-offering was ever presented as an 
independent sacrifice ; it followed invariably a 
bloody rite. We have little difficulty in deter- 
mining the main object of the burnt-offering. It 
sets forth Christ's perfect obedience to the Father. 
The meat-offering represents the character of his 
obedience as exhibited on earth and in behalf of 
men. In the one we see him satisfying the Divine 
claims upon us for our acceptance with God ; in 
the other we see him fulfilling all righteousness, 
doing man's neglected duty, and meeting all his 


need as a hungry, starving sinner. The one 
offering presents the Godward, the other the 
man ward, aspect of our Lord's work. The two 
are related as are the Gospels of John and Mark. 
In John, Jesus, the Son of God, glorifies the 
Father ; in Mark, as Son of man and Servant of 
Jehovah, he serves man. In both relations he is 
perfect ; but in doing the will of God Jesus meets 
man's deepest need. The Father could say, "This 
is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" 
(Matt. 3:17). Man could also say, "Lord, to 
whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eter- 
nal life" (John 6 : 68). It is, in effect, the burnt- 
and meat-offerings. 

(d) Christ's obedience was pure and faultless. 
In him there was nothing that savored of leaven 
or honey. Holiness and truth marked all his ways 
and walk. We observe in him a tenderness never 
seen in mere men, yet we instinctively feel that he 
was a stranger — a stranger so far as revolted man 
was filling the scene, but intimately near so far as 
misery and need demanded him. He did more 
than look on the misery that was around him : 
he entered into it with a sympathy that was all 
his own ; and he did more than refuse the pollu- 
tion that was around him : he kept the distance 
of holiness itself from every touch and stain of 
it. He "was in all points tempted like as we 


are, yet without sin" (Heb. 4: 15). In him was 
the fragrance of the purest incense. In all that 
he was and did God was perfectly glorified. He 
came not to do "his own will"; he "pleased not 
himself"; he "sought not his own glory." There- 
fore, the Father could say, "This is my beloved 
Son, in whom I am well pleased." In him was 
the incorruptness and energy of salt. Through- 
out his whole earthly career his obedience never 
faltered, his loyalty to the Father and his faithful- 
ness to his people never wavered. He could say 
at the close of his ministry, " I have glorified thee 
on the earth : I have finished the work which 
thou gavest me to do" (John 17 : 4). 

(e) His obedience was rendered in the power 
of the Spirit. Oil was poured on the fine flour of 
this oblation and was mixed with it (Lev. 2 : 1, 
4, 5). Oil is the constant symbol in the Scripture 
of the Holy Spirit (II. Cor. 1 : 21, 22; I. John 
2 : 20, etc.). How exactly the type finds its 
accomplishment in the Antitype the New Testa- 
ment attests. The life and ministry of the Lord 
Jesus were in the power of the Spirit. It was by 
the Spirit he assumed human nature (Luke 
1 : 35); by the Spirit he was anointed for his offi- 
cial work (Luke 3 : 22 ; 4:1); by the Spirit he 
preached (Luke 4 : 18) ; by the Spirit he cast out 
demons (Matt. 12 : 28); by the Spirit he ottered 


himself without spot to God (Heb. 9 : 14). "God 
anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost 
and with power : who went about doing good, and 
healing all that were oppressed of the devil : for 
God was with him" (Acts 10 : 38). These words 
express one prime element in the type ; namely, 
Christ's doing God's holy will among men and in 
the behalf of men in the power of God's Spirit. 

(/) His obedience was rendered for us. The 
principal ingredient in the meat-offering was 
flour — bread, the staff of life. All the holy 
bread of the old economy typified Christ as God's 
gracious provision for our need. The manna, the 
showbread, and the bread of this rninchah belong 
to the same class of types. Christ is the Bread of 
Life (John 6). Having been accepted through 
the Burnt-offering, faith feeds on him as the all- 
sufficient portion of the soul, and is satisfied. 
Bread is the great staple. We may dispense with 
luxuries ; bread is indispensable. Christ is just 
as necessary for the life of the soul : " Verily, 
verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of 
the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no 
life in you" (John 6 : 53). The best quality was 
used in the oblation — "fine flour." Christ is 
God's best gift to the world : " My Father giveth 
you the true bread from heaven." Christ is given 
to every one in the offer of the gospel. 


(g) The benefits of his obedience are appro- 
priated by faith. Let us note once more, that 
the meat-offering was eaten by the priests, after 
the "memorial of it" had been burned on the 
altar. Clearly, it was food for men, but for men 
in priestly relation with God. It is believed that 
the priests always prefigure believers, except the 
officiating one," the priest that sprinkles the blood," 
— probably the high priest, who is a type of Christ. 
The Lord had his portion, the representative 
handful, and all the incense ; for all the praise 
and glory of our salvation belong to him alone. 
The priests ate the remainder. Christ is the true 
bread from heaven, come down into this world to 
give life to all who receive him. We, as kings 
and priests unto God through him, eat of this 
bread, and die not. The bread of the offering 
was holy ; no others could eat it but the priests. 
And who, indeed, ever feed on Christ save those 
who, justified by the blood and sanctified by the 
Spirit, live the life of faith, and feed on the food 
of faith ? 

But it is only as Christ offered himself to God 
that he becomes the bread of life. Without pass- 
ing through death he could not be the meat-offer- 
ing : " Except a corn of wheat fall into the 
ground and die, it abideth alone : but if it die, it 
bringeth forth much fruit" (John 12: 24). Had 


he not died, he would have returned to the glory 
all alone ; not one of our race would have seen 
heaven. But, thanks be to God, Jesus became the 
Burnt-offering first, met every claim of justice for us 
first, and then he became all that is involved and 
implied in the meat-offering. By his death he is, 
and evermore remains, the bread of God, whereof 
if a man eat he shall live forever. 

3. The Peace -Offering. 

(Lev. 3; 7: 11-21,28-34.) 

The most joyous of all the sacrifices was the 
peace-offering. " It was indeed a season of happy 
fellowship with the covenant God, in which he 
condescended to become Israel's guest at the sac- 
rificial meal, even as he was always their host." 1 
It was a sweet-savor offering, and belonged to the 
same class with the burnt- and meat-offerings. 

(1) The name is suggestive — "peace-offer- 
ings" (zebach shelamim). The plural is note- 
worthy. Peace of the highest sort, and of 
various kinds, is thereby designated. It includes 
in it peace with God, peace in the conscience, and 
peace with men — the glorious issues of accept- 
ance with God, "the rights, hopes, and duties 
of peace with God." 2 The word "peace" in 
Scripture is a comprehensive term, embracing 

1 Edersheim. 2 Murphy. 


much more than in common usage attaches to it. 
With many, peace means only a cessation of hos- 
tilities, or tranquillity of mind. In the Bible, it 
denotes this, and also the state or relation of 
peace with God, prosperity, joy, and happiness. 
The Septuagint translation renders, "a sacrifice 
of salvation," which may mean a sacrifice either 
to obtain salvation, or to acknowledge salvation 
received. That the latter is the idea intended we 
cannot doubt ; for this offering sets forth the 
peace and blessedness flowing from the salvation 
God has so freely provided and bestowed on all 
who accept it in the appointed way. The name 
"peace offerings" is not to be understood as mean- 
ing that the design of the sacrifice was to secure 
peace — to bring about peace with God. It was 
for those who had already been brought into a 
state of peace with him by the sacrifices which 
always preceded it. Hence it is sometimes called 
a thank-offering. 

(2) Its Materials. The peace-offering might be 
a victim either of the herd or of the flock, with- 
out blemish, and a male or a female. For in it 
the effects of atonement, rather than the atoning 
act, are contemplated ; hence there was no restric- 
tion to males. When it took the form of a 
thank-offering, unleavened bread mingled with 
oil accompanied it ; and in another somewhat 


different form, leavened cakes were also employed 
(Lev. 7: 12, 13). 

These leavened cakes, it seems clear, were not 
anointed with oil, as was the unleavened bread ; 
they formed no part of the sacrifice of the altar, 
nor was any portion of them burned as an offering 
to the Lord. One was " waved before the Lord," 
as a sign that the whole was given to him. "Thus 
the grateful offerer presents all he has, and spreads 
out his very corruptions to be dealt with as the 
Lord sees good." 1 As these leavened cakes 
followed the other sacrifices, — for example, the 
burnt-, meat-, and peace-offerings, — they are to be 
regarded as the gift of a worshiper already 
accepted with God and in communion with him. 
They were a "thank offering for praise," and they 
expressed the gratitude of the offerer. That they 
are not to be regarded as a type of Christ, appears 
evident from the fact that they could not come 
upon the altar, God's table, nor were they 
anointed with the holy oil. Bonar and Jukes 
think they figure the people of God, in whom 
a measure of evil is still found. The action 
connected with them might be taken as sym- 
bolical prayer, as if the worshiper said, "Search 
me, God, and know my heart ; try me, and 
know my thoughts ; and see if there be any 

1 Bonar. 


wicked way in me, and lead me in the way 
everlasting" (Ps. 139 : 23, 24). 

(3) The peace-offering appears to have fol- 
lowed invariably other sacrifices, particularly the 
burnt- and the meat-offerings. This is its place 
in the institution of the sacrifices in Leviticus 
1-3 ; in the consecration of Aaron and his sons, 
chapter 8 ; in the Day of Atonement, chapter 
16 ; and in Ezekiel 45 : 17. That is, the feast of 
communion follows the settlement of the question 
of sin. Peace rests on atonement and reconcilia- 
tion : "Therefore being justified by faith, we 
have peace with God through our Lord Jesus 
Christ" (Rom. 5 : 1). There can be no fellowship 
with God until sin is judged and forgiven. 

(4) Its Nature. The peace-offering was a joint 
feast, a sacrificial meal, in which all the parties 
represented in the sacrifice had their portion. 
This fact stamps the peace-offering with a peculiar 
character, and separates it from all the other 
Levitical sacrifices. In the physical qualities 
which the victim should possess ; in the imposi- 
tion of hands on its head ; in the killing and 
the sprinkling of the blood, the peace-offering 
was identical with the other bloody sacrifices. 
But it differed from the others in this, that it 
was essentially a communion feast. In the burnt- 
offering, all was given up to God ; in the 



meat-offering, God had a memorial portion, and 
the remainder was eaten by Aaron and his sons ; 
in the peace-offering, God, the offerer, and the 
priest alike shared. 

(a) The Lord's Portion. All the fat which 
covered the inwards, the two kidneys and the fat 
upon them, and the caul above the liver were to 
be burned on the altar (Lev. 3 : 3-5). The blood, 
likewise, sprinkled on and round the altar, was 
his. Fat and blood were alike forbidden to be 
eaten (Lev. 7 : 23 ; 17 : 14). The blood was the 
life, and necessarily belonged to God ; life was 
from him in an especial manner, and it he 
claimed for himself. The Lord's portion, there- 
fore, consisted of the most precious part of the 
offering. It is very noteworthy that Aaron's sons 
were to "burn it on the altar upon the burnt sac- 
rifice, which is upon the wood that is on the fire." 
After the offering for atonement and acceptance, 
appropriately follows that of communion. The 
latter is grounded upon the former. There can 
be no fellowship until the question of sin is set- 
tled. The first is the foundation of the second. 

May we not see in this a beautiful and striking 
type of the glorious results of Christ's sacrifice in 
its Godward aspects ? In his death the Father 
verily had his portion, with which he is infinitely 
well pleased. We can never fully know what 


that death is to him. We may only say that 
therein God is perfectly satisfied, and upon it he 
feeds with a delight which is all his own. 

(b) The Priests' Portion. The breast was for 
Aaron and his sons ; the right shoulder (probably 
the leg), first presented as a "heave offering to the 
Lord," pertained to the priest who sprinkled the 
blood (Lev. 7 : 31-34). The portion of the breast 
supposed to be what is called the brisket, was 
"waved" before the Lord. The action, according 
to the rabbins, consisted of moving it backward 
and forward, and from right to left ; that is, 
toward the four quarters of the heavens. The 
right shoulder was "heaved," or raised up and 
down, in token of its dedication to God. The 
significance of these acts appears to be, that 
the parts "waved" and "heaved" were presented 
thus to the Lord, and then received back from 
him when they became the food of the priests. 

The "right shoulder," a choice part, together 
with one of the "leavened" and one of the "un- 
leavened" cakes, was given to the priest who 
sprinkled the blood (Lev. 7 : 14, 33). He was 
the officiating priest in the peace-offering. That 
he was a type of Christ in his official action seems 
clear when we remember that the victim, the 
priest, and the offering itself combined find their 
typical fulfillment in the Saviour. 


(c) The Offerer 's Portion. All that remained 
of the flesh of the victim, after the Lord and the 
priests had their portion, belonged to the offerer 
(Lev. 7 : 15 ; 22 : 29, 30). His friends and the 
Levites might share in the feast with him. 

Obviously, this was a feast of communion, in 
which God, the priests, and the offerer had each 
his share, and all fed upon the same food of 
the common sacrifice. God had his share. The 
brazen altar was his table ; what was consumed 
upon it was his food — "the food of the offering 
made by fire unto the Lord" (Lev. 3 : 11). He 
partakes of the feast his love has provided for his 
people. And with him the priests and the people 
likewise feast, and rejoice together with him. 

(5) The spiritual import of this feast of the 
peace-offering is quite plain, for it lies on the very 
surface of the rite. Atonement and acceptance, 
together with the abundant provision for the 
soul, having been furnished in the other sacrifices 
(namely, sin-, burnt-, and meat-offerings), God, and 
Christ, and believers rejoice together in fellow- 
ship. That the Lord Jesus shares in the feast is 
evident from the fact, already noted, that the 
priest who sprinkled the blood in this offering 
had a choice portion for himself The officiating 
priest is the type of the Saviour in his atoning 
work. Jesus beholds with infinite satisfaction his 


finished work, and rejoices in it with transcendent 
delight. He sees of the travail of his soul and 
is satisfied. The believer likewise has a joy that 
is all his own. Christ is his peace (Eph. 2 : 14). 
And he enjoys peace. Three prepositions define 
the Christian's peace in its Godward aspects : First, 
with — "Therefore being justified by faith, we have 
peace 1 ivith God through our Lord Jesus Christ" 
(Rom. 5 : 1). Peace with God denotes a state or 
relation. Being justified, we are introduced into 
this blessed and permanent relation ; we have 
peace with God. Second, of — "And the peace of 
God . . . shall keep your hearts and minds through 
Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4: 7). Here God's own 
peace, like a military garrison, keeps guard 
round the mind and heart of the child of God, 
so that he need never be moved. "Thou wilt 
keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed 
on thee ; because he trusteth in thee" (Isa. 
26 : 3). Third, from — "and peace, from God our 
Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ" (L Cor. 
1 : 3) ; God's peace flowing into his heart, and 
filling and refilling him continually ; peace, abid- 
ing, divine, unfailing, ever-increasing. Christ is 

1 On most ample internal grounds we reject the reading of the 
Revision, "let us have peace." Romans 5 : 1 does not begin either 
application or exhortation. The whole chapter is doctrinal. \n 
the Greek the only difference is between a long and short o. That 
Paul wrote " we have " ( exonev, short o) we have not a shadow of a 


our Peace-offering. "And truly our fellowship is 
with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ." 
All communion of saints rests on communion 
with God. And communion with God is enjoyed 
through Christ, our peace. 

(6) Certain qualifications were to be found in 
worthy partakers of this sacrificial feast. The 
law strictly forbade any unclean person to par- 
take of it (Lev. 7 : 20, 21). Only the ceremoni- 
ally clean could share its privileges. Communion 
is interrupted by uncleanness, by sin ; and while 
the interruption lasts, true worship of God can- 
not be enjoyed. But, mark, it was a different 
thing not to be an Israelite, and not to be clean. 
He who was not an Israelite had never any part 
in the peace-offerings (Lev. 22 : 10, 25) ; he 
could not come nigh the tabernacle (Num. 1 : 51 ; 
3 : 10). Uncleanness did not prove one to be no 
Israelite ; on the contrary, this discipline was ex- 
ercised on Israelites alone ; but the uncleanness 
incapacitated him from enjoying with those who 
were clean the privileges of this communion 
feast. He could only partake after his unclean- 
ness had been removed by appropriate observ- 
ances. True worshipers must worship the Father 
in spirit and in truth, for the Father seeketh such 
to worship him. A Christian may by disobe- 
dience or unholy walk cloud or even lose con- 


scious fellowship with God, but this, serious as it 
is, depriving him as it does of joy in God and 
peace of mind, does not jeopardize his salvation. 
His condition, however, may necessitate Fatherly 
chastisements, and in sorrow and anguish he may 
have to learn that evil shall not dwell with God. 

Moreover, the flesh of the peace-offering was to 
be guarded from any touch of defilement ( Lev. 7 : 
19). If perchance it should be rendered unclean 
through contact with anything defiling, it could 
not be eaten at all : it was to be burned with fire. 
With what jealousy does God protect the purity 
of his ordinances ! It is holy offerings he delights 
in ; it is accepted persons who enjoy them. "Holi- 
ness becometh thine house, Lord, for ever 57 
(Ps. 93: 5). 

( 7 ) The peace-offering looked forward and back- 
ward. It looked backward to the acceptance 
secured by the sacrifices which always preceded it, 
and forward to the communion enjoyed by those 
in fellowship with God. Herein it was a type of 
the Lord's Supper, which looks back to the death 
of Christ, and forward to his coming, when com- 
munion with him will be uninterrupted and 
eternal. Like the Hebrew worshipers of the 
Mosaic times, we, too, eat and drink in the Lord's 
presence, rejoicing in the one great, all-sufficient 
Sin-offering which has been made for us once for 


all, rejoicing in the assurance of forgiveness 
through it and acceptance with the Father, rejoic- 
ing that in due time Christ will fashion our very 
bodies into the likeness of his body of glory. 


(Lev. 4-6: 7.) 

We reach the second class of offerings, namely, 
sacrifices for sin. Two are described in the 
passages cited above — the sin-offering and the 

These offerings differ materially from the " sweet- 
savour" sacrifices which have been before us for 
consideration. In principle, both classes are alike ; 
in character and detail, they are widely distinct. 
They are alike in this : both present the identity 
of the offerer and the victim. This identity is sig- 
nified by the laying on of hands upon the head 
of the victim. This act is common to all the 
animal sacrifices of the Levitical ritual. But in 
character and aim we cannot but see a broad dis- 
tinction between the two classes. In the sweet- 
savor offerings, the worshiper came as an offerer, 
— whether Christ, or one led by the Spirit of 
Christ, — came of his own voluntary will, and was 
identified as a worshiper with the acceptability and 
acceptance of his victim. In these, the ideas of 
acceptance and worship are prominent. Some- 


thing is presented to God which is grateful to 
him, on the ground of which also he and the 
worshiper and the priest commune together. In 
them sin is not the predominant thought, as it is 
in the sin-sacrifices, but rather acceptance and 

In the latter there was the same principle of 
identity of the offerer with the offering ; but he 
who came, came not as a worshiper, but as a sin- 
ner ; not as clean for communion with the Lord, 
but as having guilt upon him which must be 
judicially dealt with in order to his forgiveness. 
In the one case, the offerer came to present his 
offering, which represented himself, — something 
acceptable to God. In the other, the offerer came 
as a convicted sinner, to receive in his offering, 
which represented himself, the judgment due to 
his sin or his trespass. In the first, we see how 
Christ gave himself for us as an offering to God 
for a sweet-smelling savor. In the second, we see 
him, the Sinless, made sin for us, that we might be 
made the righteousness of God in him. 

Furthermore, it is to be observed, that in the 
"sweet-savour" offerings there is no mention of 
sin — no confession, save as implied in the imposi- 
tion of hands, and no word of forgiveness of the 
offerer, except by implication. But in the sin- 
sacrifices we find all this — confession, imputation 


of the sin confessed to the victim, and the assur- 
ance of pardon for the same. All this, then, 
marks off the first three offerings — namely, the 
burnt-, the meat-, and the peace-offerings — as 
distinct from the sin-sacrifices. 

1. Distinction Between the Sin- and Trespass- 


It is not easy to distinguish between the sin- 
and trespass-offerings, for necessarily they over- 
lap, just as the evils for the removal of which 
they were provided are essentially one. A 
difference of opinion prevails as to where the 
description of the sin-offering ends, and that of 
the trespass begins. Not a few writers hold 
that the former includes Leviticus 4-5 : 13 ; 
and that the latter begins with chapter 5 : 14, and 
terminates with chapter 6 : 7. 1 Murphy confines 
the description of the sin-sacrifice to chapter 4 , 
the trespass, to chapters 5 — 6 : 7. 

The same distinction obtains between the two 
sacrifices as between sin [dtxapria) and transgres- 
sion (xapd7:Tajrj.a). The former is deviation in 
intent, act, or disposition from the path of recti- 
tude. The latter is guilt and failure in the sense 
of indebtedness. "The transgression of the law 

'Jukes, Fairbairn, "Bible Commentary,," "Pulpit Commen- 
tary," etc. 


has a twofold aspect — the right undone and the 
wrong done." Redress and punishment are the 
two legal claims against the sinner. In the law 
of the sin-offering, no particular acts of sin are 
mentioned, but the offerer stands convicted as a 
sinner. In the law of the trespass-offering, certain 
acts of sin are enumerated. We read of the " voice 
of swearing," "touching any thing unclean," "vio- 
lently taking," etc. The one offering contem- 
plates sin rather as a principle — the other, sin as 
an act ; and they are applied according as the sin 
or the trespass comes into the foreground. The 
penalty is prominent in the sin-offering ; the com- 
pensation, in the trespass-offering. Expiation is 
the main thought in the first ; satisfaction, in the 
second. Combined, the two offerings present a 
complete atonement — expiation by an adequate 
penalty, and satisfaction by a perfect reparation 
of the wrong done. Both are fulfilled in the 
Lord Jesus Christ, who bore the penalty due to 
sin and redressed every claim of God upon the 

2. TJie Sin-Sacrifice. 

(Lev. 4-5: 13.) 

( 1 ) Its Significance. The sin-sacrifice had to do 
so entirely and singularly with sin that in Hebrew 
the same term is common both to sin and the sin- 
offering. This clearly indicates its nature. In it 


the offering was regarded as so completely identi- 
fied with the sin of the offerer, was so charged 
with his sin, as that it became sin, was reckoned 
sin. This fact furnishes, no doubt, the ground 
for the amazing statement of II. Corinthians 5 : 
21 : "He hath made him to be sin for us, who 
knew no sin ; that we might be made the righteous- 
ness of God in him." 

(2) Its Varieties. The law of Moses describes 
three kinds of sin-sacrifices. These are the sin- 
offering of Leviticus 4, the red-heifer of Numbers 
19, and those of the Great Day of Atonement 
(Lev. 16). While these offerings differ from each 
other in several particulars sufficiently to justify 
the above classification, nevertheless in principle 
and purpose they are one. We cannot form a 
full and correct idea of the nature and object of 
the sin-sacrifice without a survey of all the law 
describes. Our attention will be directed to those 
of Leviticus. 

First, the sin-offering of Leviticus 4 ; 6 : 25-30. 
It was provided for four classes of persons ; namely, 
the anointed priest (4:3), the whole congregation 
(4: 13), a ruler (4: 22), and for an individual 
member of the congregation (4 : 27). In each of 
these four cases the "sin" is one done "through 
ignorance against any of the commandments of 
the Lord." This phrase is a very comprehensive 


one, and may denote any part of the whole of 
God's revealed will. It is to be noted, also, that 
the chapter throughout uses this same phrase, and 
the fact implies that in every instance it is sin 
against God, the covenant God, that is referred to 
— not to wrong done against a fellow-creature. 
Here, too, we find the reason why sin-sacrifices 
were instituted after the giving of the law, and 
not before it. "By the law is the knowledge of 
sin'' (Rom. 3 : 20). "The law entered, that the 
offence might abound. But where sin abounded, 
grace did much more abound " ( Rom. 5 : 20 ). 
Sin, of course, there was before the law, and there 
were also the burnt-offerings and meat-offerings 
provided for God's people who were sinners. But 
when the law came, it convicted man of sin — 
revealed his sin in its enormity and turpitude as 
it had never been revealed before, and so the law 
made the sin-sacrifice a necessity. 

The sins for which this sacrifice was instituted 
are called "sins of ignorance" — "sin unwittingly" 
or "in error," the Revision has it. This has 
been thought to imply transgressions not strictly 
moral, but rather accidental and ceremonial. But 
such is not the case. The law does contemplate 
wrong done in ignorance, unwittingly, but it 
regards the ignorance itself as culpable. Some 
of the most appalling crimes are said to be com- 


mitted in ignorance, as our Lord's crucifixion ; 
but the Jews were not held innocent on that 
account. The expression, as Archbishop Magee 
justly infers, "besides sins of ignorance, includes 
likewise all such as were the consequence of 
human frailty and inconsideration, whether com- 
mitted knowingly and willfully or otherwise." 
These sins of ignorance stand opposed to those 
committed "with a high hand," that is, deliber- 
ately and presumptuously, for which no atonement 
seems to be provided or admitted. Against such 
sins the law held out a "certain fearful looking 
for of judgment and fiery indignation" (Num. 
15 : 30, 31 ; Heb. 10 : 26, 27). These are awful 
and ominous words, to which every professing 
child of God should take good heed. To these 
sins of ignorance David referred when he prayed : 
" Who can understand his errors ? cleanse thou 
me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant 
also from presumptuous sins ; let them not have 
dominion over me" (Ps. 19 : 12, 13). 

The ceremonial of the sin-offering deserves a 
passing notice. In each of the four cases of 
Leviticus 4, the victim was to be without blemish. 
Those for the high priest and for the whole con- 
gregation were to be young bullocks ; that for a 
ruler, a male kid ; and that for one of the people, 
a female kid. The slaughter of the animals was 


to take place at the brazen altar, and was to 
be identical with the law regulating the burnt- 

The blood of the sacrifices for the high priest 
and for the whole congregation was to be sprinkled 
seven times before the veil of the sanctuary 
and smeared on the horns of the altar of incense, 
and the remainder of the blood was to be poured 
out at the base of the altar of burnt-offering. The 
fatty portions of the bullock were then burnt on 
the altar, precisely as in the case of the peace- 
offering ; and the body of the victim, "even the 
whole bullock," was then carried forth without 
the camp and burned. 

The sin-offering for a ruler or for one of the 
common people was of a lower grade than those 
for "the anointed priest" and for the whole con- 
gregation In this case no part of the blood was 
carried into the holy place. It was sprinkled on 
the horns of the brazen altar and poured out at 
its base. Nor was the body of the victim burned ; 
the flesh was eaten in the holy place by the 
priests (Lev. 6 : 26-29). But no part of a sacri- 
fice of which the blood had been sprinkled within 
the sanctuary could be eaten (v. 30). 

Just what is meant by the eating of the sin- 
offering of the lower grade is not easily deter- 
mined. Some think it was a kind of eating of 


the sin, so bearing it and making it their own. It 
is called " most holy," but this it could not be if 
it were still charged with sin, for then it must 
have been regarded as most polluted. The body 
of the sin-offering of the higher grade could not 
come on God's table, the altar ; for it was ac- 
counted sin, and hence was burned without the 
camp. Every spot of blood from a sin-offering 
even of the lower grade on a garment or vessel 
conveyed defilement as being loaded with sin, and 
all such garments and vessels had to be washed 
and scoured or broken (Lev. 6 : 27, 28). The 
eating, therefore, could not symbolize the expiation 
proper ; that was set forth by the death of the 
victim, the sprinkling of its blood, and the con- 
sumption of the carcass by fire. It exhibits rather 
the great truth of the acceptance of the offering, 
the pardon of sin, and the complete restoration 
of the offender to the favor of God. It is the 
effect of expiation, not the expiation itself, which 
is made the prominent idea in the ceremony. It 
is a sort of pictorial representation of the blessed 
Lord and his people feeding together on the glo- 
rious results of his redeeming work. 1 

x This view of the eating of the sin-offering by the priests is 
sustained by Philo (as quoted by Edersheim ), who held that one 
of the main objects of the meal was to carry to the offerer assur- 
ance of his acceptance, "since God would never have allowed his 
servants to partake of it, had there not been a complete removal 
and forgetting of the sin." Nor is Leviticus 10 : 17 really opposed 


If we assign Leviticus 4-5 : 13 to the sin-offer- 
ing, and 5 : 14-6 : 7 to the trespass-offering (as 
do Fairbaira, Cave, and others), then one other 
sin-offering must be mentioned, namely, that 
described in Leviticus 5 : 11-13. It is the lowest 
grade of all, and consisted of the same materials 
as the meat-offering, except that neither oil nor 
frankincense formed any part of it. It was pro- 
vided for cases of extreme poverty, and was 
offered as an atonement for the offerer. For both 
the person and substance of the offerer are pre- 
sented as altogether defiled — a mass of sin. 1 A 
sinner himself, everything he touched, even his 
very food, became unholy and required atonement. 

3. The Trespass -Offering. 

The trespass-offering was essentially a sin-sac- 
rifice, and after what has been said respecting 
that, little is required touching this. The cases 
for which this sacrifice was presented were, first, 
unintentional trespass in the holy things of God ; 
second, unintentional trespass against man. It 
was for infractions of both tables of the Law, and 
was individual. The sin was known only to the 

to this view. For the expression, "to bear the iniquity," is applied 
either to one who suffers the penalty of sin ( Ex. 28 : 43 ; Lev. 5 : 1, 17, 
etc.), orto one who hikes away the sin of others I Gen. -50 : 17; Lev. 
16: 22; Num. 30: 15, etc.). The margin of the Revised Version at 
Leviticus 10 : 17 gives, "to take away iniquity." 

1 Bonar. 


man himself, and hence was less hurtful in its 

The characteristics of the trespass-offering are 
twofold : First, the victim was a ram. "It was 
thus fitted to remind Israel of Abraham's offer- 
ing, when a ram was substituted." 1 The blood was 
sprinkled upon the altar of sacrifice round about, 
and after certain specified portions had been burnt 
on the altar, the priests were to eat the remainder 
in the holy place, precisely as in the case of the 
sin-offering of the lower grade. In fact, these 
two sacrifices seem to be almost identical. Second, 
the value of the trespass, according to the priest's 
estimate, was to be paid in shekels of the 
sanctuary to the injured party ; and in addition 
to this, a fifth part more was assessed upon the 
trespasser and added to the principal (Lev. 5 : 
15, 16). The payment of money marks off the 
trespass-offering as a distinct sacrifice. In the 
provisions of the sin-offering we hear nothing of 
money, nor of a fifth part added. In the sin- 
offering a perfect victim bore the penalty, a 
sinless creature was judged for sin, because rep- 
resentatively guilty. In the trespass-offering there 
is set forth the truth as to expiation : life was 
taken — blood shed ; but in addition there is 
thought of redress, or reparation. The injured 

1 Bonar. 


party was compensated in money by the offender. 
Hence, satisfaction is the prominent idea in this 
offering. In the sin-sacrifice, punishment of sin 
in the person of the substitute is made promi- 
nent ; in the trespass-offering, satisfaction. Tres- 
pass cries for redress, and accordingly this offering 
points primarily to the reparation which is in- 
cluded in propitiation. 

The work of Christ includes more than 
expiation, that is, the punishment inflicted on 
him as the Sin-bearer for God's people ; it em- 
braces also the redress of God's claims on the 
guilty and the restitution of all that has been 
lost by sin. In the two offerings we have the 
fulfillment of the demands of law both in pen- 
alty and precept foreshadowed ; namely, propitia- 
tion, forgiveness, and ransom. In Christ sin is 
judged and obliterated for every believer, and he 
is redeemed. In him both God and man have 
received back more than they lost. 

In the sin- and trespass-sacrifices we have 

(a) God's wrath against sin. 

(b) The execution of the penalty due to sin, 
namely, death. 

(c) Reparation of the wrongs done against 
the righteous government of God. 

(fl) The exhibition of his infinite love in pro- 
viding a remedy for sin. 


4. Fundamental Principles Embodied in These 


We may gather up some of the fundamental 
principles which the sin-sacrifices embody. 

( 1 ) We see in them the important principle of 
substitution. A clean and ceremonially perfect 
animal is substituted for the guilty human being, 
and is slain in his stead. 

(2) We see in them clearly the doctrine of 
imputation. The offerer " leaned " his hand upon 
the victim's head, and probably confessed his sin 
over it, 1 signifying by this act that his sin was 
transferred from himself to the victim, thus con- 
stituting it the bearer of his sin. This putting, or 
forcibly leaning, the hand on the head (an essential 
part of the oblation ) was a symbolical act, imply- 
ing, This animal is now for present purposes 
myself, and its life is my life. It was this act of 
identification with the offerer which made it to "be 
accepted for him to make atonement for him." 

(3) We see in them the principle of vicarious 
atonement. A sinless creature is reckoned sinful 
and judged for sin. It dies because standing in 
the place of the sinner, bears his sin, and is pun- 
ished as he deserves to be. And what a punish- 
ment it suffers ! Its body, accounted sin, made 
sin by the tremendous act of substitution and 

1 Oehler. 


imputation, is cast forth without the camp and 
hurried to ashes as if a thing accursed of God 
and abhorred of men ! 

(4) We see in them the doctrine of propitia- 
tion. The blood is sprinkled seven times before 
the veil of the sanctuary — the nearest approach 
into the Divine Presence which the priest could 
make save on the Day of Atonement. Seven is 
the number of completeness and perfection. The 
blood, which is the life, is thoroughly exhibited 
before the Lord ; the penalty for sin is seen to be 
fully executed ; justice, holiness, truth, are vindi- 
cated, and the wrath of God appeased. The 
blood is put on the horns of the altar of incense, — 
symbol of intercession, prayer, and communion, 
— and the remainder poured out at the bottom of 
the altar of burnt-offering. There is the cry 
of blood at the brazen altar, the cry of blood at 
the veil, the appeal of blood from the horns of 
the golden altar ! God hears the cry, and is sat- 
isfied ; for it speaks to him of wrath borne, justice 
done, punishment endured ; and now mercy, par- 
don, and love may flow out to the guilty one 
without limit or obstruction. What a parable of 
God's way of clearing the guilty and of main- 
taining his own honor and majesty ! 

The application of the doctrine of the sin- 
sacrifice is not difficult. Little spiritual intelli- 


gence is required to see it all fulfilled in the Lord 
Jesus Christ. He suffered the Just for the unjust ; 
he bare our sins in his own body on the tree ; he 
redeemed us from the curse of the law, being 
made a curse for us ; he was made sin for us, 
who knew no sin, that we might be made the 
righteousness of God in him. In allusion to the 
sin-sacrifice we are expressly told that he "suf- 
fered without the gate" (Heb. 13 : 12). And he 
is the propitiation for our sins. The profound 
sacrificial language of the Old Testament is carried 
bodily over into the New Testament and applied 
to the Lamb of God. All our iniquity is charged 
to him, and all the wrath due to our iniquity is 
discharged upon him. The heavy cloud of judg- 
ment which was all our own burst upon the head 
of our great Sin-bearer, and beneath it he bowed 
down even unto death ! More : he appeared 
before God, not with the blood of others, but with 
his own blood, having obtained eternal redemp- 
tion for us. In the apocalyptic vision he is seen 
in the radiant glory with the marks of recent 
slaughter upon him (Rev. 5 : 6). Two things 
are accomplished in the Antitype, as in the type, 
— expiation and intercession. In Christ sin is 
judged and put away, and access to God secured. 
By him we are brought nigh unto God, "and there 
I stand, poor worm," as the quaint Gambol said. 



(Lev. 16) 

The sacrificial system of the Jews reached its 
climax on the Great Day of Atonement, and the 
sin-offering was the most prominent feature in 
the ritual of that day. 


The Day of Atonement was observed on the 
tenth of the seventh month, five days before the 
Feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23 : 34). 

1. It was a day of national humiliation, when 
all Israel should "afflict their souls" — seek for 
real contrition of heart. All secular employment 
was laid aside. The sense of sin was to be 
deepened to its utmost intensity in the national 
mind, and exhibited in appropriate forms of peni- 
tential sorrow. It was the only day upon which 
the high priest entered the most holy place of 
the tabernacle "not without blood." It was the 
supreme day of the whole Mosaic economy, and it 
signalized as no other rite in the entire compli- 
cated system did the vital New Testament truth 



that " Christ was once offered to bear the sins of 
many/' and that he has " entered . . . into heaven 
itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us." 

2. It was a day that imposed the most solemn 
anxieties and severest duties on the high priest. 
"Seven days before it came, it severed him from 
his family and home, and confined him to the 
work of preparation for what was coming. He 
was put upon slender diet, and on the atonement 
day was required to fast entirely until evening." 1 
"All night long [preceding the day] he was to be 
hearing and expounding the Holy Scriptures, or 
otherwise kept employed, so that he might not 
fall asleep." 2 During the most solemn functions 
he was not to wear the golden and glorious vest- 
ments of his office, but "linen garments," and he 
washed his whole body five times on the day, and 
his hands and feet ten times. 3 

3. The special services of the day were performed 
by the high priest alone. He was neither to be 
accompanied nor assisted by any one. The hum- 
bler duties which at other times devolved upon the 
ordinary priest rested on him alone. All was done 
by his own hands ( Lev. 16 : 17 ). The only excep- 
tion was the removal of the scapegoat, which does 
not appear to have been a priestly act. Even the 
humbler duties of trimming the lamps, reviving 

1 Seiss. * Edersheim. 3 Ibid. 


the fires, slaughtering the animals, it is thought, 
were done by him. 

4. All this, it scarcely needs be noted, was 
typical of Him of whom Aaron and this day were but 
faint shadows. Sent from the heavenly glory, he 
is seen to be a laborious, self-denying servant. No 
gold glittered on his brow, nor tinkled in his foot- 
steps. No star of royalty blazed on his breast ; 
no gems sparkled on his shoulders. When he 
came, he laid his glory by ; he was the girded, not 
the arrayed One (cf. Phil. 2). Alone, too, he 
was in the great work of expiation. "Be not far 
from me, for trouble is near ; for there is none to 
help" (Ps. 22 : 11). "Reproach hath broken my 
heart, and I am full of heaviness : and I looked 
for some to take pity, but there was none ; and for 
comforters, but I found none" (Ps. 69 : 20). By 
himself he made purification of our sins ; he 
offered himself to God. On the Day of Atone- 
ment, Aaron was alone. On the day of Calvary, 
all helpers were withdrawn. Lover and friend 
were put far from Him. All alone he wrestled in 
the garden ; alone he hung on the cross. The 
Father himself forsook him. 


The offerings of the day were, a bullock for a 
sin-offering and a ram for a burnt-offering for the 


high priest and his house ; two kids of the goats 
for a sin-offering and a ram for a burnt-offering 
for the congregation (Lev. 16: 3, 5). Besides, 
there were offered on the same day "burnt offer- 
ings for a sweet savour," a young bullock, one 
ram, and seven lambs of the first year, and their 
meat-offerings and drink-offerings (Num. 29 : 
8-11). But that the sin -sacrifices preceded all 
others on this day is quite evident from Leviticus 
16 : 24 : "And he shall wash his flesh with water 
in the holy place, and put on his garments [the 
beautiful garments], and come forth, and offer 
his burnt offering, and the burnt offering of the 
people, and make an atonement for himself, and 
for the people." This passage shows clearly that 
the whole of the burnt-offering and the festive 
sin-offering were brought after the expiatory serv- 
ices. The bodies of the bullock and goat of the 
sin-offering were burned without the camp (Lev. 
16: 27). 

1. The first expiatory service of the day was the 
presentation and slaying of the sin-offering for the 
high priest and his house. He must offer first for 
his own sins before he could offer for the sins of 
the people (Lev. 9:8; Heb. 7 : 27). This fact 
indicates the inherent weakness of the Levitical 
priesthood itself, and points to the inefficiency of 
the whole system which could effect no more than 


symbolical atonement. The chapter makes no 
mention of the imposition of hands either on the 
head of the priest's victim or on that of the goat 
"for Jehovah.*' But that this was done is inferred 
from the analogous action in all the other animal 
sacrifices. According to Edersheim, at the time 
of the second temple the high priest laid both 
his hands on the head of his bullock, and made 
the following confession : "Ah, Jehovah ! I have 
committed iniquity ; I have transgressed ; I have 
sinned — I and my house. Oh, then, Jehovah, I 
entreat thee, cover over [atone for, let there be 
atonement for] the iniquities, the transgressions, 
and the sins which I have committed, trans- 
gressed, and sinned before thee — I and my house, 
even as it is written in the law of Moses, thy 
servant : ' For, on that day will he cover over 
[atone] for you to make you clean ; from all 
your transgressions before Jehovah ye shall be 
cleansed.' " 1 

2. Aaron next presented the sin-offering for the 
congregation, which constituted the principal fea- 
ture of the rites of this day. Two goats were 
brought before the altar, and the high priest cast 
lots upon them, one "for Jehovah," the other "for 
Azazel." The goat for Jehovah was slain, and 
its blood was carried into the most holy place 

1 "Temple," etc., 271. 


and sprinkled seven times on and before the 
mercy-seat. There was the cry of blood in the 
very presence of God. Under his eyes was it 
placed, and by it the sins of the congregation 
were covered from his sight. It was this blood 
which made atonement not only for the people, 
but also for the sanctuary and for the altar of 
incense (Lev. 16 : 16 ; Ex. 30 : 10). But the altar 
of sacrifice in the court was also cleansed (Lev. 
16 : 18, 19). No other spot was more intimately 
connected with sin than the altar. For there 
every sin was laid down, and there the wrath of 
God against sin w r as particularly manifested. 
The foulest sin and the fullest atonement were 
found at the cross ! 

3. The sins of the congregation were symbolic- 
ally transferred to the goat "for Azazel" by the 
solemn imposition of Aaron's hands on its head, 
after which it was led away into the wilderness 
and let go. Most specific and definite is the 
language touching this remarkable scene. The 
high priest laid both his hands on the goat's head. 
In the other sacrifices where a single individual 
performed this act it was his hand, one hand, that 
made the transfer ; but here both hands were 
employed : the hands that had been filled with 
incense, that carried the blood in to the Divine 
Presence, are now filled with the sins, iniquities, 


and transgressions of the congregation, and these 
hands put them all on the head of the victim ! 
Substitution and imputation cannot be more 
vividly expressed. In the marvelous description 
of the Man of Sorrows of Isaiah 53 this astonish- 
ing scene of the Day of Atonement finds its 
illustration and accomplishment. " Surely he 
hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows. . . 
The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." 
And the almost startling words of Paul come to 
us with an added force in the presence of this 
transaction : "Christ hath redeemed us from the 
curse of the law, being made a curse for us " ( Gal. 
3:13). A curse ! Yes, not only because hanged 
on the tree, but under the curse of the broken law 
as our Sin-bearer. 

It is not the intention to enter into a discussion 
as to the meaning of the expression "for Azazel," 
which is found only in this chapter. Concerning 
its import a great variety of opinion is enter- 
tained. It is regarded as a place, a person, a 
thing, and an abstraction. Not a few, principally 
Germans, hold that it designates Satan, or at least 
a demon, to which the goat was devoted. This 
view is thought to be supported by the correlative 
expression "for Jehovah," and as this undoubtedly 
signifies a person, so "for Azazel" must likewise 
mean a person. But this is a rash assertion. No 


less a scholar than Hofmann puts the argument 
aside by the pertinent remark that "it is the lot 
and not the goat which is described in Leviticus 
as being for Jehovah and for Azazel." This goat 
was equally presented to Jehovah with the goat 
that was slain (Lev. 16 : 7). To take that which 
has been offered to God and give it to Satan 
"would be a daring impiety, which is inconceiv- 
able." Perhaps no better translation can be given 
of the words "for Azazel" than that of the margin 
in the Revision, namely, "for dismissal," which is 
almost identical in idea with the old translation, 
"scapegoat." That the live goat was intended to 
represent the entire removal of the sins put upon 
its head, is the conviction of all sober-minded 

4. The tivo goats formed but one offering. In 
Leviticus 16 : 15 the slain goat is described as a 
"sin offering . . . for the people." Both animals 
were charged with the iniquities and transgres- 
sions of the congregation ; and the reasons for 
the use of two instead of one, as in the ordinary 
sin-sacrifice, is probably that given by Keil, 
namely, the impossibility of combining in one 
victim all that it was the Divine purpose to set 
forth. The cognate truths of expiation and 
remission are most graphically exhibited in the 
transaction. The slain goat symbolizes the great 


truth of atonement — covering of sins by the 
blood ; the scapegoat, their removal. God has 
his claim upon the sinner which must be met — 
the execution of the righteous penalty due his 
sins. The sinner has needs also, namely, the 
remission of his trespasses. The punishment of 
sin, the removal of sin, — these are the truths 
taught by the two goats. That the whole trans- 
action has its accomplishment in Christ, scarcely 
requires to be pointed out. The very language 
of this chapter is carried over into later scripture 
and applied to him (Isa. 53 ; II. Cor. 5 : 21 ; I. 
Pet. 2 : 24, etc.). 


Three times on the Day of Atonement the high 
priest passed the veil and stood before the awful 
Presence at the ark. Xo one was to be near the 
sanctuary when the transit was made (Lev. 16 : 
17). The first was as follows: Filling a censer 
with burning coals from the brazen altar, and 
taking a handful of fine incense, he entered within 
the veil, and, covering the coals witli the incense, 
he left all there, that the sacred precinct might be 
filled with the cloud of incense, that he might 
not die (Lev. 16 : 13). The second entrance was 
with the blood of his own sin-offering, which he 


sprinkled on and before the mercy-seat seven 
times. On the third entrance he brought within 
the most holy place the blood of the people's 
offering (the "goat of Jehovah"), and sprinkled 
it in the like manner as he had done with that 
of his bullock. He then returned and sprinkled 
the united blood of his own and of the people's 
offering seven times on the altar of sacrifice in 
the court, and marked its horns with the same. 
Thus purification by blood was made for the 
congregation, and for the entire sanctuary — for 
the holy of holies, for the holy place, and for the 
court and its altar (Lev. 16 : 33). * 

Is it pressing the typology of Scripture too far 
when it is sought to find in our Lord's action after 
his resurrection, if not the fulfillment, at least 
something analogous to the entrances of the high 
priest into the inner sanctuary on the Day of 
Atonement ? On the morning of his resurrection 
he first appeared to Mary Magdalene. His words 
to her were, " Touch me not ; for I am not yet 
ascended to my Father : but go to my brethren, 
and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and 
your Father; and to my God, and your God" 
(John 20 : 17). This message fulfilled the strik- 

1 The sprinkling of the blood seems to have been in the follow- 
ing order: the mercy-seat, the veil, the horns of the altar of 
incense ( Ex. 30 : 10), and the altar of sacrifice. Thus, the ministry, 
the sanctuary in all its parts, and the people shared in the gracious 
benefits conferred by the symbolical atonement of this day. 


ing words of the great Messianic Psalm, "I will 
declare thy name unto my brethren" (Ps. 
22 : 22). It is noteworthy that the word for 
"touch" (anno) throughout the four Gospels is 
invariably used to designate either the imparting 
or the receiving of some special favor or blessing. 
Jesus was not yet ready to impart such blessing, 
because the proof of his finished work had not 
yet been presented to the Father. Shortly after, 
perhaps only an hour or two, he suffered the 
other women to hold him by the feet (Matt. 
28 : 9). It seems to us that the apparent discrep- 
ancy is entirely removed when we see that Jesus 
immediately ascended to the Father after his mes- 
sage to Mary, then returned to earth again, the 
first presentation of himself to the Father having 
taken place, even as it was foreshadowed by the 
entrances of the high priest into the holiest of all 
on the Day of Atonement. The present tense, " I 
ascend," or, as we might almost venture to trans- 
late "I am ascending," justifies this view. He 
was in the act of doing so when he revealed him- 
self to Mary. 


It was for the rebellions against God's govern- 
ment, the resistance to his grace, the accumulated 



sins of Israel, that all was done on this eventful 
day. The holy house itself was brought into 
such a state of defilement that blood alone could 
cleanse it. Atonement had to be made, not only 
for the priests and the congregation, but for the 
sanctuary likewise, for the ark and the altar, that 
God might still dwell among the people, and his 
throne be established in Israel. Three supreme 
truths stand out prominently in the sin-sacrifices 
of the Day of Expiation : first, propitiation at 
the mercy-seat for the sins of the people ; second, 
the purification of the sanctuary ; third, the sin 
borne away by the scapegoat. The same three 
great truths are found in Colossians ; namely, sin 
forgiven, peace made, and the reconciliation of 
all things by the cross of Christ. 

1. Tlie value of the sin-sacrifice is seen from the 
prominence it holds in the services of the day. 
No blood went into the immediate dwelling-place 
of God but it ; none other touched the mercy- 
seat. It is to this blood that reference is made in 
Hebrews 9 : 7, 25, where we read of the "high 
priest" entering "into the holy place every year 
with blood of others." It was this blood that was 
sprinkled before the face of Him who dwelt be- 
tween the cherubim, and whose glory appeared 
over the mercy -seat. 

2. Expiation of sin, by which the demands of 


the throne of God were fully met and satisfied, is 
another great truth taught by the proceedings of 
the day. The blood of the "sin offering for the 
people" (Jehovah's goat) was sprinkled seven 
times on and before the mercy-seat, whereby 
atonement was made. But what is meant by this 
term, atonement? It is not an exaggeration to 
say that without a right understanding of it no 
just or adequate conception of the significance of 
the rites of the day can be had. Everything turns 
on our apprehending its scriptural import. 

(1) The word "atonement" is uniformly em- 
ployed in connection with the sin-offering. Rarely 
is it used with the burnt-offering, and not at all with 
the peace-offering. The reason why it is in some 
instances found with the burnt-sacrifice is, that in 
the times anterior to Moses this offering was essen- 
tially a sin-offering, and in the Mosaic ritual it 
still retains some elements of the same. Atone- 
ment was the sole aim and object of the sin-sacri- 
fice. Many times over in the law we are told 
that the priest offered the sin-sacrifice "to make 
an atonement for him," "to make an atonement 
for them," "to make an atonement for the altar," 
etc. To effect such a result this sacrifice was 
primarily and only presented to God. 

(2) In the Hebrew language the term literally 
means, both in its verbal and substantive forms, 


to cover and a covering. To atone for sin is to 
cover it up, or cover it over. Kahnis's definition 
is about as good as any we have seen : "To atone 
means to cover sin before God ; that is, to deprive 
it of its power to come between us and God." 
The Divine Presence in some mysterious way was 
manifested at the ark of the covenant in the holy 
of holies. To speak accurately, over the mercy- 
seat and between the cherubim dwelt the super- 
natural symbol of God's presence. The ark was 
his throne, the mercy-seat its base, the cherubim 
its supports, and their overshadowing wings its 
canopy. Righteousness and judgment are the 
habitation of his throne : mercy and truth go 
before his face (Ps. 89 : 14). Within the ark was 
the Testimony, the holy law, the revelation of 
God's mind as to the righteousness that men must 
have in order to be at peace with him. But men 
have sin, not righteousness — guilt, not innocence. 
How can their sin be put away in harmony with 
the righteousness and truth of God ? By atone- 
ment, Scripture makes answer ; that is, by the 
sins being covered up from God's sight. And 
so the blood was sprinkled on the mercy-seat, that 
sin might be hid from God's eyes — might be 
blotted out and expunged. The blood of atone- 
ment covered the sin from his presence, so that 
God saw, not the sin, but its expiation. 


(3) The means of effecting atonement was the 
blood of a sacrificial animal. "Forithe life of the 
flesh is in the blood : and I have given it to you 
upon the altar to make an atonement for your 
souls : for it is the blood that maketh an atone- 
ment for the soul" (Lev. 17: 11). The last 
clause of this verse is now universally rendered, 
"for it is the blood that maketh atonement through 
[by means of] the soul." The atonement is 
effected through the life which is in the blood. 
Blood is the soul of the flesh; that is, its seat, its 
vehicle. Harvey, the discoverer of the circula- 
tion, says of it, "It is the fountain of life, the first 
to live, the last to die, and the primary seat of 
the animal soul." To shed blood is to pour out 
life — to die. Death was the awful penalty affixed 
to the disobedience to God's will (Gen. 2 : 16, 17). 
The slaughter of the victim at the altar and the 
sprinkling of its blood before the face of God 
satisfied the claims of justice, exhausted the pen- 
alty, covered the sin, effected atonement. It was 
God's ordained way of making reconciliation and 
peace, and there is no other way. "Without 
shedding of blood is no remission" (Heb. 9 : 22). 

(4) The atonement was vicarious. The sinful 
congregation and the two goats were identified, 
the latter standing in the place, suffering the 
punishment due to the sin, of the former. In 


the death of the one the congregation sacramen- 
tally died ; the dismissal of the other in the 
wilderness symbolized the remission and removal 
of the transgressions and iniquities of the people. 
"Life for life" was the central idea in this as in 
every sin-sacrifice. If the cognate doctrines of 
substitution and imputation can be expressed at 
all by act and speech, these are vividly and 
unmistakably set forth by the solemn transaction 
in connection with the two goats. By them Israel 
satisfied the penalty incurred by their sins, and 
rejoiced in the assurance of forgiveness and peace 
with God. The Hebrew knew of a surety by the 
word of the law itself that the blood shed was 
vicarious (Lev. 17 : 11). 

(5) In atonement there is essentially the idea of 
expiation, propitiation. The blood expiates sin and 
propitiates God. The words for "atone" and for 
"atonement" are uniformly rendered by the Sep- 
tuagint "to propitiate," "propitiation" (£zdd<Txo/jLat, 
igdaeis). Ten times the verb is so translated in 
Leviticus 16. The very name of the mercy -seat 
(Uu(TTrjptov) is employed by Paul to designate the 
sacrificial work of Christ ; " whom God hath set 
forth to be a propitiation through faith in his 
blood" (Rom. 3 : 25). Christ's propitiation was 
by his blood. To cover sin, therefore, is to propi- 
tiate God with respect to it ; that is, to make a 


penal satisfaction for it, and so make it possible 
for God to put it away and cancel it. 

The apostle John uses similar terms to express 
the idea of expiation or propitiation (I. John 
2:2; 4 : 10). Even the publican of the parable 
had a clear conception of God's method of pardon 
by means of atonement, or expiation, as is evinced 
by liis prayer, "God be propitiated \_i/,drrOrjTi^ to me 
a sinner" (Luke 18 : 13). When, therefore, the 
blood of a sacrificial animal is said to cover sin, it 
must mean that it expiates it — hides it from the 
sight of God by satisfying him as to his just 
claims on the guilty. This, unquestionably, is 
the very essence of the sacrificial rites of the Day 
of Expiation. 

3. The prominence assigned the blood of expia- 
tion is another characteristic feature of the day. 
From its symbolic use we at once perceive the 
reason for the profound emphasis attaching in 
Scripture to the blood of Christ} The Gospels 
record his perfect life and his matchless death. 
The Epistles unfold the efficacy and preciousness 
of his blood. We are redeemed by his blood 
(Eph. 1:7); justified by his blood (Rom. 5 : 9) ; 
forgiven through his blood (Col. 1 : 14); purged 
as to the conscience by his blood (Heb. 9 : 14); 
cleansed by his blood (I. John 1:7); made white 
by his blood (Rev. 7 : 14) ; have peace through 


his blood (Col. 1 : 20) ; enter the holiest by his 
blood (Heb. 10: 19). God makes everything of 
the blood of his dear Son. The value he sets 
upon it is infinite and eternal ; for by it he par- 
dons, justifies, sanctifies, and saves the believing 
sinner. It is the blood that atones, propitiates, 
expiates, satisfies ; for the blood is the life, the 
soul, and Christ gave his blood, his life, for us. 
This it was which he carried into the majestic 
Presence, and by it covered forever from the eyes 
of the living God the sins of all the redeemed. 

Of old, in the land of Egypt, when the angel- 
destroyer went forth on his mission of death, God 
said, "When I see the blood, I will pass over you." 
Not morality, nor integrity, nor education, nor 
civilization, nor culture, nor character-building, 
but the BLOOD redeems. 

4. The action of the high priest on the day was 
typical of Christ the High Priest of our profession. 

(1) Aaron acted under divine direction. 
"Aaron shall," is the ever-recurring mandate. 
Deviation from the prescribed order would have 
been failure in his work and death to himself. 
So Christ, the great Antitype, was the Anointed — 
the Sent One, acted under a divine commission, 
and finished the work God gave him to do (John 
17: 4). Every part of the transcendent enter- 
prise down to the last detail and infinitesimal 


minutia he perfectly accomplished. The glorious 
proof of it is in his resurrection from the dead. 

(2) Aaron divested himself of his rich attire. 
"The garments of glory and beauty," the ephod 
with its precious stones, the miter with its glitter- 
ing crown of gold, were laid by, and the linen 
dress assumed. Christ laid aside the glory which 
he had with the Father before the world was, 
when he girded himself for the work of our 
salvation. He "made himself of no reputation, 
and took upon him the form of a servant" (Phil. 
2:7). He veiled his glory. Gleams there were 
ever and anon that indicated who he was and 
whence — the Son of God from heaven ; but these 
were occasional, not habitual. He was the Serv- 
ant, though the Sovereign ; the Sacrifice, though 
the Creator and Judge of all. He humbled him- 
self to death, though the Prince of Life. 

(3) Aaron did his priestly work alone. No 
other foot but his might enter within the veil ; 
no other hand but his might sprinkle the blood 
on the mercy-seat. On the eventful day of 
expiation Christ was alone. " Ye . . . shall leave 
me alone," had been his prediction (John 16 : 32). 
How truly it was fulfilled all know. In the midst 
stood that cross in its lonely majesty — God on one 
side with averted face ; on the other, Satan, exult- 
ing in his triumph. The world took sides with 


Satan. "His darling was in the power of the 
dog," and there was none to pity, none to help. 

5. The day was a graphic picture of Christ's 
work of atonement. The parallelism is drawn out 
at length in Hebrews 9-10 : 18. And there are 
both contrast and comparison. The main points 
only are indicated. 

(1) Aaron was compelled to present offerings 
for himself as well as for the people ( Heb. 9:7); 
but the holy, harmless, undefiled One, separate 
from sinners, needed no sacrifice for himself 
(Heb. 7: 26, 27). 

(2) The high priest entered into the earthly 
sanctuary ; but Christ, into heaven itself to appear 
in the presence of God for us (Heb. 9 : 24). 

(3) The high priest went in with the blood 
of others — foreign (akkoTpia*) blood; Christ, with 
his own (moo) blood (Heb. 9 : 25, 12). 

(4) The sin-sacrifice availed only for the puri- 
fying of the flesh (Heb. 9 : 13) ; Christ's sacrifice, 
for the purifying of the conscience from dead 
works to serve the living God (Heb. 9 : 14). 

( 5 ) The sin-sacrifice availed for one year only ; 
it had to be repeated year by year ( Heb. 9 : 25 ) ; 
Christ's sacrifice availed for eternal redemption 
(Heb. 9: 12). 

(6) The blood of bulls and goats could not 
take away sins — there was a remembrance of 


them made every year (Heb. 10 : 3, 4) ; Christ 
by his one offering forever hath put away sin 
(Heb. 9: 26; 10: 14). 

(7) The priests stood daily ministering and 
offering oftentimes the same sacrifices (Heb. 
10 : 11) ; but Christ, after he had offered one sac- 
rifice forever, sat down on the right hand of God 
(Heb. 10 : 12). Four times in the Epistle to the 
Hebrews is the word "sit" applied to the Lord 
Jesus (1 : 3 ; 8 : 1 ; 10 : 12 ; 12 : 2) ; and the im- 
port manifestly is : He hath finished the work 
given him to do. Redemption is now complete, 
and accepted, and the way into the holiest of all 
is cleared for all who will enter. The presence of 
our High Priest in glory is both the proof and 


Such were the sacrifices presented to God on 
the altar of brass at the door of the tabernacle. 
We may sum them up in a few sentences. They 
reach their perfection in Christ, for they were all 
types and predictions of his one glorious work of 
salvation. He is the Burnt-offering. He gave 
himself to God in a devotedness which kept noth- 
ing back. He is the Meat-offering ; for he is the 
supreme delight of the Father, and he satisfies 
the deepest wants of man's hungry soul. He is 
the Peace-offering ; for in him all sacred fel- 


lowship between the Father and sinful men is 
enjoyed. He is the Sin-offering ; for he bore our 
sins in his own body on the tree. And he is the 
Trespass-offering ; for he has redeemed us by his 
blood, and has made us kings and priests unto 
God, even the Father. Inquire for unparalleled 
self-denial and whole-hearted devotion to God — 
it is found in him. Inquire for blood of holy 
excellence and infinite value — it is his. Inquire 
for a table where God and the children can sit 
and feed together in perfect peace — it is found in 
him. All that the Levitical sacrifices prefigured, 
and all that God demands and the needy sinner 
requires, is found in Jesus Christ our Lord. 

What did the sacrifices at the brazen altar 
accomplish for Old Testament worshipers ? Much 
every way. 

1. They served to maintain Israel in fellow- 
ship with God. Because of the blood shed at the 
altar and sprinkled on the mercy-seat, God could 
dwell among the sinful and erring people. 

2. They served to keep vividly before the 
minds of the people the divinely implanted hope 
that Messiah would appear and turn away iniq- 
uity from Jacob. They thus supplied the founda- 
tion for the faith which, in them as in us, is "the 
substance of things hoped for, the evidence of 
things not seen." 


3. They secured salvation for all who be- 
lieved God's promise of the coming Deliverer. 
The blood of bulls and goats could not take away 
sin. The blood of Christ alone can. The sacri- 
fices were a divine pledge that God would in due 
time provide an all-sufficient atonement ; there- 
fore, he could and did pardon and save all who 
trusted him. Christ is "the Mediator of the new 
testament, that by means of death, for the re- 
demption of the transgressions that were under 
the first testament, they which are called might 
receive the promise of eternal inheritance" (Heb. 
9 : 15). The reference is to those who lived under 
the Mosaic economy, and the statement is that the 
death of Christ had a retroactive effect as to their 
transgressions. " Redemption of the transgres- 
sions" is elliptical, and means redemption from 
them. Christ's death threw its blessings back 
upon all preceding times, as well as forward. 
" Not posterity merely, but ancestors, were bene- 
fited by the self-denying scenes of Calvary. The 
river of mercy flowed backward from the cross to 
the creation, as well as onwards to the end of the 
world." 1 " These all, having obtained a good re- 
port through faith, received not the promise ; God 
having provided some better thing for us, that 
they without [apart from] us should not be made 

1 Lindsay on Hebrews. 


perfect" (Heb. 11: 39, 40). The saints who 
lived before Jesus died were saved, but saved on 
credit — saved in promise and pledge of a perfect 
atonement being made for their sins. On the 
cross God dealt with their sins as he dealt with 
ours. On Christ's holy person all the sins of all 
the saved throughout all time were concentrated, 
and expiated, and blotted out forever. 

4. They taught the supreme doctrine of atone- 
ment by the shedding of blood, even the blood ol 
God's dear Son. 




Three chapters of the Pentateuch, namely, 
Leviticus 23 and Numbers 28, 29, record the 
institution of the Hebrew festivals and the laws 
which regulated them. These chapters contain 
the largest information on the subject which the 
books of Moses afford. Leviticus 25 deals w r ith 
the sacred seasons and with the laws pertaining 
thereto — the sabbatic year and the jubilee, or 
fiftieth year. Israel's feasts and holy seasons 
were essential parts of the Mosaic institutions, 
and accordingly brief notes respecting them are 

A difference of opinion exists as to the number 
of the feasts. Some maintain that Leviticus 23 
records but five — the Passover, Pentecost, Trum- 
pets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles. Others 
recognize seven ; namely, the Sabbath and the 
First-fruits in addition to those just mentioned. 
We adopt the last enumeration. 

The five principal feasts are called in Numbers 



29 : 39 "set feasts" (see, also, Lev. 23 : 4, R. V.). 
Three of them (often called the great festivals) — 
the Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles — were 
distinguished by the attendance of the male 
Israelites at the national sanctuary : "Three times 
in the year all thy males shall appear before the 
Lord God" (Ex. 23 : 17 ; Deut. 16 : 16). In con- 
nection with each feast there was to be observed 
a "holy convocation," or solemn assembly, in 
which no servile work was to be done. These 
days of holy convocation did not require the 
general attendance of the people at the tabernacle 
or temple, as may be inferred from the fact that 
such assemblies were limited to three occasions in 
the year. They were rather days of sabbatical 
rest and worship, and, no doubt, were observed in 
every village and town of the Holy Land. There 
were seven convocations — the first and last days 
of Unleavened Bread, the first and last of Taber- 
nacles, and one day each for Pentecost, Atone- 
ment, and Trumpets. 


( Lev. 23 : 1-3. ) 

The Sabbath is placed at the head of the ap- 
pointed seasons in Leviticus 23 : 1-3 ; Exodus 34 : 
21-23 ; Numbers 28 : 9, 10. It was not altogether 
a Mosaic institution. Its original enactment took 


place at the close of creation week (Gen. 2 : 1-3). 
Its reappointment through Moses and its inclu- 
sion in the Decalogue show how important it 
was in Jehovah's mind, and how needful for the 
well-being of men. The expression "sabbath of 
rest" (Lev. 23 : 3) is somewhat peculiar — literally, 
"a rest-day of rest," that is, a complete day of rest 
to the Lord. The Sabbath is Adamic, and belongs 
to mankind. It points very emphatically to 
God's rest, and to the rest which remains for his 
people, the great sabbath-keeping of the saints 
(Heb. 4:9). It is a Jewish saying that "who- 
ever does any work on the Sabbath denies the 
work of creation." And it may be added, who- 
ever desecrates the Lord's day denies or ignores 
the blessed results of Christ's redemption. Chris- 
tianity knows no "set feasts," no sacred seasons, 
no holy convocations, save that hallowed day 
which commemorates the resurrection of the Lord 
Jesus from the dead. Christmas, Easter, Good 
Friday, and the rest are of men's invention — 
the product of the Judaizing spirit which betrayed 
itself even in apostolic times, and which now 
pervades all Christendom. The New Testament 
recognizes but one day — the Lord's day. All the 
more precious should this day be to all believers 
since it stands as the solitary sacred day in the 
calendar of our dispensation. 



Seven is one of the most conspicuous of all 
Bible numbers. It denotes completion, or perfec- 
tion. It likewise marks the measurement of time. 
Seven determined the order of the sacred seasons, 
and it controlled to a considerable degree the 
order of the feasts. The seventh day was the 
completion of the week, its crown. The seventh 
or sabbatical year was the rest-year for the land, 
as the seventh day was the rest-day for the people. 
The jubilee was the completion of a week of sab- 
batical years — seven times seven years, and it 
marked the period of restitution and restoration, 
when every bondman recovered his freedom and 
every alienated inheritance reverted to the orig- 
inal owner. Pentecost was the completion of a 
week of Sabbaths — seven times seven days. The 
Passover was always celebrated on the fourteenth 
day of Nisan. In fact, all the feasts of Israel were 
embraced within a week of months, that is, seven 
months. The seventh month was distinguished for 
its three great feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, and 
Tabernacles. The other five months of the year 
had no annual festival. Nor is this all. The num- 
ber seven enters largely into the chronology of 
the Bible. Matthew distributes the whole period 
from Abraham to Jesus into three great sections 
of fourteen generations each (Matt. 1 : 1-17). The 
revealing angel announced to the prophet Daniel 


that God's purposes with respect to Israel are 
bounded by seventy heptads — seventy weeks of 
years (Dan. 9 : 24-27). Those mystic weeks are 
founded on the Hebrew sabbatic year, and not on 
the common week of seven days. It is seventy 
weeks of years that mark Israel's history, at the 
end of which time God's mysterious ways with 
that strange people will be made gloriously clear. 
So, too, the Book of Revelation is built on the 
principle of the septenary. Every reader of it 
must be struck with the frequent occurrence of 
the number seven. The numbers of the Bible 
have never received the attention which they 
deserve. Sacred arithmetic, so full of profound 
instruction, still waits some competent and pru- 
dent expounder. 

For all this varied use of seven the Sabbath is 
the basis and the key. God has made it the 
center of his wondrous chronology. All the great 
biblical cycles are multiples of seven ; for exam- 
ple, 70 (the period of Judah's captivity), 490, 
1260, 2520, etc. It may be that the number 
seven is more deeply imbedded in the time-history 
of our planet, and even of the universe, than we 


The first great feast was the Passover, which 
combined in it the idea both of sacrifice (in real- 


ity, the sin-offering) and festival, for with it was 
joined the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It was 
instituted in Egypt on the 14th of Nisan, the first 
month of the sacred year (Ex. 12 : 2), and it was 
at once the sign and seal of Israel's protection 
from judgment and redemption from bondage. 
The main feature of it was the lamb slain and 
the sprinkling of the blood on the lintels and 
door-posts of the Hebrew houses. This was God's 
solemn pledge of safety and immunity from the 
messenger of death, the angel-destroyer. Jeho- 
vah's word to the people about the blood was, 
" When I see the blood, I will pass over you, and 
there shall no plague be upon you to destroy you, 
when I smite the land of Egypt" (Ex. 12 : 13, 
R. V.). Redemption by blood is the solemn 
lesson and the central truth in the Passover. 
How a man like Oehler can deny the vicarious 
death of the lamb is strange indeed, for this is 
the essence of the whole transaction. The lamb 
died that the first-born of each Hebrew family 
might not die. The blood sheltered every house 
where it was found. "And the blood shall be to 
you for a token upon the houses where ye are," 
was the Lord's word to his people in Egypt. The 
typical character of the Passover is distinctly 
recognized in the New Testament : " For even 
Christ our passover is sacrificed for us" (I. Cor. 


5:7). The lamb slain was the first great object 
held up to Israel about to be redeemed. " Behold 
the Lamb of God," is the cry that first reaches a 
sinner's ear and a sinner's heart. Christ and 
him crucified is the one supreme object in God's 
plan of redemption. 

The Feast of Unleavened Bread was a contin- 
uation of the Passover, and followed it on the 
next day, and continued for a week. From the 
beginning of Passover all leaven was rigorously 
banished from the houses of the Hebrews. So 
strict was the law that the Jews made search for 
leaven with lighted lamp, that no particle of it 
might remain concealed. The name "Passover" 
in the New Testament is applied to the whole 
paschal feast. This fact must be borne in mind 
particularly in the study of the last Passover 
observed by our Lord and his disciples. In John 
18 : 28 we are told that the Jews refused to enter 
Pilate's judgment hall lest they should contract 
defilement and thus be unfitted to eat the pass- 
over. It was the chagigah, or second meal (the 
paschal lamb being the first), which was eaten on 
the first day of Unleavened Bread, 15th of Nisan, 
to which reference is made. 1 

The Passover subsequent to the exodus was 
strictly a memorial festival. Its design was to 

1 Edersheim. 


keep vividly in the national mind the remem- 
brance of the glorious deliverance from bondage. 
In this respect, as well as in many others, the Lord's 
Supper bears a close resemblance to the ancient 
Hebrew feast. It was on the night of the Pass- 
over that the supper was instituted ; and it was 
instituted at the drinking of the third cup of the 
Passover. Four cups were drunk in connection 
with the paschal feast. The first was drunk after 
the prayer of thanksgiving ; the second, after the 
first part of the "Great Hallel" (Ps. 113, 114) 
was sung ; the third, just after the eating of the 
paschal lamb ; and the fourth, in connection with 
the second part of "Hallel" (Ps. 115-118). It 
is suggestive that the third cup of the Passover 
bore the name, "the cup of blessing," — the name 
which Paul applies to the Christian cup (I. Cor. 
10 : 16). Both these ordinances are retrospective : 
the first looked back to the mighty deliverance 
from Egypt ; the second looks backward to the 
advent of the Messiah in humiliation, when he 
died the Just for the unjust, that he might bring 
us to God. Both are prospective : the Passover 
looked forward to the coming of Messiah as the 
Lamb of God ; the supper looks forward to his 
appearing in glory. Its language is, "till he 
come." The Passover commemorated redemption 
from a pitiless tyranny — from the weary brick- 


kilns, and the hiss of the taskmaster's cruel lash. 
It meant, too, introduction into the Land of 
Promise, the peaceful enjoyment of home and 
rest. He brought them out that he might bring 
them in (Deut. 6 : 23). The Lord's Supper com- 
memorates redemption from the greater despotism 
of sin, and from all sin's frightful consequences, 
and introduction into and establishment in the 
inheritance which is unfailing and inalienable. 

(Lev. 23:9-14.) 

This feast was observed during the week of 
Unleavened Bread. Yet that it was a distinct 
and characteristic ordinance appears evident from 
the language with which it is introduced : "And 
the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto 
the children of Israel, and say unto them" (Lev. 
23 : 9, 10), — a formula that invariably opens a 
new section, and marks an additional appoint- 
ment. The revisers of the Old Testament begin a 
paragraph of the chapter with these words. 

The rite contemplates settlement in the land ; 
it is not a wilderness provision. On the same day 
the passover was killed (Nisan 14), " delegates 
marked out the spot in the grain field whence 
the sheaf of first-fruits was to be reaped." On 
the following day (Nisan 15), at sunset, three 


men were sent to the selected field, and, in the 
presence of witnesses, cut the ears of grain ( barley ) 
before marked, and brought them into the sanc- 
tuary. On the next day (Nisan 16), the third 
day, the sheaf was waved before the Lord, "to 
be accepted for you" ; that is, it was vicarious, the 
devotion of the whole crop to Jehovah, and the 
earnest and guaranty of the entire harvest. The 
expression, "the morrow after the sabbath," is 
somewhat difficult, but if it is to be taken in the 
usual sense, as the seventh day, then this ancient 
type of the wave-sheaf was remarkably fulfilled 
in the resurrection of Christ from the dead. For 
on Thursday of Passion Week the Passover was 
observed ; Friday the sheaf was cut from the field 
— the day on which Jesus was " cut off " ; Saturday 
(Sabbath) he lay in the tomb, and on "'the morrow 
after the sabbath" he arose from the dead. 

It is from this wave-sheaf of the first-fruits 
that the very suggestive expression of Paul is 
taken, "Christ the first-fruits" (I. Cor. 15: 20, 
23). The sheaf was the pledge and the sample 
of the ingathering of the entire harvest. On the 
predetermined day Christ our Passover was sacri- 
ficed for us. On the third day, "the morrow 
after the sabbath," the appointed " first day of the 
week," he rose from the dead and became the first- 
fruits of them that slept. In him was no leaven — 


no sin ; in his life and death and resurrection he 
was "for a sweet savour unto the Lord." His 
resurrection is the earnest and the pledge of ours. 
The great argument of I. Corinthians 15 is almost 
solely taken up with the security which that 
mighty event affords for our faith. And the 
triumphant conclusion of the Holy Spirit is, " But 
now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the 
first-fruits of them that slept." 

It is instructive to note that the first religious acts 
of the Hebrews after the passage of the Jordan 
were the observance of the Passover and the wav- 
ing of the sheaf of first-fruits of the barley which 
they found already ripe for the sickle (Josh. 5 : 
10, 11 ). Thus they held aloft the two distinctive 
types of the Lord's death and resurrection, and 
signalized their hope in Him who was to come — 
the Greater than Moses, the true Joshua, who has 
delivered his people and who will in due time bring 
them all into the heavenly Canaan, in the death- 
less beauty of resurrection glory. Two precious 
types are thus found in the Passover and the feast 
that was connected with it — the death and resur- 
rection of the Lord Jesus. 


(Lev. 23: 15-21.) 

The usual formula, "And the Lord spake unto 
Moses, saying" (Lev. 23: 1, 9, 23, etc.), is here 


omitted, owing to the close connection of the wave- 
sheaf of the Passover wdth the two wave-loaves of 
this feast. Both refer to the harvest, the former 
to the first ripe grain of the barley field, and the 
latter to the first-fruits of the wheat harvest. The 
Jews hold that Pentecost was fifty days after the 
giving of the law at Sinai, and that it was insti- 
tuted to commemorate that event. This belief has 
only traditional ground. The Bible furnishes no 
hint that Pentecost was designed to perpetuate the 
majestic scenes enacted at Sinai. It was much 
more nearly related to the Passover than to the 
promulgation of the law. It was observed on the 
fiftieth day after the wave-sheaf (v. 15), that is, 
about the end of May, or first of June. It was 
reckoned by Sabbaths — a week of weeks ; accord- 
ingly, the fiftieth day may be called the eighth 
day, "the morrow after the sabbath," which 
would correspond w r ith the first day of the week. 
It is remarkable how prominently the first day of 
the week, the day of resurrection, shines forth 
in these old ceremonies. In fulfillment of the 
prediction in the wave-sheaf, Christ rose from the 
dead on the first day of the week. On the fiftieth 
day, that is, the eighth day, or first day, the 
Holy Spirit was bestowed in fulfillment of the 
prediction of the wave-loaves, and the Christian 
church was formally organized into one body. 


In the two great feasts that lasted each a week 
(Passover and Tabernacles), the octave, or eighth 
day (which is a kind of first day of the week), 
was always "a high day." These facts furnish 
no small proof that Christians are right in keep- 
ing this day as the Lord's day. Already in 
Moses' time God was planning and drafting the 
ritual of his people so that the change from 
the seventh to the first day of the week as the 
day of rest should be foreshadowed and pre- 
announced, for Christ in his death and resur- 
rection is the supreme object of all his gracious 
purposes. 1 

The main feature of the Pentecost was the 
waving of the two loaves before the Lord. The 
loaves were prepared from the grain of the new 
crop, and were called the "first-fruits." They 
were made with leaven. In this respect they dif- 

1 W r hat we name the first day of the week was the eighth day 
with the Jews. The Sabbath (Saturday) ended their week, as the 
Lord's day begins ours. The "eighth day," the "first day," "the 
morrow after the sabbath," and the "Lord's day" are the same. 
Scripture gives prominence to the "eighth day." On it the Lord 
was to appear to the priests and elders of Israel ( Lev. 9 : 1, 6 ) — and 
this after they waited seven days (Lev. 8 : 3-5, 36). On the eighth 
day leprosy was cleansed (Lev. 14: 10, 23); on the same day one 
afflicted with a running issue was to be cured (Lev. 15:14); 
and the rite of circumcision was performed on the same day 
( Lev. 12 : 3). (See Ex. 22 : 30 ; Num. 6 : 10 ; 29 : 35, etc.). Did our Lord 
himself appoint the first day of the week as the day of rest since 
his resurrection? "The Lord's day" {rrf KvpiaKrj 17/u.e'pa, Rev. 1 : 10) 
may mean this as much and as certainly as the kindred phrase, 
" the Lord's Supper" ( Kvpiaicbv Selnvov) means the supper which he 
instituted. Psalm 24 is in the Greek version called "a psalm of 
David of the first day of the week." 


fered widely from the wave-sheaf of the Passover, 
when all leaven was rigorously excluded. 

What were these loaves designed to symbolize ? 
Certainly not the Lord Jesus Christ. The pres- 
ence of leaven in them forbids such an applica- 
tion. For the same reason they cannot represent 
the Holy Spirit. The Word of God furnishes the 
explanation in its use of the term "first-fruits/' 
which it applies frequently to the Lord's jieople. 
Thus, Jeremiah describes Israel as "holiness unto 
the Lord, and the first-fruits of his increase" ( Jer. 
2:3). Paul employs the like term : "And if the 
first-fruit is holy, so is the lump" (Rom. 11 : 16, 
R. V.) ; and James also : "Of his own will begat 
he us with the word of truth, that we should be a 
kind of first-fruits of his creatures" (Jas. 1 : 18). 
The term "first-fruits" in these texts is derived, 
not from the wave-sheaf of the Passover, but from 
the wave-loaves of Pentecost. Christ's resurrec- 
tion is the fulfillment of the promise held out in 
the wave-sheaf. He is the earnest of the resur- 
rection harvest — the first-fruits of them that sleep. 
He is without leaven — is sinless. God's people 
are the fulfillment of the promise held forth by 
the wave-loaves of Pentecost. God's harvest-field 
is the world. Israel was the first-fruits, nation- 
ally, of a larger harvest to come. The church is 
the first-fruits of a still more bountiful harvest to 


be gathered. The one hundred and twenty dis- 
ciples of the memorable Pentecost, when the 
Holy Spirit was poured out with such marvelous 
results (Acts 2), became the earnest and pledge 
of the mighty ingathering which is to continue 
until the fullness of the Gentiles is come in (Kom. 
11 : 25). The loaves were two, perhaps to indi- 
cate, as Lowth has suggested, "the two component 
parts of the Christian church, the Jews and the 
Gentiles, both made one in Christ." The loaves 
were leavened. The type fits the antitype with 
utmost exactness and precision. In all God's peo- 
ple a measure of evil inheres. Even in the one 
hundred and twenty, with all the supernatural 
gifts and bestowments which they enjoyed, evil 
was present. But their acceptance with God was 
perfect because the sacrifice made for them and 
for all believers was perfect. It must be noted 
that with the wave-loaves of Pentecost the sin- 
offering was presented (Lev. 23 : 19), for sin was 
recognized and must be atoned for. " If the wave- 
loaves needed a sin-offering to make them accept- 
able, so did this company in the upper room need 
the mediating mercy of Jesus Christ, for they 
were sinners." 1 The Passover shows us Christ 
crucified. The wave-sheaf shows us Christ raised 
from the dead and glorified as our forerunner. 

1 Stifler. 


The wave-loaves show us Christ by his Spirit 
gathering into one body his people whom he 
foreknew, and for whom he fell into the ground 
and died, as the corn of wheat which was to 
bring forth much fruit (John 12 : 24). 

(Lev. 23:24, 25.) 

The Feast of Trumpets fell on the first of the 
seventh month, — September-October, — and it was 
an occasion of blowing of trumpets and of rejoic- 
ing from morning till evening. It was also a New- 
Year's festival, for the seventh month was the be- 
ginning of the civil year, as Nisan — March-April 
— was the beginning of the sacred year. Each 
new moon throughout the year was observed with 
religious ceremonies, as Psalm 81 : 3 and Colos- 
sians 2:16 seem to attest. But to the new moon 
of the seventh month attached a special solem- 
nity. It was kept as a sabbath ; no servile work 
was to be performed, and a "holy convocation" 
was to be called, and appropriate sacrifices were 
to be offered. The trumpets employed in the 
feast were probably the silver ones described in 
Numbers 10 : 1-10. In the tenth verse of this 
passage the priests are commanded to blow with 
the trumpets "in your solemn days, and in the 
beginnings of your months," language which 


obviously refers to the Feast of the New Moon. 
Soltau holds that the trumpets were made of 
silver atonement-money. In the numbering of 
the first-born, for whom the Levites were substi- 
tuted (Num. 3: 40-51), there was an excess of 
two hundred and seventy-three souls. God 
accordingly directed that these two hundred and 
seventy-three first-born Israelites should be re- 
deemed at the price of five shekels each, making 
in all the sum of 1,365 shekels. This money 
was by divine command given to Aaron and his 
sons. No doubt, this sum was dedicated to the 
service of the tabernacle, and it is not impossible 
that out of it the silver trumpets were made. If 
so, then there is much significance in the fact that 
they were trumpets of redemption-money, and 
hence were signally adapted to the proclamation 
of redemption. 

These silver trumpets served a variety of pur- 
poses. They summoned the congregation and 
the rulers of Israel into the presence of Moses 
that they might hear from the lips of God's 
servant words of instruction, encouragement, or 
reproof (Num. 10 : 3, 4). It is quite likely, also, 
that they called the assembly of the chosen people 
to the tabernacle for worship. Our church bells 
serve the like purpose now. The trumpets 
sounded the order to march (Num. 10 : 5-7). A 


suggestive term is used in this connection, namely, 
"alarm"; the priests were to sound an "alarm" 
when they gave the order for marching. The term 
implies that the way before the people was difficult 
and dangerous, and hence they were to be aroused 
by the peal of the trumpet, and address them- 
selves to the journey with earnestness and vigor. 
The same kind of energy and vigilance must 
characterize the inarch as the sounding of the 
war alarm by the trumpets (v. 9). Their com- 
mon use, however, was to usher in the seasons of 
special service, the days of joy, the times of 
solemn affliction of soul and fasting, and the 
opening of each month (v. 10). 

This feast is described as a "memorial of blow- 
ing of trumpets." What does it keep in memory ? 
What does it recall ? Some say the creation, 
which they suppose took place in the autumn, or 
at least was then completed. If so, it might be 
held as a memorial of the "sons of God shout- 
ing for joy" at the earth's foundation. This 
explanation seems incongruous ; it does not har- 
monize with the manifest design of the other 
feasts, which related to the Hebrew people and to 
God's plan of redemption. Others say it was 
intended to be a memorial of God's voice, which 
is sometimes described as the sound of a trumpet 
(Ex. 19 : 19 ; Rev. 1 : 10). But the utterance of 


the Divine voice was attended by an overwhelm- 
ing display of majesty and power. Even "Moses 
said, I exceedingly fear and quake" (Heb. 12 : 21), 
and John fell at the feet of the Lord as one dead 
(Rev. 1 : 17). The Feast of Trumpets was dis- 
tinguished for its joy and gladness. It was on 
the first day of the seventh month, therefore 
on the Day of Trumpets, that Ezra read the Book 
of the Law publicly to the restored exiles ; and 
when "the people wept, when they heard the 
words of the law," Nehemiah and Ezra and the 
Levites said : " This day is holy unto the Lord 
your God ; mourn not, nor weep ; . . . neither be 
ye sorry ; for the joy of the Lord is your strength. 
. . . And all the people went their way to eat, 
and to drink, and to send portions, and to make 
great mirth, because they had understood the 
words that were declared unto them" (Neh. 8 : 
9-12). To expound this feast as memorial of the 
Lord's voice at Sinai appears to be inappropriate. 
There is no evident correspondence between the 
one and the other. 

The term memorial does not invariably signify 
to keep a thing of the past in memory. It means 
also to hold before the mind something of the pres- 
ent and even of the future. Thus, the handful of 
the meal-offering which was burned on the altar 
"for a memorial" certainly did not recall any- 



thing past. It was the gift to God of a part for 
the whole. In Exodus 3 : 15, "This is my mem- 
orial," signifies what God is for his people, and 
what he may be expected to do for them. So, also, 
Acts 10 ; 4, " Thy prayers and thine alms are 
come up for a memorial before God " ; these were 
reminders, so to speak, to God of the existence 
and necessities of Cornelius ; they were appeals to 
him in behalf of the doer of them. In these and 
the like instances the word " memorial " is equiva- 
lent to reminding, or reminder. It does not refer 
so much to the past as to the present or future. 
Taking it in this sense we understand the expres- 
sion, " a memorial of the blowing of trumpets," as 
relating to what was to come in the sacred calen- 
dar of Israel. It ushered in the Day of Atone- 
ment, which was observed nine days after. That 
day was one of the supreme days of the year, 
perhaps the most prominent of all the days. It 
was the day in which the annual propitiation for 
the sins of the priesthood, of the sanctuary, and 
of the congregation was solemnly made. And 
the feast of the memorial of the Trumpets was 
intended to rouse the nation to joyful anticipation 
and to summon their attention. It was to awaken 
and quicken the national expectations, and to pre- 
pare the people for the great day so near at hand. 
It was an appeal to men to avail themselves of 


the provision made for their reconciliation with 
God — an appeal to be reconciled with him. 

The Feast of Trumpets thus becomes a graphic 
image of the preaching of the gospel. In allu- 
sion to it the psalmist sings, " Blessed is the people 
that know the joyful sound : they shall walk, 
Lord, in the light of thy countenance" (Ps. 89 : 
15). The apostle thus writes of the ministry of 
reconciliation : " Now then we are ambassadors 
for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us : 
we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to 
God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, 
who knew no sin ; that we might be made the 
righteousness of God in him" (II. Cor. 5 : 20, 21). 
The force of this appeal rests on the supreme fact 
of a finished atonement. Since a divine right- 
eousness has been wrought out by the Lord Jesus 
Christ, the gospel call rings as with the peal of a 
trumpet, Be ye reconciled to God. "He that hath 
ears to hear, let him hear." 

There are other symbolic uses of the trumpet 
in the imagery of Scripture. It was the sound 
of the trumpet which summoned the congrega- 
tion before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle. 
It is with the sound of "the great trumpet" that 
Israel is recalled from their long dispersion (Isa. 
27 : 13). The "elect" will be gathered together 
from the four quarters of the earth by the 


trumpet, at the second coming of Christ (Matt. 
24 : 31). It is with the sound of the "trump of 
God" that those who sleep in Christ shall be 
quickened into life, and raised from the dead 
(I. Thes. 4 : 16). So, too, the heavenly hosts are 
marshaled for the final struggle in earth's check- 
ered history by the various trumpets of the 
Revelation (Rev. 8:2); and it is at the sound 
of the "seventh angel" that the glad shout rings 
over the conquered world, " The kingdoms of this 
world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and 
of his Christ ; and he shall reign for ever and ever." 
It is the trumpet made of redemption-money which 
calls to repentance and reconciliation with God. 
It is with the trumpet that redemption is com- 
pleted in the resurrection of the saints and the 
proclamation of the world's final and complete 
subjugation to Christ. 


( Lev. 23 : 26-32. ) 

Of the Day of Atonement, the day of humili- 
ation and of expiation, we have spoken at some 
length. With this day, however, was associated 
another institution, peculiar to the Hebrew people, 
— the Year of Jubilee. It is of this unique enact- 
ment we are now to write. The jubilee began 


on the afternoon of the Day of Atonement (Lev. 

25 : 9). It was appointed to be observed every 
fiftieth year. The three special sacred periods 
were the Sabbath, the sabbatical or seventh year, 
and the jubilee. The design of the sabbatical 
year was to afford the land a year's rest. It 
served to remind the Israelites that they were 
God's tenants-at-will, and not freeholders of the 
land. The true title was held by the Lord him- 
self (Lev. 25 : 23). It was also a link between 
the Sabbath and the jubilee by means of the 
sacred number seven, the sabbatical year being 
the seventh and the jubilee being the seven-times- 
seventh. It enforced the lesson of the weekly 
Sabbath in a manner that could not be overlooked ; 
it deepened the national sense as to the impor- 
tance and obligation touching the day of rest. 
We are told in II. Chronicles 36 : 21 that one of 
the chief reasons for the deportation to Babylon 
was that the land might enjoy its sabbaths, even 
as it had been foretold by the Lord in Leviticus 

26 : 34, 35, 43, that, upon the disobedience of the 
people, he would scatter them through all lands, 
and the land should rest during the period of 
their dispersion. Through this institution Israel 
was taught that neither their time nor the land 
was theirs in fee simple. They were God's tenants 
of his soil, and pensioners of his time. 


The jubilee served other purposes and taught 
other lessons. It affected both land and men as 
no other appointment of Moses did. 

1. The term "jubilee" is of doubtful origin 
and signification. Many derive it from yovel, 
trumpet-blast ; Bonar thinks it was invented for 
the occasion. Its meaning, however, is given us 
in Lev. 25 : 10 and in Ezekiel 46 : 17 — "year of 
liberty." It proclaimed freedom to the enslaved, 
and restitution of alienated property. 

2. The jubilee began, as already observed, at 
the close of the Day of Atonement. It was after 
seven times seven annual expiations had been 
made that the year of release and restitution was 
proclaimed. Jubilee, therefore, followed the sym- 
bolically perfect and complete atonement. The 
Day of Atonement effected the ceremonial re- 
moval of the sins of the priesthood, of the 
congregation, and of the sanctuary. It seems 
clear, likewise, that the land itself was brought 
under the cleansing power of the blood sprinkled 
on this day. That is to say, the jubilee was the 
blessed result and fruit of atonement. Restora- 
tion, and redemption, liberty and joy, in the 
highest and best sense, flow from a divinely 
appointed atonement. 

3. The jubilee brought rest to the land (Lev. 
25 : 11, 12). So far as the tillage of the land 


went, the jubilee year was to have the same effect 
as the sabbatical year. It seems likely that the 
sabbatical year immediately preceded the jubilee ; 
and if so, then for three years there was neither 
planting nor sowing. There is strong evidence 
of the truth of the Mosaic record and the divinity 
of these laws in the stupendous claims and prom- 
ises made in connection with them. No legislator 
would have proposed, and no people would ever 
have received, a law which thus required the 
direct intervention of Providence in order to its 
subsistence, without a positive conviction that the 
law in question came from Him who is able to 
perform all he promises, and without the belief 
that he had so pledged himself. Israel must have 
believed that God spoke by Moses, and Moses 
must have had the most unquestionable assur- 
ance that the law came directly from the Lord, 
else such enactments would have been impossible. 
The divine sanction is not wanting : "And if ye 
shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year ? 
behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our 
increase : then I will command my blessing upon 
you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit 
for three years" (Lev. 25 : 20, 21). Apprehension 
and unbelief are thus anticipated by Jehovah's 
own mighty and unalterable promise. The bless- 
ing of the Lord, not their skill or industry or 


thrift, was to be the source of their safety and 
their plenty. Legislation based on such miracu- 
lous interposition of God every seventh and fiftieth 
year carries its own voucher with it. 

4. The privileges and immunities ivhich the 
jubilee brought to the Hebrews were of the most 
exalted kind. All property which had been sold 
or alienated, and which the owner had been 
unable to redeem, was restored to him. Farms 
and houses which through misfortune had been 
parted with, reverted to the original owners (Lev. 
25 : 10, 13, 28, 41). The bondsmen became free 
again (Lev. 25 : 10, 41-54). The jubilee struck 
off the bonds from every Hebrew servant, and 
released every debtor. It reunited the separated 
members of the same family (vs. 10, 41). It was 
the time of the regathering for the scattered house- 
holds. It was the time of the chosen nation's 
supremest joy and rejoicing (vs. 9-13). "Like 
the striking of a clock from the turret of some 
cathedral, announcing that the season of labor 
for the day is closed, so sounded the notes of the 
silver trumpet from the sanctuary, announcing 
that a year of cessation from all toil was come, 
and a year of redemption from all burdens." 1 

The benefits accruing to the people from this 
legislation were of the utmost public and private 

1 Bonar. 


good. The jubilee tended to equalize the wealth 
of the community. It minimized poverty. It 
prevented the people from falling into the ex- 
tremes of the very rich and the miserably poor. 
It tended to preserve the liberties both of the 
Individual and of the nation. For it rendered 
impossible the formation of those combinations 
and corporations of great wealth which are every- 
where a national menace. It tended to foster 
charity, and to suppress worldliness and self- 
seeking. We can conceive of no legislation 
which would prove so strong a barrier to greed 
as this — the certainty that at the end of every 
fifty years all landed property must revert to the 
original owners. It is the best and safest law of 
entail ever enacted : it is God's law of entail. 

Like all the other great Mosaic institutions, the 
jubilee was predictive : it had respect to the 
future. It was planned to prefigure the glorious 
realities of the Messianic age. References to it 
are found in later scripture which make its Mes- 
sianic character indisputable. "To proclaim the 
acceptable year of the Lord" (Isa. 61 : 2), is, no 
doubt, language drawn from the jubilee. "The 
year of my redeemed is come" (Isa. 63 : 4), mani- 
festly is derived from the same. And the restitu- 
tion of all things, spoken of by Peter (Acts 3 : 21) 
has for its basis the provisions of the jubilee. 


In close connection with the jubilee is the doc- 
trine of the kinsman redeemer (Lev. 25). Re- 
deemer, redemption, and jubilee are inseparably 
interwoven in this chapter. His qualification and 
his duties are clearly defined. He is to be near 
of kin with the one whom he redeems (vs. 25, 
48). He redeems the person (vs. 47-50). In 
the beautiful story of Ruth it is the kinsman 
Boaz, the mighty man of wealth, who redeems, 
and it is Ruth the Moabitess who is the person 
redeemed. He redeems the property that had 
been alienated (vs. 25, 29) ; and he executes 
judgment on enemies. This function appears in 
Numbers 35 : 19, 21 ; Deuteronomy 19 : 11, 12, 
where the expression "avenger of blood" stands 
for goel, redeemer. How like the Lord Jesus all 
this is ! He is in truth our Kinsman Redeemer. 
He claims kindred with the whole family of 
man. It is the joy of Luke to trace his geneal- 
ogy up to Adam, thus linking him with the race. 
Christ is bone of our bone, and flesh of our 
flesh. He redeems the persons of his people, "in 
whom we have redemption through his blood, 
the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of 
his grace" (Eph. 1:7). It includes the resurrec- 
tion and glorification of the bodies of the saints. 
He redeems the alienated inheritance. Our once 
splendid estates are gone ; gone the high freedom 


and the noble dignity ; we are both throneless and 
crownless. But when the true jubilee trumpet 
shall sound, we shall return to our blessed home- 
stead, the unfading and inalienable patrimony 
(I. Pet. 1:4). In that day, likewise, Christ, our 
Kinsman Redeemer, will take vengeance on our 
enemies, death and Satan. "There shall be no 
more death," and Satan shall be cast into the lake 
of fire (Rev. 21 : 4 ; 20 : 10). Then will follow 
the blissful reunion of the whole household of the 
saints, who nevermore shall go out (Rev. 3 : 12). 
What a home-coming that will be ! 

In the jubilee the land itself was to enjoy per- 
fect rest (Lev. 25 : 11, 12). If the sabbatical year 
immediately preceded the jubilee, as seems likely, 
then for three years in succession the land rested 
from all tillage — a striking picture of what is in 
store for our earth. The planet is to have its 
sabbath. Nature now groans in pain together 
with the saints (Rom. 8 : 19-23). With "earnest 
expectation" (with "outstretched neck in eager 
longing," says the Greek), nature yearns for the 
promised deliverance. All her voices are now 
keyed in the minor. The very wind sighs. The 
voices of the animals are minor notes. The waves 
that break on the seashore moan. But these are 
only nature's birth-throes. The mighty palingen- 
esia, the "regeneration," is promised and draws 


nigh. Then creation itself shall be delivered 
from the bondage of corruption (Rom. 8: 21). 
When the Great Trumpet of the Jubilee shall 
sound, the people of God and the planet shall 
rejoice in the full redemption wrought for them 
by the Son of God. 

Jubilee predicted these glories of the Messianic 

(1) Emancipation. Bondage both of soul and 
body shall then forever cease. 

( 2 ) Restitution. The heritage forfeited by sin 
shall be recovered. 

(3) Reunion. We shall "return every man 
unto his family." 

(4) Creation delivered. Earth shall be cleared 
of every vestige of sin. 

(5) Rest and joy. The toil and care of the 
present life and age will be left behind and swal- 
lowed up in the unbroken sabbath of Messiah. 

All this, and much more, is the precious fruit 
of redemption. Jubilee, with its wondrous privi- 
leges and immunities and promises, began with 
the finished atonement. 


(Lev. 23: 33-43.) 

The Feast of Tabernacles was the last of the 
great annual festivals. It continued for a week. 


It began on the fifteenth day of the seventh 
month — five days after Expiation. On the first 
day was a "holy convocation," and this day was 
observed as a sabbath ; no servile work was to be 
done. The octave, or eighth, day was also holy 
— a sabbath. It corresponds to the first day of 
the week, a fact of no small significance. It was 
the great day of the feast (John 7 : 37), the day 
on which the water was drawn from the Pool of 
Siloam (a ceremony added by the later Jews). 
During this week the Israelites dwelt in booths. 
A wondrous sight must that have been — a nation 
dwelling in the leafy tents. Lessons of vital 
importance and lasting impressions were designed 
to be imparted by this festival. 

1. It was a Hebrew Thanksgiving. It was ob- 
served " when ye have gathered in the fruit of the 
land" (Lev. 23 : 39). The vintage had then been 
gathered, and the harvest of the whole year was 
now garnered. Thus Israel was taught to cele- 
brate the goodness with which God crowns the 
year. National gratitude is becoming, and is no 
less imperative than individual thankfulness. 

2. It was the most joyous of the festivals. "Ye 
shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days" 
(Lev. 23 : 40). "A man had never seen sorrow who 
never saw the sorrow of that day," the Day of Atone- 
ment. And he had never seen joy who saw not 


the joy of Tabernacles. So the Jews used to say. 
On the first observance of it after the return from 
the Babylonian exile, we are told that among the 
people "there was very great gladness" (Neh. 8 : 
17). It is suggestive that in the majestic scene 
of the innumerable company of redeemed in 
heaven (Rev. 7: 9-17) they have "palms in 
their hands." The joy of the Feast of Taber- 
nacles is theirs. "They shall hunger no more, 
neither thirst any more ; neither shall the sun 
light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb 
which is in the midst of the throne shall feed 
them, and shall lead them unto living fountains 
of waters ; and God shall wipe away all tears 
from their eyes." 

3. It commemorated the tent life of forty years in 
the wilderness (Lev. 23 : 43). It was fitted to recall 
with great vividness the time of the wilderness 
sojourn, when God, by the pillar of cloud by day 
and by the. pillar of fire by night, led and fed 
and shielded his redeemed people. Accordingly, 
it was calculated to remind them of their pilgrim 
life on earth. It taught them that this world was 
not their home, no more than it is ours. They 
were strangers and pilgrims, with no abiding- 
place ; and they were taught to look for the city 
which has foundations, whose builder is God. 
The present home is but a frail tent, that will soon 


be dissolved, but God's people await their heav- 
enly building — the glorified spiritual body, which 
shall never know decay nor death. The final 
ingathering, the harvest of the future, will be the 
resurrection of the body and the redemption of 
the earth. 

It is both beautiful and appropriate that this 
feast, the last appointed by Moses for Israel, should 
close on the eighth day, the day of resurrection 
and of rest. Appropriately, it follows Atonement. 
Out of the horrors of Calvary springs the joy 
of salvation. " Weeping may endure for a night, 
but joy cometh in the morning." 

4. The sacrifices offered during the Feast of Taber- 
nacles were remarkable both for the number and 
manner of presentation (Num. 29 : 12-38). They 
were so arranged that one less each day should 
be offered. On the first day of the feast thirteen 
bullocks were offered ; on the second, twelve, and 
so on, the number decreasing until the seventh 
day, when seven were presented. The whole 
number offered during the feas, was seventy. 
Just what was intended to be taught by this ar- 
rangement it is not easy to determine. Perhaps 
thereby the number seven was emphasized ; 
seven days of sacrifice and seventy victims must 
certainly have arrested attention. Perhaps, also, 
the decline and gradual suppression of the Mosaic 


institutions were prefigured. The lesson taught 
here may have been analogous to that taught by 
the veil with which Moses covered his face, "that 
the children of Israel should not look stedfastly 
on the end of that which was passing away" 
(II. Cor. 3 : 13, R. V.). This was the last feast 
of the year, and therefore the appropriate one 
with which to signify the decay and termination 
of the entire system. Judaism was temporary, 
preparatory, intermediate. It was not an end 
in itself; it could not be. For the law made 
nothing perfect. The multiplicity and complexity 
of its rites only serve to exhibit its inherent 
weakness and unprofitableness. It could not 
make the coiners thereunto perfect. The law 
was only to excite in Israel the deep desire after 
Him whom it foreshadowed, in whom every 
promise is fulfilled, and to prepare and train 
Israel for his advent. 


The holy festivals served a variety of purposes 
and taught the people of Israel the profoundest 
lessons, some of wl ich have been already pointed 
out. They served to instruct the chosen people 
in their relations to Him who had redeemed 
them and called them his own, his peculiar 
people ; to teach them that they were dependent 


on him for life, with all its blessings and privi- 
leges, and that reverence and obedience are his 

By their feasts the Hebrews were taught that 
all time is sacred. The year was so distributed 
that holiness was stamped on every part and 
portion of it. They had the holy day, the holy 
week, the holy month, and the holy year. 
Thereby they learned that their time was God's, 
not their own ; that their property and them- 
selves were likewise his. The same deep lesson 
is taught Christians : " Ye are not your own ; for 
ye are bought with a price : therefore glorify God 
in your body, and in your spirit, which are 
God's" (I. Cor. 6: 19, 20). 

The system of feasts seems, in the chronolog- 
ical arrangement of them, to have been predictive. 
They prefigure in broad outlines the course of 
time as it relates to redemption. They begin 
with the Passover, that is, redemption by blood, 
and they end with the Feast of Tabernacles, the 
ultimate issue of redemption in the resurrection 
and glorification of the people of God, when the 
glad shout shall ring over the new earth: "The 
tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell 
with them, and they shall be his people, and God 
himself shall be with them, and be their God. 
Ar^d God shall wipe away all tears from their 



eyes ; and there shall be no more death, neither 
sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any 
more pain : for the former things are passed 
away" (Rev. 21 : 3, 4). 


AARON, 92, 100, 114. 

consecration of, 114. 
Altar, brazen, see Brazen altar. 

of incense, see Golden altar 
of incense. 
Anointing, of high priest, 115. 

of Aaron's sons, 121. 
Arithmetic, sacred, 211. 
Ark of the covenant, 75. 

cherubim, 76. 

contents of the ark, 78. 

God's throne, 79. 

mercy-seat, 80. 
Atonement, Day of, 19, 183, 228. 

the day itself, 183. 

offerings of the day, 185. 

entrance of high priest into 
most holy place, 191. 

truths taught and symbol- 
ized by, 193. 
Atonement, meaning of the 
word, 195. 

vicarious, 197. 

Christ's work of, 202. 
Augustine, quoted, 13. 
Azazel, meaning of, 189. 

Bahr, cited, 153. 

Bezaleel, 16. 

Blessing of the chosen people, 

Bioodshedding, 109, 120, 129. 
Bonar, quoted, 111, 127, 140, 160, 
178, 232. 

cited, 124, 153, 160, 177, 230. 
Brazen altar, 41. 

form of, 42. 

horns of, 44. 

position of, 46. 

Bread of presence, 63. 
Breastplate, 96. 
Brooke, quoted, 62. 
Brown, W., cited, &5, 38. 
Burnt-offering, 132, 138. 

its varieties, 139. 

ceremony of, 139. 

nature of, 141. 

its typical significance, 143. 

Calendar, sacred, 32. 
Candlestick, 56. 

description of, 56. 
typical meaning of, 57. 
Catholicism, Roman, 102. 
Cave, quoted, 129, 137. 

cited, 177. 
Cherubim, 76. 

Christ, our High Priest, 22 ff. 
the bread of life, 66, 156. 
incarnation prophesied, 88. 
the high priest a type of, 99, 

104, 200. 
perfections of his priest- 
hood, 114. 
his work of atonement, 202 ff. 
our Kinsman Redeemer, 234, 
Christianity and Judaism, see 

Concluding remarks, 240. 
Congregation, sin-offering for, 
transfer of sins of, to the 
scapegoat, 188. 
Cook, cited, 34, 39. 
Court and its contents, 40. 
brazen altar, 41. 
laver, 48. 




Decalogue, 78, 79, 209. 
Delitzsch, cited, 25, 142. 

Edersheim, quoted, 158, 184, 187. 

cited, 184, 213. 
Encampment of Israel, 39. 
Ephod, 95. 
Erdman, quoted, 69. 
Expiation, 194, 198. 

Day of, see Atonement, Day 

Fairbairn, quoted, 137. 

cited, 170, 177. 
Feasts, the sacred, 207. 

number and names, 207. 

Sabbath, 208. 

Passover, 211. 

First-fruits, 215. 

Pentecost, 217. 

Trumpets, 222. 

Day of Atonement — year of 
j ubilee, 228. 

Tabernacles, 236. 

concluding remarks, 240. 
Fergusson, cited, 34, 36. 
First-fruits, Feast of, 215. 

Gesenius, cited, 34. 
Gold, the sacred metal, 58. 
Golden altar of incense, 00. 
position of, 69. 
incense burned upon, 70. 
its connection with altar of 

sacrifice, 70. 
symbolical meaning, 71, 72, 
Gospel in the Old Testament, 
the, 13. 

Harvey, quoted, 197. 
Hebrews, Epistle to, an inspired 
commentary on ancient 
Judaism, 21. 
Herder, quoted, 23. 
High priest in Israel, 93. 
dress of, 95. 
ephod, 95. 

High priest in Israel, continued. 
breastplate, 96. 
miter and golden plate, 

Urini and Thummim, 99. 
a type of Christ, 99, 200. 
functions of, 101. 
consecration of, 114. 
washing of, 115. 
investiture of, 115. 
anointing of, 115. 
Hofmann, quoted, 190. 
Holiness, God's, 128. 
Holy Spirit, 50, 155, 218. 

Imputation, 180. 
Incense, 70. 

tar of, see Golden altar of 
Inspiration, structural, 69. 
Intercession, 72, 73, 111. 
Introduction, 13. 
Investiture of the high priest, 


Jubilee, year of, 228. 

the term "jubilee," 230. 

beginning of the jubilee, 230. 

brought rest to the land, 230. 

privileges and immunities, 
Judaism and Christianity, see 

Jukes, cited, 160, 170. 

Kalisch, quoted, 45, 98. 
Keil, cited, 142. 
Kinsman redeemer, 234. 

Christ our, 234, 235. 
Kitto, cited, 38. 
Kurtz, cited, 153. 

Laver, 48. 

material of, 48. 

form of, 49. 

position of, 49. 

typical significance of, 49. 



Leaven, 148. 
Lindsay, quoted, 205. 
Lord's day, see Sabbath. 
Lord's Supper, 214, 215. 
Lowth, quoted, 221. 

Magee, Archbishop, quoted, 

Martin, Hugh, quoted, 92. 
Meat-offering, 147. 

its varieties, 147. 

its materials, 147. 

ceremonial of, 149. 

nature of, 149. 

as a type, 151. 
Melchizedek, 23, 29, 92. 
Mercy-seat, 80. 

Messianic age, glories of, pre- 
dicted, 236. 
Miter and golden plate, 98. 
Moses preached the gospel, 13 ff. 
Murphy, quoted, 158. 

cited, 43, 170. 

New Moon, Feast of, 223. 

Oehler, cited, 36, 142, 180, 212. 
Offerings, see Sacrifices offered 

at the brazen altar. 
Oil, a symbol, 61, 155. 

Pascal, quoted, 13. 
Passover, Feast of, 19, 211. 
Peace-offering, 158. 

its name, 158. 

its materials, 159. 

its place, 161. 

its nature, 161. 

its spiritual import, 164. 

qualifications of partakers, 

looked forward and back- 
ward, 167. 
Pentecost, day of, 119, 123. 

Feast of, 217. 
Philo, quoted, 176. 
Plumptre, cited, 34, 35. 
Priesthood, 91. 

universality, 9L 

Priesthood, continued. 
a real office, 91. 
the two great priests of the 

Old Testament, 92. 
the high priest in Israel, 93. 
nature of the priestly office, 

Christ's, perfections of, 114. 
consecration of Aaron and 

his sons, 114. 
Propitiation, 181, 198. 

Rawlinson, quoted, 44, 67. 
cited, 124. 

Regeneration prefigured, 50. 

Representation, principle of, 

Retirement of the priestly fam- 
ily, 122. 

Sabbath, 208. 

Sacrifices offered at the brazen 
altar, 12S. 
general observations, 128. 
prevalence of sin, 128. 
God's holiness, 128. 
God's remedy for man's 
sin — bloodshed- 
ding, 129. 
the parties to the sacri- 
fice, 131. 
the offerings typical of 
the offering of 
Christ, 131. 
classification of offer- 
ings, 132. 
order of arrangement in 

Leviticus, 133. 
ceremonial perfection 
required, 136. 
"sweet-savour" offerings, 
132, 138. 
burnt-offering, 138. 
meat-offering, 147. 
peace-offering, 158. 
sin-sacrifices, 168. 

distinction between sin- 
and trespass-offer- 
ings, 170. 



Sacrifices, continued. 

the sin-sacrifice, 171. 
the trespass offering, 177. 
fundamental principles, 
substitution, 180. 
imputation, 180. 
vicarious atonement, 

propitiation, 181. 
summary, 203. 
Sanctuary and its furniture, 55. 
candlestick, 56. 
table of showbread, 62. 
golden altar of incense, 66. 
veil, 73. 

ark of the covenant, 75. 
Scapegoat, 188. 
Seiss, quoted, 184. 
Seven, the number, 210. 
Showbread, table of, 62. 
Sin, prevalence of, 128. 
God's remedy for, 129. 
expiation of, 194, 198. 
Sin-sacrifice, 171. 

its significance, 171. 
its varieties, 172. 
value of, 194. 
Sin-sacrifices, see Sacrifices of- 
fered at the brazen altar. 
Soltau, cited, 35, 97, 223. 
Stifler, quoted, 221. 
Substitution, 180. 
Sweet-savor offerings, see Sacri- 
fices offered at the brazen 

Tabernacle of the wilderness, 

names of, 34. 

Fergusson's reconstruction, 

description of, 36. 

position of, 38. 

court and contents, 40. 

sanctuary and furniture, 

typical significance, 82. 
Tabernacles, Feast of, 236. 
Table of showbread, 62. 
Testimony, the, 78, 196. 
Trespass-offering, 177. 
Trumpets, Feast of, 222. 

Unleavened Bread, Feast of, 

212, 213, 215. 
Urim and Thummim, 99. 

Van Oosterzee, quoted, 30. 
Veil, of the tabernacle, 73. 

of the temple, 74. 
Vicarious atonement, 180. 
Vitringa, quoted, 107. 

Westcott and Hort, cited, 117. 
Witsius, quoted, 29. 
Worship, conditions of, 31, 69. 

place of, 32. 

ministry of, 32, 91. 

means of, 32, 128. 

times of, 32, 207. 

^° Jo XX 83»W 


0r _ v BYU-IDAHO 
REXBUPH 10 83 15 


650 .M58 

Studies in the Mosaic 

institutions : the tabernacle. 

the priesthood, the sacrifices, 

Moorehead, William Gallogly