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Note, The First-born of Men were redeemed by the
Levites : The First-born of Beasts were to be la. crificed, or some way put to Death, if not redeemed, Exod. xii. 2, 12, 13, 15. Numb. iii. 41.
15 Q: What were the Laws about the Maintenance of the Priests?
A. The Priests were to be maintained by the First-born of all Cattle, and the First-fruits of Oil, and Wine, and Corn, and they had a Share in various Sacrifices, namely, the Heave-Offerings, the Wave-Breast, and the right Shoulder, &c. Numb. xviii, &19. Note, Heave-Offerings were to be moved upwards and
downwards, towards Heaven and Earth. WaveOfferings were to be shaken to and fro, or moved towards the four Quarters of the Heaven. Allthis is supposed to signify an Offering of them to God, as universal Lord of all parts of the Creation, and who dwells every where.
16 Q What were the Laws about the Levites Maintenance ?
4. They were maintained by the Tenth or Tithe of Fruits and Corn, which God appointed for them, Numb. xyii. 21, 24. And they had some Cities and their Suburbs, given them out of every Tribe, Yoh. xxi.
17 What were some of their special Laws about the Bodies and the Lives of Men?
A. He that killed, or stole, and fold a Man, must die for it, Exod. xxi. 12, 16. And in all Cases of real Injury or Mischief, Life was to pay for Life, an Eye for an Eye, a Hand for a Hand, or a Foot for a Foot, Lev. xxiv. 17-20., And this was the Penalty of a false Witness, who intended to bring any Mischief whatsoever on another, Deut. xix. 18, &c. for the same was to be exeçuted on the false Witness.
18 Q. Was there no Pardon for him that killed another?
A. If he did it wilfully, there was no Pardon ; but if it was done by Chance, there were fix Cities of Refuge in the Land of Canaan appointed, to which the Manilayer might fly, and be safe. But he was bound to dwell there till the Death of the High Priest, Numb. xxxv. 11--33.
19.Q. Was the Law the same for the Servant or Slave, and for the Freeman, in Case of Maiming and of-Murder?
A. Not intirely the same ; for in some cases of maiming or killing a Slave, the Offender was not punished to the fame Degree as if the injured Person had been a Freeman, Exod. xxi. 20, 26.
20 Q. What were some of the ufual Punishments of Criminals appointed in the Jewish Law?
A. A Fine of Money or Cattle to be paid, a cutting off from the People, or Congregation, scourging or beating, at most with forty Stripes, the Loss of a Limb, or the Loss of Life, Exod. xxi. 19, 22, 36. Lev. xix. 20. chap. xxiv. 17--20.
21 C. What is the Meaning of being cut off from the People, or the Congregation ?
A. In some greater Crimes, such as presumptuous Rebellion against the Laws of God, wilful Sabbath-breaking, &c. it may fignify capital Punishment or Death by the Hands of the Magistrate, Numb. xv. 30, 31. Exod. xxxi. 14. In some Cases it may intend a being devoted to some Judgment by the immediate Hand of God, Lev. xvii. 10. and xx. 5, 6. But in some lesser Crimes, perhaps, it may fignify no more than to be excommunicated, or shut out of the Congregation of Israel, and the Privileges thereof; as for eating leavened Bread at the Time of the Pass-over, Exod. xii. 15. or for a
Man's going unto the holy Things with his Un. cleanness upon him, Lev. xxii. 3. where it is ex presled, that that Soul shall be cut off from the Presence of God. But this Question hath some Diffi, culties in it, and learned Men differ about the Sense of these Words, being cut off.
22 Q. If the Jews were permitted to give forty Stripes, how came Paul five Times to receive but forty Stripes save one, from the Jews, who lo much hated bim? 1 Cor. xi. 24.
A. Because they pretended to be very scrupulous in observing the Law exactly, and therefore they never inflicted more than thirty-nine Stripes, left they should happen to mistake in the Tale, while they were inficting forty, and thus trans, gress the Law.
23 Q. What were their most common Ways of putting Criminals to Death ?
A. By hanging them on a Tree, or by ftoning them with Stones, Numb. xxv. 4. Deut. xxi. 23. xiii. 9, 10. Numb, xv. 35.
24 Q. How many Witnesses were necessary to condemn a Criminal to Death?
A. At the Mouth of two or three Witnesses thall be that is worthy of Death be put to Death, but not at the Mouth of one Witness, Deut. xvii. 6, 7.
25 Q. What was the Design of God in giving them so many peculiar Laws about their Civil or Political Affairs?
A. (1.) To let them know that God was their King as well as their God, and to keep them dir. tinct and separate from the rest of the Nations, as his own People and Kingdom.
( 2.) Many of these Laws were in themselves excellently suited to the Advantage of that People, dwelling in that Country, and under those Circumstances.
(3.) Some of these Laws had a moral or fpiritual Meaning in them, which might partly be known at that Time, and which was further discovered afterwards.
26 Q. What Instances can you give of moral Leffons taught by these Political Laws ?
A. Thou halt not take the Dam with the Young, Deut. xxii. 6, 7. is to teach Men Mildness and Compaffion. Thou shalt not muzzle the Ox that treads out the Corn, Deut. xxv. 4. is to thew that Ministers, who provide us fpiritual Food, ought to be maintained themselves, 1 Cor. ix. 9, 10. for fo the Apoftle has explained it.
CHA P. VII. Of the Sins and PUNISHMENTs of the Jews
in the Wilderness. IQ AFTER all this Account of the Moral,
Ceremonial, and Judicial Laws, can you tell me whether the People of Israel obeyed them, or no?
A. No; they often broke the Laws of God, and finned againft him, and were often punished, Ifa. Ixiii. 10. Psalm lxxviii. 32-34.
2 Q. What were the most remarkable Sins against God in the Wilderness ?
A. Besides their Murmurings at some Difficulties in the Beginning of their Journey, their first re. markable and notorious Crime was their making a golden Calf, and worshipping it at the Foot of Mount Sinai, Exod. xxxii. 4, 8.
3 Q. What Temptation, or what Pretence could they have for such a Crime ?
A. Moses was gone up into Mount Sinai, and tarried there so many Days longer than they expected, that they wanted some visible Token of God's Presence among them; and so they constrained Aaron to make this golden Image, to be a Representation of the Presence of God, but without God's Appointment, Exod. xxxii. 1. Note, It is scarcely to be supposed that this was the
mereImage of a common Calf,or that the Jews could fall down and worship such an Image; or that they could suppose an Ox or Calf, which was the Idol of their Enemies the Egyptians, was a proper Emblem of the God of Israel, their Deliverer from Egypt, Probably therefore it was the Image of a Cherub, partly in the Form of a winged Ox And since God was represented immediately afterward by Moses, as dwelling among the Cherubims on the Mercy-seat, this might be a common Opinion or Notion beforehand among the People even of that Age*: And it might be made as a visible Representation of the Presence of God, for they proclaimed a Feast to Fehovah, ver. 5 in the same manner as Feroboam, long afterward, made perhaps the same Sort of Images for the same Purpose, which are called Calves. But both this, and that being done without God's Appointment, it was all Idolatry, and in a way of the utmoft Contempt, it was called Worshipping a Calf; and was accordingly punished as highly criminal. See Chap. V. Qu. 37
4. How . There were some things relating to the Worship of God which that People had some general Notion of, before Moses wentupinto the Mounttolearn all the Particulars from God: As for Instance, they had. Altans, and Sacrifices, and sprinkling of Blood, Exod' xxiv. 4, 6, 8. They had Priests, Exod. xix. 22, 24. and a Tabernacle, or moveable Chapel, Eaod xxxiii. 6,7. And they might know that God dwelt among Angels, or foreglo. rious winged Beings, as his Attendants. And there