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whereby they murmur against you concerning the priesthood. 6 And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, and every one of their princes gave him a rod apiece, for each prince one,

according to their fathers' houses, [even] twelve rods : and 7 the rod of Aaron (was] among their rods. And Moses laid 8 up the rods before the Lord in the tabernacle of witness. And

it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went ipto the tabernacle of witness ; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the

house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloom9 ed blossoms, and yielded almonds.* And Moses brought

out all the rods from before the LORD unto all the children of

Israel : and they looked, and took every man his rod. 10 And the LORD said unto Moses, Bring Aaron's rod again

before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels ;

and thou shalt quite take away their murmurings from me, 11 that they die not. And Moses did (so :] as the LORD com12 manded him, so did he.f And the children of Israel spake

unto Moses, saying, Behold, we die, we perish, we all perish;

we are ever and anon cut off by some judgment or other, so that 13 in a little while there will be an end of us all. Whosoever com

eth any thing near unto the tabernacle of the LORD shall die ; we are cut off for every small offence, and upon every slight occasion : Shall we be consumed with dying? Will there be no end of slaying us till we be all destroyed? Or it might be the language of repentance, arising from a full conviction of the divine appointment, and deprecating the divine vengeance.

REFLECTION.

THE only reflection to be made upon this short chapter is,

that the design of God, in all the dispensations of his providence, whether prosperous or afflictive, is to take away sin. The people had murmured, and had been punished. God had, as we read in the last chapter, wrought miracles of wrath ; but here a miracle of mercy ; both of them designed to prevent a repetition of their foolish and dangerous conduct, v. 5-10. God was not willing that they should perish, and therefore gave them fresh warning, which was really an act of very great kindness. It is thus he deals with the charch in general, and with particular souls, to this day. The fruit of every affliction is to take away sin, by purging us from all iniquity. The goodness of God is

• This was evidently miraculous, for no branch of an almond tree, had this been the time of their blossoming, could have produced buds, blossoms, and fruit, all at once.

F It is probable the blossom and fruit continued fresh from one age to another, and so was a standing memorial of the authority of the Aaronic family. The apostle, Heb. ix. 4. hints that it was in the ark, according to our translation, but probably the words in which, Tefer to the tabernacle in general ; for when the ark was brought up to Solomon's temples it is said the tables of stone only were in it.

designed to lead us to repentance ; every memorial that he sets before us, is intended to make us cautious and watchful. If we murmur and rebel against God, we shall die, shall die the second death. Let us then be in subjection to the Father of our spirits, and we shall live for ever.

CHAP. XVIII.

This and the following chapter relate to ceremonial observances, and

several particulars mentioned before, as the charge of the priests and Levites ; the portion of the priests, and of the Levites. 1 AND the LORD said unto Aaron, Thou and thy sons

I and thy father's house with thee shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary : and thou and thy sons with thee shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood, the frunishment for any 2 miscarriage about the sanctuary, v. 3, 5. And thy brethren

also of the tribe of Levi, the tribe of thy father, bring thou with thee, that they may be joined unto thee, and minister unto thee : but thou and thy sons with thee, [shall minister]

before the tabernacle of witness, more immediately about the 3 affairs of the tabernacle. And they shall keep thy charge, and

the charge of all the tabernacle : only they shall not come

nigh the vessels of the sanctuary and the altar, that neither 4 they, nor ye also, die. And they shall be joined unto thee,

and keep the charge of the tabernacle of the congregation,

for all the service of the tabernacle : and a stranger shall not 5 come nigh unto you. And ye shall keep the charge of the

sanctuary, and the charge of the altar : that there be no wrath 6 any more upon the children of Israel. And I, behold, I have

taken your brethren the Levites from among the children of Israel : to you they are] given [as] a gift for the Lord, to

do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, to assist so you in the servile, laborious part of God's service there. There

fore thou and thy sons with thee shall keep your priest's of. fice, for every thing of the altar, and within the veil ; and ye shall serve : I have given your priest's office (unto you as a service of gift, and to you alone ; and therefore let no man charge you with arrogance or usurpation in appropriating this to yourselves, or invade your office ; and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.

And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Behold, I also have given thee the charge of mine heave offerings of all the hallowed things of the children of Israel ; unto thee have I given them by reason of the anointing, by reason of the office or service to which, by anointing, thou art consecrated, and to thy sons by

9 an ordinance for ever. This shall be thine of the most holy

things, [reserved) from the fire : every oblation of theirs, every meat offering of theirs, and every sin offering of theirs,

and every trespass offering of theirs, which they shall render 10 unto me, (shall be most holy for thee and for thy sons. In

the most holy [place] shalt thou eat it ; every male shall eat 11 it: it shall be holy unto thee. And this [is] thine ; the

heave offering of their gift, with all the wave offerings of the children of Israel : I have given them unto thee, and to thy sons and to thy daughters with thee, while they remained in their father's house, by a statute for ever : every one that is clean in thy house shall eat of it, all that were bought into, or.

born in thy house ; but no stranger, nor hired servant, Lev. 12 xxii. 10, 11. All the best of the oil, and all the best of the

wine, and of the wheat, the first fruits of them which they 13 shall offer unto the Lord, them have I given thee. [And]

whatsoever is first ripe in the land, which they shall bring

unto the LORD, shall be thine ; every one that is clean in 14 thine house shall eat [of] it. Every thing devoted in Israel,

dedicated to God by vow, or otherwise ; if they were such things 15 as might be eaten, (Lev. xxvii. 28.) shall be thine. Every

thing that openeth the matrix in all flesh, which they bring unto the Lord, (whether it be] of men or beasts, shall be thine : nevertheless, the firstborn of man shalt thou surely

redeem, and the firstling of unclean beasts shalt thou redeem. 16 And those that are to be redeemed of men from a month old

shali thou redeem, according to thine estimation, for the

money of five shekels after the shekel of the sanctuary, which 17 [is] twenty gerahs. But the firstling of a cow, or the firstling

of a sheep, or the firstling of a goat, thou shalt not redeem; they (are] holy : thou shalt sprinkle their blood upon the

altar, and shalt burn their fat [for] an offering made by fire, 18 for a sweet savour unto the Lord. And the flesh of them

shall be thine, as the wave breast and as the right shoulder 19 are thine. All the heave offerings of the holy things, which

the children of Israel offer unto the Lord, have I given thee, and thy sons and thy daughters with thee, by a statute for ever : it [is] a covenant of salt for ever before the LORD unto

thee and to thy seed with thee, that is, perpetual and unchange20 able. And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no

inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them; I (am) thy part and thine inheritance among

the children of Israel. 21 And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth

in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve,

[even] the service of the tabernacle of the congregation. 22 Neither must the children of Israel henceforth come nigh the tabernacle of the congregation, lest they bear sin, suffer the 23 punishment of their sin, and die. But the Levites shall do the

service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity : [it shall be] a statute for ever through

out your generations, that among the children of Israel they 24 have no inheritance. But the tithes of the children of Israel,

which they offer [as] an heave offering unto the LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit : therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no

inheritance. 25 26 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Thus speak

unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave

offering of it for the LORD, (even) a tenth [part] of the tithe. 27 And [this] your heave offering shall be reckoned unto you,

as though [it were] the corn of the threshing floor, and as the

fulness of the wine press, as if it had been the fruit of your own 28 ground. Thus ye also, as well as the other Israelites, shall

offer an heave offering unto the LORD of all your tithes,

which ye receive of the children of Israel ; and ye shall give 29 thereof the LORD's heave offering to Aaron the priest. Out

of all your gifts ye shall offer every heave offering of the

LORD, of all the best thereof, (even] the hallowed part there. 30 of out of it. Therefore thou shalt say unto them, When ye

have heaved the best thereof from it, then it shall be counted unto the Levites as the increase of the threshing floor, and as

the increase of the wine press, free for you to use as other 31 common things. And ye shall eat it in every place, ye and

your households : for it [is] your reward for your service in 32 the tabernacle of the congregation. And ye shall bear no sin,

no punishment, by reason of it, when ye have heaved from it the best of it : neither shall ye pollute the holy things of the children of Israel, lest ye die.

CHAP. XIX, The water of separation, and the use of it for the purification of the

unclean. 1 AND the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, say, 2 ing, This [is] the ordinance of the law which the LORD

hath commanded, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel,

that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein [is] 3 no blemish, [and] upon which never came yoke : And yą

shall give her unto Eleazar the priest, that he may bring her

• forth without the camp, and [one) shall slay her before his 4 face: And Eleazar the priest shall take of her blood with his

finger, and sprinkle of her blood directly before the tabernacle .5 of the congregation seven times : And [one] shall burn the

heifer in his sight ; her skin, and her flesh, and her blood, 6 with her dung, shall he burn: And the priest shall take cedar

wood, and hyssop, and scarlet, and cast[it] into the midst of the 7 burning of the heifer. Then the priest shall wash his clothes,

and he shall bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he shall

come into the camp, and the priest shall be unclean until the 8 even. And he that burneth her shall wash his clothes in

water, and bathe his flesh in water, and shall be unclean until 9 the even. And a man [that is clean shall gather up the

ashes of the heifer, and lay [them] up without the camp in a clean place, and it shall be kept for the congregation of the

children of Israel for a water of separation : it [is] a purifi10 cation for sin. And he that gathered the ashes of the heifer

shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even : and it (the making and reserving these ashes for a water of separation)

shall be unto the children of Israel, and unto the stranger' 11 that sojourneth among them, for a statute for ever. He that

toucheth the dead body of any man shall be unclean seven 12 days. He shall purify himself with it on the third day, and

on the seventh day he shall be clean : but if he purify not

himself the third day, then the seventh day he shall not be 13 clean. Whosoever toucheth the dead body of any man that

is dead, and purifieth not himself, defileth the tabernacle of the LORD ; and that soul shall be cut off from Israel : because the water of separation was not sprinkled upon him,

he shall be unclean.; his uncleanness [is] yet upon him. 14 This [is] the law, when a man dieth in a tent: all that come

into the tent, and all that [is] in the tent, shall be unclean 15 seven days. And every open vessel, which hath no covering 16 bound upon it, [is] unclean. And whosoever toucheth one

that is slain with a sword in the open fields, or a dead body,

or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days. 17 And for an unclean (person] they shall take of the ashes of

the burnt heifer of purification for sin, and running water shall 18 be put thereto in a vessel : And a clean person shall take

hyssop, and dip [it] in the water, and sprinkle [it] upon the tent, and upon all the vessels, and upon the persons that were

there, and upon him that touched a bone, or one slain, or one 19 dead, or a grave : And the clean (person) shall sprinkle upon

the unclean on the third day, and on the seventh day : and on the seventh day he shall purify himself, and wash his clothes,

and bathe himself in water, and shall be clean at even. 20 But the man that shall be unclean, and shall not purify

himself, that soul shall be cut off from among the congrega

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