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to him. And they shall keep his chczr-ge, an the charge of the whole congregation, &efor the tabernacle of the congregation, t& do th service of the tabernacle. And they ffo/zll ketj. all the injlruments of the tabernacle &f the congregation^ and the charge of the children of Israel, to do the service of the taber-nacltAnd thou fialt give the Levites unto .Aaror. and to his sons; they are wholly given unti him out of the children of Israel. And ebou Jhalt appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall wait on their 'Pries s Office: And the stranger (who is not of the Tribe of Levi) that cometh nigh shall be put to death.
Their Number, at that time, was Two — zz.?8. and twenty thousand and three hundred, 34- 39* They were to encamp about the four Qua.s> ters of the Tabernacle, and had the respective Duties allotted them under their several Chiefs. And Levi having had three Sons, Gershon, *Kohath, and Merari, the Levites were number'd, and assign'd to their proper Offices, under three Divisions. The m 25. Sons of Gershon were to take charge of the tabernacle, and the tent, the covering thereof,
* He was- Grandfather to Moses and Aaron.
nd thp hanging for the door of the taberacle; the hangings of the court, and the urtain for the door of the courtr and the ords of it, for all the service thereof The Charge of the Kohatkites was to be 'The ark, ind the table, and the candlestick, and the vltars, and the vessels of the fanSluary, where■with they minister, and the hanging, and all the service thereof And the Descendents from Æerariwtve to have The custody and charge of the boards, and bars, and- pillars, and sockets, and pins, and cords, that any way belong'd to the tabernacle and the court thereof. And when there was a Necessity of removing it, each of these Divisions took to pieces, and carried off those Parts of the Tabernacle, which were thus assign'd to them: And, were so dispos'd in their Encampment, as to be each as near as conveniently they could to their respective Charges.
SEC T. XII.
The Consecration of the L E V I T E S.
Nor were, even these, to enter upon their Office, without a previous Consecration, as it were preparing and sitting them thereto.
3.84 Religi Ous ' Ay Eat ids.
—viii. 5. $%r L o a D spake unto Moses, faying? Yak the Levitcs from among the children<#fiiii, rael, and cleanse them: And thus shaft tbm do unto them to cleanse them; jppinkle •mater of purifying upon them, and let them'fhavSe all their slejb, and let them vta/h thdir^^tiotbes, andso make themselves clean, 'then let \them take a young bullock with his meat-offering, even fine sower mingled with oyl; and another young bullock Jhalt thou take for a sinoffering. And thou Jhalt bring the Levites before the tabernacle of the congregation; and thou (halt gather the whole assembly of the children of Israel together, and thou Jhalt bring the Levites before the L OrD, and the children of Israel shall put their hands Upon the Levites: And Aaron shall offmtbelMvites before the Lo* D, for an offering of the children of Israel; that they may execute the service of the Lord. And the Levites shall lay their hands upon the heads of the bullocks: And thou Jhalt offer the one, for a fin-offering, and the other for a burnt-offering, unto the Lord, to make an atonement for the Levitts. And thou Jhalt set the Levitesrbefore Aaron, and before bis sons, and offer them for an offering unto the Lord, i '>wuicj bid
^tm^ng\^bk^cbild^en of MraeJ; vices ^*(/ <bg mme. I<- bow token tbe htr ^*He*i *sbratftbe first-born of the childr en if J&s&Uv&nd again; X-bit is it that belongeib x jœttttbe Levitcs j from twenty andfive years old and upward, they shall go in to wait ■ ttpon the service of the tabernacle of the congregation. And, from the age of fifty years^ they shall cease waiting upon the service thereof and shall serve no more. But shall minister, with their brethren, in the tabernarcle of the congregation, to keep the charge; and shall do no (laborious)service. v * ©lit, though they were, in general, admitted, at the age ot she and twenty; we find another Precept, which restrains the Numb. Kobathitet, one of the three Branches,1V*3' from being employ'd to carry the holy Things which belong'd to the Sanctuary, The Ark, Table of Shew-Bread, Candlestick, and Altar of Incense, till they were of the Age of thirty, These being the most valuable and important of all the Moveables. >-.......
And, we find afterward, when David had projected a magnificent Design for a J^y 4 Temple, 'Temple, and the Service of the Tabernacle was to cease, he new-moulded the Constitution os the Levites, divided them intp proper Stations and Courses for the-Service of the Temple; and, by the fame Authority, by which he was empower'd to build and fix the situation of the House of God, order'd that for the future they should be i Ghron. admitted, at the Age of twenty Years. • 4- we rea(j further, that the Number of them, at that time, was no less than Eight xxiii. 3, an<i "loirty Thousand, from thirty years old &c- and upwards. Of which, he injoin'd tha,t Four and Twenty Thousand should attend the constant Duty and Work of the Temple; which, divided into four and twenty Courses, was a Thousand a Week. Six Thousand, to be Officers and Judges; probably, -f- in the nature of our Spiritual Courts; Four Thou/and, to praise the Lord, with vocal and instrumental Music; and Four Thousand, to be Porters or Doorkeepers. All which were likewise to