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—viii. 5. $%r L o a D spake unto Moses, faying? Yak the Levitcs from among the children<#fiiii, rael, and cleanse them: And thus shaft tbm do unto them to cleanse them; jppinkle •mater of purifying upon them, and let them'fhavSe all their slejb, and let them vta/h thdir^^tiotbes, andso make themselves clean, 'then let \them take a young bullock with his meat-offering, even fine sower mingled with oyl; and another young bullock Jhalt thou take for a sinoffering. And thou Jhalt bring the Levites before the tabernacle of the congregation; and thou (halt gather the whole assembly of the children of Israel together, and thou Jhalt bring the Levites before the L OrD, and the children of Israel shall put their hands Upon the Levites: And Aaron shall offmtbelMvites before the Lo* D, for an offering of the children of Israel; that they may execute the service of the Lord. And the Levites shall lay their hands upon the heads of the bullocks: And thou Jhalt offer the one, for a fin-offering, and the other for a burnt-offering, unto the Lord, to make an atonement for the Levitts. And thou Jhalt set the Levitesrbefore Aaron, and before bis sons, and offer them for an offering unto the Lord, i '>wuicj bid
\- fbusJhaJl thou separate tie Lcvites ftetn <^&fjr<&hk$cbildfen of: Israel; and the Levices yZ?«?// &■ mine. I have taken the Levitcs, for all the first-born of the children of Israel. And again; 'This is it that belongetb unto the Levites; from twenty and five years eld and upward, they shall go in to wait ■upon the service of the tabernacle of the congregation. And, from the age of fifty years, they Jhall cease waiting upon the service thereof and Jhall serve no more. But Jhall minister, with their brethren, in the tabernacle of the congregation, to keep the charge-, and Jhall do no (laborious)y£ru/V*.
But, though they were, in general, admitted, at the age of five and twenty j we find another Precept, which restrains the Numb. Kohathites, 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, Candleflick, 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,
wST: 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
f And possibly, in all causes spiritual and temporal; according to the Precept in the Law. Judges and Officers shall thou make thee in all thy Gates, &c. Deut. xvi. 18.
►e in waiting in their several Turns and bourses j and had their Chiefs, as well as^zra,Vllu tie Priests.
From this Division, we come to distinguish the Levites, properly so call'd, being the Four -and Twenty Thousand, who were to attend upon the constant Service of the Temple: This Disposition being afterwards confirmed by Solomon, when the Temple was finisli'd. He appointed, according to 2 Chron. the order of David his father, the courses ofTM' I4' the priests to their service, and the Levites to their charges; to f raise and minister before the priests, as the duty of every day required : the porters also by their courses, at every gate: for so had David, the man of Xjod, commanded.
Thus, when King Hezekiah began his Heformation of Religion, after the Land had been polluted with the Idolatry of his Ancestors, he gathers together the Priests and the Levites, and makes a Speech to them; Hear me, ye Levites; sanctify now *xix j your selves, and J'anSiify the house of the &c. Lord God of your fathers; and carry forth the filthinefs out of the holy place. For our fathers have trespassed, &c. And at
the Conclusioh, he says; My fins, • be not now negligentfir the Lord both chosen you, to stand before Him, to serve Him, and that you Jhould minister unto Him, and burn incense. And it follows; Hbert tic Lcvites arose and did according to the commandment os the king. ,. , ■.. .'\Jt xxriT" Again> we arc told; Hezekiah appointed the courses of the Priests and the Levites, after their courses j every man according to bis service-, the Priests and Levites fir burnt-offerings, and for peace-offerings, to minister and to give thanks, and to praise, in the gates of the tents of the Lord.
And thus, when, upon the like occasion, Jostab had renew'd the Covenant of the LaWyWith God; and had caused all that were present, in Jerusalem and Benjamin, to stand to it j he speaks unto the Levites, that taught all Israel which were holy unto the * Chron. Lord; and says; Put the holy ark in the xxxv. 3, foyjg which Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel, did build; it stall not be a burden upon your /boulders: serve now the Lord your God, and his people Israel; and prepare your selves by the houses of your fathers, after your courses, according to the