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►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
i&ritirtgtf David iwirg Israel, cbrXftigWthe writing of Solomon bit son, and Ji and in the hofyflact, according ta the : divisions of the families (f the fathers ofyour brethren the pedple> and after the division of the'families of the Levites; ft kill the pajs&uer, &c.
And, by what follows, we find, that; upon such occasions, the Duty of the Le-vises, among other Things; was to skin she sacrifices. So the fervi'ee was prepared, and the Priejls food in their-place\ and the Levites in their coursest according to the kings commandment.- And they killed the pas/over; and the Priejls-sprinkled the blood from their hands, and the Levites1 fayed
And, by what Ezekiel (whom we must allow to have been well vers'd in these Matters, being one of the Tribe of Levi) fays, in relation to the Service of his visionary Temple, these laborious and sordid Offices were perform'd- by such of the Priestsy whose Behaviour requir'd that they should be degraded or punish'd. Thus, speaking of those that had apostatiz'd to Idolatry^ and afterward desir'd to be read* I U mitted
mitted to the Worship of the true God« Ezek ^usfaith the Lord God, the Lcifjgeg (19 xliv. 10, a large acceptation) that are gone a-i^gr far &c* from me, when Israel went astray^ i*g&if& went ajlray from me, after their idols, they pall ever bear their iniquity. Tet _/%aM they he ministers in my fancJuary, having charge at the gates of the house, and mini/2 ring ta the house: they shall flay the burnt-offering and the sacrifice, for the people; and they shall stand before them to minister- unto them. And they shall not come near unto me, to do the office of a Priest unto me, nor to come near to any of my holy Things, in the most holy place: But they shall bear tkeirr shame, and their abominations, which, they have committed. ,u •
The Order of Singers was instituted by David, to perform Services of Thanklgiving, and to ling Praises unto the Lord, in the highest Perfection that ho? man skill, either by Voice or Instrument, was capable of. The whole Book of 'Psaltos appears to have been compos'd for this kind of Devotion. And David himself, who had the greatest Hand in them, arid was moreover a Skilful Player upon the Harp, without Doubt, compos'd them for Services in the House of God. As the Titles of many of them, directed to some one of the Chief Musicians, do sufficiently declare. And we have an Instance; where it is said; David delivered this Psalm, to 1 Chron.
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thank the Lord, into the band of Asaph and his brethren.
The Principal Persons of this Order, and who had the Superintendency over all the Rest, were Heman and Asaph of the », Chron. Line of Gerjhon; and Ethan or J edit- ^'.^y.9' thun, of the Line of Merari. These, with their Sons, made Four and Twenty Courses, Twelve in a Course; who were all under the hands of their fathers, for Jong, in the house of the Lo R|d, with cymbals, psalteries, and harps, for the service of the house [of God, according to the kings order, to Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman. For these Courses they cast lots over against their brethren; in the presence of David the king, and Zadok and AhimeU 2 ( lechj