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(Ps. lxxxix. 7: "God is greatly, &c. had in reverence, &c. Heb. xii. 28, 29: godly fear; “for our God is," &c.)
With what feelings did David look forward to attendance at the tabernacle? (Ps. xliii. 4. xlii. and lxxxiv.)
Who first expressed the desire to build the temple? Was he permitted to build it? relate the circumstances? (2 Sam. vii. 1 Chron. xvii.)
What preparation did he nevertheless make? (1 Chron. xxii.-xxix.)
By whom and at what place was the temple built? (2 Chr. iii. 1.) Turn to 1 Kings vi. 7., and observe what very remarkable circumstance attended the building of it? Shew from the prayer at the dedication the spiritual nature of the service therein to be conducted, and that it was to be not merely a place for the offering of external rites, but a house of prayer. (1 Kings viii. 29.) How was Solomon's prayer answered? (2 Chron. vii.)
In Solomon's letter to Hiram, what does he say was his reason for building the Temple? (2 Chron. ii. 3—6.)
Who gave David the pattern of the Temple? (1 Chron. xxviii. 12.)
With what was the whole house overlaid? (1 Kings vi. 21, pure gold.) [Dean Prideaux values the gold with which the Holy of Holies alone was overlaid at £4,320,000.]
How long did it preserve its glory?-A. Only about thirty-four years. (1 Kings xiv. 25, 26.)
When and by whom was it burnt? (Jer. lii. 13; 2 Chron. xxxvi. 19; 2 Kings xxv.
What do we learn from this ?-A. The ruinous effects of sin. Was it rebuilt? Give some account of this, as given in the book of Ezra ? (Ezra iii. 10, &c.)
Who spent forty-six years in improving it, and what was his character?-A. Herod the Great. (John ii. 20. Matt. ii. 16.)
How many people would its courts then contain ?—A. 500,000.
What became of this Temple, as foretold by our Lord
(Matt. xxiv. 1, &c.) ? and what do we learn from it ?—A. The destruction that awaits every despiser of the Gospel.
The word synagogue is rarely found in the Old Testament; yet it does not seem possible, as Lightfoot has remarked, that the Jews could keep the Sabbath according to the injunction laid upon them, of having every seventh day a holy meeting, or convocation (Levit. xxiii. 3, 4), if they had not, at all times, their synagogue meetings, or particular congregations; as the plural number used of assemblies, or congregations, doth more than seem to intimate in Ps. xxvi. 12; lxviii. 26, &c. see also Ps, lxxiv. 8.
iv. Seasons of public worship.
The chief of these were the daily Sacrifices; the weekly Sabbaths; monthly, the Feast of the New Moons; yearly, the Feast of the Passover, the Feast of Pentecost, the Feast of Trumpets, the great Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles.
1. The Daily Sacrifice, &c.
What was offered day by day, continually on the brazen altar? (Exod. xxix. 38, &c.)
What was also daily offered on the golden altar? (Exod. xxx. 7.)
How were the people then engaged? (Luke i. 10; Ps. cxli. 2.)
2. The Weekly Sabbath.
When was the Sabbath first appointed to man? (Gen. ii.) Were the Jews reminded of the duty of its observance before the giving of the Fourth Commandment, and on what occasion ?-A. The giving of the manna. (Exod. xvi.)
What additional sacrifices were offered on that day, morning and evening? (Numb. xxviii. 9, 10.)
Was there any assembly of the people for public worship? (Lev. xxiii. 3.)
From Ps. xcii. (the title of which observe), and from Isa. lviii. 13, 14, shew that it was a spiritual service which was required of them.
What punishment was threatened for its neglect? (Exod. xxxi. 14.)
Is there any instance of its being executed? (Numb. xv. 35.)
In enumerating the sins of the Jews, what do Jeremiah (xvii. 27), Ezekiel (xx. 24), and Nehemiah (xiii. 18), say in a peculiar manner brought upon them God's displeasure? What account have we of our Lord's observance of the Sabbath? (Mark i. 21; Luke iv. 16, 31; xiii. 10.)
When is the Sabbath-day most blest to us?—A. When it is most sanctified by us. (Is. lviii. 13, 14. xl. 31.)
3. The Feast of the New Moon.
From what were the Jewish months originally calculated? -A. The first appearance of the new moon.
Give an account of the feast; how it was proclaimed, and what sacrifices were offered. (Numb. x. 10; xxviii. 11; 1 Sam. xx. 5; Ps. lxxxi. 3.)
How was this festival improved by the pious Jews?—A. By resorting to the Prophets and public teachers for religious instruction. (2 Kings iv. 23.)
We have an account of Saul observing this solemn festival: but what was the state of his mind at the time? (1 Sam. xx. 5. 24; 2 Tim. iii. 5.)
The months of the Jewish year were Nisan or Abib, Ijar or Zif, Sivan, Thammuz, Ab, Elul, Tizri, Marchesvan, Kisleu or Chisleu, Thebat, Sebat, Adar. The Jews had two principal modes of arranging them, termed the civil and ecclesiastical years.
The first month of their civil year was Tizri, corresponding with part of our September and October; the second month, Marchesvan, &c.; the last, Elul. From this year they reckoned their Jubilee, dated all their contracts, noted the birth of children, and reigns of their kings.
The first month of their ecclesiastical year was Nisan' or Abib, answering to part of our March and April. From that month they computed their feasts, because at that time was their wonderful deliverance from Egypt effected.
The first chapter of Nehemiah affords an illustration of the importance of a knowledge of the names and order of these months; for instance,
What month did Nehemiah begin to entreat God on behalf of Jerusalem, and how many months passed before his prayer was answered? (Neh. i. 1. ii. 1.)
What does this teach us? (Luke xviii. 1. Lam. iii. 26.) 4. Yearly Feasts,
PASSOVER. When was it instituted, and how was it observed? (Exod. xii.)
What means did God appoint for the preservation of the Israelites from the destruction He inflicted on the first-born of Egypt? (Ex. xii. 7, 13.)
In what respect did the sacrifice then offered differ from all others?-A. No part was burnt on the altar.
Referring to Exod. xii. 3, 21, 26, shew what their observance of this feast was eminently calculated to promote? -A. Family religion.
What sacrament did our Lord institute at his last celebration of this feast? (Matt. xxvi.)
Mention some passages of the New Testament, which shew the typical reference of this feast to Christ. (John xix. 36, 66 a bone," &c.; 1 Cor. v. 7.)
PENTECOST. Why is it so called?-A. In the Greek, Pentecost means fiftieth; and this feast was observed fifty days after that of the Passover.
Why was it kept ?-A. As a thanksgiving for the beginning of wheat harvest (Exod. xxiii. 16.); and hence called Feast of Harvest, and Day of First Fruits.
What may we learn from this institution?-A. The duty of expressing gratitude to God for common mercies.
What great event (which may be considered as the ingathering of the first fruits of the Christian church) is recorded in Acts ii. to have happened on that day?
FEAST OF TRUMPETS. What was this feast ?--A. The first day of the seventh month the blowing of trumpets was appointed with peculiar sacrifices. (Lev. xxiii. 24, &c.; Numb. xxix. 1.)
What are supposed to be the two chief designs of this feast?
1. The seventh month, Tizri, having more holy days in it than any other of the year, might be considered as a sort of Sabbath of months, and was on that account to be begun with an extraordinary sound of trumpets.
2. Tizri being the first month of the civil (as Abib was of the ecclesiastical) year, this feast, held on the New-year'sday of that year, would thus remind the Jews of the duty of conducting all the worldly employments of the year in the fear of God and to his glory.
What may we learn from such an institution?-A. To begin every year with self-examination, as to the past, and renewed dedication of ourselves to God's service, for the future.
To what was this feast introductory?-A. The Day of Atonement.
DAY OF ATONEMENT. What was the great Day of Atonement?-A. The tenth day of the seventh month was appointed as a day of public fasting and humiliation, on which the nation were to afflict their souls on account of their sins, and seek atonement for them (Lev. xxiii. 27; xvi. 29; Numb. xxix. 7).
What did Aaron intend when he laid both his hands on the head of the scape-goat? (Lev. xvi. 21.)
What was that goat said to bear? (Lev. xvi. 22.)
What did the goat offered for a sin offering shadow forth? -A. The sacrifice of the death of Christ.
What did the scape-goat represent?-A. The pardon of sin procured by that sacrifice. (Gal. iii. 13: 2 Cor. v. 21.)
Into what part of the Tabernacle did the high-priest alone enter on the great day of atonement, and into which even he himself entered on no other occasion?-A. The Holy of Holies.
What was shadowed forth by the high-priest's entering the Holy of Holies with incense, and sprinkling the mercyseat with the blood of the sacrifice? (Heb. ix. 24—28; vii. 25. Christ entering heaven, to make intercession for us.)
Refer to Heb. ix. and x., and particularly x. 19, &c.; and shew how much greater are our privileges than those of the Jews, and the use we should make of them.
FEAST OF TABERNACLES. What was the Feast of Tabernacles?—A. On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, at the end of all their harvest, they began this feast, and dwelt seven days in booths made of the boughs of trees (Deut. xvi. 13). Why was it kept?-A. In memory of their dwelling in booths or tents in the wilderness (Lev. xxiii. 39—44).