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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 aecount 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,
Whạt 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,
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. xxii. 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 erery 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 or 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).
How was it kept ? (Numb. xxix. 12, &c. ; Ezra iï. 4; Neh. viii. 14-17.) What may
we learn from its institution ?-A. The duty of cherishing a grateful remembrance of God's past mercies to us and our forefathers.
The last day was the great day of this feast; what did Jesus on that day? (John vii. 37.)
At what hour did their Sabbaths, and all their feasts begin and end ?-A. The Jews counted their days, and particularly their holy days, from the evening or sun-set, to the next evening (Gen. i. 5 ; Lev. xxiii. 5, 32).
At what places were the feasts to be kept ? (Deut. xvi. 16.)
What remarkable promise was given to those who, in obedience to the command of God, left their homes to attend at the three great annual festivals of the Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles? (Exod. xxxiv. 24.)
Such a command being given, and being so often obeyed with perfect safety by those who were surrounded by such bitter enemies, of what is it a proof?-A. Of the miraculous providence by which they were governed, and that Moses wrote and acted under the inspiration of God.
The Jews in later times had other festivals, not of Divine appointment, of which the two principal were the Feast of Purim, or Lots, and the Feast of the Dedication.
The Purim was in commemoration of their deliverance by the providence of God from the utter extermination which Haman had designed, and for which he had actually procured an edict from the Persian king Ahasuerus, then monarch of the world. See Esther.
The Feast of Dedication was instituted by Judas Maccabeus, about A.M. 3840, as a grateful memorial of the renewed dedication of the temple to the service of God, after it had been profaned by Antiochus Epiphanes. Our Lord's attendance on this feast (John x. 22) justifies the observance of religious seasons of human appointment.
Other feasts are alluded to (Zech. viii. 19), but, not being particularly referred to in Scripture, they are not here noticed.
The following remark is well worthy of attention, in connexion with the subjects which have occupied the two preceding chapters.
;.“If in parts of the Jewish law we should meet with some directions, the utility of which should not be at first sight apparent to us, let us beware of setting up the conclusions of our own reason against the unbounded wisdom of God. A closer consideration of the subject will teach us humbly to acknowledge that all these institutions answered the purpose of exercising the Israelites in faith and obedience ; of preserving them a distinct and separate people; and of training them, by a peculiar mode of discipline, wisely suited to their habits, prejudices, and circumstances, for the reception of the New Dispensation under the Messiah.;"
JEWISH SECTS ;
WITH NOTICE OF SOME OTHER ORDERS OF MEN
MENTIONED IN SCRIPTURE.
CONTENTS.—$ i. Scribes, Lawyers, Doctors of the Law. § ii. Pharisees, *$'iii. Sadducees. § iv. Essenes. $ v. Nazarites. $ vi. Herodians.
S vii. Galileans. § viii. Publicans. § ix. Proselytes. $ x. Samaritans. While there was a Divine Oracle in the temple; while there were prophets, that is, men inspired by God to reveal and explain his will, there were no sects among the Jews. But after the spirit of prophecy ceased; after Malachi, the last of the prophets; when the law of God came to be explained by weak and fallible
then were divisions, then arose sects.
“The whole body of the Jewish nation,” remarks Beausobre, “may be divided into two general sects; the Karaites and the Rabbinists. The Karaites are those that adhere to the plain and literal sense of the Holy Scripture, rejecting all manner of tradition as of Divine authority. The Rabbinists, otherwise called the Cabalists, or Talmudists, are those, on the contrary, who own and receive the oral or traditionary law as Divine."
The pernicious maxim which was the chief source of all the Jewish sects, was, that the oral or traditionary law was of Divine origin, as well as the written law of Moses. This traditionary law was supposed to have been handed down