Page images

JH 0 £ f * P Er »SO N S. K 2 97

rd^fm&Bdwbout the house as Ged$ because
t^e.^xcJb0j^g.e was upon them; and4he opening
thereof * ■- every morning, pertained to them.
And s> certain of them had the charge of the
miniftrihg vessels} that they should bring
them in and out, by tale. Some of them
al/b, <were appointed to oversee the vessels,
and all the instruments of the fanSluary,
and the fine flour, and the wine, and the
Byiv aud the frankincense, and the spices.
: And Mattitbiah, one of the Levites, who
was the firjl-born of Shallum the Korahite,
had the set office over the things, that were
made in the pans.

It is reasonable to believe they were employ'd in several of the servile and inferior Offices, aS well as in those of Credit and Importance j though, mean as their Employment was, we find David faying, / Psal. had rather be a doorkeeper in the house 0/* j*xxiv' I my God, than to dwe%- in the tents of wickedness.

They were divided into Classes, by Lot; and came into waiting, every week, by their Courses. We read that Jehoiada , the High-Priesl, (who, during the Minoj rity of his Nephew King Joajh, probably



2.98 Ræl IGiaUS'i A F I A I'jls. 2 Chron. had the Regency of the Kingdom) Jt 19.' sorters at the gates of the house of the Lord, that none which was unclean, in any tfcing Jhould enter in. ' * . v ■ 1. .

In the Grand Passover, kept by King yo/tab, we have Instances of the Priejls, Levifes, Singers and Porters, all acting ic their respective Stations; which deserw transcribing; and with which, I shall close the Account upon those Heads, ib. xxxv, The service was prepared, and the Priejk *°> &c. jjoQj -n their piacgi anci tfjg Leyites in their

courses, according to the king's commandment. And they killed thepaffover. And>-ibt Priejls sprinkled the blood from their bands, and the Levites fayed them. And tbey.rey ■moved the burnt-offerings, that they might give according to the divifions of the families of the people, to offer to the Lo Rd? as it is written in the book of Moses. And they rosed the paffover with fire, according to the ordinance: But the other holy offerings sod they in 'pots, and in caldrons, and in pans; and divided them speedily, among all the people. - '

And, afterward, they made ready fir themselves, and for the Priejls: Because, the i>? Priests, Priefts, the sons of Aaron 'were busy in offering the burnt-offerings, and the fat, until night j Therefore the Levites prepared for themsehves, and for the Priests, the sons of Aaron/;f

^4nd the fingers, the sons of Asaph, were in their place, according to the commandment of David, and Asaph, and Heman, <m4 Jeduthun the king's seer.

: - j4nd the porters waited at every gate; they might not depart from theirservice;for their brethren, the Levites, preparedfor them.

So, all the service of the L o R D was prepared the fame day, to keep the pajjover, and to offer burnt-offerings upon the altar of the Lord, according to the commandment of. **»<§s Josiah.

?u H SEC T. XV.

Me Net H In 1 Ms.

Among those that were employed in , the Service of the Temple, next to the


Porters, we read of the Nethinims: In that Order, Ezra mentions them after the Ezra i Return from Babylon. The most ilavish 43' and dirty Work, of all Kinds, fell to their

5 60 R E L I G I O U s' A* F A I R S.

Lot; and they were to be subservient ah< assisting to the Levites, in air the les desirable and heavy Parts of Duty 's" as Vh< Levites were to the Priests.

The whole People of the Land, -were divided into four Ranks; First, the Israelites, or whole Body*of the Laity; Secondly, the Priests; thirdly, the Invites\ and Fourthly, the Nethinims: Singers and Doorkeepers being included in the "Word Levites. And thus we find them numbers, both btfore, and after, the Captii Chron. vity. Before; it is said; Now, the Jkst 1X' 2" inhabitants that dwelt in their possessions in their cities, *were the Israelites, the PrseJtF, Ezra ii. 7. the Levites, and the Nethinims. And, after-, we are told, that, 'The Priests and the Levites, and some of the people, and the fingers, and the porters, and the Nethinims dwelt in their cities.

These were not of th,e Tribe of Levi; but originally Gibeonites, of the Land of Canaan ;. who, coming to understand, that the Lord had commanded Moses to give Josli. ix. tb* children of Israel alt that land, and tn 24- destroy all the inhabitants of it, from before them (doubtless, because their gross Inv


noralicies requir'd an immediate and exemplary Punishment) being sore afraid of beitr lives, work'd wilily and sent Men :o the Israelites, who pretended that they were Ambassadors from a far Country; arvd having heard of the Name of the L o R. i>, and all that he did in Egypt, and what he had done to the Nations beyond 'Jordan, were desirous to make a League with the People, who were so highly favour'd by him. This Stratagem succeeded- } Joshua made peace with them, and j0{h. ix made a league with them, to let them live-, ISand the princes of the congregation fware unto them.

But, when the Cheat came to be discovered, and all the congregation murmur'd against the princes; and there was no undoing what had been done, because the Princes had sworn; foflma, (desirous, in some Measure, to appease the People, and provok'd by this unfair Dealing of the Gibeonites) called for them, and spake unto .„ 2J them, faying, Wherefore have ye beguiled us, faying, We are very far from you, when ye dwell among us? Now, therefore, ye are cursed; and there Jhall none of you


« PreviousContinue »