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and twelve thousand four hundred shekels in all, if valued at 1s. 3d. the pound avoirdupoise, would come to 1381. 6s. Thus the whole value of the metals, used for the tabernacle, was 213,3201. 38. 6d. sterling; independent of the value of the wood, the curtains, the laver and its foot, the high priest's official dress, the clothes of the priesthood, and the workmanship of the whole. So that, altogether, it could not be valued at less than £250,000 sterling.
We cannot review the tabernacle and its furniture, without adverting to the spiritual reflections they might excite in the minds of pious Israelites; for the apostle tells us, that they were “ a shadow of goods things to come.” The curtains, then, around the court, might teach them a holy reverence for Divine things. The altar of burnt offering pointed to the perfection of the Messiah's sacrifice; and the laver taught them the necessity of regeneration, and of daily application to that fountain, which was opened in the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness. The tabernacle in general, where Jehovah condescended to reside, was a type of the body of the Messiah, in which, as in a tent, he tabernacled while on earth. The silver sockets, which formed the foundation, might remind them of those important doctrines, on which all evangelical religion is founded; and, by being made of the half shekels that were exacted of every male in Israel, they were calculated to shew the personal interest that each should take in religion and its worship. The outer covering of goats' hair, might point out the unattractive appearance of religion to the men of the world; the beautiful undercovering might indicate its glory as seen by the saints ; the covering of rams' skins dyed red, might remind them. of the efficacy of Messiah’s blood, as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; while the
covering of badgers' skins, which (the Jewish traditions say) was blue, might point to the heavens, that true tabernacle which God had pitched, and not man. Nor was spiritual instruction less to be derived from entering the sacred tent. For, in the holy place, the table of shew bread was a constant acknowledgment of God, as the giver of every temporal blessing; the candlestick, with the lamps, pointed to the seven spirits of God, whence all spiritual illumination proceeded; and the altar of incense might have taught them the efficacy of prayer, when offered up from a pure heart, and perfumed with the incense of the Messiah's merits. Nor were the instructions, which might be derived from the most holy place, less important; for the veil, which separated the two apartments, not only indicated the partition wall, which divided the Jews from the rest of the world, and was taken away by the death of Christ; but also that veil, which still conceals from mortal view the place of God's peculiar residence. The tables of the law were an instance of God's condescension to his chosen people; the rod that budded, was emblematical of the unrivalled honour and unfading glory of a greater than Aaron; and the
pot of manna deposited in the ark, typified the hidden manna, of which all the saints are partakers, while travelling through the wilderness of this world. Nor could they overlook the mercy seat, as pointing out the Divine goodness to offending sinners; and the cherubim of glory, which, by looking down to that propitiatory, represented the delight of the Trinity in this their work of
mercy and love.
Here we might naturally enter upon an examination of the appointment of Aaron's family to the priesthood,
a See some useful observations on the tabernacle, its furniture, and journeyings in Barnardus Lamy. Lib, iii. cap. 3, 4, 5, 6. 11. lib. iv. cap. 2. scct. 1-6.
the pontifical habits, the official dresses of the ordinary priests, the consecration of the Levites to the service of the sanctuary, and all the ritual which was appointed for the tabernacle; but these will come to be considered with more propriety, after we have examined the structure of the temple.
THE TEMPLE DESCRIBED.
In this part of our subject, it will save much repetition, and preserve a greater degree of unity, if we advance at once to the days of our Saviour, and consider the temple as it then stood; comparing it, as we go along, with the former stages of that noble edifice. For this purpose, we shall 1. Consider the square space, that was commonly known by the name of the Mountain of the Lord's House, its walls and gates ;-2. Every thing that was remarkable in the court of the Gentiles;—3. The Hil, or Sacred Fence, which divided the court of the Gentiles from the other courts ;-4. The court of the women ;-5. The court of Israel ;-6. The court of the priests ;-7. The temple of Solomon, strictly so called ;-8. The temple, after the captivity ;-9. The external appearance of the temple of Herod;—10. The porch of that temple;—11. The holy place ;-12. The most holy place ;-and 13. The various chambers that were attached to the temple.
The Mountain of the Lord's House.
Its enclosing wall, and the surrounding objects. Mount Moriah, its situation,
meaning of the name, dimensions of that part of it which belonged to the temple, in cubits and English acres : a traveller's account of it. The wall that surrounded the Mountain of the Lord's House; its height; the gates in it, viz.-Shushan or the King's gate, the gates of Huldab, Asuppim, Parbar, the gate Coponius, the gate Tedi : the origin of their names; their size and situation; the number of porters stationed at each. The tower Antonia, its situation, size, and use. The principal objects that were seen from each of these gates, viz. :-The valley and brook Kidron, Mount of Olives, (a Sab. bath day's journey ascertained,) Bethany, the valley of Tophet, its execrable
worship, Bethphage, Gethsemane, the city of Jerusalem, pool of Siloam or Bethesda, the Potter's Field, Millo. The king's gardens, Mount Zion, the royal buildings, the causeway from Zion to the temple, Calvary, the holy sepulchre, the rock that was rent, Absalom's pillar:-a particular description of all these.
In attending to the map of Jerusalem, there are three eminences which particularly attract our notice : Acra, on the south, on which the city was built; Zion, on the north, where was the palace, or city of David ; and Moriah, in the middle, but inclining to the east in such a manner, as that all of them formed a right-angled triangle, of which Moriah is the right angle. Of all these eminences, Acra was originally the highest, but it was much levelled by the Asmonæan princes, on account of the injuries which the worshippers, going to the temple, received from a fort that was built upon it," and the rubbish was taken to help to fill up the valley that lay between it and the temple."
The first notice we have of Moriah in history, is in Gen. xxi. 2, where God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son upon it; and its name is differently explained by commentators. Some make it to signify “ the Lord will be visible,” in allusion to what was experienced by Abraham before he left it; or to Christ, who was afterwards to be seen upon it: and others, the instruction of the Lord," either because it was the best informed portion of the land of Canaan, with respect to religious knowledge, being under the government of Melchizedec; or because from thence, under the Mosaic economy, the
, law went forth for the instruction of Israel. The most literal meaning, however, of Moriah, or Merie, 1999, is 6 the bitterness of Jehovah," or 66 the myrrh of Jehovah,” because myrrh is bitter; but how to explain it of
' the mountains around Jerusalem is not so easy. Perhaps
a Prideaux Connect, AAC. 168. 142.
• Joseph. Ant, xiii, 6.