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The Sabbath-breaker shall be stoned t; with several others, either to the fame purpose, or of less moment.

Laws relating to the three grand festivals, the

pasover, the feast of the weeks, and the feast of

the tabernacle. The three


HREE times a year shall all the male children apgrand pear before the LORD their God, at the place by him feftivals. appointed; namely, at the feast of unleavened bread, or

paflover, at the feast of the weeks, or pentecost, and at the feast of tabernacles. They shall not come emptyhanded before him; but every man fhall offer unto the LORD according to the ability wherewith he hath blessed himb (A)


t Ibid. xxxi. 14, 15.

+ Deut. xvi. 16, 17. Exod. xxxiv.

23, & alib.

ftir out of their place, yet it paces (2); and this seems to
could mean no other than a be pretty near the distance be-
prohibition of going out to tween Jerusalem and the mount
gather manna ; for it is plain of Olives, which St. Luke calls
they were obliged to repair to a Sabbath-day's journey (3), of
the tabernacle from all parts of which we have already spoken:

and afterwards to the however, he that exceeded
temple from all quarters of that distance was not judged a
Jerusalem (1); however, the violator of the Sabbath, but
Jews understand it of going came off with a beating ;
out about worldly business, or whereas the breaker of it was
for pleasure, and indeed upon to be stoned to death (4).
any account, beyond what (A) The Talmud however
they call a Sabbath-day's jour. exempts from this obligation, 1.
ney : this distance is not indeed The women, who were to take
fixed by Moses, or any other care of their families, unless
prophet; but is determined at their husbands permitted them
2000 cubits. And though to go with them, as in the cafe
they differ among themselves of Hannah, and the virgin Ma.
about the length of that mea- ry. 2. Boys who were ander
fure, some making it much 12 years of age, who were not
longer than others, yet they under the obligation of the
agree, that the safest way is, law, or called 1771977'bere-
not to exceed 2000 moderate bathorah, that is, the sons or

(1) Vide Levit. xxiii. 3. (2) Vide Maim. trafl. 20,6. 5. . 27. Goodwin's Mf. & Aar, l. iii. c. 3. §. 10. (3) Aats i. 12. Maim. ubi jup.


(4) Vide

disciples of the law, till they what has been hinted in the were entered into the 13th; and geography of the land, conthis seems to be the reason cerning the capaciousness of why Christ did not make his Jerufalem, its suburbs, inns, first appearance among the doc- and other accommodations for tors at the feast till he had at- all such strangers ; it may be tained to that age.

3. All old answered, first, that they did not men above fixty. 4. All the all appear together on the same fick and impotent, lunatics, day, but that they took it by &c. And lastly, all that ei- turns, and stayed in the city ther lived at such distance from but one night ; and on the the tabernacle, and afterwards next morning, having performfrom the temple, or were any ed their devotions, they deotherwise so weak, that they parted, and made way for could not perform the journey others. This is plain from the on foot.

instance of Elkanah; and feNothing . could be better condly, that there were tents, calculated to preserve the union and other conveniencies, for of the Jewish nation, already their reception, not only in the so strongly cemented by their empty spaces within, but likereligion, laws, weights, mea- wife in all convenient places fures, customs, &c. which without the walls of the city. were fo common to them all, And if this be thought still inthan this frequent and universal sufficient for sovaft a concourse. concourse to the chief place of what is answered to the second worship. But here arise two difficulty of their leaving the very great difficulties: first, country too much exposed to how Jerusalem could contain their enemies, will calily re: such prodigious multitudes as move all that is left of the first. did flock to those solemnities And here we need not have from all parts of Judea ; and recourse to improbable confecondly, how the Ifraelites jectures, as Cunæus, Bafnage, could leave their towns and and others, have done, who villages deftitute of males, think that this obligation lafted without the greatest danger no longer than during their from those nations which were abode in the wilderness, when ftill left amongst them, and their nearness to the tabernacle would be ready, no doubt, to easily admitted of it. For, beembrace every opportunity of sides that, if this had been the retrieving their lands and li- case, there would have been berties. Add to this, that no need for Jeroboam to set up those who lived upon the bor- the golden calves to prevent his ders of the land, ran ftill a ten tribes going to Jerusalem, greater risk of being invaded their history furnishes us from by their neighbours, if they had time to time with fufficient left their country under no bet- testimonies, that these festivals ter guard than that of old men, were kept constantly till after women, and children.

our SAVIOUR's time, as it To the first difficulty, besides plainly appears from the vast


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Of the passover.
Easter, or HIS grand festival was instituted in memory of their

signal and miraculous deliverance out of their Egy-
ptian bondage ; of which we shall speak in the sequel : the
laws relating to it are to the following purpose.

It shall be of perpetual obligation, both to the Israelites, and to all circumcised proselytes a.

No circumcised person, whether of the seed of Abrabam, or admitted into the commonwealth by circumcifion, unless hindered by fickness, journeying, or some legal impurity, shall omit the annual celebration of it, under the penalty of being cut off from his people b (B).

No * Exod. xii. 14, 24, & alib.

b Numb. xix. 13, 14. multitudes that were 'at Jeruo others went up ; and, at their falem, from all parts of the return, to go and partake of world, at the feast of pentecost, the folemnity of the second when the Holy Ghost fell upon


It is indeed urged,
the apostles. Neither need we, that there was a promise from
fecondly, suppose with others, God, that none should desire
that they only sent a certain their lands whilft they went up
proportion of men, as one in to appear before him : but, be.
ten, or twelve, to Jerusalem, fides that their natural back-
to be, as it were, the repre- wardness in believing him gives
sentatives, and to offer the gifts us little reason to think, that
of the rest, whilst these kept they would commit their wives,
the solemnity in their own children, and all that was dear
towns. For if any such thing to them, to his fole care, whilft
had been either allowed or they went so far from them to
practised, we should certainly worship him ; it is plain, that
have met with something of it those promises were only con-
in holy writ; whereas the con- ditional, that is, as long as
trary doth rather appear, from they continued stedfast in their
the instances above-mentioned. obedience ; which was so fel-
But since there was a permission dom their case, that had their
from God, that they that were faith in his promises been strong-
unable to celebrate the passover er than it was, yet their disobe-
on the firit month, should do it dience woula have given them
in the second, as we shall see but small encouragement to
in the next note ; will it not lay hold on them.
be more reasonable to suppose, (B) It being the principal end
that they might extend this in- of this institution not only to
dulgence also to the other fefti- perpetuate the memory of all
vals ; so as that one half of the the wonders which God did in
males should stay at home to Egypt and at the Red Sea, but
guard their houses, whilft the allo to make it a standing and


No fervant or stranger shall eat of it, unless he become circumcised c.

The feast (C) shall begin on the eve of the fourteenth day of the month Abif, or, as the original expresses it, be

tween • Exod. xii. 43, & feq.

irrefragable monument to all themselves by affifting at the pofterity of the truth and cer- burial of some relation (4); and tainty of those amazing works; was afterwards made use of by nothing could be more ex- the priests and Levites, who, pedient than to enforce the ob- being under some legal impufervation of it under some rities when the king comfevere penalties. However, it manded them to revive this is evident by the fequel, that festival at its usual time, were they did not understand it of a forced to postpone it to the. capital punishment, such as next month (5). was to be inflicted on blasphe- (C) This festival is called in mers, idolaters, Sabbath-break- the original na pesach, from ers, and the like, feeing they the verb pasach, which figninot only omitted to celebrate fies to pass by, or leap over, it during their abode in the wil. and not from the Greek 7 doxa', derness, without any visible to suffer, as if it had been proexcuse, as will be seen in the phetical of Christ's suffering fequel, but were afterwards at that feast, as some antient guilty of a most fhameful neg. fathers have imagined for want lect of it, during several wicked of understanding Hebrew (6). reigns, till Hezekiah, and after God himself explained the etyhim Josiah, revived it (3), as mon,where he commanded them we shall fee in its proper place. to tell their children, that this

As for those who, by reason was the sacrifice of the Lord's of any legal impurity,

whether passover, ndonWN, asher-pal: accidental or voluntary, were Jach, who passed by, or leaped unfit for, and those who were over the houses of the Israelites hindered by any lawful impe- (7). It was to begin arany0712 diment from celebrating this ben-haharvaim, between the festival with the rest of the two evenings (8) of the 14th people on the month Nisan, of the month called by Moses they were ordered to keep it Abif, which properly signifies with the usual ceremony on the the stalk that bears the ear of following month, called Jair. corn, because wheat begins to This indulgence was granted be ripe about this time. This by God himself, in favour of month was afterwards called fome men who had defiled Nisan, and answers to our

(3) 2 Chron. xxx. & XXXV. pal.

(4) Vide Num. ix. 6, & feqq. (s) z Cbron. XXX. 3. (6) Tertul. cont. Jud. c. 10. Ambrof. lib. de myster. (7) Exod. xii. 27. (8) Ibid. ver, 6. C 3


pasch, Gel

tween the two evenings d ; at which time the paschal lamb shall be killed (D), and the festival continued, till the oneand-twentieth day of the same month at evening.

THE d Ibid. ver. 6. See the margin of our Bible. March and April. The ex- chronology, that it is no wonpression between the two evene der if so many learned men ings is variously taken. Some have laboured so much to correckon the first evening to be rect and adjust it (4), and with between noon and sunset (1), so little success. However, as others between two and fix (2) ; to the new-moons, and those but the most rational opinion, festivals which depended upon and the most received, is, that them, and indeed all other the first evening is that which computations of time, they immediately follows sunset, and were committed to the care of that the second begins when the priests and judges, and the that planet is so far sunk below people were obliged to abide the horizon, that the stars by their calculations, whether visibly appear above it (3). they proved right or wrong (5).

The computation of this (D) This ordinance of the new year began at the first new- pafchal lamb our learned Spenmoon that happened nearest, çer thinks to have been one of or upon, the vernal equinox, those which God exprelly apwith this rule, that the pre- pointed, in opposition to the ceding full-moon, how near Zabian and Egyptian worship, soever to it, belonged to the in order to cure, as he expresses last month of the former year, it, the Israelites of their itch Now as they had no astrono- of idolatry, because the ram mical tables to regulate those among them was sacred to Ju: conjunctions, but were forced piter. He adds also, that the to guide themselves by the first ceremony of killing, dressing, appearance of the new moon, and eating of it, namely, neiall their diligence in sending ther boiled nor raw, but roasted, out people to observe it from with the head, and all the other high places at sunset, could not appurtenances, that a bone of prevent great irregularities it should not be broken, &c. happening in their months and were in like manner opposite years ; because sometimes it is to those that were used in fa. not to be seen till the second crifices by those idolaters (6). or third night, nor even then, As to the Egyptians, we if clouds interpose. Add to shall have frequent occafion to this, that they were in all other shew, that this pretended conrespects so negligent of their trariety is at best but very


(1) D. Kimebi, ap. Munft. in loc. (2) Calm. dict. fub voc. (3) MS. Gerund. Åbenezr. Salom. & al. in loc.

(4) Vide Scaliger, ubi fup. Vignier. Genebr. Uffer. Sir J. Newt. Bedford, 6 al. (5) Vide præc. afirm. 46. (6) Deleg, rit. Hebr. l. ii. 6. 24.


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