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as being upon earth, leaven is found therein; therefore, though offered to God, they were not burned as a sweet savour (Lev. ii. 12); but with the loaves was offered a sin-offering, which answered by its efficacy to the leaven found in them.
This feast was followed by a long space of time in which there was nothing new in the ways of God-only they were commanded, when they reaped the harvest, not to make clean riddance of the corners of the field; a part of the good grain was to be left in the field after the harvest was gathered into the garner, but not to be lost; it was for those who were not enjoying the riches of God's people, but who would participate exceptionally by grace in the provision which God had made for them in the abundance which God had granted them. This will take place at the end of this age.
Pentecostal work being ended, another series of events begins. They blow up the trumpet (compare Ps. Ixxxi. Num. x. 3, 10). It was the renewal of the blessing and the splendour of the people— Israel, gathered as an assembly before the Lord. It is not yet the restoration of joy, but at least this reflection of the heavenly glory of God appears in their eyes, and they gather the assembly
, to re-establish the glory.
But Israel must at least feel their sin; and in the solemn feast which follows, the affliction of the people is connected with the sacrifice of the day of atonement: Israel shall look on Him whom they have pierced, and
The nation (at least the spared remnant who become the nation) will participate in the efficacy of the sacrifice of Christ, and that in their state here below, repenting and recognised of God, so that the times of refreshing will be come. This is then the repentance of the people, but in connexion with the atoning sacrifice. The efficacy is in the sacrifice—their participation in that is connected with the affliction of their souls (compare Zech. xii). But Israel did nothing—it was a Sabbaththey were assembled in humiliation in the presence
of God. Then follows the feast of tabernacles: they offered during seven days, offerings made by fire unto the Lord, and on the eighth day there was again a holy convocation
---an extraordinary day of a new week which went beyond the full time—including, I doubt not, the resurrection; that is, the participation of those who are raised, in that joy. It was a solemn assembly—that eighth day, the great day of the feast on which the Lord (having declared of the then time that His hour was not yet come to show Himself to the world—His brethren (the Jews] not believing in Him either) announced that for him who believed in Him there would be, in the meanwhile, rivers of living water which would flow from his belly—that is, the Holy Spirit, who would be a living power in the intimate affections of the heart. Israel had indeed drunk of the living water out of the rock in the wilderness, the sojourn in which, now past, was celebrated with joy in the memorial of that which was over, to enhance the joy of the rest into which they were ushered. But believers were not only to drink, the river itself would flow from their heart that is, the Holy Spirit in power which they would have received through Christ. Thus, the feast of tabernacles is the joy of the millennium, when Israel have come out of the wilderness where their sins have placed them, but to which will be added this first day of another week—those who are raised with the Lord Jesus.
Consequently, we find that the feast of tabernacles took place after the increase of the earth had been gathered in--and as we learn elsewhere, not only after the harvest, but after the vintage also. Israel would rejoice seven days before the Lord. The Passover has had its anti-type, Pentecost its also; but this day of joy is yet awaiting Him who is to be the centre and the impulse of it, the Lord Jesus, who will rejoice in the great congregation, and whose praise will begin with Jehovah in the great assembly (Psalm xxii). He had already done it in the midst of the assembly of His brethren, but now the whole race of Jacob is called to glorify Him, and all the ends of the world shall remember themselves. The expression, solemn assembly, is not found applied to any of the feasts but this, except to the seventh day of the Passover (Deut. xvi.), somewhat in the same sense, it seems to
The feast of the tabernacles could not be kept in the wilderness. In order to observe it, the people were to be in possession of the land, as is plain : it is also to be observed, that it never was kept according to the prescriptions of the law, from Joshua till Nehemiah (Neh. viii. 17). Israel had forgotten that they had been strangers in the wilderness. Joy, without the remembrance of this, tends to ruin; the very enjoyment of the blessing leads to it.
The remaining chapters of this book appear to me to have a special bearing. The Spirit of God has presented, in chap. xxiii., the history of the ways of God towards His people upon earth, from beginning to end. Chapter xxiv. presents first the internal work, so to speak, which related to priesthood alone, and the public sin of an apostate -- the fruit of the alliance with an Egyptian who blasphemed the Lord. Through the care of the priesthood (whatever might be God's public ways, and the state of Israel), the gracious light of the Spirit would be maintained, and that particularly from the evening until the morning—the time during which darkness brooded over Israel. Moreover, the incense which was on the memorial of the bread, representing the twelve tribes of Israel, was burned as a sweet smell to the Lord, and the priests identified themselves with the tribes--a continual signification of feeding thus employed. Thus priesthood maintained the light with respect to Israel, when all was darkness in the midst of them, and the memorial of Israel was in sweet savour before God, the priesthood identifying itself with them; although the people were in the eyes of man as lost, they existed through the priesthood of Jesus as a memorial before God. There is a certain sense in which the Church
participates in this, as is explained doctrinally in Rom. xi. In Isaiah liv., we see that believers are reckoned to Jerusalem, in grace, though she was a widow. .
Externally the judgment of cutting off and death without mercy is executed against him that had cursed.
CHAP. XXV.– The land itself is held for the Lord, as being his-it must enjoy God's rest, and moreover he who had lost his inheritance therein should find it again, according to the counsels of God, at the appointed time: VOL.II. PT.II.
the trumpet of the jubilee would sound and God would re-establish each one in his possession, according to His (God's rights; for the land was His. Their persons also were to be free then ; for the children of Israel were God's servants. It was not so with those not belonging to God's people. And although Israel have sold themselves to the stranger, He who made Himself nigh of kin has redeemed them from his hands. The day of jubilee will free the people, whatever may be the power of those who hold them captives.
CHAP. XXVI.- We have a touching picture of the ways of God in patience and in chastisement, if Israel walked contrary to Him. When they acknowledged their fault, then He would remember the covenant made with their fathers, with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and with the land. Then He would remember the covenant made with their ancestors when they came out of Egypt under His name of Jehovah. God will take these two titles in their restoration :- Almighty, the name of His relationships with the fathers; and Jehovah, the name of His relationships with the people, as taken to Himself at their coming out of Egypt.
The last chapter treats of the rights and the appointments of God in all that relates to the things which are devoted to Him through the medium of priesthood. This necessarily finds its place in that which treats of priesthood; but it has a much wider meaning, I doubt not. It is a question of Him who devoted Himself to God and of the land which belongs to Him of the rights of Israel, whose possession it was not, and of his selling it to others. As to Christ, He offered Himself without spot to God; He was valued at a low price. Israel by right belonged to the Lord. As Emmanuel's land, Israel only enjoyed the land without being proprietors; he could only pledge it till jubilee. It shall return to its
possessor as Emmanuel's land.
Israel, looked at as the possessor of the gift of God, not having redeemed it, where sold to the strangerwhen the jubilee comes, the land will be absolutely the Lord's;—the priest will possess it. In Zech. xi. Christ is thus valued," whom they of the children of Israel did value.”
I only point out the principle presented in the chapter, without pretending to enter into all the details of application which may suggest themselves. The principle is the important thing to enable one to understand the purpose of God, in the case of any vow, whether they redeem it or not, or of land, whether it shall return in the day of jubilee when God shall take possession again of His rights in the land of Israel, and cause to enter those whose right it is. It is to be observed also that the judgment is according to the judgment of the priest. But although this be attributed to the priest, it is to the King in Jeshurun (the upright) that the appreciation is intrusted. This shows plainly who is to do it and under what character, though being according to the discernment, the grace, and the rights of priesthood. It is Christ as priest, but Christ as King in Israel who will order all that.
LEVITICUS.— The name Leviticus seems to be derived from the Septuagint, or translation into Greek of the Old Testament. AETITIKON is, in that translation, given as the name of this book. Taking “Levitical,” as it seems most naturally, to mean “that which pertains to the Levites"—the title would seem too loose as the name of this book, which is rather " the Priests' Law Book" than “ the Book of the Law of the Levites.” For as Moses gets a most peculiar place marked in Exodus as his; so have the high priest and priests for them in this; but the service of the Levites comes out in Numbers. The Hebrew name of the book 7" (vay-yik-rah, and he called) is the conventional adoption of the first word of the book as its name. In this case, perhaps, such an anomaly is rather happy than otherwise, because it stamps upon the exterior of the book, that it cannot be understood apart from the Sanctuary, etc. as written about in Exodus, the book which immediately precedes it.