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Observations on the

EXODUS.

preceding chapter. them in the desert. But Jethro chose rather to return contain some palpable falsilies, which will discover the to his own country, where probably his family were so falsity of all the rest. settled and circumstanced that they could not be con- 5. That wherever it is first propagated, it must be veniently removed, and it was more his duty to stay done by craft and fraud. with them, to assist them with his counse) and advice, 6. That when intrusted to many persons, it cannot than to travel with the Israelites. Many others might be long concealed. be found that could be eyes to the Hebrews in the 1. The keenest-eyed adversary of Moses has never desert, but no man could be found capable of being a been able to fix on him any carnal interest. No gratifather to his family, but himself. It is well to labour fication of sensual passions, no accumulation of wealth, for the public good, but our own families are the first no aggrandizement of his family or relatives, no purclaimants on our care, attention, and time. He who suit of worldly honour, has ever been laid to his charge. neglects his own household on pretence of labouring 2. His life was unspotted, and all his actions the even for the good of the public, has surely denied the offspring of the purest benevolence. faith, and is worse than an infidel.

3. As his own hands were pure, so were the hands

of those whom he associated with himself in the work. It is strange that after this we hear'. no more of 4. No palpable falsity has ever been detected in his Zipporah! Why is she forgotten? Merely because writings, though they have for their subject the most she was the wife of Moses ; for he chose to conduct complicate, abstruse, and difficult topics that ever came himself so that to the remotest ages, there should be under the pen of man. the utmost proofs of his disinterestedness. While 5. No craft, no fraud, not even what one of his multitudes of the families of Israel are celebrated and own countrymen thought he might lawfully use, innodignified, his own he writes in the dust. He had no cent guile, because he had to do with a people greatly interest but that of God and his people ; to promote degraded and grossly stupid, can be laid to his charge. this, he employed his whole time and his uncommon His conduct was as open as the day; and though contalents. His body, his soul, his whole life, were a tinually watched by a people who were ever ready to continual offering to God. They were always on the murmur and rebel, and industrious to find an excuse for Divinė altar; and God had from his creature all the their repeated seditious conduct, yet none could be found praise, glory, and honour that a creature could possibly either in his spirit, private life, or public conduct. give. Like his great antitype, he went about doing 6. None ever came after to say, “ We have joined good; and God was with him. The zeal of God's with Moses in a plot, we have feigned a Divine authohouse consumed him, for in that house, in all its con- rity and mission, we have succeeded in our innocent cerns, we have the testimony of God himself that he imposture, and now the mask may be laid aside.” was faithful, Heb. iii. 2; and a higher character was The whole work proved itself so fully to be of God, never given, nor can be given of any governor, sacred that even the person who might wish to discredit or civil. He made no provision even for his own sons, Moses and his mission, could find no ground of this Gershom and Eliezer; they and their families were kind to stand on. The len plagues of Egypt, the incorporated with the Levites, 1 Chron. xxiii. 14; and passage of the Red Sea, the destruction of the king had no higher employment than that of taking care of Egypt and - his immense host, the quails, the rock of the tabernacle and the tent, Num. iii. 21-26, and of Horeb, the supernatural supply by the forty years' merely to serve at the tabernacle and to carry burdens, manna, the continual-miracle of the Sabbath, on which Num. iv. 24–28. No history, sacred or profane, has the preceding day's manna kept good, though, if thus been able to produce a complete parallel to the disin- kept, it became putrid on any other day, together with terestedness of Moses. This one consideration is the constantly attending supernatural cloud, in its sufficient to refute every charge of imposture brought threefold office of a guide by day, a light by night, against him and his laws. There never was an im- and a covering from the ardours of the sun, all, all inposture in the world (says Dr. PRIDEAUX, Letter to vincibly proclaim that God brought out this people the Deists) that had not the following characters : - from Egypt ; that Moses was the man of God, chosen

1. It must always have for its end some carnal by him, and fully accredited in his mission ; and that interest.

the laws and statutes which he gave were the offspring 2. It can have none but wicked men for its authors. of the wisdom and goodness of Him who is the Father

3. Both of these must necessarily appear in the of Lights, the fountain of truth and justice, and the very contexture of the imposture itself.

continual and unbounded benefactor of the human 4. That it can never be so framed, that it will not I race.

CHAPTER XIX. The children of Israel, having departed from Rephidim, come to the wilderness of Sinai in the third month,

1, 2. Moses goes up into the mount to God, and receives a message which he is to deliver to the people, 3-6. He returns and delivers it to the people before the elders, 7. The people promise obedience, 8. The Lord proposes to meet Moses in the cloud, 9. He commands him to sanctify the people, and promises to come down visibly on Mount Sinai on the third day, 10, 11. He commands him also to set bounds, to prevent the people or any of the cattle from touching the mount, on pain of being stoned or shot through

The people come to Sinai.

CHAP. XIX. Moses goes up into the moun with a dart, 12, 13. Moses goes down and delivers this message, 14, 15. The third day is ushered in with the appearance of the thick cloud upon the mount, and with thunders, lightning, and the sound of a trumpet; at which the people are greatly terrified, 16. Moses brings forth the people out of the camp to meet with God, 17. Mount Sinai is enveloped with smoke and fire, 18. After the trumpet had sounded long and loud, Moses spoke, and God answered him by a voice, 19. God calls Moses up to the mount, 20, and gives him a charge to the people and to the priests, that they do not attempt to come near to the mount, 21, 22. Moses, alleging that it was impossible for them to touch it becaụse of the bounds, 23, sent down to bring up Aaron, and to warn the people again not to break through the bounds, 24. Moses goes down and delivers this message, 25 ; after which we may suppose that he and Aaron went up to meet God in the mount. A. M. 2513. IN the third month, when the 3 And Moses went up unto

A. M 2513. B. C. 1491.

B. C. 1491. An. Exod. Isr. 1. children of Israel were gone God, and the LORD o called unto An. Exod. Isr. t. Sivan.

Sivan. forth out of the land of Egypt, him out of the mountain, saying, the same day came they into the wilderness Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob of Sinai.

and tell the children of Israel ; 2 For they were departed from Rephidim, 4 {Ye have seen what I did unto the Egypand were come to the desert of Sinai, and tians, and how & I bare you on eagles' wings, had pitched in the wilderness; and there and brought you unto myself. Israel encamped before the mount.

5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice

a Num. xxxiii. 15.— Chap. xvii. 1, 8.

Chap. xx. 21 ; Acts vii. 39.

Chapter iii. 1, 12. Deut. xxix. 2.

. - Deut. xxxii. 11; Isa. lxiii. 9;. Rev. xii, 14. Chap. iii. 4.

h Deut. v. 2.

e

NOTES ON CHAP. XIX.

stance it might have received the name of Sinai or Verse 1. In the third month) This was called Si- 307 har Sinai, the mount of the bush or the mount van, and answers to our May. For the Jewish months, of bushes ; for it is possible that it was not in a single years, &c., see the tables at the end of Deuteronomy. bush, but in a thicket of bushes, that the Angel of God

The same day) There are three opinions concerning made his appearance. The word 'bush is often used the meaning of this place, which are supported by re- for woods or foresls. spectable arguments. 1. The same day means the Verse 3. Moses went up unto God] It is likely same day of the third month with that, viz., the 15th, that the cloud which had conducted the Israelitish camp on which the Israelites had left Egypt. 2. The same had now removed to the top of Sinai ; and as this was day signifies here a day of the same number with the the symbol of the Divine presence, Moses went up to month to which it is applied, viz., the third day of the the place, there to meet the Lord. third month. 3. By the same day, the first day of The Lord called unto him] This, according to St. the month is intended. The Jews celebrate the feast Stephen, was the Angel of the Lord, Acts vii. 38. of pentecost fifty days after the passover: from the And from several scriptures we have seen that the departure out of Egypt to the coming to Sinai were Lord Jesus was the person intended; see the notes on forty-five days ; for they came out the fifteenth day Gen. xví. 7 ; xviii. 13;. Exod. iii. 2. of the first month, from which day to the first of the Verse 4. How I bare you 'on eagles' wings] Mr. third month forty-five days are numbered. On the 2d Bruce contends that the word v nesher does not mean day of this third month Moses went up into the moun- the bird we term eagle ; but a bird which the Arabs, tain, when three days were given to the people to pu- from its kind and inerciful. disposition, call rachama, rify themselves; thiş gives the fourth day of the third which is noted for its care of its young, and its carmonth, or the forty-ninth from the departure out of rying them upon its back. See his Travels, vol. vir., Egypt. On the next day, which was the fiftieth from pl. 33. It is not unlikely that from this part of the the celebration of the passover, the glory of God ap- sacred history the heathens þorrowed their fable of peared on the mount; in commemoration of which the the eagle being a bird sacred to Jupiter, and which was Jews celebrate the feast of pentecost. This is the employed to carry the souls of departed heroes, kings, opinion of St. Augustine and of several moderns, and &c., into the celestial regions. The Romans have is defended at large by Houbigant. As the word vin struck several medals with this device, which may be chodesh, month, is put for new moon, which is with the seen in different cabinets, among which are the followJews the first day of the month, this may be considered ing: one of Faustina, daughter of Antoninus Pius, an additional confirmation of the above opinion. on the reverse of which she is represented ascending

The wilderness of Sinai.] Mount Sinai is called to heaven on the back of an eagle; and another of by the Arabs Jibel Mousa or the Mount of Moses, or, Salonia, daughter of the Emperor Galienus, on the reby way of eminence, El Tor, THE Mount.

It is one

verse of which she is represented on the back of an hill, with two peaks or summits ; one is called Horeb, eagle, with a sceptre in her hand, ascending to heaven. the other Sinai. lIoreb was probably its most ancient Jupiter himself is sometimes represented on the back name, and might designate the whole mountain ; but of an eagle also, with his thunder in his hand, as on a as the Lord had appeared to Moses on this mountain medal of Licinus. This brings us nearer to the letter in a bush, 30 seneh, chap. iii. 2, from this circum- of the text, where it appears that the heathens con

A. M. 2513
B. C. 1491.

A. M. 2513.

Sivan.

Moses receives God's message,

EXODUS.

and delivers it to the people. indeed, and keep my covenant, 8 And n all the people answer

B. C. 1491. An. Exod. Isr. 1. then ' ye shall be a peculiar trea- ed together, and said, All that An. Exod. Isr. 1

Sivan. sure unto me above all people : the Lord hath spoken we will for k all the earth is mine :

do. And Moses returned the words of the 6 And ye shall be unto me a ? kingdom of people unto the Lord. priests, and a m holy nation. These are the 9 And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I words which thou shalt speak unto the chil- come unto thee in a thick cloud, P that dren of Israel.

the people may hear when I speak with 7 And Moses came and called for the elders thee, and I believe thee for ever. And of the people, and laid before their faces all Moses told the words of the people unto these words which the LORD commanded him. the LORD.

Deut. iv. 20; vii. 6; xiv, 2, 21; xxvi. 18; xxxii. 8, 9; mLev. xx. 24, 26 ; Dent. vii.6; xxvi. 19 ; xxvi. 9; Isaiah lxi. 1 Kings viii. 53; Psa. cxxxv. 4; Cant. viii. 12 ; Isa. xli. 8; xliii. 12; 1 Cor. ii. 17; 1 Thess. v. 27.—A Chap. xxiv.3,7; Deut. l; Jer. x. 16 ; Mal. iii. 17; Tit. i: 14. - Chap. ix. 29; Deut. v. 27; xxvi. 17. - Ver. 16; chap. xx. 21 ; xxiv. 15, 16; Deut x. 14; Job xli. 11; Psa. xxiv. 1; 1. 12; 1 Cor. x. 26, 28. iv. II; Psa. xviji. 11, 12 ; xcvji. 2; Matt. xvii. 5.- - Deut.ir 1 Deut. xxxiii. 2, 3, 4; 1 Pet. it. 5, 9; Rev. i. 6; v. 10; XX. 6. 12, 36; John xii, 29, 30.- Chap. xiv, 31.

founded the figure made use of by the sacred penman, nalion, one people; firmly united among themselves, I bare you on eagles' wings, with the manifestation of living under their own laws; and powerful, because God in thunder and lightning on Mount Sinai. And united, and acting under the direction and blessing of it might be in reference to all this that the Romans God. They should be a holy nation, saved from their took the eagle for their ensign. See - Scheuchzer, sins, righteous in their conduct, holy in their hearts ; Musellius, &c.

every external rite being not only a significant cereBrought you unto myself.) In this and the two mony, but also a means of conveying light and life, following verses, we see the design of God in select- grace and peace, to every person who conscientiously ing a people for himself. 1. They were to obey his used it. Thus they should be both a kingdom, having voice, ver. 5, lo receive a revelation from him, and to God for their governor; and a nation, a multitude of act according to that revelation, and not according to peoples connected together; not a scattered, disordered, their reason or fancy, in opposition to his declarations. and disorganized people, but a royal nation, using their 2. They were to obcy his voice indeed, iyoun yinu own rites, living under their own laws, subject in reli. shamoa tishmeu, in hearing they should hear ; they gious matters only to God, and in things civil, to every should consult his testimonies, hear them whenever ordinance of man for God's sake. read or proclaimed, and obey them as soon as heard, This was the spirit and design of this wonderful affectionately and steadily. 3. They must keep his institution, which could not receive its perfection but covenant--not only copy in their lives the ten com- | under the Gospel, and has its full accomplishment in mandments, but they must receive and preserve the every member of the mystical body of Christ. grand agreement made between God and man by sacri- Verse 7. The elders of the people] The head of fice, in reference to the incarnation and death of Christ; each tribe, and the chief of each family, by whose for from the foundation of the world the covenant of ministry this gracious purpose of God was speedily God ratified by sacrifices referred to this, and now the communicated to the whole camp. sacrificial system was to be more fully opened by the Verse 8. And all the people answered, &c.] The giving of the law. 4. They should then be God's people, having such gracious advantages laid before peculiar treasure, obno segullah, his own patrimony, a them, most oheerfully consented to take God for their people in whom he should have all right, and over portion ; as he had graciously promised to take them whom he should have exclusive authority above all the for his people. Thus a covenant was made, the parties people of the earth; for though all the inhabitants of being mutually bound to each other. the world were his by his right of creation and provi- Moses returned the words] When the people had dence, yet these should be peculiarly his, as receiving on their part consented to the covenant, Moses appears his revelation and entering into his covenant. 5. They to have gone immediately up to the mountain and should be a kingdom of priests, ver. 6. Their stale related to God the success of his mission; for he was should be a theocracy; and as God should be the sole now on the mount, as appears from ver. 14. governor, being king in Jeshurun, so all bis subjects Verse 9. A thick cloud] This is interpreted by should be priests, all worshippers, all sacrificers, every ver. 18: And Mount Sinai was altogether on a SMOKE individual offering up the victim for himself. A beau- -and the SMOKE thereof ascended as the smoke of a tiful representation of the Gospel dispensation, to which furnace; his usual appearance was in the cloudy the Apostles Peter and John apply it, 1 Pet. ii. 5, 9; pillar, which we may suppose was generally clear and Rev. i. 6; v. 10, and xx. 6; under which dispensation luminous. every believing soul offers up for himself that Lamb. That the people may hear] See the note on chap. of God which was slain for and which takes away the xv. 9. The Jews consider this as the fullest evidence sin of the world, and through which alone a man oan their fathers had of the Divine mission of Moses ; themhave access to God.

selves were permitted to see this awfully glorious sight, Verse 6. And a holy nation.] They should be a hand to hear God himself speak out of the thick dark.

B. C. 1491.

Sivan.

Sivan.

xii. 21.

; light אורה and אור ; a wing אגרה and אבר we have .a speech אמרה and אמר strength

; and אמצה and אמץ

The people are sanctified, and CHAP. XIX. the Lord appears on the mount.
A. M. 2513. 10 And the LORD said unto when the trumpet "soundeth A. M. 2513.

B. C. 1491.
An. Exod. Isr. 1. Moses, Go unto the people, and long, they shall come up to the An. Exod. Isr. 1.

'sanctify them to-day and to- mount. morrow, and let them wash their clothes, 14 And Moses went down from the mount

11 And be ready against the third day: for unto the people, and * sanctified the people ; the third day the LORD • will come down in and they washed their clothes. the sight of all the people, upon Mount Sinai. 15 And he said unto the people, y Be ready

12 And thou shalt set bounds unto the against the third day : ? come not at your people round about, saying, Take heed to wives. yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, 16 And it came to pass on the third day in or touch the border of it: « whosoever the morning, that there were a thunders and toucheth the mount shall be surely put to lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, death;

and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; 13 There shall not a hand touch it, but he so that all the people that was in the camp shall surely be stoned, or shot through ; whe-a trembled. ther it be beast or man, it shall not live : 17 And Moses brought forth the people

Lev. xi. 44, 45; Heb. x. 22. - Ver. 14 ; Genesis xxxv. 2; 21 Sam. xxi. 4,5; Zech. vii.3; 1 Cor. vii. 5.- Psa. lxxvii. Lev. xv. 5. - - Ver. 16, 18; chap. xxxiv. 5; Deut. xxxiii. 2. 18; Heb. xii. 18, 19; Rev. iv. 5; vni. 5 ; xi. 19.

b Ver. 9; Heb. xii. 20. - Or, cornet.- * Ver. 16, 19.-* Ver. 10. chap. xl. 34; 2 Chron. v. 14. - Rev. i. 10; is. 1.

d Heb. , Ver. 11.

e Deut. iv, 10. ness : for before this, as Rabbi Maymon remarks, they led to consider 70x ishshah here as VXn ha-esh-transmight have thought that Moses wrought his miracles posed, or to say, with Simon in his Lexicon, 70x fæm. by sorcery or enchantment; but now, hearing the voice idem quod masc. Vx ignis. So, among other instances, of God himself, they could no longer disbelieve nor

a ; even doubt.

; . Verse 10. Sanclify them] See the meaning of this -Buxt. See KENNICOTT's Remarks. term, chap. xiii. 2.

Whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put Let them wash their clothes] And consequently to death] The place was awfully sacred, because the bathe their bodies ; for, according to the testimony of dreadful majesty of God was displayed on it. And the Jews, these always went together. It was neces- this taught them that God is a consuming fire, and sary that, as they were about to appear in the presence that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the of God, every thing should be clean and pure about living God. them ; that they might be admonished by this of the Verse 13. There shall not a hand touch it) 10 bo, necessity of inward purity, of which the outward Him, not the mountain, but the man who had presumed washing was the emblem.

to touch the mountain. He should be considered From these institutions the heathens appear to have altogether as an unclean and accursed thing, not to be borrowed their precepts relative to washings and puri- touched for fear of conveying defilement; but should ficalions previously to their offering sacrifice to their be immediately stoned or pierced through with a dart, gods, examples of which abound in the Greek and Latin Heb. xii. 20. writers. They washed their hands and clothes, and Verse 16. Thunders and lightnings, and a thick bathed their bodies in pure water, before they performed cloud-and the voice of the trumpet) The thunders, any act of religious worship; and in a variety of cases, lightnings, &c., announced the coming, as they proabstinence from all matrimonial connections was posi- claimed the majesty, of God. Of the thunders and tively required, before a person was permitted to per- lightnings, and the deep, dark, dismal, electric cloud, form any religious rite, or assist at the performance. from which the thunders and lightnings proceeded, we

Verse 12. Thou shall set bounds] Whether this can form a tolerable apprehension; but of the loud, was a line marked out on the ground, beyond which long-sounding trumpet, we can scarcely form a conthey were not to go, or whether a fence was actually jecture. Such were the appearances and the noise made to keep them off, we cannot tell ; or whether that all the people in the camp trembled, and Moses this fence was made all round the mountain, or only himself was constrained to say, "I exceedingly fear at that part to which one wing of the camp extended, and quake,” Heb. xii. 21. Probably the sound of the is not evident.

trumpel was something similar to that which shall be This verse strictly forbids the people from coming blown by the angel when he sweareth, by Him that near and touching Mount Sinai, which was burning liveth for ever, There shall be time no longer! with FIRE. The words therefore in ver. 15, win 4x Verse 17. And Moses brought forth the people-to 10x 5x al tiggeshu el ishshah, come not at your wives, meet with God] For though they might not touch the seem rather to mean, come not near unto the FIRE; mount till they had permission, yet when the trumpet especially as the other phrase is not at all probable : sounded long, it appears they might come up to the but the fire is, on this occasion, spoken of so emphati- nether part of the mount, (see ver. 13, and Deut. iv. cally (see Deut. v. 4,5, 22-25) that we are naturally | 11 ;) and when the trumpet had ceased to sound, they

A. M. 2513.
B. C. 1491.

The Lord descends, and

EXODUS. calls Moses to the top of Sinai.
A. M. 2513. out of the camp to meet with 20 And the LORD came down

B. C. 1491.
An. Exod. Isr.1. God; and they stood at the upon Mount Sinai, on the top of An. Exod. Isr. 1.
Sivan.

Sivan.
nether part of the mount. the mount: and the Lord called
18 And Mount Sinai was altogether on a Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses
smoke, because the Lord descended upon it went up.
& in fire: hand the smoke thereof ascended 21 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go
as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole down, charge the people, lest they break
mount quaked greatly.

through unto the LORD to gaze, and many 19 And when the voice of, the trumpet. of them perish. sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, 22 And let the priests also, which come 1 Moses spake, and God answered him by a near to the LORD, P sanctify themselves, lest voice.

the LORD I break forth upon

them.

(Deut. iv. 11 ; xxxiii. 2 ; Judg. v.5; Psa. Ixviii. 7,8 ; Isa, vi. 18; cxiv. 7; Jer. iv. 24 ; Heb. xii. 26. k Ver. 13. Heb. xii. 4 ; Hab. iii. 3. -_-5 Chap. iii. 2; xxiv. 17; 2 Chron. vii. 1, 2, 3. 21.- _m Neh. ix. 13; Psa. lxxxi. 7. n Heb. contest -i See h Gen. xv. 17; Psa. cxliv. 5; Rev. xv. 8. -i Psa. Ixvi. 8; lxxvii. chap. iii. 5; 1 Sam. vi. 19.-P Lev. x. 3.-42 Sam. vi. 7, 8.

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might then' go up unto the mountain, as to any other The directions given from ver. 10 to 15 inclusive place.

show, not only the holiness of God, but the purity he It was absolutely necessary that God should give requires in his worshippers. the people at large some particular evidence of his Besides, the whole scope and design of the chapter being and power, that they might be saved from idol- prove that no soul can possibly approach this holy and atry, to which they were most deplorably prone ; and terrible Being but through a mediator ; and this is the that they might the more readily credit Moses, who use made of this whole transaction by the author of was to be the constant mediator between God and the Epistle to the Hebrews, chap. xii. 18–24. them. God, therefore, in his indescribable majesty, Verse 20. The Lord came down] This was undescended on the mount; and, by the thick dark cloud, doubtedly done in a visible manner, that the people the violent thunders, the vivid lightnings, the long and might witness the awful appearance.

We may suploud blasts of the trumpet, the smoke encompassing the pose that every thing was arranged thus : the glory whole mountain, and the excessive earthquake, pro- of the Lord occupied the top of the mountain, and near claimed his power, his glory, and his holiness ; so to this Moses was permitted to approach. Aaron and that the people, however unfaithful and disobedient the seventy elders were permitted to advance some way afterwards, never once doubted the Divine interference, up the mountain, while the people were only permitted or suspected Moses of any cheat or imposture. In- to come up to its base. Moses, as the lawgiver, was deed, so absolute and unequivocal were the proofs to receive the statutes and judgments from God's of supernatural agency, that it was impossible these mouth; Aaron and the elders were to receive them appearances could be attributed to any cause but the from Moses, and deliver them to the people ; and the unlimited power of the author of Nature.

people were to act according to the direction received. It is worthy of remark that the people were in- Nothing can be imagined more glorious, terrible, maformed three days before, ver. 9-11, that such an jestic, and impressive, than the whole of this transac appearance was to take place; and this answered two tion ; but it was chiefly calculated to impress deep excellent purposes : I. They had time to sanctify and reverence, religious fear, and sacred awe; and he who prepare themselves for this solemn transaction; and, attempts to worship God uninfluenced by these, has 2. Those who might be skeptical had sufficient oppor- neither a proper sense of the Divine majesty, nor of the tunity to make use of every precaution to prevent and sinfulness of sin. It seems in reference to this that detect an imposture ; so this previous warning strongly the apostle says, Let us have grace whereby we may serves the cause of Divine revelation.

serve God acceptably with REVERENCE and GODLY FEAR: Their being at first prohibited from touching the for our God is a consumiNG Fire ; Heb. xii. 28, 29. mount on the most awful penaltics, and secondly, being Who then shall dare to approach him in his own name, permitted to see manifestations of the Divine majesty, and without a mediator ? and hear the words of God, subserved the same great Verse 22. Let the priests also-sanctify themselves) purposes. Their being prohibited in the first instance That there were priests among the Hebrews before would naturally whet their curiosity, make them cau- the consecration of Aaron and his sons, cannot be tious of being deceived, and ultimately impress them doubted; though their functions might be in a conwith a due sense of God's justice and their own sin- siderable measure suspended while under persecution fulness; and their being permitted afterwards to go in Egypt, yet the persons existed whose right and up to the mount, must have deepened the conviction duty it was to offer sacrifices to God. Moses rethat all was fair and real, that there could be no im- quested liberty from Pharaoh to go into the wilderness posture in the case, and that though the justice and to sacrifice ; and had there not been among the peopurity of God forbade them to draw nigh for a time, ple both sacrifices and priests, the request itself must yet his mercy, which had prescribed the means of have appeared nugatory and absurd. Sacrifices from purification, had permitted an access to his presence. the beginning had constituted an essential part of the

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