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APPENDIX Z

Chapter 7:14 For under it the people received the Law, etc These words are variously explained. The preposition ἐπὶ often means “for,” or “on the account of,” as ἐπ᾿ ἐλπίδι, “for the hope,” (Acts 26:6;) and so Macknight renders it here “on account of it the people received the Law.” It is not true that the people were under the priesthood when they were subjected to the Law; for the Law was given before the Levitical priesthood was established: it was after the tabernacle was made and set up that Aaron and his sons were consecrated priests. See Exodus 40:12-15

Stuart gives another rendering, “For the Law was given to the people in connection with this,” or “on this condition,” as he explains himself in a note. And he observes, “The meaning is, that the Levitical priesthood and the Mosaic Law are closely and inseparably linked together.”

As the Apostle speaks afterwards of the change of the Law, that is, respecting the priesthood, it is more consistent to regard the same law as intended here, “though the people had received a law respecting it,” that is, the priesthood. This is parenthetically put in for two reasons, — to anticipate an objection on the ground of a divine appointment, and to introduce the subject for the purpose of shewing that it was an appointment intended to be changed.

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