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EXODUS


FROM THE DEATH OF JOSEPH TO THE CALL OF MOSES

Chapters 1-2:22

In Exodus we have the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt and the establishment of their relationship with Jehovah their Deliverer.

It opens by rehearsing the names of Jacob's sons and the passing away of Joseph and his generation (1:1-6) -- matters considered in Genesis. Then follows a statement of the numerical development of Israel. Count the adverbs, adjectives and nouns descriptive of it, and see how God has fulfilled already one part of His prediction to Abraham, Gen. 15:13, 14.

1. Analysis of Chapter 1.

What circumstance is mentioned in v. 8? What course does the king pursue towards Israel, and why (9-11)? What effect had this on the development of the people (12)? How further did the Egyptians oppress Israel (13, 14)? How was the execution of the last-named method of oppression subsequently extended (22)?

2. Definition, Explanation and Application.

(1) Exodus begins with "Now" which might be translated "And," suggesting that the book was not originally divided from Genesis as at present, but constituted a part of it. This is true of all the first five books of the Bible, which were originally one unbroken volume and known as "The Law" or "The Law of Moses" (Luke 16:31; 24:44).

(2) "The new king * * * which knew not Joseph" means a new dynasty altogether, the result of some internal revolution or foreign conquest. If that of Joseph's day was a dynasty of shepherd kings from the East or the neighborhood of Canaan, we can understand their friendship for Joseph and his family outside of any special debt of gratitude they owed him; and for the same reason we can understand how the new regime might have been jealous and fearful of his clan in the event of a war with the people of that region (10). Perhaps, "more and mightier than we," is not to be taken in a literal but comparative sense.

(3) Notice concerning "the Hebrew midwives" that while the names of but two are given these may have been heads of schools of the obstetric art. "Stools" (16) might be translated "stones," and suggests a vessel of stone for holding water like a trough, the application being to the children rather than to the mothers. When a newborn child was laid in the trough for bathing may have been the time for the destruction of the male issue.

Verse 21 will be better understood if we know that "them" is masculine and refers not to the midwives but Israel. "The midwives feared God," and because of this they did not execute Pharaoh's orders, and those orders remaining unexecuted, God built up Israel. "He made them houses" refers doubtless to the way in which the Israelites begat children and their families grew. It was for this reason that the king now gave commandment to his people generally to engage in the destructive work.

3. Analysis of Chapter 2.

The story now descends from the general to the particular and the history of one family and one child is given. To which tribe did this family belong (1)? For the names of the father and mother, see 6:20. What measures were taken to preserve the child (3)? Compare Heb. 11:23 for evidence of a divine impulse in this action. What is the meaning of "Moses" (Hebrew -- Mosheh, 10)? While Moses was to have the advantage of all the wisdom and learning of the Egyptian court (Acts t:22), what arrangement is made for his instruction in the traditions of his fathers (7-9)?

Do you see any relation between this training of Moses and his action in vv. 11 and 12? May it have been that Moses was fired by a carnal desire to free his people at this time and in his own way? What led to his flight from Egypt (13, 14)? Were his fears well grounded (15)?

Identify Midian on the map, and from your studies in Genesis recall what Abrahamic stock had settled in that neighborhood. Is there anything in v. 15 and the following verses to recall an ancestor of Moses, and if so, which one?

4. Definition, Explanation and Application.

(1) It is probable the marriage of Moses' parents had taken place previous to the order for the destruction of the male children, for Aaron, the brother of Moses, was older than he and there is no intimation that his infancy was exposed to peril.

(2) Speaking of the wisdom and learning of the Egyptians, Dr. Murphy has an paragraph explaining it as follows:

"The annual overflow of the Nile, imparting a constant fertility to the soil, rendered Egypt pre-eminently an agricultural country. The necessity of marking the time of its rise led to the study of astronomy and chronology. To determine the right to which it rose in successive years and the boundaries of landed property liable to be obliterated by these waters, they were constrained to turn their attention to geometry. For the preservation of mathematical science and the recording of the observation needful for its practical application, the art of writing was essential; and the papyrus reed afforded the material for such records. In these circumstances the heavenly bodies, the Nile and the animals of their country became absorbing objects of attention and eventually of worship."

(3) This part of Moses' history should be studied in connection with Acts 7:20-29 and Heb. 11:23-27, where we have an inspired commentary on his actions and motives.

It would appear that he declined all the honor and preferment included in his relation by adoption to Pharaoh's daughter, and for all we know the throne of Egypt itself, in order to throw in his lot with the Hebrews, and this before the incident recorded in this lesson. And if this be so, no man except Jesus Christ ever made a choice more trying or redounding more to His credit; for it is to be remembered that the step was taken not in youth or old age, but at the grand climacteric of his life when he was forty years of age.

(4) The Midianites being descended from Abraham by Keturah, had doubtless to some degree preserved the worship of Jehovah so that Reuel (elsewhere called Jethro) may, like Melchisedec, have been a priest of the Most High God, and Moses in marrying his daughter was not entering into alliance with an idolator.

Questions.

1. What are the two main subjects of Exodus?

2. What is suggested as to the original form of the first five books of Moses?

3. How would you explain the opposition of the Egyptians?

4. Can you give the history of their learning and wisdom?

5. How do the events of this lesson exalt Moses?


THE CALL OF MOSES

Chapters 2:23-4:28

The Egyptian records refer to Moses. To quote Prof. Kyle: "Rameses, said by many to be the Pharaoh of the Exodus, built a great monument on which he made an inscription naming the nobility who were present when it was erected. Toward the end of the list he mentions 'The ra-Moses, Child of the Lady and Priestess of the Sun God Ra.'" Note the peculiarity of the description. "The ra-Moses" means some distinguished ra-Moses, while the "Child of the Lady" describes a situation and relation not unlike that of Moses and Pharaoh's daughter. There are other corroborative data for which we have no space, and these are mentioned as a further hint concerning what archaeology has to reveal on the historicity of the Old Testament

1. The Burning Bush, 2:23-3:10.

Observe the prelude to the oratorio of power and grace the next chapter reveals, which is found in the language of the closing verses of the present chapter: "God heard," "God remembered," "God looked," "God had respect unto," or took knowledge of them. His spiritual apprehension is limited who finds nothing for his soul to feed upon in this.

Observe in the burning bush a type of Israel -- afflicted but not consumed, because God was in the midst of her. Observe in Moses' action (3) an illustration of the purpose God has in a certain kind of miracle which He performs. This purpose is simply to arrest the attention of men to listen to His voice, that they may be convinced. Observe the name by which God reveals Himself (6), and the identity it establishes with Israel's past, awakening hope and confidence in Him as the God of promise.

What does God now propose to do for Israel (8)? Why (9)? How (10)? To what extent is Moses to be used, that is, shall he bring Israel out and in, or only out (10)?

2. The Great Name, 3:11-22.

It is not surprising that when Moses hesitates to accept His command (11), God should encourage him with a token (12), but is it not singular that the token shall not be realized upon until after the command has been fulfilled (same verse, last clause)? Did God mean that the burning bush was the token, or are we to suppose that the token was the event itself? In the latter case, it were as though God said: "Go, and try, and you shall find in the trial and its result that I have sent you." The former view accords better with the Hebrew accents in the case and with our ordinary idea of a sign, but the latter is corroborated by later Scriptures, such as Isaiah 7:14.

Have we ever met with this name of God before (14)? It is the expression of what God is, the sum of His being and the greatest of all His names. A commentator paraphrases the verse thus: "If Israel shall ask: What are the nature and attributes of Him who hath sent thee to bring us out of Egypt? tell them it is the eternal, self-existent, immutable Being who only can say that He always will be what He always has been."

Compare Christ's words concerning Himself in John 8:58, and observe the identity of expression as well as the application of it made by the Jews, who understood Christ to appropriate this name to Himself.

Are you troubled about the ethics of vv. 21 and 22? If so, you will wish to know that "borrow" does not imply a promise of return but signifies simply to ask or demand (compare Ps. 2:8). The Israelites were but receiving at last the fair wages for their toil which their oppressors had denied them. They shall not be ashamed who wait for God.

3. Moses' Hesitancy and Distrust, 4:1-17.

Moses' long tutelage in Midian has developed caution. He is a different man from the one who slew the Egyptian in haste forty years before (1)! What is the first sign now given him (2-5)? The second (6-8)? Were these simply for his own assurance or that of Israel? What power was bestowed upon him with reference to a third sign? Doubtless there was an adaptedness of these signs to the purpose for which they were to be used in Egypt, but space will hardly permit a discussion of that feature.

In what does the backwardness of Moses approach the danger point of unbelief (10-13)? Light is thrown on the answer to this question if we reflect that v. 13 amounts to this: "Choose another, a better man to send." No wonder God was angered, and yet how does He express His patience (14-16)? Nevertheless, Moses may have forfeited a certain privilege because of his waywardness. Bush suggests as a rendering of v. 14: "'Is not Aaron thy brother the Levite?' By which we may understand that in consequence of Moses' act the honor of the priesthood and of being the official head of the house of Levi was denied him and conferred on Aaron." If this be true, it teaches that "those who decline the labor and hazard connected with the call of God to a special service may lose a blessing of which they little dream."

4. The Start for Egypt, 4:18-28.

How is Moses encouraged (19)? What peculiar designation is given Israel {22)? You will recall the harmony between this and what we have learned as God's purpose in calling Israel for her great mission. She was favored beyond other nations not for her own sake but that of those nations to which she was to minister.

What mysterious incident occurred on this journey (24-26)? We do not know the meaning of this, but following we give the views of James G. Murphy in his commentary on Exodus:

"The Lord had charged Moses with a menace of the gravest kind to Pharaoh and it was well that Moses himself should feel acutely the pang of death in order to comprehend the meaning of this threat. It appears that his youngest son had not been circumcised through some fault of his; the neglect of which was a serious delinquency in one who was to be the leader and lawgiver of the holy people. It was therefore meet that the perfection of the divine holiness should be made known to him and that he should learn at this stage of his experience that God is in earnest when He speaks, and will perform what He has threatened. Hence the Lord sought to kill him probably by some disease or sudden stroke. It is also probable from her promptitude in the matter that Zipporah was in some way the cause of the delay in circumcising the child. Her womanly tenderness shrunk from the painful operation, and her words seem to imply that it was her connection with Moses that had necessitated the bloody rite. It was doubtless a salutary and seasonable lesson to her as well as to Moses. The Lord, who sought to put the latter to death, remitted the penalty when the neglected duty had been performed."

Questions.

1. How does archeology testify to Moses in Egypt?

2. What is a purpose of God in certain miracles?

3. How would you define "I AM THAT I AM"?

4. Give an argument from John 8:58 for Christ's deity.

5. How would you explain the word "borrow" (3:21, 22)?

6. How does Murphy explain 4:24-26?


MOSES AND AARON IN EGYPT

Chapters 4:29-6

1. Before Israel, 4:29-31.

What is the first step taken by Moses and Aaron on their return (29)? What "signs" are referred to in v. 30? (For answer compare 4:1-9.) How did the people receive their message (31)? What effect was produced on the people by God's compassion?

2. Before Pharaoh, 5:1-23.

How does Moses limit his demand (v. 1 compared with 3:18)? Do you think it was necessary to tell Pharaoh the complete purpose of God with reference to His people? In replying to this question, however, it is well to know that "a three days journey" would take them clear out of Egypt, and that therefore there was no deceit in what Moses said. And by making this smallest demand upon Pharaoh did it not give him the least possible occasion to harden his heart?

How does he express his contempt of the demand (2)? What charge does he lay against God's messages (4)? What new hardships are imposed on Israel (5-14)?

By whom are the messengers now reproached (19-21)? These "officers" seem to have been Israelites placed over their brethren in subordination to the Egyptian "taskmasters." Their Hebrew name, "shoterim," is defined as referring to managers who kept account of matters under their charge. What is the effect of this reproach on Moses, and how is his dejection expressed (22-23)?

3. Before the Lord, 6:1-13.

We receive a stirring impression of the encouragement this interview must have brought to Moses if we consider the several declarations of God about Himself and His purposes thus (vv. 1-8):

I am the Lord.

I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac and unto Jacob.

I have established My covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan.

I have heard the groaning of the children of Israel.

I have remembered My covenant.

I will bring you out from under the burden of the Egyptians.

I will redeem you with a stretched out arm.

I will take you to Me for a people.

I will be to you a God.

I will bring you in unto the land.

I will give it you for an heritage.

I am the Lord.

What do you suppose God means in v. 3? Of course the literal name "Jehovah" was known to the fathers, but its complete import was unknown. The name denotes not only the eternal existence of God but that unchangeable truth and omnipotent power which give fulfillment to His promises. The fathers had received the promises but had not yet enjoyed them. Now, however, God was about to do what He had decreed, and the following verses which speak of this are explanatory of the name. It were as though He said:

"I am Jehovah, for I am now to do what I have declared to be My purpose." Compare, for further illustration of this name, Ex. 7:5, Ezek. 28:22.

How is the renewal of Moses' message received by the people, and why (9)?

4. Genealogical Record, 6:14-27.

The design of this record just here is to establish the lineage of Moses and Aaron because of their prominence and importance in the coming history of the nation (26-27).

THE PLAGUES OF EGYPT: AN INTRODUCTORY STUDY

Chapters 7:1-13

1. Import of the Event.

Murphy, reminds us that "to understand the import of this conflict we need to recall that for the first time since the dispersion of the nations (Genesis 11) the opposition between God and Satan in the history of mankind is coming out into broad daylight. "This nation for the time being represents all heathendom, which is the kingdom of the prince of darkness, and the battle to be fought is the model and type of all future warfare between the Seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. Hence it rises to a transcendent importance in the ways of God with man, and holds a place even in the preface to the Ten Commandments (20:2)."

2. The Rod and the Serpent.

There are at least three ways to account for what these sorcerers are said to have done, and the suggestions apply similarly to their later performances with the water and the frogs.

(1) One may deny that they did it, for the Hebrew will admit of this rendering in v. 12: "They cast down every man his rod that they might become serpents, but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods." In other words, their rods were not changed at all, and were lost into the bargain.

(2) One may say that by some feat of juggling an optical delusion was affected by which it appeared that their rods were changed.

(3) One may accept the text on its face and say that they actually did the things by the power of Satan. This is the simplest view, harmonizing with the deep import to Satan of the whole transaction and with what we subsequently learn of his interference in the affairs of men and nations and the "lying wonders" he enables the former to perform (2 Thess. 2:9).

In this last case, the superiority of God's power over Satan is seen in that Moses' rod swallowed up those of the magicians, and hence Pharaoh was in so far inexcusable in not acknowledging his omnipotence.

3. Hardening of Pharaoh's Heart.

In the story the "hardening" of Pharaoh's heart is spoken of nineteen times, in eleven of which God is said to have done the hardening, in three Pharaoh is said to have done it, and in five it is simply announced as being done.

From this it is plain that no inscrutable omnipotence bore down on Pharaoh to make him go against his will, but that without such constraint he freely resisted God's command.

In Bates' Alleged Discrepancies, from which the above paragraph is taken, it is explained that Pharaoh by his conduct put himself under the operation of that law according to which a man's heart becomes harder the longer he resists divine mercy. Inasmuch as Pharaoh himself resisted he hardened his own heart, but inasmuch as God ordained the law it may be said that God hardened it.

But while thus seeking to explain this awful circumstance, let us not try to eliminate divine sovereignty from it, nor neutralize the inspired interpretation of Romans 9:14-22.

God did not say: "Go to now, I will by a personal impact on Pharaoh's mind and subjugating control of his faculties, harden him." Nevertheless, Pharaoh did not hold out against God because God could not subdue him, but because He "had great ends to accomplish in permitting him to prolong his obstinacy."

The story, and especially Paul's inspired comment on it, should have a strong effect in bringing any sober-minded sinner to his knees before God.

4. The Order and Progress of the Plagues.

There were ten plagues in all, and it will be found that there was a kind of order and progress in their arrangement, going from the external to the internal and from the mediate to the immediate hand of God.

Divided first into nine and one, the one standing out from the others in the awful loss of the first born, the nine again are arranged in threes. This arrangement is marked by the way, the place and the time in which they are announced to the king, or the abruptness of their coming without announcement; by their effect on him, and on the magicians, and in other ways, leading to the conclusion that there was "a deeper order of nature and reason out of which they sprung."

Speaking of their effect, it will be seen that at the third the magicians acknowledge the finger of God, at the sixth they can no longer stand before Moses, and at the ninth Pharaoh refuses to see his face further.

Finally, the first three fall alike on the Hebrews and the Egyptians, but the last seven are reserved for the latter alone.

Examine 2 Tim. 3:8-9, and observe that the two names mentioned there may be those of the leaders of the magicians, traditional names probably, and preserved in documents since lost. They represented Satan much as Moses represented God, and their defeat was an impressive demonstration of the supremacy of the God of the Hebrews.

5. The Miraculous in the Plagues.

There are two kinds of miracles, absolute and providential, the latter those which are not so miraculous in themselves as in the circumstances of their performance. Such were these plagues, for in their character they were the natural phenomena of the land, only that in these instances they came at an unusual season, in an unusual degree, and in immediate response to Moses' command.

Also they were particularly humiliating to the Egyptians because they reflected on the power and dignity of their gods. The Nile was their patron god, and to have its waters turned into blood and become a torment to them was dishonoring to that divinity. Another of their gods was represented by a frog's head. They also worshiped flies, reared temples in honor of the ox and the cow, and idolized the sun which was turned into darkness to them. How strange that they should not have been awakened by these things!

Questions.

1. What gives great significance to the events of this lesson and those immediately following?

2. In what three ways may we account for the acts of the sorcerers?

3. How would you explain the hardening of Pharaoh's heart?

4. Discriminate between the two classes of miracles.

5. Why were the plagues peculiarly humiliating to Egypt?


THE PLAGUES IN DETAIL

Chapters 7:14-10:29

1. First Group, 7:4 to 8:19.

(1) The river turned into blood (7:14-25). How far did this plague extend over the waters of Egypt (19)? If this were literally so, it may be asked, where did the magicians find material on which to work with their enchantments {22)? Is the answer suggested in v. 24? May they have dug up water from the ground for this purpose? If so, we can imagine the limited scale of their performance in contrast with that of Moses.

In connection with this miracle it should be known that commonly the Nile begins to rise about the end of June and attains its highest point at the end of September. It assumes a greenish hue at first, and becomes disagreeable to the taste and unwholesome. Then it becomes red and turbid for two or three weeks, although fit for use when red. The miraculous is seen here: (a) because it occurred in the winter, as we have not now time to prove; (b) the water was not merely reddened but turned into blood; (c) the fish died, which was not the case under the other circumstances; (d) the river stank and became offensive, while in the other case it was fit for use when red; (e) the stroke was arrested at the end of seven days, but ordinarily the redness lasted three weeks; (f) the change was brought on instantly at the command of Moses before the eyes of Pharaoh (Murphy).

{2) The frogs, 8:1-15. Frogs abound in Egypt, but "miracles are not the less supernatural because their products are natural objects, previously well known." That this visitation was miraculous is seen in that the frogs came at the word of command, and at an unusual time, and in an unusual degree and magnified form. "Frogs are not usually spawned, transformed into tadpoles, and then into frogs and spread over a country in a few moments."

What different effect on Pharaoh has this plague from the previous one (8)? It is difficult to understand the meaning of Moses' words: "Glory over me" (9), unless we take them in the sense of "appoint unto me a time, etc." As one of the older commentators suggests: "Moses experiences so much joy at Pharaoh's apparent relenting that he willingly gives him the honor of appointing the time when he should entreat the Lord for the removal of the plagues."

(3) The lice, 8:16-19. In other cases the water produced the cause of torture, whence does this arise (16)? What made this plague more aggravating than the former ones (17)? To what conclusion do the magicians come in this case (19)? Do you think they meant it was a judgment from Jehovah, or only a providential event? With which of these two possible opinions does Pharaoh's action seem to agree?

2. Second Group, 8:29 to 9:12.

(1) The flies, 8:20-32. What preliminary is omitted here that was observed in the other cases (compare v. 16, first part, for example)? How does this teach that the true wonder-worker is not tied to any particular mode of introducing his wonders? What distinction is now put between the Egyptians and the Hebrews? Why were the first three plagues permitted to fall upon the latter? Was it to help detach them from that land of their birth? How did this division between the two people emphasize the fact that the judgments were coming from the God of the Hebrews?

What further effect has this plague on the king (25)? Which is he willing to concede, the time or the place for sacrifice? Why will not Moses conform to his plan (26)? The Egyptians worshipped animals, like the cow and the sheep, and should the Hebrews offer them in sacrifice it would be an abomination in their eyes and bring serious consequence upon the offerers. Moreover, to do so in Egypt would, in some way, be an abomination to the Lord as well, and hence could not be considered.

What permission is now given the Hebrews (28)? What admonition to Pharaoh (29)? Was the latter heeded (32)?

(2) The Murrain, 7:1-7. Note that "cattle in the field" are specified. Some cattle among the Egyptians were stall-fed, and these seem to have been exempt (compare v. 19). What interesting investigation is the king led to make at this time, and with what confirmatory result (7)?

(3) The boils, 9:8-12. It is to be noted that the uncleanness resulting from such an attack would be particularly severe on a people who, like the Egyptians, made personal cleanliness a part of their religion.

3. Third Group, 9:13 to 10:29.

(1) The hail, 9:13-35. Read carefully vv. 14-17 of the section and observe the insight which God gives into the theory of His administration (Murphy). It is instructive, corrective and punitive, but never destructive of moral agents. He might have smitten Pharaoh and his people as easily as their cattle, annihilating them and thus removing all opposition to His demands, but such is not His way in dealing with His rational creatures. He approaches them with love, reason and justice, and only when they fail will He have recourse to correction, and finally punishment. Pharaoh will be an example of these things to all succeeding generations. It was for this God "raised him up" instead of striking him down.

How even yet does God remember mercy and leave an opening for faith (19-21)?

(2) The locusts, 10:1-20. What effect are the plagues beginning to have on the Egyptian generally (7)? What expression in the verse indicates the terrible devastation that must have already taken place? To what further extent is the king now prepared to yield (8-11)? What in the last verse shows his spirit in the premises? How does this plague finally effect him (16-17)? But does he yet surrender?

(3) The darkness, 10:21-29. What an object lesson is in v. 22. Not only for Pharaoh and Egypt is this so, but for us in a spiritual sense. The world is in darkness even until now, but Christ is the light of the world, and where He dwells is no darkness at all. What a text for a sermon, especially if treated in the light of its awful context!

How much further is Pharaoh willing to assent to Moses' demand (24)? But on what does the latter still insist (25, 26)? What "reckless madness" takes possession of the king? What is there ominous in the reply of Moses to him (29)? Is it not strange in this connection that Pharaoh never attempted to destroy the lives of Moses and Aaron? What better evidence could we have of the divine protection that accompanied them than this? And how it proves also the limitations of Satan's power (compare Job 1 and 2).

There is an awful significance in the plague of darkness, since the sun was a leading object of adoration with the Egyptians (under the name of Osiris), of which the king himself was the representative, entitling him in some sense to divine honors. Thus all the forms of Egyptian will-worship have been covered with shame and confusion in these nine plagues (Murphy).

Questions.

1. What should the sorcerers have done to demonstrate superiority to Moses?

2. Prove the supernatural character of what Moses did.

3. What spiritual lessons are suggested in this lesson?

4. What light is here thrown on God's administration of the universe?

5. In what particular was there divine restraint on Pharaoh?


THE PASSOVER

Chapters 11-12:36

At the close of the 10th chapter Moses declares Pharaoh shall see his face no more, while in the nth he is present with him again. Therefore with the exception of the first three verses of c. 11 the remainder must be a continuation of c. 10.

Let us consider it thus, taking up the questions in vv. 1-3 in connection with c. 12.

1. The Last Plague Announced, 11:4-10.

Hitherto God plagued Egypt mediately, but how was this plague to be distinguished (4)? Why was this plague harder to be borne than if the whole nation had been consumed? By what proverbial expression is the security of the Hebrews assured (7)?

How does v. 8 indicate that Moses has ceased to speak in God's name and is now speaking in his own name? Is he not, nevertheless, speaking representatively? How do the last two verses show that Pharaoh's disobedience is not a divine defeat?

2. The Passover Instituted, 12:1-13.

What new appointment of time distinguishes this event (2)? The year formerly began in the month of Tisri, corresponding to our September 15 to October 15, but what had formerly been the seventh month new becomes the first. This month was known as Nisan. The original order of the months continued so far as ordinary affairs were concerned, but the solemnities observed in honor of God began henceforth with Nisan.

What were the Hebrews to do (3)? When? According to what measurement or proportion? Israel was divided into twelve tribes, these again into families and the families into "houses," the last named being composed of particular individuals. According to Josephus, the Jewish historian, a paschal company consisted of not less than ten members, although sometimes there were as many as twenty. In this company they were free to include everyone capable of eating as much as the size of an olive.

In what two ways was the lamb to be distinguished (5)? What liberty was there in its selection? A male was accounted more excellent than a female (Malachi 1:14), and during its first year not only would its flesh be more tender and grateful but in that period it would best represent the idea of harmlessness and simplicity (1 Peter 1:19).

How long should the Iamb be kept before slaying (6)? At what time should all the lambs be killed simultaneously? The "evening" here means sometime between the time of the sun's beginning to decline and that of its setting, say about 3:00 p. m. For the typical application to Christ, compare John 19:19 and Matthew 26:46.

What should be done with the blood (7)? How was the flesh to be cooked and eaten (8)? "As the sacrificing of the lamb is a symbol of the redemption by which the death penalty due by one is paid by another, so the eating of it is a figure of the participation in pardon, acceptance and full blessedness consequent on the atonement being made and the law being satisfied."

Both the roasting and eating of it with unleavened bread was for greater expedition in leaving the land that night. They would have time neither to boil the one nor wait for the yeast to rise in the other. And yet doubtless there is a moral or typical side to this matter as well, for since the paschal lamb and all pertaining to it foreshadow the person and work of our Redeemer, the roasting of the flesh may suggest the extremity of His sufferings under the fire of God's wrath, while the absence of leaven from the bread finds a spiritual application in such a passage as 1 Cor. 5:7-8. Leaven is a mass of sour dough in which decomposition has set in, and is therefore a symbol of corruption. Hence, unleavened bread is the emblem of purity and life becoming those who have exercised faith in God, the blessed fruit of a new nature (Murphy).

What other regulations accompanied this institution (9, 10)? It would appear from this that the lamb was to be roasted whole and entire, excepting doubtless the intestinal canal. There was to be no breaking of its bones (John 19:33). This "was strikingly expressive of the unity of the sacrifice, of the salvation it pre-figured, and the people who partook of it (Ps. 34:20; 1 Cor. 10:17). Nothing should remain of the lamb lest it should be put to a superstitious use, and also to prevent putrefaction, for it was not meet that anything offered to God should see corruption (Ps. 16:10)."

In what attitude were the people to be (11)? And why?

What did God say He would do (12)? Note the reference to "the gods of Egypt" in this verse. There is a Jewish tradition that the idols were actually demolished on that night, but from a figurative point of view, "what could be a more signal infliction upon these gods than the complete exposure of their importance to aid their worshippers in a time of need?"

By what means should the Hebrews experience immunity from this destruction (13)? Note the words: When I see the blood I will pass over you. It was not their character that saved them, neither the mercy of God in the abstract, nor their faith and obedience considered as a meritorious act, but the actual sprinkling of the blood upon the door posts. Without this they would not have been in the will of God, and His mercy could not have been operative towards them. No matter the degree or intelligence of their faith which led to the sprinkling of the blood, it was the latter divinely-ordained token which was the means of their deliverance.

The bearing of this on our redemption through the atonement of Christ should be prayerfully considered. The Hebrews were sinners in the general sense as well as the Egyptians, and God might justly have punished them by taking away the life of the first-born, but He was pleased to show them mercy for reasons considered in earlier lessons and to accept the life of a lamb as a substitute for their life. This blood was a signal of this, and all who acted on the command of God and relied on His protection were secure from the stroke of the avenger.

Nothing could more strikingly set before us the truth about the application of Christ's blood to our guilty conscience as a means of deliverance from the wrath to come (Rom. 3:24-25; Eph. 1:7). It is not our character, neither the mercy of God towards us in the abstract nor the strength or intelligence of our faith, but the application of the blood to our souls that saves. Do not pass this lesson without satisfying yourself that this has become true of you, and that you have by faith displayed the token (Acts 4:27).

As the paschal lamb is the type of our Redeemer, so the Passover itself is a type of our redemption through Him: for an outline of which see the author's Synthetic Bible Studies.

3. The Passover Commemorated, 12:14-20.

(1) The feast of unleavened bread (15) was a distinct ordinance from the Passover, commencing on the day after the killing and eating of the lamb, the 15th of Nisan. Of course in the first instance it could not have been observed until they left Egypt.

(2) The "cutting off" from Israel meant not necessarily physical death but excommunication from the society and privileges of the chosen people.

(3) Note the "holy convocation" for the public worship of God in connection with this feast (16). Doubtless the people of a neighborhood thus came together for praise and prayer, and some think that even from an early period portions of the written Word may have been read and expounded. This convocation, it is thought, was the origin of the synagogue, a term which originally denoted the assembly, and was doubtless at first held in the open air.

(4) The word "stranger" here doubtless means the Gentile proselyte in contrast with a native Israelite.

4. The Stroke Falls, 12:29-36.

We need not dwell on the awful horror of this night, but should not fail to recognize God's righteous retribution in it. The Egyptians who had slain the Hebrew children now see their own die. Four score years had passed since the persecution began, but God visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation (Bush).

A further word on vv. 35 and 36. When the Orientals attend their sacred festivals they put on their best jewels, thinking it a disgrace to appear otherwise before their gods. It is said nothing is more common than to see poor people adorned on such occasions with borrowed ornaments.

It is notable that the Egyptians lent their jewels to the Hebrews because the Lord gave them favor in their sight. The rank and file of the Egyptians may in the end have sympathized with the afflicted Hebrews, or else for their own safety they were so anxious to have them go as to offer them an inducement. In this connection read again 11:3, and see the reverence and awe inspired among the Egyptians by Moses' miracles.

Nor should we conclude this lesson without consulting Ezekiel 39:10, where we see that the Jews will spoil the Gentiles a second time, in that day when God with a high hand shall restore them to their own land at the end of the present age.

Questions.

1. Name the first month of the Jewish religious year.

2. State what the slaying and eating of the paschal lamb prefigure.

3. What does leaven symbolize?

4. Show the parallel between the cause of the Hebrews' deliverance and that of our eternal redemption.

5. What reasons may have influenced the Egyptians to give their jewels to the Hebrews?


THE PILLAR OF CLOUD

Chapters 12:37-13:17

1. The First Stage of the Journey, 12:37-51.

How did the Hebrews get from Goshen to Rameses? Perhaps Rameses was in the land of Goshen or it was a name used here in the sense of the general locality rather than the specific city which the Hebrews helped to build (1:11). Compare Genesis 47:11. "Succoth" is not capable of identification, but since the word means "tents" or "places for tents" some think it specifies a camping spot en route.

Note the number of the men, which, multiplied by four to allow for families, gives an aggregate of 2,400,000 souls in all, without counting "the mixed multitude" of the next verse. Some of these latter may have been the poorer Egyptians and some foreign slaves of both Egyptians and Hebrews.

Note the time named in v. 40 and the exactitude of the fulfillment of prophecy mentioned in v. 41, a date which is to be reckoned from the time Abraham received the promise (Gen. 15:13), which makes just 430 years.

2. The First-born Set Apart, 13:1-16.

We can see a reason for the command in v. 1 when we recall the preservation of their first-born in Egypt. Doubtless it was to keep alive the memory of that event as well as to express their gratitude for it. "All things belong to God by right of creation: the Israelites by right of redemption; the first-born of Israel by right of passing over them in the judgment upon Egypt."

Moses immediately communicates this command to the people. Note that the month "Abib" (4) is the Hebrew for the Chaldaic "Nisan" previously mentioned.

By what figurative language does he impress the people with the duty of remembering all God's goodness to them (8, 9)? We thus see the duty of parental instruction enjoined, and are impressed by the fact that "the history of the ways of God with men is a trust to be conveyed faithfully from father to son."

By what two words in v. 12 is "sanctify" of v. 2 explained? Note that the "firstlings" of the clean beasts as subsequently explained, calves, lambs and kids, were dedicated to God and used in sacrifice, but those of the unclean were redeemed. How (13)? And if not redeemed, then what? What about the first-born of man? The law concerning this will be met with later (Numbers 18:16). Of course this regulation was to come into force when Israel should reach Canaan (11). As Murphy remarks, "the residence of Israel for forty years in the wilderness was in consequence of their unbelief and is not here contemplated. Here it is presumed they were to pass immediately through the wilderness into the Promised Land, with the exception of a year in the peninsula of Sinai for which special provision is made later on (Numbers 3)."

3. The Second Stage of the Journey, 13:17-22.

Do not neglect the map in this study, since it is at least approximately correct. Why were not the Hebrews permitted to go the near way (17)? Could not God have delivered them from the Philistines as well as from the Egyptians? How then does this illustrate the principle that God makes no unnecessary displays of miraculous power?

By what route were they led (18)? At its northern extremity the Red Sea separates into two minor gulfs which enclose the peninsula of Sinai. The western gulf is called Suez, which is the one they crossed. Its varied width is about thirty miles, narrowing very much at its northern extremity, and its varied depth about twelve fathoms, with a sandy bottom.

The word "harnessed" in this verse is unusual. According to its derivation it means "by five in a rank," but we can only explain it on the supposition that in some way the men went up marshalled in orderly array, the better to protect the women and children of the company as well as their cattle and other possessions.

What special command does Moses execute (19)? Compare Acts 7:16.

What is the name of their next camping place (20)? In what supernatural way were they guided (21)?

We have not now the pillar of fire and cloud, but we have the Word of God, which is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.

Excursus on the Pillar of Cloud.

Dr. Bush has an interesting excursus on the pillar of cloud, from which a few paragraphs are taken:

The Hebrew root "amad" signifies "to stand," and imports an upright, standing mass of cloud resembling a column in a building. It appears from Ps. 105:39 that it was spread at the base so as to cover as with a canopy the whole host of Israel, shading them from the heat. The height, if it bore any proportion to its base, must have been immense, as the encampment covered a space (say) of twelve square miles. It is evident from Deut. 31:15 that it was the habitation of the divine presence from which oracles were proclaimed to the people.

For further allusion to its use as a guiding signal see Ps. 78:14; Neh. 9:12; and observe also its re-appearance in the millennial age (Is. 4:5; Rev. 7:15, 16).

Some think the whole mass was opaque by day and luminous by night, while others believe there was a rending at night of the outer, dark body of the cloud and consequent disclosure of an interior splendor enveloped from view during the day.

This unwrapped splendor appearing at night was presumably "the glory of the Lord" which occasionally appeared by day when God would express displeasure towards His people or impress them with His majesty, as at Sinai (Ex. 16:10; Num. 16:40). In other words, taken as a whole, this pillar was intended to serve as the shekinah or visible representative of Jehovah dwelling in the midst of His people.

Compare now Ex. 14:19 and observe that the pillar of cloud is called in the same verse "the angel of God." The term "Angel" is used in Scripture to denote various kinds of agency, personal and impersonal, but "the Angel of God" (as we have learned) is a phrase descriptive of the second Person of the Trinity, Jehovah-Jesus. There is reason to believe, therefore, that this cloud was in some sense a manifestation of His presence to Israel. See further, Ex. 23:20-23; Is. 63:8, 9. As Bush says: "To all practical purposes it was the Angel of Jehovah, and they were to look up to that sublime and awful column as a visible embodiment of their covenant with God, as an ever-present witness, and feel as if a thousand eyes were looking out of the midst of it upon them, from which not even their slightest word or deed could be hidden. Through the whole tenor of the Mosaic narrative this is to be understood as associated with the title 'Lord' or 'the Angel of the Lord.'"

It was this visible symbol, too, which was their oracle or means of communication with Jehovah, the word of the ancient economy, both in the course of their wilderness journey and when afterwards it was removed into the Most Holy Place of the Tabernacle and Temple. See Ex. 33:9-11; Ps. 99:6, 7. Compare also John 1:1-14, where the glory of the word incarnate is referred to, "not that intrinsic moral glory that distinguished His character always, but rather that special and overwhelming display of glory of which Peter, James and John were eye-witnesses on the Mount of Transfiguration, when there was a temporary laying aside of the veil of His flesh and disclosure of the indwelling shekinah, the glory of His Godhead." A preintimation indeed of that glory in which He shall appear when He comes "a second time, without sin, unto salvation."

What a wonderful theme of study we have in this pillar of cloud!

Questions.

1. In what two ways may the location Rameses be understood?

2. How does this lesson illustrate God's conservation of the miraculous?

3. Of what was the pillar of cloud a symbol?

4. Show its fitness for this purpose.

5. What takes its place for God's people to-day?


THE HORSE AND ITS RIDER OVERTHROWN

Chapters 14-15:21

1. Through the Red Sea, 14.

What was the command now given to Moses (2)? From Etham, their present stopping place, the next step was of great importance. That town was near the head of the Red Sea at the border of the wilderness of Arabia and the limit of the three days' journey for which they had applied to Pharaoh. Would they remain there and offer their sacrifices as proposed, or continue their journey and endeavor to leave the country of the Egyptians altogether? The latter people were watching them with keen eyes, doubtless. What must have been the surprise of all when this command began to be obeyed. The natural way to leave the country was by the north and around the head of the Red Sea, but Pi-hahiroth was in a southeasterly direction and would "entangle" them in the land.

A study of the map will add to the interest of the lesson, even though all the localities are not absolutely identified. It is clear, that in their new station the Israelites had the mountains on the west and south and the sea on the east. As Pharaoh would follow them from the northwest it would seem at first as though they must become his easy prey, being in a snare from which it was impossible to escape.

What, however, is the divine purpose in this movement (3, 4)?

How did the Hebrews behave in face of the new peril that now seemed to confront them (10-12)? Point out their fear, unbelief, injustice, selfishness, cowardice and ingratitude. How does Moses' character shine in comparison (13, 14)? Point out his meekness, forbearance, composure, faith.

How does v. 15 indicate that there is a time for all things, even prayer? How does v. 16 attest the authority of Moses before the people as an instrument of God? In what way do the next two verses illustrate that the providences of God have a two-fold aspect as between sinners and saints? By what method were the waters of the sea divided (21)? Compare here Ps. 77:16-20. "A strong northeast wind has always had much influence on the ebb of the tide in the Red Sea, but such an annual occurrence only drives out the old body of water further from the shore. It does not divide the waters, or make them 'a wall' on each side of the dry ground, or leave space for the passage of a large multitude, or happen precisely at the moment when escape from a foe makes it convenient for the leader of a people to wave over the water a rod of power." In other words, this was a supernatural event, a miracle of divine power.

Do you suppose the Egyptians really knew they were walking into the bed of the sea {23)?. May not the supernatural darkness of the pillar of cloud have kept them in ignorance of this? If so, what a fearful discovery they made subsequently!

No wonder that in view of the present and the past the Egyptians declared that the Lord fought for Israel.

Notice the closing phrase of v. 30: "Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore," and compare Ezekiel 32:4 which speaks of the latter judgment on the same people, and Rev. 19:17, 18, referring to that which shall fall upon the ungodly nations at the close of this age.

What effect had this awful judgment upon Israel?

2. The Song of Victory, 15:1-21.

Compare the circumstances of this chapter with Rev. 15:2, 3 and see the likeness of the two events.

This is the most ancient of songs, whose poetical merits are of the first order, which we might suppose to be the case since it was given by divine inspiration.

A remarkable feature of the song is that almost all its verbs are in the future tense, carrying the implication "that what happened on this occasion to God's enemies would happen in like manner in all future time so far as utter discomfiture and signal perdition were concerned."

What is the prediction of vv. 14-18? Compare Joshua 2:9-11 for an illustration of its fulfillment.

Who is once more introduced into the history at v. 20? Observe that the dancing mentioned was that of women alone, the method being to follow the leader, imitating her steps and if she sings to make up the chorus. The song was probably sung alternately by the men and women ranged in two bands, Moses leading the one and Miriam the other; or possibly the men sung the song and the women joined in the chorus of v. 21 after every period of five verses and at the end of the whole:

"Sing ye to the Lord, For He hath triumphed gloriously. The horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea."

Observe the new name of God found in this song (2), and note that it occurs for the first time after the signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, just as the other name occurred before these events. This leads to the supposition that Jehovah is the name of God on His prophetic side and Jah His name on His historic side. As the first denotes Him who is about to manifest His being, so the second denotes Him who has manifested His being.

Questions.

1. Have you sought to identify Etham and Pi-hahiroth on the map?

2. Prove the miraculous nature of the event at the Red Sea.

3. How does it and its attendant circumstances bear on the literalness of later earthly judgments?

4. Has the song of victory prophetic value, and how?

5. What is the meaning of the name "Jah"?

THE TYPICAL ASPECT OF ISRAEL'S VICTORY

Paul speaking of the early history of Israel says (1 Cor. 10:11): "Now these things happened unto them by way of example (or, as types), and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come."

We have already spoken of the value of Grant's Numerical Bible as bearing on the symbolic application to be made of these things, and from him we quote the substance of this lesson.

At the Red Sea the question is no longer one between the Israelites and God. That was the status represented in the Passover, but the question now is between Israel and her enemy. The question with God had been settled in the Passover, and forever settled. They had been redeemed from bondage and had come into a new relationship to God in which He was pledged to certain things on their behalf.

The question now raised was the old question of servitude to Pharaoh or of liberty. This question God Himself now takes up on their behalf, and they find Him with them in a more manifest way than they had ever found Him as yet. From the very moment of the Passover God was with them, but it is the experience at the Red Sea that makes them understand how truly He is with them.

Epistle to the Romans Compared.

The situation suggests the doctrinal part of Romans, in the first eight chapters of the epistle. If we consider the first half of this part, that is, down to the middle of the 5th chapter, it sets before us the teaching concerning our redemption through the blood of Christ and what it effects for us. We see that through the righteousness of God which this redemption declares, there has been provided for us in Christ a place of assured shelter. We are justified by His blood, and this justification reaches on in its effects to the final judgment of the world. Judgment for us is rolled away forever! Our standing before God is now of grace, our hope is now of glory, and we are enabled to glory, even in tribulations because all things are working together for our good.

All this may be called the Passover truth, for like the Israelites we are now sheltered from judgment, feeding upon the Lamb, and equipped for our journey.

But at this point the truth set before us in Romans 5:12 becomes operative. That is the question of the experience of the new life. It suggests itself in the words: "What then, shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace?" And finally, when the discovery of the hopeless evil and weakness of our old nature is made, we cry: "O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of death!"

Israel's Bondage and the Christian's Sin.

Who can but think of Israel's bond-age in Egypt here, and of the divine method of deliverance? Did Israel's bondage to Pharaoh cease on the night of the Passover? In one sense it did. There was a breaking of chains and a real start. God was now with them and could never allow His claim to them to be cancelled, for He had redeemed them to Himself. The enemy never could regain possession of His people. But when we pass from God's point of view to that of the people themselves we find them losing their confidence and trembling again before their old tyrant in such fear that even the actual presence of God with them in the pillar of cloud could not remove. Shut up between the desert and the sea with Pharaoh in full pursuit, their cry is that of unbelieving despair. The controversy between them and their old enemy had to be taken up afresh by God in their behalf, and now to be ended forever. God interferes and fights for them, and they do nothing but stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.

It is so with the soul who has found shelter under the blood of Christ and seen the judgment of God removed from him. The question of deliverance from "the law of sin" is settled for him, but he does not always come at once into the realization of it. In other words the first teaching of holiness is this, that in me as a believer in Christ, that is, in my old nature, there is no good thing. In order to have strength, in other words, we must learn the lesson of thorough and continual weakness.

What the Red Sea Means.

At first, when salvation is new and one has seen death turned into life through faith in a risen Saviour, it may seem as if sin could no more put shackles on the soul. But as yet there is little knowledge of the old self, and full deliverance from it is not known until this has been realized, that is, until the Red Sea is reached and Egypt is left behind forever. How many have begun to follow God in the way of holiness until He has led them where they had to cry and cry again that they cannot do the things that they would! Progress seems impossible, and hence they would stop here and imagine they must after all serve Pharaoh with the best grace they can. They are at peace with God through the blood of Christ, yet so far as the sin which is within them is concerned they expect no special deliverance. "With the mind they serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin."

Such as these do not see that after all it is only the border of Egypt they have reached, and that where all progress seems to have stopped God is at hand to give them so great a deliverance from their enemy that their hearts shall sing aloud forever.

God Our Deliverer.

Now look at the type again. Observe that God does not lead Israel up against Pharaoh. In other words, He does not strengthen their arm by His own to bring salvation to them, but rather they had to "stand still" and see His salvation. God does not call us to fight against the flesh and subdue it, nor does He point or lead in that direction at all. The sea divides, and a channel is made for His people to pass through. In other words, Christ's precious death is for us so that we are dead in Him and are no longer "in the flesh." His death has ended our history before God. In Him we have passed through death untouched, dry-shod, and are now beyond it.

There is a sense, of course, in which this is not a matter of attainment on our part, and yet there is another sense in which it is. It is ours already the moment we receive Christ, and yet we are to apprehend it as ours. All this was true of Israel on the night of the Passover, and yet it was some little time after the Passover before they really came to know and enjoy its blessedness.

Faith is thus the principle of sanctification as it is of justification or the new nature. Faith is turning from myself to God and His Son Jesus Christ. By faith I pass through the sea to take my new position outside of my old nature altogether, and when I look back I find that my enemies are buried in the waters. Privileged to turn away from self, the conflict and the distress are over. In Christ is my place, in Him I find a satisfying object lifting me out of the old sphere of things in which the lust of the flesh finds what it seeks. In Him the new nature expands and develops and bears fruit. The fruit of the Spirit needs to be ripened in the Son. The least degree of occupation with Christ is glory. No wonder that they who know it should, like the Israelites, sing a song of victory!


PROVISION IN THE WILDERNESS

Chapters 15:22-16

As we have entered upon a new sphere of Israel's history it may be well again to briefly call attention to the way in which archaeological data corroborate it. These data are already so numerous, and every decade is bringing so many more to the front, that one hardly knows what to quote.

The flight of the Hebrews is not mentioned on any of the monuments of Egypt but there is a reason for that, since this escape of slaves meant a defeat of Pharaoh's purposes, and monarchs are not in the habit of recording their defeats. And again, such migrations are not infrequent in lands of shepherds and nomads. The route of the Exodus, however, is now known beyond all reasonable doubt. The Pharaoh of the Exodus is thought to be Menephtah II, whose mummy has been discovered with those of Rameses II and Seti I, all of whom were connected with the history of the Hebrews in Egypt.

The real character of the Wilderness is now known as never before, and is described as a rolling plain dotted with ridges, low terraces and knolls, and containing sufficient shrubs and herbs to give pasturage to the camels of the Bedouin. Water courses, dry in summer, and called by the Arabs wadys, cross the plain and in some cases are as much as a mile wide. The traveler occasionally discovers charming spots like the Elim of this lesson. All these things help us to understand how the Israelites found sustenance through the Wilderness during wandering.

1. Healing and Refreshing in the Wilderness of Shur, 15:22-27.

By what general name was the section of the country known which is now entered (22)? What is their first stopping-place (23)? How was the people's instability displayed at this crisis (24)? How was the difficulty remedied (25)? Some one may ask the difference between a "statute" and an "ordinance" as named in v. 25. The first is a fixed decree, and the second an injunction accompanied with an intimation of the good and evil consequences of obedience and disobedience. When it is said that God "proved them" it means that this experience tested the qualities of their hearts and whether they had faith and patience or not.

The Lord Our Healer.

What comforting words are these: "I am the Lord that healeth thee" I How shall they be taken? Do they mean that as He had healed the waters of Marah so would He heal them? Or have they a significance in the past tense, that is, had the bitter waters sickened them, and in healing the waters does the Lord mean that He had really healed them? There cannot be any doubt, in either case that physical healing is referred to, and that God declares Himself the healer.

But observe that the waters being the illustration, God uses means in healing. This is not to say that He never heals otherwise, but only that it is going too far to say that the use of means necessarily excludes the thought of God as the healer.

Nor should we omit another lesson, namely, the relation of sin and disease. If they hearkened unto God and did right. He would put none of these diseases on them. The converse therefore would be true, that either directly or indirectly God puts diseases upon men who disobey Him.

What location is next reached, and what distinguishes it (27)? Elim is identified with a place now called Wady Ghurendel, a few miles from Marah, a place fringed with trees and shrubbery, forming a charming oasis. Here the people seem to have remained, judging by the next chapter, for the space of three weeks, resting and preparing themselves for the journey to follow.

2. Bread From Heaven in the Wilderness of Sin, 16.

Where did they now come, and how long after leaving Egypt (1)? The word "Sin" here is supposed to mean "clay," although some give it the meaning of "bush" or "thorn."

What new ground of complaint arises (2, 3)? How does the Lord propose to meet it (4, 5)? Where did we find the word "prove" in this same connection before?

What warning is given the people in v. 7? What further intimation of God's provision for their immediate need in v. 8? How is the warning realized in v. 10?

What was the provision in v. 13? It was natural for quails to be found in the region of Arabia at certain seasons of the year, but the miracle consisted in bringing them there at this particular time and in sufficient numbers for the supply of so many people, and also in announcing their arrival beforehand. How is the deposit of the dew described (14)? Did the people clearly know its nature? It would appear then that they simply gave it the first name which suggested itself, for there is a certain scanty product of nature called "manna" to which this seemed to bear a resemblance. Does Moses reject the name? How does he explain the nature and origin of the substance, however? "The natural manna is gathered early in June, a month later than the present time, and in small quantities, but this supernatural manna was gathered every day, Sabbaths excepted, throughout the whole year, and in quantities sufficient for the main support of a nation and during a period of forty years."

How were the people to gather it (16)? How was their covetousness in the matter curtailed (18)? How was their pride leveled (19)?

Had Moses revealed all the details to them at first (22)? What provision is made for the Sabbath (23-26)? What rebuke is necessary concerning this (27-30)? What further description of the manna is given (31)? What arrangement is made for a memorial of this miracle (32-36)? How does Hebrews 9:4 interpret the character of the vessel in which the omerful of manna was laid up? The phrase "before the Lord" is how explained in v. 34? And how is this in turn explained in the verse just referred to in Hebrews? Must not then the act of Aaron in v. 35 have been performed at a later time, although recorded here?

The Sabbath God's Gift to Man.

The Sabbath, according to v. 29, was a gift of God to man; how precious the thought! And think of Jesus' comment upon it. "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." Man is doomed to labor in his fallen state, but how could his weariness have been endured without a periodical recurrence of relief from it? How much he needs this leisure for himself, and for fellowship with God and with his fellowmen!

It is interesting to know that the Israelite was at liberty to go abroad for any purpose accordant with the Sabbath (Lev. 23:3; Acts 15:21), and that works of necessity or mercy that could not be put off until the next day were not regarded as a breach thereof (Matt. 12:1-13; Mark 2:23-28). There seems to have been no limit to the distance to be walked on the Sabbath beyond that of convenience, the Rabbinical rule of later times being an addition of man rather than a command of God (Murphy).

What a happy world this would be if men would only obey God, and the land be permitted to keep her Sabbaths!

Questions.

1. How does archaeology contribute to the interest of this lesson?

2. What three things about physical healing are here taught?

3. State the miraculous feature in the incident of the quails.

4. Do the same concerning the manna.

5. What have we learned about the Sabbath?


EVENTS AT REPHIDIM

Chapters 17-18

1. Water Out of the Rock, 17:1-7.

What is the next stopping place (1)? What do you suppose is meant by "the commandment of the Lord" in this verse?

Rephidim is a wide-spreading plain at the northern base of the cluster of mountains to which the general name of Horeb was given. What made it unfit for an encampment? How does this show that God sometimes guides His people into trouble? Are distress and difficulty an indication that believers are not in the will of God?

How did the people express impatience and lack of faith (2, 3)? How does Moses act in comparison (4)? What does God command him to do (5, 6)? Were the elders to go with him as witnesses? Did the Lord stand on the rock in the pillar of cloud? How must the people have felt when the water came rushing down the valley towards them? Which prevailed, gratitude or shame? What names were given this place, and why (7)? Bush remarks that the people may not have uttered the very words here ascribed to them, but that such was the language of their conduct, and he applies the circumstance to Matthew 12:37, saying that Christ will judge men by the actions which have the force of words.

2. Amalek Conquered and Cursed, 17:8-16.

The Amalekites were a nomadic people living in the north of this peninsula, and to the south of the Philistine country (Gen. 14:7), who came out of their way to attack Israel, approaching them in the rear where they were the more defenseless. (Compare Deut. 25:18.)

As the Amalekites were descendants of Esau, hereditary hate may have prompted this attack. Then also the thought of loot is to be considered, for they probably knew the wealth Israel brought out of Egypt. But their strongest hostility was aroused by the fact that Israel was to take possession of Canaan, into which their territory penetrated (Judges 5:14; 12:15). At all events, it is with them that Gentile antagonism to God's peculiar nation is seen to begin as soon as the latter's political independence is established. Their action therefore was a virtual defiance of Him who had so lately destroyed the Egyptians, a fact which explains His resentment as shown in the sequel.

Who now comes into the forefront, and what is he directed of Moses to do (9)? The word "Joshua" means "saviour," the Greek of which is "Jesus."

What new personage is before us in v. 10? For a little of his genealogy see 1 Chronicles 2:9-20. What was the significance of the transaction in v. 11? Do you suppose Moses held the rod of God in his hand? And if he did, was it not merely as an indication and accompaniment of prayer? Where in the incident do we find an emblem of the value of united and common prayer? What lesson is taught by the combination of the rod in the hand of Moses and the sword in the hand of Joshua? Which, however, assumes the more importance, Moses' prayer or Joshua's sword?

How does God emphasize the significance of this battle (14)? We have not met with the word "write" before, but where with the word "book" (Gen. 5:1)? There is the definite article before "book" in the original indicating that a book, and doubtless this particular book, was well known. Can you imagine a reason for this matter being rehearsed to Joshua? For the subsequent fate of Amalek read Deut. 25:19; 1 Samuel 15:30; 2 Samuel 1:1; 8:12.

How is this victory commemorated on the spot (15)? Have we met with any other "altar" since we ended the history of Jacob? Does not this then mark a new epoch in the affairs of Israel? "Jehovah-nissi" means "Jehovah my banner" (compare Ps. 20:5-7), and expresses thanks to God for the past and confidence in Him for the future. Perhaps it was suggested by the lifting up the rod of God as a banner or standard in this action.

The last verse of the chapter is obscure.

3. A Visit from Jethro, 18.

It is felt that the visit here recorded, with the events growing out of it, took place at a later time, and after Israel had arrived at Sinai, but is related here either not to interfere with the main narrative, or for some other unexplained cause.

It is a story of mutual affection and esteem, but one is not more impressed by it than by the importance God attaches to such chapters in our lives by causing it to be recorded for our learning and example.

Note that Jethro was one of those outside of Israel by whom the tradition of the true God was retained, and who gave glory to Him for His mighty works.

The incident (13-26) needs little comment, but there are a few things worth noticing. One is the practical wisdom in it (18); another, the qualification for the choice of these sub-rulers, ability, godly fear, truthfulness, incorruptness (21); a third, the circumstance that this advice is given in submission to God (23); and a fourth, that the selection was by the people and the appointment by Moses (Deut. 1:9, 13); a fifth, that God did not disdain to permit Moses to be taught through another man, and he one not of the commonwealth of Israel. It is remarkable, as another says, that the rudiments of the Jewish polity were thus suggested by a stranger and a Midianite. There is food for reflection here in the ways of God in teaching His own people wisdom.


PREPARATION FOR RECEIVING THE LAW

Chapter 19

The Exodus includes two concurring elements in the moral history of the people -- their redemption and their renovation. It is worthy of notice, that God did not give Israel the law first and then say: "I will redeem you if you will obey it," but that He redeemed them first and gave them the law afterwards.

1. The Arrival at Sinai, 19:1, 2.

"In the third month -- the same day." These words lead to the belief that the first day of the third (lunar) month is meant, just 45 days (as we can easily recall) from their departure out of Egypt. To these, quoting Bush, let us add the day on which Moses went up to God (3), the day after when he returned the answer of the people to God (7, 8), and the three days more named (10, 11), and we have just fifty days from the passover to the giving of the law. Hence the feast kept in later times to celebrate this event was called Pentecost, which means fiftieth day. And it is interesting that it was at this very feast the Holy Spirit was given to the disciples of Christ (Acts 2:1-4) to enable them to communicate to all men the new covenant of the Gospel.

The text of v. 2 in the King James version makes a distinction between the "desert" and the "wilderness" of Sinai, but there seems to be no good reason for this. "Sinai" denotes a particular mountain of that name, while "Horeb" denotes the range of which Sinai is a part. The wilderness of Sinai would seem to be the plains and wadys in its immediate neighborhood, including the mountain itself, and perhaps coextensive with the term Horeb.

2. The Divine Exordium, 19:3-9.

When it is said "Moses went up unto God," remember the pillar of cloud in which in a sense the divine Presence abode, and which now rested doubtless on the summit of the mountain. Evidently Moses did not ascend the mountain at this time, but simply approached it.

By what two names are the people designated in v. 3? Which points to their natural and which their spiritual derivation (Gen. 32:23-33)?

With what three words in v. 4 does God call them as witnesses to the fidelity of His promises? What beautiful figure of speech does He use expressive of His care for them? (Compare v. 4 with Deut. 32:11, 12.) Also examine Rev. 12:14, where His care for them in their coming tribulation at the end of this age is spoken of in similar terms. The parent eagle in teaching its nestlings to fly "sweeps gently past them perched on the ledge of a rock, and when one, venturing to follow, begins to sink with dropping wing, she glides underneath it and bears it aloft again."

But what is expected of them as the result of this grace? And what promise is bestowed upon them in this contingency (5)? And how will their preciousness to God find expression in their service (6)?

Note (1) that while all the inhabitants of the earth belong to God by right of creation and general benefaction, Israel belonged to Him by special grace and covenant; (2) that while they themselves were to be objects of priestly intercession and kingly protection they were also to be elevated into the dignity and authority of performing priestly functions and dispensing royal favors to others; (3) that as a qualification for all this they were to be a holy nation.

3. The People's Pledge, 19:7-9.

By "the elders of the people" (v. 7) is meant the leaders and principal men of the different tribes. How is the Lord's command received by them (8)? While this is commendable, yet in the sequel how much better if they had asked God's help to enable them to obey and to appreciate His goodness! How little they knew themselves, and how well they represent us in the earlier stages of our new experiences in Christ!

What does God now promise to Moses personally (9)? To what end? And why was it necessary? Had not God given evidence of His divine commission in the sign of the rod and the serpent? Yes, but this was only before the elders of the people. And had He not given evidence in the miracles of judgment upon Egypt? Yes, but many of these were not before all the people. So now they are to have a general and personal attestation which should last forever. Observe our Saviour's recognition of this authority of Moses in Luke 16:31, and compare a similar recognition of His own authority in 2 Peter 1:16-18.

4. The People's Purification, 19:10-14.

We can see the propriety of this command, but should remember that there is no virtue in external washings and other abstinences, except as they symbolize and impress us with the obligation of inner holiness and separation on the part of those who are to hold intercourse with God.

What was the Lord now about to do (11)? And with reference thereto what warning is promulgated (12)? What should happen to the man or beast overstepping these bounds (13)? The word "it" in the first clause of the verse refers to the man or beast. That is, no one should cross the bounds, even to go after it (the man or beast) to drag it back or punish it, but from a distance it should be stoned or shot. What a commentary on presumptuous sin!

By the "trumpet" is meant a supernatural one to be heard from the mountain. The people were to "come up to the mount" in that they were to draw nigh to it, but no nearer than the bounds already prescribed.

5. The Phenomena on the Mount, 19:16-25.

Describe the impressive phenomena of vv. 16 and 18, and their effects on the people. Never until the close of this age and the coming of our Lord will anything like this be seen or heard again. Compare 2 Thess. 1:6-10, and the language of the Apocalypse, for example, cc. 4 and 5.

How did God speak to Moses (19)? Doubtless this means by "an audible and articulate form of word." What seems to have been impending on the part of the people, judging by v. 21? How is God's attention to details (if one may so say), and how is His mercy manifested here?

Who can be meant by "priests" in v. 22. since the Aaronic priesthood was not yet instituted? The common answer is the first-born or eldest son in every household. This seems to be suggested by the patriarchal history as one of the privileges connected with the birthright. Compare also 24:5.

Who was to come up into the mountain with Moses when the latter returned 24)? We shall see the reason for this later when Aaron is invested with the priesthood, for it was fitting that there should be put upon him that distinction which would inspire respect for him on the part of the people.

Questions.

1. What have we learned about the day, or feast, of Pentecost?

2. What have we learned of the priestly character of Israel?

3. Can you quote Luke 16:31?

4. Name one or two illustrations here of God's grace to us in Christ.

5. Have you examined the Scripture references in this lesson?


THE FIRST TABLE OF THE LAW

Chapter 20:1-11

We have now reached the most remarkable event in the history of Israel until this time, and one of the most remarkable in the history of the world.

While it has primary reference to Israel, still it affects the whole race for time and eternity, since the moral law is "the expression of God's will, the reflection of His nature, and the immutable standard of right for His accountable creatures" everywhere and always.

These remarks apply particularly to the ten commandments, but the special enactments which follow them pertain for the most part only to Israel.

1. The Division of the Commandments.

The commandments have generally been divided into two "tables": the first including the first four commandments embracing our duty to God, and the second the last six embracing our duty to man (Matt. 22:37-40).

The Roman Catholic Church has a different arrangement from the Protestant, making but one commandment of the first two, and in order to maintain the number ten dividing the last into two. The result is that some of their devotional books omit altogether the last half of the first commandment, or what we call the second, which forbids idolatry. Their motive for doing this, to any who are familiar with the worship of that Church, is easily discerned.

2. The Preface, vv. 1, 2.

What is meant by "God spake"? Compare Deut. 5:12, 13, 32, 33, and the conclusion seems irresistible that, as was stated in a preceding lesson, they refer to an articulate voice.

Notice the authority by which He speaks: "I am the Lord" (Jehovah), the self-existent, independent, eternal fountain of all being, who has the right to give law to all the creatures He has made. Notice the restriction to the Israelites: "thy God," not only by creation but by covenant relationship and by the great redemption He has wrought in their behalf: "Which have brought thee out, etc."

How inexcusable their disobedience under these new circumstances ! And ours also, who as Christians have been redeemed by Christ from a bondage infinitely worse, and at a cost unspeakable!

3. First Commandment, v. 3.

"None other gods before Me" means as antagonists in My eyes, "as casting a shade over My eternal being and incommunicable glory in the eye of the worshipper."

The primary reference is to the idols the heathen worshipped, not that they really worshipped the idols, but the gods supposedly represented by them. Nor yet are we to imagine these were real gods, for there is none other God save One, but rather demons (Lev. 17:7; Deut. 32:17; Psalm 106:37; 1 Cor. 10:19, 20).

How awful to think that even now, professing Christians worship demons through spiritism, clairvoyance, palmistry and related occultisms (Deut. 18:9-22)!

Moreover, in the application of this and all the commandments, we should remember that they lay their prohibitions not on the outer conduct merely but the inner actings of the spirit. See Christ's Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:20-48) and Paul in Romans 7:7-11. Hence there may be idolatry without idols in the vulgar sense, and also without worshipping demons in any form. "Whosoever seeks happiness in the creature instead of the Creator, violates this commandment."

4. Second Commandment, vv. 4-6.

A "graven image" is made of wood, stone or metal; a "likeness" is a picture of any kind as distinguished therefrom. The "water under the earth" means "lower in level" than the earth.

Was any manifestation of God seen at Sinai (Deut. 4:12, 15)? The Israelites were not to make these things. What command was laid upon them when others made them?

What warning is contained in this commandment? Is God "jealous" in the sense of passion, or as expressing the feeling of a holy Being against evil (Deut. 32:21, etc.)?

How does this commandment show the responsibility of parents? Do you suppose this responsibility is limited to this sin? Did not Israel at this time have a striking illustration of it in Egypt? Had not their persecution by that people begun just four generations before, and was not the nation now reaping what had been then sown?

"Unto the third and fourth generations of them that hate Me." Here two thoughts suggest themselves: (1) there is no difference between forsaking God and hating Him; (2) it is only them that hate Him, i. e., follow in the footsteps of their fathers, who will be visited with the punishment (Ezek. 18:20). Perhaps also a third thought is pertinent, viz: that this warning only applies to the temporal effects of sin and not its eternal consequences, hence a son who turns to God, although he may through the working of divinely-ordained laws of nature suffer physical consequences here, will be spared eternal consequences hereafter.

"Mercy unto thousands of generations" the Revised Version reads. See also Deut. 7:9. Of this also Israel had an illustration before their eyes, as they were now gathering the mercy destined for them in the faithfulness of their father Abraham who lived a thousand years before.

"Of them that love Me and keep My commandments." Behold what is meant by loving God, viz: keeping His commandments; a declaration which "gives a new character to the whole decalogue, which thus becomes not a mere negative law of righteousness, but a positive law of love"!

Let us not conclude these reflections without remarking how far the Greek, Roman, and even some of the Protestant churches have fallen in this regard.

From the use of crosses and relics as aiding their bodily senses and quickening devotion, it has been easy to advance to altars, images and pictures not only of the Holy Ghost and Christ but of the Virgin, and the saints and martyrs without number, until at last these objects have themselves become, at least to the ignorant, actual objects of worship. And what superstition, profanation and mockery have grown out of it all! And shall not a jealous God visit for these things?

5. Third Commandment, v. 7.

The "name" of God is that by which He makes Himself known, the expression of His Godhead: hence to take that name "in vain" is to violate His essence.

The word for "vain" signifies what is false as well as vain, so that all false swearing or perjury which would make God a witness to a lie, as well as all light or frivolous uses of His name or attributes in conversation, are here prohibited.

This does not mean judicial oaths, however, which, as we see by Christ and His apostles, may be acts of worship in which we solemnly call God to witness to the truth (Jer. 4:2).

But what of blasphemy and profanity by which some interlard their speech, using such expressions as "God," "Lord," "Christ," "the Lord knows," "O heavens!" "My goodness!" and the like (Matt. 5:33-37)?

God "will not hold him guiltless" that does these things. Look at Psalm 139:20, and see who they are that take His name in vain, and then read Mal. 3:5.

The third commandment, is of the same gravity as the two preceding, guarding the deity of God as those do His unity and spirituality (Murphy).

6. Fourth Commandment, vv. 8-11.

How does the first word here indicate an earlier origin than Sinai for the institution of the Sabbath? How early was that origin? How does this show that the Sabbath is an obligation for all men. Christians as well as Jews?

But "remember" points not simply to an act of memory but a commemoration of the event. Lev. 23:3 and Num. 28:9, 10 confirms this.

But it is the "Sabbath" day and not necessarily the seventh day that is to be remembered. This means one day of rest after every six, but not according to any particular method of computing the septenary cycle. Though the Jewish Sabbath was kept on Saturday, Christians are in accord with the spirit of the commandment in keeping Sunday enriching the original idea of the day of rest by including that of the new creation when our Redeemer rose from the dead.

How does God provide for our hallowing of this day, and what is His definition of such hallowing? When He says: "Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work," is it an injunction merely, or may it be considered as a permission? Some think there is a difference between "labor" and "work," the latter term being the more inclusive as involving the management of affairs and correspondence to the word "business."

How is the equality of husband and wife recognized in the wording of this commandment (10? The responsibility of parents and employers? The rights and privileges of employees; The proper treatment of the lower animals? To what further extent did the obligation of the Israelite extend? Has this any bearing on the present obligation of our nation to compel an observance of the Sabbath on the part of our alien population?

Is anything more than secular or servile work intended in this prohibition? Did not Jesus both by precept and example give liberty for works of love, piety and necessity? (Mark 2; 23-28; John 5:16, 17).

What historical reason is assigned for this commandment (11)? And what traditional in Deut. 5:15? We thus see that God's authority over and His loving care for us combine to press upon us the obligation of the Sabbath day, to say nothing of its advantage to us along physical and other material lines. And thus its observance becomes the characteristic of those who believe in a historical revelation, and worship God as Creator and Redeemer.

Questions.

1. Can you recite Matthew 22:37-40?

2. To what demonolatry are some professing Christians addicted?

3. Can you recite Ezekiel 18:20?

4. How do we show love to God?

5. Are you breaking the third commandment in ordinary conversation?

6. What two meanings should be attached to "Remember" in the fourth commandment?

7. Are the Sabbath and the seventh days necessarily identical?

8. To what do we bear testimony in observing the Sabbath?


SECOND TABLE OF THE LAW

Chapter 20:12-26

1. Fifth Commandment, v. 12.

To "honor" means to regard with respect and loving fear. What reasons there are for it on the part of children toward their parents, who are under God the author of their existence, and their teachers, benefactors and rulers!

What promise is attached to this commandment? For a comment see Deut. 5:16. Although this promise applies primarily to Israel in Canaan, as we see from Ezek. 22:7-15, yet its principle is true in God's moral government everywhere.

The child who honors its parents -- of course wise and true parents are assumed -- gains the experience of the latter which makes for a good, and with necessary exceptions, a long life.

2. Sixth Commandment, v. 13.

The reference here is to the unlawful taking of life by suicide or homicide, but not to capital punishment for capital crimes (see Gen. 9:6), nor the taking of life in self-defense or lawful war. It forbids all violence, passion, lust, intemperance in eating or drinking, and any other habit which tends to shorten life. So far as the more spiritual import is concerned it interdicts envy, revenge, hatred, malice or sinful anger, all that provokes to wrath or murder. See Matthew 5:21-26, 38-48; 1 John 3:15-17.

3. Seventh Commandment, v. 14.

The Hebrew word for "adultery" refers to the unlawful act taking place between man and woman where either or both are married, thus differing from another word commonly translated "fornication" and where the same act is referred to between unmarried persons.

Nevertheless, as the sanctity of the marriage relation is the object aimed at it prohibits everything contrary to the spirit of that institution in thought, word or deed. See Matt. 5:27-32. We may therefore include not only lustful looks, motions and verbal insinuations, but modes of dress, pictures, statutes, books, theatrical displays, etc., which provoke the passions and incite to the unlawful act.

Sins of this character are more frequently forbidden in Scripture and more fearfully threatened than any other, and they are the cause of more shame, crime, misery and death. Moreover, they have one striking characteristic, viz: that "you cannot think or talk about them without being more or less excited and led into temptation." How continually need we be praying the prayer of the Psalmist -- 19:12.

4. Eighth Commandment, v. 15.

As the sixth commandment secures the right of our neighbor's life, and the seventh the right of his family, so this secures the right of his property. The essence of dishonesty is the possessing ourselves of that which rightfully belongs to another, for which there is a variety of ways besides putting our hands into his money-drawer -- fraudulent bargains, contraction of debts which we know we shall be unable to pay, cornering the market, graft, usury, evading taxes, false weights and measures, etc.

And as in the previous cases, so here also, the command reaches beyond outward acts to the spirit of them, and includes inordinate love for the world and the things that are in the world, living beyond our means, idleness, and everything that leads up to theft. This commandment may be regarded as the most comprehensive of all.

5. Ninth Commandment, v. 16.

This has primary reference, to testimony in courts of law (see Deut. 19:16-19), and differs from the three preceding in that it deals with words rather than deeds.

But, as in those cases, it has a larger import and prohibits everything in our dealings with one another not according to truth. Compare Lev. 19:16; Prov. 19:9; Psalm 15:2; Col. 3:9.

Among some of these things might be named exaggeration in speech, polite equivocations, flattering compliments, and of course all classes of slander, backbiting, and imputations of evil where no evil is.

It is usually felt, however, that there is a distinction between telling a lie and concealing the truth or a part of the truth from those who have no right to demand it. The one is always wrong, the other sometimes may be right.

6. Tenth Commandment, v. 17.

"Covet" means to earnestly desire or long after, a feeling not sinful in itself, but which becomes so under particular circumstances. Its sinfulness appears in longing for anything unlawful, or longing for that which is lawful to an inordinate degree. A passing wish to have anything our neighbor possesses may be innocent, but to long for it excessively is prohibited.

The reason for the prohibition is that such longing begets a grudging, discontented and envious spirit, which leads often to injustice and violence. The case of David who coveted Uriah's wife and finally caused him to be slain is in point.

From deeds and words the decalogue has thus come to deal with the thoughts and intents of the heart, the fountain head of sin; and that it reaches deep into the interior of human life, read Paul's words in Romans 7:7-14.

These words are worthy of careful consideration. On one occasion he said that "touching the righteousness which is in the law he was blameless (Phil. 3:6). A wonderful thing for a man of his honesty and introspection to say! How then may we explain the fact that near the end of his life he testifies that he is the chief of sinners (1 Tim. 1:15)? The explanation is found in these words in Romans. Meditating upon the tenth commandment he observed that it had to do not with the body but the mind, and from this he argued that the other commandments were regnant in the same mental area. Thus taught by the Spirit he perceived that so far from being blameless he had daily transgressed the principles of the decalogue even though he had never done outwardly the things condemned, the law did for him what God intends it to do for all of us. It killed him, slaying his self-righteousness and taking the life out of his self-confidence. As he thus lay hopeless in the dust of his earthliness it led him to Christ the Saviour of the lost (Gal. 3:24). -- Dean Hart.

Questions.

1. What does "honor" mean in the fifth commandment?

2. What sins are most frequently forbidden and threatened in Scripture?

3. How may "covet" be qualified?

4. Which commandment has most to do with the mind?

5. Can you quote Galations 3:24?


THE CIVIL CODE

Chapters 21-24

The ten commandments constitute the moral law, a perfect rule of duty for all men and everywhere. But the "judgments" (v. 1) that follow are an application of those commandments to Israel in the peculiar circumstances of their history at that time and when they should inhabit Canaan. The ten commandments, let us say, represent the constitution of the United States, and the "judgments" the legislative enactments based thereon by Congress.

The three chapters now entered upon have certain natural divisions, corresponding, though not in exact order, with the last seven commandments of the decalogue:

1. Laws of Servitude, 21:1-11.

This division refers to the duties of masters and servants, and is a natural expansion of the 5th commandment, the master being substituted for the parent.

It is slavery of a certain kind that is here dealt with, for it was common in those days when for centuries the rights of man had been beclouded by sin, and in the absence of a divine revelation. Heavenly reforms sometimes move slowly, and it was not God's purpose to immediately do away with this feature of social life, but to regulate, elevate in any other way. Compare Lev. 25:93 and Deut. 15:12.

Vv. 4-6. We can see the advantage of the wife and children remaining with the master in this case, since he doubtless was best able to support them. Moreover, he had rights in the case which should not be violated. But what provision is made for a happy solution of the problem? Behold in this servant whose ear is bored an affecting type of the willing obedience of the Lord Jesus Christ (Ps. 40:6-8)!

Vv. 7-1 1. If the maid-servant should not please her master in the sense that he espouse her, in what two ways are her rights guarded (8)? What acknowledged position would she have did she become the espoused of his son (9)? And how are the rights of this poor maiden guarded in this case as well (10, 11)? We are not to suppose that this law instituted either polygamy or concubinage, but finding it in existence it was permitted until the period was ripe for its extermination (Matt. 19:1-9).

2. Laws of Personal Security, 21:12-32.

This section is an expansion of the 6th commandment.

Vv. 11-14. What distinction is made between premeditated and unpremeditated murder? See Numbers 35:9-32.

Vv. 23-25. This law of retaliation has been misunderstood as though it encouraged revenge, but it refers to the administration of justice at the hand of the magistrate (6).

3. Laws of Property, 21:33 to 22:15.

This section is an expansion of the 8th commandment.

"Breaking up" (22:2) should read as in the Revised Version "breaking in," which makes the sense plain

"Judge" all through these chapters is translated "God" in the Revised Version. Israel is a theocracy. Its supreme ruler is God. The magistrates represent and speak directly for Him. Thus will it be again in the millennium.

4. Laws of Conjugal Fidelity, 22:16-31.

This is an expansion of the 7th commandment, and yet its subject matter is miscellaneous. Murphy gives a unity to the verses by supposing the relation between God and His people to be symbolized by that of husband and wife, God being the avowed guardian and representative of the stranger, the widow and the orphan.

V. 28. The word "gods" should be "God," and it will be seen from the context that reviling rulers is regarded as reviling God (compare Ro. 13:1-7).

V. 29. "Liquors" has been rendered "the trickling juice of the vine."

Some things in this section are more fully explained in later Scriptures.

5. Laws of Veracity, 23:1-9.

This corresponds to the 9th commandment.

V. 3 means that one is not to countenance or favor a poor man in his cause just because he is poor, if the cause be unrighteous. Compare Lev. 19:15.

6. Laws of Set Times, 23:10-19.

This corresponds to the 4th commandment.

What was the law for the land in the seventh year (11)? For what purpose was the spontaneous growth of that year to be used? How did the divine Legislator provide against an emergency of famine (Lev. 25:20-22)?

Note the moral advantages resulting from the observance of this law: (1) a check on avarice, (2) a stimulant to brotherly kindness and compassion, (3) a demonstration of human equality, (4) a cultivation of prudence and economy, (5) a sense of constant dependence upon God.

What are the three annual feasts (14-16)? Murphy compares them with the three elements of salvation: the passover with the atonement, pentecost with the new birth, the ingathering with pardon and its accompanying plentitude of blessing. What obligation is attached to these festivals?

V. 19, last sentence, is difficult, although the command itself is plain. It is in connection with sacrifice (18) -- has it therefore a symbolic meaning? Or was it to prevent the slaying and eating of the kid at too early a period? Or does the application bear simply on a barbarous and cruel action?

7. Laws of Pity, 23:20-33.

This is allied to the 10th commandment because of its reference to the service of Jehovah alone, who estimates the motive of men.

Whom have we seen to be meant by "the Angel" (20)? In what way have we seen His presence hitherto displayed? On what commission is He now sent? What shows His authority? Power? Dignity (21)? What are the blessings of obedience (22-27)? What precaution would God take in bringing them into possession of the land (28-30)? What final warning is given (32-33).

8. Ratifying the Covenant, 24.

At the beginning of this chapter we are introduced to the two sons of Aaron, soon to be associated with him in the priesthood and to have a sad ending nevertheless. With what words do the people accept the obligations imposed upon them (3)? What kind of an altar presumably did Moses build (v. 4 compared with 20:24-26)?

What provision is made for the careful transmission of the law (4)? What name is given to the book thus written (7)? By what solemn act is the covenant ratified (8)? Compare the marginal reference.

What sublime experience was granted to these representatives of Israel on the mount (10)? What this means, in the absence of further record, who can say! Why may we judge that they did not see the "face" of God (33:20-23)? Or any "similitude" of Him (Deut. 4:15)? What description is given of that which they did see?

How was God's mercy shown to them on this occasion (11)? How is their escape from death expressed in the last clause? Is not this escape explained by the covenant relationship with God into which they had now come? Was this relationship grounded on their keeping of the law or on the blood of propitiation that had been shed and sprinkled upon the people? What did this typify (Ro. 3:19-25)? Compare also Hebrews 10:16-20.

What final seal to the authority of the law is now given (12)? What two individuals are here seen for a second time with Moses (13, 14)? What grandeur on the mount is now described (15-17)? What new event in Moses' experience (18)? The reason for this new event will come before us in the succeeding lesson.

Questions.

1. What distinction is suggested between "commandments" and "judgments"?

2. What beautiful type of our Lord Jesus Christ does this lesson contain?

3. What testimony to Israel's theocratic status?

4. How are the rights of the rich guarded as well as of the poor?

5. What witness have we here to an early written revelation?


THE PATTERN IN THE MOUNT

Chapter 25:1-9

We have now reached in the revelation of the tabernacle the most important step in the history of grace yet met with in Holy Scripture.

There are several reasons for believing this:

1. The unusual preparation required on man's part for its reception. (See the preceding chapter, vv. 9-18).

2. The large space occupied by its recital -- 13 chapters in all.

3. The particularity of detail seen throughout.

An Object Lesson.

To quote Prof. W. G. Moorehead:

The tabernacle was "a divine object lesson; an embodied prophecy of good things to come; a witness to the grace and saving power of God. It taught salvation through propitiation, forgiveness and blood-shedding. Access to God and worship it disclosed; the holiness of God; the sinfulness of man; the reconciliation which in due time should be affected, are all clearly set forth by the tabernacle and its rites."

Seven chapters are given to the specifications of the tabernacle, and six to its construction; while in between the two is the record of the unbelief and apostasy of the people in the matter of the golden calf.

Of the seven chapters of specification, three are occupied with the tabernacle itself, three with the priesthood, and one with the arrangement for carrying the whole into effect.

Our present lesson deals with the tabernacle itself.

The Offering o£ the People, vv. 1-9.

On what principle was this offering to be presented (2)? What three metals are specified (3)? Three colors (4)?

What vegetable textile is mentioned, and what animal (4)? What two kinds of skins (5)? The badger here spoken of is thought to be not the animal commonly known by that name among us. but some other animal equally well-known in Arabia.

What species of wood is named (5)? This is supposed to be the acacia, abundant in Moses' day.

The oil (6) was from the olive, the spices are more particularly indicated (30:23, 24); the precious stones (28:15-21), as also the ephod and breastplate in the same chapter.

What name is given to the building in verse 8, and for what purpose is it to be? The fulfillment of this purpose was in the visible cloud of glory which overshadowed the tabernacle when completed, and rested upon the mercyseat in the Most Holy place.

As to the name "sanctuary," it denotes especially the holiness of the place. What other name is given it in verse 9? This simply means a dwelling, and is sometimes used in an indefinite way for the curtains, the frame-work or the entire structure.

"Tent" is the name given to it in the following chapter; and at other places "the tent of meeting," having reference to the meeting of God with His people (29:42, 43); or the tent or tabernacle "of testimony" (Num. 2:50, 53), as designating the place where God declared His will, and especially testified against the sins of His people, by His holy law which, within the ark, witnessed to the covenant they had entered into at Sinai.

According to what design was the sanctuary to be erected (9)? Thus we see it was a type of God's dwelling place in the heaven of heavens, a fact that profoundly impresses us with its significance in every detail.

We do not know how the pattern or type was shown to Moses in the mount, whether by a visible model, or vision presented to his mind, but we know it was in some sense a copy of heavenly things, and that hence Moses was allowed no liberty in constructing it.

Archeological Discoveries.

Archeology has shown an analogy between the tabernacle service and the ritualistic practice of some of the heathen nations, but this is not to be interpreted as imitation or adoption on Moses' part.

There is a similitude in the modes of worship fundamental in the human race, and Moses may have been used of God to cull out the truth from this mass of wrong and falsehood.

A parallel is that of the "Code of Hammurabi," a Chaldean monarch, hundreds of years before Moses, who in this "code" gave laws to his people corresponding to those in the previous chapters.

The critics used to argue that the Mosaic code could not be of so early a date as Moses since it presupposed too advanced a civilization on the part of the people for whom it was intended. When, however, this code of Hammurabi was discovered, their tune was changed, and they exclaimed: "Ah! Moses copied after Hammurabi."

The truth rather is that just suggested about the tabernacle. Hammurabi's code is based upon fundamental principles of law in the constitution of the race, albeit commingled with many grotesque fancies in consequence of the fall. These fundamental principles, however, are, in their origin, divine, and in the code of Moses we find them separated from the false by the hand of their heavenly originator.

Questions.

1. What three reasons show the importance attached to this theme?

2. What names are given to the tabernacle, and what are their meanings?

3. How may the "pattern" have been revealed to Moses?

4. How would you explain the similarity of the tabernacle service to the rituals of heathen nations?

5. What is the "Code of Hammurabi," and what light does it throw on Moses' writings?


THE TABERNACLE AND ITS FURNITURE

Chapters 25:10-27:21

1. The Ark of the Testimony, 25:10-16.

Notice the kind of wood and the dimensions (10). The "cubit" measures from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger, and is variously estimated from 18 to 21 inches, usually 18. How was it to be overlaid (11)? The "crown of gold" meant a rim or moulding. The "four rings" (12) were attached to the four "corners," in the sense of the four feet of the ark. The "staves" or poles were used in carrying it (14). What was to be placed in the ark (16)? The "testimony" means the ten commandments. (Compare 24:12.)

2. The Mercy Seat, 25:17-22.

Notice its material and dimensions (17). What was to be placed at either end (18)? "Even of the mercy-seat," should be rendered "out of" or "of one piece with the mercy-seat"; i. e., they were not separate attachments from it. What was to be the attitude and position of the cherubim (20)? This was the attitude of observant attention, while they seemed to guard with their wings the place of the manifestation of the divine glory. Where was the mercy-seat to be placed (21)? This does not mean that it was merely the cover of the ark, but a separate article, composing with the ark a unity "not so much in outward as in inward design."

What promise is connected with the mercy-seat {22)?

These two articles, the ark and the mercy-seat were the only objects, (and they appeared as one), in the Holy of Holies, or the Most Holy place of the tabernacle, and about them, or rather about it, the whole service of worship centered.

The "ark" was God's throne (Ps. 80:1, R. V.), but it was a throne of grace (Heb. 4:16). The "mercy-seat" means "the place of propitiation," and here the blood of the sin-offering was sprinkled on the day of atonement, and satisfaction was rendered to the divine claims on the people represented by the law in the ark of the testimony (Ps. 85:9, 10).

What the mercy-seat did symbolically for Israel, Christ has accomplished perfectly for all who will believe on Him (Ro. 3:25; 1 John 2:1, 2).

The Table of Shewbread, 23-30.

This table was to have not only a "crown" or rim, but also a "border" with a crown or rim (24, 25), the distinction between which it is difficult to make.

Observe the appurtenances of the table (29). The dishes were to hold the shewbread (30, compared with Lev. 24:5, 6); the bowls were for frankincense (Lev. 24:7). "Covers" is, in the Revised Version, "flagons" or vessels for wine, used in drink-offerings (Num. 15:1-12). The shewbread consisted of 12 cakes (Lev. 24:5, 6), corresponding to the twelve tribes of Israel, and is sometimes called the "presence-bread," or the "bread of the face."

At certain times the priests, who represented the whole of Israel, ate this shewbread from off the table. As the table is the Lord's and in the Lord's house, here we have the idea of hospitality based upon friendship. We see the family of God regaled by Him at His paternal board, which speaks of perfect reconciliation and communion with Him, and helps to explain the phrase, "the bread of the face." That is, man is represented as face to face with God in fellowship through atonement for sin. (See Gen. 14:18-20.)

Furthermore, whatever the "bread of the face" was for Israel in old times, Jesus Christ is now for His people. In and through Him we have communion with the Father (1 John 1:3). and He is the true bread which sustains us in our new life (John 6:31-58).

4. The Golden Candlestick, 25:31-40.

"His bowls, his knops, his flowers," refers to the ornaments on the branches of the candlestick, and which were to be all of one piece. The seven lamps rest on the flowers at the extremities of the stems. The latter part of verse 37 means that the candlestick shall be so set up (on the south side of the tabernacle, 40:24) as to throw light upon the table opposite. It was the only light in the tabernacle, the home or dwelling place of God.

According to Zech. 4, the candlestick is a type of Israel, and according to Revelation 1, a type of the church. Oil is the symbol of the Holy Spirit, and light typifies God (1 John 1:5), and Christ (John 8:12; 2 Cor. 4:6). The typical significance of the whole in its present position is difficult, but may appear as we proceed.

Note that as the ark and mercy-seat were to be placed in the Most Holy place, the table and candlestick were to be placed in the Holy place, i. e., outside the veil separating the two, of which later.

5. The Curtains, 26:1-14.

After revealing the above-mentioned pieces of furniture, attention is turned to the curtains.

To begin with the inner curtains, they were to be of what number, material, colors, design, length and breadth (1,2)?

Five were to be sewed together in one piece and five in another (3). These two halves were to be connected by loops of blue fastened with golden clasps (4-6), the whole to cover the top, sides and western end of the tabernacle, and correspond to the papering of our modern dwellings.

Of what material were the outer curtains to be made (7)? How many in number? Do they differ in length or breadth from the inner curtains (8)? How was the sixth curtain to be used (9, 12)? Of what material were the clasps to be in this case (11)? How many outside "coverings" were to be made (14)? "Badger" is translated "seal" or "porpoise" in the Revised Version.

6. The Framework, 26:15-30.

Notice the material, length and breadth of the boards (16). How many "tenons" to each board? "Set in order," means "mortised." Of what material were the "sockets" for these tenons (19)? The word "sides" (22) should be translated "back part." The sockets probably rested on the ground as nothing is said of sleepers under them.

How were the boards braced together (26-28)? How were the boards and bars overlaid (29)? What a costly edifice it must have been! Some have calculated it as reaching $1,500,000.

7. The Vail, 26:31-35.

The vail for the Most Holy place, and the hanging or screen for the door of the Holy place (36, 37) require no comment here. The typical significance of the former will come before us in its proper place.

8. The Brazen Altar, 27:1-8.

We are now in the outer court. Notice the material, size, height and shape of this altar. The "horns," or the parts of the corner-posts projecting above the upper surface of the altar, were to be of one piece with it (R. V.), and the whole was to be overlaid with brass to protect from fire and weather, whence its name "the brazen altar" (2). Upon this altar the burnt-offerings were presented.

Questions.

1. What is the meaning of "testimony" in the lesson?

2. What is the meaning of "mercyseat"?

3. What is the meaning of "the bread of the face"?

4. Of what are the candlestick and the oil types?

5. What is an estimate of the cost of the tabernacle in our money?


THE PRIESTLY GARMENTS

Chapters 28:1-43

The abrupt termination of the directions for the tabernacle at the close of the preceding chapter is remarkable; especially as the subject is taken up again at chapter 30. There must be some reason why the intervening chapters are occupied with the priesthood.

Some see in this the symbolism of a deep fact. God has in grace come out from His throne in the Holy of Holies through the way He has prepared for Himself in the table of shewbread and the candlestick, to meet man in his sin at the brazen altar. And now man is to be brought back through the way God has Himself come, to the place of communion with Him before His throne. The priesthood is necessary for this, and ere the way is itself shown the arrangements for the priesthood are completed.

As soon we reach the altar, in other words, we feel the need of the priest (which means mediator or advocate), who is to officiate thereat. From God he comes to man, authorized to invite man to return to God with penitence, confession and faith, and to make for him the propitiatory sacrifice to that end.

The garments of the priests as well as the details of their consecration are specified in this and the next chapter, because they are symbolical of their standing and office before God, as well as types of Him of whom Aaron and the Aaronic priesthood are the shadows. (See Hebrews, particularly chapters 5 to 10.)

What family is chosen for the priesthood (1)? What provision has God made for the preparation of their clothing (3) ? What are the number and names of the garments (4)? Notice the correspondence of color and texture of material to those of the inner curtains already named (5). It will be seen later that three of these garments are peculiar to the high priest -- the first three, and that he wears the rest in common with the other priests. There is this further exception, however, that whereas he dons a mitre, they only have bonnets or turbans (40). It might be advisable to say here that while the high priest typifies Christ, the priests, his sons, typify believers on Christ, or the church.

1. The Ephod, vv. 6-12.

The ephod was a shoulder-piece covering the back and reaching under the arms, kept in place by the two shoulder-straps (7) and the belt around the waist (8), leaving the breast uncovered. The gold was beaten into thin pieces, cut into wire and interwoven with colored threads.

What two precious stones belonged to the ephod ? What was graved on them? How were they set? Where were they placed, and why (9-12)? These indicate that God was to have Israel in perpetual remembrance through the mediation and representation of the high priest. The shoulder, moreover, is symbolical of power, so that the high priest thus arrayed became a beautiful suggestion of Him whose everlasting arms are underneath His people (Deut. 33:27). This ephod was the upper-most garment and worn outside the blue robe whose description follows.

2. The Breastplate, vv. 13-30.

What name is given to the breastplate (15)? Its shape and size (16)? What precious stones should it contain (17-20)? What graving upon them (21)? What was the significance of this latter (29) ? This "breastplate of judgment" represents the high priest as the spokesman of God, at the same time that he is the affectionate intercessor for Israel -- for each tribe and each member of it.

3. Urim and Thummin, v. 30.

Urim and Thummin are thought to be the sum of the twelve precious stones attached to the breastplate. That is, the twelve stones are Urim and Thummin, which means "the lights and the perfections." Lights as to their brilliancy, and perfections as to their hardness and absence from flaws.

"They represent the light and the right that are in the high priest for the enlightenment and reconciliation of those who come unto God by him. He exercises the functions of teaching and sacrificing in their behalf, as the type of the great High Priest.

"The import of Urim and Thummin dawned on the Israelite as he saw the high priest making an offering on the altar for the sins of the people, thus rendering them imputatively perfect, and then returning oracular answers from God out of the Most Holy place to the reverent inquirer.

"But we have no ground for supposing that God conveyed verbal messages to the high priests by illuminating any letters on the stones, as some have fancied. In other words there is nothing concealed nor mystical about this transaction after the manner of the heathen temples and priesthoods, nor anything in the nature of a charm as in an amulet. God indicated the light and the perfection which He vouchsafed to His people by means of these stones, but that light and perfection did not reside in the stones in any way." -- Murphy.

4. The Robe, vv. 31-36.

How does verse 31 show that this robe belong to the ephod in some way? What shows it to have been entirely woven, and without seam (32)? "Habergeon" means "a coat of mail." How was the base to be trimmed (33, 34)? The significance of this (35)?

It would appear from the last words of this verse that the wearing of this robe on the part of the high priest while ministering, was necessary to insure him from death. It becomes therefore a type of that robe of Christ's righteousness which is the only security of eternal life for human kind (Isa. 61:10). The sound of the bells testified that "the mail of proof had been put on, and the dread of death removed" It must have been a constant source of comfort and encouragement to the high priest as he stood alone in the Holy of Holies in the presence of the awful glory of Jehovah. Every slightest movement he made brought the assurance from the bells that all was well.

5. The Crown, vv. 36-38.

More is revealed about the plate on the mitre (or turban) than the mitre itself. What is this place called in 39:30? By the names on the precious stones the high priest is shown to be the representative of the people, and by what in this case is he shown to be the representative of God? For what does this holiness thus qualify him (38)?

The ephod, the breastplate, and the golden crown combined present us symbolically with the three-fold office of our great High Priest, Jesus Christ. "In the ephod the priestly office is obvious, in the breastplate the prophetic comes into the view, and in the crown the kingly makes its appearance, although the priestly discloses and maintains itself throughout."

6. The Common Garments, vv. 39-43.

In these verses we have directions for the garments common to all the priests including the high priest.

The coat was to be woven in chequer work as intimated in the Revised Version. It seems to have been provided with sleeves and to have reached to the feet. The mitre, or turban, was of the same material, and was wrapped around the head. The girdle was wound twice around the body it is said, and tied in front with the ends hanging down to the feet. Note the difference between this girdle going around the waist and holding the coat in place, and the "curious" or cunningly-woven girdle of verse 8, which fastened the ephod. Notice also that the head-gear of the priests is not called a "mitre" but a "bonnet," evidently different somewhat in shape and appearance. The linen breeches are described in verses 42 and 43. They do not seem to have belonged to the official dress of the priests, but to have been prescribed for the sake of propriety in other respects.

Questions.

1. Why may chapters 28 and 29 be a parenthesis in the revelation of the Tabernacle?

2. What New Testament book treats of the typical character of the priesthood?

3. What typical distinction seems to exist between the common priests and the high priest?

4. What may be the significance of Urim and Thummin?

5. What did the robe and the bells signify ?

THE INIQUITY OF THE HOLY THINGS

In the last lesson attention was called to the phrase at the head of this lesson found in 28:38.

The significance of the expression, both for Israel and for Christians, and the widely-prevailing ignorance on the subject of which it treats, is the justification for a special lesson in the way of an addendum to it.

The following is from William R. Nicholson, D.D., bishop in the Reformed Episcopal Church.

These words, "the iniquity of the holy things," are only part of a sentence, their connection being that Aaron the high priest should bear the iniquity of the holy things. Of course, the bearing of this iniquity means the atoning for it.

But we are startled by the repellency of the idea. How strange to hear of the iniquity of what is holy!

The "holy things" are described in the context as the sacrifices and offerings of Israel. Whatever they presented to God in worship were holy in the sense that they were consecrated to and appointed by Him. And yet these things themselves had iniquity. When the worshiper brought his bleeding victim as an offering for his sins his very act of bringing it had in it additional sin which required to be atoned for.

And the truth with regard to Israel is the same with ourselves. We were by nature children of wrath, and now, although as believers on our Lord Jesus Christ we are regenerated by His Spirit, still in our flesh there dwelleth no good thing (Ro. 7:18; 8:7). The consequence is that we entail our sin upon whatever we attempt to do. We worship God, even in the way of His own appointment, and yet the sin in us imparts to that worship the imperfection of its sinfulness and therefore the sin of imperfection. We pray, and our act of prayer has iniquity in it. We sing God's praises, we read His Word, we come into His house, we kneel at the sacrament and at each and all there is sin, for they have the imperfection and defilement of our sinfulness. Indeed, we trust in Jesus for the pardon of our sins as the Israelite brought his bleeding victim to the altar, and yet the very act of trust is sinfully done and needs for itself the divine pardon.

God's People Are Meant.

Notice that "the iniquity of the holy things" was affirmed of Israel, the type of the true people of God, and not unregenerate men.

When they assembled at the Tabernacle they did so as the redeemed of God. The blood of the paschal lamb had been sprinkled upon their houses in Egypt. Sheltered beneath it from the curse which had devastated that land, they had gone forth from its bondage and terror, and were now brought nigh to God in His own house of communion. They were even supplied by His hand with all holy gifts which they were now permitted to offer to Him.

They represent real Christians, therefore, true believers in Jesus Christ, delivered out of the condemnation of the world, and having received through His blood the forgiveness of sin, made nigh to God in the privilege of worship and the joy of fellowship.

There is therefore iniquity in our holy things, in every act of our worship there are imperfection and defilement, because there is present in that act the old evil nature along with the new. We need therefore to be forgiven for every duty we perform, for every sorrow for sin we feel, for every hope we cherish, and for all the love we enjoy.

Bishop Beveridge said: "I cannot pray but I sin; I cannot hear or preach a sermon but I sin; I cannot give alms or receive the sacrament but I sin; no, I cannot so much as confess my sins but my very confessions are still aggravations of them; my repentance needs to be repented of; my tears want washing; and the very washing of my tears needs still to be washed over again with the blood of my Redeemer."

The Proof.

That the meaning of these words is not exaggerated may be seen in that the same truth is taught again in the 16th of Leviticus, where we meet with a description of the annual Day of Atonement.

In the present text the high priest is directed to bear the iniquity of the holy things, but in that chapter he is represented as actually bearing them. He is attired in his holy garments, his forehead glittering with "Holiness to the Lord," and actually sprinkling the blood of sacrifice to cleanse the uncleanness of the worshipers, to make atonement for the holy sanctuary itself, for the altar on which the sacrifices are offered (for these things were polluted by the very presence of sinners), for the priests who offered the sacrifices, and for all the people accustomed there to worship.

Once a year regularly and solemnly the great truth of this text was recognized and enforced. Every day in the year, to say nothing of extra sessions, the blood of atonement was offered for pardon and acceptance, but the acts of offering had iniquity in them and needed themselves to be specifically sprinkled with the atoning blood. This was done on this annual day, the greatest of all the occasions of expiation.

Moreover, the New Testament is full of this teaching of the iniquity of our holy things, it speaks to us concerning it in those words of Paul throughout the 7th of Romans, and in his words to the Philippians where he speaks of discarding his own righteousness, even that which belonged to him as a Christian (3:1-15). Indeed, it speaks to us in all that is said in the New Testament concerning the sanctification which comes to believers through faith in the blood of Christ.

A Three-Fold Application.

The application of this truth is wide-reaching.

(1) In the first place, it enhances our appreciation of our Saviour and the value of His merits for us. It helps us to see how deeply we need Him, and how great is the sovereign mercy and the boundless grace of God towards us in Him.

The high priest in the tabernacle typifies Him, and the service he rendered for Israel, even in the iniquity of their holy things, typifies the service Christ has rendered and is rendering for us in a like case. For if there is iniquity in our holy things, thank God there is also atonement for it accomplished, and full, and of instant efficacy (1 John 2:1, 2)!

(2) In the second place, it opens our eyes and broadens our vision as to the relative meanings of sin and holiness. In the light of this text, what Christian can question -- much less deny -- the application to him at all times of the words of the apostle John: "If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (1 John 1:8)?

Who can talk about sinless perfection in the light of this truth? And how professions of the eradication of evil shrink into worthlessness, and themselves become sin in its shadow! So deeply indeed is the truth of this text imbedded, as a living principle, in the experience of true and enlightened Christians, that the more devoted they are the more it is felt.

It is indeed a test of our nearness to God to have a Christian conscience so cultivated as to appreciate our daily and hourly need, and at the same time our daily and hourly completeness only in Christ. This is the way to feast upon Him richly. If our faith, considered as an act, does itself require to have blood sprinkled upon it, then as we appreciate that fact shall our faith itself sink down more and more upon Christ for all that He is to us, and rest upon Him with the very rest of heaven.

(3) It furnishes a momentous warning to the unbeliever and the unregenerate man. If there is no such thing as even a Christian's self-righteousness, if there is no such thing as a Christian's purchasing to himself the divine favor even by such life-long goodness as that of Paul, how impossible must all this be to the man who has not received Christ at all! If no Christian who is himself personally accepted in Christ can put forth one act which does not need forgiveness, what can he do to commend himself to God who is unwashed in redeeming blood, and on whom even now abideth His condemnation?

With regard to any dependence on one's own righteousness it becomes us all to say. Christian or non-Christian, with the patriarch Job: "If I wash myself with snow water, and make my hands never so clean, yet shalt Thou plunge me into the ditch, and mine own clothes shall make me to be abhorred!"

"The iniquity of the holy things"!

What Jesus is, and that alone

Is faith's delightful plea;

Which never deals with sinful self

Nor righteous self in me.

Questions.

1. Where is the phrase found which is the title of this lesson?

2. Of whom is this iniquity affirmed, the world's people or God's people?

3. On what great day in Israel was this solemnly enforced?

4. What New Testament Scripture shows that there is atonement in Christ for such iniquity?

5. What erroneous doctrine does this truth contradict?

6. To whom is it a solemn warning?


THE CONSECRATION OF THE PRIESTS

Chapter 29

1. The Ceremony in Outline, vv. 1-9.

What animals were required for sacrifice, and what qualification must they have (1)? What offerings accompanied them (2)? Where was the place of ceremony (4)? What was the preliminary act?

This washing of the bodies of the priests typified the cleanness of the whole man in a moral and spiritual sense, which, while it was true of Aaron only ceremonially, was true absolutely of the Lord Jesus Christ, whom he set forth and pre-figured.

What followed the washing (5, 6)? What followed the investure of the clothing (7)?

This holy anointing oil, for which (as we shall see) God Himself gave the prescription, was the emblem of the gift and grace of the Holy Spirit communicated to the priesthood for their service. At the same time it should be borne in mind that the service accomplished by then in a symbolical sense was accomplished actually by Christ for His people, who was anointed of the Holy Spirit to that end (Luke 4:16, 21; Acts 4:27; 10:38).

For how long was the office to remain in Aaron's family (9)? This means of course to the end of the Levitical economy (Heb. 7:11-19).

"Consecrate" in v. 9 means "to fill the hands," and signifies "the placing of the sacrifices in their hands, in the offering of which they are not only sanctified but instituted into their office."

2. The Sin-Offering, vv. 10-14.

What was the nature of this offering (10)? Where presented? How were Aaron and his sons to identify themselves with it? What was to be done to it (11)? How was its blood to be used (12)? Which of its parts should be burned on the altar (l3)? Which without the camp, and why (14)?

The presentation of this offering was to remove the legal disqualifications from Aaron and his sons on account of sin. The life which is in the blood of the animal makes atonement for their life, which like the lives of all of us was forfeited through sin. This is not to say that there was any intrinsic virtue in the blood of a bull, but as we shall be told by and by it is typical of the blood of the Son of God, which is efficacious in the cleansing from all sin (1 John 1:7).

The details of these offerings come before us in Leviticus, where they are commanded for the people as they are here for the priests.

3. The Burnt-offering, vv. 15-18.

The nature of this offering (15)? Observe the same act of identification as before. What distinction do you see in the use of the blood (16)? What was to be done with the flesh of this offering as distinguished from the other (18)? And before it was burnt, what (17)? What did it then become (18)

Sin is not named in connection with this offering as in the other case. There God's judgment is executed on the victim as charged with the sin of the offence, but here God's satisfaction with the offerer is expressed as based on the previous putting away of his sin and the presentation of himself for acceptance and worship.

4. The Peace-offering, w. 19-28.

These two rams bear a close relation to one another, and are to be considered theoretically as one. What is done with the blood here (20)? Touching the person with the blood symbolizes the purging of that person from his guilt.

What further ceremony follows (21)? This symbolizes "the outward and legal and the inward and moral purification essential to the priestly office."

What is this ram called (22)? How is the idea of consecration expressed in v. 24? Here Aaron and his sons "take the first step in offering and are at the same time initiated into the priestly office."

Moses who initiates them is to "wave" these offerings, doubtless by taking hold of their hands thus filled, and moving them back and forth. The significance of this is difficult to determine. The forward movement toward the altar might indicate the dedication of the offering to the Lord, and the backward movement a transference of it again to the priest as his share, only that in this case the offerings are not afterward consumed by the priests but are burned on the altar (25). We await more light.

What parts of this ram are assigned as the portion of the priest (27)? Observe that a "wave" and a "heave" offering are both mentioned here, the motion of one being horizontal and the other vertical. It is "heaved" in token of being offered unto God, and then, accepted by Him, it is assigned to His representative on earth, the priest (28). To what class of offering does this heave offering belong?

"Peace offering" in this verse is translated in the Septuagint Version, "a sacrifice of salvation," and is an acknowledgment of salvation already received as expressed through the sin and burnt offering previously presented and accepted, and which invariably preceded it in the Levitical ceremonial. (Compare Ro. 5.) As indicative of this it was essentially a communion feast. God's portion was burned on the altar, but of the remainder the priest and the offerer (as we shall see later) each had a part.

5. The Daily Burnt-offering, vv. 38-46.

What was its nature (38)? How many times a day? What offering accompanied it (40, 41)? How would God show His reconciliation and communion with them on the ground of this offering (42)? This intercourse promised to the people would come, through the high priest. How should the tabernacle be hallowed? In what other language is the same idea expressed (45)? Of what should this be to them an assurance (46)? This manifestation of His presence was the shekinah glory, successor in a sense to the pillar of cloud.

Aaron a Type of Christ.

This is an appropriate place for a further word concerning the typical relation of the Aaronic priesthood to Jesus Christ.

That priesthood is set before us in two sections. Aaron, the high priest, the true type of Christ, and his sons, consecrated to the office in virtue of their relation to him. These latter who ministered at the altar of sacrifice and in the Holy Place, but never in the Most Holy, do not so much typify Christ as believers on Christ, who with Him constitute the royal and priestly family of which He is the head.

Aaron is a type of Christ in his person, since what he was ceremonially and symbolically the Lord Jesus is intrinsically and divinely. Although as to His humanity He descended from a long line of impure ancestors, yet He brought no stain of sin into the world with Him, nor contracted any while here (Heb. 7:26).

The high priest, however, was a type of Christ not only in his person but in his office and functions. The Epistle to the Hebrews will amply assure us of this. It will be seen indeed that it is in virtue of Christ's priestly office that the Aaronic was ever instituted. In other words, Christ's priesthood reflects backward and gives to that of Aaron all the efficacy and meaning it possessed.

Aaron was Israel's representative before God, and in his priestly character he stood for the whole nation. As God was pleased with him so was He pleased with the nation. All his official acts were reckoned as having been done by the people here represented. All of which we know to be true of Jesus Christ as the representative of them that believe on Him. He died for them, and they died in Him (2 Cor. 5:14). They are raised in Him, quickened and seated with Him in the heavenlies (Eph. 2:5, 6). As Aaron bore the tribes into the Most Holy place so Jesus Christ bears His people into God's presence (Heb. 10:19-22). The chief duty of the human priest was to reconcile men to God by offering an atonement for their sins, effected by sacrifice. What Aaron thus did for Israel in the type Jesus has done for His people actually (Heb. 8:3; 9:12; 10:10).

It is furthermore an element of the priestly office to make intercession on behalf of those whom it represents. This was done for Israel by the sprinkling of the blood on the mercy seat and the offering of incense on the golden altar, of which we shall learn in the next lesson. In the same way the New Testament combines Christ's intercession for us with His sacrificial death (Heb. 7:25; 9:24; 1 John 2:1, 2; Ro. 8:33, 34).

To allude to a feature of the consecration of Aaron and his sons, we find something particularly suggestive in their anointing. Aaron was anointed before the bloody sacrifices were offered, while his sons were not anointed until afterward. And so, long before the cross, Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit (John 1:33, 34), but the disciples, who are the anti-types of the sons of Aaron, did not receive that anointing until after Jesus was glorified (John 7:39, R, V.; Acts 2).

Moreover, Aaron received a greater unction than his sons, the holy oil being poured upon his head and running down upon his beard, even to the skirts of his garments (Psalm 133). Compare John 3:34, (Heb. 1:9).

These are hints of the typology of the Aaronic priesthood, of which we shall be learning more as we proceed, and from which we shall be gaining richer apprehensions of the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ on our behalf. For thus these things have been written for our learning.

Questions.

1. Whom do the ordinary priests typify?

2. In what three ways did Aaron typify Christ?

3. What were two chief duties of the priest?

4. What New Testament epistle treats especially of Christ's priesthood?

5. Can you quote 1 John 2:1, 2?


THE WORK FULLY REVEALED AND THE WORKMEN CHOSEN

Chapters 30-31

1. The Altar of Incense, vv. 1-10.

Of what material and for what purpose was it made (1)? Its size and shape (2)? Its furnishings (3)? The means for its removal (4, 5)? Its location (6)? How often and at what time was the incense to be offered (7, 8)? What prohibition was placed on its use (9)? How does v. 10 bear on "the iniquity of the holy things"?

Although no sacrifice was offered on the altar of incense yet the worship there was acceptable only because of the sacrifice previously made at the brazen altar. These two altars were connected as one by the fact that the live coals which consumed the sacrifice on the brazen altar also burned the incense before the altar of incense.

This incense symbolized prayer, thanksgiving and obedience accepted through the intercession of the high priest. The offerer of the sacrifice, having been reconciled to God at the brazen altar and cleansed or sanctified as shadowed forth by the laver soon to be spoken of, is here at the altar of incense seen to be accepted of God and adoring Him in consequence.

See Ps. 141:2; 1 Tim. 2:8, and especially Rev. 5:8; 8:3, 4.

The fact that the altar was "before the Lord" is significant. Although the veil interposed between it and the ark, nevertheless God speaks of it as if nothing intervened, thus showing its intimate relation to the ark, the mercy seat and the divine presence. So prayer brings us into closest communion with our heavenly Father.

We have spoken of the relation of the two altars, the significance of which lies in the fact that in the brazen altar we have Christ typified in His atoning sacrifice, and in the incense of the golden altar we have Him typified in His intercession. The latter is thus seen to be bound up with and finding its efficacy in the former. Compare Ro. 8:34; Heb. 9:25. Efficaciousness in prayer, therefore, is always in conjunction with the work of Christ for us. In Rev. 8 incense was offered with the prayers of the saints. It is the incense, therefore, typifying Christ's intercession, which makes the prayers of the saints acceptable to God.

2. Support of the Worship, vv. 11-16.

The numbering here referred to took place as recorded in Numbers 1:3. What accompanied the numbering, and how did it become a testimony of their actual condition of guilt before God (12)? What penalty attached to failure in this case? Amount of ransom (13)? (The approximate value of the shekel was 60 cents.) Upon whom did the obligation rest, and upon what scale (14, 15)? For what purpose was the money used (16)?

3. The Laver, vv. 17-21.

What next was to be made, of what material and for what purpose (18)?

Where placed? What parts of the priests' persons were to be washed (19)? (Notice the word "thereat," indicating probably that water was removed from the laver into a smaller vessel for this purpose.) When (20)? What penalty attached to a failure to comply (21)?

This washing symbolized the soul purity of those who might approach God. See John 3:5; Eph. 5:25, 26; Titus 3:5.

The laver represents not the regeneration of the believer in Christ so much as it does his daily renewal in Christ. As Moorehead says, there is a bath which requires no repetition, being accomplished once for all (John 13:10, R. V.). Regeneration is never repeated (1 Cor. 6:11, R. V.). But the believer comes into daily contact with the world's defilement, and is polluted by his own remaining corruption. How is he to be kept clean? How is interrupted communion to be re-established? By washing the disciples' feet Christ gave an illustration of the way in which this might be done. This act was a type of His intercession on our behalf continually (John 13:1-17; 1 John 2:1).

This purpose is set before us in the laver, for Aaron and his sons were bathed upon their entrance on the priest's office, which acts were not to be repeated in the same way or for the same purpose. Their acceptance and consecration in that sense were final and complete from the beginning. But each time they entered the sanctuary to perform their office they must wash their hands and feet. It was for this the laver was provided.

So at the altar our sin is judged and forgiven, and at the laver our sin is washed away from our persons. Jesus Christ in His atoning death and prevailing intercession is the glorious anti-type of both.

4. Bezaleel and Aholiab, vv. 31:1-11.

These are two of the most interesting of the secondary characters in the Old Testament.

They who did the mechanical work on the Tabernacle and the garments of the high priests -- work so sacred and important in God's eyes -- must have had the consciousness of His being very near to them, and they to Him. Humanly speaking, what a nervous strain must have been their experience continually! Yet how did God provide against this, and at the same time for the perfect execution of His will (3)?

Note the lesson here of the way God provides for the execution of His will and His work in the spiritual realm. Whom he chooses He anoints and equips in every necessity for His work. That these two men had the natural gifts for such employment were not enough, but these gifts must be imbued with power from on high.

Oh that every preacher, teacher and Christian worker might appreciate this, and put himself in that attitude before God where he might attain the equipment!

5. The Sabbath Law, vv. 12-17.

Why do you suppose his reference to the Sabbath is found here? Was it to prevent even so holy a work as the building of the tabernacle to be done on that day?

What does God call the Sabbath in v. 12? What is meant by the closing words of v. 17? God does not require "rest and refreshment" as we do, but may He not experience "delight from the accomplishment of His work and the contemplation of its excellence"?

6. The End of Moses' Mission on the Mount, v. 18.

Note this verse and compare it with 24:12. How sacred the words: "written with the finger of God"! Certainly no material finger is referred to, but there was a putting forth of power for the purpose which effected the result just the same.

Questions.

1. What truth is illustrated in the order in which this revelation is given?

2. What does the altar of incense symbolize?

3. The significance of the two altars?

4. The symbolism of the laver? And the anointing oil?

5. How does God provide for the execution of His work?


THE BREACH MADE AND REPAIRED

Chapters 32-33:6

Moses for forty days has been absent in the mount, and to the people it seemed long. Had they forgotten the awe-inspired sights and sounds they had seen and heard? Had all the sublime and stirring events of the months since they departed from Egypt been obliterated from their memory? How can we explain the folly into which they now fell? If we can not explain it, let us ask our own hearts if we know anything like it.

1. The Molten Calf, 32:1-6.

What demand was made of Aaron (1)? How was their sinful impatience shown? How does the phrase: "who shall go before us," indicate the cause of their impatience? Describe Aaron's guilt (2-5). Does this appear to have been a violation of the first or the second commandment?

The idol was probably a piece of wood carved into the shape of a calf, and overlaid with melted gold. The model was the bull worshipped by the Egyptians. The last words of v. 6 refer to unclean practices associated with such worship among the heathen.

2. Divine Wrath, 32:7-14.

By the use of what pronoun in v. 7 does God renounce leadership of the people? What test of loyalty is put to Moses in v. 10? How does he apparently ignore God's rejection of the people in v. 11? Notice the two strong arguments he presents in his expostulation (12, 13). One is God's honor in the sight of Egypt, and the other His honor in the keeping of his original promise to Israel. But does Moses excuse the sin of the people? When it says: "the Lord repented," does it mean that He had changeable feelings like a man? Or should we say, rather that He acted on His unchangeable principle, always to show mercy to the penitent?

3. Swift Punishment, 32:15-29.

Joshua in all probability had been awaiting Moses on the mount outside the cloud that enveloped him, and therefore had not heard the communication about the idolatrous worship. This doubtless explains the conversation in vv. 17 and 18.

Observe what Moses did: (1) He broke the two tablets of testimony, doubtless as emblematic of the breach the sin of the people had made in their covenant with God; (2) he destroyed the image, grinding it into power and casting it in the brook from which they were supplied with drink; then did they experience in a physical sense the bitter results of their infatuation; (3) he rebuked Aaron, whose act was inexcusable (compare Deut. 9:15-21); (4) he judged the people through the instrumentality of the sons of Levi.

"Fill your hand" (29) means, as in a previous lesson, "consecrate yourselves this day unto the Lord." If it seems strange that the Levites met no effective resistance in their righteously indictive work, an explanation may be found in that many sympathized with them and disapproved of the sin committed. Perhaps also there were many indifferent ones, who simply had been led away by strong and wicked leaders. Then, consider the weakening effect of a conscience stricken by the sense of sin, which must have followed Moses' words and actions.

4. Potent Intercession, 32:30 to 33:6.

Instant destruction had been stayed, but full pardon had not been obtained, hence Moses' action in these verses.

Note the impassionate form of entreaty in V. 32. The consequences if God will not forgive their sin are unutterable. He does not name them. He feels that he could not live or enjoy the blessings of eternity if this were not done. Compare Paul's words concerning the same people (Ro. 9:1-5).

What can he mean by "the book Thou hast written"? How interesting that phrase thus early in the history of revelation! The Israelites were familiar with a register of families. Did Moses grasp by faith that such a register of the saints was to be found above?

What divine principle concerning sin and sinners is laid down in v. 33? (Compare Ezekiel 17:19-23.)

What command, promise and warning are found in v. 34? How does v. 35 show that God assumes the responsibility for what Moses and the Levites did? And how docs it show that the people were held responsible for what Aaron did?

For "My Angel" of v. 34 compare 23:20, and recall the previous instruction that He possesses the attributes and prerogatives of God. Subsequent revelation will conclusively show Him to be the second Person of the Trinity.

The last clause of this verse shows that while "the intercessor has prevailed, he has not yet heard the word of full remission." The breach is repaired, but the relationship with God is not yet what it was before. The next lesson shows how that is brought about.


THE COVENANT RENEWED

Chapters 32:7-34

1. Moses Separated Unto God, 33:7-11.

The tabernacle, or tent, here referred to (7), was that of Moses, as the Tabernacle of the Lord had not yet been erected. As the Lord would no longer manifest Himself among the people, it was necessary thus to become separated from them if Moses was to enjoy such intercourse. (Compare 2 Cor. 6:14-18.) "The tabernacle of the Congregation" is rendered in the Revised Version, "the tent of meeting," i. e., the place where the Lord met Moses and others who in penitence and faith gathered with him there.

In what now familiar way did the Lord manifest His presence with Moses (9)? What effect had this upon the people (10)? How is the Lord's loving kindness towards Moses expressed in v. II? Compared with v. 20 it will be seen that Moses did not behold the divine essence, but only such a vision of God's face as it is possible for men to look upon and live.

2. Moses' Interview with God, 33:12-23.

What information does he seek (12)? And what argument does he use to obtain it ? Observe further that he also wants to know God's "way," i. e.. His way of salvation and leading for the people (13). Moreover, he would know God Himself better, to the end that he might obtain more grace. Increasing grace always accompanies increasing knowledge of God (2 Peter 1:2). Observe the holy boldness with which he declines to relieve the Lord of the responsibility for the people He has chosen. He begs Him to consider that they are still His, and that He can not thus break His covenant. What startling faith! And how God honors it! "The Angel" that shall go with them is the Angel of His presence (Is. 63:9).

And what greater boon does Moses ask (18)? Murphy has an excellent paragraph on this verse, quoted here in full:

"To show mercy and yet do justly, to magnify grace and holiness at the same time, to bestow a perpetuity of blessing on a people wavering now and again into disobedience, was a problem that seemed to task the highest intelligence, to transcend the ordinary ways of providence, and call into exercise some inner and higher reaches of the eternal mind. Moved by a wish to do his duty with intelligence, Moses desires some insight into this mystery. Feeling that it touches the very center of the divine nature, involves the sublimest manifestations of His glory, his last and grandest petition is: 'Show me now Thy glory.'"

And from this point of view what is God's glory (10)? An expansion of this thought is found in the next chapter. What necessary limitation must be laid upon Moses in the answer to his request (20)? The "face" of God means doubtless His essential self, the sight of which would be irresistible or insupportable to a finite being tainted with guilt as man is. But His "back" is His averted self, that mediate manifestation which a man may see and still live {23).

3. Moses' Vision of the Glory of God, 34:1-10.

Moses now returns to the mount (2). What is he to prepare and take with him (1)? Who prepared the former tables which Moses broke? (Compare 31:18.) What prohibition is laid upon him in this instance (3)?

Mote carefully the proclamation of God's glory in seven characteristics, "three pairs referring to His mercy and a single one affirming His justice" (6, 7).

If God "will by no means clear the guilty," how can He at the same time forgive "iniquity, transgression and sin" ? Only as the guilt falls on a voluntary and accepted substitute. A substitute accepted by God in the first instance, and humbly and penitently received by the sinner when revealed to him. It is this which gives meaning to all the Levitical sacrifices of which we are soon to learn more, and which typify the person and work of Him whom God had in mind from all eternity as the bearer of human guilt -- His Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

How is Moses affected by what he sees and hears (8)? In what terms does he repeat his intercession for the people (9)? How does he identify himself with them?

Is Moses' prayer heard, and the covenant fully renewed (10)? What promise accompanies it?

4. Moses' Face Reflecting the Vision of God, 34:11-35.

The first part of this section is occupied with the repetition and enforcement of certain admonitions; (a) concerning entangling alliances with the idolatrous nations of Canaan (11-17), and (b) concerning the observance of the feasts (18-26). Note especially the obligation imposed on the males in v. 22, and the provision for their comfort in the promises in v. 24, last half. Note further the second command to Moses to "write" what he had heard (27). This writing doubtless includes the record of his present interview with God, but from Deut. 10:4 we learn that it was God Himself who wrote the ten commandments again on the two tables which Moses had prepared.

How is Moses' appearance described in v. 29? The word "shone" might be rendered "sent forth beams" or "horns," which explains why some of the old artists show Moses with horns of light. How did this extraordinary lustre affect the people (30)? How is the word "till" of v. 33 translated in the Revised Version? What a conspicuous sign this was of Moses' acceptance with God and his authority over the people ! And how it must have demonstrated to the latter their utter unpreparedness as yet for any higher manifestations of the divine glory than what they had already received. Compare 2 Cor. 3:7-18, in the Revised Version.


THE TABERNACLE ERECTED

Chapters 35-40

The closing chapters of this book give in detail the execution of the plan of the Tabernacle previously revealed. In the first we are told of the offerings the people made for the work, in the next four the progress of the building is recorded, and in the last we have the completion and acceptance of the whole on God's part.

Note (1) that an important principle in the gifts was the willingness of those who gave (35:5); (2) the women contributed as well as the men (35:22); (3) their liberality exceeded the necessity (36:5, 6); (4) the sum total was very large (38:24-29), so large, that although the people were laborers in Egypt for the most part, yet they must have had much wealth. We should remember, too, the contribution the Egyptians made to them as they departed.

When was the Tabernacle to be set up (40:1, 2)? How long was this after they had left Egypt (5:17)? in what manner did God set His seal of approval on the work (40:34)? What indicates that the cloud now rested permanently on the Tabernacle (40:36)?

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