An Interpretation of the English Bible

 

 

EXODUS and LEVITICUS

 

 

by B. H. CARROLL

 

Late President of Southwestern Baptist

Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas

 

Edited by

J.  B. Cranfill

 

BAKER BOOK HOUSE

Grand Rapids, Michigan

 

New and complete edition

 Copyright 1948, Broadman Press

Reprinted by Baker Book House

with permission of

Broadman Press

 

ISBN: 0-8010-2344-0

First Printing, September 1973

Second Printing, September 1976

 

PHOTOLITHOPRINTED BY GUSHING - MALLOY INC

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

 

1976

 

 

CONTENTS

 

(Return to Main Contents)

 

THE BOOK OF EXODUS

 

I                  Introductory Studies: The Geography of Exodus

II                 Introductory Studies: Material for a History of Moses

III                A Review and a Prologue

IV               Birth and Preparation of Moses

V                 Moses at the Burning Bush

VI               The Ten Plagues or the Great Duel

VII              The Ten Plagues (Continued)

VIII             The Institution of the Passover

IX                     The March Out of Egypt, the Passage of the Red Sea, and the Triumphal Song

X                 From the Red Sea to Sinai

XI               From the Red Sea to Sinai (Continued)

XII              The Covenant at Sinai - General Features

XIII             The Covenant at Sinai (Continued)

XIV                   The Decalogue – The First and Second Commandments

XV              The Decalogue – The Third Commandment

XVI             The Decalogue – The Fourth Commandment

XVII           The Decalogue – The Fifth Commandment

XVIII          The Decalogue – The Sixth Commandment

XIX             The Decalogue – The Seventh Commandment

XX              The Decalogue – The Eighth Commandment

XXI             The Decalogue – The Ninth Commandment

XXII           The Decalogue – The Tenth Commandment

XXIII          The Law of the Altar

XXIV          God and the State, The State and the Citizen, The

                   Promises and the Ratification of the Covenant

XXV           The Feast of the Covenant, the Ascent of Moses and Joshua into the Mountain, the Breach of the Covenant, the Covenant Restored But Modified

XXVI          The Breach of the Covenant and its renewal

XXVII         The Tabernacle

XXVIII       The Tabernacle (Continued)

 

THE BOOK OF LEVITICUS

 

I                  Preparatory Studies – The Sinaitic Covenant

II                 Introductory Studies – Historical

III                Offerings

IV               Consecration of Aaron and His Sons

V                 The Great Day of Atonement

VI               The Distinction Between Clean and Unclean

VII              The Law of Holiness

VIII             The Times of Coming Before the Lord

IX               The Land Sabbath and the Jubilee Sabbath

X                 The Lamp of God, Bread of the Presence, Death of the Blasphemer, Penalties for Murder, and Great Law Principle

XI               The Promises and Threatenings of the Covenant

XII              Regulation of Voluntary Vows

 

                                                                       

 

 

 

I

 

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INTRODUCTORY STUDIES: THE GEOGRAPHY OF EXODUS

 

Focus in your minds the geography of Egypt and the Sinaitic Peninsula. Those who have the Rand-McNally Bible Atlas can study the history and geography together. If you were in a balloon over Egypt twenty miles in the air, you would see what looks like a green ribbon in the desert, which represents the Nile and its narrow boundaries, all of Egypt that has ever been good. Out of 115,000 square miles in Egypt only 9,600 are habitable, and only about 5,600 are made up of arable land.


The lower part of Egypt is called the Delta, from the Greek letter which answers to our "D", caused by the division of the Nile into several mouths. All of that Delta country is very rich from alluvial deposits made by the overflows of the Nile. The part on the east near the Arabian Peninsula was Goshen, where the children of Israel settled. The ancient capital, Memphis, was situated above the first fork, a famous city. Later, the capital was shifted to Thebes.


Soon after the dispersion of the nations at the Tower of Babel, the sons of Ham occupied Egypt, the country given to them. Without the Nile there would be no Egypt. It is only a short distance from either bank to an impassable desert. Ancient history has to do with Egypt from the city of Thebes to the mouth of the Nile. It knows nothing of upper Egypt. The White Nile rises in the heart of Central Africa, only recently discovered by Livingstone, Stanley, and others. Just now a railroad runs up the Nile to Khartourn, and from there to the heart of Africa. From Cape Town, the most southern point of Africa, a road starts and runs up. In a short time that road will be completed, and Northern and Southern Africa will be united by rail. That was the great project of Cecil Rhodes, the Cape-to-Cairo railroad. The present capital of Egypt is Cairo.


The first important event in this ancient history is the building of the Great Pyramid of Cheops. We know very little about the building of these pyramids, but they go back long before the time of Abraham, nearly to Nimrod. This pyramid is the most imposing structure of its kind in the world. It has a great square base, going up in terraces, so that a man standing on one stone can just reach the one above him. There are people there who hire out to pull visitors up from one stone to another. The pyramids constituted one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and constitute one of the wonders of the world to this day. They were supposed to be built as tombs, based upon the fact that the first time history became acquainted with them, there were in them the mummies of distinguished kings. From one of these great pyramids has been brought the very Pharaoh who received Joseph, and it is said in unwrapping that mummy they found a grain of wheat that had somehow got into the linen, and that when that grain of wheat was planted it grew.


That building is said to be "oriented," because it was built exactly with the-compass and with reference to the east. If you ever join the Masons they will tell you a good deal about that. There is a hole in the pyramid, and once every two or three thousand years a star gets to a position in which it shines right down that hole to the very bottom. This indicates that those ancient peoples were marvelously well acquainted with astronomy. They could not have calculated the revolution of the heavenly bodies in such vast cycles of time and built with reference to it, if they had not been.


This Great Pyramid must have been built by slave labor only, and at a great cost of life; all other structures of Egypt are of the same kind, very massive in style, with very little architectural beauty. Near the pyramids is another wonder of the world, the Sphinx, a winged lion with a man's head. That has been largely covered with sand in the thousands of years of time, but a considerable part of it shows above the ground now.


Who built these pyramids nobody knows. You can only get glimpses of that far-off time from certain inscriptions, the deciphering of which is only a learned guess. There has been a vast deal discovered in modern times in the way of archeology bearing upon Bible history. Inscriptions have been deciphered, the names of kings and dynasties discovered, showing that the oldest nation in history is Egypt, and that it had a high grade of civilization of its kind.


Two other things are necessary before taking up another feature of the discussion. One of these old kings fell upon a new project, now being utilized on the western plains of the United States to provide storage for the surplus of water during the overflows. He had an immense excavation made, incredibly great, and canals dug that led from the Nile to that immense reservoir, and when the overflow would come it would be filled with water. Then he had canals cut connecting the different branches, or mouths, of the Nile, traversing all the country for the purpose of irrigation. It was done by slave labor. In order to get the water out of the reservoir, they used big pumps worked by hand, having an endless chain with buckets upon it which worked like an undershot wheel. The ancient Egyptians had a wonderful knowledge of mathematics in all its departments. If you want to read a thrilling book that will give you some idea of the degree of knowledge attained by the ancient Egyptians, read Tom Moore's Epicurean, concerning an Anthenian youth who went to Egypt and was initiated into all the mysteries of the knowledge that they had there. It is written as a novel, but it is very true to nature. When I was a student of ancient history I had to read that book. G. M. Ebers has several books on ancient Egypt.


The character of the country is generally the same now as it was when the Tower of Babel was built. There are no changes, not even a railroad can change it. At one time the Egyptian empire extended through the Arabian Peninsula as far as the Holy Land and to the Euphrates. That was its greatest extent. A great many of the manners and customs of the Egyptians are indicated in the book of Genesis, which tells us how Joseph got there and how he was brought in touch with the people.


In the time of Moses there existed a fact not brought out until recently, viz.: a wall extended across the isthmus from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea. That wall explains why Moses, instead of going the middle way to the Holy Land, turned and went south, turning the upper end of that wall. All along it were towers held by the regular army of Egypt. The children of Israel wandered for thirty-eight years in the Wilderness; thirty-eight years of silence with only a few stations given in one of the books of the Pentateuch. The peninsula of Sinai is a plain of white sand. The northern part is called the wilderness of Paran in the Old Testament, "the great and terrible wilderness." Another part of the peninsula of Arabia is called the Negeb, or "South Country." In that country Isaac and Abraham, with their herds, dwelt. And there is Kadesh-barnea, the nearest point that the Israelites reached in going that way to the Promised Land. Another prominent feature of that country is the Arabah, the supposed ancient bed of the Jordan River, which rises away up in Lebanon, comes down and flows into the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is so much lower than the Mediterranean, the Mediterranean would flow into it if a canal were cut between them. It is the deepest hole in the ground we know anything about. From the Dead Sea to a little arm of the Red Sea is that broad ravine, called the Arabah. At a point on the Arabah, near Mount Hor, the elevation is 500 feet above the Dead Sea, and from Mount Hor south it slopes the other way. It has been reasonably conjectured that originally the Jordan River entered into this lower sea, and this ravine is nothing but a continuation of the valley of the Jordan. But it is now filled up, so that it is far above the Dead Sea.


Now let us get all the wildernesses in our minds. From the end of that wall is a narrow strip along the beach of the Red Sea, the way Moses came down. It is called "The Wilderness of Sin," the upper part, the "Wilderness of Etham." Near the upper part of the arm of the Red Sea is the "Wilderness of Zin." So there are five of these wildernesses, via.: Sin, Zin, Etham, Shur, and Paran.


Notice the mountain ranges. Moses passed between a mountain range and the sea, coming down by a beach. In the lower part, the mountains get very high, and it is called the Sinaitic Peninsula. Near Mount Sinai is a level plain about 2,200 yards long, upon which the children of Israel camped. The mountain rises precipitously out of the plain so that one can step right up to it and touch it. It rises to an immense height, and looking down from the top one could see the tents of the Israelites spread out like snowflakes. You ought to familiarize yourself with the Sinaitic Peninsula before Moses got there, its mountains, deserts, and inhabitants; the Amalekites lived there. Moses fought a battle with them before he reached Mount Sinai, and two others before he reached Kadesh-barnea. They were the ancient Canaanitish people and the bitter foes of the Israelites, and were doomed by the curse of Moses to utter extinction. Still they were not destroyed until the time of Saul and David.


Look at this valley, the Arabah. In the east are a mountain range and Mount Seir. Seir was the father of the Horitee, or "cave-dwellers." Today are marvelous caves in that section hollowed out from a time beyond the memory of man. These Horites were overcome by the descendants of Esau, and then Esau occupied that country. Hence all this country is called Edom, clear to where it touches Moab. You will find many references to Edom; it means "red." The mountains were of red granite. The descendants of Esau were unfriendly to the descendants of Jacob and refused to allow them to pass through their country to the Promised Land. So they had to go south and cross the desert. That place Kadesh-barnea, of which so much is said in Exodus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, was their last stopping place before they reached the borders of the Promised Land. When they returned to Kadesh-barnea they had wandered thirty-eight years. There is a book on Kadesh-barnea, by H. Clay Trumbull, in which he tells where the true Kadesh-barnea is; the commentaries had previously put it in an entirely different place. Dr. Sampey, of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, was so much impressed with the book that when he went to the Holy Land he went to Kadesh-barnea, and he says that the place is Just as represented in Trumbull's book. All of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, except Just a little, takes place in that country. The Israelites stopped at Mount Sinai, having reached it in two months. They received the Law, built the tabernacle and the Levitical order of worship was prescribed. Mount Sinai has much to do with the history of the people. Stanley's Jewish Church, in three volumes, is very fine on the Sinaitic history and peninsula. So, study it with Kadesh-barnea. Exodus commences in the land of Goshen. Moses, the author of the Pentateuch, lived not so very long after the time of Job. I believe that Moses wrote the book of Job. When he fled into the wilderness he touched the Job country.

 

QUESTIONS


1. What countries have to do with Exodus?


2. Give a balloon view of Egypt.


3. How large, how much habitable, and how much arable?


4. What is the lower part of Egypt called and why?


5. What of its fertility and why?


6. Where did the children of Israel settle?


7. What were the capitals and where?


8. Who first settled Egypt and when?


9. With what part does ancient history have to do?


10 What were the boundaries of Egypt?


11. Where is the Blue Nile? The White Nile?


12. What modern improvement in this section?


13. What was the Cecil Rhodes project?


14. What was the first important event in this ancient history?


15. What was the date of pyramid building?


16. What was the purpose of these buildings and the evidence?


17. How do they rank with the other buildings of the world?


18. What is meant by "oriented" as referring to the Pyramid of Cheops?


19. What singular thing indicates their acquaintance with astronomy?


20. How were these pyramids built?


21. What other wonder of the world are near these pyramids?


22. Who built these pyramids?


23. What was our means of information of this time?


24. What of the antiquity of Egypt and its civilization?


25. How did they utilize the surplus water from the overflow of the Nile?


26. What science did they develop above others of their day?


27. What book on the knowledge of the Egyptians commended?


28. What of the character of the country now?


29. What was its greatest extent?


30. What book of the Bible tells us much of the manners and customs of the Egyptians?


31. Why did not Moses go the short way to the Holy Land?


32. What the nature of the Sinaitic plain?


33. What is the Arabah?


34. How many and what wildernesses in this peninsula?


35. Who were the inhabitants here and when destroyed?


36. Who were the Horites and who overcame them?


37. What was the attitude of the descendants of Esau toward Israel and why?


38. What book on Kadesh-bamea commended?


39. What one on the Sinatic history and peninsula?


40. Where does Exodus begin?


41. What patriarch was almost contemporary with Moses?


42. Where did Moses go when he fled from Egypt?

 

 

II

 

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INTRODUCTORY STUDIES: MATERIAL FOR A HISTORY OF MOSES



We come now to consider the material for the history of Moses, the author of the Pentateuch. We have studied Genesis, but we did not come to the times of Moses himself as we do now.


The first question is: Where shall the student find the material for making up the life of Moses? The first main answer is, the biblical material. That is all that is very reliable. Second, Jewish writings, not biblical, e. g., Josephus, Philo, and others. Very little from Philo is authentic, and many of the things by Josephus are conjectures. Third, books on Moses. We will mention only four: Moses, His Life and Times, by Rawlinson. Any student is able to buy this book. The second volume of Edersheim's Bible History, written by a truly evangelical man, one of the greatest of the English scholars, a member of the Church of England. It contains less poison than almost any other book on the Old Testament that you can buy. Every preacher ought to have it. With less favor, I mention Volume I of Stanley's Jewish Church, which touches on the life of Moses. Volume II of Geikie's "Hours with the Bible" I commend with less favor than Stanley. Study those four books besides the commentaries; they are all in any large library. If you study just one of them, it will be of immense help to you. If I were studying this as a student for the first time, without any very broad general information, I would avoid reading too many books. We must consider the Bible as the chief material and the only truly reliable source. All of the biblical materials, except a few points, can be found in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, and Acts 7, where the address of Stephen throws some very important additional light on the life of Moses; also Hebrews 11:23, comniencing: "By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months by his parents." This gives us the great mass of the biblical material. Psalm 90, by superscription and internal evidence, is declared to be a psalm of Moses. There are many references to Moses in the psalms. All through the Old Testament many additional items are to be found. One of our important questions will be: Where is the last historical reference to the ark that Moses constructed? We learn from Samuel that the ark was carried into the Holy Land by Joshua, captured by the Philistines and brought disaster on them. In David's time it was brought to Jerusalem. When Solomon built the Temple the same ark was found and opened and we are told what was in it. What became of the tabernacle that enclosed the ark? When the ark was taken out of the tabernacle the tent still remained and worship was still conducted there. There is no more reference to its existence after the building of the Temple. What became of the tables of stone on which Moses wrote the Commandments? The last reference is in I Kings, viz.: that they were found in the ark when it was opened. I do not know what became of them. What became of that brazen serpent that Moses made? We learn from 2 Kings that in the time of Hezekiah the people commenced to worship that brazen serpent; that Hezekiah broke it into pieces, saying, "It is only a piece of brass." These are additional items concerning the things that Moses made.


We learn in Exodus that Moses had two sons, Gershom and Eliezer. What became of the descendants of Moses? In Judges 28:30-31, according to the Septuagint, which is conceded to be the true rendering, we find that Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Moses, went with the Danites when they left the place assigned to them by the Almighty and conquered a place in the northern part of the Holy Land, and there lived with them and became a priest of their idolatrous worship. We are always sad when the grandson of a great religious character goes over to the enemy. It has always made me very sad that the daughter of Gustavus Adolphus, the hero of the Protestants in the Thirty Years' War, was captured by the Catholics and trained to be a Catholic, though her father had devoted his life and the power of his nation to throwing off the yoke of Roman Catholicism. We learn in the book of Chronicles that other grandsons of Moses were appointed in the service of the tabernacle and one of them was made the treasurer. So only one grandson went astray.


In the New Testament we strike new light again, entirely apart from Acts 7 and Hebrews II. In Matthew 17, and corresponding passages in Mark and Luke, Moses himself cornea on the scene with Elijah and Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, and talks with Jesus concerning his death which soon was to take place at Jerusalem. P. C. Headley, who can hardly be called a historian, rather a great rhetorician, scrapes the star dust when he comes to consider Moses on the Mount of Transfiguration. Metaphorically he claps his hands and cries, "At last Moses is in the Promised Land." That is a very valuable item of history. In 2 Timothy 3:8, we get the very names of the Egyptian priests who withstood Moses in the conflict described in Exodus: "And even as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses." In 2 Corinthians 3 additional light is given on the shining of the face of Moses from Mount Sinai, and the reason that induced him to put his veil over his face. In the book of Jude we strike an item entirely new, not recorded anywhere in the Old Testament. When Moses died, and God buried him, and no man knew the place of his sepulcher, it says that the devil tried to get possession of his body, and that Michael, the archangel, came down and saved the body of Moses from the grasp of the devil. In Revelation 25:2-3, we find something that has not yet taken place, but which will take place: "And T saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire." That refers to the pillar of fire shining upon the water at the Red Sea. "And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb." That shows that the song that Moses wrote on the deliverance of the Israelites became not only a memorial poem on earth, but was transferred to the hymnbooks of heaven, and will be one of the songs of the redeemed when we get to glory. What a high honor that a man here on earth should compose one of the hymns we will sing when we get to heaven!


Moses wrote the Pentateuch, the original of which was placed in the ark of the covenant. How long did that original last and what became of it? If we turn to 2 Kings we find that before the day of Josiah a mandate had gone forth to destroy all the Old Testament records so that the people would be left without a book of religion. In looking over the rubbish a man found the book of Moses, and it became the basis of a great reformation. We learn that when the exiles returned from their Babylonian captivity Ezra brought back with him a copy of this book of Moses, and that he was a learned scribe in it.


When I was a young preacher I determined to study the lives of four persons as I never studied and never expect to study any other subjects, viz.: (1) The life of Abraham; and I have read practically everything that was ever written in the English language about him. (2) Moses, and I have studied critically every passage in the Bible in the light of the best commentaries. Horace Rowe, who afterward became a Baptist preacher, once said, after hearing me preach a series of sermons on Moses, "I may be ignorant of many things about my own father, about Sam Houston, and even about myself, but I sure do know about Moses." (3) I studied the life of our Lord, Gospel by Gospel, and then harmonically. (4) Paul – and I have been studying him about forty years. You may rest assured that gathering up the historic or traditional material that bears upon the life of a man who has left his impress not only on time as Moses did, but, as I have told you, furnished part of the literature of heaven, is a great occupation for the mind.


Having looked at the sources of the material, we want to get before our minds certain questions: What was the religious condition of the Israelites in the time of Moses? Rawlinson says that they had no new revelations from God, but they could look back to the revelations that had been made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. I think I could prove that a revelation had been made to Moses (but he made the mistake of supposing that the people would understand what he knew), viz.: the fact that they were to be delivered by him, the deliverance itself though all believed in from the past prophecies. Their religion certainly had the following things all the time in Egypt: They kept up the rite of circumcision, which is proved from Exodus and Joshua. If they circumcised their children, which was a religious rite and obligation, there is light enough to believe that they still were religious. They kept up the offering of sacrifices; for one of the requests made of Pharaoh was that they might be allowed to go three days' journey to offer sacrifices, according to their laws. Another thing they had was the sabbath; for it is found in Exodus in the marching out of Egypt that they were commanded to gather twice as much manna for the sabbath as they did for any other day; and when the Ten Commandments were given, "Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy," is recorded. But there is a still stronger eivdence found in the naming of their children. Hebrew names all had a meaning. They might miss the mark, but the names represent some faith of their own hearts. Still more important is the testimony which cannot be overlooked (unless you deny the Bible, and therefore I am not inclined to agree with commentators and most writers that the Israelites in Egypt had little spiritual light), viz.: By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months by his parents, because they saw he was a goodly child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment. The king's commandment was that every male child should be put to death. They had faith, based on the religious life of the past; but how did Moses get his faith? "By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter." All these passages seem to me to everlastingly refute those conjectures made by commentators, based upon mere silence. You cannot build a house on silence. I imagine that the faith of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph kept up in its purity in many warm Hebrew hearts throughout all the years in Egypt; and I feel sure that God had revealed, either to Moses himself or to the parents of Moses, that he was the particular person to deliver that people. When Moses commenced to speak to them he did not talk as though it were a new thing. He refers to the past and appeals to what he knows to be their faith.


We may now contrast the religion of the Israelites in Egypt with the religion of the Egyptians themselves. In order to understand the religion of the Egyptians we must consider that the Hyksos, or shepherd kings, descendants of Shem, took possession of and held Egypt a long time. My own opinion coincides with the opinion expressed by Rawlinson that the "king who knew not Joseph" and threw the Israelites into bondage was the one who overpowered the shepherd kings who had received the Israelites. The most cultivated Egyptians believed in one God, but they taught the manifestation of that God under various forms of polytheism, and most of the people stopped with idolatry. The ancient Egyptians formulated a belief in immortality, and their -Book of the Dead is one of the most remarkable books upon the future life in all ancient literature. Under the forms of God, they worshiped the Nile, crocodiles, beetles, cats, and many other animals. I spent three wonderful nights (snow was fourteen inches deep) in a tent while in the army, studying Tom Moore's Epicurean, giving the initiation of an Athenian youth into the mysteries of the Egyptian religion.


Now I will tell you about their schools and literature. At Heliopolis was a university. Rawlinson says it stood for what Oxford in England stands today. Their writing consisted of hieroglyphic pictures. Much of this writing may be seen. now. There was another kind of writing by symbols. For instance, a circle was used to signify a certain thing. I tell you these things that you may understand that passage in Acts which says: "Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians." He went to their schools and passed through their athletic education. They played ball – not football, for even the girls played. They confined it mainly to throwing the ball. The Egyptian boy had his body trained in their gymnasiums. They had music, poetry, and arithmetic. You will know that Moses must have studied somewhere when you read his matchless poetry. When we say that Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, we mean as a member of the royal family he received the highest education in the most civilized nation in the then known world. The Egyptians invented our figures, the Arabic notation. Nobody could have built those pyramids, canals and reservoirs who had not been educated. But one has to be an expert in that pictorial writing to distinguish between a hawk and a goose.

 

QUESTIONS


1. Where may the student find the material for the history of Moses?


2. What of the biblical?


3. The Jewish?


4. The non-Jewish?


5. What psalm did he write?


6. Where is the last reference to the ark of the covenant?


7. What became of the tabernacle?


8. Of the tables of stone?


9. Of the brazen serpent?


10. How many sons had Moses and what were their names?


11. What became of the descendants of Moses?


12. What example of this in profane history?


13. What were the names of the Egyptian priests who withstood Moses? The proof?


14. What new light from Jude?


15. What signal honor was conferred upon Moses by Jehovah?


16. Of what books is he the author?


17. What four biblical characters are worthy of a lifetime study?


18. What was the religious condition of the Israelites in the time of Moses?


19. Did they receive any revelation between the death of Joseph and the return of Moses from the burning bush? If so, what?


20. What were the evidences of their religious conditions in Egypt?


21. What of the religion of the Egyptians?


22. What of their literature?


23. Where was its seat?


24. What is meant by the statement that "Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians"?

 

 

III

 

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A REVIEW AND A PROLOGUE Exodus 1:1-14

 


It now becomes necessary to refer, though briefly, to some matters behind us. First, this book not only commences with the conjunction, "and," showing direct connection with the preceding book, of which it is a continuation, but also its prologue, the first six verses, rehearses the closing part of Genesis as an introduction. Moreover, throughout the book, there are so many back references to Genesis that one unfamiliar with Genesis can never understand Exodus.


We find in Genesis the following race trials: The first was the race trial in Adam, under a covenant of works, which culminated in his fall, the fall of the race with him and his expulsion from the garden of Eden. The second race trial was the establishment of the throne of grace, where God dwelt between the Cherubim on the east of the garden of Eden, as a Shekinah, or flame of fire, to keep open the way to the tree of life. This was a covenant of grace. Here, under this second trial, Adam and his descendants must approach God through faith in an atoning sacrifice. It is true that this sacrifice was only typical. This trial culminated at the flood with the race destruction. The third race trial was on the new earth under Noah, under a more enlarged covenant than the covenant with Adam. Still, however, the method of approach to God was by sacrifice and through faith in that atoning sacrifice. This trial culminated in the great sin at Babel, the confusion of tongues and the dispersion of the nations. From that time on our history does not deal with mankind at large, but the fourth trial commences at the call of Abraham; that in his descendants as a nation God might have a peculiar people, isolated from others, sanctified to him, becoming the depository of his revelations, and through that nation to reach all the nations of the earth. This is the fourth trial which was national.


But this trial was not consummated in Genesis; only its preparatory states. Abraham and his family, so far as Genegig goes, had not yet become a nation. It is to Exodus we must look to find the chosen line becoming a nation. So from Exodus on, until I give you notice, we are under the fourth trial. It is in the book of Exodus you must find the fulfillment in a great part of the prophecies and promises made to or through Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. These preliminary observations show how necessary an understanding of Exodus is. Indeed, the whole book of the Pentateuch was formerly just one book, and the division into volumes, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, is really artificial.


The second thing is that two preliminary introductory chapters have been given; the first, devoted mainly to the geography, archeology and history of Egypt, and the Sinaitic Peninsula. As Egypt, and the desert lying between Egypt and the Holy Land, is the arena upon which all the events in the book of Exodus are performed, it is necessary to get clearly before us something of the geography, archeology, and history of those sections of country. On the map can be seen the sections of the country, the rivers, the deserts, the mountains, and the character of the country. Each reader should provide himself with Huribut's Bible Atlas.


Now, our last chapter was devoted mainly to a consideration of the materials, or the sources of information necessary to a history of the life of Moses. These sources are found to be: first, biblical – the Old and New Testaments; second, Jewish, but not biblical; third, non-Jewish historians, myths, and legends. In that chapter there was particularly pointed out what parts of the Bible contributed material to the history of Moses. For instance, Psalm 90 – a psalm written by Moses; and in the New Testament are some valuable contributions to the life of Moses: Acts 7; Hebrews II, the 11 sage in the letter to Timothy; one in the book of Revelation, and one in Jude, all of which are fully cited.


Chapter 2 was devoted partly to an examination of the religious light possessed by the Israelites in Egypt and their religious status under that light, up to the call of Moses recorded in Exodus 3. Then, by way of contrast, I considered the civilization of Egypt; noted its religion, its system of agriculture, its schools, arts, sciences, and government. The chapter closed with a commendation of some books on Exodus, the safest, most needed, most valuable, and withal, best suited to beginners in the study of Exodus. For the most part one who has only a knowledge of the English language is little prepared for a more extended bibliography. I will repeat the list of books:


Dr. Sampey's Syllabus for Old Testament Study. In that syllabus you will find an outline of the book of Exodus that is about as good as anybody can give. And all along through the Old Testament you will find the chronological chart at the end of the book of very great value.


Hurlbut's Bible Atlas.


Then I want each reader to have in compact form and according to a reliable author, a history of the Old Testament, and the book that I specially commended was "Edersheim's History of the Bible," a history of Israel and Judah. The second volume of that history is the one that treats particularly of the book of Exodus.


The next book that I commended was Rawlinson's Moses, His Life and Times. Rawlinson is a very great scholar, one of the best that we have; and his book, a little book prepared with a great deal of care, were I a student, I would buy. I would always read that part of it which touches the lesson. The fifth book is Dr. Wilkinson's Epic of Moses. The Epic of Moses and the Epic of Paul are the best interpretative books in the way of epics in all literature. Milton's Paradise Lost won't begin to compare with Dr. Wilkinson's books in the safeness of the interpretative spirit. Very seldom, 80 far as I am able to judge, does he ever get away from the right construction and meaning to be put on an event. There are intruded into the book, for filling in, of course, some characters that are not Bible characters, but all of these are interpretative.


Kadesh-barnea, by H. Clay Trumbull, was also commended. The books usually commended are Robinson's Researches in the Holy Land, and Thomson's The Land and the Book. But these books are of a long time ago. Kadesh-barnea touches the books of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. It is the book of the pilgrimage in the wilderness, from the going out of the people until they entered into the Holy Land.


The seventh book is Philo's Life of Moses. That part of Josephus which covers the book of Exodus you should read, though I want to caution you that when Josephus gets outside of what the Bible says, what he says is to be received with a great deal of caution. He and Philo put in a great deal about Moses that the Bible does not give at all; all of it is based on some tradition; some of it is very wild; other things are probable.


There are two other books which I commend to you with much reservation: Stanley's Jewish Church, Vol. 1; and Geikie's "Hours with the Bible," Vol. II, both of which touch Exodus. These are both great writers, but in many respects unsafe. It does not hurt me to read them. I get great benefit from them, but one who has not studied the ground which they cover, can be misled either by Stanley or Geikie. Hence the commendation of these two books is with reservation.


Now, there is a set of books to which I wish to call attention. I never call attention to a book that I have not examined. Dr. Hengstenberg, a German author, who pleases Die better than all the rest put together, has a series of volumes on "Christology of the Old Testament." In the first of that "Christology" is an article on the Angel of the Lord, aa he is set forth in Genesis, Exodus, etc. That is a very valuable contribution. Then he has another book, The History of the Kingdom of God in the Old Testament. The first of that where it touches Exodus is very fine. He has a third book called Egypt and Moses, which is devoted mainly to rebutting the attacks of the higher critics.


The book of Exodus, and the ground covered by it, has been the theme of fiction, and I call attention to a book – Tom Moore's Epicurean, – as throwing light upon the mysteries of the Egyptian priesthood and religion. I called attention to two or three of the Ebers' books, bearing on this question. Another book of fiction which people like to read very much, though it is what Dr. Broadus would call "a third-class novel" as to its reliability, is the Pillar of Fire, by J. H. Ingraham. Nearly all of the young people like to read that book without stopping to reflect that the author committed suicide. He was an Episcopal clergyman. There is a modern book of very considerable value called Lex Mosaica, the Mosaic law. The first article in it is devoted to a consideration of this question: The literary activities in the time of Moses. Some of the higher critics have said that in the time of Moses there was no such thing as literature, and therefore it was impossible for any man in his time to have written the Pentateuch. That article "knocks the bottom out of" that contention. It shows there were schools and universities just as we have now. Moses himself was educated in a university at Heliopolis, and they not only had a system of writing, but many systems of writing. They even had alphabetical writing. The fact is that we get our alphabet from the Egyptians rather than from the Phenicians. The Arabians had schools and books of learning; the Babylonians more than any other had them. The land of Canaan was full of literature. One of the cities captured by Joshua was a book city, a city of books and public libraries. Archeological discoveries have gently brought to light whole libraries in which correspondQgg on love matters and business matters of that day are brought to light, showing the absurdity of trying to assert that there were no literary attainments in the days of Moses that would justify the statement that he was the author of the Pentateuch. The first article in the Lex Mosaica is very valuable on the subject.


In the January, 1907, issue of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Magazine is an article by Dr. Ashmore on "The Kingship of Jehovah." Try to get a copy of that publication and hold on to it. When I get to Exodus 20 I want to dig under the foundations of some of the statements by Dr. Ashmore in that article. Although it is a very fine article I am sure that its value is to be discounted in some of his positions. There is another magazine which, if the reader had access to, I would insist that he secure it. I do not remember the name and issue of the magazine, but the article is by Dr. A. G. Dayton, author of "Theodosia Earnest." In considering the politics and religion of Egypt this article bears directly upon the question of modern spiritualism. Probably the article is in the Southwestern Review or it may be in a magazine that J. R. Graves started. That man could not write without throwing light on a subject. So much for the books.


While we were in Genesis I called attention to a question of chronology. It comes in the twelfth chapter, but I will give you the references now, and you can study them: Genesis 15:13; Exodus 12:40-41; Acts 7:6; Galatians 3:17. The Genesis passage is in the prophecy made to Abraham that his people should be afflicted 400 years, a prophecy which distinctly tells that they should be led away into another nation to be subject to them, and that God would deliver them and bring them out. It is the great declaration that kept hope alive in the hearts of those people all the time they were in exile. Joseph refers to it in the last chapter of Genesis when he said: "God will certainly visit you and bring you out of this land." The point of chronology is that this seems to put the stay in Egypt at 430 years. The Exodus 12 declares that at the very day God said their time in Egypt should end it did end, and gives the number as 430 years. But in the Greek Septuagint, and in the Samaritan Pentateuch, Exodus 12, reads differently. It gives the 430 years, but it includes in the 430 years in this text all the sojourners, including Abraham, commencing with the call of Abraham to the Exodus, in order to get the 430 years. In Acts 7, Stephen, speaking of it, refers to this 400 years of Genesis 15:13. In Galatians 3, Paul evidently does not think that they were in Egypt 430 years, but he makes the law, delivered on Mount Sinai just a few months after they left Egypt, just 430 years after the call of Abraham. Now, here is one of my examination questions: How long were the children of Israel in Egypt? My own opinion is that they were in Egypt 210 years, and that the sojourning covers the whole time, as Paul gives it, from the call of Abraham to the giving of the Law, 430 years. Ussher, in his chronology, which you find in the margin of the King James Version, adopts this view. Dr. Sampey adopts it in his chronology.


While the chronology of the Old Testament is always difficult, yet Genesis 15:13; Exodus 12:40-41; Acts 7-6; Galatians 3:17 may be harmonized thus:


(1) Galatians 3:17 reckoning from the grace promise, "In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed (Gen. 12:3)" to the giving of the Law at Sinai, fixes the time at 430 years.


(2) Exodus 12:40-41 may be rendered, according to some versions: "The sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was 430 years." The sojourning of Exodus 12 coincides in its commencement with Paul's promise (see Gen. 12:1-3), and terminates with the departure from Egypt. As the Law was given about two months after the departure these two periods of 430 years are practically the same.


(3) The emphasis of Genesis 15:13 is on the afflictions of Abraham's seed while sojourning, which commencing with the persecution of Isaac by Hagar and Ishmael extended to the departure from Egypt, a period of 400 years.


(4) Stephen, in Acts 7:6 merely quotes the Septuagint Version of Genesis 15:13.


(5) This harmony would make the stay in Egypt 210 years and it is generally, though not exclusively, accepted.


Another examination question will be this: There were seventy odd of these people – not including their servants, which might have made them three thousand – when they went into Egypt. When they entered Egypt their occupation was pastoral. They were nomads – people that lived under tents and changed their stopping place as pasturage and water demanded. Now give me proof from the book of Exodus that the people had changed largely from a pastoral people to agriculturalists and artisans. The evidences on the subject can be found in the following scriptures: Exodus 3:10-22, which shows that the Israelites in Egypt lived in houses. The same thing is clearly brought out in 11:1-3; 12:7. Here are some important passages to show that the greater part of them had become agriculturalists: Numbers 11:5; 20:5; Deuteronomy 11:10. Now here are some scriptures that show that numbers of them had become architects and manufacturers: Exodus 1:14, and many others. It is very important for the reader to fix in his mind that great change which had come over these people from the nomadic, or pastoral life, to the agricultural life. Egypt was an agricultural land. True, there were only about five thousand square miles of the whole territory that could be tilled, but as it was tilled under irrigation, a small plot could support a great many people. It was the highest form of agriculture, and these people served in the fields. In some of these passages it says that they would run along and open trenches with their feet for the water to run from the big irrigation canal. Then, how did Aaron know how to take metal and put it into a furnace and mold a calf? How did they know how to construct a tabernacle, and many things necessary to its equipment? A great change must have come over this people.


Now, I commence the book of Exodus. The first thing in your book is the Prologue, which simply rehearses the closing part of Genesis, as v. 7 says: "And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them." Here was a most marvelous fecundity, or reproduction of the race. When we go to lead these people out there will be 600,000, from twenty years old and upward, without counting the women and children, besides the mixed population. You will see a multitude go out of that country, at least 3,000,000 in number, including the mixed population and their servants. Their male servants were circumcised, and became thereby constituent members of the Jewish economy. Exodus goes on to tell us that it was utterly impossible to keep these people from multiplying; and when the call of Moses takes place it takes place under the marvelous symbol of a bush that was all the time burning, and never consumed. These people might be afflicted, and effort might be made to stop the increase of the population, but all the powers of affliction did not destroy the bush; they kept on growing. This was under the blessing of God.


The next verse says: "Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph." When Abraham entered Egypt and particularly when Joseph and these Israelites entered Egypt, the rulers were (what is called in history) the Hyksos, or shepherd kings. They were of the Semitic blood; they were really kind and good to the Israelites. And they were monotheists. They knew about the pastoral life. These kings that came from Syria and the Holy Land, and other places, and took possession of Egypt, driving out the native population, or rather obtaining the rule over the native population, were there several hundred years. That made it very opportune for these people to go into Egypt in order to be nourished, but just before the Exodus, soon after the death of Joseph, the native Egyptians expelled the Hyksos kings and re-established the old rule all over Egypt. It was quite natural that when they drove out these shepherds that had held their country they would hold in mind no longer Joseph, who was a prime minister under the Hyksos kings, as the former kings had done. So they did not cherish the same kindly feeling toward the descendants of Jacob as the former kings had done. That part of Egyptian history every student ought to be familiar with, as it explains how this new king knew not Joseph.


Now, from 1:9, we have what is called a great state problem. Don't you make any mistake – it was a problem. Always in history there has been a problem when there has been an imperium in imperio, a nation within a nation, a people within a people, differing in customs and feelings. What are you going to do with them when they are side by side, like the Moorish population in Spain? A fair illustration is the Negro population in the South. We find that to be a real problem, too. Here we have 10,000,000 Negroes and most of them in the South, a different race of people; it is a hazardous situation. Now the new kings of Egypt found that great problem; a great population that looked like it was going to be greater than the Egyptian population. The Egyptians did not multiply. Notice what the king said, "Behold, the people of Israel are more and mightier than we; come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it come to pass that, when there falleth out any war, they join themselves also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and get them up out of the land." He did not want to lose all that population, and yet he did not know what to do with that problem. So he called his council together and considered what should be done. A nation is always in danger when it comes to deal with a people inside of its own boundaries that are not homogeneous. That is the greatest problem England has today in dealing with Ireland. They do not assimilate. Scotland did assimilate. The English and Irish differ in religion and in everything. They are really different in racial origin, one Celtic and other Teutonic.


Let us see what measures this king adopted: (1) He enslaved them. Heretofore they had not been slaves. You notice the position they occupied in Goshen on one of the mouths of the Nile that was nearest to the Holy Land, where the great Hittite and Philistine nations were. Really, just at the time there had been great wars between the Hittite nation and the Egyptians, and if the Hittites were to invade Egypt like the Hyksos they would first strike Goshen where they would find a large population, almost as large as the Egyptians, and they might join hands, and it would then be only a few hours' march to the greatest cities of Egypt. So the king determined to make slaves out of them.


"Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh storecities, Pithom and Rameses." The pyramids were already built, and had been built before Abraham, but they built these treasure cities. If you were to go there today you would find the foundation of that great city of Rameses, built of sundried brick like the adobe houses of Mexico, of mixed mortar and straw. All the land in Egypt belonged to the king, from the time of Joseph. The people held the land as tenants of the king, and these treasure cities were built to hold his revenue.

 

QUESTIONS


1. What evidence of the direct connection with Genesis?


2. What race trials in Genesis?


3. What trial in Exodus?


4. Name the books commended on Exodus.


5. What works of fiction mentioned?


6. What evidence of the literary activity in the time of Moses?


7. Briefly, how do you clear the chronological difficulty of Genesis 16:13; Exodus 12:40-41; Acts 7:6; Galatians 3:17?


8. Give proof from the book of Exodus that the people had changed largely from pastoral people to agriculturists and artisans


9. Give evidence that Israel increased rapidly in Egypt and ho
7 was their endurance symbolized?


10. Explain bow the new king knew not Joseph.


11. What great state problem did the new king find?


12. What two modern illustrations of this problem?


13. What policy did the king adopt?


14. Did it succeed and why?


15. What is meant by the treasure cities that the Israelites built for the Egyptians?

 

 

IV

 

(Return to Contents)

 

BIRTH AND PREPARATION OF MOSES Exodus 1:15 to 2:22

 


We come now to a resumption of our study of the book of Exodus. The last chapter closed while we were considering that great state problem: What the dominant people of a nation should do with an entirely distinct people in their boundaries is always a critical question to deal with, and it is always best to deal with it in righteousness.


The expedients to which Pharaoh resorted: (1) The enslavement of the people; (2) Two different methods to bring about the destruction of the male children as they were born. Both failed; they continued to multiply.


Now we come to the greatest man (his impress on the world is ineffaceable) – the greatest man unless, perhaps, we except Abraham, in Jewish history, Moses, a marvelous man. We ought very carefully to study this man's life, which is divided into three periods of forty years each, exactly: (1) From his birth up to forty years of age, when he made his great decision that he would not be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, including his birth, early life, education, and his deeds while he was a part of the court of Pharaoh; (2) The period of retirement, forty years in Midian; (3) The forty years extending from God's call in the burning bush until his death. In that last period comes most of the book of Exodus, all of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, Psalm 90 and all the other things that he did. This is the period of his literary activity and his great deeds.


Moses was of the tribe of Levi. Exodus states it thus: "And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi." That was during the time of the law that

every male child should be cast into the river. That injunction rested upon every Egyptian and upon all Jewish parents. This last law came into effect between the birth of Aaron and the birth of Moses. This family had two children before this law went into effect, Miriam the oldest, and Aaron, who was three years older than Moses. When Moses was born three terms were used to describe the child, one in Exodus 2, one in Acts 7, and one in Hebrews II.


Exodus 2 says, "When she saw him that he was a goodly child"


Acts 7 says, "When she saw that he was exceeding fair."


Hebrews 11 says, "When she saw he was a proper child." These words describe this baby as the mother saw him. From the traditions that confirm the statements here, he was a remarkable specimen of the physical as well as the mental man. Philo and Josephus go into ecstasies. They say that when Moses as a boy walked along the street the women would come out and stand at the doors to look at him. When he grew to be a man he attracted attention, as a man of presence. There are very few men of presence who, as soon as they are seen, impress you. General Sam Houston would impress you 100 yards off. He had more presence than any other man I ever saw. I was a boy when I first saw him, but I recognized him 100 yards off. Sam Houston could not walk down the street without people coming out to look at him.


The next thing that we learn about Moses, as in Hebrews 11:25, is: "By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months by his parents, because they saw he was a goodly child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment." Here is a case of simple faith on the part of the parents of the child. They seemed to recognize that in that child was much of the future of their people. Their faith took hold of it, that God meant to do great things through that baby, and that faith was so strong that it cast out fear. The king's command was his: "Cast this child into the Nile." They hid him. When they could not hide him longer, and the king said "Cast him into the Nile," still they were not afraid. They cast him into the Nile, but took precaution to put him where he would not be injured. They constructed a little vessel of bulrushes and put him in that; and their faith did not stop at that, for they stationed their eldest child to watch. They put him right where they knew the king's daughter came down to bathe. Someone has said, "How could she dare to bathe in the Nile on account of crocodiles?" There were no crocodiles that low down in the Nile. Look at the faith of the parents of that child: that God meant great things for that child and, through him, for his people; that the king's command was not going to interfere with God's purpose; their faith taking steps for his preservation, and their steps were to induce a member of the royal family to foster the future deliverer of the nation.


The next thing is to know what opportunity the child's parents had to make a religious impression on his mind. They arranged it so that the mother of the child should nurse him. She had the boy, until he was weaned, under her exclusive control. You let a mother have faith about a child and have complete charge of him until he is weaned, and she will make a great many religious impressions upon his mind. It is not to be supposed, then, that all connection between her and the child was broken off. We do not know that Moses ever, for one moment, supposed himself to be an Egyptian, and never for one moment was he, in heart, identified with the Egyptians; so that evidently in that early period of his life, deep religious impressions were made upon his mind.


The next step was in regard to his name. Pharaoh's daughter called him "Moses," saying, "Because I drew him out of the water." An examination question will be: Give the derivation of the name of Moses. And you need not bother your mind with critical statements about some other origin of the name. The Bible says that this is the true origin; Josephus says it is; and it can be fairly deduced from the name itself.


The next statement about him is his education. Acts 7 comes in here: "And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds." Now, if you have given attention to what the education of a royal child in Egypt signified, you have some conception of the preparation in this man's life. We think it is awful to have to go to college for four years. This man's preparation extended over eighty years, for forty years' work. I repeat to you again, that only prepared men ever do great things. It is simply impossible for unprepared men to do really great things. Shakespeare says that some men have greatness thrust upon them, but he means a very short-lived greatness, one that soon vanishes. Now, this record further states that he was mighty in words and in deeds. Evidently this refers to military matters. In Egypt great men were utilized in the priesthood or in bureaucracies. The king was an autocrat; arid all things were managed by bureaus, such as the bureau of agriculture, government of provinces, etc. Or he could enter the military life. As the royal family were especially devoted to military affairs, it is very probable, as Josephus says, that Moses commanded an expedition against the Ethiopians in a great war, and won a signal triumph.


This brings the boy up to forty years. Let us see what the Scripture says about that. Acts 7: "And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren." Verse 11 says, "And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown up, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens." The question now comes up: How did it come into Moses' heart to make that visit of inspection to his brethren? The only way it could occur to him is by considering this passage in Hebrews II (which it seems to me is the most remarkable statement in the Bible): "By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to share ill-treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; accounting the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he looked unto the recompense of reward."


Now faith rests on some word of God presented: "Faith comes by hearing." What do you suppose was the word of God to Moses? We infer what it was by a statement in Acts 7, where Stephen says that when he intervened between two of the Hebrews who were quarrelling, he supposed that they would understand that God was to deliver them through him. He understood it, and supposed that they would understand. So that when he was forty years old evidently a communication was made to him from God to this effect: "You are to deliver this people Israel." Now he had faith. Therefore, he had to make a decision. He came to where the roads forked.


I remember when I first preached a sermon on this text. I was a young preacher. The town of Bryan was just being built. The railroad had just reached there. They invited me to preach, and I preached on this subject: "The Choice of Moses." I have the sermon now. It was published. I drew a picture of a man forty years old, not a child. I commenced by saying, "It is the custom of infidels to claim that religion is for weak-minded women and for children. Here was not a weak-minded person but a mature, strong man, the best educated man of his age, the brightest man whose .power was unquestioned; and this man came to the forks of the road. When he looked down the left-hand road, what could he see? (1) The position of a prince, the son of Pharaoh's daughter; (2) The pleasure of sin; (3) The treasures of that position, viz.: honor, pleasure, treasure, not his to be had by working for them, but his already, in his possession. Now, what induced him to discount that? First, these pleasures were those of sin, and these treasures were those of evil. He knew how they had been gotten by rapacious wars. So the character of the honor, the pleasure, and the treasure dispounted them. What else discounted them? 'For a season.' They are transient. The honor, the pleasure, and the treasure all had written over them: 'Passing away.' What other thought? The recompense of the reward, that is, The Outcome. Pleasure is sweet; treasure is desirable; honor is gratifying; but if these are bad in character, transitory in their nature, and the ultimate reward is evil, a wise man ought not to walk in that road."


Let us see what he saw on the other side. (1) "Choosing afflictions," (2) reproach, (3) the giving up of that which he had; renunciation, affliction, and reproach. But now what was the character of these? If he renounced this high position, it was because they were not his people; that if he chose this affliction, it was an affliction with the people of God; and if he was to bear this reproach, it was the reproach of Christ, the coming Messiah. So you see his faith, even then, rested clearly on the coming Messiah. Now the last thing is, the recompense of the reward: (1) Not for a season, but for all time; the other was transitory. There a man forty years old, learned, great, stood and looked down both these roads, first at this picture then at that; instituting a comparison that might be a basis of decision. This path commences bright and gets dark. The other commences dark, but becomes brighter. This fire bordered; that satin. But as a thinker and an intelligent man, he must press the question to its outcome. How does it end? The principle by which he made that decision was faith. He believed in God, in the promises made to his people; that he was the appointed deliverer of his people. He believed that in the end he would have higher honor, sweeter pleasure, richer treasure, and more alluring reward, if he took that right-hand road. It would be very interesting to trace the life of Moses out, to see whether he made a good choice or a bad one. His life was very much afflicted all the time he was trying to deliver his people. He had to die alone, with nobody near him; to be buried, nobody knew where. But the outcome is glorious. He is seen in consultation with Jesus Christ upon the Mount of Transfiguration. He wrote one of the hymns of heaven, which not only made him immortal on earth, but immortal throughout eternity. He wrote the Pentateuch, the basis of all good government, recognized by all of the leading nations of the world as the very foundation of jurisprudence. So that in literature the way he decided was well. In personal reward he did well.


I shall never forget the first sermon I ever heard Major Penn preach. He was then holding a protracted meeting, and a big crowd was out. That old First Church down there in Waco was brimful. He got up and said:


"What is the first thing? The first thing is decision. Now if you are incapable of making a decision, the sexton will open the door and let you out. You need not stay here. But if you have stamina enough in you to reach a decision, a conclusion, when a matter is fairly presented to you, I would like for you to come up and take a front seat, and let me tell you what I want you to decide on. I want you, without any singing or any sermon, just simply on the point, that if a matter is presented to you that you will decide one way or the other, to come up and take a front seat. Are you afraid to come? Are you afraid to pledge yourselves to a decision? If you just simply want to hear me talk and not decide, and do nothing, the sexton will let you out and you can go home. But if you will engage to listen fairly to what I have to say, and then, so help you God, you will decide, come up and take a front seat."


That was a great talk. It made a tremendous impression. I saw men who had never made a move in their lives just get right up and take a front seat. When he got them up there, about fifty or sixty men and women, he just stood down before them, and talked to them, and showed them the things on which they were to make a decision; and he would not let them get up and leave until they had made a decision one way or the other. Some of them were converted the first day; some as soon as they had started on that pledge that they would reach a conclusion. What is it that Shakespeare says of something that "causes all our resolutions to turn awry and lose the name of action"? What is it that Patrick Henry said when he was trying to get the House of Burgesses to come to a decision: "Shall we gain strength by irresolution and inaction?" What does anybody ever gain by such a course?


Take the first period of the life of Moses, and we find it all preparatory. God had made a revelation to him that he was to deliver the people. He believed that through that people Christ would come. He could not have made that decision without faith. Faith was the great principle that caused his parents to defy the authority of the mighty king and not to have fear of him. Faith conquers the world.


Now we come to the mistake of Moses. Bob Ingersoll talks about the mistakes of Moses, but what he calls mistakes are not mistakes. We do come to a mistake, though. It was not a mistake to turn around and say, "I deliberately, voluntarily, and forever step down and out; I refuse any longer to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; I do not belong there. That is not my crowd; I cast my lot with these afflicted people." No mistake was there. "Now, I am going to take a look at my people. I'm going to visit them and see for myself how these burdens are put on them." No mistake is there. Where, then, did Moses make a mistake? He made the kind of mistake that Rebekah and Jacob made. There was a promise of God that the elder should serve the younger; and so they concluded that they would hurry up God's purpose. And Moses sinned by not waiting for God's providence to open the way by which he was to deliver the people. He ought not to have shaken the hourglass and tried to make the sand run out faster. When he saw that taskmaster inhumanly and unjustly smiting a Hebrew, he killed him. God did not tell him that that was the way it was to be done. God said, "You must deliver my people," but he did not tell him to do it on his own judgment. He covered the Egyptian up in the sand; possessed with the same idea that when he saw two of his brethren quarrelling he just stepped up with the air of a deliverer and began to settle that case, and they refused to be settled. In other words, he came without credentials and with only his "say-so," and with no proof from God that he was to deliver the people. So they rejected him and Pharaoh sought to kill him.


Turn again to Hebrews 11:27: "By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible." Now, his going out of Egypt is not generally understood. A great many people say he was a coward and was afraid. He fled by faith, under divine promptings. It was not the fear of the king that drove him into banishment, but he seemed to understand that his preparation was not complete) and there was something he had not yet received, and all through that forty years of the second period of his life "he endured as seeing him who is invisible."


Now, let us look at that forty-years' period. He concluded to go where he would be out of the power of Pharaoh and he went to the safest place in the Sinaitic Peninsula, partly occupied by the Midianites and partly by the Amalekites; and he comes like Eliezer and Jacob came, and like everybody else in those desert countries comes, to the well. The well was a great place of meeting, just like a windmill in South Texas. There he sees some girls, as they frequently water the cattle in those countries; and some shepherds were driving them away.


Moses was a soldier and he never stopped to count. The chivalry in which he had been reared in the character of a prince, urged him forward, and he put those herdsmen to flight, and helped the girls water the cattle. That is a fair mark of esteem to young ladies, and always will be. Just let a man show that he is a man, and has a respectful and kind feeling for womanhood, the name of mother, wife and sister, and that he will not see brutal men trample on the rights, privileges and courtesies that are due to the woman, and that man is going to be popular with the women, and justly so. His very bearing announced that he was a kingly man, and according to the rapid manner in which such things are consummated, he married.


This Midianitish sheik to whom he came gave him one of his daughters, Zipporah, who was sometimes called the Ethiopian woman. Therefore, some people say that Moses married a Negress. There is not a word of truth in it. There was a "Cush" in Africa, but there was also a "Cush" in Southern Arabia, not like some who made the Midianites the descendants of Esau. If you will read Genesis 25, you will find that Midian was a descendant of Abraham, through Keturah; that the Midianites and Ishmaelites lived together. They were close akin; one, the descendants of Abraham through Keturah; the other the descendants of Abraham through Hagar. After all, that marriage of Moses was not a good marriage. That wife never sympathized with the great work that God had given him to do, and she "cut up" much when he circumcised the first child which Moses weakly allowed her to govern. So the second child was not circumcised; and it almost cost him his life, as we shall soon learn. There is not a line in the Bible which shows that that woman stood up to her husband in any godly thing which he attempted to do. But he stayed there and in that forty years he got an education of incalculable value.


The sublimity of the great mountain scenery, the solitude of those desert plains, the silent communing with God under a brilliant galaxy of stars that shine brighter there than perhaps in any other portion of the world; there he meditated; there he came in touch with the people of the book of Job. There I think he wrote that book of Job, which I think is the first book of the Bible written, suggesting the afflictions of his people unjustly being ground to powder, harmonizing with the thoughts of the book of Job, viz.: afflictions sent upon the righteous through no fault of theirs. Job was a contemporary of Moses. It was the easiest thing in the world for him to get in touch with all the history. There he studies the ways of getting through that wilderness, and a man needs a guide) even now, through that country. He learned all about the water courses, and the proper stopping places; how to endure the desert life for forty years; forty years of the greatest displays of divine power that the world has ever witnessed.


Now, in this chapter we can go no further. That forty years is ended, and we will next take up the beginning of the last forty years of the life of Moses, when God comes to him and says) "I told you at first that you were to deliver this people. The time has come. I will show you how to do it."

 

QUESTIONS

 

1. Derivation of the word "Moses"?

 

2. Give names of his tribe, parents, brother, and sister.

 

3. What oppressive Egyptian law was in force at his birth?

 

4. What three passages of Scripture describe his physical appearance at birth, and what traditions of his presence and beauty of person?

 

5. How did the faith of his parents in three distinct particulars save the child from the Egyptian law?

 

6. What opportunities had his parents to preoccupy his mind with the faith of his father, and the evidence of their success?

 

7. What of the Old Testament material for a life of Moses?

 

8. Cite the special New Testament Scriptures throwing light on his life.

 

9. Into what three equal periods was his life divided?

 

10. How much of his 120 years was devoted to preparation, compare this with the period of preparation in the case of John the Baptist, and of our Lord, and the bearing of these facts on the time, labor and cost we should devote to the preparation for our life's work?

 

11. What are the constituent elements of his education in this long preparation-? Ans. – His home training fixing character and faith; Egyptian education of a prince; service in official positions in Egypt; forty years of retirement and meditation.

 

12. In what did "learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians" consist? (Have you read Tom Moore's Epicwean?) Ans. – The Egyptian learning was very great in mathematics, mechanics, astronomy, agriculture, architecture, hieroglyphics and symbols, government, economics, sanitation, embalming, war, diplomacy etc. The priestly ritual and theology was extensive, mystical, burdensome, and most of it profitless.

 

13. How did retirement and meditation in Midian for so long & time prove helpful to his character and work in the active period of his life, and what is the great defect of modem preparation.

 

14. What New Testament apostle sought retirement, and for how long, in this very region, before commencing active work? What evidences of its helpfulness to him?

 

15. At what age did he make his great decision?

 

16. What New Testament passage indicates that a previous revelation from God as to his future work influenced this decision?

 

17. Cite precisely the New Testament statement of this choice.

 

18. According to this statement, by what principle or grace was the choice made?

 

19. Following the lecture, analyze this New Testament passage as if for a sermon outline (see also the author's sermon on "Choice of Moses").

 

20. What the literary productions of Moses and their importance, and show that, so far as literary fame is concerned, the "recompense of the reward" to which he looked was greater and more enduring than could have come from resting in the "learning of the Egyptians." Answer: (1) The Pentateuch; (2) Psalm 90; and probably the book of Job. From this psalm is a song which is, and will be sung in heaven.

 

21. Wherein did Moses make a mistake in his first effort to be a deliverer? Answer: (1) As to time; the predicted time of deliverance had not come; (2) as to method – deliverance was not to be by the sword; (3) as to readiness – on hia own part, Israel's part and Pharaoh's part.

 

22. Cite New Testament passage showing that a motive mightier than fear of Pharaoh, as set forth in Exodus 2:14-15, influenced his voluntary exile.

 

23. What were the ties of kindred between Israelites, Ishmaelites and Midianites?

 

24. Locate Midian and show its touch with the land of Job.

 

25. What are the arguments tending to prove that Moses in Midian wrote the book of Job as the first Bible book written? Answers: (1) As Midian, where Moses lived forty years, touched Job's country, as there was much intercommunication, as both were occupied by Semite population, Moses had exceptional opportunity to learn of Job. (2) All the internal evidence shows that Job lived in patriarchal times, anywhere between Abraham and Moses, and all the idioms of speech in the book show that the author lived near the times of the scenes described. No late author could have so projected his style so far back. (3) The correspondences between the Pentateuch and the book of Job are abundant and marvelous. (4) The man who wrote the song of deliverance at the Red Sea and the matchless poems at the close of Deuteronomy 32-33 is just the man to write the poetic drama of Job. (5) The problem of the book of Job, the undeserved afflictions of the righteous, was the very problem of the people of Moses. (6) The profound discussions in the book call for just such learning, wisdom, philosophy, and Oriental fire as Moses alone of his age possessed. (7) The existence and malevolence of a superhuman evil spirit (Job 1-2) alone could account for these afflictions, a being of whom Job himself might be ignorant, but well known to Moses in the power behind the magicians and idolatries of Egypt. (8) The purpose of the book to show, first, the necessity of a written revelation (Job 31:35) and, second, the necessity of a Daysman, Mediator, Redeemer (Job 9:33) to stand between God and sinful man, both point to a period when there was no written revelation and no clear understanding of the office of the Daysman in the plan of salvation, and the necessity of a manifestation of God, visible, audible, palpable and approachable (Job 3:3-9) – all indicate a period when there was no Bible, but a desire for one, revealing the Daysman and forecasting his incarnation, and make the presumption strong that Job was the first book of the Bible to be written – and such a book could find no author but Moses. (9) The book must have been written by a Jew to obtain a place in the canon of the Scriptures. All the conditions meet in Moses and in him alone of all men.

 

 

V

 

(Return to Contents)

 

MOSES AT THE BURNING BUSH Exodus 2:23 to 5:14

 


Our chapter commences with Exodus 2:23: "And it came to pass in the course of those many days, that the king of Egypt died [the king from whom Moses fled was Rameses II]; and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God saw the children of Israel, and God took knowledge of them."


I quote these concluding verses to show that one of the obstacles in the way of Moses' coming back to Egypt was removed, the death of the king that sought his life. Secondly, to show that God, seeing all the oppression perpetrated upon this race, hears their groanings; that he remembered every promise of every covenant that he ever made. How, when he saw their piteous condition and heard their prayers and groanings, he recalled the covenants that he had made with Abraham. The time was now passing rapidly and the very day was approaching that he promised to deliver them. So we have now to consider how God answers those prayers which they sent up to him. In the first place, he has to prepare an earthly deliverer, and that is Moses. Then he has to prepare the people to receive Moses. He next has to prepare Pharaoh to receive Moses. These are the three great preparations.


Our chapter has to do, first, with Moses. In certain seasons of the year the best pasturage in the Sinaitic Peninsula is to be found on the slopes of the highest mountains. So we find Moses bringing the flocks of Jethro to Mount Horeb. Horeb 18 a range like the Blue Ridge, and Sinai is a peak of that range. Sometimes the word Horeb is used, and sometimes Sinai. You will notice that this mountain is already called "the Mount of God." It had that reputation before the days of Moses. Right on the supposed spot where this burning bush appeared was afterward a convent, which is still standing, and in that convent is to be found the great Sinaitic manuscript. See how things connect with that mountain. Now in that mountain God begins to prepare Moses by appealing to his sight and to his hearing and to his heart. The sight was an acacia bush on fire and yet not consumed. This was a symbol of the children of Israel in Egypt; though in the fiery furnace of affliction, they were not destroyed. This truth is set forth in Daniel, where the three Hebrew children were thrown into the fiery furnace, and God was with them and preserved them from destruction. The burning bush is one of the most comforting symbols in all the Bible to the people of God. The thought is expressed in a great hymn: "How firm a foundation, Ye saints of the Lord!" God is always with his people, in sickness, in flood, in fire. He is with them to care for them. This sight attracted Moses, and he drew near to see why that bush did not burn up with such a large fire. Then a voice came from the bush, telling him to take his sandals off; that he was standing on holy ground, and then to draw nigh, telling him who it was talking to him; that he was the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob; that he had seen the awful oppression of the Jewish people in Egypt; that he had heard all their prayers; and now he was come down to deliver them out of all those troubles, and to give them a good country, a land flowing with milk and honey. And thus winds up v. 10: "Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt." He was to select a human deliverer: "I will send thee."


It is an interesting study, whenever God calls people to do great things, to note the varied attitudes of these people to these calls. God appeared to Isaiah in a vision and Isaiah instantly responded: "Here am 1; send me." God appeared to Jeremiah, and he said, "0 Lord God, I cannot go, I am but a little child." He appears to Moses. Just look at the objection made by Moses: "Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?" Moses takes a look at himself and sees nothing in himself competent to do that great work. We all do that way if we look at ourselves. What was God's answer to that objection? "Certainly I will be with thee." If God is with us then any objection based on our littleness of whatever kind is a poor objection. God then gives him a token which is this: that when he had brought those people out, he was to bring them right to that mountain where he was talking, where the bush was burning, right there, to worship him. God practically said, "There is a token that you can bring them out; if I am with you and you get back to this mountain with that great crowd of people assembled at the foot of it, then you will look back and say, Why did I say to God, Who am I that I should do this great deed?"


Moses raises this objection: "When I come to the children of Israel, and say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?" He is looking ahead at difficulties. "When I go back to those millions of slaves and say, The God of your fathers sent me to deliver you, they will say, What is his name? Who is the God of our fathers?" The Lord gives him an answer and takes that objection out of the way: "Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, Jehovah, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you. This is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations." Jehovah means a Covenant-God; & manifesting God; and he tells Moses what to say to them. You gather them together and tell them that Jehovah says, "I come to bring you out of Egypt and to give you a land flowing with milk and honey." And he says, "They will hearken. Then you take the elders of Israel with you and go to the king of Egypt and make this demand of him: that you may go three days' journey in the wilderness to make a sacrifice to Jehovah." Now God forewarned him, saying, "I know that Pharaoh will not give his consent," and gives him at least one explanation, viz.: "I will harden the heart of Pharaoh that he shall not let them go." In the next chapter we take up that question of hardening. There are twenty places in this connection where the hardening is mentioned; in ten Pharaoh hardens his own heart; and in the other ten God hardens it. To this you will find some references in Romans II. It is a subject we need to study: how we harden our hearts; and how God hardens them. The reason that God tells Moses that he is going to harden Pharaoh's heart is to prevent him from being disappointed. He says: "Don't be discouraged, I have a hand in it myself, and am letting you know about it beforehand. I will bring you forth, and you will say to him, that if he does not let Israel, my firstborn, go, I will take his firstborn."


Now comes the next objection of Moses: "You tell me to go, but I am nothing. You say you will go with me. When I object that the people will ask for your name you will give me the name and I will tell them what you tell me. But they will not believe, nor hearken unto my voice. They will say Jehovah hath not appeared unto me." Now Jehovah gives three signs in answer to that objection. (1) "What is this in your hand?" "A rod, a shepherd's staff." "Throw it on the ground." It became a serpent and Moses fled from it. "Take it by the tail," and it again became a rod in his hand. That is a sign. Egypt is called Rahab; that is, a serpent. Now God is going to attack Egypt on the line of the serpent. Reference to this can be found in Job, and in several of the prophecies. The first sign, then, is the converting, at pleasure, of the rod into a serpent, and of the serpent back into a rod. (2) The second sign is for the benefit of the people: "Put your hand into your bosom." It becomes white with leprosy. "Put it back into your bosom," and it becomes whole again. That means that God will heal his people. (3) Now, the third sign was: "Take a little of the water of the Nile; throw it up and it will turn to blood." That was a stroke at the gods of Egypt. These were the three signs to confirm the fact that Moses was accredited of God to the children of Israel.


Now, we will see the next objection: "Oh, Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant; for I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue" (Ex. 4:10). That meant neither that he was a stammerer, like Demosthenes, nor that he had no ready command of language, like Oliver Cromwell and John Knox, originally, and like Senator Coke when he first started out to be a public speaker. The reply to that objection is: "Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh a man dumb, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? is it not I, Jehovah? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt speak." In other words, he says, "Your being eloquent or not being eloquent has nothing to do with it. You have to deliver a message. If you had to write a composition that would charm Pharaoh so that he would let the children of Israel go, it would be a different matter." Moses replied: "Oh, Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send." It is hard to understand what Moses meant by that. It has generally been supposed to mean: "Send by anybody you please, so you let me alone." But I question whether that is the meaning.' It seems rather to have this meaning: "I have told you my incompetency, and now I will do it if you want me to, but if this business turns out badly, remember that I knew better than you did about it and I protested." That made the Lord angry. So far as we know he never was angry at Moses but twice; the next time he gets angry it will cost Moses the right to enter the Promised Land in the flesh. But God meets that objection by telling him about Aaron, the older brother. "He is eloquent and he cometh forth to meet thee." God had sent Aaron to meet him right there at that very mountain. "I will give you an eloquent man, but after a while your eloquent man may introduce a golden calf to your people."


There was another objection in the mind of Moses, though he did not state it: "I am employed by my father-in-law, having charge of his sheep, and I must close up this business before I can go into Egypt." So he goes to Jethro and states the case: that he wants to go to Egypt and look into the condition of his people to see if they are alive. But he does not tell what God said. Jethro consents. Every year of my life I strike somebody who is not ready to do the Lord's will on account of some business he can't turn loose.


There is still another objection revealed in v. 19: "All the men are dead that sought thy life." Moses has waited until God spoke to him again and reveals another objection in his mind. There is still another trouble; he starts with his wife and two children, and he has not complied with the covenant of God. He has not circumcised that last child, and God meets him by the way to slay him, and Moses knows why. His wife knows why. God puts the case before the woman this way: "You have objected to the circumcision of this child, and now if you persist in your objection you will lose your husband. He cannot go to deliver this people and be a covenant-breaker himself." So she circumcised the child. Moses then sent back Zipporah and the two children to Jethro. When he gets back to Sinai with the children of Israel, Jethro brings them back to him.


You see how in preparing that man to do a work the difficulties, had to be gotten out of the way. When he was in Egypt he knew he was to deliver the people, and in his own way rushed out to bring it about, and met with a repulse which threw him farther off than before. He comes now prepared, and Aaron meets him at Mount Sinai. These two brothers, separated for forty years, start out across that desert to Egypt to deliver millions of people from bondage. I will read what a poet, Dr. W. G. Wilkinson, in his Epic of Moses, says about that. The Epic of Moses, Part I, page 43, reads thus:


Those two wayfarers through the wilderness


Unconsciously upon their shoulders bore


The trembling weight of boundless destinies;


Not only did the future of their race .


Hang on them, but the future of the world.


From east to west, from north to south, nowhere


Within the round earth's wide horizon lived


Any least hope for rescue of mankind


Entangled sliding down a fatal slope


That ended in the open-jawed abyss


Of utter ultimate despair and death –


Nowhere, save with those Hebrew brethren twain. That on those two Jewish brethren rested the destinies of the world is a fine thought admirably expressed. Don't forget this book and its value in interpretation.


Moses and Aaron get to the place and they assemble the elders of the people. That doubtless took some little time, as they were scattered. Word was sent rapidly to the heads of the different tribes. In 6:14, the sons of Simeon and then the sons of Levi are taken up. Then from the heads of the Levites it traces down to Moses and Aaron, showing that Moses and Aaron were not the heads of the tribe of Levi. They were the descendants of one of the heads of the tribe of Levi. So they have no tribal authority over those people, but have a God-given authority. When the heads of all the tribes were assembled, they fairly state the message and naturally, questionings come up: "How do we know that God sent you? What is his name? What signs do you use?" In the presence of all the elders they give all the signs; the elders accept them and report to the people; and the people believe them.


They are now prepared to go to Pharaoh. God has prepared Moses to accept the work; he has prepared the people to accept Moses in the leadership of the work; now he must send Moses and Aaron and the elders of the people to prepare Pharoah to hear them. We will take up their interview. "And afterward Moses and Aaron came, and said unto Pharaoh, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness. And Pharaoh said, Who is Jehovah that I should hearken unto his voice to let Israel go? I know not Jehovah, and moreover I will not let Israel go. And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice unto Jehovah our God, lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword. And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, loose the people from their works? get you unto your burdens. And Pharaoh said, Behold, the people of the land are now many, and ye make them rest from their burdens."


And he commanded their taskmasters that the people should do an equal amount of work and gather the straws for themselves, and if they did not succeed their Hebrew officers were to be beaten publicly. They were beaten and they appealed unto Pharaoh, and he referred them to Moses and Aaron. They charged Moses and Aaron with having brought this extra oppression upon them. You see these people are not ready. These head men, just as soon as a little trouble came, were ready to repudiate Moses and Aaron whom they have just accepted as leaders. Moses takes the case to God in prayer; and Jehovah replies to him by telling him that he knew that Pharaoh would not let them go. Now they must go before Pharaoh and demonstrate to him that Jehovah is God, and in the next chapter we will take up this whole transaction between Moses and Pharaoh, or as Paul says, "Jannes and Jambres, the priests that withstood Moses."


Our next chapter will consider that double hardening. Let each reader look out the twenty passages that refer to the hardening – ten in which God hardens Pharoah’s heart, and ten where Pharaoh hardens his own heart. Then we will take up the ten plagues one after another.

 

QUESTIONS

 

1. Give circumstances and object of Jehovah's meeting Moses.

 

2. What of the symbolism of the burning bush?

 

3. State in order the several objections of Moses to becoming the deliverer of Israel, and Jehovah's reply thereto.

 

4. Meaning of the name: "I am that I am"?

 

5. Cite from the New Testament the words of Jesus claiming this name.

 

6. What token did Jehovah give Moses to assure him of success in delivering Israel?

 

7. What three attesting signs and their significance?

 

8. What two preachers have great sermons on "What is in thy hand?" and "Take it by the tail," and what book has the substance of both sermons? Answer: The book is Pentecost's Deliverance from Egypt, or Bible Readings on the First Twelve Chapters of Exodus.

 

9. Give and illustrate the heart of the meaning of "What is in thy hand?"

 

10. What part has eloquence in the salvation of men and distinguish between true and rhetorical eloquence of what says Paul of the latter? Answer: I Corinthians 2:1-5.

 

11. What troubles later came through the "eloquent" brother of Moses?

 

12. Why did God meet Moses on his way to deliver Israel to kill him, and explain, applying the whole incident in Exodus 4:24-26.

 

13. Where is the scripture showing that after this incident Moses sent back his wife and children to the father-in-law?

 

14. What three scriptures seem to indicate the marriage of Moses with Zipporah was unfortunate? Answer: (1) Exodus 4:24-26, shows that his wife had no sympathy for his faith; (2) Numbers 12:1-2, shows that she had no sympathy for his sister and brother, and was the occasion of their revolt; (3) Judges 18:30, according to the Hebrew text, has Moses, not Manasseh, as the grandfather of the Levite Jonathan, who served as priest for the Danite idolaters.

 

15. Numbers 12:1-2, refers to Zipporah; how do you explain her being called an "Ethiopian"? Answer: The Hebrew word rendered "Ethiopian" in the Common Version is "Cushite," and the descendants of Cush were not confined to Ethiopia in Africa. Many of them were on the Euphrates and in Arabia. Doubtless Zipporah's mother was an Arabian Cushite certainly not a Negress.

 

16. In Exodus 3:18, we have God's first message to Pharaoh, given at the bush, but give the form of the message repeated to Moses as when later he set out from Jethro's home

 

17. How does a prophet, long afterward, and the New Testament still later, use this message to prove that Israel, as a nation, was a type of our Lord? Answer: See Hosea 11:1. and Matthew 2:15.

 

18. What infidel criticisms have been offered on the morality of "spoiling the Egyptians" as commanded by Jehovah in Exodus 3:21-22 repeated in 11:1-3, and obeyed in 12:33-36? Answer: The criticisms were based on the rendering "borrow" in the Common Version of Exodus 3:21, but ASV rendering clears the difficulty. The jewels are given freely because God had given his people favor with the Egyptians that dreadful night when the firstborn were slain. In this way Israel received compensation for years of uncompensated slave labor.

 

19. What much later story has Josephus about this matter? Answer: He tells that when Alexander the Great was master of Jerusalem the Egyptians presented a claim against the Jews for these borrowed jewels, and the Jews agreed to pay the claim if the Egyptians would settle their claim in offset for the years of enforced and unpaid slave labor.

 

20. Give an account of the meeting of Moses and Aaron, and why should Aaron come to seek Moses?

 

21. What great epic of Moses commended to the class and what excellency pointed out as compared with other poems on Biblical themes?

 

22. Cite the passage in this epic on Moses and Aaron setting forth from Sinai to deliver Israel.

 

23. Tell of the meeting of Moses and Aaron with the elders of Israel and the result.

 

24. Tell of the meeting of Moses and Aaron with Pharaoh and the result.

 

 

VI

 

(Return to Contents)

 

THE TEN PLAGUES, OR THE GREAT DUEL Exodus 5:18 to 13:36

 


The present chapter will be upon the great duel (as Dr. Sampey is pleased to call it) between Moses and Pharaoh, or in other words, the ten plagues. I have mapped out, as usual, some important questions.


What is the scope of the lesson? From Exodus 5:15, to 12: 37. What is the theme of the lesson? The ten plagues, or God's answer to Pharaoh's question: "Who is the Lord?" What is the central text? Exodus 12:12: "Against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment." What was the purpose of these plagues? Generally, as expressed in Exodus 9: 16: "That my name may be declared throughout all the earth," i.e., to show that Jehovah was the one and only God. The second object was to show to Israel that Jehovah was a covenant keeping God. The first object touched outsiders. As it touched Moses it was to show that God would fully accredit him as the leader. How was Moses accredited? By the power to work miracles. Let the reader understand, if you never knew it before, that Moses is the first man mentioned in the Bible who worked a miracle, though God had worked some miracles directly before this. But Moses was God's first agent to work miracles, duly commissioned to bear a message to other men.


On the general subject of miracles, I wish to offer the remark, that there are three great groups of miracles, viz.: The Plagues of Egypt, the miracles wrought by Elijah and Elisha, and the miracles wrought by Christ and the apostles. And from the time of Moses, every now and then to the time of Christ, some prophet was enabled to work a miracle. These are the groups. But what is a miracle? When we come to the New Testament we find four words employed, all expressed in Greek. One word expresses the effect of the miracle on the beholder, a "wonder." Another expresses the purpose, a "sign." Another expresses the energy, or "power," while still another expresses the "work"', i.e., "wonders, signs, powers, works."


As we have come to miracles for the first time, it would be a good thing for every reader to read the introductory part of Trench, or some other author – Trench is the best. We come back to our question, What is a miracle? Take this for a definition: (1) "An extraordinary event." That is the first idea. If it is an ordinary event you cannot call it wonderful. It is not a miracle that the sun should rise in the east. It would be a miracle for it to be seen rising in the west. (2) This extraordinary event is discernible to the senses. (3) It apparently violates natural laws and probabilities. I say, "apparently," because we do not know that it actually does. (4) It is inexplicable by natural laws alone. (5) It is produced by the agency of God, and is sometimes produced immediately. (6) For religious purposes; usually to accredit a messenger or attest God's revelation to him.


I am going to call your attention to some definitions that are either imperfect or altogether wrong. Thomas Aquinas, a learned doctor of the Middle Ages, says that miracles are events wrought by divine power apart from the order generally observed in nature. That is simply an imperfect definition; good as far as it goes. Hume and Spinoza, a Jew, say, "A miracle is a violation of a natural law; therefore," says Spinoza, "impossible"; "therefore," says Hume, "incredible." It is not necessarily a violation of natural laws: for instance, if I turn a knife loose, the law of gravitation would make it fall, but if a wind should come in between, stronger than the law, of gravitation, and this natural law should hold the knife up, it would not be a violation of the natural law; simply one

natural law overcoming another. Therefore, it is wrong to say that a miracle is a violation of natural law. Jean Paul, a noted critical skeptic, says, "Miracles of earth are the laws of heaven." Renan says: "Miracles are the inexplicable." Schleiermacher says, "Miracles are relative, that is, the worker of them only anticipates later knowledge." Dr. Paulus says, "The account of miracles is historical, but the history must signify simply the natural means." Wolsey says, "The text that tells us about miracles is authentic, but the miracles are allegories, not facts." Now, I have given you what I conceive to be a correct definition of a miracle and some definitions that are either imperfect or altogether faulty.


When may miracles be naturally expected? When God makes new revelations; as, in the three epochs of miracles.


To what classes of people are miracles incredible? Atheists, pantheists, and deists. Deists recognize a God of physical order. Pantheists make no distinction between spirit and matter. Atheists deny God altogether.


What are counterfeit miracles? We are going to strike some soon, and we have to put an explanation on them. In 2 Thessalonians 2 they are said to be "lying wonders," or deeds. They are called "lying" not because they are lies, but because their object is to teach a lie, or accredit a lie. Unquestionably, Satan has the power to do supernatural things, so far as we understand the laws of nature, and when the antichrist comes he is to be endowed with power to work miracles that will deceive everybody in the world but the elect. It is not worth while, therefore, to take the position that the devil and his agents cannot, by permission of God, work miracles. When may we naturally expect counterfeit miracles? When the real miracles are produced the counterfeit will appear as an offset. Whenever a religious imposture of any kind is attempted, or any false doctrine is preached, they will claim that they can attest it. For example, on the streets of our cities are those, whatever you call them, who claim that Mark 16 is fulfilled in our midst today. What then, does the counterfeit miracle prove? The reality and necessity of the true. Thieves do not counterfeit the money of a "busted" bank. How may you usually detect counterfeit miracles? This is important: (1) By the immoral character of the producer. That is not altogether satisfactory, but it is presumptive evidence. (2) If the doctrine it supports or teaches is contradictory to truth already revealed and established. (3) The evil motive or the end in view. God would not work a lot of miracles just for show. When Herod said to Christ, "Work me a miracle," Christ refused. Miracles are not to gratify curiosity. (4) Its eternal characteristic of emptiness or extravagance. (5) Its lack of substantial evidence. In the spirit-rapping miracles they need too many conditions – put out the light, join hands, etc. It is one of the rules of composition as old as the classics, never to introduce a god unless there be a necessity for a god; and when one is introduced, let what he says and does correspond to the dignity and nature of a god. If that is a rule of composition in dealing with miracles it shows that God, as being wise, would not intervene foolishly.


Now, is a miracle a greater manifestation of God's power than is ordinarily displayed by the Lord? No. He shows just as much power in producing an almond tree from a germ, and that almond tree in the course of nature producing buds and blossoms, by regulating the order of things, as he does to turn rods to serpents. But while the power is no greater, the impression is more vivid, and that is the object of a miracle.


There are, certainly, distinctions in miracles, and you will need to know the distinction when you discuss the miracles wrought by Moses more than any other set of miracles in the Bible. There are two kinds of miracles, the absolute and the providential, or circumstantial, e.g., the conversion of water into blood is an absolute miracle; the bringing of frogs out of the water is a providential or circumstantial miracle. Keep that distinction in your mind. The plague of darkness and the death of the firstborn are also absolute miracles. The providential or circumstantial miracles get their miraculous nature from their intensity, their connection with the word of Moses, the trial of Pharaoh and the Egyptian gods, with the deliverance of Israel, and their being so timely as to strengthen the faith of God's people, and to overcome the skepticism of God's enemies.


I will give a further idea about a providential miracle. Suppose I were to say that on a certain day at one o'clock the sun would be veiled. If that is the time for an eclipse there is nothing miraculous in it. But suppose a dense cloud should shut off the light of the sun, there is a miraculous element because there is no way of calculating clouds as you would calculate eclipses. Now, the orderly workings of nature, "The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth his handiwork," reveal the glory of God to a mind in harmony with God, and they hide the glory from the eyes of an alienated man who will not see God in the sun, moon, and stars. They will turn away from the glory of God in these regular events and worship the creature more than the creator.


Does a miracle considered by itself prove the truth of the doctrine or the divine mission' of him who produces it? Not absolutely. The Egyptians imitated the first two miracles. Other things must be considered. The doctrine must commend itself to the conscience as being good. All revelation presupposes in a man power to recognize the truth, arising from the fact that man is made in the image of God, and has a conscience, and that "Jesus Christ lighteth every man coming into the world." The powers of darkness are permitted to perform wonders of a startling nature. The character of the performer, the end in view, the doctrine to be attested in itself, BS related to previously revealed truth, must all be considered. In Deuteronomy 13:1-5, the people are expressly warned against the acceptance of any sign or wonder, wrought by any prophet or dreamer, used to attest a falsehood. In Matthew24:24, the Saviour expressly forewarns that antichrists and false prophets shall come with lying signs and wonders, and Paul says so in several passages.


How are miracles helpful, since the simple, unlearned are exposed to the danger of accepting the false and rejecting the true? This difficulty is more apparent than real. The unlearned and poor are exposed to no more danger than the intellectual. Those who love previously revealed truth and have no pleasure in unrighteousness are able to discriminate, whether they are wise folks or simple folks. The trouble of investigation is no greater here than in any other moral problem. Therefore, the apostle John says, "Beloved, try every spirit." A man comes to you and says he is baptized of the Holy Spirit. John says, "Try him, because there are many false prophets," and "Every spirit that refuses to confess that God was manifested in the flesh," turn him down at once. Once Waco was swept away by the Spiritualists. I preached a series of sermons on Spiritualism. Once in making calls I came upon some strangers, and happened to meet a Spiritualist lady who came up to me and said, "I am so glad to meet you. We belong to the same crowd. We are both a spiritual people. Let me see your hand." I held it out and she commenced talking on it. She says, "I believe the Bible as much as you do." I said, "No, you don't. I can make you abuse the Bible in two minutes." "Well, I would like to see you try." I read that passage in Isaiah where a woe is pronounced upon those who are necromancers and magicians. "Yes, and I despise any such statements," she said. "Of course," I replied; "that is what I expected you to say."


The conflict in Egypt was between Jehovah on the one hand and the gods of Egypt, representing the powers of darkness, on the other. Note these scriptures: Exodus 12:12; 15:11; Numbers 33:4. The devil is the author of idolatry in all its forms The battle was between God and the devil, the latter

working through Pharaoh and his hosts, and God working through Moses.


Water turned into blood. I want to look at the first miracle A question that every reader should note is: State in order the ten miracles. First, the conversion of the waters of the Nile into blood. Egypt is the child of the Nile. If you were up in a balloon and looked down upon that land you would see a long green ribbon, the Nile Valley and its fertile banks. Therefore they worship the Nile. There has been a great deal written to show that at certain seasons of the year the waters of the Nile are filled with insect life of the animalcule order, so infinitesimal in form as to be invisible, even with a microscope, yet so multitudinous in number that they make the water look like blood. It would be perfectly natural if it only came that way. I will tell you why I do not think it came that way. This miracle applied to the water which had already been drawn up) and was in the water buckets in their homes. That makes it a genuine miracle.


The second miracle was the miracle of the frogs. I quote something about that miracle from the Epic of Moses, by Dr. W. G. Wilkinson:


Then Aaron, at his brother's bidding, raised His rod and with it smote the river. Straight .Forth from the water – at that pregnant stroke Innumerably teeming – issued frogs, Prodigious progeny I in number such As if each vesicle of blood in all The volume of the flood that rolled between The banks of Nile and overfilled his bound And overflowed, had quickened to a frog, And the midsummer tide poured endless down, Not water and not blood, but now instead One mass of monstrous and colluctant life! The streams irriguous over all the realm, A vast reticulation of canals Drawn from the river – like the river, these Also were smitten with that potent rod, And they were choked with tangled struggling frogs. Each several frog was full of lusty youth, And each, according to his nature, wished More room wherein to stretch himself, and leap, Amphibious, if he might not swim. So all Made for the shore and occupied the land. Rank following rank, in serried order, they Resistless by their multitude and urged, Each rank advancing, by each rank behind – An insupportable invasion, fed With reinforcement inexhaustible From the great river rolling down in frogs I – Spread everywhere and blotted out the earth. As when the shouldering billows of the sea, Drawn by the tide and by the tempest driven, Importunately press against the shore Intent to find each inlet to the land, So now this infestation foul explored The coasts of Egypt seeking place and space.


With impudent intrusion, leap by leap Advancing, those amphibious cohorts pushed Into the houses of the people, found Entrance into the chambers where they slept, And took possession of their very beds. The kneading-troughs wherein their bread was made, The subterranean ovens where were baked The loaves, the Egyptians with despair beheld Become the haunts of this loathed tenantry. The palace, nay, the person, of the king Was not exempt. His stately halls he saw Furnished to overflowing with strange guests Unbidden whose quaint manners lacked the grace Of well-instructed courtliness; who moved About the rooms with unconventional ease And freedom, in incalculable starts Of movement and direction that surprised. They leaped upon the couches and divans; They settled on the tops of statutes; pumped Their breathing organs on each jutting edge Of frieze or cornice round about the walls; In thronging councils on the tables sat; From unimaginable perches leered. The summit of procacity, they made The sacred person of the king himself, He sitting or reclining as might chance, The target of their saltatory aim, And place of poise and pause for purposed rest.


Nor yet has been set forth the worst; the plague Was also a dire plague of noise. The night Incessantly resounded with the croaks, In replication multitudinous, Of frogs on every side, whether in mass Crowded together in the open field, Or single and recluse within the house. The dismal ululation, every night And all night long, assaulted every ear; Nor did the blatant clamour so forsake The day, that from some unfrequented place Might not be heard a loud, lugubrious, Reiterant chorus from batrachian throats. – Epic of Moses I think that is one of the finest descriptions I ever read. They worshiped frogs. Now they were surfeited with their gods. I have space only to refer to the next plague of lice. I give Dr. Wilkinson's description of it:
They were like immigrants and pioneers Looking for habitations in new lands; They camped and colonized upon a man And made him quarry for their meat and drink. They ranged about his person, still in search Of better, even better, settlement; Each man was to each insect parasite A new-found continent to be explored. Which was the closer torment, those small fangs Infixed, and steady suction from the blood, Or the continuous crawl of tiny feet Banging the conscious and resentful skin In choice of where to sink a shaft for food – Which of these two distresses sorer was, Were question; save that evermore The one that moment pressing sorer seemed.


– Epic of Moses


What was the power of that plague? The Egyptians more than any other people that ever lived upon the earth believed in ceremonial cleanliness, particularly for their priesthood. They were not only spotless white, but defilement by an unclean thing was to them like a dip into hell itself.

 

QUESTIONS

 

1. What the scope of the next great topic in Exodus?

 

2. The theme?

 

3. The central text?

 

4. Purpose of the plagues?

 

5. How was Moses accredited?

 

6. What three great groups of miracles in the Bible?

 

7. In the New Testament what four words describe miracles? Give both Greek and English words, showing signification of each.

 

8. What, then, is a miracle?

 

9. Cite some faulty definitions.

 

10 When may they be naturally expected?

 

11. What are counterfeit or lying miracles, and may they be real miracles in the sense of being wrought by superhuman power, and whose in such case is the power, and what the purpose of its exercise?

 

12. To what classes of people are miracles incredible, and why?

 

13. Cite Satan's first miracle, its purpose and result. Answer: (1) Accrediting the serpent with the power of speech; (2) To get Eve to receive him as an angel of light; (3) That Eve did thus receive him, and was beguiled.

 

14. On this point what says the Mew Testament about the last manifestation of the antichrist?

 

15. When may counterfeit miracles be expected?

 

16. Admitting many impostures to be explained naturally, could such impostures as idolatries, Mohammedanism, Mormonism, Spiritualism, witchcraft, necromancy, etc., obtain permanent hold on the minds of many peoples without some superhuman power?

 

17. What do counterfeit miracles prove?

 

18. How may they be detected?

 

19. What says a great poet about the priority of introducing a god into a story, who was he and where may the classic be found? Answer: (1) See chapter; (2) Horace; (3) In Horace's Ars Poetica.

 

20. Distinguish between the ordinary powers of God working in nature and a miracle, e.g., the budding of Aaron's rod and the budding of an almond tree.

 

21. What two kinds of miracles? Cite one of each kind from the ten plagues.

 

22. Of which kind are most of the ten plagues?

 

23. Does a miracle in itself prove the truth of the doctrine it is wrought to attest? If not, what things are to be considered?

 

24. Cite both Old Testament and New Testament proof that some doctrines attested by miracles are to be rejected.

 

25. If Satan works some miracles, and if the doctrines attested by some miracles are to be rejected, how are miracles helpful, especially to the ignorant, without powers of discrimination?

 

26. Who were the real antagonists in this great Egyptian duel?

 

27. Give substance and result of the first interview between Pharaoh and Moses?

 

28. Name in their order of occurrence the ten plagues.

 

29. First Plague: State the significance of this plague.

 

30. How have some sought to account for it naturally, and your reasons for the inadequacy of this explanation?

 

31. Second Plague: Recite Dr. Wilkinson's fine description of the plague in his Epic of Moses.

 

32. The significance of the plague?

 

33. Third Plague: His description of the third plague and its significance.

 

VII

 

(Return to Contents)

 

THE TEN PLAGUES, OR THE GREAT DUEL (Continued)

 


Every plague was intended to strike in some way at some deity worship in Egypt. I begin this chapter by quoting from Dr. Wilkinson's Epic of Moses language which he puts in the mouth of Pharaoh's daughter, the reputed mother of Moses, who is trying to persuade the king to let the people go: We blindly worship as a god the Nile; The true God turns his water into blood. Therein the fishes and the crocodiles, Fondly held sacred, welter till they die. Then the god Heki is invoked in vain To save us from the frogs supposed his care. The fly-god is condemned to mockery, Unable to deliver us from flies. – Epic of Moses


We have discussed three of the plagues, and in Exodus 8: 20-32, we consider the plague of flies. Flies, or rather beetles, were also sacred. In multitudes of forms their images were worn as ornaments, amulets, and charms. But at a word from Moses these annoying pests swarmed by millions until every sacred image was made hateful by the living realities.


The plague of Murrain, Exodus 9:1-7. Cattle were sacred animals with the Egyptians. Cows were sacred to Isis. Their chief god, Apis, was a bull, stalled in a place, fed on perfumed oats, served on golden plates to the sound of music. But at a word from Moses the murrain seized the stock. Apis himself died. Think of a god dying with the murrain I


Boils, Exodus 9:8-12. Egyptian priests were physicians. Religious ceremonies were medicines. But when Moses sprinkled ashes toward heaven grievous and incurable boils broke out on

the bodies of the Egyptians. King, priests, and magicians were specially afflicted; could not even stand before Moses.


Hail, Exodus 9:13-35. The control of rain and hail was vested in feminine deities – Isis, Sate, and Neith. But at Moses' word rain and hail – out of season and in horrible intensity – swept over Egypt, beating down their barley and the miserable remnant of their stock, and beating down exposed men, women, and children. In vain they might cry, "0 Isis, 0 Sate, 0 Neith, help us! We perish; call off this blinding, choking rain! Rebuke this hurtling, pitiless storm of hail I" But the Sphinx was not more deaf and silent than Egypt's goddesses.


Locusts, 10:1-20. The Egyptians worshiped many deities whose charge was to mature and protect vegetables. But at Moses' word locusts came in interminable clouds, with strident swishing wings and devouring teeth. Before them a garden, behind them a desert. See in prophetic imagery the description of their terrible power, Joel 2:2; Revelation 9:2-11.


Darkness, Exodus 10 to 11:3. Ra, the male correlative of Isis, was the Egyptian god of light. A triune god, Amun Ra, the father of divine life, Kheeper Ra, of animal life, Kneph Ra, of human life. But at Moses' word came seventy-two consecutive hours of solid, palpable darkness. In that inky plutonian blackness where was Ra? He could not flush the horizon with dawn, nor silver the Sphinx with moonbeams, nor even twinkle as a little star. Even the pyramids were invisible. That ocean of supernatural darkness was peopled by but one inhabitant, one unspoken, one throbbing conviction: "Jehovah, he is God."


Death of the First-born, 11:4-8; 12:29-35. This crowning and convincing miracle struck down at one time every god in Egypt, as lightning gores a black cloud or rives an oak, or a cyclone prostrates a forest. See the effect of this last miracle. The victory was complete. Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, "Rise up, and get you forth, from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve Jehovah, as ye have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also. And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men. And against the children of Israel not a dog moved his tongue – against man or beast; so the Lord put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel" (Ex. 11:7; 12:31-35).


Give the names of the magicians who withstood Moses and Aaron and what New Testament lesson is derived from their resistance? Paul warns Timothy of perilous times in the last days, in which men having the form of godliness but denying the power thereof were ever learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth, and thus concludes, "Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth; men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further; for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was." That is the time which I have so frequently emphasized when Paul's man of sin shall appear and be like Jannes and Jambres, who withstood Moses and Aaron.


Give in their order the methods of Pharaoh's oppositions to God's people: (1) Persecution; (2) Imitation of their miracles; (3) Propositions of compromise. State what miracles they imitated. They changed their rods to serpents and imitated to some extent the first two plagues. But the rod of Aaron swallowed up theirs and they could not remove any plague nor imitate the last eight. State the several propositions of compromise; show the danger of each, and give the reply of Moses. I am more anxious that you should remember these compromises than the plagues.

 

COMPROMISES PROPOSED


"Sacrifice in the land of Egypt," i.e., do not separate from us, Exodus 8:25. This stratagem was to place Jehovah on a mere level with the gods of Egypt, thus recognizing the equality of the two religions. Moses showed the impracticableness of this, since the Hebrews sacrificed to their God animals numbered among the Egyptian divinities, which would be to them an abomination.


"I will let you go – only not very far away" (8:28), that is, if you will separate let it be only a little separation. If you will draw a line of demarcation, let it be a dim one. Or, if you will so put it that your religion is light and ours darkness, do not make the distinction so sharp and invidious; be content with twilight, neither night nor day. This compromise catches many simple ones today. Cf. 2 Peter 2:18-22.


"I will let you men go, but leave with us your wives and children" (10:11). This compromise when translated simply means, "You may separate from us, but leave your hearts behind." It is an old dodge of the devil. Serve whom ye will, but let us educate your children. Before the flood the stratagem succeeded: "Be sons of God if you will, but let your wives be daughters of men." The mothers will carry the children with them. In modern days it says, "Let grown people go to church if they must, but do not worry the children with Sunday schools."


"Go ye, serve the Lord; let your little ones go with you; only let your flocks and herds be stayed"; i.e., acknowledge God's authority over your persons; but not over your property. This compromise suits all the stingy, avaricious professors who try to serve both God and mammon; their proverb is: "Religion is religion, but business is business." Which means that God shall not rule over the maxims and methods of trade, nor in their counting houses, nor over their purses, nor over the six workdays, but simply be their God on Sunday at church. Well did Moses reply, "Our cattle shall go with us; there shall not an hoof be left behind."


These compromises mean anything in the world rather than a man should put himself and his wife and his children and his property, his everything on earth, on the altar of God. Was it proper for the representatives of the Christian religion to unite in the Chicago World's Fair Parliament of Religions, including this very Egyptian religion rebuked by the ten plagues? All these religions came together and published a book setting forth the world's religions comparatively.


My answer is that it was a disgraceful and treasonable surrender of all the advantages gained by Moses, Elijah, Jesus Christ, and Paul. "If Baal be God, follow him; but if Jehovah be God, follow him." If neither be God, follow neither. Jesus Christ refused a welcome among the gods of Greece and Rome. The Romans would have been very glad to make Jesus a deity. But he would have no niche in the Pantheon. That Chicago meeting was also a Pantheon. The doctrine of Christ expresses: "Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers; for what fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? or what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what portion hath a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement hath a temple of God with idols? for we are a temple of the living God; even as God said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be to you a Father, and ye shall be to me sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty" (2 Cor. 6:14-18). "But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God; and I would not that ye should have communion with demons. We cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of demons; ye cannot partake of the table of the Lord, and the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?" (I Cor. 10:20-22).


The supreme fight made in Egypt was to show that Jehovah alone is God. He was not fighting for a place among the deities of the world, but he was claiming absolute supremacy. When we come to the giving of the law we find: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me," and "you shall make no graven image, even of me, to bow down to worship it." It took from the days of Moses to the days of the Babylonian captivity to establish in the Jewish mind the unity of God. All the time they were lapsing into idolatry. The prophets fought over the same battles that Moses fought. But when God was through with those people they were forever settled in this conviction, viz.: There is no other God but Jehovah. From that day till this no man has been able to find a Jewish idolater. Now then it takes from the birth of Christ to the beginning of the millennium to establish in the Jewish mind that Jesus of Nazareth is that Jehovah. Some Jews accept it of course, but the majority of them do not. When the Jews are converted that introduces the millennium, as Peter said to those who had crucified the Lord of glory, "Repent ye: in order that he may send back Jesus whom the heavens must retain until the time of the restitution of all things."


One matter has been deferred for separate discussion until this time. I will be sure to call for twenty passages on the hardening of Pharaoh's heart. Paul has an explanation of them in Romans 9:17-23, and our good Methodist commentator, Adam Clarke, devotes a great deal of space in his commentary to weakening what Paul said. There are two kinds of hardening: (1) According to a natural law when a good influence is not acted upon, it has less force next time, and ultimately no force. A certain lady wanted to get up each morning at exactly six o'clock, so she bought an alarm clock, and the first morning when the alarm turned loose it nearly made her jump out of bed. So she got up and dressed on time. But after awhile when she heard the alarm she would not go to sleep, but she just lay there a little while. (Sometimes you see a boy stop still in putting on his left sock and sit there before the fire). The next time this lady heard the alarm clock the result was that it did not sound so horrible, and she kept lingering until finally she went to sleep. Later the alarm would no longer awaken her. There is a very tender, susceptible hardening of a young person under religious impressions that brings a tear to the eye. How easy it is to follow that first impression, but you put it off and say no, and after awhile the sound of warning becomes to you like the beat of the little drummer's drumstick when Napoleon was crossing the Alps. The little fellow slipped and fell into a crevasse filled with snow, but the brave boy kept beating his drum and they could hear it fainter and fainter, until it was an echo and then it died away.


(2) The other kind of hardening is what is called judicial hardening, where God deals with a man and he resists, adopting this or that substitute until God says, "Now you have shut your eyes to the truth; I will make you judicially blind and send you a delusion that you may believe a lie and be damned." Paul says, "Blindness in part hath happened unto Israel because they turned away from Jesus; because they would not hear his voice, nor the voice of their own prophets; because they persecuted those who believed in Jesus. There is a veil over their eyes when they read the scripture which cannot be taken away until they turn to the Lord and say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord."


Now the last thought: When the first three plagues were sent they fell on all Egypt alike. After that, in order to intensify the miracle and make it more evidently a miracle, in the rest of the plagues God put a difference between Egypt and Goshen, where the Israelites lived. The line of demarcation was drawn in the fourth plague. In the fifth plague it fell on Egypt, not Goshen; the most stupendous distinction was when the darkness came, just as if an ocean of palpable blackness had in it an oasis of the most brilliant light, and that darkness stood up like a wall at the border line between Egypt and Goshen, bringing out that sharp difference that God put between Egypt and Israel.


I will close with the last reference to the difference in the night of that darkness, a difference of blood sprinkled upon the portals of every Jewish house. The houses might be just alike, but no Egyptian house had the blood upon its portals. Wherever the angel of death saw the blood he passed over the house and the mother held her babe safe in her arms. But in Egypt all the first-born died.


When I was a young preacher and a little fervid, I was preaching a sermon to sinners on the necessity of having the blood of sprinkling, which speaketh better things than the blood of Abel, and in my fancy I drew this picture: A father, gathering all his family around him, says: "The angel of death is going to pass over tonight. Wife and Children, death is coming tonight; death is coming tonight." "Well, Husband," says the wife, "is there no way of escaping death?" "There is this: if we take a lamb and sprinkle its blood on the portals, the angel will see that blood and we will escape." Then the children said, "Oh, Father, go and get the lamb; and be sure to get the right kind. Don't make a mistake. Carry out every detail; let it be without blemish; kill exactly at the time God said; catch the blood in a basin, dip the bush in the blood and sprinkle the blood on the door that the angel of death may not enter our house." Then I applied that to the unconverted, showing the necessity of getting under the shadow of the blood of the Lamb. I was a young preacher then, but I do not know that, being old, I have improved on the thought.

 

QUESTIONS

 

1. Name the ten plagues in the order of their occurrence.

 

2. Show in each case the blow against some one or more gods of Egypt.

 

3. What is the most plausible explanation of the first six in their relation to each other?

 

4. How explain the hail and locusts?

 

5. What modern poet in matchless English and in. true interpretation gives an account of these plagues?

 

6. How does he state the natural explanation?

 

7. How does he express the several strokes at Egypt's gods?

 

8. What of the differentiating circumstances of these plagues?

 

9. State the progress of the case as it affected the magicians.

 

10. State the progress of the case as it affected the people.

 

11. State the progress of the case as it affected Pharaoh himself.

 

12. Give in order Pharaoh's methods of opposition.

 

13. State in order Pharaoh's proposed compromises and the replies of Moses.

 

14. State some of the evils of religious compromise.

 

15. What about the World's Fair Parliament of Religions?

 

l6. What about the Inter-Denominational Laymen's Movement? And the money of the rich for colleges?

 

17. Show how each miracle after the third was intensified by putting a difference between Egypt and Israel, as in the case of the last plague, and illustrate.

 

18. Explain the two kinds of hardening, and cite the twenty uses of the word in Pharaoh's case.

 

19. How does Paul use Exodus 9:16, in Romans 9 and how do you reply to Adam Clarke's explanation of it?

 

 

VIII

 

(Return to Contents)

 

THE INSTITUTION OF THE PASSOVER Exodus 12-13

 


In considering the plagues we did not consider this Passover. We take up first, the word. In Hebrew this means "to step over," "to pass over"; hence, to spare, to have mercy on. Next, the nature of the Passover. It was essentially a sacrifice. It is called a sacrifice in our text and in the New Testament it says that Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. A very few Protestants have taken the position that the Passover was not a sacrifice, but their position is entirely untenable. It was in every sense of the word a sacrifice, and not merely a sacrifice, but a substitutionary sacrifice. The paschal lamb in each house was to die in the place of the first-born, just as Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us. It is intensely substitutionary. And we now come to the institution of the ordinance. It was instituted in Egypt just before the last plague. As we go on in the Old Testament we will see some distinction between the Egyptian Passover and the later Passover of the Jews. Of course, there would be some distinction between a passover celebrated in a marching state and a passover when they were settled in the land. But after they were settled we find some additions to the Passover, even in the time of our Lord. It is not my purpose now to notice particularly these differences, but simply to affirm that there were distinctions between the originally established Passover and that of subsequent days.


The next thing is the distinction between the sacrifice of the Passover and the Feast of the Passover. We look first at the sacrifice. The first thing we want to determine is the time. In chapter 13 it says, "This day you go forth in the month of Abib " and in other passages it is called the month Nisan. The two names correspond. The time of the year was in the goring when the firstfruits of the harvest were gathered. This month now becomes an era. In 12:2, it is said, "This month shall be the beginning of months unto you; it shall be the first month of the year to you." That means the ecclesiastical year. They had a civil year, which commenced in the fall, but their ecclesiastical year commenced with that Passover. Still speaking about the time, on the tenth day of that month the Passover lamb was to be selected. On the fourteenth day of the same it was to be slain. More exactly, quite a number of passages say that it was slain in the evening. In Deuteronomy 16 it is said, "as the sun goes down." In the New Testament we find that custom had changed, according to the teaching of the rabbis, who held that it meant "at the turn of the day"; so the passover lamb was slain about the ninth hour, which would be at three o'clock in the afternoon. The time was then spring, Abib or Nisan, answering to our March or April, the lamb selected on the tenth day, to be slain on the fourteenth, at the going down of the sun.


We now look at the sacrifice itself. It had to be a lambkin or kid, generally a lamb; just a year old and without a blemish. Who does the selecting? In the Egyptian Passover this was done by the head of every family; the priesthood was not yet established. There is, as yet, no central place of worship. We learn another distinction: If a family was too small to eat a whole lamb, then two or more families were united until they had enough to eat a lamb. When the lamb was slain what was done with the blood, representing the life? It was caught in a basin and sprinkled with a bunch of hyssop on the two sides of the door and the lintel, the piece across the top of the door. It was not sprinkled at the bottom because the blood was sacred and not to be stepped on, and the sprinkling of the blood made the house sacred for everybody who was in it when the blood was put there, and all who stayed inside. If one went out, it lost the virtue as far as he was concerned. That is the sacred part of it. What did the sacrifice part mean? That there was no natural distinction between the first-born of Israel and the first-born of Egypt. But by a distinction of grace, that blood becomes a substitutionary atonement for those sheltered in that house. Thus "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us." Who was to kill the lamb? The whole congregation of Israel participated in the killing. Later, we see a distinction based on the settlement and upon the establishment of the priesthood.


We now come to the feast. What was done with the body of the lamb? It was not boiled, not fried, but roasted. Then all that household assembled together. Here arises a question as to the restrictions on the persons who were to eat. It is expressly declared that a stranger who just happened to be staying there could not eat of it, but a slave that belonged to the family could partake of it. No foreigner could partake of it, nor could a hired servant; and an uncircumcised man was imperiously ordered not to partake of it, and a fearful penalty was attached to it. When that little family was gathered and this lamb was roasted, it was to be eaten by the whole family, but in eating it no bone was to be broken; and when they got through only the skeleton remained. They were to eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. So far as the Egyptian Passover is concerned, nothing is said of wine, but in Christ's time we see wine used. That first Passover, though, was in great haste.


Notice how they were to eat, viz.: with sandals on their feet. The sandals were taken off while in the house, but here they were to have them on since they were ready for starting, with a long robe girt around them and staff in hand. They were to go right from the feast on the march and they were to eat in a hurry. The bitter herbs signified the affliction from which they were escaping. A kind of sauce was made from these herbs. In the New Testament when Christ was eating the Passover it says that he dipped his sop into the dish. That, is the sauce. The unleavened bread referred to purity, leaven means corruption. As Paul explains when he discusses the matter in I Corinthians, "the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." Notice that a part of this institution referred to a later time as set forth in these two chapters, because this feast was to be both a memorial and a sign, and as a memorial it was to be perpetuated. They were to observe it throughout all generations. The feast as provided on this occasion was to last seven days, from the fourteenth to the twenty-first. The first day, or the fourteenth, was devoted to searching the house that there should be no leaven found in the house.


It was a curious sight to watch the Jews prepare that way for the feast. The furniture was moved out, a lamp was lighted, and they would go around, holding it up to shine into all the cracks of the house; they would look into all the vessels to see if just a speck of leaven, or yeast, of any kind was in the house. To this Paul referred when he said, "Purge out the old leaven, and let us eat the feast of unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." This was to be a memorial feast because this night they were to be delivered from Egypt; so they were sacred to God. It was a sign that as a nation they were being delivered from the power of Egypt forever. In connection with the Passover, therefore, is the sanctification of the first-born, the first-born male of man or animal was to be God's. If it was an unclean animal, it was still to be God's but it was to be redeemed with money and the money was to go into the treasury of God. The sanctification of the first-born must always be considered in connection with the Passover.


Another thing to be considered in connection with it was the agricultural feature. Not much reference is made to that here, but in the later books of the Pentateuch we come to it. It was a day in which certain offerings were to be made, particularly of the firstfruits. There was a special offering for each day of the seven days in which that feast was kept. So you must keep distinct in your mind the Passover as a sacrifice, the Passover as a feast, as a memorial, as a sign, the Passover in connection with the sanctification of the firstborn, and in relation to the agricultural features of it.


Another important thing: It was accompanied with instructions, 12:26: "And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? that ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of Jehovah's passover, who passed over the house of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses." The second part of the instruction is in 13:14, where the first-born comes in: "When thy son asketh, What is this? Why do ye set yourselves apart the first-born on this occasion? your answer shall be: By the strength of his hand Jehovah brought us out of Egypt from the house of bondage, and it came to pass when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, Jehovah slew his first-born; therefore I sacrifice to Jehovah all that openeth the womb, being males; but all of the first-born of my sons I redeem." The first-born was to be priest of the family, but when the nation was organized at Sinai, they took one of the twelve tribes and consecrated the entire tribe to the priesthood. The first-born of each family was thus, as it were, redeemed. When you are asked why the tribe of Levi belonged to God, your answer will be, because it took the place of the first-born in each family. The tribe of Levi is not to own any land but to be sustained by the Lords house and the Lord's people. Notice, next, that the Passover was to be kept by faith. In Hebrews 11 we have this language: "By faith Moses kept the passover, and the sprinkling of the blood, that the destroyer of the first-born should not touch them." When they slew that lamb and sprinkled his blood on the doorposts they were constantly to rely in their hearts on that blood to protect them. It was an act of faith in the blood.


The first time I ever witnessed the observance of the Lord's supper I was a little boy, and I noticed that some of the bread was left over. A little Negro was with me, and he said "Let's ask them for them scraps." I said, "Maybe they won't let us have them." So when the deacons passed out (after the congregation was dismissed) with that plate of scraps the little Negro came up and said, "Massah, give 'umn to me," and the deacon said, "No, you can't have them." "Well what are you going to do with them?" asked the Negro. "Going to burn them up," replied the deacon. It made a deep impression on my mind. That which was left over had to be destroyed, and they got that idea from the Passover. If they were unable to eat all of the lamb they must burn it that very night. It stood in a peculiar relation as no other food ever did, and was not to be used for secular purposes of any kind.


Another restriction was this: Suppose that there was a family gathered in a house that night. Maybe in the next house were some people who were not strictly entitled to come in and sit with that family. Now, could they take any of that lamb out of the house and give it to anybody out of the house? The law is very explicit. "You shall not take it out of the house."


When a Baptist preacher, pastor of the First Church at Houston, Texas, allowed himself to be over-persuaded through his sympathetic good nature to go and administer the Lord's Supper to a dying person, I told him that he had committed a great sin. He asked, "Why?" I replied: "You have violated every law of God that touches the Lord's Supper, as you look at the analogy of the Passover and also the teaching of the Lord's Supper. You took the Lord's bread out of the Lord's house. You gave it to an individual who was not entitled to it. It was not eaten in a congregation and did not express the unity of a congregation. You gave it to an unbaptized man; you gave it superstitiously, and anything given thus is not given according to the law. Whenever you let people cause you to do this you rob God. If it was your own and you had complete control of it you could give it to them. But it was not yours. You had no more right to carry off that bread than you had to rob a bank."


You see the bearing of that question upon communion. There can be no such thing as the individual observance of the Lord's Supper; the unity idea is expressed throughout. One Lord, not a broken bone, no severance of its parts, none of it to be sent out of the house. A joint feast for everybody in the crowd, and the crowd specified, a fence put up, no stranger, no foreigner, no uncircumcised man. So when. you come to the Lord's Supper no unbaptized man should be there. To me it is a sign of incredible weakness that a man, through a little sentimentality, should be ashamed to observe the Lord's Supper in the way God demanded it to be observed, and to me it is a sign of great presumption that one should think that he has a right to specify who should come to God's Table. We can be generous with anything that is ours, but when we come to God's ordinance we are not authorized in varying a hair's breadth.


When we come to study the history of the Passover, certain Passover observances loom up. First, this one; then the one described in Numbers where it was kept in the wilderness; one in the Holy Land at Gilgal; the one that Hezekiah observed; the one that Josiah observed; and then the last Passover of our Lord, when its great antitype came. Remember these historic Passovers.


I have one thought more. An ordinance shows forth something. When it is properly observed it is always a very striking thing, and intended to attract attention; to evoke questions, particularly upon the part of young people. Take a group of children of any tribe on earth, white, black, red, or brown, and let them see a Lord's Supper or a baptism for the first time, and the question will pop out of their mouths, "Why? What do you mean?" A little fellow running around the lot, seeing the father looking over the sheep, would say, "Here, papa, take this one. Here's a big one." "No not that, son, I want a lamb; not that one, either; I want a little lamb." The child gets a little one. "No not that one, but one without blemishes." The father gets up before day and kills the lamb at a certain time of the day, roasting it in a certain way, and burning what is left. All that is intended to fix upon their minds the fact that they were a redeemed people peculiar to God. What is peculiar cannot belong to another.


The reader should look out every passage in Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy which touches the Passover. And I want to commend a book by Joseph Frey, a converted Jew who devoted his life to proving from the Old Testament that Jesus was the Christ. Read Frey on The Scripture Types, especially the chapter on the Passover.

 

QUESTIONS

 

1. Where do we find the original account of the institution of the Passover?

 

2. What great event its occasion?

 

3. What is the ground of the difference between the Egyptians and the Israelites?

 

4. What claim of Jehovah did this sparing, on the one hand, and slaying on the other, vindicate?

 

5. What is the central text?

 

6. What is the New Testament analogue?

 

7. What is the design?

 

8. What is the time?

 

9. How did this affect the Jewish calendar?

 

10. What applications of the word "Passover"?

 

11. What of the qualifications of the lamb?

 

12. What of the place?

 

13. Who slays the lamb?

 

14. How is the blood applied?

 

15. Unity of observing the feast?

 

16. How prepared?

 

17. How eaten?

 

18. Who eats it?

 

19. How often?

 

20. What special provision is given for those who cannot observe it at the proper time because away or ceremonially unclean?

 

21. What of the penalty for nonobservance?

 

22. A token of what was the sprinkled blood?

 

23. State a number of historical observances of the Passover.

 

24. What New Testament scriptures evidently bring out this analogy?

 

25. Give and illustrate the important lesson set forth in the chapter in commenting on Exodus 12:2.

 

26. We have seen circumcision made a prerequisite to participation in the Passover feast. Is there a similar relation between the analogous


New Testament ordinances – Baptism and the Lord's Supper?

 

27. Circumcision foreshadows what?

 

28. The Passover Sacrifice, what?

 

29. The Passover feast, what?

 

30. The Feast of Unleavened Bread, what?

 

31. What is the signification of the burning up of the remains of the Passover feast?

 

 

IX

 

(Return to Contents)

 

THE MARCH OUT OF EGYPT, THE PASSAGE OF THE RED SEA, AND THE TRIUMPHAL SONG Exodus 14:1 to 15:21

 


Before taking up the regular discussion I will answer a question presented concerning the Passover Supper in connection with the Lord's Supper, as follows: "Was the foot-washing supper at Bethany or at Jerusalem?" That Passover Supper, where the foot-washing was, occurred at the same place that the supper did; and if you put that foot-washing at Bethany you must put the Lord's Supper there, because Christ took the material of the Passover Supper with which to institute the Lord's Supper. They had just observed the Passover. Now when he got through that Old Testament feast he instituted the analogue ordinance, and used the unleavened bread of the Passover Supper and the wine that was used with the Passover Supper. All the elements were the same when he instituted the new ordinance for his church.


This chapter I will give catechetically.


1. What about the guide on this march? That is, what about the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night?

 

Ans.– When these people started from one country to another in fulfillment of God's promise, viz.: "I will go with you; my Presence shall go with you," that' pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night, was first seen when they started that night; the night the first-born was slain there appeared a great fire column; its position was just over Moses, the place it occupied until the tabernacle was built, which we will see in subsequent discussions. The natural position of that cloud by day, and the fire by night, was over the tabernacle. . When they were moving, if that cloud stopped, everybody stopped. The next day, or if that cloud moved off in an hour, it meant to get ready to start, and then it would move forward, they moving after it. In the nighttime this cloud was a great, column of brilliant light, brighter than any electric light now to be seen in any great city, and all night long the radiance from that cloud brightly illuminated the entire camp; so that no night ever touched them in the forty years. As soon as day came and the sun rose, then that fire became a cloud, and it spread over them and kept between them and the sun, giving them a shade all day long; so that the sun never touched them in all that time. If an enemy was pursuing them that cloud moved around and got in the rear and turned a hot, fiery face, if it was night, to the adversary, very horrible; or it turned a dark face impenetrable in its blackness, and to the children of Israel brightness, the same face shining on God's people, and frowning on his enemies. We see the last of this pillar when they got over into the Promised Land, i.e., you think you do. But that cloud becomes the Shekinah on the ark of the covenant and goes clear on to the building of Solomon's Temple. Then it leaves the tabernacle and goes to the Temple; and when the Temple falls that cloud becomes the Holy Spirit, descended into the new temple, the church. The same thought runs all the way through the Bible, symbolizing the advocating presence of God to guide and guard and to cherish his people.


2. How many went out of Egypt and who?


Ans. – The record states there were 600,000. The women and children are not enumerated, but on that basis it is easy to determine that there were between two and three millions of people in all. There went with them a mixed multitude of people who had not been circumcised, following the fortunes of the Jews, and causing them much trouble later.


3. Where was the starting point of this march?


Ans. – On the map we shall see it to be Rameses. They were all over this land of Goshen; but they came together at Rameses as a rallying point for a start, the place which they built when they were slaves. And from this starting point there were three ways into the Holy Land.


4. What are the three ways to the Holy Land and why did they not go the first? Why not continue on the second, having started on it? Why the third?


Ans. – There are three ways: the first is nearest the coast line through the Philistine country, a straight way, the nearest of all the ways; that way is there now. Why did they not go that way? God says that the Philistines are a formidable people, and trained to war; and if he took the Israelites that way they would get there before they were ready to meet such adversaries as the Philistines. That is why. The second way is the middle one of the three, going straight through the desert. Now why, having started that way, did they stop? Here is an important piece of history in the war between the Egyptians and the Hittites. The Egyptians had built a high wall following the line now occupied by the Suez Canal from the most northern point of the Red Sea and it had towers on it every few hundred yards filled with armed men. Why could not God have blown up that wall, and given them an easy passage through it? He could have done it, but that would not have allowed him to deal with Pharaoh as he wanted to; so they make a turn and come out the long way, coming to the most northern point of the Red Sea. They came to the end of the wall, not crossing it at all, but going across the tongue of the sea. Then they came down to the Sinaitic Peninsula, and along round by the way where there was nothing to obstruct. Now why was that way selected? In the first place, God said to Moses when he met him at the burning bush, "The token that I have given you that you will deliver these people is, that you will bring them to this mountain, and here worship God." He wanted to take them a way sufficiently long for him to educate them for what he wanted them to do when they entered the Holy Land. Apparently he wanted to get them down there into this imperishable Sinaitic Peninsula, and there enter into a national covenant with them, giving them the moral law, the civil law, and the law of the altar, or the way of approach to God. He kept them there a year learning that lesson, and that is why he took the lower, more distant and most difficult road.


5. What was the hazard of the encampment by the sea in which he led them?


Ans. – When he brought them down there they could not get out that way for the wall; then a mountain was on either side of them, and they could not go forward because of the I sea; nor backward because Pharaoh was coming behind closing up that way, a regular cul-de-sac; he wanted to get them' in that corner where, humanly speaking, they could not dig: under a channel, and get out of the cul-de-sac; they could not go forward; they could not climb the mountains on the right F and left, nor could they go back because of Pharaoh's armed chariots in hot pursuit. That was the hazard of the situation. God wanted to teach them that important lesson.


6. Explain the "stand still" of Moses and the "go forward" of God.


Ans. – When the Israelites saw the situation they were frightened, perplexed inside and outside, and they whimpered like a whipped dog howling, or a whipped man cursing: "Why could you not let us abide over yonder in Egypt?" Moses says, "Stand still and see the salvation of God." The thought of Moses is, "You have arrived at a position where there is nothing you can do, humanly speaking; and that cloud is not moving; and God, having brought you here, is going to save you. So don't get scared; keep a stiff upper lip; stand still and have faith in the deliverance of God; he will get you out." They felt a good deal like the fellows I saw during the Civil War the first time I was ever detailed by my company, lying down behind a battery, fighting four batteries. We were just right there on the ground. They would not let us shout, nor hoot nor stand up; and the shells from the enemy came hissing round, the battery popping off all around us, every w and then taking a fellow's head off; and there we had to lie still. Now take the case of the Lord, "Say unto the people that they go forward." And they beheld that pillar of cloud beginning to move. You stand still in a matter where you cannot do anything, but if there is anything you can do, do not stand still, but go forward. Now God is going to test their faith. Right in front of them is that sea, from one to three miles wide. "Go forward, forward, forward!" "Well, do you mean for us to just step off into that sea?" "Forward!" Directly Moses lifted his rod up, the staff of authority, and as he did it there came a mighty wind like a wedge and split that sea wide open, clear to the center. They did not have to step into the sea; they lifted their feet up at the edge of the sea, and when they were ready to put them down it was dry. The wind had split the sea open and they got on the other side.


When I was a boy my father preached a sermon on "Stand Still and See the Salvation of the Lord," showing also that when the Lord says "Go forward," you are to go forward. There was a Negro boy who could imitate to perfection my father's preaching, especially as to voice. Standing on a box, he reproduced that sermon of my father's, giving all the points, gestures, and intonations of voice. It beat anything I ever heard. Of course it very much impressed that sermon on my mind.


7. What is the natural explanation of this deliverance, and why is it not sufficient?


Ans. – The natural explanation is that there was no miracle; that about this time the wind came and cleared away that water. History tells us about the Rhine being cleared away once by the power of the wind, just as the ebb of the tide will leave a strand almost dry, and the flux of the tide will put the feet in the middle. But why is that not sufficient explanation? In the first place, what was done took place at the hand of Moses; and in the second place, in the song of deliverance? that immediately followed the passage through the Red Sea, are these words: "The waters stood up in heaps and congealed." What does congeal mean? To freeze. I never saw wind do that. There was an ice wall, perpendicular on each side, not that it was natural ice, but it stood as firm in that perpendicular position as if it had been frozen. The power, of the Lord held it there, as smooth-faced as a mirror. Then in the third place, it certainly was a remarkable coincidence that the wind should come just exactly at that time and by bringing those waters together again swallow up those that came after them. You must not depend much on their explanation; but take the coincidence, as the good boy said about I his father finding cow bells. He said that his papa had brought home a cow bell that he had "found" and his mamma, was glad that he found it because the cow needed a bell, and the next day he found another cow bell and his mamma was. glad because they needed that cow bell; but the next day he found one for the calf, and the third day his mamma and he suspected where those cow bells came from. Things do not happen just that way. You don't find three bells in succession. And when he found the third one something, they knew, was up.


8. What question of historical criticism comes up here?


Ans. – Here are two or three millions of people leaving Egypt, one of the most prominent nations of the world, passing with their hordes of women and children through a point of the sea, migrating to another country. Is that history? That is the historical criticism. My answer is that this was just as much a historical transaction as the fact that you were born; it is true history.


9. What are the proofs that this incident was history?


Ans. – The proofs are remarkable: (1) It was celebrated immediately afterward, and that memorial is preserved for all relations. We have it yet. Just as I would prove that something occurred at Bunker Hill; there stands a monument which tells on the very face of it in commemorative power that that incident took place.


(2) The next argument is the permanent impression it made on subsequent Hebrew literature. Looking at the nearby literature of that people, the references that you see in the book of Numbers and in Deuteronomy are still fresh and are living witnesses. Then turn to the great hymnbook of the nation, the poetry of the nation (every reader ought to do it), and read the portions of Psalm 66; 70; 74; 77; 106; 114 that refer to this incident. Is there on earth a poetry of a nation in such remarkable measure as these, and even of such a nature if there were no history? Then turn to the pages of Habakkuk and Zechariah, where you find it mentioned in days long afterward; and turn to the New Testament and here it is discussed, as in I Corinthians 10 and Revelation 19. So that at least 1,500 years after the event the literature of that nation is thrilling with it.


(3) Then consider this remarkable fact with the fact that the Egyptians in their monuments and in their hieroglyphics are profuse in telling of the glorious deeds of one king and another king, but they are silent about the triumphs of this one. Why is it that the preceding reigns of the Egyptian kings who had ended well are chronicled, as also the succeeding reigns, and they are silent concerning this king? Egypt lies helpless for many years after this event; its power was smitten. The historians did not like to tell about what caused it. They furnished corresponding facts.


10. Where in the New Testament is this passage through the Red Sea called a baptism? Explain it.


Ans – 1 Corinthians 10 says, "I would not, brethren, have you ignorant that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea." Our fathers were baptized eis Moses. In our chapter in the New Testament we will learn about the baptizo plus eis – unto Moses. We will now explain how that was a baptism. In this way it was a baptism: On the right hand a perpendicular wall of water stood; on the left hand also was a perpendicular wall of water; and between, if was like a grave, and the cloud spread itself over the grave like the lid to a coffin, only that cloud lid was as bright as the brightest day that earth ever knew. This cloud and the two walls of the sea entirely encompassed the children of Israel, There in that grave they were buried in baptism, with the light of the pillar of cloud above them. The light was reflected in the mirrored face of the icy water; and the wall on the left flashed back in its reflection, striking the icy wall on the right, which in turn flashed back its reflection to the other side – mirrored across; mirrored in light. All about them was stark darkness, but they were safe in the light. It was a baptism in light.


11. What did a Methodist preacher have to say about the explanation of it?


Ans. – He quotes Psalm 77:16-17, concerning this passage through the Red Sea, thus: The waters saw thee, 0 God; The waters saw thee, they were afraid: The depths also trembled. The clouds poured out waters; The skies sent out a sound; Thine arrows also went abroad. He says that the clouds poured out water, and in the rain from that cloud they Were baptized. I debated with him one day, and said to him, "That passage in I Corinthians says they were baptized, not in clouds, but in a particular cloud." I then asked if that particular cloud was a rain cloud. Did it ever rain anything? I said, "You have the cart before the horse. After they got through the cloud did pour out rain and there was nothing like it, but it fell on the Egyptians and not on the Israelites; they never got a drop of water on them. It was a figurative baptism. Cloud above them, cloud around them they were buried in a cloud of light."


12. Was Pharaoh himself destroyed in the Red Sea?


Ans. – The record seems to make it so. Historians say that be himself did not go down into the sea. But Egyptian historians would naturally hide that account of the death of their great king.


13. How was this event celebrated?


Ans. – Moses wrote a song, a grand one, a song of deliverance. Talk about singing! That was an antiphonal, voice against voice, a responsive song; the choir or a man would sing one line and the rest of the congregation or the women with timbrels would sing the chorus; the men their part, and the women handing it back in the form of a chorus, accompanied with 'instrumental music.


14. What of the effect on Egypt for many years?


Ans. – It caused her to lie dormant for a long time.


15. What of the effect on the Canaanites?


Ans. – It filled them with fear.


16. What of the effect on Israel?


Ans. – It strengthened their faith in God and Moses.


17. Give and explain the last New Testament reference.


Ans. – The last historical reference in connection with this passage is the passage in Revelation referring to this baptism. The redeemed host in heaven are represented as standing on a sea of glass mingled with fire, the glass reflecting the fire; as if you were to put a mirror here and another yonder, and you had a light between them. So this second type is the final redemption of God's people in their emergence on the resurrection day. From the burial of death they come triumphantly and stand between the shores of heaven and look back on what is, as it were, a sea of glass, mingled with fire; that is, the light of redemption is shining into all of the graves from which they have emerged, and they are saved forever.

 

 

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FROM THE RED SEA TO SINAI Exodus 15:22 to 16

 


1. What notes of time and how long the period?


Ans. – Exodus 12:6-51, shows that they started from Egypt on the fifteenth day of the first month. Exodus 15:22, the beginning of our lesson, shows that they go three days in the wilderness. Exodus 16:1, shows that they enter into the wilderness of Sin on the fifteenth day of the second month, and Exodus 19:1, shows that they arrived at Sinai on the same day of the third month. So that the period covered by this lesson was about two months.


2. What scripture gives all the camping stations?


Ans. – Numbers 33:8-15.


3. Explain methods of travel and stops, giving average distance per day including stops.


Ans. - (a) As the multitude was very great and included women and children, and as they were accompanied by flocks and herds that must be grazed, they necessarily moved slowly. Even large armies, however well disciplined, move slowly. How much more such a multitude of untrained women and children as were here. (b) They did not travel every day, sometimes remaining quite a while at a convenient stopping place. While the cloud stood still they stayed, (c) They averaged on this part of the journey about a mile a day including stops.


4. What was the starting point, what wildernesses are mentioned and what are the stopping places?


Ans. – The starting point was the Red Sea; the wildernesses mentioned are the Wilderness of Etham, the Wilderness of Sin and the Wilderness of Sinai; and the stopping places are Marah, Elim, etc. (See Num. 33:8-15.)


5. What are the great events of this journey?


Ans. – (1) The healing of the bitter water at Marah; (2) The good times at the many waters of Elim; (3) The coming of the manna and quail; (4) The sabbath marked and observed; (5) Water from the smitten rock at Rephidim; (6) The deliverance in battle at Rephidim.


6. What are the great lessons of these events?


Ans. – (1) The checkered vicissitudes of an earthly pilgrimage; (2) God's safe guidance of his people – "Where he leads we will follow"; (3) God's provision of competent human leaders; (4) God's provision against sickness, thirst, hunger, nakedness, heat, and darkness; (5) God's provision for regular worship; (6) The Lord is the banner of his people in battle; (7) The sin of murmuring when under God's leadership; (8) All together his marvelous methods of training a nation by proving and discipline and healing and delivering.


7. What three instances of provision against thirst?


Ans. – When the water was bad, when it was good and abundant, and when there was no water.


8. State the lesson of Marah?


Ans. – (1) They were brought to this bad water to prove them, to afford them an opportunity of trusting God under difficult conditions. (2) It is distinctly a lesson of healing. Whatever the way, the water was diseased, poisoned by some unwholesome ingredient. It is quite possible that this poison came from stagnation. A flowing stream disposes of its poison. In Ezekiel 47, where we have an account of the marvelous water of life flowing from the sanctuary, it is stated in the paragraph, vv. 7-11, that where the water flowed into a depression whence there was no outlet it became a salt marsh. As water must flow to be healthful, so a Christian must move forward or backslide. (3) The purpose of the miracle of healing the water was to suggest that God is able to prevent or to cure all the diseases of his people. (4) Therefore this healing was made the occasion of a statute requiring obedience as a condition of the divine blessing upon the pilgrims, followed by a glorious promise that he would put upon them none of the diseases to which the Egyptians were subject. (5) It is quite probable that the spiritualizing interpreters are right in seeing in the tree used as an instrument of healing a foreshadowing of the cross of Christ. It is certain that the way of life necessarily finds some hard places, leads to some painful experiences and afflictions. Indeed this is necessary to discipline, and this whole lesson teaches that when we come to these afflictions or other trials that may be bitter, the cross will sweeten them so as to make them bearable, converting the bitter into sweet. A splendid commentary on the lesson is J. G. Holland's great poem, "Bittersweet." If you have not read it) read it, and there learn the lesson of Marah.


9. What is the lesson of Elim?


Ans. – As Marah shows that life's pilgrimage must come to some hard places, Elim shows that there are alternations of most pleasant places. Here were twelve flowing springs and abundant pasturage, and the palm tree for shade. The providence of God does not lead us always to climbing hills and to sufferings from sickness. It brings us now and then to Beulah lands. It is quite probable that they remained at Elim several days until man and beast were refreshed. Compare Job in his reflections.


10. What are the great lessons of the manna?


Ans. – (1) From pleasant Elim they go into the horrible desert of Sin and now, their supplies brought from Egypt having been consumed, the people are suffering from the keenest pangs of hunger. The bread and meat question in all human history has been one to try the souls of the people. What shall we eat and what shall we drink? is the fruitful source of needless anxiety, as we learn from the Sermon on the Mount. If the high cost of living at the present time oppresses the poor and puts them on the danger line of desperate deeds, how sore must have been this trial to these people in this dreadful wilderness when there was no food at all! It was a time for great faith in God. They were not equal, however, to the occasion. (2) They not only murmured against the earthly leaders whom God had appointed, but they looked back longingly to the flesh-pots of Egypt. They preferred abundant food in Egypt with slavery to hunger in the wilderness with liberty. How Patrick Henry's voice would have sounded there: "Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?" (3) Jehovah now announces that he will rain bread from heaven but in such a way as that their dependence on him shall be day by day, and that he is able to set a table before them in the wilderness, not only by supplying bread in the morning but causing quail by the thousands to light in the camp in the evenings.


11. Describe the coming of the manna, its appearance and taste.


Ans. – (1) It came as dew. (2) It looked like coriander seed. (3) It tasted like honey and wafers.


12. What was the occasion of its name?


Ans. – When the people looked upon something like hoarfrost on the ground and were informed that this was their bread from heaven, all over the camps the question spontaneously came: "What is it?" What a fine text for a sermon. "What is it?" That is the meaning of manna. They saw the bread thus spread on the ground, and said, "Manual" meaning, "What is it?"


13. What was the law of its coming so as to mark the sabbath?


Ans. – On the sabbath day no manna fell; it was God's calendar. If the people in the monotony of their life should forget, once every week when they looked out and found the ground bare, that said, "Today is the holy sabbath of the Lord." For many long years the absence of manna on the seventh day served the purpose of a church bell.


14. What of the Law of when and how much to gather?


Ans. – It was to be gathered every morning that it appeared. A definite quantity must be gathered for each one, just a sufficiency. On every Friday they must gather twice as much as on the other secular days of the week, because none would come on the sabbath day. This remarkable supply and its method taught the lesson later inculcated in the Lord's Prayer, "Give us this day our daily bread," or "Give us our bread day by day." It also calls up that remarkable prayer of Agur: Two things have I asked of Thee; Deny me them not before I die: Remove far from me falsehood and lies; Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is needful for me; Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is Jehovah? Or lest I be poor, and steal, And use profanely the name of my God.


– PROVERBS 30:7-9


15. How was disobedience of this law discoverable in three particulars?


Ans. – (1) If on Friday, they forgot that the morrow was the sabbath, or if remembering, they trusted to find enough on the sabbath to satisfy for that day, then they must starve that day. Others could not supply them, for each one had just enough for himself. (2) If when they gathered it in the morning they provided more than the allowance, it shrank to the measure of the omer. (3) If doubting that it might come the next day they preserved a part of one day's supply for the next day, it stank and bred worms. And some of the people were caught on all these points.


16. What, then, was the purpose of this marvelous miracle?


Ans. – Its purpose was threefold: (1) To make the people see and feel their dependence upon God; (2) to make them feel this dependence day by day; (3) to mark in the most marvelous way the necessity of setting apart one-seventh of their time, not merely to freedom from work but to worship God and thus keep them from straying too far from the Lord.


17. What scriptures show how long this miracle lasted?


Ans. – Joshua 5:10-12, and Exodus 16:35, show that at Gilgal after the Passover following the circumcision, they did eat of the old corn of the land and the manna ceased. Just forty years from the time that they had left Egypt.


18. What was the memorial of the manna?


Ans. – A pot of the manna, a day's allowance, was laid up before the Lord, like Aaron's rod that budded, and kept for a memorial unto all generations.


19. Where do we find an elaborate discussion of the antitype of the manna?


Ans. – The whole of John 6, is devoted to a discussion of this subject, and we cannot understand the fulness of the lesson on the manna until we have mastered that chapter.


20. What further New Testament scripture refers to this antitypical lesson?


Ans. – Revelation 2:17, to the church at Pergamos, Jesus says, "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna." The hidden manna may refer to the preserved pot of manna kept later in the ark, or it may refer to its spiritual signification, that is, faith daily feeding on the Lord.


21. What name does Paul give to the manna?


Ans. – 1 Corinthians 10:3: "And did all eat the same spiritual meat."


22. In what later scripture does Moses show that God provided at this time against nakedness as well as against hunger and thirst?


Ans. – In Deuteronomy 29:5-6: "And I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes are not waxed old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxed old upon thy foot. Ye have not eaten bread, neither have ye drunk wine or strong drink' that ye may know that I am Jehovah your God."


23. In what way during this part of the pilgrimage, and all the rest of it, did Jehovah provide against heat by day and darkness by night?


Ans. – The pillar of cloud spread over them as a shade by day, and illuminated their camps at night.

 

 

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FROM THE RED SEA TO SINAI (Continued) Exodus 17-18

 


Our present chapter is a continuation of the last theme, "From the Red Sea to Sinai," and this part of the theme is covered by Exodus 17-18. The chapter will be given catechetically.


1. What was the double sin of Israel at Rephidim?


Ans. – The chiding of Moses and the tempting of God.


2. What was the occasion of this sin?


Ans. – No water for the people to drink.


3. In what words did they chide Moses?


Ans. – "Give us water that we may drink . . . Wherefore hast thou brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?" This chiding of Moses is further repeated in their being ready to stone him.


4. How did they tempt God?


Ans. – By saying, "Is the Lord among us or not?" That certainly ought not to have been a debatable matter. They should have remembered the indications of God's presence with them when they were in Goshen, and the mighty work that he did in their deliverance, and how he was with them at the Red Sea and in the pillar of cloud and of fire. His presence was visible to them at all times. In their perplexities he had communed with them through Moses, and had just sweetened the water at Marah.


5. How was the want supplied?


Ans. – Jehovah commanded Moses to take with him the elders of the people and the rod, the staff, and go to the rock in Horeb and smite it, and water would gush out of it. At the striking of that rock by Moses, the fountain was unsealed. The first time I saw Kickapoo Spring in Texas, I was reminded of the smiting of the rock. That spring cornes out of the rock just about on a level with your face as you stand in front of it, and the volume of water is about one yard thick, just gushing out, and trout are playing in it fifteen steps from where it gushes from the rock. An old Indian tradition is that in days long past a number of the Indians' were there starving and that there came a thunderbolt which smote the rock and unsealed that fountain of water.


6. What names were given to these places? What of their derivation and meaning?


Ans. – The names given were Massah and Meribah. They I are derived from verbs. Massah is the noun of the verb which j means "to tempt, or prove." Massah, then, means temptation, trial or a proving, from v. 7: "And he called the name of I the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the striving of the children of Israel, and because they tempted Jehovah, I saying, Is Jehovah among us or not?" In v. 2 the verb "to: chide" has for its noun Meribah, and the meaning is suggested by the verb "to chide." Meribah then means a chid-. ing. "Wherefore the people strove with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink" (v. 2).


7. How does Moses later refer to this sin?


Ans. – Deuteronomy 6:16: "Ye shall not tempt Jehovah your God, as ye tempted him in Massah." There on the borders of the Promised Land about thirty-nine years after this event, Moses gave them this law.


8. How does our Lord apply these words of Moses?


Ans. – We learn in Matthew 4 and Luke 5 that when Jesus was tempted of Satan in the wilderness, he cut him off by this saying: "It is written, Thou shall not tempt the Lord thy God," quoting Moses.


9. What does Paul say of this event at Rephidim, and what does he mean by the rock "following them"? And how do the rabbis explain that "following"?


Ans. – Paul says that the fathers did all eat the same spiritual meat (referring to the manna), and did drink the same spiritual drink, i.e., the water from the smitten rock, and he is "That rock was Christ." Now, the rabbis claim one of two alternate things: (1) That when the Israelites moved away from there that rock moved with them, carrying its fountain of waters, which is foolishness; or (2) that while the rock remained where it was, yet the water followed that company trough their march; that stream which started to flow at Horeb followed them wherever they went, and that, too, is foolishness, for a good deal of the time they went uphill, and that being so, there would be no necessity later on to get water from another rock, as we learn in Numbers. What, then, does Paul mean in this: "And all were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual food; and did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of a spiritual rock that followed them; and the rock was the Christ" (I Cor. 10:2-4). The meaning is that Christ in his pre-incarnate state accompanied them all through their wanderings.


10. Contrast this water from the rock with a later occasion, as given in Numbers 20, and expound the difference.


Ans. – In the occasion at Horeb God commands Moses to smite the rock. In the occasion at Kadesh God commands Moses to speak to the rock, not to smite it, but to speak to it. But Moses, instead of speaking to it as he had been commanded, smote it twice in anger. The benefits coming from Christ originated in his being smitten, and he was smitten once for all. He has to die but once; the sacrifice was never to be repeated, but after he died we get the benefits which flow from Christ by petition; by speaking to him. We do not have to crucify him afresh every time we need anything from him. He was to be crucified but one time. But all through our lives we may speak to the smitten rock and get what we need. That is the most striking point of contrast.


11. What other great event occurred at Rephidim?


Ans. – At that point the Israelites were attacked by Amalekites.


12. Who were the Amalekites? Their position among the nations?


Ans. – We learn in Genesis that one of the descendants of Esau, the elder brother of Jacob, was Amaiek; and hence many commentators make the Amalekites kinsmen of the Israelites, the descendants of Esau. I am not at all inclined to accept that. The only thing in the world to support it is that Esau did have a son named Amalek, and that is all there is. But in the Bible references the Amalekites are not reckoned as descendants of Shem. They are reckoned with the Amorites; Jebusites, Hittites, and Philistines, occupying the Holy Land and those neighboring to it. So I would say that the Amalekites were a tribe descended from Ham, and occupied territory assigned to them. Their principal territory at this time was in the Arabian Desert, extending all the way from Sinai to the borders of the Holy Land. We get at their position among the nations by certain words of Balaam, the prophet, who, under the inspiration of God, spoke a word against the Amalekites, calling them "the chief of the nations" (Numbers 24:20.)


13. Who commanded Israel's forces in this battle? How ς many times before this is he named? Was his name Joshua! at the time of the battle? If not, what was his name, and: when and why did he get the name Joshua?


Ans. – Joshua commanded Israel's forces in this battle. His name does not appear in the record before this incident. His name was not Joshua at the time of this battle. It was Hoshea which was later changed to Joshua by Moses when he sent the spies to view the land.


This shows that Exodus up this point, at least, was written after the incident of sending out the spies. Moses here calls him Joshua because by the time of the writing of this record he was known by this name. Just as I say, "When was Abraham born? When did he enter Haran and the Promised Land?" Now, his name was not Abraham but Abram when he entered Haran. I am speaking of it later and mean to say that his name was Abram then.


14. Explain v. 11-12 of this chapter: "And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun."


Ans. – The principal thought is that while in the line of duty, Joshua with the armed members of Israel should fight his best, but there is praying to be done; fight and pray, like "watch and pray." So the lifting up of the hands of Moses signifies the intercession to the God of battles that victory might be with the Israelites; that is the signification of it. The lifting up of the hands in the Psalms refers to the praying of the people at the time of the evening sacrifice. Now, while Joshua fought, Moses prayed. Moses had a part to do in that battle, and if his intercession stopped, then the Amalekites would get the victory, which means that if he pitched untried Israel against warlike Amalek and left God out, Amalek would win the fight, but one plus God is a majority always. Intercession keeps God on the side of Israel; and while Moses prays, the inferior Israelites will triumph over the superior Amalekites.


15. What is the thought and application of "Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands"? Illustrate.


Ans. – It suggests the thought of there being something for everybody to do. Joshua must fight and Moses must continue his pleading; he is the great intercessor of his people, a mediator; and if weakness at last overcomes him, and his hands have to drop, that suggests something for somebody else to do. "I cannot fight like Joshua; I cannot plead like Moses; but I can stand by Moses and hold up his hands; I can keep the posture of supplication continually." You have heard of the man who wanted to go down into a mire and rescue some perishing people, and there were a great many who were competent to do that. One of them volunteered, saying, "I'll go down if you will hold the rope." He had to be let down; and our foreign missionaries use that and say, "We will go to the heathen alone if you people at home will hold the rope. Don't you quit praying for us. Don't quit contributing; don't let us get out of your mind." There is something for everybody to do. You cannot do Joshua's part, nor Moses' part, but perhaps you can do the part of Aaron and Hur. You can hold up somebody's hands. I heard a pastor once make this remark: "You have been unfaithful to me since I became pastor of this church." The man said, "No man living has ever heard me say a word against you, and you cannot prove that I did." "No, I cannot prove that." And the man continued, "I have always paid my part of your salary promptly; you cannot deny that." "No." "Then why do you say I have been unfaithful to you?" The pastor replied: "You have not held up my hands. As a deacon of this church you had something more to do than simply to refrain from criticizing the pastor. You are an officer of the church, and the office of a deacon was instituted as a help to the pastor; you don't stay up my hands."


16. What was the memorial of this battle? What is its object?


Ans. – It is expressed in these words: "And Jehovah said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in the book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven." The memorial was a sentence from God to be put into the book, the book of the Pentateuch. Moses would keep on writing; here he would put in some, then again he would put some in the book which was to be the Bible of this people, and of all God's people until the end of time. God said, "Write." "Write what?" "I will blot out the name of Amalek from the whole earth." That is the memorial. The object of the memorial was this: To rehearse it to Joshua. You tell Joshua what you have written "So now, Joshua, you are to succeed Moses; after awhile you are to command the armies of Israel. You are never to forget that the sentence is in the Holy Book: 'Amalek must be blotted out.'" Like the voice of old Cato every time he would make a speech in the Roman senate: Carthago delenda est, i.e., "Carthage must be destroyed." Rome was not safe unless Carthage perished. Now you rehearse this to Joshua, and let Joshua's successors see it in this book; and their successors said, "Amalek must be destroyed."


17. What is the meaning of Jehovah-nissi? Illustrate.


Ans. – Moses built an altar there and he called it "Jehovahnissi" – "Jehovah is my banner." Nissi means banner. I once heard my father preach a sermon on "Jehovah-nissi." I was a little fellow, and I remember that he wanted us to get the true meaning of that title: "Jehovah our Banner." How is the flag an ensign? "In order to get the thought," he said, "go back to Moses praying." As long as the hands of Moses were upheld the Israelites prevailed. What does that posture of Moses with outstretched hands look like? What does it make? A cross. The Lord is our banner; banners have something on them, like the English battle flag. Now you are to think of a banner with a cross inscribed on it.


Constantine reminds you of this, who, when he first became a Christian, declared he was led to conversion by something he had seen in a great battle with his enemy; that while the battle was at its hottest, and the Roman army seemed about to be defeated, he saw in the clouds a banner on which was written the words, over an inscribed cross. In hoc siano vince, "by this sign conquer." Constantine always claimed that saw that flag in the air.


The first time that I ever heard of it was my father’s telling this incident n his sermon. Now he say, “This posture [with his hands down] would not be a banner; this posture [arms and hands outstretched, horizontal with shoulders] is & banner. As long as Moses held up his hands, Israel prevailed but if Moses let down his hands, Amalek prevailed. Therefore who did that whipping? It was not Joshua and it was nod Israel. When did the whipping take place? When Moses has his hands outstretched. That must have been Jehovah-nissi Jehovah Our Banner. In this banner we conquer." Anyhow I tell it to you for whatever value you are disposed to attach thereto.


18. Explain the first clause of v.16.


Ans. – This is the last verse of the chapter. "Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi; and he said, Jehovah hath sworn; Jehovah will have war with Amalek from generation to generation," or the marginal reference, "Because there is a hand against the throne of Jehovah" – (Hebrew) – "A hand is lifted up upon the throne of Jah." Because the'; Lord hath sworn. The difficulty of explaining that is this? The text of the Hebrew does not hold that out well. The' real meaning makes sense. The Hebrew expresses the idea of putting a hand on the throne. "A hand is lifted upon the throne of Jah." Now God would not swear by his throne; as we are told in the New Testament. Men swear by a greater; and because God could not swear by a greater than himself, he took an oath himself, by all his authority. That is why the King James Version is a bad rendering of the Hebrew. But somebody's hand is reaching up to that throne. Whose and what is it? Amalek. What is Amalek trying to reach? The throne of Jehovah, working against the march of God's people. That makes sense. Because he hath put his hand on the throne of Jehovah, Jehovah hath sworn that he will have with him from generation to generation. That is certainly a fine sense.


19. When and where do the Amalekites next fight Israel?


Ans. – Numbers 23. After the people have gotten to Kadesh-barnea, and the spies had returned, the people refused to go up. Moses then announced their doom. That was never to be recalled. So far as that generation was concerned, they were doomed; they had rebelled and murmured and now when God bad brought them to the very border of the land, they refused to go in. He now announces the doom on this generation, and this made such an impression on the people that they said, "We will go up." Moses says, "You cannot go up because the Lord won't let you." "We will go up anyhow," said they, in their presumption. They went up, and met Amalek drawn up in battle array. The same people that had fought them just before they had gotten to Sinai now fights them on the other border just before they go to enter the Holy Land; as God was not with them, and nobody interceded with outstretched hands, Amalek prevailed and Israel was defeated. That is the next battle.


20. When was the doom, pronounced by Moses, fulfilled?


Ans. – This war was going on, and God had it recorded in the Bible that Amalek was to be blotted out from the face of the earth. When fulfilled? I cite you to I Samuel 15, and if you know of anything later happening to these people, tell me about it. Saul, the first king of Israel, destroyed the Amalekites.


21. Who was the last Amalekite known to the Bible, what was his attitude toward Israel and what became of him?


Ans. – After the monarchy had perished and Daniel was dead, Esther was queen to the Xerxes who led his army into Greece. Haman, the Amalekite, a descendant of the Agagites, sought to destroy Mordecai the Jew; and he himself swung on the gallows which he had erected for Mordecai; so the last we see of the Amalekites is Haman swinging. Look at this last of them. Hundreds and hundreds of years, we go back to this memorial written in the Book: "I will blot Amalek from the face of the earth," and at last the sponge is passed over the slate and that problem is wiped out.


22. What momentous meeting took place at Horeb?


Ans. – Jethro, father-in-law to Moses, having heard of his glorious success in the deliverance of the people and that he is approaching Horeb, goes to meet him with Zipporah, the wife of Moses, and his two sons. You see when Moses and Zipporah started to go to Egypt and had that little discussion about circumcising the second child, Moses sent her back., She did not go on with him. All that time she was in her father's house. When the father hears that Moses has reached that mountain, he thought Moses had better have his wife and children, and I agree with him. How very handsomely I does he compliment Moses on his achievements; and they talk. about each other's welfare. Moses tells him all the details of the Israelites' deliverance.


23. What valuable suggestion of Jethro was made to Moses?


Ans. – Jethro was there as a guest, and sat around the camp, noticing Moses early and late. Moses would sit there and judge cases presented. Two women would come up after a dispute and ask Moses which was right. From all over the camp of three million people, every little judicial matter was brought to This man, and great crowds would be waiting to get brought to this man, and great crowds would be waiting to get audience. Old Jethro seems to have been a man of good common sense. So he says, "This is not good; you are killing yourself and wear-ing out these people. I suggest that you appoint a number of judges to whom all these small cases shall be referred. Let them decide such. But the things – the big things – that relate to God, let them be brought to you; and in that way you will live; and you will put some of the rest of these people to work.” It was a grand thought and was adopted by Moses. It was the commencement of the judicial system in the organization of the well-known justice court for small cases. We have a county, district, and a justice court. Little cases go to the latter; and if the cases require a bigger court, they go to the county court; and still rigger affairs that relate to more than one county go to the circuit court.


24. Compare this appointing of judges relieving Moses from the details of multitudinous affairs with a similar relief in Numbers 11:1-17, brought about in exactly the same way.


Ans. – These were not to have charge of judicial matters, but tribal. So God tells Moses to appoint seventy men of the elders of Israel, saying, "I will take of the Spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone." These elders were to judge the tribal cases. We have a similar circumstance in Acts 6:1-6: "Now in these days when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a murmuring of the Grecian (Hellenistic) Jews against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. And the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not fit that we should forsake the word of God and serve tables. Look ye out therefore, brethren, from among you seven men of good report, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will continue stedfastly in prayer, and in the ministry of the word."


25. Now compare this appointment of judges with the appointment of seventy elders in Numbers II and with the appointment of deacons in Acts 6; define and illustrate the economic principle governing the three transactions.

 

Ans. ee answer to question 24. The economic principle is the division of labor. It is not worth while for a man to attend to details which anybody else can and will do. Never use a thirteen-inch cannon to shoot a humming bird. The division of labor is the answer. To illustrate: Dr. Howard, pastor of the First Church at Galveston, was one day approached by Deacon Dunklin, who said, "You are not doing well; you are doing too much, the whole thing, pastor, clerk, treasurer, and Sunday school superintendent. Now you are wearing yourself out and there are just a lot of good people in this church lying around idle who can help the pastor do some of these things; and they will be better satisfied if you give them something to do, and you will preach better sermon and do better pastoral work if you don't have to worry over a thousand things." That illustrates the point.

 

 

XII

 

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THE COVENANT AT SINAI – ITS GENERAL FEATURES Exodus 19:1 to 24:11

 


The covenant at Sinai is the central part of the Old Testament. There is no more important part than the giving of the law on Mount Sinai, coupled with all of the transactions that took place while the children of Israel remained there. We first discuss, in catechetical form, the covenant in its general features.


1. Describe the place of the covenant.


Ans. – The name of the place is sometimes called Sinai and sometimes Horeb. Moses himself calls it each one. Horeb is the range of mountains of which Sinai is the chief peak. So you speak truly when you say that the law was given at Horeb and at Sinai. But that there is a distinction between the two, you have only to see that at Rephidim, where the rock was smitten, it was a part of the high range, and is called, in Exodus 17:6, the rock in Horeb; and yet the succeeding chapters show that they had not yet gotten to Sinai. In describing the place, then, the first thing is to give its name, which is the range of mountains called Horeb, whose chief peak is Sinai. The second idea of the place is that this range of mountains, including Sinai, is situated in Southern Arabia between two arms of the sea, and the triangular district between those two arms of the sea is called the Sianitic peninsula. The third part of the answer in describing the place is this: The immediate place has a valley two and one half miles long by one and one-half miles wide, perfectly level and right under Sinai. Sinai goes up like a precipice for a considerable distance, then slopes toward the peak, and Overlooks a valley and a plain, for it is a long way above the level of the sea. This valley is the only place in all tin country where the people could be brought together in one body for such purposes as were transacted here. Modern re- search has made it perfectly clear that this valley right under Sinai is the place for the camp, and you can put three millions of people there, and then up the gorges on the mountain sides there is abundant range for their flocks and herds.


2. What are the historical associations of this place, before and since?


Ans. – It was called the Mount of God before Moses ever saw it, and there was a good road into these mountains prepared by the Egyptians in order to get to certain mines which they had in the mountains of Horeb. Since that time we associate Horeb with Elijah when he got scared and ran a the way from Samaria to Mount Sinai – a big run; he was very badly scared; and what he was scared at was more terrible than a man; a woman was after him. He was not afraid of Ahab, but he was afraid of Jezebel. Now, Sinai is associated with Elijah; and I believe that Jesus went to Sinai, an I am sure Paul did. He says when he was called to preach, "I did not go to Jerusalem for the people there to tell me now to preach, but I went into Arabia." He stayed there three years, and, as I think, he came down to this place when the Law was given, in order to catch the spirit of the occasion of the giving of the Law from looking at the mountain itself and there received the revelations of the new covenant which was to supersede the covenant given upon Mount Sinai. Long after Paul's time the historical associations of Sinai are abundant. Many of the books that teach about the Crusades have remarkable incidents in connection with the Sinaitic Peninsula and particularly this mountain. If you were there today, you would see buildings perpetuating Mosaic incidents, and on this mountain is a convent belonging to the Eastern, the Greek church, rather than to the Roman church; and in that convent Tischendorf found the famous Sinaitic manuscript of the New Testament, which is the oldest, the best and the most complete. There are associations in connection with Sinai which extend to the fifteenth century and even after.


3. What was the time of the arrival of these people at this mountain?


Ans. – The record says, "In the third month after the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the game day came they into the wilderness of Sinai." In chapter 16 it says: "And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt." They left Egypt on the fifteenth and were in the wilderness of Sin on the fifteenth of the next month, one month's time; but while it is only one month in time, it covered parts of two months. "Now in the third month", but just where in it the record does not say – they reached Sinai. Another question on that directly.


In discussing this subject, I shall have the following general heads: (1) The Preparation for the Covenant; (2) The Covenant Itself; (3) The Stipulations of the Covenant; (4) The Covenant Accepted; (5) The Covenant Ratified; (6) The Feast of the Covenant. That will be the order of this chapter.


4. What was the proposition and reply?


Ans. – In chapter 19 the proposition for the covenant comes from God in these words: "And Moses went up unto God, and Jehovah called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel [here's the proposition]: Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be mine own possession from among all peoples: For all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel." On those terms God proposes a covenant. Now, let us see if the people agree to enter into covenant with God: "And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which Jehovah commanded him. And all the people answered together and said, All that Jehovah hath spoken we will do.” Moses then reported back to God what the people said. here was a mutual agreement on the part of the people enter into a covenant (Ex. 19:7-8).


5. What was the method of Jehovah's approach in order enter the covenant?


Ans. – The theophanv. "Theonhany" means an appearance of God. God says to Moses, in describing how he will come, that he will come in a cloud; that they won't see him; but they will see the cloud and hear his voice; an appearance of God, some of it visible, a cloud that envelops God, and voice Heard.


6. What was the preparation for this covenant they se to enter into?


Ans. – The first part of it was to sanctify the mountain "Sanctify" means to set apart, or to make holy; to sanctify a mountain is to set it apart. That mountain which was to be the scene and place of this great covenant between God and the people was set apart, things set upon it, fenced about', with the prohibitions of God: "Don't you come too close I it; don't touch it." Just as God fenced the burning bush when he said to Moses "Don't, draw nigh; stop, you are enough; take the shoes off your feet; this is holy ground." The next part of the preparation was to sanctify the people. This was done ceremonially. They were ceremonially purified, as is expressed in these words: "Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto Jehovah to gaze, and many of them perish. And let the priests also that come near to Jehovah, sanctify themselves, lest Jehovah break forth upon them."

 

7. What was to be the signal which would bring the people close to that mountain and put them into the presence of God?

 

Ans. – It was a trumpet sound, described on this occasion in such a way as to thrill the people hearing the sound. This sound was prolonged, and thus it waxed louder and louder and louder – a fearful, unearthly sound. No human lips blew that trumpet earth never heard it before; the earth will hear it again only one more time, and that when Christ comes to judge the world; he will then come with the sound of a trumpet.


8. What was to be the time when God and the people, after this preparation, should come together?


Ans. – On the third day.


9. Describe Jehovah's coming on the third day and compare Deuteronomy 4:10-12.


Ans. – The record says, "And it came to pass on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; and all the people that were in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. And Mount Sinai) the whole of it, smoked, because Jehovah descended upon it in fire; and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the trumpet waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice" (Ex. 19:16-19). In Deuteronomy 4:10-12, Moses describes it again, referring to that great occasion, the theophany, and he uses this language: "The day that thou stoodest before Jehovah thy God in Horeb, when Jehovah said unto me, Assemble me the people, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children. And ye came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the heart of heaven, with darkness, cloud, and thick darkness. And Jehovah spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of. words but ye saw no form; only ye heard a voice." "Form" or similitude is a likeness; "you heard a voice, but saw no likeness or similitude of God."


10. Who was the mediator of this covenant between God: and the people?


Ans. – You will notice that the people and God do not come together directly. In the book of Job he says, "There is no daysman who shall stand between me and God, touching God, touching me." If God had revealed himself visibly to the people and directly, the sight would have killed them, for they were a sinful people. In order to get to them, then, there was a necessity for a middleman, a mediator; one who should approach God for the people and approach the people for God. Now who was this mediator? Moses.


11. What part did the angels take, and how signified?


Ans. – In the later books of the Bible we learn that this law was given by the disposition of angels and was signified by that trumpet, the trumpet served to summon the whole army of God's angels.


12. When again will it sound, and why?


Ans. – When the judgment day comes: "He shall come with the sound of the trumpet"; and when that trumpet sounds, its object is not to wake the dead, according to the Negro theology, but to marshal the angels, to bring them back with him.


13. What are the great lessons of this preparation?


Ans. – Let us get these clearly in our minds: (1) That this is to be a theocratic covenant. I want you to get the idea of this, viz.: The difference between a democratic covenant (made with all the people), an aristocratic covenant (made with the nobles, the best of the people) and a theocratic covenant, one in which God alone makes the stipulation. The people don't prescribe anything. God tells everything that is to be done, either on his part or on their part. All the people have to do in a theocratic covenant is to say "yes" or "no"; to accept or reject. (2) That it was a mediatorial covenant) not a covenant directly between God and the people, but a covenant in which a daysman goes between, a mediator to transmit from God to the people, and from the people to God. (3) The third great lesson is that the people, in order to enter into a covenant with God, even through a mediator, must have the following requirements: (a) They must make a great voluntary decision (v. 8). You remember when Elijah summoned all the people to meet him on the mountain with the prophets of Baal, and had the test as to who was God, and the prophets of Baal were to try to bring proof that they represented God, and he was to prove that he represented God; that he proposed to them that day to make a great decision: "How long halt ye?" "Halt" does not mean to "linger," but to "limp"; a halting man in the Bible is a "limping" man. "How long hobble ye as a limping man between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow him; if Baal be God, follow him" (I Kings 18:21-40). This is the lesson: That what the people must do was to make this great decision. Moses could not make it for them. They were brought up there; they had plenty of ground on which to stand; that valley was two and a half miles long and one and a half miles wide; and God could speak loud enough for them to hear him, and anything they said he could hear. "Now, you people, will you make this decision?" And they said, "We will." (b) The people must have fear toward Jehovah. "You are not entering into a covenant with a dumb idol, but with the living God." (c) "And you must have reverence. Don't get too close to the divine presence; don't try to break through that fence; don't touch the mountain; do not presume to be intimate with Jehovah. You must have reverence." (d) The next requirement was holiness; and that holiness is a sanctifying by the ceremonial purification. The last requirement (e) is obedience. "Will you obey? Will you do it.?" Suppose now, to give you, the idea perfectly, I ask again: What are the great lesson from this preparation? Theocratic covenant; lessons of the mediatorial covenant; What the people must do: decide, fear God, have reverence, be purified, obey God. That discusses the first part of the preparation for the covenant. We will now discuss, in general terms, the covenant itself.


14. Give proofs that what we call the giving of the law of Mount Sinai is a covenant as well as a law.


Ans. – The evidence of its being a covenant is presented by the meaning of the word "covenant," viz.: agreement between two, under stipulations binding either party. That is a covenant; and the ratification takes place by the sacrifice of a victim. All the covenants of the Old Testament are of that kind. As a proof that this is a covenant, God, the party of the first part, makes the proposition to enter into the covenant; then the people agree to it; and next, God prescribes, what he will do, and what they must do. These are the stipulations of the covenant. Then the people must accept formally after they have heard all the stipulations, and then comes the ratification. In Exodus 24:1-8, we have an account of the ratification. In this chapter I shall speak of it more as a covenant than as a law.


15. What are its three constituent parts, binding the people?


Ans. – Whatever mistakes you make, do not make a mistake in answering this question. It is just as clear as a sunbeam that this covenant entered into on Mount Sinai has three distinctive, constituent parts: (1) The moral law (Ex. 20:117), the Ten Commandments, the first part of the covenant. (2} The altar, or law of approach to God (Ex. 20:24-26;23:14-19). In case you cannot keep the moral law, the law of the altar comes in. (3) The civil or national law, (Ex. I to 23:13). Now, what are the constituent parts of the covenant? Moral law, law of the altar, or way of approach to God, also the civil, or national law. The civil law of judgments covers several chapters: they are all a part of this covenant. Now, let us separate those ideas: (1) Relates to the character of the person; (2) to the way you can approach God, if you fail in character; (3) to the civil, or national affairs. Israel was a nation. This is not Abraham making a covenant; it is not Moses making one; it is a nation entering into a covenant with God, to be his treasure, his peculiar people. And I venture to say that everything else in the Pentateuch, whether in the rest of the book of Exodus, in Leviticus, in Numbers, or in Deuteronomy, everything is developed from one or other of these three things. All Leviticus is developed from the law of the altar; it is just simply an elaboration of that part of this covenant they entered into with God, and was enacted when they were at Sinai. All that part of Numbers up to the time they left Sinai (first ten chapters) is a development of one or another of these three parts. Every new enactment which comes in Numbers, every restatement occurring in Deuteronomy must be collocated there with the moral law and with the altar law, or with the national law. I had the pleasure at Brownwood, Texas, at the request of the school, the churches, and the people there, to deliver a lecture on Leviticus, so as in one lecture to give those people an idea of the book. And the first thing I wrote on the blackboard was: "Everything in the book of Leviticus is developed from that part of the covenant given on Mount Sinai which relates to the law of the altar, or the way of approach to God."


16. In what prophecy is it shown that this covenant given on Mount Sinai shall be superseded by a new covenant with different terms?


Ans. – Jeremiah is the prophet. The passage commences: "In the last days, saith the Lord, I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, not like the covenant I made with them when I led them out of Egypt." Jeremiah then shows how different the terms of the new covenant shall be from those of the covenant given at Sinai (Jer. 31:31-34).


17. Where in the New Testament are the terms of the two covenants contrasted in this form: "Do and thou shalt live," and "Live and (thou shalt) do"?


Ans. – You are bound to see that there is a sharp contrast between the new and the old covenants. If this old covenant says, "Do in order to live," and the new one says, "Live in order to do," you must be alive before you can do; and. they then start in different directions, keep going away from each other, one going up, the other going down. Where in the New Testament is that thought brought out? (Rom. 10:5ff.)


18. Where in the New Testament is the contrast between the two covenants expressed in allegory?


Ans. – Galatians 4:24ff.


19. What three books of the New Testament best expound the covenants as contrasted?


Ans. – Galatians, Romans, and Hebrews (in that order), particularly, Hebrews. And now comes a question of chronology.


20. What is the support for the Jewish tradition that this covenant was enacted the fiftieth day after the Passover sacrifice in Exodus 12?


Ans. – You know the Jews always have maintained that the law given on Mount Sinai was on the fiftieth day after the Passover was celebrated; just as in the New Testament the Holy Spirit was given on the fiftieth day after the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Alexander Campbell makes a great point of that: The giving of the new covenant law must be on the fiftieth day after Christ's crucifixion. You could make it a proof this way: Exodus 12 says that this month Abib, later called Nisan, i.e., after the captivity it was so called, shall be the beginning of the year to you, and on the fifteenth day of that month they left Egypt, not on the first day of the month, but on the fifteenth, which was the beginning of the new year. The Passover was slain on the night of the fourteenth, and hurriedly eaten. On the fifteenth they marched out. Chapter 16 tells us that on the fifteenth day of the next month, which would be about a month after they left Egypt, they were then in the wilderness of Sin, not very far from Mount Sinai, but only one month gone. Now, there are several stations at which they stopped before reaching Sinai, and they could be at Sinai and waiting three days, devoting the time to preparation, and making the giving of the law on the fiftieth day. The argument can be made out so that the time covered from the leaving of Rameses in Egypt to the arrival at Sinai would be less than two months, as fifty days does not equal two lunar months; there must be fifty-six days to get two lunar months, even.


21. The next question bears on the stipulations of the covenant. Where do we find the stipulations of what God would do for his part?


Ans. – What God proposes to do is expressed in chapter 19: "Ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people, and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation." Then in chapter 23 he enumerates what he will do. "I send an angel before thee, to keep thee by the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. . . . Mine angel shall go before thee . . . and I will cut off the opposing nations . . . and ye shall serve Jehovah your God, and he will bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee . . . I will drive these nations out from before thee. . . . And I will set thy border from the Red Sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness unto the river [i.e., Euphrates]." In other words, he will do what he promised to Abraham he would do, as to their boundary. That is what he proposes to do.


22. What must the people do?


Aug. – Keep those three parts of that covenant, having fear and reverence toward God, and toward his angels and toward Moses, the mediator. That is their part of the covenant.


23. Cite the passage to prove that the people agreed to enter into the covenant when proposed, and cite the passage showing their acceptance of it when stated. Pause Key (Key: Enter!)


Ans. - The covenant having been stated in all of its parts, God propounds to the people the plain question: "Will you accept it?" thus: "Moses told the people all the words of the law," i.e., the Decalogue, with the judgments, or the civil law, and the law of the altar, or the way of approach to God. And Moses wrote these words and said to the people, "Will you do them?" They said, "We will." It is very plain that after they had heard they accepted. And the next thing is the ratification.


24. Describe the ratification.


Ans. - I quote it: "Moses rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the mount, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. And he sent young men of the children of Israel, who offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto Jehovah. And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. And he took the book of the covenant [wrote those in a book; what both parties had obligated themselves to observe] and read in the audience of the people; and they said, All that Jehovah hath spoken will we do, and be obedient. And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which Jehovah hath made with you concerning all these words" (Ex. 24:4-8). That was the ratification.


25. What are the developments in the rest of the Pentateuch from each of the three parts of the covenant?


Ans. - The last chapter of Exodus, all of Leviticus, a large part of Numbers are devoted to the development of the Law of the Altar, Deuteronomy, to the Ten Commandments; a large part of Exodus and some of Deuteronomy, to the Civil Code.


26. In what part was the gospel germ?


Ans. - In the Altar, or Law of Approach to God.


27. What three books are specially commended?


Ans. - Boardman's Lectures on the Ten Commandments; Butler's Bible on the Giving of the Law at Sinai; and the) Presbyterian Catechism on the Ten Commandments.


28. What is the sign, or token of the covenant? Cite scripture.


Ans. -- Circumcision. Galatians 5:2.


29. How long after the call of Abraham and the promise to him, was this?


Ans. - Paul says, "Four hundred and thirty years." See Galatians 3:17.

 

 

XIII

 

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THE COVENANT AT SINAI (Continued)

Scripture: Same as in preceding chapter

 


1. The first question is based on 24:7: "And he took the book of the covenant." What is this book of the covenant?


Ans. – All that part of Exodus from 19 to 24-11. Moses wrote it then.


2. How may this book be regarded and what is its relation to all subsequent legislation in the Pentateuch?


Ans. – You may regard the book of the covenant as a constitution and all subsequent legislation as statutes evolved from that constitution. The United States adopted a constitution of principles and the revised statutes of the United States are all evolved from the principles contained in that constitution. So that this book of the covenant may be regarded as a national constitution.


3. Why, then, is the whole of the Pentateuch called the law?


Ans. – Because every part of the Pentateuch is essential to the understanding of the law. The historical part is just as necessary to the understanding of the law as any particular provision in the constitution, or any particular statute evolved from the constitution. The history must commence back at creation and go down to the passage over into the Promised Land. Very appropriately, then, do the Jews call the Pentateuch the torah, the law.


4. What other Pentateuchs?


Ans. – The five books of the Psalter. When you come to study the psalms, I will show you just where each book of the psalms commences and where it ends. They are just as distinct as the five books of Moses. Another Pentateuch is the fivefold Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Paul; and as Moses' Pentateuch is followed by Joshua the man of deeds, the Gospel Pentateuch is followed by Acts, which means deeds.


5. Where and when was a restatement and renewal of this covenant at Sinai?


Ans. – In the book of Deuteronomy. There not only had been a breach of the covenant in the case of the golden calf, which was forgiven, but there came a more permanent breach at Kadesh-barnea when the people refused, after God brought them to the border, to go over into the Promised Land, and they wandered until all that generation died. Their children are brought where their fathers would have been brought, and it became necessary to renew that covenant. You find the Ten Commandments in Deuteronomy just as you find them here.


6. State again exactly the three parts of the covenant.


Ans. – (1) The Ten Commandments, or moral law (Ex. 20:1-17); (2) the law of the altar, or the way of approach to God, in case the Ten Commandments were violated; (3) The judgments, or the civil law. Now from those three parts, the constituent elements of the covenant, are evolved everything, you might say, in all the rest of the books of the Bible. Leviticus is all evolved from the law of the altar; very much of Numbers and Deuteronomy is evolved from the civil law. Now before I consider Part I, that is, the Decalogue, I want to make a brief restatement of some things in the preceding chapter. The first is the covenant. A covenant is an agreement or compact between two or more parties with expressed stipulations showing what the two parties are to do. The parties to this Sinai covenant are: God upon the first part, and the people on the second part, with Moses as the daysman or mediator. In the preceding chapter we had the following outline:


A proposition upon God's part for a covenant and the people's acceptance of that proposition; A preparation for entering into that covenant; The covenant itself as expressed in three parts; The stipulations of the covenant as shown in the last chapter; The covenant ratified; The Feast of the Covenant.


Now we take up Part 1) the moral law; and we are to consider that moral law first, generally, then specifically. I can, in this chapter, get into only a part of the specifics of it.


7. What do we call Part I of this Covenant?


Ans. – We call it the moral law; or, using a Greek word, the Decalogue.


8. What are the three scriptural names?


Ans. – The Bible gives (1) "the ten words"; that is what "decalogue" means, "the ten words spoken." God spake all these words. (2) "The tables" or "tablets," whereon these words were written, and (3) "the tables of the testimony." When this written form was deposited in the ark of the covenant, from that time on they are called "the tables of the testimony."


9. Give the history of these tablets.


Ans. – They were written on tables of stone by the finger of God; that was the original copy. Moses broke them when the people made a breach of the covenant in the matter of the golden calf. God called him up into the mountain again and rewrote these Ten Commandments; that was the second copy. Both of these God wrote. These two tables that God wrote on were deposited in the ark when it was constructed, and that, too, before they left this Mount Sinai. The last time they were seen, you learn from I Kings 8, was when Solomon moved that ark out of the tabernacle into the Temple which he had built. He had it opened and in there were the two tables of atone on which God had written. The probable fate of them is this, that when Jerusalem was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, he may have taken the ark of the covenant with the things in it as memorials of his victory, just as when Titus destroyed the Temple he took away the sacred things of the Temple; the seven-branched golden candlestick was carried in triumph into the city of Rome.


10. Divide these ten words first into grand divisions, and then into subdivisions.


Ans. – The grand divisions were two tables, one of them were the commandments relating to God, i.e., man's duty to God, and the other were the commandments expressing man's relation to his fellowman. The subdivisions are these: all that part of Exodus from 20:2, to the end of v. 17 is divided into ten parts. Those are the subdivisions of the two tables. We will note them precisely a little further on in chapter 14.


11. What is the Romanist method of subdivision and what are the objections thereto?


Ans. – The Romanists make one out of the first two commandments, and two out of the last. We say that the First Commandment is, "Thou shall have no other gods before me," and they say the first command is: "I am the Lord thy God which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, etc.," to the end of the Second Commandment.


12. What other ten words and how do you compare them?


Ans. – The ten words of creation and the ten Beatitudes spoken by our Lord. We compare them by a responsive reading.


13. How and where does Moses compress the ten into two?


Ans. – I will give the compression. In one place Moses says, "Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength." In another place Moses says, "Thou shalt love their neighbour as thyself," compressing the first table into one and the second table into one (Deut. 6:4f; Lev. 19:18).


14. What was the occasion of Christ's quotation of Moses compression?


Ans. – An inquirer came to him propounding this question: "Which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus, quoting Moses, says, "This is the great and first commandment, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and with all thy mind. And a second like unto it is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments the whole law hangeth, and the prophets."


15. What New Testament scripture shows the solidarity of the law?


Ans. – The solidarity of a thing means the inability to touch any part without touching it all; and if you violate one commandment you violate all the Decalogue, and if you are guilty of one you are guilty of all. The place in the New Testament where it is said, "He that is guilty of one point in the law is guilty of all," is James 2:10. That passage expresses the solidarity of the law.


16. How does the New Testament compress the ten into one?


Ans. – This passage is: "All the law is fulfilled in this one word, love," (Gal. 5:14).


17. Is this giving of the law, orally or in writing, the origin of the law? That is, was there no law before? Was it the origin of the law; and if not, what is it, and why is it?


Ans. – This is not the origin of the law, but it is an addition. The Scriptures say, "The law was added because of trans-gression."


18. Then, what is law?


Ans. – Law is that intent or purpose in the mind of the Creator, concerning any being or thing that he causes to be. Now, the intent that he had in his mind, the purpose, when he made man, is the law of man. The intent or purpose that he had in mind when he created the tree is the law of the tree. That law may not be expressed. It inheres: it is there in the nature of the thing. It may be expressed in the spoken commandment or in the written one. But you do not have to wait until the word is spoken or till the spoken word is written in order to have law. For example, Paul says, "Death reigned from Adam to Moses." But death is the penalty of the law, and "where there is no law there is no transgression." Now, if law didn't exist before given on Mount Sinai, why did those people die?


19. If the spoken or written law at Sinai was added because of transgression, show more particularly and illustrate its purpose, both negatively and positively. Now, if a law exists in God's mind and in the nature of the things that he creates, why did he afterward speak that law and have it written?


Ans. – (1) Because of transgression. We now show the mean ing of that, and illustrate it. We have the answer in this form: The purpose of speaking this law and of having it written negatively, was not to save men by it. They were lost when it was developed. But first it was to discover sin. Sin is hidden and there was a law, but it was not written or spoken. Now, God put that law in writing so that it could be held up by the side of a man, and his life, and his deeds to discover sin in him. Paul says, "I had not known sin except by the law." (2) This sin by the law is discovered to the man in order to convict him of this sin. Paul says, " I was alive without the law once [that is, before I knew it I felt like I was all right], but when the commandment came sin revived and I died. I saw myself to be a dead man." In the next place, (3) it was to make the sin, which looked like something else before the man had the law, appear to be sin, as Paul says in his letter to the Romans, and also, to make it appear to be "exceedingly sinful." Now to illustrate: Suppose on a blackboard we were to trace a zigzag turning line. That is the path a man walks; he is in the woods and thinks he is going straight, and he feels all right. Now you put a rule there, which is exactly straight, and just watch how that zigzag walk of his is sometimes on one side and sometimes on the other. The rule discovers the variations; it makes it known. Now here is (4) another purpose of the, Law: To incite to sin in order that the heinousness of the exceeding sinfulness of sin may be made manifest. Now, maybe you don't believe that. Paul says it is so, and I can give you an illustration that will enable you to see just how it is so. I never saw one of the Baylor University boys put his foot on top of the mail box at the street corner, but if the faculty should pass a law that no boy should put his foot on that mail box, some boy's foot would go on top of it, certainly. Now, that boy may have imagined all along that he was law abiding. But put a standard there and he wants to test it right away. I illustrate again: A little boy once saw a baldheaded man going along up the side of a hill, and the boy said, "Go up, thou bald head! Now trot out your bears." He had been told that if he was irreverent toward an old, baldheaded man, as the boys were toward Elisha, the bears would tear him to pieces.


20. Explain carefully the Christian's relation to this law.


Ans. – It is a part of the old covenant, you say, and we have a new covenant now. Then is a Christian under obligations to keep this law? Is the law binding on you not to kill, not to lie, not to steal, not to commit adultery? We certainly would be extreme antinomians if we were to say that as an obligation that does not rest on us. It does rest on us, but it does not rest on us as a way to eternal life. You see the distinction? The time never will come when it will be right for a man to kill, to steal, to commit adultery, to covet, and no matter who does any one of these things, whether saint or sinner, it is sin. But the keeping of the Decalogue is an obligation upon the Christian because it is in the nature of his being, as when it was spoken at Sinai, yet that is not the Christian's way to obtain eternal life.


21. What is the form of the statement of the ten words?


Ans. – Negative and positive. For some of them: "Thou shalt not"; for others, positive: "Honour thy father," etc.; but whether the form be positive or negative – if it is negative, it has a positive idea attached, and if it is positive it has a negative idea. If it is an affirmation, it is also a prohibition. No matter what the form, it does prescribe certain things and it does proscribe certain things.

 

 

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THE DECALOGUE – THE FIRST AND SECOND COMMANDMENTS Exodus 20:1-6; Deuteronomy 5:6-10

 


We are now expounding the covenant at Sinai, and particularly Part I, the Moral Law. And here I wish to commend two books to which I have already referred. First, a copy of the University Lectures on the Ten Commandments by Boardman, which is the best in the world. I have never seen anything half-way equal to it. If I were a young preacher, I would live on one meal a day to purchase it, if I had not enough money, and could not get it any other way. It is impossible for me to go into details with the exposition as Dr. Boardman does, and yet there is not a superfluous word in the book. There is one position of his, however, which I do not endorse; but it is a great book.


The last time I saw Dr. Boardman was at the Southern Baptist Convention at Asheville, North Carolina. He was helped upon the platform; he was so old and feeble that he could not walk up the steps. He was introduced to our convention by Dr. J. B. Hawthorne. He has since died. I regret to say that in his later life Dr. Boardman lapsed into radical criticism to a considerable extent; but there is none of it in this book. The other book I commend is the Presbyterian Catechism on the Ten Commandments. They beat the Baptists in instructing their children in the Word of God. I say it to our shame, that we seldom use a catechism in our families. As a rule, Presbyterian children are better instructed religiously than any other children.


1. What books are specifically commended?


Ans. – The Presbyterian Catechism on the Ten Command ments and Boardman's University Lectures on the Ten Commandments.


2. What are the variations in the form of the Ten Commandments as they appear in Deuteronomy 5?


Ans. – The variations are very slight. In the Fourth Commandment there is this addition by Moses: "And thou shalt remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and Jehovah thy God brought thee out thence by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm: therefore Jehovah thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day." There is a change in the order of the words of the Tenth Commandment: "Neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour's wife." The explanation of the variations is that Exodus is the law as it was given; Deuteronomy is an orator's public restatement of the law.


3. Which is the original form?


Ans. – The original form is in Exodus 20.


4. Which one of the Ten Commandments is not quoted in the New Testament?


Ans. – The Fourth. I will put this additional rider on the question: Why is the Fourth Commandment, "Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy," not specifically quoted in the New Testament? What is your explanation of that? There is a great distinction between the sabbath and the seventh day. Sabbaton, sabbath, is a perpetual law, but the seventh day is not; the seventh day, the hebdomedal sabbath, the seventh-day sabbath of the Old Testament, is changed; the change, the transition from the seventh to the first day is significant. You will find the whole matter discussed in the first book of sermons by the author. There are three sermons on the sabbath day. If you wish to pursue that subject further, go to that book.


5. What are the characteristics of the Ten Commandments?


Ans. – 1 cite five: (1) Their solidarity. It is not necessary to break all of them in order to make a breach in the covenant. "He that is guilty in one point is guilty of all." And that same solidarity you can observe in our law. If a man is indicted for murder, it is not justification that he has not stolen, that he has not committed adultery, that he has not refused to honor his father and his mother. If he is guilty of murder, he loses his life. The one point is sufficient. (2) Every one of these commandments has the negative and positive form, whether it is expressed or not. Sometimes it is given in the negative form: "Thou shalt not kill"; and sometimes in the positive: "Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy." But in each case, whether it be expressed or not, there are both forms; a negation and prescription of what is right, and a proscription of what is wrong. (3) The third characteristic may be expressed in three ways: (a) Deep, broad, and high, one way; that is, these commandments go to the root, to the trunk, to the branches, and they go to the fruit; or they prohibit the following thought as well as the following speech or the following deed – our Saviour in interpreting these commandments said that "whosoever hateth is a murderer"; that he is a murderer in his heart; that he is a murderer in the sight of God, whether he ever killed anybody or not. That is the root of it. It goes down into the mind where the germ, the spring, the source of action lies; it goes to the intent. Then (b) the psalmist says: "Thy commandments are exceedingly broad"; they touch every correlative thing. And (c) they are exceedingly high; they touch the throne of God. (4) The next characteristic is that these commandments are moral. Now, you know, or ought to know, the difference between a positive enactment and a moral enactments. A positive enactment has only one reason; that is, that God has commanded. A moral commandment is one which has a reason for it; to be seen by an intelligent mind and calling forth a decision. The commandment to be baptized is a positive ordinance; "thou shalt not kill," is a moral commandment. Wherever in any commandment a reason is given for the commandment, that is proof of the moral character of the commandment. Let us take the First Commandment to illustrate: "I am Jehovah thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before [or besides] me." There a reason is given. Now take the Fourth Commandment: "Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy," because in six days Jehovah created everything and rested .on the seventh day and because they were in bondage in Egypt and God delivered them. A man can take hold of those reasons. (5) The last characteristic is that though these commandments were addressed to a vast multitude of people, millions of them, every one of them is personal: "Thou" shalt not; "thou" shalt not, etc. Now we come to the exposition of the first two commandments, taking up the First Commandment under question.


6. What is the meaning of the name Jehovah?


Ans. – If you go back to Exodus 3:1-15, you will find that Jehovah himself gives to Moses an explanation of that name: "I am that I am" or "that I will be," and when you study it out you will find that word covers these thoughts: (1) that Jehovah is the personal, self-existing, eternal, everacting One; (2) who first reveals Elohim: "I am Jehovah, thy Elohim." He is the revealing God, that is why in Genesis I, God said "Elohim," and in the chapter 2, it is Jehovah – Elohim, who (3) covenants with his people. "Jehovah" is the name of the covenanting God, who reveals the Father, and enters into relations with his people and delivers them. Now let me repeat; What is the meaning of the name, Jehalvah? It means (1) the personal, self-existing, eternal, the ever-acting One, who (2) reveals the Elohim, (3) covenants with his people and (4) delivers them.


7. What are the affirmations, denials, and prohibitions of the First Commandment?


Ans. – It affirms the existence and government of one God; it denies polytheism (many gods), atheism (no God), matribalism, which is another form of atheism, assuming the self existence of matter, and the bringing about of everything by a fortuitous concourse of atoms. What it prohibits: "Thou shalt have no other gods besides me." "Before me" is the same as "besides me"; that is the sense. There is but one God: "Thou shalt have no other God"; that is what it prohibits. The reader will understand that from the Semitic people came the three great religions which advocate monotheism, that is, one God – the Jewish, the Mohammedan, and the Christian.


8. What is the application of this commandment to us?


Ans. – Jesus is our Jehovah. He is Jehovah the self-existing One; "Before Abraham was I am"; "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . And the Word became flesh." He is the revealer of the Father. We would not know the Father except as Jesus makes the Father known to us. He is called "The express image of the Father"; He is the visible of the invisible God; he is the Immanuel, God with us. "Lo, I am with you all the days, even unto the end of the world." His eternity is expressed in such expressions as these: "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last." His immutability is expressed in such as these: "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, to day and for ever." In making the application to us, he is our Deliverer. Jehovah delivered the Jews from Pharaoh; Jesus delivers us from the devil. They were delivered from Egyptian bondage; we are delivered from spiritual bondage.


9. Cite the poem of Hildebert.


Ans. – I will give the poem quoted by Boardman as to the meaning of the name Jehovah. It is in Latin. I will give the translation by Herbert Kynaston: First and last of faith's receiving, Source and sea of man's believing, God, whose might is all potential, God, whose truth is truth's essential, Good supreme in thy subsisting, Good in all thy seen existing; Over all things, all things under, Touching all, from all asunder; Centre thou, but not intruded, Compassing, and yet included; Over all, and not ascending, Under all, but not depending; Over all, the world ordaining, Under all, the world sustaining; All without, in all surrounding, All within, in grace abounding; Inmost, yet not comprehended, Outer still, and not extended; Over, yet on nothing founded, Under, but by space unbounded; Omnipresent, yet indwelling, Self-impelled, the world impelling: Force, nor fate's predestination, Sways thee to one alternation; Ours to-day, thyself forever, Still commencing, ending never; Past with thee is time's beginning, Present all its future winning; With thy counsels first ordaining Comes thy counsel's last attaining; One the light's first radiance darting And the elements departing. That is a remarkable expression of the idea of God.


10. How does it forbid polytheism, atheism & materialism?


Ans. – Study the poem for these three points and give your own answer.


We come to the Second Commandment and I will quote it from Deuteronomy: "Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any likeness of anything that is in the heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them." That is the commandment itself.


11. Is worship an instinct?


Ans. – Here's a commandment not to worship any graven image; and in order to get at the fulness of the thought, I raise this question, Is worship an instinct? It surely is.


12. Cite Plutarch against Colotes the Epicurean.


Ans. – I give Boardman, who quotes Plutarch. An Epicurean is an atheist. Plutarch writes: "If you go through the world, you may find cities without walls, without letters, without rulers, without houses, without money, without theaters and games: but there was never yet seen nor shall be seen by man a single city without temples and gods, or without prayers, oaths, prophecies, and sacrifices, used to obtain blessings and benefits, or to avert curses and calamities: nay, I am of opinion that a city might be sooner built without any ground beneath it, than a commonwealth could be constituted, could be preserved." If you find in the people of North America what you do not find in the people of South America; or if you find among the people of Europe that you do not find among the people of Asia, then whatever that is, the principle beneath it is not innate, not universal. But whatever is presented in man in his personality, whether white or black, rich or poor, Barbarian, Scythian, Jew or Greek, bond or free, that is innate; and we do find in man, wherever we find him, an instinct to worship superhuman power. Plutarch makes a fine point in his argument there.


13. How may this instinct be perverted, and why?


Ans. – Paul gives the explanation in his letter to the Romans in chapter 1. I am getting at fundamental things which underlie this commandment. Paul says, "The wrath of God is revealed from heaven [he is speaking of nature now] against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hinder [hold] the truth in unrighteousness; because that which is known of God is manifest in them; for God manifested it unto them. For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse: because that [here is the reason for perverting it], knowing God, they glorified him not as God, neither gave thanks; but became vain in their reasonings, and their senseless heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things" (Rom. 1:18-23). Now, whenever a man knows God, either through nature or revelation, if he does not like to retain the thought of God in his mind, then he cannot escape that instinct to worship which is in him. It is ineradicable, but he may pervert it as to the object of his worship.


14. How does this Second Commandment forbid idolatry?


Ans. – Exodus 20:5a.


15. Does this commandment forbid art, painting, and sculpture?


Ans. – Up there on the wall is a likeness of the author; is that against this commandment? How are paintings, sculpture, etc., not prohibited by this commandment? Because the commandment does not stop in saying, "Thou shalt make unto thee no graven image . . . that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth," but it goes on to say, "Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them." That portrait is not an idol; you do not bow down to worship it. Thou shalt not make a likeness of anything and call that likeness God, and bow down before it and worship it.


16. Cite Isaiah's ridicule of idols.


Ans. – Isaiah 40:18-20; 44:9-20. I want you to see how he turns the power of his sarcasm against idol worship.


17. Cite the remarkable statement of Paul, when in the cultivated city of Athens.


Ans. – He was brought before their supreme court in the Areopagus on the charge of setting forth strange gods. And that seemed to be a wise law that there should be no additions to the gods of Athens, for they certainly had plenty. As a writer has said, you could oftener see a god in Athens than you could see a man; there were gods in the valleys, on the hills, and high over all on the Acropolis was their marvelous temple of gods, and towering over the city was a colossal statue of Minerva. They were too religious, so far as the objects of their devotion were concerned. Now Paul standing there says, "The God that made the world and all things therein, he, being Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is he served by men's hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he himself giveth to all life, and breath, and all things" (Acts 27:24-25). His spirit was stirred within him when he observed the objects worshiped by the Athenians.


18. What are the reasons for the commandment?


Ans. – 1 cite three. (1) The first is given in Deuteronomy. Commenting upon the commandment, he says, "You remember that when God appeared on Mount Sinai you saw no likeness, no similitude; you heard his voice, but you did not see him, and by that he meant to convey to you the prohibition to attempt to make a likeness when he had given you no likeness." (2) Then Jehovah is a jealous God. The idea is that this covenant was a marriage covenant; Jehovah is the husband of this nation, and if the wife worships somebody else than her husband, that naturally excites jealousy on the part of the husband. "I, Jehovah, thy God, am a jealous God." Now, as those people by that covenant were wedded to Jehovah, so we in the new covenant are wedded to God; the church is the bride of Jesus, the Bridegroom; he performs the part of the husband. He loved the church and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify it and cleanse it with the washing through the word, and might present it to himself a glorious church, without spot or blemish. Now shall the church, the bride of Jesus Christ, turn away from her husband, Jesus Christ? He says, "I am a jealous God." (3) The next reason assigned is that this God takes cognizance in his governments of the law of heredity in both directions, visiting the iniquity of evil men upon the third and fourth generation and visiting upon good men to the thousandth generation their good. Now, in view of that double law of heredity, if I today worship idols, and I am the father of a family; if I turn away from Jehovah to make some other being my God, the consequences of what I do pass to the children, to the third and fourth generation; but if I love Jehovah and adhere to Jehovah, the blessings pass to the thousandth generation. That reason is assigned.


19. Last of all, what is the necessity of this commandment?


Ans. – The necessity arises out of the fact that man has an ineradicable instinct to worship. He cannot escape worship. He will worship something. If man had not fallen, that instinct would have prohibited him from worshiping wrong things; and as a proof of it, take the history of the world. Go back yonder to Abraham, when God called him. At that time, nearly the whole world worshiped idols, even Abraham's father. "Remember," says Joshua, "that your fathers in Mesopotamia worshiped idols." Suppose now you come a little further down, to this very occasion at Sinai, to see the necessity of giving this law. Just as soon as Moses was out of sight on the mountain, and passed out of the minds of the people, they said, "As to this Moses, we know not what has become of him; come here, Aaron, and make us a god." And they took their jewels and their gold, and they made a calf idol following the Egyptian fashion, the worship of the ox. They had Aaron to make an idol, and they made a breach in the covenant by that. And but for the interposition of Moses, the whole nation would have been blotted out right there for breaking the covenant. Then we are told by one of the prophets that when they broke the covenant again at Kadesh-barnea, all through the thirty-eight years of wandering they worshiped idols; they did not worship Jehovah. And when we come to the book of Judges, we see the tribe of Dan getting out of the territory assigned to him to make a god to worship. When we come to Solomon's time, we see how he established idols in his old age on every hill. We see Ahab multiplying images of idolatry all over the land. We hear the words of Isaiah just cited, but his sarcasm did not stop the idol worship. When the kingdom was divided, Jeroboam set up a calf at Dan and at Bethel. Come still further down in the history and you see that remarkable vision of Ezekiel, where through a hole in the wall, from a secret chamber, he saw people who externally professed to worship the true God worshiping the rising sun and the stars. You see the necessity expressed in the words of Job: "If at any time I have secretly caused my hand --," etc. And coming down to the time of Christ, except the Jews, the whole world was given to idolatry, notwithstanding all of the culture of the Greeks, whether at Athens or at Ephesus, or at Corinth, or any other cities that they established in their colonies, everywhere their religion was a most debasing worship of idols. It was so at Rome, so in the German forests and amid the Druidic system of England. Now that tendency of the human heart having the instinct to worship, and not wishing to retain a knowledge of God in their minds, they pervert that instinct and worship something else. Therefore God gave this Second Commandment to those who were lovers of idol worship. The Jews all through their history, if they had a chance, would lapse into idolatry; and they would now create over again that idolatry, but for the Babylonian captivity. No Jew since then, as far as I know, has ever been an idolater. And with their return from that captivity came the synagogue, which was a safeguard against idolatry. This Torah, this law, was taught in every community. Now I am not going into great detail, but there are some things in these commandments that I want to bring out.


A question: "Was the covenant broken before the Ten Commandments were given?"


Ans. – No. Moses was coming down from the mountain. These Commandments he was bringing down on the tables of stone were uttered by a voice, and the covenant was made and ratified before that golden calf was made. So that the golden calf was not made before the Commandments were given to Israel. The people knew them, as is recorded in "Exodus 20.

 

 

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THE DECALOGUE – THIRD COMMANDMENT Exodus 20:7; Deuteronomy 5:11

 


1. Repeat the Third Commandment, showing its division into parts.


Ans. – "Thou shalt not take the name of Jehovah thy God in vain; for Jehovah will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain." This commandment is divided into three parts: (1) The name of God; (2) In vain, taking that name in vain; (3) The warning, giving a penal sanction to the commandment: "God will not hold him guiltless."

 

THE NAME OF GOD


2. What is the important phrase in this commandment?


Ans. – The name of God.


3. What three historical incidents given in the Pentateuch go to show the progress of revelation as to the meaning of "the name of God"?


Ans. – (1) The passage in Genesis 32:24-29: "And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was strained, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. . . . And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel; for thou hast striven with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask alter my name?" This incident shows an exceeding great desire upon the part of Jacob to know the name of the one who could bless him and promote him and with whom he had successfully wrestled in prayer. The next historical incident is in Exodus 3:5-6, which gives an account of Moses seeing the burning bush: "Draw not nigh hither; put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." Verse 13: "And Moses said unto God, behold when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?" (Here is the advance): "And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM; tell them that I AM hath sent you." And in the following scriptures is the third instance; Exodus 33:18-23; 34:5-7: "And Moses said, I beseech thee, show me thy glory. And God said, I will make all my goodness to pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee." And now follows a proclamation of the name of the Lord: "And Jehovah descended in the cloud and stood with Moses there, and proclaimed the name of Jehovah. And Jehovah passed before him, and proclaimed [here we get the name], Jehovah, Jehovah, a God merciful and gracious, long-suffering and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin; and that will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and upon the children's children, upon the third and upon the fourth genera lion." These historical incidents answer the question: What is thy name? And the commandment says, "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain," and we have said the most important phrase in it is, "the name of God"; hence the next question:


4. What is Isaiah's revelation of the name?


Ans. – Isaiah 9:6, says, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father) Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end."


5. How does John in his Gospel further reveal his name?


Ans. – John 14:8-14, is the account of it. Philip says unto him, "Lord, show us the Father and it sufficeth us." He wanted to understand what Jesus had just said about the Father. "What do you mean by the Father?" Isaiah says that he shall be called the "Everlasting Father." And Philip wants to know and see what that means. Jesus says, "Have I been with you so long time, Philip, and you have not known me? Whenever you have seen me you have seen the Father."


6. What further revelation by our Lord after he ascended into glory?


Ans. – In Revelation 19:11: "And I saw the heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and he that sat thereon called [note the name] Faithful and True." Verse 16: "And he hath on his garment, and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." Thus I pass through the Bible, giving a few of many instances to show you the progress made in the revelation of the meaning of God's name.


7. Cite other New Testament passages showing the importance of this name.


Ans. – Matthew 6:9, where Jesus is teaching them to pray: "Hallowed be thy name." Matthew 18:15: "Whosoever receiveth one of these little ones in my name receiveth me." In Matthew 18:20, he says, "Where two or three come together in my name I am there." In Matthew 28:19, "baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." John 14:13: "Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do." John 20:31: Believing on Christ secures life through his name. In Acts 4:12, Peter says, "In no other name is there salvation," and 5:41, he says, "Suffer for the name." Colossians 3:17 says: "Do everything in the name of the Lord." Philippians 2:9: "The name that is above every name," and Revelation 14:1: "His name shall be written in their foreheads." This commandment says, "Thou shall not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain."


8. What, then, is the meaning of the name of God?


Ans. – The name of God means God himself as revealed; therefore it means all his nature, virtues, attributes, the character, authority, purpose, methods, providences, words, institutions, truth, kingdom; in a word what has been revealed, whether the revelation is concerning his nature, virtues, attributes, his word, his kingdom or his truth, or anything else.


9. What are the great hymns on the name?


Ans. – (1) Wesley's hymn on Jacob's question, What is Thy name? commencing: "Come, 0 thou Traveller unknown, Whom still I hold, but cannot see." (2) The Coronation hymn: All hail the power of Jesus' name, Let angels prostrate fall.


10. What modern book has been written on the subject?


Ans. – A book written by E. E. Hale. The title is In His Name, and the object of the book is to show the significance of the name of God as apprehended by man in his obedience to God.


And now we come to the second part:

 

IN VAIN


1. What is the primary meaning of that phrase?


Ans. – "Thou shall not use the name of God to attest a falsehood," which, translated literally, means, "Thou shall not utter the name of God unto a falsehood." For example, in Leviticus 19:12: "Thou shalt not swear by my name falsely." That shows you must not use God's name to attest a falsehood.


2. What is the secondary meaning? Illustrate.


Ans. – Thou shalt not evade, take back, repudiate, or fail to perform any pledge or vow made to God; or any oath made to him. If you do, you violate this commandment. I will cite a few points on that. Numbers 30:1-2: "And Moses spake unto the heads of the tribes of the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the Lord hath commanded. If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth." Next Deuteronomy 23:21: "When thou shalt vow a vow unto the Lord thy God, thou shalt not be slack to pay it: For the Lord thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee." Then Ecclesiastes 5:4-6, bears on this point, and I wish I could write it on the face of the skies for the benefit of some Baptist preachers. I read thus: "When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error:" – i.e., I made a mistake in making that pledge – "wherefore should God be angry at thy voice and destroy the work of thy hands?" I say solemnly, that a lesson which needs to be burned with fire on the hearts of Christian people is the sanctity of a pledge made to God and to the cause of God. I wrote a man a letter the other day about $2.50 he wanted to go back on. I said, "I am willing to pay this $2.50 for you, but what is going to be the demoralization that will come to our people from the repudiation of their pledges? I can show you a way, if you will give me an opportunity, by which I can come to your church and raise that $2.50 for you. Not that it won't cost me more than $2.50 to do that, but I will at least have prevented the demoralization that will result from the forfeiture of your vow made to God."


3. What is the third meaning?


Ans. – Thou shalt not use God's name lightly, jestingly, foolishly, irreverently.


4. If these be the three meanings of this commandment, what therefore does the commandment forbid?


Ans. – (1) Perjury; "Thou shalt not lift up thy hand to the Lord thy God in falsehood." That is, you shall not hold up your hand and make oath falsely. That is perjury. (2) The nonkeeping of vows, oaths, and pledges which have been made unto Jehovah. (3) It forbids, in a religious matter (now mark that), all lying of thought, speech, deed, and appearances; such as, hypocrisy, tithing of mint, cummin and anise, and neglecting the weightier matters of the law; such as making a pretense of long prayers to be seen of men; such as the lie that Ananias told. We are not discussing truth in general, nor lying in general, but we are discussing lying in religious matters in order for it to come under the purview of this law. Peter said to Ananias, "Did you sell the land for so much?" "Yes, that is all of it." "Ananias, thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God," and he dropped dead. After awhile his wife came in. Peter said, "Did you sell the land for so much?" "Yes." "Is this all of it?" "Yes." And she dropped dead. "God will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain." (4) It forbids all swearing, jesting or speaking seriously, by any other name or thing other than God himself. It forbids taking an oath at all, unless the oath is taken unto God, even though you are sincere about it. For instance, you can't swear by the Temple; you can't swear by the gold of the Temple; you can't swear by the seven-branched candlestick, nor by anything that is in the skies or on the earth or under the sea; you can't swear on a crucifix. (5) It forbids all irreverence toward things or persons that are sacred on account of their relation to God. That is why you are commanded to "honour the king," if you live in a monarchy; that is why you are not to laugh and ridicule in a church, a church that is sacred to the Lord; that is why you pay respect to the pastor; he occupies a relation Godward toward you.


5. What are the things it inculcates or sanctions?


Ans. – (1) It sanctions religious oaths and vows that are solemnly made unto God: (a) In solemnizing covenants. If a covenant is made, a sacred covenant in which God is involved, then it sanctions an oath to confirm that covenant. (b) In solemnizing introductions into office, e.g., Ezra and Nehemiah (and many others when entering the priest's office) took oath to be faithful in discharging the duties of that office, (c) In solemnizing testimony, where you have to testify in a court. Exodus 22:10-11, is an example: "If a man deliver unto his neighbour an ox or a sheep or any beast to keep, and it die or be hurt or driven away, nobody seeing it, then shall an oath of the Lord be between them both; one of them that he hath not stolen his neighbour's goods, and the owner shall accept thereof, and he shall not make it good." Now a question arises here: A man has deposited some of his property in trust to another, and it disappears. Nobody saw how it disappeared. This law says in such a case the man who had it in trust shall go before God and take oath that he didn't steal the property; he doesn't know what became of it. (d) Again, in confirming allegiance to a ruler or a king. A man comes over to the United States and says, "I want to be a citizen." The law requires him to be put on oath that he will be in allegiance to the United States. Reference to this is in Ecclesiastes 8:2. (e) In attesting official fidelity and character. In I Samuel 12:5, an old man laid down his office after a king had been chosen in the presence of his people, and lifted up his hands and made an oath that while he was in office he had taken nothing wrongfully from any man; that he had never been bribed. Again (f) in attesting one's religious veracity. I cite a case, 2 Corinthians 1:23: "Moreover I call God for a witness upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet to Corinth." Take Galatians 1:20: "Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God I lie not." That is the strongest form of an oath. (g) In attesting vows, e.g., Jacob in Genesis 25:33; and a passage in the psalms. (2) It inculcates absolute fidelity in keeping oaths and in redeeming vows and pledges that have been made unto Jehovah. (3) It inculcates sincerity in thought, opinion, speech, deed, or appearance in all matters of religion. (4) It inculcates reverence for God's name and for all persons and things that are sacred by reason of relation to God. 6. Cite Scripture proof that it does sanction religious oaths and vows that are made to God, under the following heads: Covenant Oaths, Judicial Oaths, Official Oaths, Allegiance Oaths, oaths to test official integrity, and to test veracity in religious matters.


Ans. – (1) Covenant Oath: Genesis 15:22f; 21:22f; 26: 26-29; 25:2-3, 9, 37, 41; 25:33; 31:53; 47:28-31; 50:25. (2) Judicial Oaths: Matthew 26:63; Exodus 22:10f; Numbers 5:19-24; Hebrews 6:16. (3) Official Oaths: 2 Kings 11:4; Ezra 10:5; Nehemiah 5:12. (4) Allegiance Oaths: Ecclesiastes 8:2. (5) To attest official integrity: I Samuel 12:5. (6) To attest veracity in religious matters: 2 Corinthians 1:23; Galatians 1:20.


7. Does our Lord in Matthew 5:33-37, countermand making all these oaths that are strictly religious and exclusively and solemnly made unto him? If not, give proof.


Ans. – The Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5: "Again ye have -heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not perjure thyself, but shall keep unto the Lord thine oaths." That is, thou shalt perform all oaths made unto God. "But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven, for it is God's throne; nor by the earth, for it is his footstool; neither by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great king. Neither shalt thou swear by thine head; because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be yea, yea; and nay, nay; for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil." My question is: Does the Lord here absolutely forbid the making of the kind of oath sanctioned by the Third Commandment? (1) They must be religious oaths. (2) They must be made exclusively to God, such as covenant oaths, judicial oaths, etc., as enumerated. Jesus, I say, does not forbid these oaths, because when he says, "Swear not at all" he then specifies what are the things in which you shall not swear at all, and God's name is not in it at all. He says, 'Swear not at all," i.e., neither by heaven, nor by earth, nor by Jerusalem, nor by thy head. He names the things by which you shall not swear. Further proof that that is right: Jesus himself took the judicial oath when he was on trial when the High Priest said, "I adjure thee," that is, "I put thee on oath before God, Are you the Messiah?" He says, "I am." He took an oath that he was the Messiah. Would Jesus himself commit a sin? Or did Paul commit such a sin in taking those oaths he took? Read carefully the comment in Broadus' Commentary on Matthew.


8. What religious sects so understood Christ and practiced it?


Ans. – Anabaptists; also the Quakers; and I believe the Mormons do.

 

THE WARNING


1. What warning giving penal sanction to this commandments, and some examples?


Ans. – The warning is: "For the Lord will not hold him guiltless who taketh his name in vain." Ananias will do for an example; and in the letter to the Romans Paul says concerning the heathen, that turning away from God they become covenant breakers.

 

 

XVI

 

(Return to Contents)

 

THE DECALOGUE – FOURTH COMMANDMENT Exodus 20:8-11; Deuteronomy 5:12-15

 


We now study the Fourth Commandment. I take up the questions in their order.


1. What is the relation of the First, Second, Third, and Fourth Commandment?


Ans. – In the First Commandment we are commanded to worship Jehovah and none other; in the Second Commandments we are commanded to worship directly and not through intervention of anything; in the Third we are commanded to worship Jehovah sincerely, not falsely; and in the Fourth Commandment we are directed to worship Jehovah, as to time, in the regular period set apart. The four enjoin worship, direct, sincere, and when.


2. Repeat the Fourth Commandment.


Ans. – 1 quote three accounts. In Exodus 20:8-11, it reads: "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is a sabbath unto Jehovah thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days Jehovah made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore Jehovah blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." Deuteronomy 5:12-15, where Moses recapitulates: "Observe the sabbath day, to keep it holy, as Jehovah thy God commanded thee. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is a sabbath unto Jehovah thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy man-servant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy man-servant and thy maid-servant may rest as well as thou. And thou shalt remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and Jehovah thy God brought thee out thence by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore Jehovah thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day." The other account is in Exodus 16:22-26, preceding both of these others; "And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. And he said unto them, This is that which Jehovah hath spoken, To-morrow is a solemn rest, a holy sabbath unto Jehovah: bake that which ye will bake, and boil that which ye will boil; and all that remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not become foul, neither was there any worm therein. And Moses said, Eat that to-day; for to-day is a sabbath unto Jehovah; to-day ye shall not find it in the field. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day is the sabbath, in it there shall be none."


In these three scriptures the sabbath is connected with the creation, with the manna and with the deliverance from Egypt.


3. Considering subsequent legislation and history, give an analysis of the Fourth Commandment, and explain and give an answer to each item of the analysis.


Ans. – This ends the questions, but this third question has twenty-four subquestions in it, and each is a big one. We will give the analysis and then discuss it: (1) Its name; (2) Its authority; (3) Its sanctity; (4) Its duties; (5) Its reasons; (6) Its commemorations; (7) Its anticipations; (8) Its time; (9) Its signification; (10) Its cycle; (II) Its festivals and offerings; (12) Its exceptions; (13) Its rewards for observance; (14) Its penalties for nonobservance; (15) Its preparation; (10) Its profanations (notable cases of weekly sabbaths) ; (17) Its remarkable judgment – case of land sabbaths; (18) Its song; (19) Its cessation in prophecy; (20) Its abrogation in fact; (21) Its Christian successor; (22) Its successor – the argument for, scriptural and historical; (23) Its enemies today; (24) Its final antitype. That is the analysis; and it takes into account subsequent sabbatic legislation and subsequent sabbatic history. We take:


4. Its name and meaning?


Ans. – "Sabbath," which is merely an English translation of the Hebrew word sabbaton and that means "rest," a period of rest.


5. Its authority?


Ans. – Jehovah appointed it, preceded both by example and by precept.


6. Its sanctity?


Ans. – Jehovah blessed and hallowed it. Its holy nature comes from God's blessing and hallowing. Therefore in many of the scriptures the name of it is the "holy sabbath."


7. Its duties?


Ans. – These are (a) to work six days. It is impossible for me to magnify the dignity of labor. It is a great misconception to hold that work comes from sin; it preceded sin. When God made man and gave him his commission, he gave him a working commission, viz.: to subdue the earth; when he put Adam in the garden before sin he told him to dress the garden and to keep it, keep it in trust. So that labor is one of the things that comes from the other side of the fall of man; that is the first duty – work. It drives a spear through the heart of the lazy man; it drives the nonworker away from the table. Paul said, "If a man won't work, neither shall he eat." (b) The second duty is rest on the seventh day. Labor on that day was to be suspended; it is suspended for you, your wife, your sons, your daughters, your servants, and your cattle. There is a reason for this which we will consider under the next head. The (c) third reason is for religious instruction. God commanded Moses that on each one of the cycle of sabbaths when they got over into the Promised Land, the whole nation should come together, men, women, and children, and that they should be instructed in all the teachings of God's Word. (d) The next thing is worship, which is a different kind of rest; a cessation from physical labor gives rest to the body, worshiping God gives rest to the soul. No man has soul rest that does not worship God. Another (e) duty is that of offerings. I have not time to discuss these; you will find in Numbers and particularly in Leviticus the offerings that are to be made on the sabbath day, and on the whole cycle of sabbaths; there they are specified. So that you now see what are its duties: work, rest, instruction, worship, and offerings.


8. What are its reasons?


Ans. – It could not be a moral law unless there was a reason underlying it. (a) On account of its relation to God. Man is related to God; he is God created, and after redemption be is God's redeemed one. Now it is essential that the man should always be sensible of that highest relation, that paramount relation. But if there be no particular time when that relation is to be considered, that man is a wreck. Whenever you find a man that has no sabbath, you find a man that has no sensibility of his relation to God. (b) In relation to the man upon whom the commandment rests. In the nature of the physical man, inherently, there is a necessity for periods of rest. That this relation is inherent is evident from the testimony of people who are not considered themselves witnesses for religion. They say of it: "If the mind just keeps right on, work, work, work, and does not stop, that man will snap, break." It is not only true of the mind, but it is true also of the body; it is not only true of the body, but it is true of the ax with which you cut down a tree. Take a steam engine and engineers will tell you that the engine which is run every day, and is not laid off, will not last. Even a steam engine calls for a sabbath day. The reason, I say, is inherent in the man, and means a different relation, which is highest of all relations, the paramount relation that man should be kept close to God. Suppose that he never gets more than six days from him, you can always call that fellow back; but where he gets a year away, or twenty years away, then it is very hard to ever get him back. Another reason is, (c) toward his fellow men is a relation; we are related to our fellow men. For instance, if I own a factory and employ my fellow men to work in that factory, I have no right to take advantage of their necessity and make them work on Sunday. The laborer must rest; the slave must rest; and God says, "Remember that you were under taskmasters in Egypt; that then you knew no sabbath, and how hard that made your bondage. Now let the thought of your fellow man come into your mind when you remember this day; that servant needs rest; that ox which you are working to the wagon, and that horse that you are ploughing with six days needs a rest." So that the reasons of the sabbath arise from relations to God, to man, and are inherent in our fellow man and in the lower creatures, (d) Included in the idea of our fellow man comes the social idea, or relation to society, since man is made a social being. Now, if society becomes so corrupt that it rots, then it becomes a stench to heaven; this is true wherever there is no sabbath. The whole body politic becomes corrupt. In his Colonial history, Bancroft describes a certain community in Vermont. It is the most remarkable historical testimony I ever read. He says that a visit to the community would impress forever any man that was susceptible to impression as to the observance of the sabbath; the godliness of the community, the respect that the children have for their parents; the absence of jails, the needlessness of sheriffs; a little paradise, (e) As I have shown, we sustain a relation to lower creatures.


9. Its commemorations?


Ans. – From the three scriptures I read, you will notice (a) God's rest after the creation of the world, Genesis 2:2; (b) God's giving of the manna, which was to be the food of his people, Exodus 16:25-31; (c) God's deliverance of his people from bondage, Deuteronomy 5:15. These three stupendous thoughts of the past would rise up like mountain peaks whenever they took a retrospective glance. God wrote that "in six days he created the heavens and the earth, and all that in them is, and rested on the seventh day." When his people were in bondage he gave them freedom. He delivered them. When they were in the wilderness and hungry he gave them bread, bread from heaven, a miracle that lasted forty years.


10. Its anticipation?


Ans. – It not only commemorates past events, but it looks forward to a great event, viz.: Rest in the Promised Land. On their pilgrimage and in the wilderness they looked back at the creation and the deliverance, and anticipated the end of their pilgrimage, where, in the Promised Land, they should have rest and peace.


11. Its time?


Ans. – The seventh day: hebdomos. The seventh day does not necessarily mean the sabbath: sabbaton means sabbath. Hebdomos was the time, the seventh day.


12. Of what is it a sign, or what does it signify?


Ans. – In Exodus 31:13, 16-17, and Ezekiel 20:12, 20, the sign is brought out very clearly. "This sabbath shows the covenant between you and me, as a sign to you that you are with Jehovah under covenant relations." The seventh day sabbath was the God-appointed sign of the national covenant with Jehovah.


13. Its cycle?


Ans. – There were seventh day sabbaths, or weekly sabbaths; lunar, or monthly sabbaths; annual sabbaths, i.e., sabbaths that came only once a year, e.g., the Passover, Pentecost, and the Tabernacle sabbath; the land sabbaths, or the seventh year sabbaths. Every seventh year the land must rest. They were not to put a plow in it all during that time; if anything was produced voluntarily they took that, and they took that seventh year, which would have been devoted to business, and came up to Jerusalem and spent it there entirely, with all the men, women, and children; and if they were afraid to leave their homes from the most distant parts of the territory of the Promised Land, then they were to remember that as they left, Jehovah would be its guard, and solemnly assured them that if they in faith left that field uncultivated and went up to spend an entire year in a great big Bible study, that he would keep the enemies off and the wolf of starvation from their door. But the cycle is not complete yet. There was the fiftieth year sabbath, called the Jubilee:


Blow ye the trumpet, blow:


The Jubilee has come. When seven times seven years have passed away, and you have given God a seventh of the week, and the thirtieth of the month, and a part of the year, and the seventh year; when you come to the end of the forty-ninth year, which is a land year, the whole land must give another year, called Jubilee year; and the object of that Jubilee is to hedge against alienation of title to property, restoration of bond-servants to freedom, to prevent land monopolies. You could not sell a piece of land, you could only give a lease on it, till the end of the forty-ninth year; and if you were within six months of the Jubilee, you could not lease it for more than six months. But when the Jubilee comes, it reverts back to the original owner. What a pity the politicians could not look at this thing in avoiding the land laws! What a tremendous gang of greedy men, that according to Isaiah, sins against God, by adding land to land, house to house, until there is no room for the people. What then is the cycle? Weekly sabbaths, monthly sabbaths, annual sabbaths, the land sabbath, or every seventh year, and the Jubilee, or fiftieth year sabbath. That is the cycle.


14. What are its festivals and offerings?


Ans. – In connection with the sabbath there was a feast, the weekly festival; it means a time for a feast; there was a weekly feast, a monthly feast, three annual feasts, lasting quite a while, e.g., the Passover feast. They had the Passover day and then had the Passover feast, which lasted a week; and they had the Pentecost proper, followed by the Feast of Pentecost. All these things you learn in Leviticus, but we will come to that later.


15. What are its exceptions?


Ans. – The law says that on the seventh day thou shalt do no work, neither thyself, thy children, thy servants, nor thy beasts. Is that law absolute, or has it exceptions? Among the exceptions are certainly the following, which are referred to repeatedly by our Lord and discussed in the subsequent legislation. We take up first the sheep and the ox. It is the sabbath day. You are to do no work; and you hear a sheep bleating or an ox bellowing, and you go out and find the ox or the sheep in a ditch. There is a commandment: "Thou shalt do no work," forbidding you to take that poor suffering sheep out of the ditch. But in mercy and kindness to animals you take him out. Next you bring your old plowhorse up on Saturday night and hitch him in the stall; it is a quarter of a mile to the tank and it is Sunday. "Water my horse today? No, I must do no work on the sabbath day." Jesus says, "You go, take that horse and water it on the sabbath day." That is a necessity to him; the other was a mercy. Next, "thou shalt do no work." Shall not the priest that offers the sacrifices work in getting these sacrifices ready? Yes; that does not alter it. Jesus said, "Do you not see that the priests work on the sabbath day?" which is the hardest workday the preacher has; he is working as he ministers to God's people. We take up another case: The law of circumcision says that on the eighth day this child shall be circumcised. So if that comes on the sabbath day, you circumcise it. Another exception is the sabbath day's journey. The camp of Israel is afterward described as being in such a position that the farthest tribe, if you measure from the center where the tabernacle stood to the most distant corner, it amounted to as much as about one-eighth of a mile; that is a sabbath day's journey. In other words, you may travel from your place to your appointment, your sabbath day's journey may be 100 miles, but don't you go on business on Sunday. So that we have found quite a number of exceptions touching mercy and necessity and the performance of duties otherwise required like circumcision and the work of the priests.


16. Its rewards for observance?


Ans. – These are scattered over the Bible. We have some beautiful accounts of these rewards in Isaiah 46:2, 4-7, where it talks about the poor outlaw and the stranger; if he shall at heart enter into God's covenant, shall keep God's sabbaths, he goes on to tell then of the rewards that God shall give him; that if in his heart he desires to honor God by keeping that day for him; if he follows, if he shall observe that day, then God blesses him. As an old proverb has it: "A Sabbath well spent brings a week of content."


17. Its penalty for nonobservance?


Ans. – For nonobservance of the week day sabbath the penalty was death or other judgments.


18. The preparation of the sabbath?


Ans. – A man cannot keep a day holy without making preparation for it. Suppose that fellow that went out to get sticks to make a little fire had gathered his sticks the day before. Now, whatever you can do the day before, you must; just think that the sabbath is coming tomorrow; therefore the gathering today of twice as much manna as they did on the ordinary day. Prepare your work.


19. Its profanations?


Ans. – The book of Numbers tells us of a man who went out to gather sticks on the sabbath day and he was stoned to death for labor on the sabbath day. In Nehemiah 10 we have an account of those who bought and sold on the sabbath day. They were expelled from the covenant, and excommunication was inflicted upon those guilty; and so was the penalty for the cycle of sabbaths like the lunar sabbaths and the annual sabbaths: "The soul that will not come up to the Passover shall be cut off from his people," excommunicated.


20. Its judgment in case of land sabbaths?


Ans. – Now we come to consider the penalty for the nonobservance of the land sabbath, which is recorded in 2 Chronicles 36:21. Jeremiah made a prophecy because for 490 years during the period of the monarchy they had disregarded this law. He says, "You have not given the sabbaths to the land; therefore you shall go into captivity for seventy years, and the land shall have its sabbath." Amos 8 brings out a penalty on those who profane God's sabbath, who draw a long breath and say, "Oh, when will this Sunday pass away? I want to get to business. I am tired of all this religious instruction; I want to go fishing, hunting, etc."


21. Its song?


Ans. – Psalm 92:1-15. This psalm was written expressly for the sabbath day.


22. Its cessation in prophecy?


Ans. – The cessation of the whole cycle in prophecy is found in Hosea 2:11, yea, a dozen prophecies are made that the entire sabbatic cycle shall cease. God says, "I will cause to cease," and mentions the weekly, lunar, and annual sabbaths, saying, "they shall cease."


23. Its abrogation in fact?


Ans. – You find proof of the abrogation of the Mosaic sabbaths in the letter to the Colossians (2:14), where Paul says that all of them, and exactly those mentioned in Hosea – weekly, lunar) annual – they are all nailed to the cross of Christ, and taken out of the way. That is the abrogation.


24. Its Christian successor?


Ans. – The first day of the week, or the Lord's Day, not the hebdomadal, seventh day of the week.


25. What is the argument for its successor?


Ans. – It is both scriptural and historical. Those of you who will read the last sermon in the author's first volume of sermons will find my argument at length, but I will give the substance of it very rapidly. Jehovah says – Jehovah of the Old Testament – that he is Lord of the sabbath; that the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath. The sabbath was made for man as man and not for the Jew alone. The sabbath given on Mount Sinai was part of the national covenant with the Israelite nation, to one people, but long before Moses was the sabbath of the creation and rest; not long before Sinai the manna fell; long before Abraham was called, the fall came. God gave man, the first man, a sabbaton; the seventh day commemorated that; the seventh day commemorated the manna; the seventh day commemorated the deliverance from Egypt. Now Jesus is Lord of the sabbath. He does not change the sabbath; but he changes the day of the sabbath, which is substantially: Jesus is the antitype. Joshua was to give them rest; Joshua did not give them rest. Jesus gives them the rest. God created the world; the seventh day sabbath commemorated that. Jesus redeemed the world; the first day of the week commemorates that. As we learn from Hebrews 4, Jesus also rested from his work, as God did from his. Therefore there remaineth a keeping of the sabbath to the child of God. Secondly, when Jesus had abrogated, nailed to his cross, the Mosaic sabbath, and rested, from that day instantly they began to observe another day. Five times we read that "on the first day of the week" he appeared to his disciples and in all of these to at least seventy people; on that day the Spirit came; on that day the disciples assembled break bread, to pray, to keep the Lord's Supper, as you learn from Acts 2, on that day, according to the habit and custom of the churches, Paul gave commandment that collections should be taken; on that day, in banishment of the Lord's Day, John was in the Spirit. The citations from history you will find in that volume of sermons.


26. Its enemies today?


Ans. – The enemies today are indeed very formidable; they have allied themselves with so many things that are good. It is a good thing to have a stock show, a fair, but it is bad to have an open door on Sunday and things exhibited that are indecent to the eye and to the moral life, as horse racing and gambling. Such are the oppositions. I have not time to go into the discussion of the battles with these enemies.


27. What is its final antitype?


Ans. – Let us labor to enter into that rest, not the promised land on earth with its metes and boundaries, but the Promised Land in heaven, where is no war and all is rest forever. Oh, land of rest, for thee I sigh, When will the moment come When I shall lay my armour by, And rest with Christ at home?

 

ADDED QUESTIONS


Is it right for a man living five miles out of town to drive to church on Sunday with a horse used all the week?


Ans. – We must consider two things: (a) Man greater than the beast; man must go to church. Can he and his family walk ten miles, or five and back, regularly? Some would have to stay at home. (b) I have never read of a horse dying while taking a family to church. They generally carry feed, tie him to a shady tree, water him, and drive him slowly back. You might have brought a question harder than this, viz.: The railroad matter. It is a law to excuse railroad employees or clerks working in the postoffice on Sunday. But I would not, as a Christian, enter any business that left me no Sunday privileges, no alternation. Employers regarding their fellow men should have done on Sunday only such work as concerns public necessity.

 

 

XVII

 

(Return to Contents)

 

THE DECALOGUE – THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT Exodus 20:13

 


"Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which Jehovah thy God giveth thee."


1. In what way is the Fifth Commandment distinguished from the others?


Ans. – In two particulars: (1) It is the connecting link between the commandments Godward and the commandments manward. It links the two tables, and (2) in the two parts it is the First Commandment with a promise.


2. How does it connect with the Godward commandments?


Ans. – In a sense, the parent is in the place of God to the child, and God's fatherhood is the archetype of all families, as you find it expressed in Ephesians: "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father, for whom every family is named" (Eph. 3:14-15).


3. How did the ancient Romans express the idea of this connection of the Fifth Commandment?


Ans. – They used one word to describe the dutifulness toward God and toward man, and that is the word, pietas or piety. Hence Vergil, in describing the reverence that Aeneas pays to his father, Anchises, calls him "pious Aeneas." In other words, it is impious to disobey a commandment that relates to God. It is impious to disobey a commandment that relates to the parents, but, while it is wicked, it is not impious to kill, to steal, to lie. It is important for you to notice that distinction, viz.: That the violation of any of the subsequent commandments is wickedness; it is sin, but a violation of the four commandments relating to God and the one commandment relating to the parent is impious. Duty to parents and duty to God is therefore called piety.


4. In what New Testament passage does our King James Version express the same thought?


Ans. – 1 Timothy 5:4: "But if any widow bath children or grandchildren, let them learn -first to shew piety toward their own family, and to requite their parents: for this is acceptable in the sight of God." Our English translators had the thought that sin against parents is impiety.


5. What masterpieces of tragedy are based on the impiety of children?


Ans. – Shakespeare's King Lear, who divided his kingdom between his two elder daughters, Gorneril and Regan, who drove him insane by their ingratitude. "Orestes," son of Agamemnon, whose murder he avenged by killing his mother. "0 Edipus," son of Laius, king of Thebes, slew his father. We have thus seen how the Fifth Commandment connects with those that relate to God.


6. How does the Fifth Commandment connect with the following ones that relate to man?


Ans. – As the parent is in the place of God to the child, so society, the school and the state are in the place of the parent to the student and the city.


7. What title is given to an institution of learning which expresses this thought?


Ans. – Alma Mater.


8. What name is given to rulers?


Ans. – "Sire," "Father"; the Indian will tell you of the White Father at Washington. And the Yankees used to sing: "We are coming, Father Abraham!"


9. What, then, are the duties of children to parents?


Ans. – They may be summed up in three heads: (1) honor; (2) obedience; (3) to care for them in their necessity.


10. In what ways do children in modern times violate this law?


Ans. – Suppose a child calls his father "the old man" or "the governor," or any appellation of that kind; that shows lack of honor. If a child by his speech so answers back that it is irreverent and disrespectful, it violates this command. If a child disregards an injunction solemnly laid upon him by a parent, that is a violation of this command. How often is that done in modern times, and to a degree never dreamed of in the olden times! Now the child wonders how much more he knows than his "daddy." It is an amazing thing to him how much smarter he is and how much better he can manage things.


11. What remarkable lesson of our Lord exposes a hypocritical evasion of the law that a child should care for a necessitous parent?


Ans. – The account is in Matthew 15:3-6, also in Mark. He said to the Pharisees, "You make void the law of God with your tradition; you say with reference to any part of your property, Corban, that is, it is devoted to God, and therefore we can't help take care of our father or mother because we can't use devoted money for that." He said it was a hypocritical evasion of an opportunity that couldn't be alienated; that the child must take care of his necessitous parent. This commandment is expressed somewhat as if it were absolute: "Children, obey your parents in all things."


12. What is the limitation of this law? Is it absolute? or has it limitations? For example, if a parent should command a child to steal, does the law, "Children, obey your parents," require that child to steal? Then what is the limitation?


Ans. – Paul puts it in these words: "Children, obey your parents in the Lord," that is, obey your parents in everything that comes in the sphere of a parent; not within the sphere of God. God's law is paramount and you can't, under the idea of obedience to a parent, violate the law of God.


13. What are the duties of parents to children?


Ans. – They are to love them, to nurture them, that is, care for them physically, mentally, and spiritually. They are to instruct them in matters of religion, and they are to discipline them when they disobey. No matter how high is the sanctity of a parental law, the law of a parent over a child, it never justifies the parent in overlooking the individuality of the child. -For example, "Parents, provoke not your children to wrath." Don't forget that they are individual creatures; that they are sensitive. I have known parents to shatter the last remnant of reverence that a child had for the parents by mocking the child, by disregarding the feelings of the child, when it was utterly unnecessary.


14. In what way do many modern parents evade this law?


Ans. – (1) By race suicide. That is particularly so in the case of the "Four Hundred," the wealthy, the great. They want to shun entirely the responsibility of parentage. In the next place (2) a mother violates it when she is so swallowed up with the cares of society that she neglects her own children and leaves their care and their training to irresponsible persons, servants. According to my interpretation of a passage from Paul where he is contrasting the sphere of man and woman, he says that the man's sphere is a public sphere and he must live his life there. Then over against that he says, "But the woman shall live in her children, if they continue stedfast in faith and sobriety and in good works." She lives her life reflexively in her children. We have an illustration of that in an incident of Roman history, where a fashionable woman flashing with jewels came to exhibit her finery to a dignified Roman matron, Cornelia, and Cornelia sent for her two boys, the Gracchi, and holding one in each arm, she said, "These are my jewels; I shine in these boys; I live in my children." Parents evade this law in devolving upon some other agency the moral teaching of the child. For instance, "I will turn it over to the Sunday school," or, "I will turn it over to the preacher." Recently my wife gently took hold of me and said, "I wish that you, more than anybody in the world, would in your own way take our little boy and teach him the Ten Commandments, so he will never forget them." I accepted the suggestion and the implied rebuke, whether she meant it or not. It is a matter that we cannot with impunity devolve upon other people.


15. Cite examples of the effect of this law both ways on nations.


Ans. – I could cite a good many, but I take two great nations that lie side by side, Germany and France. In Germany the family is honored. There is no race suicide. They count "children an heritage from the Lord; as arrows of the Almighty, and blessed is the man that hath his quiver full of them." They count the home a great place. In France, there is race suicide. Fewer children are born in France than in any other nation. Less home life; they want to live on the boulevards, in the parks, in the restaurants. They want to devolve upon the state the care of the child. They are perishing, while Germany is taking the world. Bonaparte saw that in his time, and when Madam De Stael said to him, "Who is the greatest woman in France?" he replied, "Madam, the one who raises the most soldiers for the French army." She thought he would say, "You are." But he saw what was the matter and that France was going to perish for the lack of men, while there would be in some German regiments ten and eleven brothers in the same company.


16. Who is the most illustrious example of parents keeping this law?


Ans. – In Genesis 18:19, we have an account of which God is the witness himself, saying, "Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him; for I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him that they shall keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment." Abraham's attitude toward the family is the most striking and the most illustrious in the Old Testament.


17. What is the most noted example in the Old Testament of a parent disobeying this law?


Ans. – 1 Samuel 3 .-11-14: "And the Lord said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel at which both the ears of every one that heareth shall tingle. In that day I will perform against Eli a thing which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin I will also make an end. For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not. And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever."


18. Cite the New Testament passage showing the most illustrious example of obedience to the Fifth Commandment.


Ans. – Luke 2:51: Our Lord, though in his divinity, the Son of God, perfectly obeyed the Fifth Commandment in that he was subject unto his parents.


19. Show the bearing of this law on a high New Testament office.


Ans. – 1 Timothy 3:4: A bishop must be "one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity." I heard a preacher once on his examination for ordination say, putting his finger on that scripture, "That is the only qualification I can claim. My children do obey me, and I do keep them in subjection to God's law and I do teach them God's word."


20. What is the promise of this commandment?


Ans. – "That you may live long in the land," or have long life on earth. That obedience to parents – and this is a tremendous proposition – obedience to parents, is life preserving. It gives life. I mean natural life here in this world.


21. Cite a proverb illustrating this.


Ans. – Proverbs 6:20-22. Notice and see the effect of obedience to parents on the life in the fulfillment of this promise: "My son, keep the commandment of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother; bind them continually upon thy heart; tie them about thy neck. When thou walkest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall watch over thee; and when thou wakest, it shall talk with thee."


22. What is most remarkable Old Testament example of the fulfillment of this promise, and what about this example today?


Ans. – Jeremiah 35:18-19: "And Jeremiah said unto the house of the Rechabites, Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel: Because ye have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father and kept all his precepts, and done according unto all that he hath commanded you; therefore thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel: Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me for ever." What about the last part of this promise? In Geikie'8 "Hours with the Bible," he cites a testimony from a traveller who in 1862 found a tribe of these Rechabites near the Dead Sea still living and flourishing, just as Jeremiah describes them. It shows the power of obedience to this law of life.


23. Cite a proverb showing that this law may be violated by a look or gesture.


Ans. – Proverbs 30:17: "The eye that mocketh at his father and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it." You see that child minded, but mocked. He obeyed with his body, but looked disobedient.


24. Relate the incident connecting Dr. Adam Clarke, the great commentator, with that proverb.


Ans. – Here is the substance of it: "My mother was a Scotchwoman and very stern in the teaching of God's law to her children, and in the enforcement of that law in the family life, and we were reared under it. One day she told me to do a certain thing, and I didn't dare to disobey her, but I looked saucy at her, and she stood over me and shook her finger in my face and quoted that proverb. It went through me like a dagger, and the next day I was out in the woods and a raven lit in the tree just above me, hollering 'Caw, caw, caw!' – 1 threw my hands over my eyes and ran all the way home, crying, 'Oh my eyes! my eyes! my eyes!' "


25. Cite a Mosaic elaboration of this law binding parents to give this religious instruction to their children.


Ans. – Deuteronomy 6:7-9, has an elaboration of this commandment; that the parents shall teach all of this law to the children when they shall wake up and when they shall walk out of the gate. It shall pervade the home .life, and then walk; it goes on to say that this law shall be inscribed over the doors and windows and gates, so that when the boy looks around the last thing at night, he reads, "Honour thy father and thy mother." When he steps out of his bedroom, he steps under the inscription, "Honour thy father and thy mother." When going through the gate he sees, "Honour thy father and thy mother."


26. What people now living show the most reverence to parents?


Ans. – The Jews, Chinese, Japanese, and Germans. In a recent magazine is an article by a cultivated young Japanese who has travelled in the United States and was very much impressed with many things he saw over here that he thought his people would copy with profit; but, says he, "I saw some things in which the American people should learn of us. I saw a Japanese boy on a train listening to an American mother and her son, and the mother said to the son, 'Son, go yonder and bring me a drink of water,' to which the son replied, ‘I won't do it.' That little Japanese jumped as if a dynamite bomb had exploded under him. It appalled him; he had never seen anything like it. You might cross Japan from every direction of the compass and you would never see anything that would approach that, where a child would say to his parent ‘I won't do it.' "


27. What denomination best obeys the law in the religious instruction of children?


Ans. – The Presbyterians excel the Baptists, I am sorry to say. My mother was a Presbyterian. They make mighty good Baptists when you get them to come over. I learned the Presbyterian idea of family instruction from my mother.


28. What great Texas preacher preached on family governments all over Texas?


Ans. – Dr. Rufus C. Burleson. He was so much impressed with the importance of family religion, family discipline, family instruction in religious matters and its bearing on the destinies of society and the state, that he preached that sermon, I suppose, 500 times in different parts of Texas, taking old Eli for a text.


29. Cite the most exquisite poem in literature on family religion.


Ans. – Robert Burns' "Cotter's Saturday Night."


30. What does Dr. Gambrell say about the value of that poem?


Ans. – " 'The Cotter's Saturday Night' is worth more than all the higher critic literature that was ever written," and when he said it I felt like going up and shaking his hand. Oftentimes at night I have gotten that poem out and read it again and again. It touches the heart, it gets inside of all the experiences with which we make ourselves, and behind which we intrench ourselves. It deals with lowly people, people next to the ground, and yet it deals with the very heart of religion. I have wanted Dr. Gambrell to make that poem the subject of a lecture in order to fix on the minds of our young people the kind of literature in which the real gems are to be found.


31. Show how disobedience to this law makes bad citizens and so undermines the state.


Ans. – The answer can be found in any town, in the country, in the state. It can be found on every page of history, that the boy who disregards father and mother can't make a good citizen. Absalom, the rebel against parental authority, was also the rebel against civil authority. Take the "street Arab," the one that mocks at the idea of parental and family governments – what respect will he have for the sheriff, or the judge, or the governor or the President? In other words it is from the family as the center that all society and civil law radiates and if you strike that down there is not anything upon which to build the superstructure of a permanent government. It must start from the home. It is the sweet reminiscences of home that safeguard the boy in all his after life. The first time I ever saw Wordsworth's poem it captured me: How dear to my heart are the scenes of my childhood, When fond recollection presents them to view – The orchard, the meadow, the deep tangled wildwood, And every loved spot which my infancy knew. How those scenes come up later in life and what a preserving power they have over us! Go back to the time when we were little; there are the sacred names: Father, Mother, Sister, Brother, Uncle, Aunt, Cousin, and woe to the lad, or pity to the lad, that never knew them that never had those surroundings. Much to his credit is it that without those surroundings he learns to fear God and takes a man's place among men.

 

 

XVIII

 

(Return to Contents)

 

THE DECALOGUE – THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17

 


1. Who was the first murderer?


Ans. – The devil. So John in 8:44 says, "He was a murderer from the beginning."


2. Which was the first murder?


Ans. – In Genesis 4:8-15, Cain, under the promptings of Satan, killed his brother Abel.


3. Which was the first penal law against murder?


Ans. – I will quote it for you; it preceded this law we are on now: "And surely your blood, the blood of your lives, will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it; and at the hand of man, even at the hand of every man's brother, will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God made he man" (Gen. 9:5-6). This is the Noachian law given to Noah when he was the second representative head of the human race, after the flood, and particularly do you need to know the reason assigned: "For in the image of God made he man." Therein is the heinousness of murder, viz.: that man was made in the image of God.


4. Now repeat this commandment.


Ans. – "Thou shalt not kill." I stated in the preceding chapter that the great covenant adopted at Sinai was set forth in the book of Exodus 19-23, and that covenant consisted of three parts: (1) This moral code which we are discussing; (2) The civil code arising from it; (3) The law of approach to God through the altar.


5. As that whole covenant from Exodus 19-24 is the constitution, what special Mosaic statutes were derived from this commandment?


Ans. – (1) We will take up the case of homicide, which means the killing of a man (from homo, man, and caedis or caedo, to kill). The first Mosaic legislation concerning homicide, which is murder, has the death penalty. I want you to look at the special legislation on that subject. You will find this law with the death penalty assessed clearly stated in the following scriptures: Exodus 21:12, 14; Leviticus 24:17; Numbers 35:30-33; Deuteronomy 27:24. Now, Moses developed special statutes out of this constitution, and every one of these statutes which I have recited you are to read carefully, and you will see that in any of the cases specified, this homicide is murder, with the penalty of death.


(2) The next special legislation on the subject is found in Numbers 35:16-21, and it is homicide where malice is presumed because of the deadly weapon used. Let us turn and read it, for I want you to get this Mosaic legislation clearly in your mind, for all of our laws by which we go in our courts today are derived from this law. There is not a single principle of law, as attached to murder, in the government of any civilized country that is not derivable from the Mosaic law: "But if he smote him with an instrument of iron, so that he died, he is a murderer." Now, if you were to hit a man with a straw and it were to kill him, you could not prove malice, because the thing with which you struck was not calculated to kill. Here is where the weapon comes in and helps to determine murder, and you will hear the lawyers pleading that in all the murder cases that come up. "The murderer shall surely be put to death. And if he smote him with a stone in the hand, whereby a man may die, and he died, he is a murderer; the murderer shall surely be put to: death. Or if he smote him with a weapon of wood in the hand, whereby a man may die, and he died, he is a murderer; the murderer shall surely be put to death." Suppose I kill one with a cane, (and I have one with which one could kill a man) it would be murder. "And if he thrust him of hatred, or buried at him, lying in wait, so that he died, or in enmity smote him with his hand, so that he died; he that smote him shall surely be put to death; he is a murderer." So you see the idea of murder there is that this man, even though he has not a weapon, lying in wait, he deliberately got his victim, having come along and anticipated it. Suppose he just leaps out and grasps him by the throat and chokes him to death? The law declares that murder on account of its malice; it was murder prompted by hatred, on account of its deliberation as he lay in wait for him.


(3) The next case is found in Deuteronomy 27:25: "Cursed be he that taketh a bribe to slay an innocent person." The first thing here is not personal animosity against the one killed, but the murderer accepting a bribe to kill him. He kills him for money; it is assassination for bribery; that is murder. It would be no defense for him to say, "I had no sort of enmity against that man; I never saw him in my life before." But inasmuch as he took money as the price of killing, it is murder.


(4) The next case is homicide that results from false testimony, Deuteronomy 19 .-,16-19. Here's a man accused before the courts with an offense, and the witness through whose testimony he was accused lost his life because of perjury; then that witness, though he did not actually do the killing, committed murder, and the Mosaic law says you must do to that witness, when you have proof of his perjury, what his testimony had done to the other man. If through false evidence he had a man hanged, why then you hang him, because that is murder.


(5) The next is a case of homicide resulting from criminal neglect, and the first case I take up under that charge is cited in Exodus 21:29, right after the giving of this code. Now here is a special statute that applies to that code: that if a man is gored to death by a vicious ox or bull, and there is evidence that the owner of that ox had been notified of the vicious character of that animal and did not keep him in, and through the running of it at large this man was killed, then the owner of that ox shall be put to death. That is criminal negligence, not safeguarding the life of others. If a little girl was going to school, and a man kept a bloodhound, a ferocious animal, and he should leap the fence and tear the throat of that little girl till she died, that man could be hanged under the Mosaic law; it was a criminal neglect.


The next case of criminal neglect cited is Deuteronomy 22:8. When a man built a new house (you know the houses in that country were all flat on top) if the man did not erect battlements to protect anybody that might walk on the roof, or if children playing thoughtlessly got too close to the edge, fell off, and killed themselves, that man who did not put up battlements was guilty of murder; it was a criminal neglect. The third case of criminal neglect is Exodus 22:23: If two men get to fighting in a house where people are, or on the street, and as a result of their fighting an innocent bystander is killed, they are guilty of murder, because that was not the place to fight. Whoever fights in a public place where the people have a right to be, and though he shoots at his enemy, misses him and kills somebody that he did not aim at all, he is guilty of murder. It wasn't the place to shoot.


The next case is that of a man punishing a slave, and while the weapon he uses is not called a deadly weapon, yet if he makes that punishment so extreme that the slave dies under the punishment, he is a murderer; and he could be put to death; but in order for him to be guilty of murder, the slave must die under the punishment. He might wound him so that he did not die for a week or two, then the law would not apply. But if he dies under the punishment, it is murder.


(6) The next law is expressed in Deuteronomy 21:1. I had better quote that to you, as some of you prohibitionists, if you do as I used to do, will make a great deal of it: "If one be found slain in the land which Jehovah God giveth thee to possess it, lying in the field, and it be not known who hath smitten him; then thy elders and thy judges shall come forth, and they shall measure unto the cities that are around about him that is slain; and it shall be, that the city which is nearest unto the slain man, even the elders of that city shall take a heifer of the herd, which hath not been wrought with, and which hath not drawn in the yoke . . . And all the elders of that city shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley; and they shall answer and say, Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it. Forgive, 0 Jehovah, thy people Israel, whom thou hast redeemed, and suffer not innocent blood to remain in the midst of thy people Israel. And the blood shall be forgiven them. So shalt thou put away the innocent blood from the midst of thee, when thou shalt do that which is right in the eyes of Jehovah." So that those elders who had washed their hands over the slain heifer and in the name of God who had Just been evoked by the sacrifice, they must swear that no neglect upon their part occasioned the death of that man. That is called municipal responsibility. Now, when the sheriff was killed in Fort Worth by that saloonkeeper, simply because the sheriff was discharging his duty, I wrote an article holding the city of Fort Worth responsible for that murder. They were tolerating the death-gendering business, also associated with murder, and through their licensing those saloons, and through their failure to enforce the law against those saloons that this murder came by, the municipality was guilty in the sight of God.


(7) The special Mosaic legislation, under the head, "Thou shalt not kill," is all embodied in what is called lex talionis. You will not forget that: lex talionis, law of retaliation, and that lex talionis is set forth in the scripture, Exodus 21:23-25. Let us read that and see what it is: "But if any harm follow, then thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe" that is, every man under the law, "Thou shalt not kill," is to be held responsible for the amount of damage which he inflicts, whether it kills or not. If he knocks out a man's eye, then eye for eye, and tooth for tooth, one of his must now be taken out; if he cuts off a man's nose then off comes his; if he breaks three or four teeth, then the same number of his shall be broken; "eye for eye, tooth for tooth, burning for burning." If he picks up boiling hot water and throws it over him, then he must be scalded. Let us see how that law is applied in Leviticus 24:19-21: "And if a man cause a blemish in his neighbour; as he hath done, so shall it be done to him: breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be rendered unto him. And he that killeth a beast shall make it good; and he that killeth a man shall be put to death." And now let us look at the lex talionis in Deuteronomy 19:18-21: "And the judges shall make diligent inquisition; and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and have testified falsely against his brother; then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to do unto his brother . . . And thine eyes shall not pity; life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot." That is lex talionis. Now, so far as we have considered the case of homicide where it was adjudged to be murder, and the penalty was death.


We will now consider accidental homicide. Deuteronomy 19:4-6: "And this is the case of the manslayer, that shall flee thither and live: whoso killeth his neighbor unawares, and hateth him not in time past; as when a man goeth into the forest with his neighbor to hew wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slippeth from the helve, and lighteth upon his neighbor, so that he dieth; he shall flee unto one of these cities and live: lest the avenger of blood pursue the manslayer, while his heart is hot, and overtake him, because the way is long, and smite him mortally; whereas he was not worthy of death, inasmuch as he hated him not in time past." Now, he killed him but there was no hatred toward him and no intention to kill him. It was a pure accident; that is not murder.


I take a still stronger case, however, presented in Numbers 35:22-23: "But if he thrust him suddenly without enmity, or buried upon him anything without lying in wait, or with any stone, whereby a man may die, seeing him not, and cast it upon him, so that he died, and he was not his enemy, neither sought his harm"; then that is not murder, for the congregation delivered the manslayer out of the hand of the avenger of blood and restored him to his city of refuge whither he had fled. There you come upon both suddenly, and it would be such if I were working on the top of a three-story house and pushed off the coping and it fell on somebody and killed him, I not seeing him, yet there being a sign up all around that there was danger on that building. But there was something here more than that. It says, "If a man suddenly thrust." Now that is not an accident; it is this kind of a case: if the killing is brought upon you when you are not expecting it and the whole issue of it is thrust upon you without any premeditation on your part, and in the heat of the moment, you, in defense, lay hold on anything you can get your hand on, when they are crowding you, and you thrust suddenly and kill a man, this is not murder. Why? There was no malice, and there was no deliberation. It all came upon you in a moment, and you find that principle recognized in every law court in the United States. A question comes up: "Was the lex talionis to be enforced individually or through the courts?" I will explain that directly, we will come to it again, a strange kind of court, a part of it, yet it was a court.


6. Now give the Mosaic definition of murder, the process of court procedure in determining it to be murder, and its penalty.


Ans. – Here's my answer: (1) Homicide with deliberation and enmity is always murder. (2) The use of a deadly weapon in smiting implies malice and intent to kill and is murder. (3) Taking a bribe to kill, though without personal malice, is murder. (4) Homicide resulting from perjury, without personal malice, is murder. (5) Extreme punishment of the slave, though one did not mean to murder when he commenced punishing him, yet if he persisted until the slave dies under that punishment, it is murder. (6) Homicide resulting from criminal negligence, as in the case of an ox, or of the battlement. (7) In the case of a fight on the streets or in the house where the public have a right to be; (8) as in the case of the municipality in not safeguarding the lives of the citizens, or in not enforcing the law which does safeguard these, all are murder, criminal and otherwise at special courts; and (Deut. 19:15-19) every man (a) was entitled to a trial, (b) and no man could be convicted of any offense, and especially in that of murder, by one witness; there must be two witnesses, one would not do; (c) no bail could be given, and (d) no fine allowed in a murder case, (e) and a false witness was himself to be put to death. (I will explain another feature of the court at the end of the chapter.) Now continuing the Mosaic definition: (9) Accidental (Deut. 19: 4-6) homicide in self-defense is not murder. (10) Sudden homicide is not murder (Num. 35). (II) When a thief in the act of burglary is killed, that is not murder. (12) But, if you wait to kill him till the next day, then it is murder. (13) War is not murder; killing in war is not murder. Now I have given you the Mosaic law for murder.


7. What was our Lord's exposition on this Sixth Commandments?


Ans. – It is in Matthew 5:21-22, in the great Sermon on the Mount: "Ye have heard that it was said to them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: but I say unto you, that every one who is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgments; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca [an expression of contempt], shall be in danger of the council [the Sanhedrin]; and whosoever shall say, Thou goal [an expression of condemnation] shall be in danger of the Gehenna of fire." There you see our Lord goes down to the root. of the matter, and he puts the murder not in the overt act, but in the angry passion, or hate, that prompts the act, and that passion or hate may be expressed in a word. You may kill with the word, Raca, Fool, a worthless fellow; so that our Lord does not take back the Mosaic law, but he gives the spirit of it; he goes deeper than the words of the law; fool [an expression of condemnation], shall be in danger of the Gehenna of fire." There you see our Lord goes down to the root of the matter, and he puts the murder not in the overt but in the state of the mind which prompts to kill or to call a man curse words, as Raca, Fool, or whatever you please.


8. Now give our Lord's exposition of the lex talionis.


Ans. – In Matthew 5:38-39, we have this: "Ye have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth [he does not take that back; he goes far beyond that] : but I say unto you, Resist not him that is evil; but whosoever smiteth thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." That is, the Christian man is not allowed to be executor of the lex talionis; he is not judge, or sheriff. The law says, "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," and if a man has knocked your eye out, you are not to reach out your hand and knock his out; you are not the executor if he hits you on one side of the face. Rather than hit him back, you had better turn the other side and let him hit you again. God did not make you executor of the law.


9. What is John's exposition of murder?


Ans. – 1 John 3:15: "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer." He may not shoot him; he may not be guilty of assassination, but if he hates him he has the spirit of a murderer.


10. Now give our Lord's exposition of the source of murder.


Ans. – Here he goes deeper than he went before. There he put the murder in the passions; in Matthew 15:19, he gives the source of it: "For out of the heart come forth evil thoughts, murders, etc." There you do not have to prove the murder to be of the sword or pistol, nor even by anger, whether it manifests itself or not in word or gesture, but the permanent state, the attitude of the inner self toward God; out of the heart it comes forth, and that is the source.


11. Now give our Lord's positive side of the commandment, the negative side of it being, "Thou shalt not kill."


Ans. – In Matthew 5:43-45, we find his positive side of it: "Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour and hate thine enemy; but I say unto you, Love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you; that ye may be sons of your Father who is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust." As murder is hate – "Thou shalt not hate" – (that is the negative side) so, "Thou shalt love" is the positive of the commandment.


12. What is Paul's positive side of it?


Ans. – Romans 12:19-21: "Avenge not yourselves, beloved, but give place unto the wrath of God: for it is written, Vengeance belongeth unto me; I will recompense, saith the Lord. But if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him to drink; for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." There you begin to get at the idea that Christ is not speaking of the governmental execution of law. He is saying to the Christian people that they are not the executors of the law; and Paul says, "You have been wronged, now you give place to the wrath of God; just get out of the way and let God hit him. 'Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, I will repay,' and so far as you are concerned, do not hit him. Love him and pray for him."


13. Does our Lord condemn all anger? If not, what is his law of anger?


Ans. – As a proof that he does not condemn all anger, three or four times in his life he was himself intensely indignant, and ought to have been, and we ought to have an anger and wrath against any and all evil things, but he says, "Let not the sun go down on your wrath." Now if they are wicked things they will make you mad, and that would not be sin, but if you took vengeance it would be sin, or if you nourished that, let the sun go down on that anger, it would breed something that would be sin, i.e., if you let it hang on long.


14. Does Christ condemn killing by the state through the courts of justice?


Ans. – He certainly does not. He is not discussing that subject at all; nobody could call him out on these political questions.


15. What, then, is the sum of his teaching on killing and private resistance?


Ans. – The sum of his teaching is that as God sends his sunlight and his rain upon the evil and good alike, so we, to be the children of God, must love the good and the bad; must desire their good; must refuse to execute judgment on him by taking vengeance into our hands. That is the sum of his law.


16. What is the sum of his teaching on courts and wars?


Ans. – As I have told you, he avoided putting himself in antagonism in any way to any form of government. He says in whatsoever condition you are to be content, and you are to obey the magistrates and observe the requirements issued for the good of society. But he teaches principles that will ultimately put an end to the necessity of the human courts and to all courts whatever. One of the prophets says, "He shall be the arbiter between nations." He says to his own children, "Do not go to law brother against brother." We should either arbitrate or select any two or three good brethren in the church and let them decide; suffer wrong rather than go to law. He established the great principle of arbitration which appears in The Hague Commission and which has done a great deal of good and gives expression to the principle which he teaches, as the prophets declare: That the lion and the lamb shall lie down together, and a little child shall lead them, and there shall be wars no more, and the swords shall be turned into plowshares and the spears into pruning hooks, and from one end of the earth to the other there shall be peace, and peace only. He is to bring it about, not by political legislation, but by inculcating the principles that will govern public opinion and will spread until a millennium of glory shall come in the power of his teachings.


17. What is the nature of murder?


Ans. – It has about a dozen elements: (1) Sacrilege, because you are killing somebody who was made in the image of God; that is sacrilege. (2) And again you are killing your brother; you are destroying a member of society, and the great reason for a legislation against murder is that the man is made in the image of God, etc.


18. Cite special cases of murder.


Ans. – (1) Homicide, the killing of a man; (2) suicide, the killing of self; (3) parricide, the killing of a parent; (4) infanticide, the killing of infants; and feticide, the killing of unborn children. Every one of them is murder.


19. Give the case of the Negro judge.


Ans. – In Reconstruction times some Negroes got into office, and very near the edge of Arkansas, close to Texas, a Negro became a judge, and one of the cases brought before him was that of a man who had killed another man and stolen his horse. When they brought him before the Negro, he said: ''This court knows two kinds of justice; there is the Arkansas justice and there is the Texas justice. Well, now, which will you have?" "Well, if it is Texas justice you want, I set you free for killing the man – that is nothing in Texas, but I will hang you for stealing the horse." "Well, hold on," the culprit said, "give me Arkansas justice." "All right, I'll set you free for stealing that horse, but I'll hang you for killing that man."


20. What is the great reflection on our laws as they are administered?


Ans. – That the courts will not condemn a man for murder; they just simply will not do it. They condemn to death for stealing, without ever failing, and for a great many other things, but you can come nearer killing a man with impunity than stealing a paper bag of popcorn.


21. What is one of the greatest causes that lead to murder?


Ans. – The love of money; as in the case of that man who killed by taking a bribe; as in the case of that man who swore falsely for money's sake; as in the case of that saloonkeeper, who for the love of money kept and sold the things that brought about murder. The love of money is one of the greatest causes of murder.


22. Explain the avenger of blood and the cities of refuge.


Ans. – The question was asked whether the lex talionis was vested in that individual or in the court of the cities of refuge. There were six of them, three east of the Jordan and three west; they were set there for this purpose: that when one killed a man, he could instantly flee that city nearest, and if the avenger of blood overtook him before he got there, he perished; if he got there, he had a trial. If it was proved that he had maliciously killed him, then the city of refuge could not hold him, nobody could hold him, he must be given up, says Moses. But the object of those cities of refuge was to give time for passion to cool, to give time for a fair trial. Now what was the avenger of blood? He was the closest of kin to the murdered man. That looks like putting it into the hands of the individual, but while it was in the hands of the individual, it was an individual commission of the law; the law commissioned him, as soon as his kinsman was killed, to strike right out for the murderer, and it was a hot race; if the murderer got to the city of refuge he was safe from the avenger of blood until the evidence could be brought there and the case tried, and if he had actually committed murder, then he must be publicly executed. If it was a case of accidental killing, or accidental homicide, they could not put him to death. Now we have no such thing as the avenger of blood, making the nearest of kin the avenger of blood, as the law of Moses did. But he was an officer of the law just as the sheriff is. The Mormons created a body called the Danites, a secret organization, and made them the avengers of blood, until the whole United States was stirred with the drama, The Danites repeating what they did in dramatic art. That drama, The Danites, thrilled the whole United States, and the Danites had to go out of business.


23. How about a missionary in a heathen country carrying a pistol?


Ans. – If I had been out with Theodore Roosevelt in the wilds of Africa, I would have carried both gun and pistols. Wherever my life was in jeopardy by the necessity of my situation, I would carry them, but in a school or a church, or in the streets of a peaceful city, where there are officers of the law on all sides ready to protect – that is the kind of pistol carrying that is inexcusable.

 

 

XIX

 

(Return to Contents)

 

THE DECALOGUE – THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT Exodus 20:14; Deuteronomy 5:18

 


1. What is the scriptural basis for the Seventh Commandments?


Ans. – The answer is Genesis 1:26: "God made them male and female," and 2:18-25, which describes how the woman was formed from man, and, taken with the man, expresses their unity. Genesis 2:3-8, restates the passage from the first chapter. Now the Seventh Commandment roots in this Genesis passage.


2. What are the lessons of these scriptures?


Ans. – These Old Testament passages furnish four great lessons: (1) The unity of the man and the woman: "They twain shall be one flesh," bone of bone and flesh of flesh. The Hebrew word for man is ish; the Hebrew word for woman is isshah and means ess. Just like you say peer and peeress, baron and baroness, marquis and marchioness; the feminine of man means "derived from man." Charles Wesley, the great Methodist hymn writer, has used these words in a song:


Not from his head the woman took,


And made her husband to overlook;


Not from his feet, as one designed


The footstool of the stronger kind;


But fashioned for himself a bride:


An equal taken from his side.
That is the first lesson in these scriptures, teaching the unity of the man and the woman. (2) Marriage is a divine institution. Genesis 1:27; 2:22, and Matthew 19:6. God made them male and female. God made the woman out of a part of the man, and presented her to the man. Therefore "what God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." (3) Marriage is the first and the highest and the most important human relation, derived from this part of Genesis: "therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife" (Gen. 2:24). Just as soon as the marriage relation is established, a new family is established; and that marriage obligation is paramount over every other human obligation, or every obligation based upon a human relation. A man is more under obligation to love and to take care of his wife than he is to stay at home and take care of his father and mother. A woman is under more obligation to love and to cherish her husband than she is to love and to cherish her own father and mother, or her own brothers and sisters. It is the first human relation, the highest human relation, the most important human relation and it antedated even the sabbath day. (4) The fourth lesson: Marriage typifies the covenant relation between God and Israel, Isaiah 54:5: "Thy Maker is thy husband"; and also the covenant relation between Christ and his church. There are a number of passages on this: Romans 5:14; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:22-23; Revelation 19:5-10. All these scriptures are devoted to that idea; all of them need special mention. In Romans 5 Paul shows that Adam the first was a type of Adam the Second; and as the woman was derived from Adam the first, so the church was derived from Adam the Second; that as the first Adam was in a deep sleep when God took the material of the woman from his side, so the Second Adam must sleep in death, in order that the church might be extracted from his side. And the other passage, the most remarkable, is the one in Ephesians 5. I think I had better quote a part of it to you, though you may be quite familiar with it. We want to get at the basis of this Seventh Commandment (5:22-23) "Wives, be in subjection unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is also the head of the church, being himself the saviour of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives also be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, Jove your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Even so ought husbands also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his own wife loveth himself: for no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as Christ also the church; because we are members of his body. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great: but I speak in regard of Christ and of the church. Nevertheless do ye also severally love each one his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see that she fear her husband."


Now, these are the four great lessons of the Genesis passage without the details: (1) The essential unity of man and woman; (2) Marriage is a divine institution; (3) Marriage is the first and highest and most important human relation; (4) Marriage typifies the covenant relation between God and Israel, and the covenant relation between Christ and his church. I quote a closing passage on the last (Revelation 19: 6) : "And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as of the voice of mighty thunders, saying, Hallelujah: for the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigneth. Let us rejoice and be exceeding glad, and let us give the glory unto him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And it was given unto her that she should array herself in fine linen, bright and pure: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they that are bidden to the marriage supper of the Lamb." Now having considered the basis of the commandment, let us repeat the commandment: "Thou shalt not commit adultery." In other words, Thou shalt not be unfaithful to the marriage obligation (Ex. 22:14).


3. What is Christ's exposition of this?


Ans. – You see that, on the face of it, it looks as though it speaks only to married people. Thou shalt not be unfaithful to the marriage vows; it does look like a limitation. Now let us see how Christ expounds that in Matthew 5:27-28, a part of his great Sermon on the Mount (that sermon is the exposition of the law) : "Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt not commit adultery; but I say unto you, that every one that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." Now Jesus is not supplementing the Mosaic law; he is simply fulfilling it, filling it out, showing the spirituality of it; and that it does not refer (1) simply to an overt act, and (2) that it does not refer simply to the marriage relation; but it refers to the passion, whether it ever finds expression or not.


4. What is the source of all violation of this commandments?


Ans. – In Matthew 15:19, Jesus says, "For out of the heart come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications," etc. There the commandment strikes at the state: "out of the heart," "whosoever looketh"; there is a reference to the passion. "Do not commit adultery" – there is an overt act. Now the law takes cognizance of the whole subject, not merely of the fruit of the tree, not of the flower from which the fruit is formed, not of the bough upon which the fruit grows, nor of the trunk from which the branch extends, but of the very root of the tree. That is the law.


5. What was Moses' law of divorce?


Ans. – We have spoken of this relation. Now, Moses, who recorded this commandment we are studying, afterward permitted divorces, and we want to see the law under which he permitted it. Deuteronomy 24:1-4: "When a man taketh a wife, and marrieth her, then it shall be, if she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some unseemly thing in her, that he shall write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife. And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, who took her to be his wife; her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before Jehovah; and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which Jehovah thy God giveth thee for an inheritance." So that if a man is divorced from a woman under this Mosaic law, she may marry somebody else, and that second man may divorce her, or that second man may die, but that first man must not marry her again. Now that is the Mosaic law of divorce.


6. What is Christ's law of divorce?


Ans. – It is found in Matthew 19:3-10: "The Pharisees also came unto him, trying him, and saying, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said, Have ye not read, that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh? So that they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why then did Moses command to give a bill of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses for your hardness of heart suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it hath not been so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that marrieth her when she is put away committeth adultery. The disciples say unto him, If the case of the man is so with his wife, it is not expedient to marry." Now in this v. 9: "Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication" – What is the distinction between adultery and fornication? Fornication is a general term, and adultery is a specific term. Fornication includes adultery. See in Dr. Broadus' commentary on this nineteenth chapter in which the distinction is made between fornication and adultery, and the proof be gives is from the Greek. Now if Christ had said, "Whosoever shall put away his wife except for adultery," then his statement would not have been comprehensive enough; he would have been using a limited term, and it would not have covered some cases, for instance, such a case as this: A man and a woman are betrothed, and under the Jewish law it is kindred to marriage, that is, it is as binding. Now the woman before marriage violates this law; then that man could put her away for that offense under the Jewish law. But if Christ had limited it to adultery, an offense committed after marriage only would have been covered by that term. So he selected the broad term, fornication, which applies not only to married people, but to unmarried people. I am very glad to bring out that distinction, and particularly as a few years ago a bishop in Waco took the position that a man could not put away his wife for adultery; that the only ground upon which he could put her away was a failure of consideration of chastity when they were married; that she was unchaste when they were married; that she only "fooled" him, which was a very erroneous interpretation.


7. What is Christ's preventive against unchastity?


Ans. – In Matthew 5:29-30, he says, "And if thy right eye causeth thee to stumble, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not thy whole body be cast into hell." This is also recorded in Mark 9:43-48. Now let me read the connection that you may see the preventive: "I say unto you, that every one that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matt. 5:28).


8. Is this remedy to be understood literally or spiritually?


Ans. – Unquestionably, it is to be understood as spiritual. To show you that it must be so understood, let us suppose that a man uses his eye looking on a woman to lust after her, and he therefore plucks out his eye. That would not prevent the offense; it could go on with both his eyes plucked out. And if his hands were cut off, as long as the adultery came out of his heart, it could still go on. So it is perfectly foolish to talk about this excision being legal; it is spiritual. It means this: that whatever object entices you to sin, the preventive is, turn away from it; give it up; cut it off. That is the spiritual thought. Like Paul says, "I keep my body under." As the little girl in the Sunday school expressed it, "Paul kept his soul on top." "I keep my body under; keep the soul on top." The members of the body are merely instrumental, and Paul says that all sin is apart from the body. The body cannot sin. The body is used as an instrument of sin, but the sin comes from the inner man; it corner out of the heart of the man.


9. What is Paul's law of separation between husband and wife?


Ans. – Suppose we read I Corinthians 7:10-16: "But unto the married I give charge, yea not I, but the Lord, That the wife depart not from her husband (but should she depart, let her remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband); and that the husband leave not his wife. But to the rest say I, not the Lord [that is, when he said that, he was quoting the words that Christ spoke; he does not mean that what he is going to say is not from the Lord, but it means it is not recorded in the life of Christ; he says he speaks by the Spirit himself, but what he is now going to say is a part of the information that had not been verbally given during Christ's lifetime]: If any brother hath an unbelieving wife, and she is content to dwell with him, let him not leave her. And the woman that hath an unbelieving husband, and he is content to dwell with her, let her not leave her husband. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified in the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified in the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. Yet if the unbelieving departeth, let him depart: the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us in peace. For how knowest thou, 0 wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, 0 husband, whether thou shalt save thy wife?" You see the case that Paul is discussing is this kind: Suppose a man is converted, a married man, and his wife is not converted, and is intensely opposed to his being a Christian; she may be a heathen or she may be just a worldly minded person. Now is he to put away his unbelieving wife? No. Shall this unbelieving wife remain with her husband? Yes. But suppose this unbelieving one won't remain, just simply won't do it? Well, "if the unbelieving depart, let him depart." You have done all you could; now let him depart. In other words, there can be, and often is, in this life a separation between husband and wife where it is on account of one of the parties (it takes two to make a thing stand) making it impossible for the two to live together. If one of them wants to go, and will go, why, let that one go.


10. In I Corinthians 7:15: "If the unbelieving depart, let him depart; the brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases." Does that create an exception to Matthew 19:9? Matthew says that no man can put away his wife, save for fornication. Now here is a separation that is not based on fornication. Does this language, "a brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases," create a new and additional ground for divorce?


Ans. – I will let Paul answer it himself in v. II. He had just said, "But if she [the unbelieving wife] depart, let her remain unmarried." Now, there can be separation, but there cannot be divorce in this case. Where divorce comes, you can remarry, but you cannot remarry on mere separation. Take Paul again in v. 39: "A wife is bound for so long time as her husband liveth, but if her husband be dead, she is free to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord." You see that Paul then does not present a second ground of divorce, but of separation. Now I will take a case in point. One of the oldest, most venerable and useful ministers of God that we have had in Texas was Brother Z. N. Morrell. When somewhat late in life he married, probably the second time, his first wife being dead, this later marriage was a mistake. The woman would not live with him. She would "blow him up and blow the home up, and blow any visitor up." The brethren could not now come to see Brother Morrell but that woman would fire a bombshell at them just as soon as they would come in the gate. He said, "Now this kind of thing will not do; it stands in the way of my work; and this being the case, we had better live apart. I will take care of you as long as you live, but cannot fill my duty as a Christian and a preacher with you here in the house doing as you do." So they had what is called in law a divorce, a divorce from bed and board, but not a divorce e vinculo matrimonii, a divorce from the bond of matrimony. It was a separation but not such a separation as permits remarriage.


11. What is the meaning of the saying of the disciples in Matthew 19:10, if Christ had laid down the law of divorce, and Christ's reply?


Ans. – I will quote it: Christ had just said, "Whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery, and he that marrieth her when she is put away committeth adultery." Verse 10 says, "If the case of the man is so with his wife, it is not expedient to marry." What does that mean? They thought it a mighty good thing to marry under the Mosaic law of marriage; that if they did not like a woman, they could just send her off with a piece of paper and go and marry somebody else. But when Christ came in and showed them the indissoluble nature of the bond, and the sanctity of the relation, they said if this is the law of marriage it is not expedient to marry at all. That is exactly what they meant: that they had better let the marriage relation alone. Our Lord then goes on to say that some people .have let marriage alone, but not for such a reason as they allege. He says a certain saying is for those who may receive it: some on account of physical disability are eunuchs from their mother's womb, etc., but God teaches that marriage is honorable and there is a command to multiply and fill the earth up with population, and they were wrong in saying that because the marriage relation is so stringent, therefore it is expedient not to marry at all.


12. Christ's remedy for unchastity?


Ans. – It means that when you look into your heart and at your thoughts, you find, even if there have been no overt acts, that you have violated this law. Now, what is the remedy? The atoning blood of Christ, just as you have a remedy for every other sin. Put it into the hands of the Advocate and through the blood plea you are forgiven. There is no difference in a sin of this kind and any other kind of sin, and the remedy for all of them is one remedy – the blood of Christ.


13. What is the relation of sanctification to this sin?


Ans. – Listen to this answer: Regeneration takes hold of the carnal mind, which is enmity against God and not subject to his law, and neither indeed can be. Regeneration changes that mind, that nature. It is the imparting of a holy disposition; but notwithstanding regeneration the Christian finds that even after he has been a subject of regeneration; even after he has been justified through the application of the blood of Christ, he finds a law in his members warring against the law of his mind. Now comes in Christ's great practical remedy: there is a legal remedy, viz.: finding forgiveness through the blood of Christ. But the practical remedy is through sanctification: that is, beginning in regeneration, the Spirit continues his work to make you purer and purer in mind and thought, holier and holier, more and more like God, until, when the full work of sanctification has been accomplished at the death of the body, then you are as holy as Christ is holy. You not only have had a change of nature in regeneration; you not only are complete in Christ through justification, but you have been rendered practically as holy as God is holy in yourself. That is the relation of sanctification to this doctrine.


Oh, how many times has the cry gone up when a man finds a law in his members working against the law of his mind, causing him to do things that he would not, and to leave undone things that he would do, finding himself brought under subjection to the law of sin and death, until he cries out: "Wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me out of the body of this death?" Sanctification is continually carried on until body, mind, and soul are all as perfect as God. So we cannot object to this law of Christ on account of its ideal character in not making the law to be a sliding scale to fit human infirmity. The law is holy, the law is just, the law is good; and you cannot make it go down 100 miles to suit one man, 1,000 miles to suit another man, 10,000 miles to suit still another, and so on; and if its standard differs not in one part of the world from what it is in another part, it must stand as God gave it; that in your heart you must not violate this law; in your thought you must not do it; nor in the overt act. That is the law. Justification will cover all offenses; conviction and petition will cover all accruing violation; sanctification will put you in the condition that you will not want to violate it, ultimately. When Paul has just given the law, he says that the law holds till death, as the woman is under the law to her husband as long as he lives, and that there is but one offense known under heaven among men that in the sight of God will justify an absolute divorce and allow remarriage.

 

OTHER QUESTIONS


1. What is the law in the members?


Ans. – It is the residue or the remainder of the depravity in nature, not yet subdued by regeneration. Regeneration imparts a principle of life, but the entire nature is not yet subdued unto God, and through the body as an instrument it tempts the man and tempts him to sin. That is the law in the members.


2. Does fornication include drunkenness?


Ans. – No.


3. Does it include profligacy?


Ans. – When profligacy refers to the matter in hand. A man can be profligate in other matters. It refers to all forms of violation of purity in the sexual relation.


4. Should a church discipline one of its members who marries a man divorced for an unscriptural cause?


Ans. – That is a question to which there has never been a practical solution. I confess that I am more stalled over the discipline question, as under this law, than everything else in the world put together. I never did have anything to bother me like that matter. Now there will cases come up much more complicated than the way this question puts it. It supposes that he marries the divorced woman and is a member of the church before the offense was committed, and was under the jurisdiction of the church when the offense was committed. If I had been the preacher and I had known that he was marrying the woman divorced, and not from a scriptural standpoint, I never would have officiated at his marriage, and if he had asked me if it was lawful under Christ, I would have told him no, it was not, and if he violated that commandment, he would be disowning his allegiance to Jesus Christ. I had a most touching letter of appeal not many months ago, from one of the best young men and one of the best young ladies I ever knew. I doubt whether any church can be found with a purer, more chaste young Christian woman than she was. Now, in the man's case he had been divorced, but not for the scriptural reason. Years had passed away; his wife still living though not married again. He fell in love with this girl, and they wrote me to know if they might, under Christ's law, marry. I said, "Do not do it; do not do it." I said, "It is better sometimes to deny yourselves than it is to gratify yourselves. A greater accretion of moral stamina comes from renunciation than from gratification; and now do not marry." And they wrote back that they would not. Now this question: If they had married would you discipline them? That the law had been violated is unquestionable. The object of discipline is to "gain" a party. Sometimes when the law is violated there comes such a complication that to attempt to exercise discipline would do more harm than good. For instance, suppose two or three children have been born to these people. Now you go in and discipline the mother; what about the children? Who is to take care of them? Now I would say this, that my mind is perfectly clear that if one had been married in the case of the divorce not on scriptural grounds, I would say, "Do not Join the church; do the best you can outside. You cannot join the church without doing harm to the church," and I am very much inclined to the position that the discipline had better be exercised, but it takes a strong man and a strong church to be able to do it. Some preachers will lose their pastorate on it, because there are complications.


5. In case of separation where divorce is not allowed, if one party marries is the other free?


Ans. – Yes. Not per se, but he can state to the church how they were living apart for peace's sake, and how it is a clear case of violation of marriage law. Any church would say "You are free to marry." You see that brings in the justifiable ground. The divorce cases are all over the world; and it commenced, of course, with the "big bugs" of the rich people first. They started it; they got the idea that they, because they had the money, were not amenable to anyone; and what is called the "Four Hundred," the "Upper Ten" of New York has scarcely a family without a divorce, followed by a remarriage, and you see them at their parties introducing one another: "Well, Mrs. C., I am glad to meet you; I hope you have gotten along 0. K. with my former husband." "Mr. D. let me introduce you to my first husband's second wife," until shame has come upon the nation; the sanctity of the family has been destroyed, and children are ashamed to hear the name of father and mother repeated.

 

 

XX

 

(Return to Contents)

 

THE DECALOGUE – THE EIGHTH COMMANDMENT Exodus 20:15; Deuteronomy 5:19

 


This chapter is on the commandment "Thou shalt not steal."


1. What is the positive form of this commandment?


Ans. – Be honest.


2. What is the basis of the law, "Thou shalt not steal"?


Ans. – Unless there is such a thing as property, it would be impossible to have a commandment, "Thou shalt not steal." So that this commandment is based upon the right of property. We continually go back to the original declaration to man when God gave him the title to the earth, and gave him the commission to subdue the earth; the earth in usufruct, that is, in the use of its fruits is the property of man.


3. What is the derivation of the word "property"?


Ans. – It comes from the Latin word, proprius, which means "peculiar to one" or "personal to one," and therefore the idea of property is something that is yours and not another's.


4. What are the inherent rights of property?


Ans. – (1) A right to keep in harmony with God. And you can steal that right from man as well as you can any other kind of property.


(2) The right to himself, and the greatest of all stealing, so far as man is concerned, is what, in the Bible, is called "menstealing," the stealing of men. One of the accusations against the false church, Babylon, was that she dealt in slaves and the souls of men, and one of the most inhuman, cruel kinds of theft in the world is the kidnapping of children. So that the stealing of a man is the highest order of theft that relates to man.

 

(3) The right to his family and domestic happiness. You can steal a man's wife, alienate her affections; you can alienate the affections of a child. A man may feel robbed of that which makes the very sunlight and peace of his home.


(4) The right to space. Man is a finite being and he must have a place to turn around in. Hence the great woe pronounced in Isaiah: "Woe unto them that add house to house and land to land until there is no room for the people." God gave the earth to man and it is stealing from a man to rob him of his place in the earth where he can be.


(5) The right to health. Suppose a factory is built and the operators are required to work under such conditions as will necessarily undermine their health; or if forced to live in tenements of such unsanitary conditions that health is stolen from the occupant, there is no doubt on earth but that is a violation of this commandment. You could, with much more impunity and less heinousness, steal a man's money than steal his health.


(6) The right to time. I mean some time for himself. You must not work him so many hours of the day or so many days of the week that he never has time to think for himself and for his family and concerning his God. All those rules which require undue hours of labor or labor all the week round, including Sunday, are violations of this commandment.


(7) Then he has a right to work. Because God has made labor the common heritage of man, and if you take away from a man his chance to do any work by which he can make an honorable living, you have robbed him of more than if you had taken his money. He is not only entitled to the right of labor but to fair profits on his labor. You must not grind him down so that his labor will not bring him in enough to live on, and wherever there is a right to acquire property, there is a right to hold it and a right to transmit it to children.


(8) Then comes the right of safety. If a man lives under a government and that government does not protect his life from unnecessary peril, it has robbed him of more than money. It used to be a sort of cruel thing when a person taken prisoner by the wild Indians was compelled to run a gauntlet, run between two rows of fierce warriors armed with clubs, each one to hit him as he went by. There was very little safety in that gauntlet. But if you force a school child to go to school through a gauntlet of saloons and gambling houses, that is robbing him of safety more than the Indians robbed a man of safety when they required him to run that gauntlet of clubs.


(9) He is entitled to rest. We can't live if we don't have time to rest, and any condition of society that so places people that there is no opportunity for rest is robbery.


(10) Man is entitled to his good name, and it is a much bigger offense to steal a man's reputation by slander than it is to steal his money. So the above are inherent rights and inalienable rights that God endows a man with.


5. What are the acquired rights of property?


Ans. – Now his acquired rights are those that come from labor. If I go out into the forest and cut down a hickory tree and make an ax helve out of it, that is mine; that is the fruit of my labor. You may reply that that tree was in the forest. Yes, but the ax helve wasn't there. I made that ax helve and by my labors I acquired a right of property. If you take up a piece of wild land and cut off the timber, take up the roots and break up the soil, then you acquire a right of property – through labor, and hence political economists tell us that all rights of labor come from labor.


6. How is property a token of man?


Ans. – Because none of these things apply to a brute. A brute doesn't build a house; he doesn't cultivate a field; a brute doesn't utilize the winds and the waves and the waterfalls to minister unto his necessities. So that this is a token of a man and not of a brute. Brutes have no property.


7. From what does all obligations arise?


Ans. – An obligation arises primarily from relation and that relation is an expression of rights as well as of obligations. So that the essential idea in stealing is a disregard of the rights of relation. I build a house and a man gets it by fraud. He has no labor relation to that house. He disregards it. It is another man's work. One will steal away the affections of a wife. She bore no relation to him, but she did to her husband.


8. What, then, is the essential idea of stealing?


Ans. – The essential idea of stealing, then, is the disregarding of relations.


9. What other commandment is the root of which this is the fruit?


Ans. – The Tenth Commandment says, "Thou shalt not covet." "Thou shalt not steal" is the overt act. "Thou shalt not covet my house, my money, my family, anything that is mine." There the commandment deals with the thought, with the desire. But stealing is the overt act. So that the Tenth Commandment is the root of the Eighth Commandment.


10. What is the primal source of stealing?


Ans. – The primal source of stealing is a bad heart.


11. Secondary sources?


Ans. – There are some very powerful secondary sources; I call your attention to some of them: (1) Extreme poverty, or necessity. Argur prayed, "Give me not poverty, lest I steal." (2) Another is indolence, laziness. A man steals because he is too lazy to work. (3) Another is fast living. One lives faster than he can supply, and so he must get his resources in some other way than by hard work. He steals. (4) Then comes a love of display. You want to show off; you want to assume to have more than you are able to have. The love of luxuries and display oftentimes causes stealing. (5) But more than all is the love of money. That may be a root of every kind of evil – love of money – but it is this greed of money that causes more kinds of stealing than every other cause in the world out together.


12. What names express open violation of this law?


Ans. – On the high seas, piracy; on the land, highway robbery, burglary, theft.


13. Cite some of the methods of covert violation.


Ans. – (1) Deuteronomy 25:13: "Thou shalt not have divers weights and measures." If you do, that is covert stealing. Sometimes in going into a little grocery store, you pick up a tray that holds the articles that they are to weigh and look under the bottom of it and you find lead or pewter put under there. That makes it already draw, before anything is put in it, several ounces. That is what is called a false weight, and it is stealing. Suppose a man steals by a quart measure that doesn't hold a quart, or a bushel measure that doesn't hold a bushel, or in measuring off a piece of cloth, his yardstick may be all right but he may use his two thumbs so that he steals the width of his two thumbs every time he measures off a yard. I want to read you what an old prophet of God said on that. Amos 8:4-6: "Hear this, 0 ye that would swallow up the needy, and cause the poor of the land to fail) saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell grain? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and dealing falsely with balances of deceit; that we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes, and sell the refuse of the wheat?" All those tricks of trade under the Mosaic law come under the head of stealing.


(2) Another method is expressed in Proverbs 3:28. As I want to particularly impress this thought on you I will quote this passage: "Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to-morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee," that is, if you delay a payment when it is due, when you put the man to the trouble to come back again or say, "I will see you tomorrow," or "Come next week," that is stealing. You are keeping him that long out of the use of his money, and Moses had a statute of this kind. "Let not the sun go down without paying the day-labourer his wages." That man is already convicted in the eyes of the world as a thief, who never pays his washerwoman. These people who toil hard for their daily living and are dependent upon what they earn for the next day's food, if they go without their money twenty-four hours, they are really injured; the very bread has been taken out of their mouths.


(3) Here is another, Proverbs 20:14: "It is bad. it is bad, saith the buyer; But when he is gone his way, then he boasteth." You come up to sell a man a horse and he looks at him and says, "He is a little fellow, his hoofs are stove up. Looks to me as if he has the spavin, he is wind-broken, or has ringbone. He is bad, bad." Well, you feel like he ought to be paid something to take that horse, and as soon as the fellow gets the horse and gets off, he throws back his head and laughs at what a bargain he has made. That is stealing.


14. Cite several kinds of covert stealing.


Ans. – (1) Official stealing, using the office that you are in in order to fill your pockets; (2) Corporate stealing; (3) Wall Street stealing. On that I have a special question.


15. Cite and explain certain classifications of Wall Street stealing.


Ans. – (1) "Bearing" the market, the object of which is to lower the price of an article that they want to buy. They are called "the bears." Their object is to reduce stocks, to make prices sink clear out of sight, and then surreptitiously they buy.


(2) The second is "bulling" the market. The object of that is to push stocks up so high that they can sell and make fortunes. That is, the pressure that they bring to bear to make stock, say worth fifty cents, $2.50. Then they sell. Then they clear $2.00, paying fifty cents and bull the market till the stock goes away up yonder and then they sell.


(3) Freezing out, that is, a number of men, say twenty, go into a company and one or two of them manage to get a majority of stock, say they get just $1.00 over half of the stock. Now that enables them to entirely control the whole stock, and they want to make the others sell out to them for a song, and therefore by controlling the stock they see to it that these men never get any dividends or any interest on their money. And they let them know that there are no profits made; they vote on big salaries among themselves so that there are never any dividends. Finally the poor fellows see the best thing for them to do is to sell out for what they can get. That is freezing out.


(4) The next is pooling. Say one man hasn't got enough money to make stocks go up as high as he wants them or to go down as low as he wants them; if they are up, he will want to sell, and if they are down he will want to buy; now he is not able himself to lower or raise the price of the stock. Then pooling comes in: say forty or fifty of the richest men put in each so much to be used in the stock market for bulling or bearing. That is pooling.


(5) The next is cornering the market, that is, getting control, say, of all the tobacco, or all the wheat, or all the barley, or of all the sugar, getting a corner on it. Now by getting this corner on a certain product, they can hold back from sale any part of it and hold it back until they can make the price. The world must have its sugar, or its wheat, and they will hold it back until it booms; wheat goes to $1.50, then they sell. While they are doing that, thousands of people are starving.


(6) The next is watering stock. They unite and buy a piece of property, that costs them $50,000. They instantly vote that their property is worth $100,000 and they divide that stock up into a hundred shares of $1,000 each, and go out and sell it. That is watering stock.


(7) Then there is monopoly, working so as to have complete control of a supply so that there is no competition, and just as a highwayman stands before you with a loaded pistol and says, "Stand and deliver," they can make you stand and deliver. You can't help yourself.


16. Who wrote this passage? In vain we call old notions fudge And bend our conscience to our dealing, The Ten Commandments will not budge, And stealing will continue stealing.


Ans. – That is a fine example. These old Ten Commandments will not budge, and man may, through what he calls business methods, violate them and bend his conscience to his dealings, but all the same God's standard remains and stealing will continue stealing. This was written by James Russell Lowell.


17. How does human law classify thefts?


Ans. – Petit larceny and grand larceny, that is, little stealing and big stealing.


18. How does divine law classify thefts?


Ans. – Puts all stealing that man does from man as petit larceny and all robbery of God as grand larceny.


19. Under the divine classification cite a scriptural instance of "grand larceny."


Ans. – Malachi 3:8-9: "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me."


20. Grade according to heinousness the different kinds of stealing.


Ans. – I would commence that grading this way: (1) robbing God; that is grand larceny; (2) next, the biggest larceny is stealing a man; (3) the next would be stealing the honor of a family; (4) the next would be official corruption; (5) next would be corporate corruption; then (6) down to stealing things, like stealing $1,000 in money, or a thousand yards of cloth, or anything of that kind.


21. Cite passage from Paul expressing this Eighth Commandment both positively and negatively.


Ans. – Romans 12:17: "Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men." Romans 13:8: Owe no man anything, but to love one another; for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law." Second Corinthians 8:21: "Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men." Ephesians 4:28: "Let him that stole steal no more; but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth." The above passages express Paul's idea of this commandments.


22. Cite some of the reasons for the present alarming high cost of living and the bearing of this cost on temptations to violate this commandment.


Ans. – (1) The cost of living always goes up in proportion to the number of middlemen. For instance, if I plant potatoes and bring that crop in and store it, there is no middleman to draw a profit. I have my own potatoes, raise my beeves, hogs, etc. But when, through middlemen, potatoes are bought up for wholesale and then through a number of middlemen are sold to the consumer, each middleman takes out his profit and the consumer has to pay for all the profits.


(2) But if I had to state the main reason for the present high cost of living, I would say "Cold storage inventions." There never has been anything in the history of the world that has affected the price of living like cold storages. Here is an invention by which you can take the most perishable things, a fruit that wouldn't keep good two days, an egg that won't keep good in your house over five days, or a piece of beef that won't keep good without tainting twenty-four hours, and put it in that cold storage and you can keep it indefinitely. Wealth combines and builds these cold storages, therefore they can go out over the country and buy up everything on the face of the earth that is for sale, your chickens, hogs, beeves, turkeys, and everything, and they put them in these cold storages, and they tickle the people over the prices they pay for their turkeys and chickens and eggs, but wait till you want to buy a turkey for a Christmas dinner. You go down to get a turkey and the word comes back, "The only chance is to get a cold storage turkey." And the price is $4.00 apiece. You see they control the market through the cold storage. Post Toasties and Corn Flakes and nearly everything that goes on a modern table do not come to you direct, but they come to you as having passed through some process of a middleman and every man gets a price on it. You think you are getting Post Toasties cheap, but when you ask yourself how many grains of corn, how many bushels of corn went to a certain quantity of Post Toasties, you find they get about $25 a bushel for corn, selling it as Post Toasties.


23. Cite a passage from George Washington pertinent to this commandment.


Ans. – "I hope I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles – the character of an honest man." The most enviable of all titles, an honest man. And he was that.


24. What does the great British essayist, Pope, say on this?


Ans. – He says, "An honest man is the noblest work of God."


25. Who wrote it and where do you find this passage? Good name in man and woman, dear my lord, Is the immediate jewel of their souls; Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing; But he that filches from me my good name Robs me of that which not enriches him And makes me poor indeed.


Ans. – Shakespeare, in Othello, Act III, Scene III.


26. What remarkable New Testament instances of official stealing?


Ans. – Judas and the Publicans.


27. What Old Testament and New Testament laws require honesty as a qualification for office?


Ans. – Judges appointed by Moses, Exodus 18:21; bishops and deacons.


28. Cite several notable Bible cases of official honesty.


Ans. – Moses in his farewell address; Samuel in his farewell address; Paul in his farewell address to the elders of Ephesus at Miletus.


29. Who wrote of "the itching palm" in office? adding:
What, shall one of us, That struck the foremost man of all this world, But for supporting robbers; shall we now Contaminate our fingers with base bribes? And sell the mighty space of our large honours, For so much trash, as may be grasped thus? – I had rather be a dog and bay the moon, Than such a Roman –  Where do you find the above?


Ans. – Shakespeare, in Julius Caesar, Act IV, Scene III.


30. What Old Testament statutes safeguard the necessitous from the temptation to steal?


Ans. – The people had no fences. Roads passed right through the fields. Every man was at liberty when passing through a field or an orchard to eat what was necessary food to him. He could pluck the ears of corn and rub them in his hands and eat them, he could pull a bunch of grapes and eat them (he couldn't take any away in a basket). The law was "When thou reapest thy fields, thou shalt not glean them." Nor glean them in the corners, but leave the gleanings for the poor; leave what the sickle passes over for the poor and let them come in and get some of it.


31. What caustic proverb exposes man's false grading of thefts?


Ans. –
"Steal a loaf and go to the penitentiary; Steal a horse and be hanged Steal a million and be a Captain of Finance."


32. What modern classic and masterpiece of fiction shows the inhumanity and severity in punishing petit larceny committed in despair of want and makes a hero of the big thief?


Ans. – hey say that it is the greatest book of fiction that has ever been written. It is Victor Hugo's Les Miserables written in 1862.

 

 

XXI

 

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THE DECALOGUE – THE NINTH COMMANDMENT Exodus 20:16; Deuteronomy 5:20

 


"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour" (Ex. 20:16).


1. As an introduction to this commandment, what two antagonistic forms rise up before us?


Ans. – Jesus, the Son of God, and the devil.


2. Show their respective relations to this commandment.


Ans. – All obedience to this commandment is inspired by Christ; all disobedience is inspired by the devil.


3. What great titles of the Son of God bearing on this commandment?


Ans. – He is called the "Logos," the Word of God, the True Witness, The Truth, as, "I am the Truth."


4. What titles of Satan bearing on it?


Ans. – "The Devil," which is translated from the Greek diabolos, and means a calumniator, a slanderer, an accuser, a false witness; he is also called a liar, and the "Father of Lies." Jesus calls him that in John 8:44. I therefore consider it very important that we shall notice the relation of Jesus and the devil to this commandment.


5. What gift of the Creator to man which, next to his spiritual nature, most distinguishes him from the brute?


Ans. – The gift of speech, to talk, to witness.


6. What and why the two miracles of exception?


Ans. – On one occasion God endowed a dumb brute with the power of speech in order to convey the truth to a prophet who was going astray [Balaam]. Another exception: the devil conferred the power of speech upon the serpent in order to make Eve bear false witness against God and against man.


7. What is the true office of words?


Ans. – Words are (1) signs of ideas, and are intended (2) to reveal the inward nature of the speaker, just as "Jesus, the Logos," the True Witness. Thus Jesus was to reveal the inward nature of God to man; his witness concerning God was true; there was no falsehood in him, but the devil's witness concerning God was false.


8. According to the Italian diplomat, Machiavelli, what is their true office?


Ans. – To conceal ideas and to hide what is on the inside.


9. What sins may be committed by words?


Ans. – Blasphemy, that is, to speak evil of God; sacrilege, that is, an offense against God; perjury, to bear false witness in the limited, legal sense, to tell a lie when under oath; slander, flattery, backbiting, whispering, and everyday lying, prevarication, false suggestions, using words with double meaning, words that deceive, exaggeration, depreciation by speech, suppressive speech. Those are among the sins of evil speaking.


10. What says Jesus about words?


Ans. – In Matthew 12:37: "For by thy words shalt thou be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." And "For every word (idle) that man shall speak he shall give an account in the judgment."


11. What is the New Testament law on the use of words, and what Old Testament prayer concerning words?


Ans. – The New Testament law is: (1) "Let your communications be yea, yea, and nay, nay; for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil." (2) "Let your speech be seasoned with salt." (3) "Speak the truth with thy neighbour . . . speaking the truth in love." The Old Testament prayers are: (1) Psalm 19: "Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, 0 Jehovah, . . ." (2) "Set a watch, 0 Jehovah, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips" (Psalm 141:3).


12. Mention some biblical testimony to good words.


Ans. – Isaiah 50:4, has the expression: "The Lord Jehovah hath given me the tongue of them that are taught that I may know how to sustain with words him that is weary"; Psalm 45:1, makes the declaration: "I speak; my word is for a king; my tongue is the pen of a ready writer," and . . . "Grace is poured into thy lips"; Proverbs 10:11: "The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life"; 15:4: "A gentle tongue is a tree of life"; 16:24: "Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones"; 25:11: "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in network of silver."


13. Define the words: "simplicity," "candour," "sincerity," as bearing on this commandment.


Ans. – The word "simplicity" is derived from "simplex," one-fold; and "duplicity" from "duplex," twofold. A man who tells the plain truth speaks with simplicity; a man speaking with a double purpose – it may be this, it may be that – uses duplicity. "Candour" comes from candidas, white; a candid man is a white man, transparent; you can see through him. Therefore the appropriateness of that word "candid"; some folks are white, transparent; you can see through them. "Sincerity" is derived from the Latin word, sincer, which means "in reality"; "in truth."


14. What says the psalmist about a deceitful tongue?


Ans. – Psalm 120:2: "Deliver my soul, 0 Jehovah, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue. What shall be given unto thee, and what shall be done more unto thee, thou deceitful tongue? . . . Sharp arrows of the mighty with coals of juniper."


15. What does James say about the tongue?


Ans. – James 3:2-12: "For in many things we all stumble. If any stumbleth not in word, the same is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also. Now if we put the horses' bridles into their mouths that they may obey us, we turn about their whole body also. Behold, the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by rough winds, are yet turned about by a very small rudder, whither the impulse of the steersman willeth. So the tongue also is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how much wood is kindled by how small a fire I And the tongue is a fire; the world of iniquity among our members is the tongue, which defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the wheel of nature, and is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beasts and birds, of creeping things and things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed by mankind; but the tongue can no man tame; it is a restless evil, it is full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we the Lord and Father; and therewith curse we men, who are made after the likeness of God; out of the same mouth cometh forth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth the fountain send forth from the same opening sweet water and bitter? can a fig tree, my brethren, yield olives, or a vine figs? neither can salt water yield sweet."


16. What says the psalmist about duplicity of speech?


Ans. – Psalm 55:21:
His mouth was smooth as butter, but his heart was war: His words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords. And as an illustration of that, when Joab assaulted Abner he said, "How is thy health, my brother?" Then he took him by the beard as if to kiss him but smote him under the fifth rib, so that he died.


17. What says Proverbs on evil speech?


Ans. – Proverbs 6:18-25: "As a madman who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, so is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport? For lack of wood the fire goeth out; and where there is no whisperer, conten tion ceaseth. As coals are to hot embers, and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to inflame strife. The words of a whisperer are as dainty morsels, and they go down into the innermost parts. Fervent lips and a wicked heart are like an earthen vessel overlaid with silver dross. He that hateth dissembleth with his lips; but he layeth up deceit within him; when he speaketh fair, believe him not; for there are seven abominations in his heart."


18. What says Shakespeare of slander?


Ans. – In Cymbeline, Act III, Scene IV, he tells of a deceived husband, who, believing his wife to be disloyal, writes his servant, accusing her of nuptial infidelity, and commands him to kill her. The servant shows the letter to the accused wife, whom he believes to be innocent. Watching the effect of the letter on her, he says:
What shall I need to draw my sword? The paper Hath cut her throat already. – No, 'tis slander; Whose edge is sharper than the sword; whose tongue Outvenoms all the worms of Nile; whose breath Rides ou the posting winds, and doth belie All corners of the world; kings, queens, and states, Maids, matrons, nay, the secrets of the grave This viprous slander enters.


19. What says Plautus of talebearing, that kind of false witness?


Ans. – It is in Latin:
Homines qui gestant, quique auscultant crimina, Si meo aribralu liceat, omnes pendeant, Gestores linguis, auditores auribus. – Those men who carry about, and those who listen to slanders, should, if I could have my way, all be hanged; the tattlers by their tongues, the listeners by their ears. I quoted that to my wife. She said: "La I If that old heathen could carry out all he wanted to, what a lot of women would be hanging up!"


20. What couplet did the great theologian, Augustine, write over his table?


Ans. –
Quisquis amat dictis absentum rodere vitam Hanc mensam vetitam moverit esse sibi.


A couplet translated thus:
He that is wont to slander absent men May never at this table sit again. A good thing to have hanging over your table: "With such an one no, not to eat."


21. What says Jesus of Nathanael?


Ans. – "Behold an Israelite indeed in whom is no guile."


22. What says Shakespeare of a true man?


Ans. – Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act II, Scene VII:
His words are bonds, his oaths are oracles; His love sincere, his thoughts immaculate; His tears, pure messengers sent from his heart; His heart as far from fraud as heaven from earth.


23. How did Edgar Allan Poe represent the ultimate effect of good and evil words?


Ans. –
I had a dream and there came to me a heavenly being. It took me on a long flight of observation; and after a while I saw an island. Oh I it was beautiful! covered with verdure; its trees blushed with flowers, and abounding through boughs were luscious fruits. Its skies were serene, birds and angels were singing there; and I said to my guide, "What is that island?" He said, "That, sir, is a good word which you kindly spoke once to a weary suffering heart, and that word went on acting, reacting and reacting, till it struck the shores of eternity; and God crystallized it into that island I" And then my guide took me until I saw another island, a horrible sight, a volcanic rock. a bare rock, sin-scarred, frigid, horrible I no grass, no flowers, no fruits, no birds; and above it the sky wag dark with ashes. And I said to my guide, "What is that?" "That is an evil word that you spoke once on earth; and it went on acting, reacting and reacting, until it struck eternity's shores, and God crystallized it into this.


24. What does Pope say of an indirect lie? And what example of indirect false witness is given by Edward Eggleston in The Hoosier Schoolmaster?


Ans. – Listen:
Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer, And without sneering teach the rest to sneer; Willing to wound and yet afraid to strike, Just hint a fault, and hesitate – dislike? Eggleston represents Dr. Small as bearing false witness against the Hoosier schoolmaster by silence, just lifting his eyebrows; for not speaking when he should have spoken, and by just lifting his eyebrows so as to make a false impression on the one to whom he was talking. He ruined the reputation of the schoolteacher. Shakespeare says that anyone is false who just "urns" and "erns," or gives a shrug of the shoulders that way; it kills, and is without true speech.


25. How does the New Testament characterize evil speakers?


Ans. – "Liars, slanderers, flatterers, backbiters, whisperers, idlers, busybodies,. boasters, who speak great swelling words of vanity; who in covetousness use feigned words," and so on.


26. What does Tennyson say of a lie which is half a truth?


Ans. – In "the Grandmother" he wrote:
A lie which is half a truth is ever the blackest of lies; A lie which is all a lie may be met and fought with outright; But a lie which is part a truth is a harder matter to fight.


27. If you would be strictly truthful, what part of speech must you handle carefully?


Ans. – There are said to be nine parts of speech in the old grammars. One answers, "the personal pronoun I"; another, "the verb." The correct answer is "the adjective." Beware of the adjective, especially in the superlative degree. You can tell more lies with the adjective than with anything else, and especially if you have a very vivid imagination and are impulsive, e.g., "the greatest man in the world!" "the best man you ever saw," and "the sweetest girl in the universe; so infinitely good." Well, that will do.


28. Now in its fullness, what does this commandment forbid and inculcate?


Ans. – Of course you can see on the face of it that it forbids, when giving evidence in a case, bearing false witness against your neighbor. But it also forbids every method of bearing false witness against a neighbor, as has been explained in these numerous examples cited. You may tell a lie on your neighbor, bear false witness against him, by a sigh, or a shrug, or even just putting your tongue out, or a kind of gesture, or a mere intonation of voice; by slandering, biting him in the back, and this sub rosa, "just between you and me," and you lean over and whisper; that whisper starts out and grows bigger and bigger as it goes; it first says that this man got sick and threw up something that was as black as a crow; the next time he threw up a crow, and the next time he threw up two crows, and still later) three crows, and it goes on increasing that way. It forbids every kind of lie: blasphemy, sacrilege, perjury, flattery, deceiving words, distortion of meaning, using words with double meaning. You say a thing concerning a man that is capable of being understood in two contrary senses – duplex words, multiplex words, insincere words, uncandid words. What now does it inculcate? Everything the opposite of this. It inculcates truth when you speak of God and man; it is expected of a witness that he be found faithful, to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, not by a shadow of wavering to convey false impression.


29. What is the legal name of bearing false witness?


Ans. – Perjury, i.e., telling a lie under oath.


30. What is the triple nature of this offense?


Ans. – (1) Because it was an oath to God, it is a sin against God; then (2) it is a sin against yourself; and (3) against the one whom your testimony was calculated to injure.


31. What was the Mosaic penalty for a false witness?


Ans. – He must be made to suffer whatever his false testimony would have led the one to suffer had his testimony been accepted. That is the Mosaic penalty.


32. What is the New Testament penalty?


Ans. – "All liars shall have their part in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone." A little girl once reading that passage read it: "All lawyers" instead of "all liars" – "Hold on!" said the teacher. "Well, go on; you are not very far from it."

 

 

XXII

 

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THE DECALOGUE – THE TENTH COMMANDMENT Exodus 20:17; Deuteronomy 5:81

 


1. Distinguish this Tenth Commandment from the preceding nine.


Ans. – It is so distinguished from all the others in the following particulars: (1) In form; they prohibit the overt act, this the very desire to act. (2) It is the root, or base, of all the second table of the law, all that part of the law that relates to our fellow man. (3) Through violation of this commandments one may violate all of the preceding ones. Thus there are three distinguishing characteristics of the Tenth Commandment.


2. Next, give an analysis of this commandment.


Ans. – (1) I ask your very particular attention to the word "covet," which means desire; whether a good thing or a bad thing, it means to desire, e.g., "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife." . . . "Covet the best gifts," Paul says in the New Testament.


(2) As man from the constitution of his being must desire and may desire good and lawful things this commandment does not forbid to covet) but only forbids to covet what is thy neighbor's; the emphatic words are "thy neighbour's" – that is, what belongs to somebody else.


(3) It is sweeping, however, in forbidding to covet anything that is thy neighbor's, whether wife, home, domestic servants, or domestic animals; indeed all personal and real estate that belongs to his neighbor.


(4) As man from God's original commission may marry and acquire property, this does not forbid marriage, but it does forbid one coveting his neighbor's wife; nor does it forbid the individual ownership of land, houses, servants, domestic animals, and other property. On the contrary it is based upon the assertion of the neighbor's right to own these things. This commandment could not exist at all if your neighbor did not have a right to his own wife, to his own home, his own servants, his own cattle, and his own lands. It does not forbid ownership; it assumes ownership. There must be ownership before this command could come in at all. It permits our lawful desire for marriage, home, and property but forbids to look toward our neighbor's property in any of these things. Here you see it is a great mistake to say that this commandment forbids acquisitiveness or the accumulation of property. It does neither the one nor the other.


(5) As it forbids even to desire what is another's, 90 it forbids all unrighteous methods and means of attaining our desires in these matters. Now, if I know how to analyze a proposition, that is the analysis of that proposition.


3. What are the limitations?


Ans. – These define or bound a man's lawful desire for a wife) property, and the accumulation of property of every kind:


(1) We must not so desire property or so accumulate it as to invade God's paramount right. Therefore, my ownership is not an absolute ownership, but it stands good against my neighbor; so far as he is concerned it is my own, but as far as God is concerned, I am only his steward.


(2) He must not so desire property or so accumulate wealth aa to harm himself. When this desire and the means of its attainment bring about harm to the man's body, or to his soul, or hereafter, he has stepped over the bound.


(3) This relates to only one of the items in the commandments. It says, "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife." So a limitation here is that he must not invade the rights of his wife. Suppose a man already has a wife, and desires another wife; it violates the rights of' the wife he has.


(4) He must not so desire to accumulate property as to harm his neighbor; the acquisition must not be done at the expense of the neighbor. He has a right to a piece of land, but he has no right to covet his neighbor's piece of land.


(5) He must not harm society in any of its organized forms. God made man social, and society is spoken 'of as an organism, each one of them is a member of the body, and whatever harms one will harm all.


Now, besides these five limitations there is not another limit to what a man may desire and what he may acquire. If he does not get over on to God's property, if he does not hurt himself, if he does not invade the rights of his wife, if he does not harm his neighbor, and if he does not harm society, then God has put within him the desire for ownership, and God requires him to push that ownership to accumulate property. In other words, his desires for accumulations become unlawful when they deny God's paramount ownership; when they harm himself in body or soul, in time or in eternity; when they lead him to have more than one wife at a time, or to despise that one wife's rights; when he acquires his property, or uses his property rights to harm society, its health, purity, or morals. I said that this commandment is such alone that a violation of it may lead to a violation of the whole Decalogue. So my next question is,


4. What scripture proves that?


Ans. – In I Timothy 6:10, Paul says, "The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil," not, "money is a root of all kinds of evil," but the love of it. Money is harmless in itself. But that inordinate desire for money, which is out of proportion with reference to our relations to God, ourselves, our families, our fellow men, and society, that is a root of every kind of evil that can come under the whole Ten Words of the Law.


5. Furnish an illustration of each one of the Ten Commandments, i.e., how the violation of this commandment, or how this inordinate love of property may make a person violate every one of the other nine.


Ans. – (1) Suppose you take the First Commandment. I want to read a passage on that from Job 31:24: "If I have made gold my hope, and have said to the fine gold, thou art my confidence; if I have rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because my hand had gotten much . . . [v. 28] this also were an iniquity to be punished by the judges; for I should have denied the God that is above." In other words, the First Commandment is: "Thou shalt have no other gods beside me." If I substitute, for the one only true God, gold and silver and say, "Thou art my confidence and my hope," that is a violation of the First Commandment, as it is twice expressed in the New Testament, Matthew 6:24, and Luke 16:13: "Ye cannot serve God and mammon." Here mammon is put up as a rival deity and the express declaration is that one cannot serve both of them. Therefore the First Commandment is violated by an inordinate desire for money.


(2) We take the second. In Ephesians 5:3-5, and in Colossians 3:5, it is said that covetousness is idolatry, a worship of images. The Second Commandment says, "Thou shalt not make unto thyself any graven images to bow down thyself to them, nor to worship them; for I, Jehovah, thy God, am a jealous God." This kind of covetousness is illustrated in the case of the miser, who gathers his treasure from his secret box and pours out the glittering gold. He looks at it shining, and lets it melt through his fingers. There is the image of the god he worships; mammon is his god; that coined money is the image. Therefore, covetousness is idolatry. I told you that this Tenth Commandment was distinguished from the others in that a violation of it might be a violation of every one of the ten.


(3) Let us look at the third, which says, "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain," that is, "Thou shalt not use God's name in witnessing a lie." What was it that Ananias and Sapphira did? That very thing, and they did it through covetousness. They lied unto God; they invoked God's name to witness that they paid over to the apostles all the money. That is direct and palpable violation through the love of money of the Third Commandment.


(4) The Fourth says, "Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy." Let me quote a passage (you can think of thousands, but here's one in point), "In those days saw I in Judah some men treading winepresses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses therewith, as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day, and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals. There dwelt men of Tyre also therein who brought in fish, and all manner of wares, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this ye do, and profane the sabbath day?" Then he goes on to tell what measures he adopted to stop this pursuit of traffic on God's day. Now the love of money prompts hundreds of men here and elsewhere to carry on their secular work on the Lord's Day.


(5) We take the next commandment: "Honour thy father and thy mother." How many instances can you recall of the boy or young man who, in his desire to make money, has turned from the counsel of his father and the admonition of his mother? Dearer to him is the making of money than reverence for his parents. I doubt if in many instances any father or mother or wife was ever willing for a son to open a saloon, but the son goes on and opens it; I doubt if in many instances that fathers, motliers, or wives ever want the son or husband to make money by gambling, and yet they go into the gambling den, led on by the desire to get rich quickly, knowing that they are wading in the tears of parents, and sometimes through their blood. So the love of money leads to the violation of that commandment.


(6) "Thou shalt not kill." A pirate on the high seas kills for booty, or the highwayman shoots an inoffensive traveler for his money. I remember – 1 shall never forget – the impression made upon my mind by one of the accounts of John A. Murrell in which a young South Carolinian figured. He had come West to invest some money he had saved up by hard labor, in order to buy some cheap land for his family. He had $900 on his person, and while on the road John A. Murrell emerged from some woods and made him get down from his horse and divest himself of his outer clothes. He then put the pistol to his head and killed him. He disemboweled him to make him sink and then threw him into the water, and took the $900 red with the blood of the murder which he had committed. See also the picture of the apostle Judas with thirty pieces of silver in his hand, and Christ murdered through this sale; he sold Christ for $15.


(7) The Seventh Commandment: "Thou shalt not commit adultery." The love of money has made debauchery a trade, and filled all our cities with houses of shame.


(8) "Thou shalt not steal." Love of money led Achan, when he saw a wedge of gold and a goodly Babylonian garment, to surreptitiously hide it, and bring defeat on God's army. It prompts the sneak thief to steal your chickens, to pick your pockets; it animates the burglar that enters your house by night; it looses your horse from the stable and leads him out. So the love of money violates that commandment.


(9) "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour." They suborned men to bear false witness, to testify against Christ. Here comes a man who says, "If you will pay me enough, I will go on the stand and swear that he said so and so,"


(10) Take the Tenth Commandment itself. As Ahab looked out and saw a vineyard (Naboth's) right close to his own property, he "coveted" it. It would "round out" his property to get the vineyard) so he bribed (or, rather, his wife did for him) a man to swear a lie, and then put Naboth to death. You see we have gone through the whole of the Decalogue and find it is true that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. There is no evil in the world of which the love of money may not become a root. Balaam, the prophet of God, for the wages of unrighteousness lent his holy office to purposes that sought to frustrate God's kingdom. I spoke a while ago on certain limitations that define or bound our desires, one of them being that we should not so covet as to harm ourselves. Now, I want to look at that part of the subject. So the next question is:


6. How may a man harm himself through the love of money?


Ans. – (1) I read the case of the rich fool (Luke 12:15-21), a case very much in point: "He said unto them, Take heed, and keep yourselves from all covetousness; for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. And he spake a parable unto them saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully; and he reasoned with himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have not where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, be merry. But God said unto him, Thou foolish one, this night is thy soul required of thee; and the things which thou hast prepared, whose shall they be?" There was his hurt, even unto death, unto the death of his body, the death of his soul, unto eternal death.


(2) It harms him in this way, viz.: that' he makes money his enemy instead of his friend. You may "make to yourself friends by means of the mammon of unrighteousness"; or you may make with it enemies to yourselves. Now when that self-hurt comes in that way, every dollar one acquires becomes his enemy, when every beam in his house, every timber in the wall, every rafter in the house is a witness against himself. Then money has become one's enemy; then it harms him in that it diverts him from the true measure. Our Lord put the two treasures side by side when he said, "Lay up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where thieves do not break through and steal and where moth and rust do not corrupt." Now by that treasure he lays aside, he divests himself of it in order to gratify his covetousness in the other direction, and it is working him harm.


(3) Again I quote a significant passage from Paul, I Timothy 6:9: "But they that are minded to be rich fall into a temptation and a snare and many foolish and hurtful lusts, such as drown men [we are talking about harm that comes to himself] in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil; which some reaching after have been led astray from the faith, and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows." When I was a little fellow we had a theological dictionary which has now gone out of use; it was a very fine old one called "Buck's Theological Dictionary." It had a picture of a man condemned to death by the Inquisition; they had blindfolded him, and behind him was a man and on each side a man, all with spears in hand so that the points of them just touched him. They would gently touch him with these spear points, and as the blindfolded man moved, one point touched him and he made toward the others; first the spear on the left and then on the right, and now the spear behind would get him, if he stopped. Thus he was forced up to the top of a hill with a sharp precipice, and right under the precipice was a chariot, a cart, a four-wheeled thing with an open body of thick wood, and every few inches was a peg with the head of a spear fastened on it, and there was a great mass of spear points standing up. They kept making him move on until he had fallen, fallen right down on that thing and pierced himself through, head, neck, lungs, heart, body, arms, hands, legs, feet, etc. Now says Paul, "They that are minded to be rich will fall into temptation and the snare and pierce themselves through with many sorrows."


(4) Again he hurts himself in that he brings on total bankruptcy (Luke 6). So this love of money is confined in its effects to his love for transitory wealth. Says Psalm 49, "It is certain he can take none of it with him," and the declaration is repeated by Paul. Now this man did not stop at death; death does not break the continuity of life, but death does stop earthly property which cannot cross the river of death; and the very minute that he leaves the treasure that he has and he touches the other shore, he is wholly bankrupt. Alexander the Great commanded his friends when they buried him to let his hands be outside of the casket, "For," he said, "I want everybody to see that I, the king of the world, cannot take a thing with me; that my hands are empty."


(5) He hurts himself, not only in that bankruptcy, but in the fearful finality which is brought upon him. Notice what James says about that, James 5:3-6: "Come now, ye rich) weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches are corrupted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and your silver are rusted; and their rust shall be for a testimony against you, and shall eat your flesh as fire. Ye have laid up your treasure in the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers who have mowed the fields, which is of you kept by fraud, crieth out; and the cries of them that reaped have nourished your hearts in a day of slaughter. Ye have lived delicately on the earth, and taken your pleasure; ye have nourished your hearts in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned, ye have killed the righteous one; he doth not resist you," but in the judgment, God I I told you what the limitations were, and one of them was that though coveting was lawful no coveting was lawful which harms a man himself. When I was a young preacher I asked the Sunday school in the First Church at Waco, this general question:


7. What New Testament scripture shows how much money a man may lawfully acquire?


Ans. – That day, visiting the Sunday school, was the famous American, Morgan L. Smith, who made an enormous fortune in Texas, and then went to Newark, New Jersey, and became a great philanthropist. The question was to be answered the next Sunday. The old man was a cripple, but a good old Baptist, and he hobbled up to me and said, "I won't be here next Sunday; it is a great question you have put to the school, and I would like to know the answer before I go away." John said to Gaius, a rich man, "I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper [financially] even as thy soul prospers." If your soul won't prosper while you are living in a fine house instead of a cottage, you had better get back to that cottage. If you take prosperity of your soul with you, it is no sin to live in a palace. If $10,000 will not lead your soul astray, it is lawful for you to make $10,000; $1,000,000 is lawfully made if your soul still prospers; if you still love God, and your fellow men, you may have $1,000,000,000; yea, $100,000,000,000, if you get it right, and it does not interfere with the prosperity of your soul.


8. Cite and expound Paul's charge to the rich.


Ans. – Now the word "charge" here is used in the sense of putting a man on his oath. "Put the rich in this present world on oath before God, that they be not highminded, nor have their hopes set on the uncertainty of riches) but on God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, that they be ready to distribute, willing to communicate [as well as to accumulate]; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on the life which is life indeed." Now that is a brave charge given to a rich man: "See, I out vou on your oath before God; that you be ready to give." A great many to whom I go express themselves as being greatly in sympathy with the cause I represent, but they say that they have made some large investments and they have to meet some oncoming obligations; therefore, they are not ready. "That they be willing to contribute," reaches the wealthy, and asks that they do contribute and that they be sure in all of their wealth not to make it their hope. Job says that is to deny God.


9. Show how the enormous wealth of Rockefeller and Carnegie may do more harm in its distribution than in its accumulation.


Ana. – The enormous wealth in modern times accumulated by questionable methods is wealth that cannot be counted; and yet it may well be said that the vast accumulated wealth of Rockefeller and Carnegie may do more harm in its distribution than in its accumulation. I show two points: (1) Take the twenty millions given to the Chicago University. There is a fortified arsenal of unsound doctrine of all time to come. You cannot dislodge it, for millions are behind it. They have taken millions down into Oklahoma to buy up the lands and the interest of that pours into the treasury until they do not know how to invest their money and every dollar of it is against sound doctrine, against the fundamentals of the faith that Mr. Rockefeller himself professes. (2) Carnegie has startled the world with a big donation of millions and millions and millions, which he says is to pension teachers, and not one dollar shall go to any denominational school. What is the result? There is a temptation among needy scholars to throw aside their allegiance to the denominations in order to come in and get some of the droppings of that pension money. There it stands – $20,000,000, and in the other case $30,000,000, consolidated, crystallized, perpetuating until Jesus comes, and the whole power of it working against the truth.


10. Show how society may rightly limit the use of wealth.


Ans. – A man has a right to the acquisition and accumulation of property, but he is limited by regulations of society, i.e., he has a right to put up a beef packery and & tannery, but he cannot put it up where the effluvia from that tanyard will render the sanitary conditions uncomfortable to the people who are his neighbors. Subject to social regulations, then, a man has a right to invest his money, but he cannot so invest it as to become a perpetrator of vice. Therefore many societies have risen up and said to certain traffic, "You cannot go into this community, for it is interfering with everybody; it debauches ; it makes thieves, liars, gamblers, and steals away the brains of the people."


11. Explain how the Jubilee law of Moses opposed covetousness of a neighbor's land.


Ans. – This law reverted all land back to the original owner every fifty years, or in the Jubilee year, and at whatever point in the period of the fifty years any transfer was made, the title was limited to the Jubilee year. By reverting at this time to the original owner, it was not so valuable, as the Jubilee year was approaching and thus land was not so much desired. Now you can understand the Tenth Commandment as I have analyzed and illustrated it in all its parts.

 

 

XXIII

 

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THE LAW OF THE ALTAR Exodus 20:18-26

 


1. Repeat the three divisions of the Sinai Covenant.


Ans. – (1) The Decalogue, or God and the normal man, Exodus 20:1-17; (2) the altar, or God and the sinner, Exodus 20:18-26; (3) The judgments, or God and the state, Exodus 21-23.


2. How much of this covenant has already been absolutely considered?


Ans. – The Decalogue, or the first division.


3. In vv. 18-21 we see that the people could not deal directly with God in the matter of the Decalogue, and could not keep it. Why?


Ans. – As I quote get the importance of that question fixed on your mind. Just as soon as the Ten Commandments had been spoken by the voice of God, then follows: "And all the people perceived the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the voice of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die. And Moses said unto the people, Fear not; for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before you, that ye sin not. And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was." I repeat the question: Why could not the people deal directly with God in the matter of the Decalogue, nor keep it? Ans. – (1) This Decalogue expressed the obligations of the normal man in his innocent state as originally created, having free and open communion with God, as Adam in paradise before he sinned. (2) But these people were sinners, corrupt in nature and evil in practice, like Adam in paradise after his gin, therefore fear and shame made God's approach terrible. In his holiness he was to them a consuming fire.


4. What therefore was necessary in order to a consummation of a covenant with this holy God?


Ans. – Some provision of grace by which a sinner might approach God without shame, fear and death, and so come to an agreement of peace. There could never have been a covenant at all if the covenant involved only the Decalogue, because the people could not deal directly with God in this matter. Those Ten Commandments expressed the import of man's obligations in his normal state as he was originally created. But now when God approached and spoke in an audible voice and the sound of the trumpet was heard, the people were filled with fear and went afar off and said to Moses, "You speak with us; don't let God speak with us, lest we die."


5. In this connection what one word stands for all the law of the sinner's approach to God?


Ans. – The word is "altar."


6. Why did not Adam in paradise before he sinned need an alter?


Ana. – Being in God's image, created in knowledge, righteousness and true holiness, there was nothing in God's holiness to cause shame or fear in coming directly into God's presence and communing with him direct. And Adam had no sin to be expiated on an altar.


7. If these people could not enter directly into covenant with God in the matter of the Decalogue, nor were able to keep it, why then give it to them?


Ans. – (1) An absolute and fixed standard of right in all man's relations, a standard holy and just and good in all of its parts, and with all of its penal sanctions, would discover to a sinful man his want of conformity to law, whether in nature, desire or in deed. Sin in the light of that standard would

appear to be sinful. Now that is one purpose of giving that law to them, viz.: to discover their want of conformity to it.


(2) To disclose to man his normal inability to atone for sin already committed, or to keep from future sin because of his corrupted nature. Now it was necessary that that moral inability should be brought to light with those people.


(3) It would thus prepare them to accept a plan of reconciliation by grace which would both atone for the past, recreate a new nature disposed to obey, and by a perfected holiness enable them finally to obey and ultimately bring them into perfect conformity with an absolute standard of right. The answer, you see, is threefold: To make a man see that he is a sinner; To show him his moral inability to keep the law; To prepare him for a plan of reconciliation to God, – a plan that would atone for past sin; a plan that would change his corrupt nature, giving him a disposition to obey; a plan that would perfect him in holiness so that he would obey, and thus ultimately find himself in perfect accord with that law.


When we come to the New Testament that thought is presented this way by the apostle Paul: "I had not known sin except by the law, for by the law is the knowledge of sin." "I was getting along all right [thought I was alive and all right] but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. I saw I was a dead man in the light of that law. Then I saw that while with my mind I might appreciate the goodness and holiness of that law, yet I would find a law in my members that would war against this law of my mind and would bring me into condemnation." Again he says, "The law was added because of transgression." Man had sinned; so a law was added; put there to show him he was a sinner, and then he says, "The law was our schoolmaster unto Christ," i.e., our pedagogue unto Christ.


So that it was never intended that the giving of those Ten Commandments should save a man. They were not expressed in that statutory form until man's nature had become corrupted, so that he didn't desire to keep them, and on account of that nature there was a moral inability to keep them. It was to be a law of right to him, but not a way of life to him. In other words, the "oughtness" would never die. Now, yesterday, and in eternity, it would remain true that a man ought to love God with all his heart and ought to love his neighbor as himself, and if he kills he does wrong; if he commits adultery he does wrong; if he steals, if he bears false witness, if he profanes the sabbath day, if he disobeys his father and his mother he does wrong, and eternally the right and wrong of that can never be changed. The "oughtness" is there, but from the standpoint of fallen man, obedience to those commandments can never become a way of life to him. So when Moses says in that Decalogue, "Do and live" it was not in hope that any of them would "do and live," but to show them that if they obtained life they must obtain it through a subsequent part of the covenant, and that is where we are now considering, viz.: the law of the altar. The very words, ipsissima verba, must be remembered by every reader, and the answer.


8. What are the essential elements of the law of a sinner's approach to God, as represented by the altar of this section, and its subsequent developments in the Pentateuch?


Ans. – (1) A throne of grace, or a place where God may be approached. The first constituent element of the law of a sinner's approach to God is a place where he may find God, find him without death. It can be only a throne of grace.


(2) The next element is a way of approach to that throne of grace, which is by the altar. You can't get to God on his throne of grace if you don't come to the altar. That is the place where the sacrifice of the propitiatory victim is offered, the blood is shed, the sacrifice is made. It is an altar of blood and of fire. Of blood to show that the life was poured out, and of fire to show that the sacrifice was consumed. There must not only be a place, which is the first element, but there must be a way of approach to that throne of grace, which is the altar.


(3) There must be a suitable offering that will be the ground of that approach, the meritorious ground of approach. It must be a suitable offering, one that is to die, that is to be consumed under the hot wrath of God, and it becomes the ground of approach to the throne of grace; for it is on the altar that the victim of propitiation is sacrificed.


(4) There must be a mediator through whom this approach is to be made. The people said to Moses, "Don't let God speak to us; we will die. You speak to us. You go and talk to God, then come and talk to us; you be the 'go-between' between God and us." So when an offering is to be presented upon the altar there must be a middleman. A mediator is one that stands in the middle and makes contact possible without death between the sinner and God.


(5) There must be set times to approach God.


(6) There must be a ritual telling how to approach God, prescribing everything, a ritual that will tell all about the offering; how old it must be, what kind of an animal it must be, what its character must be, when it shall be brought, who shall take charge of it when it is brought, just how the blood is to be caught, just how that blood is to be carried up to the throne of grace, who is to take it when it gets there, what he does with it, when he disposes of it what is the result of it, and when he comes out from the place of offering what he says to the people.


9. What are the specifications of the altar in this section?


Ans. – Exodus 20:24-26: (1) "An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me. . . . And if thou make me an altar of stone" – that is the first specification about the altar: it must be of earth or stone; that is the material.


(2) The second specification, v. 25: "If thou make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stones; for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it." It must be an altar not smooth nor arranged with man's skill. It isn't intended that this altar which is the way of approach to God shall have any excellence in it that a man can impart to it at all. A man would naturally say, "I will build it of gold and I will cover it with the most beautiful carvings." He would want to highly ornament it and he would want to glorify himself in how he had fixed up that altar. It is an altar of extreme simplicity. They could either gather up the dirt and make the altar, or they might pick up the stones just as they were lying around and pile them up, leaving space enough to put a victim on it. But they must not go to a quarry and dig up stones, and then shape and fit them together beautifully, when they were shaped. None of their skill must be in it. But why should that alter be of earth or stone? Why not of wood? A big fire was to be kindled on that altar. It must be of noncombustible material. A man once went around the world, thinking he had learned everything the world could tell him, and when he got back in sight of his home he wanted to light his pipe, and he asked a little Negro to bring him a coal of fire. The Negro first placed some ashes in his hand and put the coal of fire on top of the ashes; and the man acknowledged that he had learned something right at his home from this little Negro. The ashes intervening between the fire and the hand kept the fire from burning it. Now this altar, as a big fire is to be kindled upon it, must be noncombustible.


(3) "Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not uncovered thereon." The altar was to be of considerable size and height, and as huge victims were to be placed on it, it naturally occurred to man, "Let us make a couple of steps here; when we carry wood and the victims to lay on top of the altar, or on top of the wood, we will want to step up." God says, "You must not do it. Slope the ground up on one side." It must be a sloping approach, and not even the ankle of the man as he goes up must be exposed, as would be, if the approach was made by way of steps. The robe that he wears must go clear to the ground, and going up that slope no part of his person was to be exposed. These three specifications, then, viz.: that it must be of earth or stone; that it must not be hewn stone; that it must not be approached by steps. These are designated not merely to show that the altar was exceedingly simple, but that it was an altar in which the man as an artisan, or as one approaching it, must not appear. The altar is an appointment of God.


(4) The last specification about it is set forth in the latter part of v. 24: "In every place where I record my name I will come unto thee and bless thee." The altar must be a place where God's presence is, and where he comes to bless. We commenced with the statement that there must be an appointed place and time where God may be found. Who establishes that place? God does. Jacob is going along, traveling away from home in exile, and in the night God comes. Next morning he says, "Surely God was in this place, and I didn't know it. And God was here to bless me, because in my vision he said he would bless me, and he was here to show me that there was a stairway that connected earth with heaven." And Jacob built an altar there. The altar must be where God's presence is; must be of noncombustible material, earth or unhewn stone; must not be shaped by the cunning skill of man. Its approach must not be up steps; in lifting the robe not even the tip of his toe or his ankle should be visible as the priest goes up.


10. Under this section, what two classes of offerings are to go on that altar?


Ans. – Verse 24: "Thou shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings and thy peace-offerings." These are the two great classifications of offerings. One is propitiatory, an offering to expiate sin. Now the other, the thank offering or eucharist (we call the Lord's Supper the eucharist because there is a giving of thanks in it) is an offering with the giving of thanks. But you will observe that while two general classes of offerings must go on that altar there is an order in which they must go on it. Don't you dare approach God with a thank offering first. There is no value in a thank offering that is not preceded by a blood offering, because peace is secured by the blood and the peace offering is an expression of gratitude for the expiation of sin. Take the first case of an altar that was ever erected on earth; Cain and Abel came before God in a place where God was to be present; both came by an offering, by an offering on that altar; Cain brought a thank offering, and that is all he brought; and God indignantly rejected it. Abel brought not only a peace offering, but the sin offering first, the firstling of his flock. The two classes of offerings, then, are burnt offering and peace offering; burnt offering first; the other second and consequential.


11. Now in these offerings, what kind of victims must be offered?


Ans. – Offerings of the flock and herds, clean animals. That is expressed in v. 24: "Thy sheep and thy oxen"; a sheep, a goat, or an ox, a calf, cow, or bullock. It must be one of those kinds. They could not offer a leopard; they could not offer a tiger, or a lion. Here are the characteristics of the offerings: they must chew the cud and divide the hoof. A camel could not be offered, though he chews the cud he divides not the hoof. But the goat, the sheep, and the ox all divide the hoof and chew the cud; they are clean animals.


12. Show the presence of the six essential elements cited above in the first altar that ever was erected; that will answer the question: How were the patriarchs saved? Did they have any idea of Christ's coming as a sacrifice for sin? By their animal sacrifices did they exhibit faith in a coming Redeemer? If not, Just what was the object of those sacrifices?


Ans. – Those sacrifices were to typify the coming Redeemer. A man who could not look through the type and see the antitype didn't have the faith. If he simply brought the type and stopped at the bullock or the goat, then Paul in Hebrews says to him, "It was impossible for the blood of sheep and bullocks and goats to take away sin. You must go beyond this ceremony, this symbol, this type. You must look to the One that it points to, by faith." By faith Abel did that; and he was saved just like you are, by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the coming Messiah; only he did not see him as you see him; he had not come, but Abel looked through the type to the antitype, the Saviour. "Abraham saw my day," says Jesus, "and rejoiced."


Now my question: Show the presence of the six essential elements. While I repeat these from Genesis 4, you see if, in vv. 3-5, you can locate them: (1) the throne of grace, or a place where God is to be approached; (2) the altar, or a way by which to approach him; (3) a suitable offering, or the ground on which they approach him; (4) a mediator, through whom he is to be approached; (5) a set time for approaching him; (6) a ritual telling how to approach him. Do you see those six things there? We find, first, the place, the throne of grace. When Adam sinned and was expelled from the garden, God sent cherubim, and a blazing sword, and at the east of the garden was placed an altar by which Adam might approach God; a place where God might be found on a throne of grace. Next it says, "In the process of time." There you have the appointed time. It does not say just exactly what time, but "in process of time."


Then you have the ritual, telling how to do things, as indictated certainly in these verses: When to bring the offering; they brought it to the right place. One brought the right kind of offering; the ritual told him that; he put it on the right place, the altar; the ritual told him that. Where is the mediator? We discover that this way: Who in patriarchal times before the Mosaic law was established, had the priesthood? The father, the head of the family, was the priest of the family, and if there was no head man to be the priest, then the one having the progeniture was the priest. When a man is off to himself, and acting to himself as Jacob was, he is the head of his house. Job acted as mediator in offering those sacrifices mentioned at the end of his book. To get that mediator fixed in your mind, I quote it, Job 42:7-8: "After Jehovah had spoken these words unto Job, Jehovah said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends; for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath. Now therefore, take unto you seven bullocks and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer up for yourselves, a burnt-offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you; for him will I accept that I deal not with you after your folly; for ye have not spoken of me that which is right, as my servant Job hath." In other words, "You can't come before me direct; for the way you talk you must have a mediator. Job shall be your priest and shall intercede for you."


Let us look at Genesis 8:20: "And Noah builded an altar unto Jehovah, and took of every clean beast, and of every clean bird, and offered burnt-offerings on the altar. And Jehovah smelled the sweet savour; and Jehovah said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake." We are looking for the six essentials: (1) The altar is there and the right kind of altar: "And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, the earth was dry and God commanded Noah to go forth from the ark, and Noah went forth, and builded an altar," – a great deliverance accomplished here. Notice all through the flood that the seventh day is recognized. It is all governed by weeks. The birds are sent out in the interval of seven days; (2) It was an appointed time; (3) You have the mediator, Noah, acting for all the family. The altar, the offering, the indication of the ritual in the selection of all these things, the plans and the kind of offering, all are there; and God is there, because that verse says that God smelled the sweet savour and said in his heart, etc. The first essential was a place where God could be found – the throne of grace.


We know that this throne of grace continues under the new covenant: "Let us come boldly before the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and help in every time of need. But there is this change of the place, it is not located at Jerusalem or Gerizirn; not in this mountain or that – but God is a Spirit under the new covenant. Any spot where you stand, any place where you lie down, where you breathe, God is there. You yourselves are your own priests; he has made you a kingdom of priests. You do not have to offer sin offerings; one sin offering has been offered for you. You offer the sacrifice of praise, prayer, and contribution, – spiritual sacrifices. Whenever you can distinguish between the Old and New Covenant you have learned a great deal of theology.


Notice about the place. One of the most gracious promises of God is that he will appoint a place and he says, speaking to Solomon when Solomon built him a house, "Mine eyes shall be there, I shall see it; mine ear shall be there, mine omnipotence, my heart shall be there; my love." One of the greatest sermons Spurgeon ever preached was on that passage of Scripture. And the New Testament says, "Where two or three of you are gathered together in my name, I will be with you." Wherever a number of God's people covenant themselves into a congregation, each several building groweth up into a holy temple for the habitation of God through the Holy Spirit.


13. What parts of the Pentateuch are but developments of the altar division of the covenant?


Ans. – The parts of the Pentateuch are the last chapters of Exodus, the whole of Leviticus and much of Numbers. (See pp. 140, 144, question 25).

 

 

XXIV

 

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GOD AND THE STATE, THE STATE AND THE CITIZEN, THE PROMISES, AND THE RATIFICATION OF THE COVENANT Exodus 21:1 to 24:8

 


1. What are the lesson and the themes?


Ans. – Lesson: Exodus 21:1 to 24:8. Themes: (1) God and the state; and the state and the citizen, 21:1 to 23:19.


(2) The promises of the covenant, 23:20-33.


(3) The ratification of the covenant, 24:1-8. Having considered Part I of the covenant, the Decalogue, or God and the normal man, and Part II, the altar, or God and the sinner, we now consider Part III, the judgments, or God and the state, and the state and the citizen. This lesson is contained in Exodus 21-23.


2. What is the name of section 21:1 to 23:19?


Ans. – This section is called the judgments, or decrees.


3. What is the book of the covenant, and what may it be called?


Ans. – The whole book of the covenant, i.e., from Exodus 19:1 to 24:8, in its three parts and in its ratification, may well be called the constitution of the nation of Israel; and all subsequent legislation in the Pentateuch is but statutes developed from this constitution. The United States has a written Constitution; all the legislation of Congress must be simply enlargements or developments of the fundamental principles contained in that Constitution.


4. How is God recognized in this section?


Ans. – He is the author of the state, as he is the author of its antecedents, – the family and the tribe.

 


5. What results from this origin of the state?


Ans. – God's providential government over the nations, counted as units, and their responsibility to him.


6. How does Paul put it?


Ans. – In Romans 13:1-7, he says: "The powers that be are ordained of God. Therefore he that resisteth the power, withstandeth the ordinance of God: and they that withstand shall receive to themselves judgment. For rulers are not a terror to the good work, but to the evil. And wouldest thou have no fear of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise from the same: for he is a minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is a minister of God, an avenger for wrath to him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be in subjection not only because of the wrath, but also for conscience' sake. For for this cause ye pay tribute also; for they are ministers of God's service, attending continually upon this very thing. Render to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour."


In I Timothy Paul puts it this way: "I exhort therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings, be made for all men; for kings and all that are in high places; that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who would have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth." The powers, then, must be respected and honoured, and must be prayed for by those having the good of society at heart (I Tim. 2:1-4).


7. What is extent of God's government over the nations and the proof from Paul and Daniel?


Ans. – It is absolute in authority and universal in scope; so that the ruler or state must perish that despises God, as Paul says in Acts 17:24-31: "God hath determined . . . the bounds of their habitation and decreed that they should seek after him." Daniel puts it more strongly in Daniel 4:10-37, especially w. 17, 25, 34-35, 37, where it is affirmed that God holds a nation responsible just as he holds an individual responsible, and that the ruler who does not know God puts himself on a level with the beast, and that he must be disciplined until he does know that the Most High ruleth over the nations of the world, and that the inhabitants of the earth are but as grasshoppers in his sight.


8. From what additional source arises the state's jurisdiction over the citizen?


Ans. – We have just discussed the authority of God over the state. Now the authority of the state over the citizen, apart from God's having ordained it, arises also from the social nature of man. He is not independent of other men but codependent with them. The ties which bind him to his fellow men are natural, inherent, indissoluble, and cannot be despised with impunity; so that he cannot be self-centered and apart.


9. What was the particular form of state government organized at Sinai and its subsequent changes?


Ans. – This particular Jewish state was theocratic in form, God himself was the king of the nation, and in visible symbol dwelt among them. But keep the etymology of certain words in your mind, viz.: theocracy, aristocracy, democracy. That form of government established over the Jewish nation at Sinai was theocratic, i.e., God was the ruler. There were changes in the form of this national government in subsequent ages. The first change took place in the days of Samuel, when the people rejected God as governor and selected, after the manner of the nations, a man to be their ruler (I Sam. 8: Joshua was priest, and the heads of the tribes were the rulers. 4-22). This was the establishment of a monarchial form of government, not theocratic; it was thus changed from a theocracy to a monarchy. Subsequently it perished (2 Kings 25) and the form of government became in the days of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Zechariah, a mixture of democratic, aristocratic, and the priestly. That is to say, Zerubbabel was governor, Joshua was priest, and the heads of the tribes were the rulers. This mixture continued until under Herod the Great it again became a kingdom, a monarchy, and from that time, it passed into a provincial government under Roman procurators. Those were the changes in the government; then upon the destruction of Jerusalem they were a scattered people without a king, without an ephod, without a priest, without a temple, without sacrifices, and with no national government; and they continue so until this day.


10. Our present section (Ex. 21:1 to 22:10) establishes the general principles on which the state shall deal with what matters?


Ans. – (1) With property in slaves, 21:1-11; (2) The sanctity of human life, or criminal law, 21:12-36; (3) With other kinds of property, 22:1-15; (4) With the stranger, the widow, the orphan, and the poor, 22:21-27; 23:5, II; (5) With cases of seduction, 22:16-17; (6) With sins against nature, 22:19, that mate man with the brute, disregarding the distinction between man and beast; (7) With the rights of neighbor or enemy in the matter of his domestic animals going astray, or found in suffering, 23:4-5; (8) With false testimony and bribery, 23:1-3, 7-9; (9) With sins against the first commandments, i.e., making sacrifices to others than Jehovah, 22:20; 23:13; (10) Sins of necromancy, 22:18, i.e., wizards or witches 'that seek to find out the future from the dead or from other sources, and not depending on God for revelation; (II) Sins against rulers, 22:28: "Thou shalt not curse the rulers of the people," 23:10-11, and of the weekly sabbaths, 23:12; (12) With God's rights to his firstfruits of the family, the harvest, the herd, and the flock, 22:29-39; (13) The three annual festivals, 23:14-19; (14) With cases of eating blood, 22:31. Man was not allowed to eat meat with blood in it, for the blood is the life thereof. He could eat no meat from which the blood had not first been drained; if an animal died and the blood was still in him, he must not eat of that animal; if a wild beast had killed an animal and the blood remained in it he could not eat that which was slain of the beasts. This section shows that God gives the state power to deal with these fourteen questions; it is not God but the state dealing with them. If one violated the sabbath law, the state could put him to death; if he made a sacrifice to another god, the state could put him to death; if he stole a man and put him into slavery, the state could put him to death.


11. What is evident from the scope and variety of these' cases?


Ans. – From the scope and variety of these judgments it is evident that a theocratic state is a union of church and state, the state having jurisdiction over religious matters, as well &a civil, its magistrates and courts being charged with the responsibility of enforcing under penalties duties toward God as well as duties toward man and beast.


12. What are the conditions of success in a theocratic government?


Ans. – These are evident as follows: (1) God alone must legislate; (2) God must be present as an oracle to settle vexing questions; as an interpreter of law; as omniscient to read the heart back of the overt act; as omnipotent to enforce the law; and as infinitely holy, just, and merciful to insure the right legislation and right administration of the legislation; (3) The people must have the heart and will to obey every requirement of his law. If you take away these conditions, a theocratic government is a failure.


13. What are the hazards under present conditions?


Ans. – The priest may assume the functions of deity, the legislator to define religion, the oracle to interpret it and then call on the state to enforce it. Since he has not the holiness, justice, and mercy of God, nor his wisdom and omniscience, the state may thus become the slave of superstition, priestcraft and irreligion, and the people the victims of its tyranny. These conditions are when the people's heart are not right toward God and when they are not disposed to obey him.


14. Cite instances where these hazards have been realized.


Ans. – History records many instances of just such priestly usurpation of powers with ruinous results to the people. The whole Romanist hierarchy from its establishment down to the present time is an illustration. The Pope claims to be God's vicar, in the place of the Holy Spirit; he claims the power to interpret the law; to change the law; he claims to have the two keys and two swords; to keep you out of the church on earth and out of heaven hereafter; to inflict upon you ecclesiastical and state punishment. Those are the instruments, the swords and the keys; the result is that they have determined what is religion, and what they have defined to be religion is not God's religion. They claim to. be the oracles of God; to have sole power to interpret that law, and if you vary a hair's breadth from what they have said is religion, off goes your head; and in their search for evidence they have established the Inquisition that makes domiciliary visits, investigating family life, putting spies over the most thoughtless expressions, and they claim to arrest and try them, and when they have tried them to call upon the state to execute. The bloodiest pages of history are those of the Romanist usurpation in Spain, in France, in Italy, in Bohemia, in the low countries, in the days of Alva, in all the South American states and in Mexico. Not only is that true, but there 'were other denominations expressing a union of church and state and with the same powers somewhat modified. When the Puritans came over in the May flower they established a theocracy; their preachers prescribed everything they should do; and according to a statements which has been current, a man was punishable by a fine and by imprisonment if he was found kissing his wife on Sunday. And they pushed their jurisdiction to such an extent that they destroyed the liberty of conscience, whipped Baptist preachers, banished Roger Williams, sold out under forced sale or hasty auction the choice acres of Baptist farms and property in order to get money to build meetinghouses for another denomination, and when that Baptist father, Isaac Backus, went to John Adams, President of the United States Continental Congress, and asked him to use his influence to force Massachusetts to allow liberty of conscience, he said, "You might as well expect rivers to run upstream, and the ocean to dry up and the sun to quit shining as to expect to repeal Massachusetts' law on that subject."


15. How does the New Testament hedge against these hazards?


Ans. – In two ways: (1) By clearly distinguishing between what belongs to God and what belongs to Caesar, rendering unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God those that are his; (2) Especially by its form of church government. There was to be no provincial church government, no district, county, state, national church government; no hierarchy, but each particular congregation was the church of Jesus Christ and having final jurisdiction over its own matters. While there might be district associations, conventions, state or national, for voluntary co-operation, they were not appellate courts over the churches, and hence it would be impossible for the union of church and state with the Baptist church involved. But this New Testament hedging was evaded: (1) By establishing a papal form of government, an autocracy; (2) A prelatical form; as, the Church of England; (3) A federal form of government, like the Presbyterian.


16. What offenses in this section called for capital punishments?


Ans. – They say that you may determine the civilization of a people by its code as to blood. If they put people to death for every kind of offense it is a bloody code; if only for a few great offenses, it is not a bloody code. Note in this lesson that there are six causes for which capital punishment would be administered:


(1) For sacrificing to another God; as long as the theocratic government was in vogue a man must be put to death for sacrificing to other gods than Jehovah, because it was treason – treason against the state because it belongs to somebody else;


(2) Necromancy; that is a sin against God, in that it seeks to get at the secrets of the future from another source than God's revelation: "Thou shalt not suffer a wizard or a witch to live";


(3) Bestial crimes; sins against nature, where the man would mate with a brute;


(4) Stealing a man for slavery; stealing a man's very life away from him that he may make a slave of him. Now, there are ways discussed in this section by which you could be enslaved. I have not space to go into their details; but they could not steal a man and make a slave of him. The death penalty would always be administered in the case of what is called "slave-stealing," so largely carried on by the New England States, where as many as 250 ships from a New England town were engaged in the slave trade, and the wealth of a great many of those people up there today was derived from stealing slaves from Africa and selling them to the West Indies and to the United States.


(5) Murder or homicide that resulted from criminal negligence;


(6) In Exodus 21:17, it says, "He that curseth his father or his mother, shall surely be put to death." So here is another offense calling for capital punishment; and a very remarkable piece of legislation comes into development of that principle. I remember once telling it to Judge Harrison in Waco, my father-in-law. It provides that if a father or mother shall bring a child to the magistrate and say that he is incorrigible; that they cannot do anything with him; he has no respect for them; does not obey them; that he is going to be a terror; he will be awful to the state; they thus bringing him before the magistrate, making that affidavit, that child must be stoned to death by the state. I read that to General Harrison and he said, "Dr. Carroll, you know you would never take your boy there." While I do not think I would, I certainly have seen some specimens in my time that would have been brought up with great advantage by the state.


(7) Later on we will come to another which is not in this section. A man went out on a sabbath day to get sticks to make a fire to cook some breakfast, and he was put to death. "Thou shalt do no labour on the sabbath day." "You must make provision for that day beforehand." There are no exceptions but those of mercy, or necessity, and of worship.


17. In what judgments do the elements of mercy and love to man and beast appear?


Ans. – Consideration shown (1) to a stranger; (2) to a widow; (3) to an orphan; (4) to the poor; (5) to animals. They might charge interest for money lent to any Hebrew brother that was well-to-do, but if he was poor they could not charge interest lending him money. Then this reference to the poor in connection with the land, which was to lie every seventh year idle, and, of course, where land was devoted to the culture of cereals like wheat and barley there would be a voluntary crop that year. They were not allowed to harvest that crop at all, but the poor people had the right under this law to enter that field and use that seventh-year voluntary crop. It also applies to the poor in this, viz.: that if he had pawned his cloak, or outer garment, which constituted his bed by night, the pawnbroker was not allowed to keep that garments in pawn overnight, or that man would not have a bed to sleep on; it must be restored to him when night came.


18. What are the promises of the covenant?


Ans. – In 23:20-33 are three: (1) That the angel of God's presence should be with them, and would be their guide to show them how to go and to be their guard to preserve them and to discomfit their enemies on the way to and in the land where they were going. That was one of the great promises of the covenant. The presence of the angel of the Lord was manifest in the pillar of cloud by day and the fire by night, and by his speaking as an oracle when any trouble was brought up to him, and a solution asked.


(2) That God would bless their bread and drink, that is he would give them food and he would give them life: "You shall not be exposed to hunger nor to sickness." This angel would see to it that a table was set before them; that in the wilderness their shoes should not wear out; that their clothes should not wax old; that there should be no sick people in the camp. What a tremendous blessing that was!


(3) That he would give them all the territory set forth in the original promises to Abraham, extending from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates, and from Gilead on the left bank of the Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea. Those are the three elements of the great promises of the covenant. He had to drive their enemies – the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jehusites, and the others that held the land – all out, but not all at once, for they would not be able to occupy the land, but, mark you, just as they were able to develop the resources of the country.


19. Describe step by step the ratification of the covenant.


Ans. – In 24:1-8, it is treated. Here are the statutes: (1) All the words of the book of the covenant, that is, the moral law, the altar law, and the state law, were repeated very carefully to the people. (2) Then a copy of them was reduced to writing (3) An altar and pillars were erected according to the requirements given in the twentieth chapter. (4) Two kinds of offerings were offered on the altar, (a) burnt offerings, expiatory', of blood and fire, and (b) the peace offerings, or the eucharist, thank offerings thus were made. (5) The disposition of the blood, – one half of the blood flowing from these victims sacrificed was put into basing and set aside; the other half was to be sprinkled upon that altar, and thus the blood of the covenant was put upon the altar. (6) This covenant which has been spoken and written is now carefully read by Moses, item by item, – all of them in the hearing of all the people, and they again solemnly agree to make every obligation prescribed for them in that covenant. (7) The sprinkling of the blood on the people. That half that had been set aside in basins, the priests and the Levites took charge of, and with bunches of hyssop moved among the people in every direction (all the Levites engaged in it, as they were afterward established) , and sprinkled that blood on all the people. That was the ratification of the covenant.


I have tried to make the reader see clearly this book of the covenant, beginning at Exodus 29, where was the introduction, the proposition made to have a covenant, and the people's agreement to go into it, then the preparation for entering it by ratification; next the three parts of the covenant: (a) The Decalogue, or ten words, God's relation to the normal man; (b) the law of the altar, or approach to God on the part of the sinner; (c) The state and God, and then the state and the citizen. I have tried to make you see these points very clearly. Then the promises bound up in that covenant, and Just exactly with what solemnity step by step that covenant was ratified; and that this was peculiarly a covenant made with the nation regarded as a unit.

 

 

XXV

 

(Return to Contents)

 

THE FEAST OF THE COVENANT, THE ASCENT OF MOSES AND JOSHUA INTO THE MOUNTAIN, THE BREACH OF THE COVENANT, THE COVENANT RESTORED BUT MODIFIED Exodus 24:9 to 34:35

 


1. What is -this lesson and its outline?


Ans. – The lesson is from Exodus 24:9 to the end of that chapter, with a mere glance at the next seven chapters, 25-31, and then 32; it covers three full chapters, nearly all of another chapter, and a glance at seven other chapters. I will explain to you about that glance as we go along.


The outline of the lesson is:


The Feast of the Covenant, 24:9-11.


The Ascent of Moses and Joshua into the Mountain, Why and How Long, 24:12 to 31:18.


The Breach of the Covenant, 22:1-6.


The Covenant Restored but Modified, 32:71034:35.


We commence at the first item of the outline, viz.:


The Feast of the Covenant. – That part of the lesson is chapter 24 and commences at w. 9-11. Let us read that: "Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu [two sons of Aaron], and seventy of the elders of Israel [and we learn from v. 17 that Joshua, the minister or servant of Moses, was along. That makes seventy-five persons [: and they saw the God of Israel; and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and as it were the very heaven for clearness. And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: and they beheld God and did eat and drink." That is the feast of the covenant.


2. What of the custom after ratifying a covenant and an example from Genesis?


Ans. – Nearly always just after a covenant was ratified the parties to the covenant partook together of a meal to show their fraternity and communion. The Genesis example you will find where Laban and Jacob made a covenant. The covenant is prepared, they agree to enter into a covenant, they put up a token of the covenant, they build an altar, they make sacrifices, they ratify the covenant in the blood of that sacrifice. Then they sit down and eat a meal together, which is the feast of the covenant. You will find all of that in the Genesis account of Laban and Jacob. So here a covenant having been proposed, an agreement to enter into it made, a preparation for it, the terms of the covenant given as stated in their threefold characters, that covenant carefully read, an altar erected, sacrifices offered, the blood of the covenant sprinkled upon the altar and upon the people, and so ratified, then follows this feast of the covenant.


3. What are the provisions used at the feast in such cases?


Ans. – The provisions are the bodies of the peace offering. There are two offerings, viz.: the burnt offering, which has to be burned up, then the eucharistic or thank offering. That thank offering furnishes the material of the feast after the covenant is ratified.


4. Who was the representative at this feast with God and a New Testament analogy?


Ans. – The representatives here are: First, Moses, then his servant Joshua, his army chief; second, the high priest and his two sons – that is five; and third, the seventy elders of Israel. All Israel did not meet God and partake of a feast, but the representatives of Israel in the persons of Moses, Joshua, Aaron and his two sons, and the seventy elders, who meet God and partake of this feast. Now the New Testament analogy is that the Lord's Supper which was to memorialize the sacrifice of Christ was participated in by representatives of the church, the apostles. The apostles were there, but not there as individuals. They represented the church just as they represented the church in receiving the Commission, so that it was simply a church observance even at the time of its institution.


5. What of the communion in this feast and the New Testaments analogy?


Ans. – The communion is not the communion between Moses, Aaron, and the elders, that is, it is not a communion with each other, but it is a communion with God, and the New Testament analogy is as Paul expresses in his first letter to the Corinthians: "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a communion, or participation, of the blood of Christ?" and yet how often people misrepresent the idea of that communion, as when A, B, and C commune together to show their fellowship for each other, or a man's communing to show his fellowship for his wife. The word means "participation" and the one in whom is the participation is God: "The loaf which we bless, is it not a participation, the communion of the body of Jesus?" So here these representatives of all Israel communed with God a little way up the mountain, not far.


6. The record says that they saw God. What kind of a sight of God did they see, and what other cases in the Old and New Testaments?


Ans. – They did not see any form or likeness of God. Moses is very careful to say that "no man can see God and live." He is careful to say in Deuteronomy 4 that at Sinai they saw no similitude or likeness. Now, in Isaiah 6 he (Isaiah) sees God as they saw him, that is, he sees the throne; he sees the pavement; he sees a great many things about the throne, the angels, the cherubim and the seraphim, but he doesn't see any likeness of God, though he hears God talking. Precisely so you find it in Ezekiel 1. He sees the chariot of God, four cherubim, their wheels, their wings, and their faces looking every way, but he doesn't see the One in the chariot, and so it is in Revelation 4 where John is caught up to heaven and he sees the very same thing, this very pavement, and the throne, the cherubim, the angels round about the throne, and he sees something that represents the Holy Spirit, and he sees something that represents Jesus Christ, a precious stone which represents God, but he doesn't see God.


7. Apply this thought to transubstantiation and consubstantiation in our feast, as the Romanists and Luther taught.


Ans. – The Romanist says, "This is the very body and the very blood of Christ; you can see it and you can taste it." And the consubstantiation advocate, Luther, says, "The bread is not the body of Christ and the wine is not the blood of Christ, but Christ is there this way: You take a knife and put it in the fire and take it out of the fire when it is red hot, and you have the same metal, but you have something there that was not there before, viz.: heat, you can touch it and feel the effect of that heat burning." You can take cognizance of that kind of a presence, but in this analogous communication with God they saw no similitude, no form.


8. Explain that part of the feast where it is said that "God laid not his hand on the elders of Israel, though they saw him."


Ans. – It means that God did not slay them. The declaration is often made, "Whoever sees God shall die." They can't bear the sight of God. But the kind of a sight of God that these people saw, they were able to see without having the hand of God laid on them, and what a beautiful lesson! Before the covenant was made, when the trumpet sounded and the darkness came and the earth quaked and the lightning flashed, and that strange, awful voice speaking the ten words, the people were scared almost to death; they wanted a mediator, somebody to come between them and that awful Being. But knowing that a covenant had been established and had been ratified by the blood of a substitute, they can see God in the sacrifice of the substitute and not die; see him in perfect peace, just as you, before you are converted, look upon God as distant and unapproachable, but after you see him in Christ in the covenant, the terror of God is taken away and you can sit there just as if eating a meal with a friend.


9. Give again a complete outline of the covenant.


Ans. – The complete outline of the covenant is:


(1) God's proposition of a covenant and their agreement to enter into a covenant;


(2) Their preparation for the covenant;


(3) The three great terms of the covenant;


(4) The ratification of the covenant;


(5) The feast that follows the covenant. Will you keep that in mind? You need to be drilled on that every now and then, so that when anybody asks you where there can be found a copy of the Sinai covenant and all the parts of it, you can answer: "It commences with Exodus 19, and closes with Exodus 24." That is the whole thing in all its parts.


The Ascent of Moses into the Mount, Why and How Long? This is the second item of the outline. That is found immediately after what we have been discussing, commencing at 24:12. "And the Lord said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there": that means, Moses, you are to be there quite awhile; "and I will give thee the tables of stone, and the law and the commandment, which I have written, that thou mayest teach them." And Moses rose up, and his servant Joshua; and Moses went up into the mount of God. And he said unto the elders, Tarry ye here for us, until we come again unto you: and, behold, Aaron and Hur are with you; if any man have any matters to do, let him come unto them. And Moses went up into the mount, and the cloud covered the mount. And the glory of the Lord abode upon Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud. And the sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel. And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and went up into the midst of the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights." Now here are the questions on that:


10. Why is Moses, after the covenant is ratified and the feast is held, taken up into the mount? (He and Joshua alone go).


Ans. – He is carried up to receive the same law which had been spoken orally, now in writing – "which I have written." And what he went up particularly to get was the two tables or the Ten Commandments, and in God's own handwriting that he might keep them as a witness. "The tables of the Testimony" is the name of them. Moses wrote a copy that the people learned, but that particular copy was God's own autograph. That was put up and preserved as "tables of the testimony."


11. What is the meaning of "tables of stone," "the law," and "the commandment"?


Ans. – The tables of stone I have just described. But what was the law that Moses goes up after? You would miss that if you had to answer it off-hand, and the commentators all miss it. They don't get in a thousand miles of it. You will find that it was what he received when he went up there – a special law, and that special law was that the sabbath, God's sabbath, should be the sign of the covenant. You find that at the end of this section that we are now on. So the law he went after was the law of the sign. Then what was the commandment he went after? The Commandments are all given in seven chapters (25-32) and every one of them touches the law of the altar. We will glance at the outline of that directly.


12. Why were these tables of testimony and this sign of the covenant and these laws concerning the altar given to Moses?


Ans. – The lesson says, "That thou mayest teach them."


13. Who was to represent Moses in the camp while he was absent in the mount?


Ans. – Aaron and Hur.


14. What reminder of a New Testament incident is in these words of Moses: "Tarry ye here for us until we come again"?


Ans. – It is Jesus in Gethsemane, when he let the representatives stop, and said, "Stay here while I go yonder and pray."


15. What was the visible token that God was present with Moses, and why that token?


Ans. – Verses 16-17: "And the glory of the Lord abode upon Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it and the sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel." Now, why is that last word, or clause, "In the eyes of the children of Israel"? That was a token to them not to get impatient. "When you begin to say, 'Moses stays a long time,' you look up there at that cloud on top of that mountain, how exceedingly glorious it is, you may know that Moses is right in that cloud communing with God."


16. How long was Moses up there in that cloud before God spoke to him, and why did he speak to him on the particular day that he did?


Ans. – Moses was up there six days. God called him up there: "Don't you get impatient. Here is the test of your faith. You wait. I have called you up here, to have an interview and to receive certain things, and you wait; be patient." Now on the seventh day, that is, the sabbath, which was the sign of the covenant, God spoke.


17. How long was Moses in the mount, and what is the New Testament parallel?


Ans. – Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights, and the New Testament parallel is that after Christ was sacrificed for the ratification of the covenant and they had eaten the feast of the covenant and Christ was risen from the dead, he remains with them forty days, instructing them. That is just exactly what God is doing with Moses. Just as Jesus uses forty days after his sacrifice in careful instruction of his disciples, so God after this sacrifice and ratification of the covenant, takes Moses up into that mountain for forty days of continued explanation.


18. Give, for the present, a mere summary of what Moses received on the mount, set forth in the seven chapters, 25-31.


Ans. – Just now all we want is a summary and the reason we don't want to go into the details is that we take that up in the next chapter in connection with what follows. But all you want to know now is the outline. The outline is:


(1) He received the tables of the testimony;


(2) He received the law of the sign;


(3) He received the commandments as follows:


(a) The commandment upon the people to furnish voluntary offerings for what was to be made;


(b) The making of the ark with the mercy seat on it where God was to be met; the making of a tabernacle for the shewbread; the making of the candlestick; the making of a tabernacle or tent with its subdivisions and its marvelous veil between the divisions; and the court and the oil that was to supply the lampstand or candlestick;


(c) The garments for Aaron, the high priest, when he officiated before God;


(d) The law of the consecration of Aaron to the office of high priest;


(e) The law of the consecration of the altar by which approach to God was to be made;


(f) The law of the daily sacrifice;


(g) The law of the golden altar, or the altar of incense, and bow it is to be offered. Incense is to be offered twice a day just like the lamp is to be lit twice a day and the sacrifice is to be offered twice a day – in the morning Aaron goes to trim the lamps – as the morning offering and the ascent of the morning cloud of incense representing the going up of the prayers of God's people, and in the afternoon he goes to light the lamp, and there is the evening sacrifice and the going up of the incense;


(h) The atonement or ransom money and what that signifies;


(i) The laver, that was to be between the altar and the mercy seat, and what it was to be used for;


(j) The marvelous recipe of the anointing oil that was to be poured upon the head of a prophet or a priest or a king or a sacrifice;


(k) The perfume that was to be put at the place of entrance, indicating that they were to meet the fragrance of God right at the threshold of entrance or approach to him;


(l) The inspiration of the artificers of all this work. Just as an apostle was inspired to do his work, so certain men were here named that were inspired to do this work called for in all these things;


(m) That sabbath for a sign which I have already mentioned.


The Breach of the Covenant. – This is the third item. Where do you find that breach of the covenant? In chapter 32. We are coming to awful things now. The most interesting thing in the Old Testament: "And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we know not what is become of him. And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden rings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. And all the people brake off the golden rings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. And he received it at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, and made it a molten calf: and they said, These are thy gods, 0 Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And when Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To-morrow shall be a feast to Jehovah. And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace-offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play."


19. Give the seven elements of this breach of the covenant.


Ans. – (1) The rejection of Moses and of God and a demand for other gods to be made: "Make us gods." (2) This god, of course, being man made, was an idol. (3) The form of the god was the Egyptian god, Apis, calf or ox, the Egyptian god that died of the murrain through one of the miracles of Moses.


(4) They built an altar of worship and of sacrifice.


(5) They offered both burnt and peace offerings.


(6) They had a feast to follow this covenant they were making with this new god, and,


(7) Stripping off their clothes, naked, they go into a drunken orgy and practice all of the beastly and infamous lusts that characterized that worship in Egypt and in other idol worshiping countries. Paul says, "The people sat down to eat and rose up to play," and then adds, "Be ye not fornicators and adulterers as they were."


20. What was God's announcement to Moses and what were the purposes announced concerning Israel and the raising up of a new people?


Ans. – God saw that breach of the covenant that had just been made. The answer is this, commencing with v. 7: "The Lord said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: they have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and have said, These be thy gods, 0 Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And the Lord said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and now, behold it is a stiffnecked people: now therefore let me alone that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation." That is the terrible announcement. They have broken the covenant. "I will instantly destroy them; I will raise up a new people from Moses. He will be the basis of the new people." Now before they get out of this trouble there will be four intercessions of Moses.


21. What was the first intercession of Moses and its result?


Ans. – 1 quote it, commencing at v. II: "And Moses besought the Lord his God, and said, Lord, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swearest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever." So the first thing was to stop instant destruction of that people. The result: "And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people." He didn't kill them right then, but he at least suspended that terrible bolt of divine wrath that was about to fall upon them.


22. What did Moses and Joshua see on their return to the camp?


Ans. – All the above happened before Moses came down from the mount. Joshua says, "I hear a great shout down in the camp. There must be an army or there must be a battle." Moses says, "No, that is not the shout, neither of men on the battlefield, nor of men crying for mercy. That is the shout of singing; those people are singing down there." And they came down and saw that calf; they saw their naked and beastly orgies; they saw the whole hideous sin which the people had committed.


23. What was the first token that the covenant was broken?


Ans. – Moses took the tables of the testimony and broke them all to pieces right in the sight of the people. "You do not need these tokens any more. I have brought you in the handwriting of God the witness of the covenant; you broke it; let the token be broken."


24. What, in order, are the other things done in that camp by Moses when he got down there?


Ans. – Moses was not a man to go down there and hold his finger in his mouth. When he sees that thing he is stirred. Let us see now what, in order, were the things that he did. First, he took that calf and burned it until it pulverized; then he mingled the ashes of it in water and made the people drink it. Second, he shook his finger in the face of Aaron and said, "What have these people done unto you that you led them into this sin? I went up in that mountain to meet God; I left you as my representative. Now what have these people ever done to you that you should lead them into this?" And Aaron pleads the baby act if ever a man did in the world. He says, "Well, they – they – they said, 'Make us a god,' and I told them to bring me the earrings and I put the earrings into the fire and there came out this calf; the fire did it." An old father who, when his boy came home disappointed and broken in health and knowing nothing, after several years away at school, said, "All that money I put into the fire of education and there came out this calf." Third, Moses said unto them in the camp, while naked and half drunk they stood before him not daring to open their lips, "Whoso is on the Lord's side, let him stand by me. I am going to draw a line. Somebody in this great camp surely is on the Lord's side." And the Levites came. You remember when Jacob pronounced the prophecy of blessing on his children he gave a big slice to Levi. When Moses goes to pronounce a blessing he is going to pronounce a great honor on Levi, and he is going to assign as a reason what Levi does this day. That whole tribe lined up on the side of Moses. They didn't stand up there just as a show. "Now, if you are on the Lord's side, draw your swords and wade into that crowd. Don't stop if it is your brother, or father, or mother, no matter how close kin to you. There must be a penalty inflicted for this awful sin," and Levi pitched in and slew three thousand. Fourth, he began to take steps toward saving those people from temporal and eternal destruction, and that brings us to the next question:


25. What was the second intercession of Moses and God's reply?


Ans. – Moses said, "You have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the Lord: peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin." Now you come to the next intercession of Moses: "And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said [and this is the greatest piece of intercession that ever took place on earth except in the case of Christ], Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin – ; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written." Only one other man ever said anything like that, and concerning this same stiffnecked people, and that was Paul, "I could wish myself accursed from Christ for my brethren's sake." Moses, in other words, offered himself as a substitute for the people: "Don't, don't destroy them! Destroy me!" It was a grand proposition. Now, what did God say to that intercession? "The Lord said to Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me,, him will I blot out of my book. I will not blot you out for them. The soul that sinneth it shall die. Therefore now go, lead these people unto the place of which I have spoken unto them; behold mine angel shall go before thee; nevertheless in the day when I visit, I will visit their sin upon them. And the Lord plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made."


26. What of the effect of this upon the people?


Ans. – They mourned and laid aside their ornaments and did not put them on from Mount Horeb onward.

 

 

XXVI

 

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THE BREACH OF THE COVENANT (Continued) AND ITS RENEWAL Exodus 33:7 to 34:35

 


27. What was the second token that the covenant was broken?


Ans. – The temporary tent of the Lord, on which the cloud rested, when he communed with Israel, was moved outside the camp to show that the presence of the Lord was no longer with them. (See Exodus 33:7-11.) Their own conduct had made the Lord an outsider.


28. Analyze the third intercession of Moses.


Ans. – (1) He recites as the ground of his petition the fact (a) that the Lord had placed on him the responsibility of taking his people to the Land of Promise and (b) had assured him of his own gracious standing before the Lord (33:12).


(2) The petition itself, number 1.


(a) Show me Thy way.


(b) Consider this people as Thy people, i.e., take them back into favor.


(c) The petition granted in part; the presence of the Lord himself and not a deputy would be with Moses and he should find rest33: 4..


(d) Petition number 2. Moses renews and presses the petition for the people, that the Presence should be with them, and not him alone, and that they should be the Lord's peculiar people separated from all other nations, 33:16.


(e) Petition number 2 granted, 33:17.


(f) Petition number 3. "Show me thy glory," 33:18.


(G) Petition number 3 granted in a modified way, 33:19-23.


29. How was the success of this intercession evidenced?


Ans. – (1) New tables of testimony, to contain the Decalogue, were ordered to be prepared for God's own inscription on the morrow, 34:1-3.


(2) The Lord did show Moses his glory, 34:4-7.


30. Analyze this glory and its modification.


Ans. – (1) the Name proclaimed, Jehovah, Jehovah Elohim, i.e., (a) Jehovah is the Lord in a covenant of revelation and mercy with sinners, (b) This Jehovah is a revelation of the invisible Elohim. For example, in Genesis I the name of the invisible, unknowable Deity is Elohim. But in chapter 2, where he is revealed to Adam and enters into covenant with him, the name is Jehovah Elohim. After man's sin Jehovah Elohim is not only a revelation of the invisible Deity but a revelation of him in grace as a Saviour. Adam could see and know, commune with, and enter into covenant with Jehovah Elohim but not with Elohim direct. Moses could see, talk with, Jehovah Elohim, both revelator and Saviour, but he could not see Elohim. This explains 33:23. See similar case, John 14:8-11.


It is also the explanation of the names of God throughout the Old Testament, "Elohim," "Jehovah," "Jehovah Elohim," over which radical critics have needlessly puzzled themselves and darkened counsel for others by words without knowledge.


(2) The character of this revelation of God as a Saviour:


(a) Merciful and gracious, Psalm 103:8-14; James 5:11;


(b) Longsuffering (as in the case of Paul the individual), I Timothy 1:16; and in the case of the world at large, 2 Peter 3:9;


(c) Abundant in goodness and truth;


(d) Keeping mercy for thousands;


(e) Will not clear the guilty; this is justice;


(f) Visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation; law of heredity.


31. Who preached great but widely different sermons on "Show me thy glory," Exodus 23:18?


Ans. – Henry Ward Beecher and Spurgeon; the first, beautiful and rhetorical; the second evangelical.


32. What great Colonial preacher began but never finished a series of masterly sermons on Exodus 34:6-7?


Ans. – Davies of Virginia, who prophesied the greatness of Washington after Braddock's defeat.


33. Explain 33:22 – Moses hid in the rock as God passed by, and what great hymn is based thereon?


Ans. – Now, the idea is that God, Elohim, is as a consuming fire out of Christ; man cannot see him and live. Hence Moses was placed in a refuge, while God's hand closed the aperture as Elohim passed by. But after Elohim passed, Moses might safely see Jehovah Elohim, that is, God revealed as a Saviour. The hymn is Toplady's "Rock of Ages." The idea is just the same when the children of Israel were placed behind the blood sprinkled door as the angel of death passed by.


34. What was the fourth intercession of Moses?


Ans. – See Exodus 34:8-9:


(1) Come back among us;


(2) Pardon our sins;


(3) Make us thine inheritance.


35. Result of this final petition?


Ans. – The covenant was renewed. Covenant Restored but Modified. –


36. The terms as renewed?


Ans. – (1) On God's part: He agrees to accept them again as his peculiar people and promises to do mighty things by them, driving out all their enemies, 34:10-11.


(2) On the people's part:


(a) They must make no covenant with the Canaanites nor intermarry with them. Their altars, groves, and images must be destroyed.


(b) They must worship Jehovah only and make no idols.


(c) They must give to the Lord for service, or by ransom, the firstborn.


(d) They must assemble three times a year before the Lord to keep the three national feasts, Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles, God himself guarding their frontiers while they were absent from home.


(e) They must keep his sabbaths. In other words, it is a modified restatement of the covenant, Exodus 19:1 to 24:11.


37. How long was Moses in the mount to receive again the written Decalogue and the other parts of the covenant?


Ans. – Forty days and nights as before.


38. What new fact is here brought out?


Ans. – He fasted absolutely the whole time.


39. Is it possible to fast that long without dying?


Ans. – (1) Elijah did it, I Kings 19:18; (2) Jesus did it, Matthew 4:2; (3) a Dr. Tanner did it in the memory of the author, only he used a little water.


40. What prodigy appeared in the face of Moses?


Ans. – His face was illumined.


41. What laws here fulfilled?


Ans. – (1) The law of assimilation, viz.: We become like that which we steadfastly contemplate, 2 Corinthians 3:18; (2) The inner light radiates through the body and glorifies the face.


42. What New Testament case is given?


Ans. – Transfiguration of Jesus; case of Stephen.


43. What style of art gives us the face illumined?


Ans. – The Rembrandt style.


44. Was Moses conscious of the shining at first and if not what made him conscious?


Ans. – At first, "Moses wist not that his face was shining." He learned it by noting the effect on the people.


45. What was that effect?

 

Ans. - "They were afraid to come nigh him," 34:30.


46. How did he cause them to come nigh?


Ans. – By veiling his face when talking to them.


47. Was this shining permanent?


Ans. – No.


48. Where, in the New Testament, is this incident expounded, and what use is there made of it?


Ans. – 2 Corinthians 3: Paul uses it to contrast the two covenants. He admits that the Old Testament was glorious, but like the light on the face of Moses was transitory, its light passing away when the greater glory of the covenant appeared.


49. Why, according to Paul, did Moses veil his face?


Ans. – That the people might not see the light fading away and so despise him, 2 Corinthians 3:13.


50. How do the Jews misunderstand the veiling and yet cling to Moses?


Ans. – They think the shining is still there behind the veil, and that the veiling is a mercy to them lest they be blinded by the too dazzling light.


51. How does Paul expound this delusion and its remedy?


Ans. – See 2 Corinthians 3:14: "But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament; which veil is done away in Christ."


52. How does he contrast Christians?


Ans. – There is no veil over their faces, and hence seeing Christ plainly, they are changed into his image from glory to glory, 2 Corinthians 3:18.


53. How does Paul explain that even the brighter and more enduring gospel light is veiled to some people?


Ans. – 2 Corinthians 4:3: "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost, in whom the God of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."


54. How does the poet, Tom Moore, illustrate the misunderstanding of the Jews concerning the veiled face of Moses and the awful disappointment that must come at the unveiling if they reject Christ?


Ans. – In his poem "The Veiled Prophet of the Korassan" in Lalla Rookh. This prophet always wore a silver veil. He taught his victims that to unveil his face before they were prepared would blind and slay them. At the close of the story, having ruined the maiden Zeiica by what he called preparing her, he then unveils and shows to her despair the hideous face that had been covered.


55. Quote from the poem about this unveiling.


Ans. –
But turn and look – then wonder, if thou wilt, That I should hate, should take revenge, by guilt, Upon the hand, whose mischief or whose mirth Sent me thus maim'd and monstrous upon earth, And on that race who, though more vile they be Than mowing apes, are demigods to me! Here – judge if hell, with all its power to damn, Can add one curse to the foul thing I am I" He raised his veil – the maid turned slowly round, Look'd at him – shrieked – and sunk upon the ground!

 

 

XXVII

 

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THE TABERNACLE Exodus 25-31; 35-40

 


This chapter covers thirteen chapters of Exodus, and, of course, I can only touch them in places. These chapters are 25-31; 35-40.


1. Was there a temporary tent before this tabernacle was built?


Ans. – You will find in Exodus 33:7-11, that there was a temporary tent and on one occasion it was moved outside of the camp.


2. What were the names of the tabernacle and the reasons therefore?


Ans. – First, the "tabernacle of testimony, or witness," Exodus 38:21; Numbers 17:7-8. Those two names mean the same thing. The tabernacle of testimony, or of witness; and the reason of this is that this tent was the depository of the testimonials; anything that was to be kept for a testimony was to be kept in this tent; for example, in it were the tables of testimony or God's autograph on the two tables of stone containing the Ten Commandments. That copy was kept as a witness; then in it was the book of the covenant, that is, those chapters, 19:1 to 24:9. That part is called the book of the covenant. That was in Moses' handwriting. Then there were the records made by Moses, that is, the Pentateuch, the entire Pentateuch was put in the tent and kept in there; then Aaron's rod that budded was put in there and a pot of the manna and later the brazen serpent that Moses erected. All of these were memorials. Now the tent that held these testimonials was called the tabernacle of the witness, or the testimony. That accounts for one of its names.


Next name, it is called the "temple of the Lord." You will find this name in I Samuel 1:9, and 3:33; the reason of that name is that there God was approached and propitiated and worshiped and that gave the name "temple."


The third name is the "house of the Lord," because he occupied it. He was the dweller in it. As a Shekinah he dwelt in there symbolically between the Cherubim on the mercy seat and hence it was called the "house of the Lord."


The fourth name is "sanctuary," that is on account of its holiness. It was holy unto God; the most holy place, the holy place and the whole ground, or campus, was set apart to sacred purposes, hence, the sanctuary.


The fifth name for it was the "holy oracles"; that applied, of course, only to what is called the "most holy place"; that is very frequently in the Bible called the oracle of the temple, the most holy place. It is so called in Psalm 28:2, and in I Kings 6:5. Now, it obtained this name because there God spoke. An oracle is to give an answer to questions propounded. There God spoke, and it was also called the oracle, because in it were kept the written words of God, the place of the oracle; the book of the Pentateuch was kept in there. Now, the references here are very numerous on this oracle question. In 2 Samuel 16:23; in Acts 7:38, and in Romans 3:2 are some references to this most holy place as the oracle: "What advantage then hath the Jew? Much every way, but chiefly because unto them were committed the oracles of God." There the oracles mean the same thing as the Bible, that is, as their Bible grew in volume it was kept in that place; that was the oracle for their Bible.


Now, I repeat the names of this tabernacle: (1) The tabernacle of the testimony, or witness; (2) the temple of the Lord; (3) the tabernacle is called the house of the Lord; (4) the sanctuary; (5) the oracle.


3. What can you say about the pattern of this tabernacle?


Ans. – It was God's pattern, copy, shadow, or type of a true sanctuary in heaven, that is, there is in heaven a true sanctuary, a true holy place, a most holy place, and as the poet Campbell says, "Coming events cast their shadows before," so that reality in heaven casts its shadow before in the form of this copy or type. And when the real thing came of course the shadow disappeared. Anyone walking from a light casts his shadow before him, and the shadow will get to an object first; now when the substance gets there, the shadow is gone. I give you some very particular references on this word pattern, what it means and about God's being the author of it. He furnishes the complete plan and every detail of the specifications. Not only for this sanctuary but for its successor, the Temple, and for the Temple's successor, the church on earth, and for its successor, the church in glory. I give you some scriptures in point: Exodus 25:40; 26:33; 27:9; 39:32; 42:43; Acts 7:44; Hebrews 8:2, 5; 10:1.


All of those refer to this sanctuary that Moses built as having been made according to a pattern which God furnished. Moses was commanded to see to it that everything be made according to the pattern. Now to give you an illustration that will come more nearly home to you, I got an architect to draw me a plan of a house to live in near the Seminary in Fort Worth. He drew four floors, that is, four floor plans; two side elevations, a front and a rear elevation; then a long list of specifications as to material, how that material was to be used, and the bill of the lumber, and of the brick and of the stone, and everything in it was put down. Now when I went to let that contract the contractor entered into a contract to build it according to the plans and specifications. If he had varied a hair's breadth from what that architect put down, I could have held him liable.


I make this remark to you in order to correct some loose thoughts. People that insist upon sticking to God's plans and specifications on the tabernacle and on the Temple, will deny that he has any plans and specifications on their successor, the church, and that nearly anything will do for a church, and that they can put things in nearly any sort of an order; they can commence with communion on the outside before a man is ever converted, and as a means to conversion; they can baptize him before he is converted, or they can dispense with it altogether. It is one of the most appalling signs of the times, that there is such looseness with reference to God's positive institutions. It is a thousand times more important that the church be strictly continued and followed in all God's plans and specifications than it was with this tabernacle, and yet there was not one-eighth of an inch variation in the measurements of this tabernacle. You may settle it that God is a God of order and not of confusion. This tells us here about certain tables and it tells us how those tables were to be constructed, and what was to go on them, and just where they must put them and just how they were to use them. Some people take the table of the church and put it outdoors and just call up Tom) Dick, and Harry to come and partake; a thing that you wouldn't dare to do in my house; you couldn't say where my table should be put. I do that. We certainly ought to allow God the same privilege about his table. You could not invite guests to my house, to dine; I must do that. We ought to allow God that privilege. You are the judge of what you put on your table, and we should let the Lord tell us what to put on his table. Then don't go and invent a hundred things to tack onto what God has specified.


4. What were the materials of this sanctuary and their value?


Ans. – There are eight kinds of materials specified. I will commence with the costliest. There are quite a number of very precious stones, jewels, some of them of exceeding great value and beauty. They are enumerated. The next was gold. The pattern tells you just exactly what gold must be put in it. Some of it was simply threads of gold. The gold must be beaten out very thin and then cut into the finest threads of gold and work these threads into the cloth. And the plans must not be varied from by one single thread of that battered gold.


Then the next material used was silver. It specifies in every particular where that silver was to be used. And the next was brass, and then it tells just what should be made of brass, whether the outside mold, or the brazen altar, or some brazen socket in which a pole or post rested.


The fifth material was the acacia wood, very common in that wilderness, and it was a very hard wood, hence exceedingly durable for building purposes of any kind. Now, it is a notable fact that this old tent had a good deal of acacia wood in it in certain places; it was existing up to the time that Solomon built the Temple, all the posts around it, all of acacia wood. When I read about it I am reminded of what a little boy in North Texas said with reference to bois d'arc. He said a bois d'arc fence would last through two eternities; that he and his daddy had tried it several times. In other words, it doesn't wear out at all and it doesn't rot. I know a bois d'arc fence now that is ninety-one years old, and it is just as sound as a silver dollar. So that acacia was the kind of wood to be used. The wood that went into the ark of the covenant consisted of a base of wood and then there was a covering of gold, and the wooden base of that ark was there in that Temple nearly a thousand years later when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the Temple. I mention that to show you how much better it was for those people to follow God's specifications about the wood. Suppose they had put in something that would have rotted in about two years.


The sixth element of material was the various kinds of cloth. This cloth would either be what is called fine twined linen, finished linen made out of the flax, or it was a coarse cloth made of goat's hair or it was woolen cloth, or it was made out of skins – what is called badgers' skins, though probably not badgers'. It was more likely to have been the skins of sea animals and that skin was impervious to water when the animal was in the water, and remained impervious to water. They needed cloths for all things, for the girdles, and for the different classes of garments that are specified and for the veils. The seventh element of material was olive oil, pure beaten olive oil. That was to be for the lamps, and the eighth and last specification of the material was spices, perfumes that were to be for anointing. For instance he gives a prescription of the holy anointing oil, with olive oil as a base, and his directions will tell you just what spices to put in it and precisely what proportion; so many parts of one and so many parts of another. And they are not only commanded not to vary from that but they were never to make that holy anointing oil to be used for any secular purpose whatever. A king on his throne couldn't have as much made as would stick to his little finger.


The question says, give the materials and their value. Unfortunately we have no means of valuing all the materials that were used. There is one place in your lesson that gives you the weight, troy weight, of the gold, silver, and brass, and I can tell you what that was: 3,350 pounds, troy weight, of pure gold; 11,526 pounds, troy weight, of pure silver; 8,112 pounds of brass. The measure is given. A shekel was a weight or measure as well as a piece of money. They give it in shekels and these shekels converted into pounds, troy weight, and you can convert these pounds, troy weight, into dollars and cents so far as gold and silver are concerned, into the present worth.


5. How was this vast amount of materials obtained?


Ans. – Every bit of it was by voluntary contribution. Chapter 25 commences with the word of God to Moses to call upon the people to make an offering for the sanctuary. But God declines to take any offering unless it is a free will offering; it must be on the part of the willing heart. And when you turn over to read about how David got the material for erecting the Temple it is a most thrilling part of the Old Testament; the biggest contribution the world ever saw was collected. It is a fine thing to preach on, and a good suggestion to preachers when building a sanctuary for the Lord to take contributions from the willing heart.


6. Who were the artificers that made all these things, and how were they qualified to make them?


Ans. – Some of the work was very delicate and required the greatest possible skill and nicety in construction. Exodus 31: "And the Lord spake unto Moses saying, See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship. And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiad the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee." Only two of them are mentioned by name.


7. What arts were implied in building this tabernacle?


Ans.– Well, you can see that they couldn't have cloths unless there were weavers and they would not have different cloths unless they had industries, and that precious stones couldn't be cut unless there was lapidaries; and wood couldn't be carved so beautifully unless there were skilled men in wood carving, and the structure couldn't be planned and carried out unless there were architects. Then there bad to be the most exquisite work on the high priest's garment – there was to be on the bottom or border a row of pomegranates and bells, a pomegranate and a little bell, then a pomegranate and a bell, and so on all around it. It bad to be the most perfect thing. Whenever the high priest moved the bells would ring, and he couldn't stop when he was performing the ceremonies in the most holy place. If the bells stopped ringing he would die instantly; and the people 'would keep praying on the outside as long as they heard the bells on the high priest's garments ringing. That shows that the high priest rings out to God the petition that they send up, and that shows the intercession. The bells in heaven upon his robe are always ringing, so he is praying for you all the time.


Now you see that to have the instruments to do all these things implied manufacturers; the jeweler's tools, the carving tools, and the brass; they must have foundries. Think of the number of arts, and what a tremendous change had taken place in these people after they went into Egypt. They were nomads, ranch people, cowboys till then; when they got to Egypt they learned agriculture, city building, architecture, all sorts of fine work, and now it is all brought out with them, and when they go to leave Egypt, the Egyptians are so glad to get rid of them, God put it in the hearts of the Egyptians to bestow on the Jews gold and silver and jewels, and that is where all this gold and silver comes from that they are using now to build the tabernacle.


8. Define the whole space of the court.


Ans. – Here the student should make a diagram and let that diagram show the relative places of the entire court, the heights of the curtain wall around that court and the gate of entrance and where the altar, i.e., the brazen altar, is placed, and where the laver is placed, and how they got into the holy place and then into the holy of holies. And he should show in that diagram just where Moses' place was, and where Aaron's place was, and the places all around that diagram of the court where the Levites were, and which of them on this side and which on that side, and then show the tribes camped around it; what three tribes on the north side, what three on the south, on the east and on the west. If you want to see a diagram so that you will have nothing to do but copy it, get (and every reader of this book ought to have what I have urged them to have) the Rand-MeNally's Atlas by J. L. Hurlbut. You ought to read what it has to say about every lesson that we have. And if you have the Hurlbut Atlas it gives you just the picture that I have drawn mentally and orally, showing the length, breadth, and height of the court; showing you where the gate is on the east; showing you just where Moses was to be, where Aaron was to be, where the Levites were to camp, and where the other tribes were to be placed – all around it; how big the tabernacle was, how big each division was, and how big the most holy place was in cubic measurement. The question is, Define the whole space of the court.


9. What are the tent divisions, and the sizes of the divisions?


Ans. – The tent was divided into two divisions, the holy place and the most holy place, and they were separated by what is called the veil of the Temple, but it came to be a tremendous thing in the Herodian Temple – seventy feet long and thirty feet wide, and four inches thick, and so woven that ten yoke of oxen couldn't tear it, and yet when Jesus died it was rent in twain from top to bottom. The sizes are given in the Atlas.


10. What were the contents of the most holy place?


Ans. – There were just two things in there, and don't you ever put anything else in there. These are the articles, viz.: the ark, which is one thing, and the mercy seat which rested right on top of it; of course, the mercy seat which rested right on top of it had its propitiatory place where the atonement was made, and the Cherubim of pure gold (of course, there were things in the ark – the witnesses: the pot of manna, Aaron's rod, the brazen serpent, and so on). But two things are in there – the mercy seat, which is on top of the ark: a chest with its contents inside, and the mercy seat resting on it.


11. How was the most holy place lighted?


Ans. – There was no light in it, but clouds of darkness: "a thick pavilion of darkness is my habitation." Whenever you get to the church in glory the expression, "There is no temple, there is no altar or shrine," doesn't mean the general structure about the shrines, just as the mercy seat on top of the ark constituted the shrine. When you get to the church in glory there is no shrine there. Why? Because the Lord God and the Lamb are the light thereof. Now down here in this tabernacle there was a shrine, the Cherubim) and the Shekinah signifying the presence of God.


12. Who enters, and how often, into the most holy place?


Ans. – The high priest only, and that only one time a year. Nobody could ever see the outside of what was in there. They couldn't see the outside of the ark nor the outside of the mercy seat. It was always carried, but it was carried covered. And the tent was first put up upon arriving at a camp and after the tent was put up the bearers of the ark carried it on the inside, and when they went out Aaron alone uncovered it. He was the only one that ever saw it.


13. What were the contents of the holy place, where were the contents set up, and what did they represent?


Ans. – Just three things were in there. There was the seven-branched golden candlestick; the light of that lamp was never allowed to go out at night. It was trimmed every morning and lighted every evening just before dark. That candlestick or lampstand was just one lampstand. The one that was in the Temple when Titus captured Jerusalem was carried to Rome as a trophy. Another thing in there was a table, and on the table six loaves of bread in one place and six loaves of bread in another place and a cup; in the third place, there was a little altar called the golden altar in contradistinction from the big one on the outside, the brazen altar. This altar was covered with gold and on that was the frankincense, or incense; the material is frankincense, and it became incense, going up when it was burning in a beautiful smoke and very fragrant. Now as you enter that division from the east, the right hand will be the north. Which one of the things do you out on the north? Do you put a table, a candlestick, or a golden altar? Which one do you put to the south, and which one in the center right opposite the veil that has to be lifted aside by Aaron once a year? The Atlas shows all this.


What do those three things represent?


Ans. – They represent the blessings of salvation by grace like the food and the spirit of prayer, as communicants get those spiritual blessings. That bread also represents the twelve tribes – shewbread – that is, it is bread for exhibition, very sacred, nobody was ever allowed to eat it. David did eat a piece once when he was very hungry and Jesus excused him under the circumstances (he was starving) though "He did eat the shewbread which was against the law." Now we have found out the contents of the holy place, and how they were set up, and what they represented.


14. Who enters the holy place (not the most holy place) and how often?


Ans. – Not the Levites. but the priests. The Levites had the run of the court) Aaron the most holy place, the priests the holy place, every day.


15. What are the contents of the court and their respective positions and signification?


Ans. – In the open court around the tent there were these things: (1) Near the east gate of the court was the brazen altar, the altar of burnt offering and sin offering. That was the altar of sacrifices. (2) Between that altar and the entrance into the holy place was the laver, a vessel containing water used by the priests in the ablutions necessary to the performance of their duties.


16. Who entered this court and how often?


Ans. – Aaron and his sons that constituted the priesthood, and the Levites – the whole tribe of Levi that served in the matters of the public worship. They all entered this court. Some of them were in there every day. There were daily offerings, one every morning and one every evening; so that was open all the time to Aaron or his sons or the Levites having special work to perform in there.


17. Where did the people come?


Ans. – They came to the gate in the east; they didn't get inside the gate except in case of their offerings. They brought their offerings to the altar before the tent of meeting.


18. Who were the ministers in the sacrifices and how were they set apart? Divide their respective duties of the court.


Ans. – Your lesson tells you all about that: that the ministers consisted of Aaron, the high priest, the priests, and the Levites; just exactly how each one of them was to be consecrated to office; the ritual, etc. Aaron does certain things, and he alone; the priests, certain things, and they alone; the Levites, certain things, and they alone.

 

 

XXVIII

 

(Return to Contents)

 

THE TABERNACLE (Continued)

 


1. What was the high priest's apparel, its use and meaning?


Ans. – Your book has a great deal to say about the clothing of the high priest but I shall confine my answer to only two articles of that apparel, viz.: the mitre and the ephod. The mitre was a headdress; towering, and on the front of it just over Aaron's forehead was a golden plate fastened to the mitre, and on that inscribed, "Holiness to the Lord." He was never allowed to exercise his high priestly functions unless he had that mitre on.


Now, the other portion of his dress that requires very particular mention is the ephod. The ephod was a garment, a vestment that had a hole cut in it like you see cowboys have in their blankets. It was put on by putting it over the head and the head coming up through that hole, and it came down to the knees. There was an inner robe of course, but I am talking about the ephod. It was carefully hemmed and embroidered around that hole so it wouldn't tear, just as a buttonhole is, to keep it from widening. At the bottom of the ephod were the pomegranates and little bells that I have told you about. And the bells were to ring all the time that the high priest was performing his functions. It was death to him if they stopped, and their sound was the indication to the people that the high priest's work was going on and they, on the outside, would pray as long as they heard the bells ringing. That is the ephod proper.


But that ephod had a breastplate, just a span square, at the shoulders; on the ephod was a hook, an ouch, on each side. This breastplate was just a span wide and on it four rows – three in a row – of very valuable jewels and each jewel had inscribed on it the name of one of the twelve tribes. So that whenever Aaron acted officially he carried over his heart, as a representative, the whole nation of Israel. The twelve tribes of Israel were there, carried on his heart.


The breastplate had two gold chains. The upper part of it had rings and the gold chains went up and fastened to the ouch, or hook, on the shoulder piece of the ephod. Having put on the ephod, he would then take up the breastplate by the two gold chains and hook it to the clasps on the ephod. That would let it drop down on his breast. Then the sides of the breastplate had rings and they were fastened to other hooks on the ephod and that kept it from falling forward, kept it in place.


Now, besides the twelve great jewels that represented the twelve tribes of Israel there were two other jewels, called the urim and thummirn. They went on the breastplate. I am not quite sure but that they were under the breastplate on the inside. The names, urim and thummirn, mean light and perfection. The use of the two particular jewels was to communicate with Jehovah. When the cloud would come down and rest over the tent to signify that Jehovah wanted to have a talk, the high priest would come into the holy place, and the communication would take place. Now, the two jewels Aaron would look at and how, I don't know and nobody else knows, but through those jewels as a medium, he would understand the communication that had been given to him. Hence a high priest's method of communicating with God was always through the urim and thummirn. Moses didn't do it that way, because he was a prophet. God spoke to him direct. But the high priest could only communicate with God through the urim and the thummirn. If he lost those jewels he couldn't talk with God.


Now, the ephod carrying the breastplate and the two precious stones, the urim and the thummim, was strictly an official robe; so that you often find in the accounts in the Old Testament the expression, "Get me the ephod." "What do you want with the ephod?" "I want to communicate with God." The ephod was the robe of communication. You read in the life of David that he went to where the high priest was and told him to put on his ephod and answer him certain questions. Well, the high priest put on the ephod, went up to the door of the holy place, propounded David's question, looked at the urim and the thummirn, understood the answer, and gave it to David. You read in the book of Judges that Gideon when he assumed to be king had an ephod made so that he could communicate with God. And you read in the prophet Hosea that Israel shall be a long time without a king, without an ephod, and without a prophet. They shall have no means of communicating with God. That is the condition of Israel this day. They have no Temple; they have no high priest; they have lost the urim and thummirn; they have no ephod; no way of communicating with God. Since they reject Christ, the only means of communication, they are shut off. So that the particular thing about the breastplate and its urim and thummirn is that it was a God-appointed means of communicating with the people through the high priest. He adopted a different method when he spoke with the prophets. A prophet was higher than a priest. The prophets communicated with God directly. There are other things about Aaron's dress, all the details of which had a meaning, but these are the great meanings of the dress of the high priest.


20. What were the regular times of service in this tabernacle?


Ans. – Here were the regular times: The daily services every morning and every evening; the sabbath services, that is, once a week; the monthly services, the monthly sabbaths, and the annual sabbaths. Those were the great festivals, three great festivals, and then the Jubilee sabbaths, and in connection with it there came the great Day of Atonement. Those were the regular times of service, but there were provisions for special times of services that I will not now discuss.


21. What the offerings and their meanings?


Ans. – 1 have to answer it so elaborately when I come to Leviticus, I only give now in general terms these offerings: Sin offerings, burnt offerings, eucharistic, or thank offerings; in a burnt offering, all of it had to be burned up. Now, a sin offering had to be burned, but every burnt offering was not a sin offering. I give you this example: If a man wanted to consecrate his whole life to God and brought an offering, that was a burnt offering. Now, that offering had to be burned to ashes on the brazen altar, to signify that God accepted that entire consecration. The sin offering was also burned. Nobody could eat a part of a sin offering. But certain parts of the eucharist, or thank offering, or peace offering, or meat offering could be eaten. Moses ate a certain part, and Aaron and his sons a certain part, and the Levites certain parts.


22. What was the ritual?


Ans. – The ritual is that set of rules that told them just how everything was to be done. Almost the whole book of Leviticus is ritual and the larger part of Numbers. For instance, it tells just how every particular offering must be offered. The ritual is the system of rules prescribed, the service and the order of the service in all of its parts.


23. What was the place of the sanctuary in the camp and order of encampment around it?


Ans. – I will answer that question more fully when we come to the book of Leviticus. We will suppose Israel is on a march and the cloud stops. As soon as the cloud stops Aaron and Moses stop. As soon as they stop, those carrying the furniture of the most holy place, that is, the ark and mercy seat, set it down there covered. And then the tent is put over it, and then all the arrangements are made about the various articles of the holy place and the court. Then the fence is put up, i.e., the court fence. Now, the Levites come in and camp on three sides, and every tribe knew just where it was to camp – one on the north side, one on the east, one on the west, and so on.


24. When was this tabernacle completed and what was the order of setting it up?


Ans. – In Exodus 39:42, we have this statement: "According to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so the children of Israel made all the work. And Moses saw all the work, and, behold, they had done it." Verse 32 of that chapter says, "Then was all the work of the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation finished and they brought all the material together before Moses." Now, the other part of the question was: The order of its setting up? That is explained to you in Exodus 40:1-8, 17, "And it came to pass in the first month in the second year [that is, since they left Egypt], on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was reared up. And Moses reared up the tabernacle." Then it tells how the tent was put up: "Then Moses took and put the testimony into the ark," brought the ark into its place and then all the other things into their places in order.


25. When was it anointed?


Ans. – It was anointed after the setting up, and Exodus 40: 9-11, tells about that anointing, that is, setting it apart. And this is what it says on that, "And thou shalt take the anointing oil and anoint the tabernacle and all that is therein and shall hallow it; and all the vessels thereof and it shall be holy, and thou shalt anoint the altar of the burnt-offering and all its vessels and sanctify the altar and it shall be an altar most holy." "Thou shalt anoint the laver; thou shalt bring Aaron and his sons and make them put on their official robes and anoint them. Thus did Moses."


26. When was it filled?


Ans. – As soon as it was set up and was get apart, and anointed, the record says (40:34), the cloud came down and filled the tent and the glory of it was such that Moses couldn't enter it. Then God says, "My glory sanctifies this tent." When we get to Leviticus 18, we learn that the tabernacle was sprinkled with blood as well as anointed with oil. Now, you will see from a careful reading of the last chapter of Exodus that a great many commandments are given, telling how things are to be done. Go to Leviticus and Numbers to find out how these orders given in the last chapter of Exodus are carried out. They are prescribed here and they tell you how it is to be done; the orders are given, but in Leviticus and Numbers they are carried out.


27. How dedicated?


Ans. – Now, although the cloud had filled the tent, you don't learn how that house was dedicated until you get to Numbers 7. Nearly all of Leviticus and about a third of Numbers ought to be studied with the last part of Exodus. I am going to close what I have to say on this by giving you a little subsequent history of this tabernacle. It went with the children of Israel through all their wanderings. When Joshua got over into the Holy Land he set it up at Shiloh and after awhile it was moved to Nob. There it was in David's time; then it went to Bethel; then in Solomon's time it was at Gibeon. David erected a new tent. He didn't make a new ark of the covenant and new altars and things of that kind, but he did make a new tent when he brought the ark up and put it in Jerusalem. Then he sent to Gibeon later on and that old tent that stood empty at Gibeon was brought but not set up, but just rolled up and when the Temple was built it was put in a chamber of the Temple and preserved, how long, I don't know.


28. Give the parallels of a later date.


Ans. – Well, just as that tabernacle was first prepared fully in all its materials, and these materials were brought together in one place, just so it was done with the Temple. So that when they started to put up the Temple they do so without the sound of hammer. Everything was so carefully prepared before it went up. Just as the church in glory will go up when the time comes. Every living stone will be thoroughly complete: body there, glorified; soul there, sanctified; no work to be done that day. It just goes into place by assembling. In my sermon on the church you will find just how the church in glory will be finally set up, and how that when our Lord built his church, John the Baptist prepared some of the material, which Jesus accepted; and Jesus prepared some of the material. But not all the work of the church was completed until Christ died. When he died he said, "It is finished." The church was completed.


But that church was not anointed until the day of Pentecost, just as the old tabernacle had to be anointed and the smoke came and filled it. So the church that Jesus built stood open after he left it. He was the guide in it. He was the Shekinah as long as he lived, but when he went away it stood open until the day of Pentecost, when, as Daniel says, the most holy place was anointed. The Spirit came down and filled that house just as the cloud filled the house that Solomon built, and the house that Moses built.


29. What was the position of the cloud with reference to this tabernacle and its signals?


Ans. – The normal place of the cloud was up in the air above the tabernacle. If the cloud moved, they moved, and they kept right under it. That was the normal place. If the cloud stopped, they stopped. So that one of the cloud's signals was its moving, or its stopping. Another one of the cloud's signals was its coming down and resting on the tent. That signified a communication was desired with the people through the priests. Then the high priest put on his ephod with his urim and thummirn, and went in to receive the communication. If a communication was wanted with Moses, he needed no ephod, since he was a prophet and talked direct with God.


30. What was the value of that cloud for light, shade, defense and guidance?


Ans. – All night the cloud up in the air was one great pillar of fire, brighter than all the electric lights of New York City. Night couldn't come up and touch them. Just think of it being forty years that they never saw the night. Then in the daytime the cloud spread out as a shade and kept the burning sun off them. The heat didn't smite them for forty years. Then the cloud by its movements infallibly guided them just exactly where to go. They didn't have to make any inquiries concerning the road they were to follow. They were to follow the cloud. They didn't have to ask about how soon to start next morning. They were just to wait on the cloud. If it didn't move, they were to stay right there if it was a year. The whole question was settled as to guidance by the cloud. How was it as a defense? Well, as enemies came, if the enemies were in the rear the cloud moved to the rear and got between them and the enemies with the black face of it toward the enemies. It had a black face and a light face. It would turn the light face toward the Israelites. It did that way when Pharaoh came up after them, and it looked to him like the blackest night the world ever saw, coming right between him and the Israelites, and it stayed there; Pharaoh couldn't see through the black part of the cloud that was throwing light over Israel, and the Israelites passed through the Red Sea; as soon as they were across the cloud rose up and went on ahead of the Israelites, and Pharaoh following when he got into the midst of the sea, he and his army were swallowed up.


31. What was the value of the sanctuary as a center?


Ans. – It was absolutely essential to hold this crowd together. Put three million people out and no center of unity and they will disintegrate; they will go in every direction, but no matter how many the people nor how far out the columns had to spread in marching and the herds had to go in grazing, all they had to do at any time was to look up; away yonder they could see, if in the daytime, the pillar of cloud, if at night, the pillar of fire.


32. What was the value of the sanctuary as an oracle?


Ans. – An oracle is a supernatural voice that answers questions and tells you what you are to do.


33. Where was the oracle and what was it?


Ans. – The most holy place is many times called the oracle, not because it was the oracle, t)ut because it was there that the oracle spoke. Nobody can estimate how much is the value of an infallible oracle. A case would come up that Moses would not know what to do. "Well, I will go and ask the oracle. I will ask God. God will tell me what to do." In the New Testament Jesus says, "While you are now asking me questions [they were firing questions at him all the time, and right then in that very discussion of his, Philip says, "Lord, this," and Thomas says, "Lord, this" and Jude says "Lord, this"] when the other Advacate comes, you shall ask me nothing. You will ask him. You will ask the Holy Spirit. I am going away and you think you will have nobody to answer your questions?" Disciples are interrogation points. They ask questions all the time and often very foolish questions, but Jesus patiently listened and answered, but when he went away that was the thing that troubled them: "Who will answer our questions?" "In that day when the Holy Spirit comes, you will ask me nothing. Just ask him," says Jesus.


34. How was a communication signified?


Ans. – If it was the high priest that was to ask a question, he would put on the ephod with the urim and thummirn and come to the Holy Place, and if the cloud was willing to hear him it would settle down and talk to him, and the same way with Moses, only Moses didn't use the urim and thummirn.


35. How was the answer obtained and give examples?


Ans. – If it was a priest wanting it, the answer was obtained through the urim and thummirn; I will give you some examples: I Samuel 23:9-12,-I Samuel 28:6; I Samuel 30:7-8; Hosea 3:4. All these are cases when questions were brought, the methods by which they were brought and how answers were obtained.


36. What was the relative value of this tent and all the other tents?


Ans. – A great many tents were necessary for three millions of people. I will let the psalmist answer that question. He says, "The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the tents of Israel." That tent was worth all the rest of them put together. Without that tent the others would not stand. It was not only the center of unity and the place where the oracle spoke and by which they were defended and guided, but it was the place of God's presence.


37. What description and explanation the best?


Ans. – About the best I know is found in Rand-McNally's Atlas of the Bible. If you had that book you could turn to a certain page and see the picture of the whole tabernacle, see the diagram showing you just how every tribe camped, where Moses stood, where Aaron stood, etc.

 

 

THE BOOK OF LEVITICUS

 

I

 

(Return to Contents)

 

PREPARATORY STUDIES – THE SINAITIC COVENANT

 


1. What is the theme of this chapter?


Ans. – The covenant at Sinai. (A connective chapter preparatory to the study of Leviticus.)


2. What is a covenant?


Ans. – A voluntary agreement between two parties, under stipulations binding either party, having been duly ratified.


3. In general, how many and what covenants are there?


Ans. – Two: the Old and the New.


4. Where is the Sinaitic covenant found?


Ans. – Exodus 19:1 to 24:11.


5. What is this part of Exodus called?


Ans. – The book of the covenant.


6. What kind of a covenant was the Sinaitic covenant?


Ans. – National.


7. Who were the two parties in it?


Ans. – God and national Israel.


8. What further may be said as to the kind of covenant it was?


Ans. – A theocratic covenant, or a covenant of which God, the party of the first part, fixed the terms and national Israel, the party of the second part, accepted them.


9. This covenant was a development of what?


Ang. – One of the two covenants made with Abraham.


10. What were the two covenants made with Abraham?


Ans. – The grace covenant and the earth or temporal covenant.


11. Where are these two covenants found?


Ans. – The grace covenant is found in Genesis 12; 22; the earth or temporal covenant, in Genesis 15; 17.


12. What three New Testament books expound the difference between them?


Ans. – Galatians, Romans, and Hebrews.


13. What is the difference in the time of each of the covenants with Abraham and the covenant at Sinai?


Ans. – The Sinaitic covenant was 430 years after the grace covenant and 401 years after the temporal or circumcision covenant.


14. Of which covenant is the covenant at Sinai a developments?


Ans. – Of the earth or temporal covenant.


15. What were the purposes of the Sinaitic covenant?


Ans. – (1) Negatively: Not to justify or give life. (2) Positively: (a) A schoolmaster unto Christ; (b) To discover sin, as a mirror, (c) To provoke to sin, i.e., to reveal a deprived nature by provoking to sin in the spirit of disobedience, (d) Tutor till Christ, the object of faith, came. (e) In its ceremonial part to typify the new covenant in Christ.


16. When was the ceremonial part abrogated?


Ans. – See Colossians 2:14.


17. Where was the Sinaitic covenant given?


Ans. – At Sinai in Arabia.


18. Of what did the giving of this covenant consist?


Ans. – (1) God's proposition and their acceptance of it; (2) The preparation for it; (3) The signal by which they were assembled; (4) The covenant itself; (5) The stipulations of the covenant; (6) The covenant accepted; (7) The covenant ratified; (8) The feast of the covenant.


19. What are the three constituent parts of this covenant?


Ans. – (1) The moral law, or God and the normal man Exodus 22:1-7; (2) The law of the altar, or God and the sinner, Exodus 20:24-26; (3) The civil code, or God and the state, Exodus 22:11023:33.


20. Leviticus, and much of Numbers are a development of what part of the covenant at Sinai?


Ans. – The altar.


21. What does this part of the covenant foreshadow?


Ans. – The new covenant in Christ.


22. What are the essentials of approach to God?


Ans. – (1) A place; (2) A sacrifice; (3) A mediator; (4) Times to approach God; (5) A ritual prescribing everything; (6) A provision for the priesthood.


23. Where do we find the account of the writing, reading, accepting, and ratifying of this covenant?


Ans. – Exodus 24:1-8.


24. What was the feast of the covenant?


Ans. – This was the feast which was celebrated by Moses, Joshua, Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel as representatives of Israel on the one part and God on the other. Exodus 24:9-11.


25. What was the witness of the covenant?


Ans. – God's copy which was kept in the ark.

 

 

II

 

(Return to Contents)

 

INTRODUCTORY STUDIES – HISTORICAL

 


This chapter commences with the book of Leviticus. In commencing the Old Testament there were three chapters given as an introduction, one on an Introduction to an "Interpretation of the English Bible," one on the whole Old Testament and one on the historical introduction to the Pentateuch, considered as one book, and indeed it is but one book with five parts; hence the name, Pentateuch, a fivefold book. And yet when we commence each particular book, we devote some time to the historical introduction answering such questions as these: Who wrote this book? Where did he write it? Under what circumstances? To whom and for whom did he write? and matters of that kind. So the chapter commences with this question:


Who wrote the book of Leviticus? And the answer is, God is the author of this book, through Moses. More than any other book in the Bible it consists of the words of God, and in almost every instance, as in beginning certain parts of every section, it says, "And God spake to Moses." Then follows that section giving the words of God. Fifty-six times in the twenty-seven chapters is that declaration made, "And God said to Moses." Not only this but the Old Testament references to this book after we get out of the Pentateuch ascribe it to God through Moses, just as this book itself ascribes it to God through Moses. I could take a great deal of space citing passages to show this but will give only two well-known passages illustrating and establishing the divine and at the same time the Mosaic authorship. The first passage of the Old Testaments is in I Samuel 21:6. There we find an account of David, in violation of the law of Moses, eating the shewbread, but

that law of Moses concerning the shewbread is found only in the book of Leviticus. The second reference is to the land sabbath, including those passages in the prophets. The law of the land sabbath was, that every seven years the land should lie idle. No man should plant a crop and God would make the crop of the sixth year twofold, and the land sabbath came on the year following. The Israelites did not obey this law and in consequence the prophets tell us that they had to go into bondage long enough for the land that had not been allowed to rest to have time to rest. When we come to the New Testament references, which are very numerous, I shall ask you to read in Matthew 8 where our Lord says to the leper he had just cleansed, "Go and shew thyself to the priest and offer according to Moses' law, etc." But that law of Moses concerning the leper is found only in the book of Leviticus, yet Jesus calls it the law of Moses. Then in the Matthew 14 our Lord speaks of the curse of the law of Moses that rests on the child for cursing his parent. That law is to be found in Leviticus, yet Jesus calls it the law of Moses. It is also to be found in Exodus. Finally, in the New Testament almost the whole of the letter to the Hebrews is devoted to the exposition of the book of Leviticus and in every case it ascribes the authorship to God through Moses. Now, you may wonder why I should be so particular to establish a point that seems to be so thoroughly evident. My reason is that modern historical criticism disputes the authorship and date of all that part of the Pentateuch contained in Exodus about the setting up of the tabernacle and all the Levitical references to it in the book of Numbers. They affirm loudly and blatantly that all that part of the Pentateuch was written after the return of the Babylonian exile and by some nameless person. If you were in the Divinity School in Chicago, they would teach you that the Pentateuch was not written by Moses. Even when Christ says it is the law of Moses they say Christ is simply mistaken.


The next question is, Where was this book written? And here again we have clearer testimony on the "where" than on the "place" of any other book in the Bible. It expressly says these words, "God spake to Moses at the door of the tabernacle in Mount Sinai." Everything that the book says with reference to that point is just as clear as to the authorship, and an utter disproof that the entire book of Leviticus was written by one who returned from exile after the Babylonian captivity. To my mind, it is a most amazing thing in modern days that men can assume that in teaching such a thing they are not harming the Bible. They say the man that wrote all these parts of the Pentateuch ascribe it to God through Moses in order to give it credibility. Then that man must have knowingly lied, and the book of Leviticus is from its first sentence a fraud, and if that does not destroy the integrity and its authority, I am no judge. I have not a particle of respect for those who say these things. They do not bring up one iota of historical proof.


Dr. Harper, when president of the University of Chicago, denied that Moses wrote anything, saying that he was too busy a man to be writing books. He himself claimed to be a pretty busy man and he wrote some, but Moses was so much inferior to him that he could not do that. The poison of this criticism has crept into nearly all the commentaries of the present time. It is my business to caution you, book by book, as we go on, as to what commentaries are not safe. Many were written by semi-infidels. Take such a commentary as "The Expositors' Commentary" and only two or three volumes in it ought to be put into the students' hands. The volume on Leviticus is a good commentary. I wouldn't say that about Exodus, or Numbers, or about Deuteronomy, but I do say that in "The Expositors' Commentary" you may safely study the volume on Leviticus. Most of the volumes reek with the poison of this historical criticism. You may then ask how they are able to pick up the Pentateuch and cut it up and say that one part of it was written about the time of Josiah, the King of Judah, and another part was written at a later date and a greater part written by somebody at the return of the exiles; where they find in history, either sacred or profane, any authority for which they may have a better way of finding out, is the question. "We judge from the book and from the style of the book," they say. Now, some sort of respect might be had for their contentions if but two of them out of their consciousness evolved the same thing, but no two agree. If there were any sound principle underlying the contention, then the body of them would agree.


One of the objects of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is to raise a breakwater that shall hurl back the tide of this teaching that is already creeping down into our Southland which destroys the faith of the people in the Word of God. I hope no reader will ever inflict upon himself the painstaking examination of all of their foolishness as I have done.


Now we have answered two questions: Who wrote this book, and where he wrote it? Now I give an outline of the book: Section 1. Chapters 1-7 is a discussion of the offerings or sacrifices. In the approach to God, first, there must be a place to meet God; second, there must be a means of coming before God, the offering or sacrifice; third, there must be mediators who represent and stand between the offerer and God, and those are the priests; then there must be a time when the offerings are to be made. The covenant at Sinai consists, first, of the moral code, or God and the normal man; second, all of Leviticus is based on the law of the altar, or God and the sinner, and the third division is God and the state, or the civil code. Leviticus has very little to say about that; it has something to say, but not just now. We are on the first section of the book, offerings or sacrifices. Where must the sinner come? What must he bring in his hand? With what offering did the Israelite come?


Section 2. Chapters 8-10 are devoted to an account of how Aaron and his sons were consecrated and set apart for their offices. So you see that tells one how to approach God. The sinner cannot come directly to God. Now, if he must not come directly to God he must have representatives and they must be set apart to do this representative work. So three chapters are devoted to an account of how Aaron and his sons were consecrated, or set apart for their offices.


Section 3. You will wonder why I take chapter 16 now, but I do it for a chronological reason. I am intensely desirous that you should be great in your service of our Master, and if I had to put my finger upon that part of Leviticus upon which you must make no mistake, it would be chapter 16. Why? Because that tells you what takes place on the Great Day of Atonement. When we get to it, I will try to fix it so nobody can ever fool you about the day of atonement.


Section 4. We go back and take some chapters we passed over, 11-15. Now, of what does this section consist? It is the section which makes the distinction between clean and unclean meats of every kind. That is brought in there because the author has previously considered the offerings. If the offering is to be made in order that it may be made by authority, somebody must describe that offering. One cannot bring the meat of a dog and offer it to God; he cannot bring the meat of a buzzard to God. There were certain beasts that were called clean beasts and certain fowls that were called clean fowls. Now, this section tells about those clean and unclean meats. A person likes to allegorize and it is a great faculty to have the power to discuss things allegorically, if he does not do it as I heard a preacher once, who was very ignorant but one of the greatest pulpit men I ever knew. He says, "My brethren, the animal that you offer must divide the hoof and must chew the cud; the rabbit chews the cud but it has not a hoof; the hog has a hoof but it does not chew the cud. To illustrate, in spiritual things, the difference between Campbellites and Baptists, I will tell you what I saw. I was walking through a field one day and saw tracks; all these tracks were made by divided hoofs, and I followed these tracks until they all came to the water and there noticed the difference, for some of the tracks went into the water where the animals wallowed in the mud but some of them did not. Then I followed them until they came up to a tree; one was sheep and they were standing there in the shade chewing their cud, and the others were hogs, and the hogs were looking at the sheep and they tried to do that but they couldn't do it, and I says, 'Why didn't they chew the cud?' Why, they didn't have any to chew. Now, that is the way it is about the Christian experience. The Campbellites and Baptists make tracks very much alike, but when it comes to the Christian experience, the Campbellite does not tell it because he does not have any to tell." He was an uneducated man but his talking told; it cut.


Section 5. This consists of chapter 17, and contains two leading thoughts. It tells where the sacrifices must be brought, and then it has a prohibition against blood, that is, a prohibition against eating the blood of the sacrifice.


Section 6. We start with chapter 18 and go to 21:15. This is a group of special laws and is a repetition of the law that we have already had in Exodus. In this section, or a good part of it, is a discussion of God and the state.


Section 7. This commences with 21:16 and ends with chapter 22. There are two thoughts in it. One is concerning the priests and their qualifications, and the other is concerning priests and the sacrifices, or what the priests shall eat.


Section 8. This consists of chapter 23, and this is the second most important chapter in Leviticus. It treats of the great annual feasts with which we have so much to do. When we come to the New Testament, as the opening of Acts commences with Pentecost, so we have Pentecost and all others here, including the Passover feast and the Tabernacles.


Section 9. This is the smallest in the book, chapter 24:1-9. It has simply some details with reference to the lampstand and the shewbread that we learn about in the book of Exodus.


Section 10. This is the rest of chapter 24, and here we come upon a piece of history – an account of a terrible tragedy; how the man that blasphemed was put to death and how that touches God.


Section 11. This consists of chapters 25-26 and its subject is, first, the land sabbath and, second, the Jubilee sabbath. I have been accustomed to rate it at about the fourth most important part of Leviticus. The land sabbath and the Jubilee sabbath are important because of the deep spiritual significance of them. The greatest tragedy that ever came upon a nation came upon the Jews for neglecting their land sabbath.


Section 12. This embraces chapters 27-28, and is devoted to vows and tithes.


That is an analysis of the book. You must get the analytical method. You ought to be able to take the Bible book by book and mentally reduce it to an analysis and show the relation of each part to the other. By this method it is more easily remembered and more easily discussed. I was challenged once at an institute to give in ten minutes an intelligent and interesting account of the book of Leviticus, and I gave it in less than ten minutes.


It is intensely important for you to understand this book. It gives in object lessons how a sinner had to come before God by means of ceremony and ritual. The New Testament will tell you the significance of all this, that is, that they were under tutors; "this is allegorical," says Paul. Before Christ came, they observed these Levitical laws, but after Christ, the object of faith, came, they were done away, nailed to the cross and we need not get back into the shadowy types of things. You will also understand the case of the people with whom Moses had to do. They came out of Egypt from two hundred and ten years' servitude as slaves, with their spirits broken, and to take hold of them was just like it would be to take hold of the children of savages. They had to be taught by object lessons. By object lessons they could be made strong. You put a child in a kindergarten that you may teach him by object lessons. God wanted to impress upon their minds some great lessons, so he used these object lessons. What are the two kinds of offerings? Those that are bloody and those that are not bloody? When Abel came before God he offered the bloody. Cain did not offer the bloody offering. Cain's offering would have done very well if it had been preceded by the bloody offering. This classification gives a general distinction. Now, I will give you these offerings in another way. First, the most important are what are called the burnt offerings, that is, the clean burnt offerings. They were to be consumed by fire, either in whole or in part, and these burnt offerings are spoken of in the Bible with great specializing as to whether the whole or a part of them should be burned. The next come what are called meat offerings; third, peace offerings, then (fourth) sin offerings. The sin offerings were burnt offerings, but all burnt offerings were not sin offerings.


Note particularly certain things that must always take place in presenting some of these offerings, and most of them in every one of the offerings. I will recite them: (1) Where must they be brought to make the offering? The answer is, To the door of the tabernacle. Now, in Exodus we have it mapped out clearly for us. At the east door of the tabernacle, into the enclosure; there is where they brought the offerings. You ought to carry the picture in your mind of the whole tabernacle structure. So the question is, Where must these offerings be brought? They must be brought to the door of the court of the tabernacle. (2) The one who brings it presents it and reaches out and puts his hand on it, or the laying on of hands. That laying on of hands indicates the transfer. Particularly is that the case in a sin offering, as the offering is to die for the offerer and directly for his sins. Now, we have found two things: first, it must be brought to the door of the tabernacle; second, the offerer must lay his hands on it; then, third, the killing of the offering by the offerer follows. These things take place in most of the cases, but not in all of them. But man himself must do the killing, just as our sins killed Jesus. Our sins nailed him to the cross. Next, is the burning of that offering, either in whole or in part. Finally, comes the sacrificial meal. Sometimes the priests partook of the sacrificial meal; sometimes the people who brought the offering, in which it was a kind of fellowship meal. Now, I say that those things are generally done in burning the offerings, but not every one in every case. And you will find the distinction set forth where there is an exception.


Now, it is of deep spiritual significance to find out just where to stop in bringing an offering. It is well to remember that in the New Testament. I used to practice archery when I was a boy and the competitors would draw the bow and let the arrows go, and if we saw the arrow going crooked, we would lean over as if our leaning would cause the arrow to come nearer the mark. Every one can shoot the arrow, but after it is shot, we cannot change its course by anything we do. So we cannot come before God except we start right and then follow God's plan. This is clearly outlined in the book of Leviticus.


Now we will bring out another point, viz.: this Levitical law says that you can't send your offering; you must bring it in person. The father cannot bring the son's offering; the wife, oh, how often, wishes to bring the offering for her wicked husband! but she cannot. This one fundamental doctrine shows that every step is individual. You repent for yourself, and you must believe for yourself; you turn right about-face for yourself and you are baptized for yourself. I say to you that you have made a great beginning when you study and fix in your mind where you are to stop when making an offering.


 QUESTIONS

 

1. Who is the author of Leviticus?

 

2. Of what does the book consist?

 

3. What can you say of the Old Testament references to the book?

 

4. Give two of these references and their bearing on. the authorship of the book.

 

5. What can you say of the New Testament references to the book?

 

6. Give three examples.

 

7. Why emphasize this question?

 

8. Where was the book written?

 

9. What do the higher critics say about it?

 

10. How do they assume to find out?

 

11. Do they agree among themselves?

 

12. What does this show?

 

13. What commentary commended?

 

14. Give outline of the book.

 

15. Give a general classification of offerings. Give example of each.

 

16. Give a more specific classification.

 

17. What in general are essential in making offerings?

 

18. What is the signification of laying the hands on the head of the offering?

 

19. What is the signification of the offerer's killing the offering?

 

20. What is very important to learn in connection with the subject of


offerings?

 

21. What one thing is absolutely necessary in every offering?

 

 

III

 

(Return to Contents)

 

OFFERINGS Leviticus 1-7

 


I make some general statements that apply to those books of the Pentateuch before Leviticus. In sacrifices of every kind, we commence with the fundamental idea of vicarious expiation. Vicarious means "in the place of another," a substitute dying for another. The next advance in thought is the atonement that is made in heaven based upon the blood that he shed here upon earth. The next thought is, how the blood of the expiatory sacrifice is applied to the sinner. The next is, that but once is the expiatory blood ever sprinkled on the mercy seat; after that, it is sprinkled just outside the most holy place. There are sins that a man commits after Christ's blood is applied, and for these sins there are offerings and the application to the forgiveness of sins; those particular offenses and all of these things are presented in this book and afterward realized in the New Testament idea.


First of all the offerings is the vicarious offering, simply because every other one depends on that. You couldn't offer what is called a thank offering unless there had first been an expiatory offering based upon which the thank offering can be offered. One cannot offer a peace offering unless it is based upon the idea of an expiation that has preceded that peace offering. The fundamental idea then is the expiatory sacrifice of the substitutionary victim.


The word "burnt offering" is a very comprehensive term. A burnt offering may be a sin offering, it may be a consecration offering, it may be a meal offering or it may be a peace offering. Then the burnt offering may be burnt in whole or in part. In the case of a sin offering it is always burnt, every make his offering. Now, poor people could not have offered pigeon. Why? Why that variety? So that every one could bit of it; so in the consecration offerings; in others only a part is burnt. So it is very easy to get your mind confused on the burnt offering.


The next thought in connection with the burnt offering is, where it is burned. There are only two places where the burnt offering can be burned. If it is a sin offering as well as a burnt offering, it is all burned outside the camp; but if it is a consecration burnt offering, or of that kind, the burning is always on the brazen altar of sacrifice.


Now, let us take up the idea of the burnt offering which is for the purpose of consecration. These offerings, or consecrations, are of great variety. I will tell you why directly. One might offer a bullock, a goat, a sheep, a turtledove, or a young a bullock when they wanted to consecrate themselves unto God; it was more than they were able to pay. It is an indication of the extreme poverty of our Lord's family that when they went to consecrate him they could not bring any more than a pair of turtledoves. The object of the variety is to. enable everybody to make an offering, whether rich or poor.


The next thought in this connection is, that this must always be a whole offering, not a part. If one was rich enough to offer a bullock, he must offer the whole bullock and the whole bullock was burned. If he was so poor that he could only offer turtledoves, he never presented half of the turtledove or pigeon, but presented the whole dove, the whole pigeon.


The next thought is the last on the consecration offering, viz.: that no life can be consecrated unless it has first been saved; therefore, I say expiation comes first. Now leaving the expiation idea, let us see what is the thought. When a man is saved, saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, what is the first question for him? It is that his entire life and everything that he has is to be consecrated to God. This is the first thought. That was the thought when Jesus was presented in the Temple and when the appearance of the turtledoves indicated the consecration. Everything that he had was laid upon the altar of God.


Now let us look at an era of Texas history. All of you who live in Texas have doubtless heard George Truett's sermon on consecration. I am sure he has preached it a hundred times. The idea is the giving up wholly to God after you are first saved; that you cannot give your sinful nature to God, but if the blood of Christ has cleansed you, then you can come before God. That is what this Levitical law requires. He was to bring the turtledoves and the whole of them was to be put upon the altar.


Now let us look at the ritual for the consecration offering. When one made that offering, first of all he laid his hands upon it. That indicates the idea of the transfer of his sins to the victim; it also indicates that his faith laid hold on that victim for what was done for him in that offering. In the New Testament times, you will see that the laying on of hands came to signify the imparting of the Holy Spirit.


What was done with the expiatory blood? That was carried into the most holy place and sprinkled on the mercy seat. What was done with the blood of the victim in the consecration offering? It was never carried and sprinkled on the mercy seat, because it was based on the expiation, but it was sprinkled on the sides of the brazen altar. Now, get these significant thoughts in your mind. This is to show that one must offer to God, without any mental reservation whatever, an entire consecration of affection, of talents, of money, of everything that he has. That is why Brother Truett preached that sermon so much. He saw the little things that Christians were doing, and the ease with which they go along, and he wanted to preach that fundamental sermon which would show them that if they were God's children then they were called upon to lay upon the altar themselves and everything that they had. As Paul says about the churches of Macedonia, that they first gave themselves and then gave their contribution. A contribution without giving yourself doesn't count.


Now, let us get the idea of fire, the burning, that is, God's acceptance of the consecration. When the fire consumes utterly the whole of the burnt offering that is laid upon the altar, that fire represents the idea of God's acceptance and appropriation of the consecration of the entire life. Take, for example, the marvelous scene that occurred in the days of Elijah. The people assembled to determine who was the true God, Jehovah or Baal. The priests of Baal built their altar and laid their sacrifices on it, and then from morning till evening prayed: "0 Baal, hear us; now if Baal be God, let him send down the fire and show that he accepts it." Elijah wanted to show them the difference in the case of Jehovah. So when he had prepared the altar and laid the victim on it, he had barrels of water poured on the victim until the water filled the trenches around the altar of Jehovah. If Jehovah had fire hot enough to consume it, he was surely God. When he prayed, "0, Jehovah, hear us," fire came down and devoured the sacrifice and licked up the water out of the trenches. The significance of the fire is that it is God's acceptance of the offering.


The next thought is that which takes place when the smoke of the offering goes up. When you come to the New Testaments Paul says that when they made their offerings it was a sweet savour unto God (Philippians 4:18).


Now let us take up the next burnt offerings, i.e., the meal offerings. This is not the consecration offering. This consists, as to its materials, of an agricultural product of one kind or another. And when they were brought up and put upon the altar, what is meant by it? It means that, as the whole life was consecrated to God in the consecration offerings, in this one the idea is service. First, we have expiation, then consecration, then service, and these thoughts presented in the book of Leviticus are of real value. If you were to go to preach a sermon on this, you would divide it thus: First, expiation, then atonement, then the consecration of the entire life which has been saved, then service.


There is another distinction between the meal offering and the consecration offering, viz.: that it is intended by the meal offering to make a contribution to the ministers of religion, priests in those times, preachers in these times; that it is a reasonable service of saved men, consecrated men, devoted to service, to minister carnal things to those who minister unto them spiritual things. So, a large part of the offering went to the priest, and to show the application of it in the New Testament Paul says that they went up to the altar and partook of the things of the altar. So God has ordained that those who preach the gospel should live of the gospel. In the last chapter of Leviticus there is this addition made, viz.: the tithe of all that God had given them, and that tenth, or tithe, was for keeping up the worship, or service of God. The peace offering must never precede the expiation. There is no peace with God until the sins are expiated. The peace offering is not all burned, only a part of it. The object of the peace offering was not to obtain peace. In other words, the peace offering relates to peace because of expiation, and Paul translates that idea into the New Testament language, "Being justified by faith, let us have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." The justification is based on the expiation. There is no such thing as peace, spiritual peace with God, until first there has been justification and atonement and God has declared one justified. In this peace offering we come also to the idea of fellowship. Here the people share with the priest in eating of what is not burned. Only certain parts are burned; the other parts are kept for a feast and the people come up and eat with the officers and the priests in this.


We now come to a distinction in what are called sin offerings. In burning the offerings known as the sin offerings, if one was a king or a priest, he had to make a greater offering than if he had been one of the common people. Why is that? Now, just think about it. It means that if a king's son sins or if the preacher sins, it is a greater offense than if any one else sins, because he occupies a higher position. It is required that those who bear the vessels of God should be holy. I heard a preacher say that he had as much right to do wrong as any one in his congregation. Perhaps he did, but the responsibility on that preacher to abstain from doing wrong is stronger than on a member of his congregation and he is held to a stricter and larger account.


I now call your attention to this feature of the sin offering, viz.: the Old Testament makes it perfectly clear that a sin offering must be made for a sin of which the person is unconscious; for sins that are unwittingly done. I heard a Methodist preacher give a definition of sin. He said, "Sin is a voluntary transgression of a known law." I told him to strike out "voluntary" and strike out "known" and even then he would not have a true definition of sin. Suppose that a little child steps on a red-hot iron, does the child's unwitting act or ignorant act keep that hot iron from burning its foot? You hold out a candle before a baby; it looks pretty and he will reach out and grab it and is burned. The law of nature is fixed. Now you apply that to the spiritual world. Law is not a sliding scale; law is a fixed thing; a thing is right or a thing is wrong, utterly regardless of whether we know it to be right or know it to be wrong. David offers this prayer: "Cleanse thou me from secret faults." Not faults that he is keeping secret, but of which he is utterly unconscious.


And it is in this connection that I must speak of a very important matter of which Leviticus does not treat at all, viz.: the sin for which no offering can be made. We learn about it when we come to Numbers. The soul that doeth right in ignorance, an atonement shall be made for that sin; the soul that doeth ought presumptuously, no atonement can be made for that sin. If we sin wilfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin but the certain fearful looking for judgment. Now, Jesus taught that a certain kind of sin is an eternal sin. It never has forgiveness, neither in this world nor in the world to come. That does not mean that some sins are forgiven here and some over yonder, but that God may forgive sins as for eternity and yet chastise the sinner here upon earth. When we come to the New Testament, particularly, to discuss the unpardonable sin, the sin for which there is no provision for forgiveness, I will show you how easily one may become possessed with the idea of committing the unpardonable sin.


I received a letter from a soldier in the regular army last year. He said, "I have never met you but I have heard that you have studied the Bible a great deal. I am in deep trouble. I have knowingly and wilfully committed sin." Then he quoted that passage, "If we sin wilfully." And he says, "Have I not committed the unpardonable sin?" I wrote him that his trouble arose from misunderstanding the kind of knowledge that meant; that it did not mean a sin against intellectual knowledge. The unpardonable sin is a sin against spiritual knowledge. Paul says that he sinned ignorantly, and that did not mean that he was intellectually ignorant of the Old Testaments, but he meant that he did not have the spiritual light that points to Jesus Christ.


The only way in which a man can commit the sin for which there is no atonement to be made is in a case like this: We will suppose that a great meeting is in progress, in which the power of God is marvelously displayed; in which the people of God are praying; in which the presence of God is felt in their gathering by any Christian. If, while preaching is going on in such a meeting and Jesus Christ is held up, a sinner is impressed by the Spirit of God that the preacher is telling the truth, that he (the sinner) is a lost soul, and that Jesus is his appointed Saviour, and he, under that spiritual knowledge, feels impressed to make & movement forward and accept Christ and turns away from that spiritual knowledge and says "No," deliberately, maliciously, and wilfully walking away from it, that is the unpardonable sin. I heard a preacher once, when he saw a boy and girl laughing, accuse them of committing the unpardonable sin. I thought he was committing a great sin to make such accusation. Now, I have discussed the sin for which there is no offering. I have brought it in here because I don't want to discuss it twice.


Suppose I should ask this question: What is the difference between the sin offering and the trespass offering? I will mention one; it is not all. Suppose a man in ancient times killed another one, the sin offering was made; suppose he stole $100 from a man, then he brought the trespass offering; one is called a sin offering and the other, trespass offering. In the trespass offering, one has to make restitution before he gets forgiveness. He can't restore if he has killed a man; but if he has stolen money, if it is in his power, he must give the money back. Shakespeare asks this question: "Can a man be pardoned and retain the offence?" If he slips into your room and appropriates a piece of your property and goes off and says, "God forgive me," God says, "Go and put the property back." In the sin offering, there is no restitution on his part; there, the great sacrifice of Jesus is the one; but here is something he can do.


Now, who can answer this question: What denomination insists most on restitution where one has committed the trespass? I am sorry that I cannot say that it is the Baptists. It is the Roman Catholics. Just; let any one come and confess to a priest and want absolutionω1 don't believe in confessing to a priest, but let that man come there and make that confession – and that priest will insist on restitution before he will absolve him; no way to get out of it.


How is it with most people on that matter? They are ashamed to make restitution, because restitution exposes them. They often do it secretly. For instance, a man by unrighteousness, by burdening a thousand hearts, by bringing desolation into a thousand homes, will acquire an immense fortune. He does not feel right about it and wants to ease his conscience. He won't come out and say, "I did wrong," but he says, "I will give to one of the religious denominations, or I will build a church, or I will establish some good charity." Do you know that a unique part of American history illustrates that part of the case? That is the conscience fund. The United States had to establish a conscience fund. They get so many letters of this kind unsigned: "I robbed the government by withholding a tax that was due. I should have paid it. My conscience so lashes me under religious conviction that I am compelled now to put that money back." Now, this same conscience fund has assumed enormous proportions. Men feel that they do not want to come out and make a confession. They do not come out and say, "Mr. A and Mr. B confess to have stolen from the government." It is a fine thing in America that conscience takes hold of us.


Now, study the difference in the trespass offering and the sin offering and you will see that in the case of the trespass offering there must be restitution not only in the law which was broken but fourfold. Zaccheus in the New Testament times says, "Lord, if I have wronged anybody, I restore it fourfold," which is a reference to this law. As I have borne testimony to the fidelity of the Roman Catholics, I will tell you an amusing thing in literature. One of the greatest historic romancers was Sir Walter Scott, who wrote the book, The Betrothed. A certain castle was left in charge of a knight, to be held faithfully until the owner returned from the Holy Land. A certain number of Flemish people had come over from Flanders and had established a colony under the walls of the castle. When the old knight went out to fight his battle in which he thought he would die, he put this old Flemish man in charge of his castle. The priest distrusted the Flemish man. He believed the Fleming was about to receive overtures from the enemy. The danger was that they were about to destroy the castle. So they managed to get him to hold parley that if they would deliver a certain number of cattle, that he would consider opening the gates to them. The old priest disguised himself and heard the Fleming make that treaty and he determined to denounce him. The Fleming took the priest aside and said: "Father, I have a daughter, Rose. I got into financial trouble and I promised a man that I would give him my daughter if he would give me four hundred marks, and now I have received the four hundred marks and I don't want to give my daughter." "Sir, you must restore the four hundred marks." "Well, but, Father," he says, "those cattle you see coming yonder are the marks I received, the daughter Rose is this castle. Now, must I restore those cattle?" "No, you fool, the church makes a distinction in certain matters." And the priest was right in his interpretation, because to restore those cattle meant not being true to the trust of the old knight and was to restore that over which the Fleming had no jurisdiction. He was very much amazed that he did not intend to betray him.


Suppose a man is called in to witness in a court and gives false testimony and an innocent man is made to suffer. He dies on the gallows. Now, this man whose false testimony convicted him has come under conviction himself, spiritual conviction. That prisoner is dead and gone. He brings the case to a preacher. "Now, what must I do? I cannot restore that man's life." The preacher says, "No, but you can restore his reputation; you can take the shame off his wife and children, and you must come out. I cannot encourage you that God will save you if you do not come out openly before the world and admit your guilt." That illustrates the restitution idea; that if you cannot restore all and can restore part, you must restore all that you can.

 

QUESTIONS

 

1. Give a general statement applying to all the books of the Pentateuch touching sacrifices.

 

2. What of the signification of the blood sprinkled outside the most holy place?

 

3. What offering precedes all others and why?

 

4. What can you say of the sweep of burnt offerings?

 

5. What are the different kinds of burnt offerings?

 

6. What is the order of these offerings?

 

7. What of distinction in the burning?

 

8. Where were they burned?

 

9. What three characteristics of the consecration offerings?

 

10. Upon what must the consecration offering be based?

 

11. What modern preacher has a great sermon on consecration and what the main point?

 

12. What does the ritual prescribe for the consecration offering?

 

13. What of the signification of the laying on of hands?

 

14. What was done with the blood?

 

15. If an expiatory offering, where placed and why?

 

16. What of the signification of the fire in the consecration offering?

 

17. What Old Testament illustration of this idea of fire?

 

18. What does Paul gay of this from God's viewpoint?

 

19. What is the idea of the meal offering?

 

20. Give the scriptural order of the sacrifices.

 

21. What is the object in the meal offering?

 

22. What New Testament corresponds to this teaching?

 

23. What was added later to supplement the offerings?

 

24. In the peace offering, how much burned?

 

25. What was the object, negatively and positively?

 

26. In the case of the sin offering, how burned?

 

27. Where was the blood placed?

 

28. What distinction in the case of kings and priests, and why?

 

29. For what kind of sins were sin offerings made?

 

30. What is sometimes given as a definition of sin?

 

31. What words should be stricken from this definition?

 

32. Is this, then, a good definition, and why?

 

33. What great sin is not discussed in Leviticus?

 

34. What is that sin?

 

35. What distinction between sin offering and trespass offering?

 

36. What said Shakespeare on this point?

 

37. What denomination insists most upon this?

 

38. How is this with most people?

 

39. How do some attempt to make restitution?

 

40. How has Uncle Sam provided for this?

 

41. Give a New Testament reference to the law of the trespass offering.

 

42. What of the point in the illustration from Scott?

 

43. What of the relation of this law to the trespass offering to salvation. Illustrate.

 

 

IV

 

(Return to Contents)

 

CONSECRATION OF AARON AND HIS SONS Leviticus 8-10

 


The present chapter is on chapters 8-10 of the book of Leviticus. You will remember that in the latter part of the book of Exodus we have an account of the setting up of the tabernacle, its altar and much of its furniture, as the place where the sinner was to meet God. In the preceding chapters of Leviticus, that is, 1-7 inclusive, we have considered with what the sinner appears before God, that is, the offerings of the various kinds, the sacrifices. Now in chapters 8-9 of Leviticus we have the intermediaries, or those through whom the sinner appears before God, Aaron and his sons as priests, and these two chapters tell us about the consecration of Aaron and his two sons to this important office and all the ritual in connection with the ceremonies of the day, and chapter 10, which is the last of the lesson, tells us about the violation of the law by two of Aaron's sons and their consequent death by the hand of God, and thence follows a law, very important, relating to wine in connection with the priesthood. Now, I wish to call your attention to some preliminary observations.


Neither Aaron nor his sons in the priesthood, nor Moses in the leadership, nor Joshua in the captainship, nor any one of them took the honor of the position upon himself, but God appointed these men to this particular service, and they all apply to the New Testament as well as to the Old Testament. A man cannot decide for himself alone that he is to be a minister of Jesus Christ. He has to be, first, spiritually impressed that he is called to preach, but there is a judge that must pass upon that call and ordain men. Some of the saddest things in the history of religion have been the mistakes on the part of a particular people about taking the honor of the office of Christ's ministry unto themselves. They have said, "I have been called to preach. If I preach I will baptize people," and they go out as free lances and they bring great confusion in the camps of God.


I know one noted case where a man decided he had all the right to decide these things for himself and ignored all church authority in the matter. He is now the worst "played out" man I ever saw. Just three years ago I received an exceedingly sad letter from an old man, sixty-seven years old. He said, "In my early days I felt called of God to preach. I didn't believe that churches or anybody else had any 'say-so' about it. I went out and preached and they heard me, but after awhile they became tired of me and dropped me. I am too old now to preach, but I need to be taken care of." I wrote back to him that the plea had come too late; that we were not justified in taking care of a man now that had never before called upon the church or God's people to help him. There was no remedy for his condition.


My next general observation is that the method of this service was also appointed of God. In chapter 10 we are to consider the awful tragedy that came upon Aaron's two sons because they disregarded God's law relating to the way of coming before him for the people. The next thing to determine is, what was the place of the consecration of Aaron and his sons? It was at the door of the tent of meeting. It was a very solemn occasion and a matter that did not concern Aaron and his sons alone, because they were in their offices to act as representatives, and so the entire congregation of Israel was brought together not only to witness but to participate in the setting apart of these men for their office. That was the place and the method.


Now, what was brought to be used in this consecration? There were brought the offerings, or sacrifices, that were to be employed in the consecration service, and all the holy vestments that these men were to wear as representing God.


The next question is, What were the steps or preparation in the consecration of Aaron and his sons? First, they were bathed; second, they were arrayed in the vestments which symbolized the spiritual nature of the service. They were clothed in the uniform peculiar to their work. The next step in the consecration was the anointing. I request every reader to get a copy of the first volume of my published sermons and read my sermon on "The Anointed One," and that sermon will tell you about the anointing oil and how prepared. It was a particular recipe and there is none like it in the world, and it was a capital offense to use that holy anointing oil for anything except what God had prescribed, or to even compound it, and the purposes for which that holy anointing oil was to be used were as follows: The tabernacle itself, the altar and all its furniture were to be anointed; then the high priest was to be anointed with it; the prophet was to be anointed with it; the sacrifice and the king were to be anointed with it.


So when Jesus came to be a prophet, high priest, king, and sacrifice, he received his anointing, not in the symbolical oil but in what the symbolical oil represented, to wit, the Holy Spirit. When he was baptized, he prayed that God would qualify him for the great work into which he was about to step, and in answer to that prayer the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove, and the gospel tells us that he was anointed in the Holy Spirit. John said: "I knew him not; but he that sent me to baptize in water, he said unto me, Upon whomsoever thou shalt see the Spirit descending," etc., "he baptizeth in the "Holy Spirit." Then he says, "Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world." And in Luke 4 we have an account in our Lord's own words where he says that he was anointed to preach the gospel to the poor and to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. Now, what were the steps? Bathed, clothed, anointed. These were the preliminaries.


Now, what follows? The sacrifices appointed for the occasion. These, a bullock as a sin offering, for Aaron's sins must be atoned for before he can exercise his functions in the kingdom of God; and second, the ram for the burnt offering, that is, the offering to God, if God accepts it by sending down fire to burn it up; and third, another ram as a consecration offering. If Aaron says, "I want to be consecrated to the divine service," and the Lord accepts it, then fire comes down and burns up the offering. He accepts it. Then comes the consecration offering, and the second ram. The important thing here to notice is the distinction in making these three offerings. A sin offering is to be burned outside the camp. Jesus, as the sin offering, was taken without the camp and nailed to the cross.


An offering to God, that is, the burnt offering, was placed on the brazen altar of sacrifice and the fire of God came down and burnt it up to show that God accepted it. Now, the other offering of consecration went up as a sweet savour unto God, that is, God seeing Aaron and his sons duly bathed, clothed and anointed, duly clad in the vestments of holiness, accepted by the first ram the burnt offering; now the sweet smelling savour goes up to God to indicate that the ceremony was finished, that is, the consecration part of it, the second ram. It is very important that you notice what is done with the blood of that ram. Moses took the blood of the consecration offering, put it upon the tip of Aaron's right ear, upon the thumb of his right hand and upon the great toe of his right foot, and he did that for the sons of Aaron. Now, what does this symbolism teach? That if I do consecrate my life to the service of God, my ear must hear for him, my hand must work for him, my foot must walk for him in his appointed way. I think you can very easily see the full force of that.


What next follows this? Aaron and his sons, having been consecrated, must pass a week in isolation. When that week is done and the eighth day comes, a formal, representative service is held, the first in the tabernacle. Now, what have you here? A place to meet God, then offerings with which to approach God and mediators through whom one may approach God. All this complete, now the services of the sanctuary are ready to be opened. So let there be a representative service held, everything being now ready. As this ninth chapter tells about the services held in that tabernacle, everything being ready for that service, I shall not go into the details.


They are easy to understand as you read them, but there is one feature of it that I want to call your attention to, viz.: When Aaron and his sons thus instructed, thus qualified, had completed the service, all the people participated in it, then Aaron came out of the tabernacle and lifted up his hands and blessed the people, pronounced the benediction. You know "benediction" means "speaking well for you." Now, what was that benediction? You find it in the sixth chapter of the next book. (You can use that form if you want to. I have known a great many preachers who used it.) Numbers 6:24-27: "Jehovah bless thee, and keep thee; Jehovah make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee; Jehovah lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace." Now, when we come to dismiss the congregation, we want to put God's name on the congregation and we sometimes use the doxology in this form: "In the name of the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." That puts the name of God on the people. "The blessings of the Father, the blessings of the Son, and the blessings of the Holy Spirit be upon you." What is the basis of the benediction? What does it root in? Aaron could not say, "The Lord bless thee, and the Lord keep thee, and be gracious unto thee and give thee peace," if something hadn't preceded. What was it? The atonement that bad been made for the sins of the people. The benediction is based upon atonement, not a mere flutter of hands and "the Lord be with you, the Lord keep you, the Lord bless you, and be gracious unto you." Remember that we can't invoke the blessings of the Lord upon the people except in the name of Jesus Christ, who died for all men.


The next chapter, 9, gives an account of how God's answer came. It came visibly; it came in a startling manner that impressed the people. God ratified the service in two particulars. The Lord had said to Moses, "If you will establish my worship just as I have prescribed, the people shall see the glory of the Lord." So at the end of that public service they saw the visible representation of God. The cloud of fire came down and rested upon the tabernacle and all the people knew that God was approving everything that had been done, and in the second place, fire came down and burnt the offering that had been put upon the altar in the sight of the people. The sacrifice that was left upon that fire was consumed to ashes and the people felt that it was God. This house was now dedicated to God for worship. So it is when we say to the Lord, "The money which thou didst give to us we used to build this house, and we wish this building to be set apart for thy glory," and thus invoke divine blessings upon its service.


I have only two other things to discuss in this chapter. First, Nadab and Abihu were sons of Aaron. God had called them to this office; they had been consecrated to this office and now they presumed on it. God says, "When you go to kindle incense which represents the prayers of the people, don't kindle it with common fire. Take a live coal from the brazen pan that holds the fire that never goes out, the altar-fire, and you kindle the incense with that." The thought is this, that you can't pray if the prayer is based upon a selfish motive. The prayer amounts to nothing. "If you ask anything in my name and not disregarding my plan then I will hear you."


Now, Nadab and Abihu thought it not at all necessary to obey God's plan; without any regard to the pattern which is shown in the Old Testament these two men presumed, when they were appointed, to wave the incense kindled with the common fire which they picked up from the camp, and as soon as they waved it before God they were struck dead as by lightning and the fire burned them to ashes in the flames. It was an awful lesson, that we cannot change what God prescribes. We have no right to deviate to the left hand or to the right hand. But the man in the Arctic regions will say, "It is cold here; we will sprinkle a little water; we hope this baby is going to be a Christian, so we will baptize it," utterly disregarding the Saviour of men. That lesson of Nadab and Abihu should lay upon your hearts very solemnly.


Now we come to the last thought, and this is quite important. It is the law about the officers approaching God. The law is this: "Thou shalt not take wine nor any strong drink as thou goest up to the service before God and the people." How often a preacher is tempted; his work has been hard and his nerves are all unstrung; he wants to preach a good sermon and feels that if he had a stimulant of some kind he could preach a good sermon. He asks, "Why not take a goblet of wine or a toddy?" Woe to the preacher that ever does it I It is literally a slap in the face of God.


I never felt such horror as when I was visiting in a certain city and the pastor asked me to preach for him, and when he went to introduce me to the audience, his breath nearly knocked me down. People tell me that he never preached except he keyed up that way, and I know an evangelist who did the same thing. He, just before preaching, because of a physical breakdown, got in the habit of stimulating with opiates, and before I was a preacher there was a man in Texas, said to be the most eloquent preacher in those days of Texas, who could sway men at his will. He also got to doing that very thing.


Now I will tell you a scene as witnessed by Dr. Burleson, the man who told it to me. He says he received a message to visit a great revivalist. (Shall I call his name? Let it rest in peace.) When he got into the house, he found him a physical and mental wreck. He looked like one who had delirium tremens. He was calling out, "Lost, lost, lost!" and kicking the footboard clear off the bed, he said, "Dr. Burleson, I have ruined my life by stimulating myself just before I went to preach, and now I am a drunkard covered with shame and I loathe myself and am tempted every hour of my life to commit suicide."


When you get further on in this law, you will find that the law says that the king and the judges shall take no strong drink lest their minds be swayed and they pervert judgment. Now, you young preachers, just remember never to commence taking stimulants, no matter how tired and "frazzled out" you are. If you have to have medicine, let the doctor prescribe for you and be treated as a sick man, but do not "be drunken with wine wherein is riot, but be intoxicated with the Holy Spirit." There is the stimulant for you, the Spirit of God.


Now, the next chapter is on a matter of such delicacy that I shall have to trust to your reading more than to my discussion. This chapter embraces Section 4 of the outline (see pp. 355-6) and includes Leviticus, chapters 11-15, on the various clean and unclean animals. Part of it can easily be discussed, and part of it your own delicacy will tell you how to study. The unclean are the lepers and the unclean animals. Certain are clean and certain are unclean. There are unclean birds, beasts and fishes, and some creeping things which are clean. Things which may be eaten; as, certain offerings. Now, very carefully study Leviticus 16. It is the heart of everything in the book, both Old Testament and New Testament. The subject is "The Day of Atonement."

 

QUESTIONS

 

1. Of what do the first seven chapters of Leviticus treat?

 

2. Of what do chapters 8-9 treat?

 

3. Of what does chapter 10 treat?

 

4. What three general observations relative to Aaron and his sons and their office?

 

5. What New Testament parallels to these observations?

 

6. What was the place of the consecration of Aaron and his sons?

 

7. What was the method of this consecration?

 

8. What was brought to be used in this consecration service?

 

9. What were the preliminary steps in the consecration?

 

10. What were the vestments of the priests? Of the high priests?

 

11. Discuss fully the anointing oil and its antitype.

 

12. What were the sacrifices appointed for the occasion?

 

13. What was the signification of each?

 

14. What distinction in making these three offerings?

 

15. What was done with the blood of the ram of consecration?

 

16. What of the signification of this?

 

17. What next follows this?

 

18. What was then done on the eighth day?

 

19. Where do we find a description of it? Give it.

 

20. What was the closing part of this service?

 

21. What does the word "benediction" mean etymologically?

 

22. What was the form of this benediction and where do you find it?

 

23. What is the basis of a benediction and the New Testament application?

 

24. How did God's answer come?

 

25. In what two ways did God ratify what was done?

 

26. What awful tragedy in this connection?

 

27. What had they done?

 

28. What does this incense symbolize and what is the lesson to us?

 

29. What law is given in this connection? Give examples.

 

30. What should be the preacher's stimulant? Give Scripture.

 

 

V

 

(Return to Contents)

 

THE GREAT DAY OF ATONEMENT Leviticus 18

 


1. What requires Leviticus 16 to immediately follow chapter 10?


Ans. – Both the chronological order and the context require it. The first verse connects chronologically and expressly with the death of Nadab and Abihu in chapter 10. The contextual line of thought as repeatedly given is this:


(1) A place for the sinner to appear before Jehovah, given in Exodus.


(2) With what the sinner shall come – or offerings and sacrifices, Leviticus 1-7.


(3) Through whom the sinner shall approach Jehovah, or the appointed priesthood, Leviticus 8.


(4) Inauguration of the tabernacle service, Leviticus 9.


(5) The divine punishment for breach of the order of this service, Leviticus 10.


(6) The culmination of this service in the Day of Atonements. All other matters in the book are subsidiary to this climax. So that the chronological order and the contextual order require that Leviticus 16 shall be considered immediately after Leviticus 10.


2. What is the importance of this section of Leviticus in the judgment of the Jews?


Ans. – They counted it the most important part of the Pentateuch. It was. called by pre-eminence "The Day," "The Great Day of the Holy Year." It was reckoned by them as the very heart and citadel of their law.


3. What is the relation of this chapter on the atonement to the prophets?


Ans. – It is the basis of all the evangelical sections of the prophets and the Psalms.


4. How is it regarded by New Testament authors?


Ans. – As the most expressive and vital of all the Old Testaments foreshadowings of the Messiah's vicarious sacrifice and the atonement based thereon. Now, any book or section of the Bible that holds such a place in the Jewish thought, in the prophets and in the New Testament, must be of extraordinary importance.


5. What New Testament book elaborately expounds this chapter?


Ans. – The letter to the Hebrews.


6. What can be said of the uniqueness of its ceremonials?


Ans. – There is nothing like it elsewhere in the world, either in the Pentateuch or other parts of the Bible, and nothing corresponds to it in the worship of heathenism. The whole conception is impossible of human origin; the ordinance must have been, as our Lord frequently taught, a supernatural revelation, since no man could have ever thought it out, and only men aided by the Holy Spirit would be able to grasp it. Indeed, to this day and throughout their history, the unaided Jewish mind is unable to grasp the idea of a suffering Messiah, vicariously expiating the sins of the people. They did not on this point believe their own prophets. Isaiah in the commencement of that remarkable chapter (53) complains, "Lord, who hath believed our report?" and then gives his particulars of the suffering Messiah. The apostles themselves very slowly accepted it. In Matthew 16, just after his great confession, Peter rebuked Christ for distinctly declaring his death and said, "God forbid it," and the disciples, even after the resurrection, clung with an almost incorrigible persistency to wrong conception of the things, so that Jesus said, "0 fools and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have taught; how that the Messiah must needs suffer and that remission of sins should be preached in his name." It has ever been the issue between the Jew and the Christian.


7. What do the radical critics urge against it?


Ans. – (1) That the sense of sin and the need of expiation and of atonement based thereon, as expressed by this ordinance, could not have existed in the days of Moses. (2) They urge that later Jewish history contains no record of the observance of such a day of atonement. (3) They urge that only after their return from Babylonian captivity was such a sense of sin called for by this ordinance, developed in the Jewish mind. Now, I have put in three sentences the contents of about fifty books. This is the quintessence of radical criticism on Leviticus.


8. What is the reply thereto?


Ans. – (1) The chief part of the objection of the radical critics is based on the assumption of a human origin of the ordinance, namely, that it must arise from an adequate human sense of sin. But this sense of sin the Jews never had in their whole history and least of all on their return from Babylonian captivity. The object of the ordinance was not to give man's sense of sin, but God's sense of sin, and thereby to develop in man the proper sense of sin. The Jews as a nation not only never had the sense of sin called for by this ordinance at the time that the radical critics affirm after the Babylonian exile, but they never will have it until the time, yet future set forth in Isaiah 66:8-9; Ezekiel 36:16; 7:14; Zechariah 12:10; 13:1. I could write many volumes of these passages of Scripture. They tell when the Jews will understand the day of atonement; they tell how it will be brought about by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.


(2) Reply to the second objection of the radical critics: It is true that the later Biblical history does not indeed specifically record an observance of this day and of thousands of other matters, since it was never intended to be complete history, but only an outline of salient points bearing on the future kingdom of God. But while there is no specific reference, yet very many references in the prophets and psalms necessarily pre-suppose this ordinance and its observance. Indeed they would be inexplicable without it.


(3) Reply to the third part of the radical criticism: The record of the ordinance here in its proper place not only expressly refers it to Moses at Mount Sinai, but gives what no postexile author would have thought of, viz.: the occasion of its introduction in the death of Nadab and Abihu, Leviticus 16:1. There is not the slightest scrap of historical evidence to support the incredible feats which they attribute to nameless men of postexile times. They turn over all the great things of the Bible to people that nobody ever heard of, indeed Dillmann, a chief of their own tribe, is compelled to admit that the theory of postexile origin of this ordinance is "absolutely incredible."


9. What is the object of the whole service on the Day of Atonement?


Ans. – Atonement, based on vicarious expiation for all sins, the sins of Aaron and his house, the sins of the sanctuary itself, all the sins of all the people, whether the sins of ignorance or knowledge, and (2) redemption from Satan's power.


10. What was the time allotted for the observance of this day?


Ans. – Once a year and on the tenth day of the seventh month of the year.


11. Regardless of the day's position in the week, how must it be classified? That is, whether is be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday; how must it be classed?


Ans. – The tenth day of the month must be classed as the Sabbath of sabbaths, a high sabbath, in which the people must do no work.


12. What distinguishes it from all Jewish festivals?


Ans. – The festivals were all joyous, but on this day the people must fast and afflict their souls. It must be a day of broken hearts and penitence or they must be cut off from the people. You don't find that in connection with any other ordinance in the Old Testament.


13. How in this regard does the New Testament correspond?


Ans. – An impenitent soul cannot take hold of Christ's atonement. "Repent, repent; except ye repent ye perish."


14. How else is the day's service distinguished from all others?


Ans. – (1) It was the only day in the year when the most holy place could be entered. (2) One man only could enter it that day, the high priest. (3) Before he could enter it, he must be divested of all his garb of glory used on the other days of service, and be clad in simple, spotless white as the commonest Levite. (4) No other priest or Levite could assist in the service of this day, the high priest alone must officiate throughout.


15. What is the New Testament correspondence to this?


Ana. – Now, I won't attempt to give it all, but I will give enough for you to think of:


(1) As here, once for the year; there, once for all the sacrifice dies and the atonement is made.


(2) As here once a year the high priest laid aside his garb of glory, so Jesus once for all laid aside his glory that he might in his humiliation expiate and atone for sins. And as the high priest assumed his garb of glory when atonement was made, so Jesus, after atonement, was glorified with the glory which he had with the Father before the world was.


(3) As the high priest alone officiated, so of the people there was none with Jesus in sacrifice and atonement. When he died, no angel to support him and not even the presence of God to cheer him. You might go on and add a great many other correspondences; as, here the high priest lifts the marvelous, triple-colored veil in order to approach the mercy seat in the most holy place, 60 Jesus through the veil, that is to say, his flesh, laid aside his flesh in order to approach the true mercy seat in heaven and there sprinkle his own blood on the mercy seat.


16. Where is there no New Testament correspondence?


Ans. – Aaron, the typical high priest, had to offer the sacrifice for himself and his house and so qualify himself to be the mediator for the people, but as Jesus knew no sin and there was no guile in him, he did not have to make an offering for himself.


17. Apart from the sacrifice that the high priest offered for himself as preparatory to undertaking the work of the Day of Atonement, what are the sacrifices for expiation and atonements, and explain?


Ans. – Two goats both as sin offerings, both for the sins of the people confessed on their heads; both are presented before the Lord.


18. Why two?


Ans. – It takes two ideally considered as one to represent the two ideas of redemption: (1) Redemption toward God;


(2) Redemption from Satan.


19. How were they selected for their separate parts?


Ans. – Lots were cast determining one for Jehovah and the other for Azazel.


20. Describe the disposition of the goat for the Lord.


Ans. – The goat for the Lord was sacrificed for a sin offering and the blood was carried into the holy of holies and sprinkled on the mercy seat. This is the only time in the year that this was done. It was carried hot, fresh, smoking, past the veil into the most holy place and sprinkled on the not enter the most holy place. He stood before it, but only mercy seat. In all the ordinary sacrifices, the high priest did passed inside one time in a year. The body of that goat was then carried outside of the camp and burned, thus expiating sin Godward, thus satisfying the divine law, thus placating God's wrath against sin and thus reconciling God to man.


21. What does that part teach?


Ans. – (1) It teaches the infinite demerit of sin. (2) It teaches the absolute necessity of satisfying divine justice against sin in order to the salvation of the sinner. (3) It teaches that mercy cannot prevail at the expense of justice.


22. Describe the disposition of the other goat.


Ans. – Now our record says very plainly that Aaron took the other goat and confessed on that goat also the sins of the people, and then he sent that goat to Azazel away out in the wilderness, by a safe person. He was to be turned over to Azazel in the wilderness, and that person then returned.


23. What was the first interpretation of the goat for Azazel?


Ans. – There are only two theories worth considering; there are some others but they are so obviously untenable that they are not worth considering. There is one brought out by the King James Version that you find in a great many commentaries, and that is, that Azazel is to be considered abstractly and meaning "removal." Hence, the first goat would be the goat for expiating sin, and the second goat would be the goat to symbolically show the removal of sin which had been expiated. In other words, the first goat was to express the means of expiation, and the second was to express the effect of the expiation; or, to apply it to Christ, that Christ's dying expiates sin; Christ's living after his resurrection removes sin as embodied in such scriptures as these, "As far as the east is from the west he has removed our sins from us." Now these thoughts are all scriptural and very comforting, but whether that is the interpretation of this particular passage is the question.


24. What is the objection to this view?


Ans. – (1) The first objection to this theory is that "Azazel" is a proper name as much as "Jehovah" is a proper name and not an abstract noun. (2) That "Azazel" is put there over against "Jehovah" and contra-distinguished from Jehovah. One goat for Jehovah and the other for Azazel, and a man must strain the meaning of the words to give Azazel here the idea of an abstract noun. (3) That this theory leaves out one great feature of redemption accomplished by atonement, and takes the bottom from under some of the most impressive of the prophecies, and of the New Testament teachings.


25. What, then, in the estimation of the author, is the true theory?


Ans. – 1 remember an editor was staggered when I offered to present a true theory of Azazel in a sermon before the Southern Baptist Convention, and he advised me to leave Azazel out of the sermon. I said, "I will put him in and explain it and make the people believe it." What, then, is the true theory? That on this Day of Atonement there is redemption Godward in the goat that died for sin, and that redemption based on expiation of sin toward God makes possible redemption from the power of the devil. But the devils only hold is that men are sinners. Now you expiate their sins, then Satan's power fails, and his authority is over death, and death is the wages of sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But in the expiation of sin the penalty of the law, death, is removed, then the devil's authority over death for the one whose sin is expiated,