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ood was the lamb took a sacred is applied
proper sacrifice. He adduces two arguments from words, and three
(1.) It has been already stated, that Archbishop Magee has im-
The second irrelevant passage is Deut. xvi. 2: “ Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the passover unto the Lord thy God, of the flock and of the herd.” Since the paschal lamb could not be taken “from the herd,” it is evident that the word “ passover,” is used here in a wider sense,* to denote the joint eight days' festival, including that of unleavened bread, when heifers were offered “ from the herd.” This more comprehensive meaning of the term is frequent, not merely with Josephus and the later Jewish writers, but in the Hebrew Scriptures themselves ; and renders inconclusive most of the argu. ments by which the passover is made to assume the appearance of a proper sacrifice. An example occurs in the very next verse : “Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread therewith," that is, with the passover ; and in 2 Chron. xxxv. 9: “ Conaniah also (and other persons) gave unto the priests for the passover offerings, 2,600 small cattle, and 300 oren."
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This is admitted by a learned writer, with whose work on sacrifices Archbishop Magee was familiar, and who had anticipated most of his arguments on the subject of the passover: “ Cum ad Paschale sacrificium etiam pecudes ex armento lectas in sacris literis imperatas legimus, non designatur illa victima, quæ TDD proprie appellatur, sed alia quædam sacrificia eidem victimæ adjungenda.” - Outram de Sacrificiis, lib. i. ch. xiii. $ 10.
In the remaining places, however, this feast is undoubtedly called a sacrifice. But then it is clear that the Hebrew word nat is used with a latitude, which renders it impossible to draw from it any in. ference as to the character of the ceremony to which it is applied. It denotes slaying of animals for food, without any necessary refer. ence to a sacred use. * Thus, 1 Sam. xxviii. 24. "And the woman had a fat calf in the house ; and she hasted and killed it,” (sacrificed it, 103IN); also 1 Kings, xix. 21. “And he took a yoke of oxen, and slew them (1921), and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat.” And the substantive occurs thus in Prov. xvii, 1. “Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than a house full of sacrifices (evidently meats,—the luxury of animal food) with strife.”
(2.) The passover is called 1277, Corban, a sacred offering, in Numb. ix. 7, 13. Certain men who had been defiled by performing funeral rites, present themselves to Moses, and say, “Wherefore are we kept back, that we may not offer the offering of the Lord in his appointed season among the children of Israel?" And then follows the law which Moses takes occasion from this incident to announce; that persons disqualified by absence on a journey, or by uncleanness, from joining in the celebration at the appointed time, may observe it at the corresponding period of the next month. Such disqualifications, if existing at all, would have excluded from the whole eight days' festival, including the feast of unleavened bread, and held the parties away till the following month ; " the offering of the Lord," therefore, which they were kept back from presenting, comprised all the sacrifices proper to the " season ;” and the word “ offering" is comprehensively applied to the whole set, from its particular propriety in reference to the most numerous portion ou them, the sacrifices at the feast of unleavened bread. The paschal lamb, by itself, is never, I believe, designated by this term.
In treating of the actual details of the paschal ceremony, it is ne. cessary to distinguish between those which were of legal obligation, and those which were merely consuetudinary or occasional. NO thing can justly be pronounced an essential of the celebration, which is not enjoined in the statutes appointing it; and should other cuse
toms present themselves in the histor ration which we possess, they canno illustrations of its intended character, convenience, tradition, or sacerdotal proceed to the next argument.
(3.) The slaying of the paschal la to the tabernacle or temple.
The only passage from the law, xvi. 2, 5, 6, where it is said, “Th. over within any of thy gates, which but at the place which the Lord thy in, there shalt thou sacrifice the might naturally suppose that Jer phrase, “the place which the Lord tradistinction from the provincial gates ;” but Archbishop Magee referring us to this very same ex where it evidently means the tabe multitude of rites are there enum place that the Lord shall choose the sanctuary. It so happens, the Passover is precisely the one which we might fairly infer, th limited to the sanctuary; and description of place common sively in the latter, the additis THE LORD your God," whi of designating the tabernacl locality intended was the city a verse which Archbishop 1 quote, though it is the imme shalt roast and eat it (the
• The following passages const 14,24—27, 43—49. Lev. xxiii. We have here the original statut rite: and in any discussion resp alone. The advocates for its sa destroy their whole case.
I subjoin a list of the pas Exod. xii. 15—20 ; xiii. 6-1 Lev. xxiii. 6–14. Num. XXI
• Simonis describes the verb ja as meaning (1.) in genere mactavit ; specie mactavit ad sacrificandum; and the noun, as proprie macianto; (.) caro mactatorum animalium ; (2.) sacrificium.-Lex. Hebr. et Chald. Ed. Eich (1.) caro man horn, in v.
described as .ose," in con.
toms present themselves in the historical instances of the commemo. ration which we possess, they cannot be received as authoritative illustrations of its intended character, but as accessaries appended by convenience, tradition, or sacerdotal influence.* With this remark I proceed to the next argument.
(3.) The slaying of the paschal lamb is said to have been restricted to the tabernacle or temple.
The only passage from the law, adduced to prove this, is Deut. xvi. 2, 5, 6, where it is said, “Thou mayest not sacrifice the passover within any of thy gates, which the Lord thy God giveth thee ; but at the place which the Lord thy God shall choose to place his name in, there shalt thou sacrifice the passover at even.” The reader might naturally suppose that Jerusalem was here denoted by the phrase, “the place which the Lord thy God shall choose,” in contradistinction from the provincial cities described as “any of thy gates ;” but Archbishop Magee sets aside this interpretation, by referring us to this very same expression in Deut. xii. 5, 6, 11, 14, where it evidently means the tabernacle or temple, not the city ; for a multitude of rites are there enumerated, to be performed, “ in the place that the Lord shall choose,” which could be celebrated only at the sanctuary. It so happens, however, that in this enumeration, the Passover is precisely the one thing which is not mentioned; from which we might fairly infer, that it was not among the ceremonies limited to the sanctuary ; and further, that in addition to the vague description of place common to both passages, there occurs exclusively in the latter, the additional one, “ there shall ye eat, BEFORE THE LORD YOUR God,” which is well known to be the usual mode of designating the tabernacle. And that in the passover-law, the locality intended was the city, and not the sanctuary, is evident from a verse which Archbishop Magee has not thought it necessary to quote, though it is the immediate sequel of his citation ; “ and thou shalt roast and eat it (the paschal lamb) in the place which the
• The following passages constitute the whole passover-law: Exod. xii. 3—11, 14, 24–27,43—49. Lev. xxiii. 5. Num. ix. 10–14; xxviii. 16. Deut. xvi. 1,4–7. We have here the original statutes provided for the perpetual regulation of the rite : and in any discussion respecting its character, the appeal should be to these alone. The advocates for its sacrificial nature must be aware that this rule would destroy their whole case.
I subjoin a list of the passages relating to the feast of unleavened bread: Exod. xii. 15-20; xiii. 6-10; xxiii. 18, first clause; xxxiv. 25, first clause. Lev. xxiii. 6—14. Num. xxviii. 17—25. Deut. xvi. 2-4, 8.
Lord thy God shall choose.” Whatever doubt may exist about the slaying, the roasting and eating could not take place at the tabernacle.
The law, then, nowhere prescribes the slaying of the paschal lamb at the sanctuary. But neither does it forbid this; and therefore we are not surprised that the act should take place there, on any particular occasion rendering such arrangement obviously convenient; or as a general practice, in concession to any strong interests tending to draw it thither. When, therefore, a long period of idolatry and political confusion had obliterated from the minds of the Israelites the very memory of their religious rites ; when new modes of worship had become habitual, and the annual festival had grown strange ; when, to induce them to come up to the passover at all, their monarch was obliged to provide for them the whole number of their victims, and the officiating Levites needed to study again the appointed ceremonies of the season; it is no wonder that king Josiah thought it expedient to collect “ the whole congregation" at the temple, and there to let them witness the form of slaying, by well-trained hands, and receive instruction how to complete the celebration of their feast. Such was the solemn passover described in 2 Chron, xxxv. and that in the reign of Hezekiah, mentioned in the thirtieth chapter of the same book; the circumstances of both which were too peculiar to afford evidence of a general practice, much less of a legal es. sential.
That in later times it was the custom to slay the paschal lambs in the Temple courts, there can be no doubt. The system of ecclesiastical police, and the operation of sacerdotal interests created the practice. It was the business of the priests to see to the execution of the festival-law; to ascertain who incurred the penalty due to neglect of the prescribed rite : to register the numbers of those who observed it; and to take care that neither too many nor too few should partake a the same table. All this required that the heads of families shousa present themselves, and report their intended arrangements to the authorities at the temple. The priests moreover, being the judges of the qualifications of the animals for the paschal table, availed them selves of this power, to become graziers and provision-dealers. As the lambs must be presented for their inspection, and were liable to be turned back if pronounced imperfect, it became more convenient buy the victim at once at the Temple courts : and on the spot wine the purchase was made, the slaying would naturally follow. Lightioot,
speaking of the law which originally
(4.) The blood is said to '
The only legal evidence a
The only historical es
speaking of the law which originally required the lamb to be chosen four days before it was killed, says, “It is not to be doubted but every one in after times took up their own lambs as they did in Egypt, but it is somewhat doubtful whether they did it in the same manner. It is exceedingly probable, that as the priests took up the lambs for the daily sacrifice four days before they were to be offered, as we have observed elsewhere ; so also that they provided lambs for the people at the passover, taking them up in the market four days before, and picking and culling out those that were fit, and agreeable to the command. For whereas the law was so punctual that they should be without blemish, and their traditions had summed up so large a sum of blemishes, as that they reckon seventy-three, it could not be but the law and their traditions which they prized above the law should be endlessly broken, if every one took up his own lamb in the market at Jerusalem at adventure. The priests had brought a market of sheep and oxen against such times as these into the temple, (for if it had not been their doing, they must not have come there,) where they having before-hand picked out in the market such lambs and bullocks as were fit for sacrifice or passover, they sold them in the temple at a dearer rate, and so served the people's turn and their own profit: for which, amongst other of their hucksteries, our Saviour saith, they had made the house of prayer a den of thieves."'*
(4.) The blood is said to have been poured out as an offering at the foot of the altar.
The only legal evidence adduced to prove this, will be found in the parallel passages, Exod. xxiii. 18, and xxxiv. 25. “ Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven." I have already shown that this command probably refers, not to the paschal lamb, but to the sacrifices at the feast of unleavened bread. There is there. fore no evidence, throughout the law, in favour of the alleged regulation. Yet in cases of undoubted sacrifice, Moses is usually very explicit in his directions respecting the sprinkling of the blood upon the altar : as may be seen from Lev. i. 5, 11, 15; iii. 2, 8, 13; iv. 5—7, 16–18; vii. 2.
The only historical evidence adduced from Scripture on the point before us, is from the accounts of Hezekiah's and Josiah's solemn passovers before mentioned; 2 Chron. xxx. 15, 16; xxxv. 11. In both these instances, it is merely said, that the priests “sprinkled (or poured out) the blood,” receiving it from the hands of the Levites,
• Lightfoot's Temple Service, ch. xii. Introd.