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XLVI. It was not without a display of divine wisdom, that there was to be a time, when the ark was not in the house of God; namely, under the second temple ; as Jeremiah foretold should happen ; They shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of Jehovah : neither shall it come to mind, Jer. iii. 16. For by this they might be admonished, to expect another, and indeed a far more noble habitation for God; another mere cy-seat, far more excellent, to which the former was commanded to give place, as the shadow to the body. However, it is not without a mystery, that John saw again the temple of God opened in heaven, and that there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament, Rev. xi. 19.and that, at the time in which the kingdoms of the world were become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ, ver. 15. John saw these things in heaven, because heaven was the place where he was favored with these visions, Rev. iv. 1. Not that
Not that every thing he saw was to be in heaven. For surely that war, which he describes, Rev. xii. 7, 8. was not to be there, but in the church on earth. But what did he now see? The temple opened. This, if I mistake not, signifies a free, open, and unobstructed entrance for all into the church of Christ : into which the nations of the world, or, as Paul speaks, Rom. xi. 25. the fulness of the Gentiles had come in; and whose doors now stood open even for the Jews, against whom they had been shut for a great while. In that temple he sees again the ark, which was a symbol of the covenant formerly entered into with the Jews : by which is signified a new habitation for Christ among the Jewish nation, not by an external symbol, but by internal and spiritual grace; and as they shall enjoy this, they will readily and with gladness be without an external symbol. See what Jonas le Buy, whom Bochart, Hieroz. lib. iii. c. 3. calls
“ an excellent person, and highly skilled in those matters," has wrote on this place.
XLVII. Near the ark was laid up the pot of manna, and Aaron's rod, which budded, Numb. xvii. 35. to represent the incredible and permanent sweetness of that spiritual food, which Christ bestows on his people, and which himself prefers, on so many accounts, to the manna given by Moses, John vi. 48. &c. and which, by an evident allusion to what was contained in this pot, is called the hidden manna, Rev. ii. 17. and, at the same time, to shew the perpetual verdure and eternal efficacy of Christ's priesthood, by virtue of which our buds also may come to blow, and humble shrubs to sweet balsam. So much shall suffice concerning the ark of the covenant.
XLVIII. Let us now consider the things which the high priest was to perform on the solemn day of expiation, in order to give another instance of a legal type, the ceremonies of which are described Lev. xvi. Aaron was to put on the linen garments, appropriated for that day, and only during those ministrations, which were to be performed within the second vail, ver. 4. And after he was ordered to make an atonement for himself and his house by offering a young bullock, he was commanded to take from the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin-offering, and a ram for a burnt-offering, ver. 5. These kids were to be procured at the common expence of all, out of the treasury appointed for defraying the charges of the sacrifices, and other things necessary for the worship of God. Both, instead of one offering, belonged to one sacrifice for sin. Both were an expiatory sacrifice, in the room of Israel-sinners, bearing their sin. These goats were to be presented to God before Jehovah, at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation; they
person of the
were sacred to God, and devoted to his worship, ver. 7. Lots were to be cast upon both; one lot for Jehovah, and the other for* Azazel, ver. 8. This, according to the Jews, was done in this manner. The high priest stood before the goats between the sagan, or the priest next the high priest, and the head or chief principal family; then out of a box he drew the lots, which were at first of wood; and under the second temple of gold : on one of these was inscribed, for Jehorah, on the other, for Azazel : the lot drawn out with the right hand, was put on the head of the goat opposite to that hand; and that drawn with the left, placed on the head of that opposite to the left. See Ainsworth and Altingius. That which fell to Jehovah, was to be prepared for a sin offering; which was directly done, not by killing immediately, but by declaration. For, the lot being laid upon it, the high priest called it the sin for the Lord, that is, appointed to be a sacrifice for sin ; and he offered it, that is, put it in the place of slaughter, at the north side of the altar. But what fell to Azazel was again presented alive before Jehovah, to make an atonement over it, by confession and imposition of sins, ver. 9, 10. . Then that which was Jehovah's was to be killed for the sins of the people, and its blood carried within the vail, with which blood the high priest was to sprinkle both the mercy-seat, and before the mercy-seat. Thus an atonement was to be made for the holy place, and for the tabernacle of the congregation, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, ver. 15, 16. Then again the live-goat, which by lot fell to Azazel, was to be brought forth : and the high priest laid both his hands on his head, and confessed over it the iniquities of the children of Israel;
* Or, as our translation renders it, for the scape-goat, VOL. III.
generally in this forin, according to the Jews : “Lord, I beseech thee, thy people, the house of Israel, have transgressed, been rebellious, and have sinned before thee. Lord, I beseech thee, forgive now the trespasses, and rebellions, and sins, which thy people, the house of Israel, have trespassed, and in which they have been rebellious; as it is written in the law of Moses thy servant, because on this day he will make atonement for you, to cleanse you from all your sins,” Joma, c. 6. And the priests and people, who stood in the porch, upon hearing the name Jehovah pronounced by the high priest, kneeled, with their faces downward, adored, and said, Blessed be the Lord, and let the glory of his kingdom be for ever. In this manner all the iniquities of the children of Israel; and all their trespasses of what kind soever, greater and smaller, sins against knowledge, or sins of ignorance, were laid upon
goat, which was sent away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness, bearing the iniquities of the children of Israel, into a land not inhabited, ver. 21, 22. But the bullock which Aaron offered for himself, and the goat which he offered for the people, were to be carried without the camp, that their skins, and their flesh, and their dung might be burnt, ver. 27. Before we inquire into the mystery of these things, some difficulties are first to be cleared up.
XLIX. And, first, it is indeed very obscure, what we are to understand by Azazel. I have chiefly met with four opinions of the learned concerning this word, The first is, that by Azazel we are to understand the very goat, which was sent forth into the wilderness. And they suppose, this may be gathered from the etymology of the word, which is said to be compounded of a gout, and went away. And according to them, the Words of Moses are thus to be understood : One lot for Jehovah, that is, for the goat to be offered to Jehovah ; the other for Azazel, that is, for the goat that was to go into the wilderness. But though the Hebrew word may signify a goat going away, yet it cannot thence be concluded, that by that name the goat itself was signified: as it is possible, that, on occasion of the goat's going away, the place, to which it was led, might be so called, which Kimchi in Radicibus contends for : “ That place was so called,” says he, “ because the goat went thither."
But the main thing is, 'that this explication of the lots is very perplexed : whereas the words. of Moses are clear, that the lots were cast for the goats, to know which of them should fall to Jehovah, and which to Azazel. Nor does it appear that one of the goats could be called Azazel, unless we suppose, the other goat was called Jehovah, which is absurd.
L. Those of the second opinion will have it, that Azazel was a steep and rugged mountain in the wilderness. Thus Jonathan, Saadias, Gaon, Jarchi, Kimchi, and most of the Jews. But it has been well observed by others, 1. That Moses no where mentions mount Azazel, as he mentions the mountains of Ararat, mount Abarim, mount Ebal, mount Gerizzim, &c. 2. That it does not seem probable, that, in a country so often travelled over, and so exactly described, none should ever make mention of mount Azazel, and paint out its situation. For what a certain anonymous author mentions in Aben Ezra, that it was mount Sinai, will never have weight with those, who know, what vast descrts lay between Jerusalem and Sinai : whereas a goat was yearly led from that city to Azazel.
LI. The third opinion is of those, who contend, that Azazel is the devil: and they would have one of the goats to have fallen to the devil, not as if it was offered to the devil (for it was devoted to God, and brought