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1 1 Sam. i. 21.

that, even at that time, there was held in Shiloh a yearly feast to Jehovah.

When we come to the days of Eli, religious affairs seem to be more settled. Shiloh is still the appointed place of worship whither Elkanah and all his house went up yearly to offer his sacrifice and his vow. We learn, too, that it had become the priests' custom with the people, that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest's servant came, while the flesh was boiling, with a flesh-hook of three teeth in his hand, and he struck it into the pan,

or kettle, or cauldron, or pot; all that the flesh-hook 2 1 Sam. ii. 13-24. brought up the priest took for himself.:

This was done to all the Israelites who came to Shiloh ; and since Eli and his sons were reproached for ou

making themselves fat” with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel, it would seem to hint that the number of offerings and the multitude of people attending the feasts were large.

Under Samuel the Ark was for some months in possession of the Philistines, who sent it to Beth

shemesh with a trespass offering of golden tumours 3 1 Sam. vi. 4-5. and mice, giving glory to the God of Israel. At

Beth-shemesh the Ark was taken from the cart by the Levites, and the wood of the cart, and the oxen that drew it, were offered as a burnt sacrifice,

besides which the people of Beth-shemesh offered # 1 Sam. vi. 15. on that day burnt offerings and sacrifices. The

Ark was then taken to Kirjath-jearim, where Eleazar, the son of Abinadab, was appointed to keep it, and where it remained for twenty years, the people meanwhile falling away to the worship

of Baalim and Ashtaroth, but at the same time

1 1 Sam. vii. 2-3. lamenting after Jehovah."

Accordingly Samuel gathered all Israel to Mizpeh, took a sucking-lamb, and offered it for a whole burnt offering, and cried unto the Lord for Israel, after which Samuel returned to Ramah, where was his house, and where he built an altar unto the Lord.'

% 1 Sam. vii. 9-17. Whilst, therefore, the period from Joshua to Samuel was one of religious unrest, of oppression by foreigners, and occasional and partial defection to strange gods, we see sufficient indications to show that the Ark was set up, that the worship of Jehovah was retained as the established religion of the people, and in accordance with this we may conclude that the claims of the Levites were more or less recognized and the tithes paid.

We come next to the period of the Israelitish monarchy, beginning with Saul, who is introduced to us whilst seeking his father's asses, and who is advised to ask direction of Samuel. Saul recognizes the standing custom that an offering must be made to the man of God, to which end his 8 1 Sam. ix. 7. servant proposes to give a quarter of a shekel of silver ; and there happened to be a sacrifice that day on the high place to which Samuel had been invited."

Soon after, at Gilgal, they made Saul king before the Lord, and sacrificed peace offerings, rejoicing before the Lord.5

But we do not learn much concerning divine offerings from the annals of this unsatisfactory

4 1 Sam. ix. 12.

5 1 Sam. xi. 15.

27-8.

2 See Sacred Tenth, p. 22.

monarch, though it is stated that some at least of his spoils won in battle he dedicated to repair the house of the Lord. Samuel had so done before,

as afterwards did Abner and Joab, the generals 11 Chron. xxvi. of Saul and David.

This bears upon our subject to some extent, because these Israelitish warriors at this early date were only doing as did their forefather Abram. They were carrying out a custom that extended far beyond the confines of Palestine, for we have now reached the supposed era of the Trojan war, when the Argives, as we are told, having subdued the Mycenians, are said to have consecrated a tenth of their goods to their god. The Philistines also, it may be remarked, were actuated apparently by similar motives on the downfall of Saul, by stripping

his body and putting his armour in the house of the 8 1 Sam. xxxi. Ashtaroth.

In David, we have a monarch who was anointed 4 1 Sam. xvi. s. king at a religious sacrifice or feast," and the excuse

which Jonathan made one day to account for David's absence from Saul's table, suggests that in Jesse's household, as with Elkanah's, there was a yearly sacrifice for all the family."

Moreover, David's first trophy taken in warthe sword of Goliath-we hear of subsequently

as wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod, under 6 1 Sam. xxi. 9. the care of Ahimelech the priest ;o whilst towards

the end of David's reign, so great had become the number of spoils taken in war, that they were placed under the charge of Shelomith and his brethren, to whose care also were entrusted all the treasures of

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10.

5 1 Sam. xx. 629.

1 1 Chron. xxvi. 26-7.

41 Chron. xvi. 3.

the dedicated things which David, the chief fathers, and captains of the host, had dedicated out of the spoils taken in battles."

On becoming king over all Israel, David lost no time in bringing the Ark of God to Jerusalem. When those that bare it had marched six paces, the king sacrificed oxen and fatlings. The Levites 2 2 Sam. vi. 13. also, on being helped by God, offered seven bullocks and seven rams; and when the Ark was brought into the tent prepared for it, David further offered burnt sacrifices and peace offerings before God,"36, Chron., XV. after which he blessed the people in the name of Jehovah, and dealt to every man and woman a loaf of bread, a portion of flesh, and a cake of raisins.

After this, David appointed a large number of priests and Levites to perform daily service before the high place at Gibeon, to offer burnt offerings unto the Lord upon the altar of the burnt offering continually morning and evening, and to do according to all that is written in the law of the Lord.5

Then David consulted Nathan about building a temple, for which the king began to collect materials, dedicating thereto the silver and the gold that he took from all the nations : from Edom, from Moab, and from the children of Ammon, and from the Philistines, from Amalek, and the spoil of Hadadezer, which strongly reminds us of the way 11; 2 Sam. Vil. in which the Egyptian and Babylonian kings dedicated their spoils to their gods.

Later on we see the royal penitent purchasing the

5 1 Chron. xvi. 37-40.

61 Chron. xviii.

II-12.

24-5, 29.

2-4.

threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite for six hundred shekels of gold, because he would not offer burnt offerings without cost ; and building

thereon an altar because he was afraid to go before 1. Chron. xxi. the tabernacle in the high place at Gibeon.

Then began David's active preparation of materials for the temple, comprising three thousand talents of gold, seven thousand talents of silver, also brass,

iron, wood, marble, costly stones, and onyx and 2 - Chron. xxix. other gems. This example was followed by the

princes to the extent of five thousand talents, and ten thousand drams, of gold, ten thousand talents of silver, eighteen thousand talents of brass, one hundred thousand talents of iron, as well as costly

stones; the king and people rejoicing for that they 8.- Chron. xxix. offered willingly. After this they killed, as burnt

offerings, one thousand bullocks, one thousand rams, one thousand lambs with their drink offerings, and

sacrifices for all Israel, who ate and drank before 4 1 Chron. xxix. the Lord with great gladness.“

Moreover, David appointed the services for the priests and Levites, the number of Levites above thirty years of age alone being thirty-eight thousand

(which, with their families, would probably mean 5.1 Chron. xxiii. nearly two hundred thousand persons), in addition

to whom there were appointed several courses of 6 1 Chron. xxiv. priests.

We now come to the days of Solomon, who, at

the beginning of his reign, offered one thousand ?cKinesië. 4; burnt offerings at Gibeon ;? and after his dream,

offered before the Ark at Jerusalem burnt and peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants.

6-9.

21-2

3-5.

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