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ther be ye idolaters, as some of them ; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for types, and they were written for our admonitionm.”
The rebellious and unbelieving Israelites were not permitted to enter the promised land. Their exclusion from this land was a figure, denoting, that they who are faithless and rebellious toward Christ, will not be admitted into the heavenly Canaan. Who, then, were suffered to go in and possess the land of promise ? None but Caleb and Joshua, who had testified their faith and obedience, and the “ little ones” of the Israelites, and they, who, in the day of rebellion, were childrenn." They who were children at the time of the rebellion of the Israelites, were admitted, because they, “ in that day, had no knowledge of good and evilo,” and, consequently, could neither manifest the possession nor the
Cor. x. 6-11.
Deut. i. 39. See Isaiah, n Numb. xiv. 30, 31. Deut. vii. 16. Jonah, iv. 11. 1 i. 36, 38, 39. Joshua, v. 6, 7. Tim. i. 13.
want of faith, nor could they offend. For the same reason, those who were “ little ones” at the time of the admission of the others into Canaan, were also admitted; for neither did they possess that “ knowledge of good and evil,” which was the groundwork of offence, and which had destroyed the innocence of the first man Adam; they were, therefore, meet partakers of an inheritance in that land, which was a figure of the kingdom of heaven ; as Christ declared, “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven P." Thus is a' figure afforded of those who will be admitted into the kingdom of heaven ; admission is granted unto those who testify their faith and obedience toward their God and Saviour; and to those also who have no
. knowledge of good and evil;” to little children:
Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven 9."
Thus we find, that the history which Moses has given of the children of Israel, affords a figurative representation of the spiritual deliverance of mankind, and of the journey of man through this world.
Having recorded the arrival of the Israelites on the borders of the promised land, preparatory
p Matt. xix. 14.
9 Matt. xviii. 3.
to their passage into that land under the guidance of Joshua or Jesus, Moses closes his history.
Thus ends that most important record, the Pentateuch (or the five books) of Moses, which presents us with a history embracing a period of about 2550 years. .
We have seen, that Moses, throughout the Pentateuch, wrote of Christ'. His historical relations, his religious institutes, all have a reference to Christ and to His covenant of salvation. Christianity is the subject and the substance of all that he did, of all that he records; he details nothing which has not a reference to this stupendous and magnificent scheme. His volume opens with a veiled view of the institution of the Christian covenant of redemption ; and it closes with the termination of the wanderings of that people, who were established and set apart, to illustrate the everlasting covenant, and to shadow out the spiritual history of the human race. Having finished the figure of the pilgrimage of man on earth, he closes his record with a hymn in celebration of the Deitys, and with a prophetic blessing upon the tribes of Israelt.
t Deut. xxxii.
i John, v. 46. s Deut. xxxii.
EXPOSITION OF THE HISTORICAL RECORD OF THE
ISRAELITES, FROM THE DEATH OF MOSES TO THB REBUILDING OF THE TEMPLE.
Moses being dead, Joshua (or Jesus) was directedu by the Lord to go with the people over Jordan unto the promised land. And the Lord commanded him to observe strictly the law of Moses W. “ It came to pass when the people removed from their tents to pass over Jordan, and the priests bearing the ark went before the people, and as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks at the time of harvest), that the waters which came down from above stood, and rose up upon an heap, very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan; and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off; and the people passed over right against Jericho. And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord, stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry
Joshua, i. 2.
Joshua, i. 7, 8.
ground until all the people were passed clean over Jordan
Thus “ the ark of the covenant of the Lord" prepared a way for the Israelites into the promised land, under the guidance of Joshua or Jesus. And the ark of the everlasting covenant has prepared a way to the resty which is promised to "the Israel of God?,” to the followers of that Joshua, or Jesus, a Saviour, by whom we have access to the Father. And the passage through the waters of Jordan afforded a repetition of the type which the passage through the Red Sea had afforded, namely, that of “ the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost b,” whereby man is cleansed so as to be a meet partaker of the blessings of the heavenly Canaan.
For “ all the people that were men of war which came out of Egypt were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the Lord“;" therefore their children passed through the waters of Jordan, because they had not passed through the Red Sea ; for it was necessary that it should be shown that the “ washing of regeneration" was an indispensable preparation for admission into the spiritual land of promise. The river Jordan was a standing figure of the “ water of lifed," of that “ pure watere,” whereby
pure river of
* Joshua, iii. 14-17.
Eph. ii. 18. Jolu, xiv. 6.
b Titus, iii. 5.