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The Blessings Bestowed on the Tribe of Levi.

The Blessings Bestowed on the Tribe of Levi.

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Published by glennpease
BY REV. C. SIMEON, M.A.



Deut. xxxiii. 8,9. And of Levi he said, Let thy Thumfnim
and thy Urim be luitk thy holy one, luhoni thon didst
prove at Massah, and ivith wliom thou didst strive at the
waters of Meribah; ivho said unto his father and to his
mother, I have not seen him; ?ieither did lie acknowledge
his brethren, nor kneiv his own children : for they have ob-
served thy word, and kept thy covenant.
BY REV. C. SIMEON, M.A.



Deut. xxxiii. 8,9. And of Levi he said, Let thy Thumfnim
and thy Urim be luitk thy holy one, luhoni thon didst
prove at Massah, and ivith wliom thou didst strive at the
waters of Meribah; ivho said unto his father and to his
mother, I have not seen him; ?ieither did lie acknowledge
his brethren, nor kneiv his own children : for they have ob-
served thy word, and kept thy covenant.

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 16, 2014
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THE BLESSIGS BESTOWED O THE TRIBE OF LEVI. BY REV. C. SIMEO, M.A. Deut. xxxiii. 8,9. And of Levi he said, Let thy Thumfnim and thy Urim be luitk thy holy one, luhoni thon didst prove at Massah, and ivith wliom thou didst strive at the waters of Meribah; ivho said unto his father and to his mother, I have not seen him; ?ieither did lie acknowledge his brethren, nor kneiv his own children : for they have ob- served thy word, and kept thy covenant. AS the father of his people, Moses desired to bless them before his death ; and the pronouncing of this blessing, in which he was endued with a spirit of pro- phecy, was the last act of his life. The grounds on which the blessing was bestowed on the tribe of' Levi, are so peculiar, that they deserve a distinct consideration. There is manifestly a testimony given them 366 DEUTEROOMY, XXXIII. 8, 9- [160. them of decided approbation : and from this circum- stance commentators have been led to regard the whole of what is spoken in the text as of the same import; and to supply from conjecture what is no where noticed in the Mosaic history, or rather to contradict altogether what is plainly noticed. The conduct of Levi both at Massah (which was also called Meribah), and, above thirty-eight years afterwards, at another place called Meribah, was exceeding sin- ful ^ At the latter place in particular, both Moses and Aaron, as well as the people, offended God ; and were for that offence doomed to die in the wilder-
 
ness, and never to enter into the promised land. Hence it might have been supposed that God would punish the tribe of Levi and the house of Aaron by withdrawing from them the peculiar honours he had conferred upon them ; but as on one occasion they had signalized themselves by a very exalted act of obedience, he was pleased to record what they had done, and to make it an occasion of continuing in their line the most distinguished testimonies of his regard. This sense accords with the history; to the very terms of which the text seems specifically to refer ''. Li the words before us there are two things parti- cularly to be noticed ; L The commendation of Levi — The act for which they were commended was truly laudable— [When tlie people throughout the camp of Israel were wor- shipping the golden calf, Moses, filled with indignation, called the Levites to him, and bid them gird on swords and slay the ringleaders in idolatry throughout the whole camp : and this order they executed immediately, without any respect of persons whatever: they spared not eitlier their nearest lelatives or tJieir dearest friends ; hut slew of the people 3000 men*^. This would be thought by many to be a savage act, and to deserve censure rather than praise : but it must be remem- bered, that God was, if I may so speak, their earthly Gover- nor, (they lived under a Theocracy;) and, that thev acted in obedience to their su])reme Magistrate : nor could cruelty be imputed ^ Compare Exod. xvii. /. witli umb. xx. 10 — 1:5. '• Compare ihe langu.ic^o in uuib. xx. 13. with ihe'tcxl.
 
' Exod. xxxii. 25 — 2y. 160.] BLESSIG BESTOWED O TPIE LEVITES. 367 imputed to them any more than to any person who executes the laws amongst ourselves. They were justified in what they did, precisely as Phinehas was justified in destroying Zimri and Cozbi. The law itself required, that, if their nearest relative only enticed them to idolatry, even where there was no overt act commit- ted, they should instantly give information against him, and with their own hands put him to death '^. But here was the overt act visible to all ; and the Civil Magistrate was present to sanction their conduct : and therefore they were bound to obey the order given them, and to execute the laws with im- partial severity. Hence their conduct is marked in our text as an act of obedience to God, and a " vindication of the quarrel of his covenant^."] or is it by any means unconnected with ou?- duty as Christians — [Certainly we have nothing to do with the judgment of zeal, nor any right to take the execution of the laws into our own hands. But we should be zealous for the honour of God ; and we ought, in subserviency to the laws, to exert ourselves for the suppression of open impiety and profaneness. More parti- cularly are we bound to serve God ourselves, and to account all personal sacrifices as unworthy of a thought in comparison of our duty to him. Our Lord tells us, not only that " if we love father or mother more than him, we are not worthy of him;" but that we must " haie father and mother, yea, and our own lives also, if we would be his disciples^" Of course this must not be understood p05i//ye/// ; (for the Gospel inspires nothing hut love, and that even to our bitterest enemies :) but it must be taken comparatively; and be explained as intimating, that we should be so firm and decided in our obedience to him as to be alto- gether unmoved by the affection or menaces of our dearest friends, or even by the apprehensions of the most cruel death. Our

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