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HOLY AND MOST HOLY PLACES.

CHAP.

II.

Hebrew

(3) It has again been frequently remarked that Real imthe division of the Hebrew sanctuary into a holy port of the and most holy place was made to follow the E- sanctuary. gyptian model; the idea in both those cases being that the special residence of the Divinity should form a kind of inner shrine, or adytum, secreted from the popular gaze by some mysterious curtain. Now the fact that the Egyptian temples did contain what was entitled a 'most holy region',' as well as various courts conducting to it, is no longer open to dispute; yet with this solitary mark of outward correspondency, possessed in common by most other nations of the ancient world, the parallelism in question seems to be exhausted3. As the Hebrew sanctuary was one, in order to symbolise the absolute unity of God, so all arrangements there established had an eye to the surpassing purity and spirituality of His nature. There, as everywhere, the genius of the Hebrew system vindicated its true honour, as entirely and profoundly ethical. The migratory tent as well as the elaborate temple on Mount Moriah was a pledge to Israelites that God Himself, no mere abstraction, but a present, living, reigning God, had entered into fellowship with His elect, and though

1 Uhlemann, Thoth, p. 7; and above, p. 74.

2 Bähr, I. 219.

3 I have already called attention to the seeming parallelism between the ark of the covenant' and the sacred chests, or boats, of heathen nations, while discussing a ritual peculiarity of the Mexicans (Part III. pp. 147, 148); and the same

remarks may be applied at once to
the Egyptian ceremony entitled 'the
procession of shrines,' and described
at length by Wilkinson, 2nd ser.
II. 271 sq.
The few external re-
semblances will only serve to bring
out more clearly the internal contra-
dictions. Cf. Orcurti, Catalogo Illus-
trato dei Monumenti Egizii (Torino,
1852), pp. 91, 92.

II.

CHAP. the heaven and the heaven of heavens were His (Deut. x. 14), had condescended to develope their religious sentiment by tabernacling in the midst of them. 'I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God; and they shall know that I am the Lord their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them: I am the Lord their God' (Exod. xxix. 45, 46). The sanctuary had thus for them the kind of meaning which the Incarnation now possesses for the storm-tost spirit of the Christian; it presented to them one fixed point amid the fluctuations of the universe: it was the index of God's kingdom upon earth; it brought the infinite within the limits of the finite, it was raised into the meeting-place of human and Divine, and so became the feeble prelude to the mightiest of all facts. And as the holy-place was that to which the Israelite had access by his sacerdotal representatives, and where through them he could perform his ministry in the sight of God, so in the holy of holies, whence they all were equally excluded, there was imaged out the truth that even for the best of Israelites the way into the inmost presence of Jehovah 'was not yet made manifest.' Veils and barriers intercepted their approach to Him, whose glory, shining forth between the cherubim, was high above the mystic covering of the Ark; yet the admission of one single priest with the appointed offerings on the Day of Atonement was sufficient indication to the Hebrew who was truly bent on finding out 'the wonders of the Law,' that the condemnatory witness there deposited in the Ark might still be silenced and averted altogether by some absolute

propitiation, symbolised in the arrangements of CHAP. that annual solemnity.

II.

contrast.

It were superfluous to point out in detail how Egyptian completely such ideas were absent from the goodliest temple of Mizraim, where the grovelling inmate of the holiest place was one or other of the sacred animals; and where the worship rendered by fanatic swarms of votaries was often no less gross and bestial than the object!

URIM AND THUMMIM.

(4) Greater confidence has sometimes been ex- Nature of the alleged pressed by theorisers on this subject as to the Egyp- parallelism. tian origin of the mysterious symbol which the Hebrew commonly entitled the Urim and Thummim. We collect from Diodorus and other writers' that in Egypt the chief judge engaged in listening to the cases brought before him wore about his neck a chain of gold and precious stones to which had been attached a small image of Thmei, the goddess of truth or justice, and that when the depositions of the litigants were heard, his practice was to touch the successful person with the image in token of the truth or justness of his cause. The drift of this Egyptian symbol is immediately apparent. It impressed on the administrator of public justice that impartiality ought always to preside

1 See Wilkinson, 2nd ser. II. 28, and a fuller discussion of this point in Mr Tomkins's Hulsean Essay, (1850) pp. 80 sq. Hengstenberg argues for the identity of the two customs, while Mr Kenrick (II. 53, n. 1) seems to take the opposite view.

2 Diodorus (1. 48) mentions as a common interpretation that the ȧpx

δικαστής, who appeared on the tomb
of Osymandyas with closed eyes and
with the figure of truth suspended
from his neck, was bound πpòs μóvnv
βλέπειν τὴν ἀλήθειαν: cf. Ælian,
XIV. 34. Hengstenberg, Die Bücher
Mose's und Ägypten, p. 156, is al-
most alone in maintaining that
the primitive signification of this

CHAP. at his decisions, and the same idea of strict inte

II.

grity was further hinted by the fact that Truth herself was pictured with closed eyes, and that the judges, in funereal rituals found at Thebes, were also represented 'without hands.' There is, however, far greater difficulty in ascertaining the precise complexion of the Hebrew usage which is frequently compared with this. The narrative respecting the institution of it will be found in Exod. xxviii. 30: 'And thou shalt put in the breast-plate' of judgment [or, righteousness], the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goeth in before the Lord: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of Israel upon his heart before the Lord continually.' We read again (Numb. xxvii. 21) that on the designation of Joshua to the leadership which had been previously enjoyed by Moses: 'He shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask [counsel] for him, after the judgment of Urim before the Lord;' implying that the wonderful emblems here connected with the breastplate of the high-priest were meant, as being one with it, to serve the purpose of an oracle, whatever

emblem was rather 'promissory' than
didactic, pointing to some special
presence and inspiration of the god-
dess of Truth in the Egyptian courts
of justice. He refers in illustration
to Deut. xxxiii. 8, 9.

1 It has been urged (for example,
by Mr Tomkins, p. 83), as an ad-
missible rendering of the Hebrew

qualities.' Yet as precisely the same phrase occurs in Exod. xxv. 16, 21, where the allusion is to the placing of the two Tables within the ark, we can hardly doubt that the Authorised Version is here correct, and that the Urim and Thummim were something superadded, and materially separable from the breast-plate: cf. Bähr, II. 108, 109. In Lev. viii. 8, it is said expressly, 'And he put the breast-plate upon him; also he put in the breast-plate the Urim and the Thummim.'

-that these two mys וְנָתַתָּ אֶל־חֹשֶׁן

terious names (Urim and Thummim)
were no visible part of it (the breast-
plate) at all, but attributes assigned
to it emblematical of high moral

II.

be the right interpretation of the method in which CHAP. responses were detected and delivered (cf. 1 Sam. xxviii. 6).

difference.

The intimations, therefore, of a common parent- Points of age for the Egyptian and the Hebrew symbols, are restricted chiefly to the circumstance that both may be described as solemn badges, and that some judicial characteristics are attributed to their possessors in the two cases respectively. The chief judge, among his other decorations, wore about his neck the chain of office, with a precious seal, or effigy of truth, suspended from it: the chief priest, in asking guidance from Jehovah, wore the breastplate of righteousness, containing in the precious stones of which it was composed an emblem of collective Israel; and armed with it he was directed to 'go in unto the holy place for a memorial before the Lord continually.' But the statement of this semblance of external approximation, or rather of remote affinity in the uses of the two solemn symbols, is enough to make us thoroughly conscious of their general dissimilitude. The Aaronic breastplate, for example, was not worn in any court of human judicature; it had no reference to the ordinary business of the individual Hebrew, but to special difficulties connected with the fortunes of the whole sacred corporation; neither was it meant to quicken in the spirit of the wearer a conviction of his personal frailty, or his need of more than ordinary watchfulness in executing his high office.

and Thmei.

Whence, then, grew the prevalent notion that Thummim some very close affinity existed between the emblems now in question? It is clearly traceable to

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