Page images

Hebrew word we translate atonement, but what comes from that root. 62. From the root no caphar are derived words of seven significations. 1. The first signification is to pitch, to smear with pitch ; a mercy-seat, or propitiatory. 2. To make atonement. 3. A village. 4. .A. bowl, or bason. 5. Hoar-frost. 6. Camphire. 7. A young lion. The five last senses have no relation, that I can see, to the present affair; and therefore only the two first remain to be examined. 63. To pitch, to smear with pitch, seems to be the natural, and original sense of the word ; though it is so used but once ; namely, Gen. vi. 14, no and thou shalt pitch it, the ark, within and without nexa with pitch. The sense, when it signifieth the mercy-seat and atonement seems to be transferred from covering and securing with pitch to things of a different nature. 64. As it signifieth a propitiatory, or mercy-seat it is always used for the cover of the ark of the covenant ; and is never described, but by its materials, dimensions, and the place where it stood. Only we learn from Lev. xvi. 2, it was upon the mercy-seat God always appeared in the

bright cloud, the symbol of his presence. There he dwelt between the cherubims, Psal. lxxx. 1. And further the Lord tells Moses, Exod. xxv. 22, that he would meet with him, and commune with him from above the mercy-seat. That was the place from whence he should hear the voice issue, giving him orders what to do; and there he must suppose was the divine presence. And accordingly, Num. vii. 89, it is said, when Moses went into the tabernacle of the congregation to speak with him, then he heard the voice of one speaking unto him from off the mercy-seat, that was upon the ark of testimony, from between the two cherubims : and he spake unto him. And upon the great day of atonement Aaron is ordered to burn incense in the holy place, that the smoke might cover the mercy-seat, Lev. xvi. 14, and to sprinkle the blood of the sacrifices upon, and before the mercy-seat. Any further express account of the end and use of the mercy-seat, I find not in all the Old Testament. Nor can I conceive what the meaning of it could be, unless it was to denote, that from thence the mercy of God was dispensed to the people; and that he had his standing, as it were, upon that in all his transactions with them : to shew, that mercy and goodness were his throne; the ground and basis of that intercourse which he held with the children of Israel; and that all their services and devotions were to have respect to that, or to God as seated upon a throne of mercy. 65. As it signifieth atonement, or hath relation to that sense, it is to be found only in the following places, and is thus variously rendered by our translators. 66. I. As a verb. (1.) Make an atonement, atonement made. Exod. xxix. 33. [for the altar] 36, 37.-xxx. 10, 10, * 15, 16.—xxxii. * 30. Lev. i. 4.—iv. 20, 26, 31, 35.-v. 6, 10, 13, 16, 18.—vi. 7.-vii. 7.-viii. 34.— ix. 7, 7.-x. 17-xii. 7, 8.—xiv. 18, 19, 20, 21, 29, 31, 53. [for the house]—xv. 15, 30.—xvi. 6, 10, 11, 16, 17, 17, 18, 24, 27, 30, 32, 33, 33, 33, 34.—xvii. 11, 11. —xix. 22. Num. v. 8.—vi. 11.—viii. 12, 19, 21.-xv. 25, 28, 28.—xvi. * 46, 47. —xxv. * 13.—xxviii. 22, 30.-xxix. 5. —xxxi. * 50. 2 Sam. xxi. # 3. I Chron. vi. 49. 2 Chron. xxix. 24. Neh. x. 33. (2.) Be merciful to, Deut. xxi. * 8.-xxxii. * 43. (3.) Purge, purge away, purged, cleansed, Num. xxxv. * 33. 1 Sam. iii. 14. Psal. lxv. * 3.— lxxix. * 9. Prov. xvi. # 6. Isa. vi. # 7. —xxii. * 14.—xxvii. * 9. [the altar] Ezek. xliii. 20, 26. (4.) Reconcile, make reconciliation, reconciling, Lev. vi. 30.— viii. 15. [the holy place, tabernacle, altar] —xvi. 20. Ezek. xlv. 15, 17, 20. Dan. ix. * 24. (5.) Pacify, appease, Gen. xxxii. * 20. Prov. xvi. * 14. Ezek. xvi. * 63. (6.) To put off. Isa. xlvii. * 11. (7.) Forgive, pardon, Deut. xxi. * 8. 2 Chron. xxx. * 18. Psal. lxxviii. * 38. Jer. xviii. * 23. (8.) To disannul, Isa. xxviii. * 18. 67. II. As a noun. (1.) Sum of money, Exod. xxi. * 30. (2.) A ransom, Exod. xxx. * 12. Job xxxiii. * 24.—xxxvi. * 18. Prov. vi. * 35.—xiii. * 8.-xxi. * 18. Isa. xliii. * 3. Psal. xlix. * 7. (3.) Satisfaction, Num. xxxv, * 31, 32. (4.) Bribe. 1 Sam. xii. * 3. Amos v. * 12. (5.) Atonement, atonements, Exod. xxix. 36.—xxx. 10, 16. Lev. xxiii. 27, 28.— xxv. 9. Num. v. 8.—xxix. 11. 68. These are all the places in the bible where the word no caphar, or its conju


gates, as they have relation to atonement, are to be found ; in number 121.

69. In all places in the levitical law, where atonement is said to be made by sacrifice for persons,” the word, so far as I can perceive, is every where used in one uniform sense. And therefore, by comparing such passages we shall gain no advantage : because they are not so many different instances of a known sense ; but are to be considered only as one single instance of a doubtful sense, which we are now inquiring after.



70. THE texts then, which we are to examine, are those where the word is used eactra-levitically, or with no relation to sa

* Atonement is said to be made for a house, the holy place, tabernacle, altar, Lev. xiv. 53.-xvi. 20. Ezek. xliii. 20, 26.-xlv. 20. This atonement Mr. Pierce thinks was on account of the uncleanness of the persons who belonged to them, or attended upon them. Lev, xvi. 19. See his note upon Heb. ix. 22.

« PreviousContinue »