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wards the cock-crowing, but on this occcsion during the first. Next they themselves partook of the paschal lamb, and soon after midnight the gates were opened, for the ingress of the children of Israel, many of whom were there even at this early hour, in order to see the splendor of the illuminated temple. As soon as the watchman had answered in the affirmative the customary question of the priest, "Does it begin to be light as far as Hebron ?" all the streets leading to the temple were filled with men, dressed in their gayest clothes. On no other occasion of the year was the temple so crowded as on the morning after the Passover.
The usual morning sacrifice was first of all offered. The lamps were extinguished, incense was burnt upon the altar, and the lamb was sacrificed to Jehovah, with the usual meat and drink offering. Then followed the special offering for the feast, two young bullocks, a ram, seven yearling lambs with meat and drink offerings. Next, a goat was offered as a sin-offering; the Hallel was sung, and the blessing pronounced. The whole body of the priests was assembled; on ordinary days, only some families of the fathers were present; on the sabbath the whole course; but on high festivals the whole twentyfour courses, the collective body of the priesthood.
Helon had been among the first who had come up to the temple of Jehovah, at the crowing of the cock. He beheld all with deep interest and profound devotion, and as he gazed on the temple and the splendid ritual performed in it, the fond wish of his early childhood awoke in his heart, that he too might be thought worthy to become a priest of Jehovah and to minister at his altar. With increasing eagerness he looked for the appearance of the high-priest, the head and crown of the tribe of Levi and of all Israel. He had expected him to appear yesterday, and during the morning sacrifice, but he had not shown himself. Helon felt an enthusiastic admiration for the heroic family of the Maccabees, and none of them all had risen to such an eminence as John Hyrcanus.
In Egypt, in Hebron, on the pilgrimage and through the whole preceding day, he had been hearing the praises of the man whom he was now about to see.
He was standing upon the lowest of the fifteen steps, which led from the court of Israel to that of the women, when there arose a cry among the thousands who surrounded him, “The high-priest is coming!" He came from an adjoining building and walked towards the altar. The breastplate with its precious stones beamed from his breast. Over the ordinary white robe of the priests, which descended in folds to his feet, he wore a magnificent upper robe of a blue purple. The bells between the pomegranates, on the borders of his robe, gave a clear sound as he walked. Over this upper garment he had a third, which was shorter, called the ephod, splendidly embroidered with purple, dark blue, crimson and thread of gold, on a white ground. On his head was a white turban, and over this a second, striped with dark blue. On his forehead he wore a plate of gold, on which the name of Jehovah was inscribed; and being at once high-priest and prince, this was connected with a triple crown on the temples and back part of the head.
The priests made way for him, as he entered in his glory, and stepped in majesty along. Arrived at the altar, he looked around on the innumerable multitude that were assembled, while silent congratulations were addressed to him by every heart. Helon thought on the splendid description of the high-priest Simon, the son of Onias, in the book of Jesus the son of Sirach,*
The mere description had often awakened the enthusiasm of Helon, but now he saw it realized, in the most impressive service ever performed in Israel· - that of the morning after the Passover. There stood the high-priest, spiritual and temporal sovereign of the people, on the mountain of Jehovah, in sight of his sanctuary, and looked through the lofty portico, full upon the curtain of the most holy place. On
* Ecclesiasticus i.
the other side, through all the courts even to the foot of mount Moriah, was a countless multitude, all occupied with prayer and praise, all waiting anxiously for his blessing, and expecting to be purified by his offering. Around him were all the priests of Israel, obedient to his nod, ministering to him in the most sacred employment of the people, their appearance before Jehovah. He himself, the man who bore the name of Jehovah on his brow, with everything that oriental splendor could accumulate, lavished on him, in honor of that name, surrounded by the flames of the altar of burnt-offering, which flashed up to heaven! It was a sight to awaken every sublime religious feeling of such a mind as Helon's.
The Hallel was sung. The priests, stationed on the pillars near the laver, accompanied the song with the sound of their trumpets, and the Levites on the fifteen steps sung it, with their cymbals, cornets and flutes. David had appointed four thousand Levites for musicians and singers, and their number was probably not much smaller now.* The multitude responded, with its hundred thousand voices, to the song of the choir; and when the Hallelujah, with which the psalms begin and end, was thrice repeated with the united volume of vocal and instrumental sound poured forth at once, a less lively imagination than Helon's might have fancied that Jehovah himself appeared in the flames of the altar, to receive the homage of his people. It was here only that one of these psalms, so full of the boldest flights and of the deepest emotion, must be heard, to be fully felt.
Helon was so absorbed, that the wave of the people had forced him, unconscious of it, far down to the extremity of the court. He could only see from a distance the movements of the high-priest about the altar. His majestic figure, as he passed to and fro before the flames which arose in the back ground, received from them a strong illumination, which to Helon's fancy gave something solemn and unearthly to the forin. When the sacrifice and the Hallel were ended, the
* 1 Chron. xxiii. 5.
people fell on their knees, and bowed their faces to the earth to receive the high-priest's blessing. He washed his hands with the usual solemnities, and advanced to the steps of the Levites, praying thus; "Praised be thou, O Lord our God, thou king of the world, who hast sanctified us with the consecration of Aaron, and commanded us to bless thy people Israel in love." He then turned first to the sanctuary and afterwards to the people; then lifting his arms to the height of his shoulders, and joining his hands together, so as to leave intervals between the fingers, with eyes cast down on the ground, he laid the name of Jehovah on the people and said,
The Lord bless thee and keep thee,
The Lord make his face to shine upon thee and be gracious unto thee, The Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon thee and give thee peace! Num. vi. 24.
At every repetition of the word thee, he turned to the north and the south. The people replied; "Praised be the name of his kingdom for ever!" They continued a while when the benediction was concluded, each praying to himself, while the high-priest, turning to the sanctuary, said, “O Lord of the whole world, we have done what thou hast commanded us, and thou wilt do what thou hast promised. Thou wilt behold us from the habitation of thy holiness; thou wilt look down from heaven and bless thy people Israel !”
The offerings which were now concluded had a reference to the whole people; it remained that individuals should offer for themselves, both thank-offerings and burnt-offerings, in order not to appear empty-handed before Jehovah. The thank-offerings might only be offered on this day, the burntofferings on the following day also.
They remained together till the evening sacrifice, and Helon did not leave the temple till after it, in order that he might witness the ceremony of the wave-sheaf. This is the commencement of harvest, which begins at the time of the Passover, with the barley (in the warm valley of the Jordan
still earlier) and is finished about Pentecost, with the wheat. Everything which concerned the people of Israel, the harvest especially, must begin and end with religious solemnity.
At sunset, the citizens who had been appointed to cut the wave-sheaf by the Sanhedrim, came down through the courts, accompanied by a great concourse of people, and Helon joined in the procession. They went to the nearest field of barley before the city: the sixteenth of Nisan was begun, and the evening star was already visible in the sky. The person who was appointed to reap asked aloud," Is the sun gone down?" The people who stood around answered, "Yes." "Shall I cut." "Yes." "With this sickle ?" "Yes." "In this basket ?" "Yes." The question, thrice repeated, being thrice answered in the affirmative, he cut as much as would furnish an omer, and binding the sheaves together, carried them to the temple. The barley was then roasted by the fire, cleared from the husk, ground into meal, and the omer* of the finest meal was kept till the following day.
ENED Ᏼ Ꭱ Ꭼ Ꭺ Ꭰ .
It was the morning of the second day after the Passover. Helon arose, performed his devotions in the Alijah, saluted Moriah and Zion from the roof, and they all went together to the temple to pray. After the usual morning sacrifice of a lamb, followed, as the day before, an offering appropriate to the festival, of two young bullocks, a ram, and seven yearling lambs, as a burnt-offering; and a goat, as a sin-offering. The high-priest ministered as before at the altar, and the priests
* Omer, a little more than five pints.