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and to the sheep a fourth of a hin. Besides this was added, to each meat-offering, the same quantity of oil as there was of wine in the drink-offering, and also a handful of incense. The sin-offering consisted in a goat. While the burnt-offering was presented, the great Hallel was sung, and the priests on the pillars blew the trumpets.
After this the high-priest presented his thank-offering for the victory, consisting of a vast multitude of bullocks, rams, and sheep, with the appropriate meat and drink offerings; his sons also testified their gratitude by considerable sacrifices, and some of the principal officers of the army took the same method of expressing their gratitude or discharging their VOWS. The victims which had been seen in the procession of the day before, adorned with flowers and fillets, were brought to the altar; their blood was sprinkled upon it, the entrails with the fat waived to the Lord, towards the four winds of heaven, and then burnt upon the altar. The breast, the right shoulder, the jawbones, the tongue, and the stomach came to the share of the priests, the rest was prepared as a feast for the person who offered the sacrifice. During the sacrifice the priests blew their silver trumpets, and the Levites on the fifteen steps sung the 144th psalm.
Towards the end of all these offerings, which were so numerous that it would not have been possible to have accomplished them all in so short a time, but for the practised dexterity and systematic procedure of the priests, the Nazarite made his appearance; he had already laid aside his coarse garment, and he was now to be solemnly absolved from his vow. It was necessary for him to present all the three principal kinds of offerings, a lamb for a burnt-offering, a yearling sheep for a sin-offering, and a ram for a thankoffering.* To these was added, beside the drink-offering, a basket full of unleavened cakes, of the finest meal, of which a part were kneaded with oil, a part had only had oil poured upon them. The burnt offering was wholly consumed on
*Numb. vi. 13.
the altar; the sin-offering was the portion of the priests; the thank-offering served in a great measure to furnish a festive meal prepared for the Nazarite and his friends, in a small court in the southeast corner of the court of Israel, called the court of the Nazarites.
Helon, Elisama, Iddo, the relation of Iddo, who had returned from the war, and many others were invited to partake of this meal, and accompanied him to the court of the Nazarites. The excavation in which the fire was burning was cleared, and fresh coals heaped upon it. Then the Nazarite, returning thanks in a prayer to God, took the knife, and cutting off the hair from his head, threw it on the coals to be consumed. The flesh of the thank-offering was then roasted, and when it was ready, a priest took the shoulder, together with a cake mixed with oil, and another on which oil had been poured, and placed them in the hands of the Nazarite. They went together to the front of the sanctuary; the priest placed his own hands beneath those of the Nazarite and waived what he held in them before Jehovah, towards the four winds of heaven, and then received it for his own portion.
His vow was thus completely ended, and all the prescribed solemnities had been observed. But not contented with this, he offered several special thank-offerings, which were sacrificed in the usual manner, and the flesh prepared for the feast. The table was spread in one of the galleries over the porticoes in the court. Iddo and Helon were made to take the seats of honor, one on each side of the Nazarite. He, relieved from the cumbrous and unseemly load which he had borne for a year, had anointed his head, and was clad in a splendid caftan. The servants of the temple waited on them during the whole of the meal.
The Nazarite spread his hands over the bread, and as a blessing ascribed praise to Jehovah. Then, with more than ordinary solemnity, he took the cup with both hands, lifted it high above the table with his right, and said, "Blessed be thou, O Lord our God, thou King of the world, who hast given us
the fruit of the vine." The company said Amen! He then, in a long draught, drank the first wine which he had tasted for a year, and as the guests followed his example, he exclaimed, "it is true that wine maketh glad the heart of man, as the Psalmist teaches us; but he who would feel the full force of the saying, must have drank it for the first time at the close of a Nazarite's vow, before the face of Jehovah, after the destruction of Samaria. This is the time to enter into the full force of what the Preacher says,' Eat thy bread with joy and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for thy work is pleasing to God. Let thy garments be always white, and thy head lack no oil.'"*
"I perceive," said Iddo, "That you and I have reason to congratulate ourselves, that we are children of Israel and not Rechabites, who after the example and command of their ancestor Jonadab, refused to drink wine, when it was set before them by the prophet Jeremiah.”+
"I have found by experience," said the Nazarite, “that zeal for Jehovah makes abstinence easy, and burdensome observances light."
"That may be seen," said one of the company, "in the case of the high-priest, who leads in some respect the life of a Nazarite perpetually. He is not allowed to drink wine, or any strong drink in the temple for the spirit of the Lord, and not intoxicating liquors, must gladden his heart. He must not touch a corpse; for he must have no communion with sin, or death which is its punishment. He must not make his head bald; for that which in ordinary life might be a burden must be an ornament of his head."§
"This motive," said Iddo, "makes many things light, that would otherwise be grievous," casting his eyes towards his young relative, who had just returned from the war. "It is true," said the youth, “I declined to avail myself of the indulgence which the law would have granted me. I had been just betrothed, when the war broke out. The keeper of the
* Eccl. ix. 7.
+ Jer. xxxv. + Lev, x. 9.
§ Lev. xxi, 10-12.
genealogical register assembled our youth and read to us the law, as spoken by the Lord our God to Moses. When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses and chariots and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them; for the Lord thy God is with thee, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt. And the officers shall speak unto the people, saying, Who is there that hath built a new house, and hath not dedicated it? Let him return to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man dedicate it. And who is there that has planted a vineyard, and hath not yet eaten of it? Let him also go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man eat of it. And who is there that hath betrothed a wife, and that hath not taken her? Let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle and another man take her. And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and shall say unto them, Who is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren's heart faint, as well as his.'* On this proclamation being made a multitude of persons withdrew, who had built houses, or planted vineyards, or been betrothed to wives. I however refused to avail myself of this privilege, nor would my bride allow me to claim it. My father had served when, twenty years before, our prince, John Hyrcanus, had conquered Sichem and destroyed the temple on Gerizim, and he had talked to me a thousand times of his campaigns and his victories. So I thought it became his son to be with the sons of Hyrcanus, when they marched for the destruction of Samaria, and I went therefore joyfully to the field."
"And are you not now in haste to return home?" asked Iddo.
"I shall remain here till the fourteenth of this month Ijar, and then with my comrades celebrate the latter Passover, not having been able to keep the feast at the proper time. Then I will return home and relate to my bride the valiant deeds of Aristobulus and Antigonus, how we defeated Antiochus
* Deut. xx. 1-8,
+ Numb. ix, 6.
Cyzicenus, who came to raise the siege of Samaria; and how Jehovah strengthened my arm, so that I smote his general Callimander in battle, whom he had left to command his army, when he himself retired to Tripolis. She will laugh the Syrian to scorn, and become my faithful wife."
When he had said those words, the whole company were loud in his praise. "Never," exclaimed Iddo, " may the altar of Jehovah be without an Hyrcanus; never may the chief of Israel, when he goes to battle, be without such soldiers!"
The conversation respecting the events of the war continued during the rest of the meal. The young soldier related to them the particulars of the defeat of Antiochus and his generals, and the ravages which he had committed upon the country when he dared not even with the six thousand Egyptian auxiliaries, attack the Jewish army. At length the last cup was blessed, and they left the temple full of joy and gratitude.
INTO THE PRIES T
"O THOU dream of my childhood and my youth, art thou then really about to be fulfilled? O pride and sorrow of my forefathers, sacred priesthood, art thou indeed about to be revived in their descendant? Praised be Jehovah !"
Such were the exclamations of Helon, when, a few days after the feast of the new moon, the morning dawned of the day on which he was to appear before the Sanhedrim, and to undergo their scrutiny, preparatory to his admission into the priesthood. The following day was the sabbath, when he was to offer his first sacrifice. He opened the door of the