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open fields to devils (particularly, by pour
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tar when they should come into the promised land, because of its distance from their habitations, and are al-' lowed to kill the beasts for private use in all their gates, yet are they commanded not only not to eat blood, but to pour it out upon the earth as water ; that is, as a common thing, and not as a thing separated to any idolatrous use; and to pour it upon the earth as water, which is poured upon the surface, and soon sucked in, but is not carefully collected, and put into an hole or trench of the ground. This is yet more plainly expressed in the 13th verse of this chapter : “ He shall even pour out the blood « thereof” (carefully and at once, and not barely let it go as water),“ but” (carefully)“cover it with the earth;" that is, all the time you continue in the wilderness, where the inclination and the opportunities for this idolatry will occurr much oftner than when you come into the promised land, by the methods which I shall in the mean time take to cure you of this wicked difpofition. And thus the author of the book Zohar, one of the most ancient of the Jewith writers, who, speaking of divers methods of inchantment and magic by which the Egyptians outdid all mankind, says, in Levit. fol. 235. “ And when the “ Egyptians had a mind to have a congregation for per“ forming their magical rites, they went into the open 56 fields to a high mountain, and killed sacrifices, and “ made a trench in the earth, and sprinkled blood about “ the trench, and got together, and offered their facri“ fices to wicked and malignant spirits, and contracted “ familiarities with them in the mountain. And the lf
ing out their blood in-
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$6 raelites, that were in bondage to them, went among 56 them, and learned from them, and erred after them; « according as it is written, Lev. xvii. 7. And they shall
no more offer their facrifices unto goats, after whom " they have gone a whoring. From this tradition we ss Jearn, that at the time that they went after those wic$6 ked spirits, and prepared the blood as aforesaid, and of. 66 fered them facrifices, those wicked spirits gathered " themselves together, and appeared to them as hairy “ goats, and revealed to them the things they wanted to “ know from them.” So likewise Josephus Albo, in Sepher Ikkar, Disc. iji. C. 16, speaking of the ceremonial or ritual law, says, “ The killing of beasts without the fos tabernacle was first forbid just after the Israelites were
come out of Egypt; because they were then overrun "s with the worship of devils, and eat upon the blood, and 16 eat the blood and the fat;" without all doubt, according to what they had learned in Egypt, And Maimonides, who penetrated farther into the end and meaning of the ritual laws than any of the Jewish writers, says yet more expressly, Mor. Nevoc. b. iii, c. 46. “ That though the
Zabii counted blood a very unclean and impure thing, " yet they eat it, because they thought it the food of the “ devils, and that he that eat it acquired by that means $6 fome communication with the devils; fo as that the “ devils converse familiarly with him, and reveal future " things to him, as the common people use to attribute I those things to devils. There were however some among 5 them who could not eat blood without the greatest dif
unto the Lord, unto 'trench in the ground, the door of the taber-. for the devils, as they nacle of the congrega- supposed, to feed on,
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os ficulty and uneasiness (for it is a thing a man naturally " abhors); these killing any beast took his blood to put " it into a vessel or little trench, and (fitting in a circle « round the blood) eat the feth: imagining in this ma“nagement, whilst they eat the Aesh, that the devils eat “ the blood, and that that was their food; and that by " these means a friendship, fraternity, and familiarity was 66 contracted between them, because they all eat at one “ table fitting together. Besides, they were of opinion, " that the devils appeared to them in dreams, revealed " future things to them, and were very useful to them.”
« « To the end that the children of Israel may bring " their sacrifices which they offer in the open field, even " that they may bring them unto the Lord.” The last words intimate plainly, that the facrifices which they offered in the open field were offered unto devils, from that which is set in opposition to them, “ even that they “ bring them unto the Lord;" or, as it is in the 7th verse, “And they shall” (or, " that they may")" no more offer « their facrifices unto devils, after whom they have gone
a whoring.” If the facrifices that were offered in the open fields had been offered to God, and the meaning of the law had only been that they should offer those facrifices at the tabernacle which they ufed to offer in the fields, that law would have run so, and not as it now does; that is, it would have run so as to put the sacrificing in the open fields in opposition to the tabernacle, and not in opposition to the Lord, to whom indeed for the future they are here expressly cơmmanded to offer them.
Levit. XVII. PARAPHRASE. tion, unto the priest, and according to an idolaoffer them for peace-of- trous rite then in use, fering unto the Lord,
especially on consulting the dead); I say, that they may bring these beasts to be slain before me; even unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, as it were, under my eye;
particularly to some of the priests, who are now to be the only persons that can offer upon the altar; and offer them by some of those priests there for a peace-offering unto the Lord.
6 And the priest shall Ver. 6. And these sprinkle the blood upon beasts shall be offered the altar of the Lord, at
as peace-offerings to the door of the taber
me after this manner: pacle of the congrega- the priest shall sprintion, and burn the fat
kle the blood, and þurn the fat upon the
for a sweet favour unto altar; as a thing that
will be well accepted
7 And they shall no Ver. 7. And by this
proselytes from this
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f Ver. 7.
" After whom they have gone a whoring:
just after the Israelites were come out of Egypt, over-