Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  Titus 2:13

CHAPTER II.

GOSPEL-AGE LEVITES.

Num. 3; 4.

 

GENERALITIES ON THE GOSPEL-AGE LEVITES. GERSHONITES. KOHATHITES. MERARITES. COVERING THE VESSELS AND FURNITURE. BEREAN QUESTIONS.

 

WE GAVE above a brief analysis, type and antitype, of Num. 1, 2, 26. We found that the chapters give a typical history of the organization of the nominal church in its twelve general denominational divisions, as chapter one also gives a little on the Gospel-Age Levites-the tentatively justified believers. These chapters will likewise have Epiphany and Millennial antitypes. The act of numbering the people in their tribes seems to type the act of describing and limiting the denominations as such. That the symbolic meaning of numbering is describing and limiting seems to be manifest from Ps. 48: 12: "Walk about Zion; tell (literally, number, i.e., describe and limit) the towers [the main and strongest truths] thereof." So viewed, the first ten chapters of Numbers give us a typical history of the main organizational work of God's people, nominal and real, during the Gospel Age, as well as during the Parousia, Epiphany and the Millennium.

 

We now desire to study, type and antitype, Num. 3: 1-51, in so far as it applies to the Gospel-Age picture, which is the viewpoint of Heb. 3: 1—4: 3. The Parousia picture (1 Cor. 10: 1-14), and especially the Epiphany picture (Mal. 3: 2, 3), differ from the Gospel-Age picture. In the Gospel-Age picture all of the new creatures were Priests. During the Parousia, which was the transitional period between the Gospel Age and the Epiphany, the more rebellious new creatures (viewed from God's, but not from our standpoint) began to become antitypical Levites, as can be

 

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seen from the antitype of Korah and his 250 Levite companions (P '19, 144, col. 2, par. 1); but God continued in spite of His knowledge of their real Great Company character to treat the more tractable of them throughout the Parousia as Priests, while during the Epiphany the Great Company become from our standpoint manifested as antitypical Levites. On the other hand, the tentatively justified throughout the Gospel Age until the Epiphany are the antitypical Levites. They are "the Gentiles"—the special class among the unconsecrated, uncircumcised— symbolic Gentiles—who during the Gospel Age have the antitypical Court as their place of standing before the Lord (Rev. 11: 2). For the sake of clearness in presenting our subject we will in this chapter limit our study to the Gospel-Age picture, leaving the other pictures for later study.

 

(3) Usually in the book of Numbers when Moses and Aaron are referred to as acting together Moses types our Lord and Aaron the Little Flock (Num. 12: 1-15; see Berean Comments). This is the viewpoint of Num. 3: 1. In some connections Moses types sometimes the Law, sometimes Jesus; Aaron, sometimes Jesus and sometimes Jesus and the Church; and Aaron's sons, the Church. When, apart from the mention of Moses, in Leviticus and Numbers Aaron and his sons, without the latter's names being mentioned, are referred to together, usually Aaron types Jesus and his sons the Church. But if the sons are mentioned by name, then usually Aaron types the entire Christ, Head and Body, Nadab (willful) types the Parousia Second Death class, Abihu (he is my Father) types Epiphany Second Deathers as leaders of the Great Company (T. 119, note), and Eleazar (mighty helper, or God is helper), when the type refers to the Harvest of the Jewish Age, represents in general the Twelve Apostles (into whose charge the Truth and the entire Church were committed by our Lord, Num. 4: 16; Matt. 16: 19; 18: 18; Rev. 12: 1), and especially the

 

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Apostle Paul (Num. 19: 3-7; T. 110), though not exclusively so; for the other Apostles also pointed out to the Church the faithfulness of the Ancient Worthies. For the Harvest of the Gospel Age Eleazar types our Pastor, who was given the charge of the Church and the Truth as "that Servant" (Num. 4: 16; 16: 36-40; Matt. 24: 45-47; Luke 12: 43-46; 1 Cor. 10: 5-10). For the Gospel Age Ithamar (field of palms) types those leading "secondarily prophets," stars, who successively acted as the special teachers and leaders, more particularly directing the work of the tentatively justified, and for the Epiphany, its messenger (Ex. 38: 21; Num. 4: 28, 33; 7: 8). The special service of the Twelve Apostles, "that Servant," and the other secondarily prophets who have been star-members is typed by the expression, "Eleazar and Ithamar ministered in the priests' office in the sight (prominently) of Aaron (Jesus and the Church) their father" (Num. 3: 4). The fact that Nadab and Abihu were childless types the fact that none belonging to the Second Death class will be readmitted into the Little Flock (Heb. 10: 26-31; 12: 16, 17). Thus briefly as the Gospel-Age picture does Num. 3: 1-4 give us a typical statement of the works of Jesus as Administrator (Moses), Jesus and the Church as Priests (Aaron), the Second Deathers (Nadab), the Great Company (Abihu), the Twelve Apostles and "that Servant" (Eleazar), and the other star-members as secondarily prophets (Ithamar).

 

(4) In Num. 3: 5-10 Moses types our Lord as Jehovah's Vicegerent—not as the Church's High Priest— administrating Jehovah's arrangements. Aaron in this section usually types Jesus as the Church's High Priest, and his sons type the Church as Under-priests. Hence in this section Jehovah addresses Moses as His administrator. This section types the apportioning of the service of the antitypical Priests and Levites. V. 6, from the standpoint of the Gospel-Age picture, shows

 

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how the Lord Jesus, as Jehovah's Administrator, brought the tentatively justified (the tribe of Levi) forward for their official work by working in them repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus—making them antitypical Levites. As such they were set before the Head and Body (Aaron) as servants to further them in their priestly work. Such setting them before antitypical Aaron implied that they were given the necessary teaching and character-development to qualify them for such service. V. 7 shows that their service would help both the antitypical Priesthood and the entire nominal people of God (the whole congregation), when the latter would engage in any service pertaining to God (before the tabernacle of the congregation). The expression, "to do the service of the tabernacle," implies that the tentatively justified were to do the servant work, but not the sacrificial work in connection with the antitypical Tabernacle. In v. 8 the Levites were charged to keep every one of the tabernacle's articles, incorrectly in this verse translated furniture; for this chapter, vs. 25, 26, 31, 36, 37, shows that they had a service toward every article belonging to, and toward every part of, the tabernacle. This types that the tentatively justified were to give some service connected with all the teachings, practices, history and works of the true Church, and thus render some service to the Priests and the nominal people of God. V. 9 shows that they are separated from the world of professed Christians solely ("wholly given") for the sake of serving the Priesthood in the interest of the people. Therefore, if any tentatively justified person ceased to minister in this way, his tentative justification lapsed; for only those wholly given to Jesus and the Church could be antitypes of those "wholly given" to Aaron and his sons. Jesus, as God's Administrator, appointed (v. 9) to Himself as Chief Priest and to His members as the Under-priesthood the sacrificial work that each member of the Priesthood is to

 

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perform according to God's instruction to Jesus as His Administrator. And any one not of the Priesthood (the stranger), who would presume to do the work of a Priest, would lose his real standing before God. Thus, if a tentatively justified one presumed to do a Priest's work, he would lose his tentative justification, and thus cease being an antitypical Levite, as an antitypical Israelite so presuming would cease to be of God's nominal people.

 

(5) Vs. 11-13 show the relation of the tribe of Levi to Jehovah. In the full, vitalized sense of the terms used in this section, it antitypically applies to the Little Flock and the Great Company as the antitypical tribe of Levi now, and to the Little Flock, Ancient Worthies, Great Company and Youthful Worthies as the antitypical tribe of Levi in the Millennium. Nevertheless, the Levites here referred to can in a general sense be applied as types of the Gospel-Age Levites—the tentatively justified; for they have been tentatively passed over during the time that Jehovah has been destroying the New Creatures (firstborn of man) and the humanity (firstborn of beasts) of the Second Deathers. Thus both the Little Flock and the justified were by God set aside for His service (v. 13). We are not, however, to understand that in the antitype the Firstborn were put aside, and that the Consecrated and the tentatively justified were taken in their place. Actually, in the antitype the Firstborns and the antitypical tribe of Levi are the same persons. The two classes of persons in the types represent merely two different aspects of the same persons in the antitype. Thus we are the Firstborn from the standpoint that we come into God's family before the world; and we are of the antitypical tribe of Levi from the standpoint that we are set apart to God in connection with the At-one-ment work. God has been pleased to use the above mentioned two sets of typical persons to represent these two aspects of the same persons (v. 12).

 

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(6) Vs. 14-21: In this section, for the Gospel-Age picture, Jehovah commands our Lord to describe and fix the various groups among the tentatively Justified. The term, "house of their fathers," refers to the three general groups of the Levites as descendants of Gershon, Kohath and Merari; and the term, "by their families," refers to the subdivisions of these groups. While Levites had to be 30 years old before they could serve (Num. 4: 3, 23, 30), which types that only the properly qualified were to do the official work of the tentatively Justified, yet all the males from a month old and upward were counted, which types that the Lord has described and classified the immature as well as the mature tentatively Justified. Our Lord, throughout the Age, in the pertinent teachings and in the uses and non-uses to which the Justified were put, numbered—described and classified—them as mature or immature for these services (v. 16). As of the typical Levites, so of the antitypical Levites, there have been three general divisions. This holds true also of the Gospel-Age Levites—the tentatively Justified (v. 17). From the fact that the Kohathite Levites received no chariots (organizations) for this work, but bore their burdens on their shoulders (Num. 7: 9), and from the typical service which they performed (v. 31), we infer that the antitypical Kohathites (Kohath, ally) of the Gospel Age were those justified ones who, more or less aided by their fellows, individually, by their researches, writings, and lecturings, served the Priesthood and the nominal people of God with Biblical and Ecclesiastical information. From the fact that the Merarites (Merari, bitterness) had four chariots (organizations) for their assistance in their work (Num. 7: 8), and from the particular parts of the Tabernacle that were their charge (vs. 36, 37), we infer that the antitypical Merarites of the Gospel Age have been those justified ones who, assisted by their fellows, served the Priesthood and God's nominal people in connection with editing

 

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and publishing organizations, by editing and issuing Bibles and other pertinent religious literature. From the fact that the Gershonites (Gershon, a stranger there) had two chariots (organizations) for their assistance in their work, and from the particular parts of the Tabernacle that were in their charge, we infer that the antitypical Gershonites of the Gospel Age have been those justified ones who, assisted by their fellows, served the Priests and God's nominal people in connection with ministerial organizations, and evangelistic and missionary organizations. These definitions of the three groups of the Gospel-Age Levites will become more manifest as true when we further on in this chapter examine the work of their types and recognize the antitypical significance of the work of these types. Certainly, during the Gospel Age our Lord has caused a description and an apportioning of the above-defined three classes of antitypical Levites to be made, and has assigned certain qualified tentatively justified persons to these services of the antitypical Tabernacle.

 

(7) In v. 18 there are given the two subdivisions of the Gershonites—Libni (white, or free) and Shimei (famous). We understand the antitypical Libnites of the Gospel Age to be those tentatively justified ones who, with their helpers, have been as clerical missionary and evangelistic (1) writers (Jehiel, God lives), and (2) speakers (Zetham, olive) and (3) as lay workers (Joel, Jehovah is God) seeking to convert sinners and heathen, corresponding to the three groups of Libnites (1 Chron. 23: 8). The Shimite Gershonites of the Gospel Age have been those tentatively justified ones who, with their helpers, have sought to give religious instruction as ministers—(1) clerical writers on right living and consecration (Haran, mountaineer), (2) clerical speakers on right living and consecration (Haziel, foreseen by God) and (3) lay workers, elders, etc. (Shelomith, peacefulness), corresponding to the three groups of Shimites (1 Chron. 23: 9). In our definitions

 

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we have spoken of missionaries and evangelists with their helpers, and ministers with their helpers, etc. Our reason for this is the following: all Levites from a month upward were counted; but only those from thirty to fifty years (Num. 4: 3, 23, 30) were privileged to do official work. The serving Levites typed missionaries, evangelists, ministers, lay workers, scholars, authors, lecturers, teachers, editors and publishers; while those justified ones who were not mature enough for these things, but who assisted their mature brethren in their work, are typed by those Levites who were under thirty years of age. Those justified ones who ceased acting as missionaries, evangelists, ministers, lay workers, scholars, authors, lecturers, teachers, editors and publishers are typed by those Levites who were beyond fifty years of age, and who, as a result, ceased doing official Levite work.

 

(8) In v. 19 the four subdivisions of the Kohathites are given—Amram (high people), Izehar (oil), Hebron (friendship), and Uzziel (power of God). The Amram Levites consisted of the descendants of Moses exclusively, because Amram's only other son was Aaron, whose descendants were the priests (1 Chron. 23: 13-17). Because the priests were taken from the Amramite Kohathites, the latter, as more nearly related to the priests, were the highest of the three Levitical groups, and the Amramites, as next of kin to the priests, were the highest subdivision of the Kohathites; hence the Amramites were the highest subdivision of the Levites. This types the fact that the antitypical Amramites of the Gospel Age would do a service that would be more nearly priestly—yet without being priestly—than that of any other subdivision of the Justified, and that would be more helpful to the Little Flock than that of any other subdivision of the justified.

 

(9) The Amramites consisted of two families, Gershonites and Eliezerites. What class of justified men

 

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have given the most helpful service to the Priesthood? We answer, those scholars who have furnished direct linguistic Bible Helps—the antitypical Amramites. These—not antitypical of Moses (Ps. 99: 6)—preserved the Bible and served as to its wording. Some of the writers that, as antitypical Levites, we will mention, were undoubtedly new creatures, this being particularly true of those of them who wrote between 1874 and 1914; for they were among the antitypes of the twelve spies. The first division of these, corresponding to the Gershonite descendants of Moses (1 Chron. 23: 14-16); are text critics who have prepared critical recensions of the Hebrew, Chaldee and Greek originals of the Scriptures and of their various ancient versions, like Origen in the third century; Erasmus, Stephens and Beza in the sixteenth century; Walton in the seventeenth century; Mills, Bentley, Bengal, Wetstein and Griesbach in the eighteenth century; and Ginsburg, Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, Westcott and Hort in the nineteenth century.

 

(10) The second group of the antitypical Amramites, corresponding to Moses' descendants through Eliezer (1 Chro. 23: 15—17), consist of a number of subdivisions, all of whom served as to the wording of the Bible: (1) Hebrew, Chaldee and Greek lexicographers of the Old and New Testaments, like Gesenius, Fuerst, Tregelles, Davidson, Davies, Young, Brown, and Strong, who have given us lexicons far the Hebrew and Chaldee of the Old Testament, the last six basing their lexicons on Gesenius, who was undoubtedly the greatest of all Hebrew and Chaldee lexicographers; and like Grimm, Robinson, Thayer, Young and Strong, who have given us Greek lexicons of the New Testament. Brown's revision of Gesenius' Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon of the Old Testament, and Thayer's translation and revision of Grimm's Greek Lexicon of the New Testament are undoubtedly the very best Lexicons for English students in existence in their respective

 

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departments. (2) The next group corresponding to other descendants of Moses through Eliezer are Grammarians who have furnished us with Hebrew and Chaldee Grammars for the Old Testament, like Gesenius, Ewald and Green, and Greek Grammars for the New Testament, like Winer, Buttmann, Blass and Thayer. (3) The third group of these scholars corresponding to some others of Moses' descendants through Eliezer are Translators who have given us translations of the Scriptures. There are numerous examples of these. The translations called the Authorized, English Revised and American Revised Versions are well known. Wilson, Young and Rotherham have given us very fine translations. While various translations have certain unique excellencies, Rotherham's last revision, using to decided advantage the best of Dr. Ginsburg's critical readings of the Hebrew text, and using Westcott's and Hort's Greek Recension, which up to that time was generally considered the best of all Greek texts, as the basis of his translation, is probably the most valuable Version of the Bible in English. After this translation we would place Young's Version, the Baptist Version and the American Revised Version. (4) The fourth group of scholars corresponding to some of Moses' descendants through Eliezer are Concordance-makers, like Cruden, Young and Strong, for the English text, and especially Wigram, for the Hebrew, Chaldee and Greek text, in the Englishman's Hebrew, Chaldee and Greek Concordance. Hudson's Concordance to the Greek New Testament is an excellent work, but merely cites the references. There have been other worthy men who wrought in this department of Bible Helps.

 

(11) A little consideration will convince us that the chief antitypical Levite helpers of the Priests have been scholars who have labored on direct Bible helps, both to preserve it and to serve as to its wording as text critics of the Hebrew, Chaldee and Greek texts

 

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and of ancient Versions, as lexicographers and grammarians of Scriptural Hebrew, Chaldee and Greek, as translators of the Bible from the original languages and as Concordance-makers. Frequently, our dear Pastor has expressed his gratitude for the help that these scholars gave him above the help of all other scholars; and all of us know by more or less experience how much more help in our priestly work we derived from various scholars of this group of Levites than we have gotten from all other Levites. Both the character of their work and its supreme aid for the Priests prove them to be the highest subdivision of the Levites, those nearest to the Priests—the antitypical Amramites (high people). Such scholars also by their labors—"by the charge of the congregation"—have assisted God's nominal people, especially those of them who have prepared easier Helps for the people along the above-indicated lines.

 

(12) The word Izehar means oil. Oil is used to type the Spirit of God (Ps. 45: 7; 133: 1, 2), the Word of God (Jas. 5: 14; Zech. 4: 3, 14, see margin), and the spirit of understanding the Word (Matt. 25: 3, 4, 8). The Izeharites would, therefore, seem to type those justified ones who have had much to do with the Bible books and texts, furnishing a limited understanding of these helpful to the Priests and the people. We, therefore, understand them to type for the Gospel Age a group of tentatively justified believers whose scholarly representatives have given the Priests and the people more or less help in elucidating general questions respecting the Bible and its books and texts, by their expository, harmonetical and introductional writings. These scholars are especially of three groups (Ex. 6: 21). The first of these (Zichri, famous) are those justified scholars who as introductionists have furnished us with introductional lectures and works on the Bible in general and on the various books of the Bible, setting forth general facts as to their authorship,

 

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credibility, the time, occasion and purpose of their writing, their divisions and their general contents. Home, Keil and Westcott are among the best known of these writers. Almost all Commentators have done work in this department. The second group of the antitypical Izeharites consists of those justified scholars (Nepheg, sprout, Ex. 6: 21), who as exegetes have lectured and written Commentaries on various Scriptural books helpful to the Priests and the people. A host of scholars have worked in this department: Grotius, Clark, Peloubet, Barnes and Bengal have been most helpful to the Priests and the nominal people of God, though, except Grotius and Bengal, they are not counted amongst the princes of exegetes. A third group of antitypical Izeharites consists of justified scholars (Ex. 6: 21, 24, Korah, baldness) who have furnished us with lectures and works on Biblical harmonics. To this group belong those justified scholars who, like Bengal, Newcombe and Robinson, have prepared (1) harmonies (Assir, captive, collected) of the four Gospels, and of the books of Samuel, of Kings and of Chronicles, usually giving the various accounts of the same events in parallel columns; (2) those scholars who, like Johns and Canne, have prepared (Elkanah, God provides [like thoughts]) collections of parallel passages; and (3) those scholars who, like West, Hitchcock and Nave, have given us topical compilations of Bible matters, like topical indices and topically arranged passages (Abiasaph, my father gathers).

 

(13) The Hebronites, the third subdivision of the Kohathite Levites, consisted of four families (1 Chron. 23: 19). Hebron means friendship, and the Hebronites represent for the Gospel Age a set of justified scholars who have been more friendly toward the Priests and toward their Levitical brethren of all groups than any other set of antitypical Levites. They are such as have dealt with religious history, biography, chronology, archaeology and geography, and have consisted of four

 

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groups. The first group consists of religious historians and biographers (Jekameam, he sets forth the people). The leading Biblical historians are Kurtz, Milman, and Edersheim; and the leading Biblical biographers are Edersheim, Neander, Andrews, Conybeare and Howson. The leading Church historians are Mosheim, Neander, Hagenbach, Kurtz, Milman and Fisher. The best historians of Church Doctrines are Neander and Hagenbach. Very many able scholars have wrought in these fields. The second group of antitypical Hebronites consist of chronologians (Jahaziel, God foresees). In the field of chronology men like Usher, Priestly, Hales, Jarvis and a number of others have served the Priests and the nominal people of God. The third group of Gospel-Age Hebronites are the archaeologists (Amariah, Jehovah says). In Biblical archaeology, i.e., natural history, domestic habits, occupations, social relations, weights, measures, coins, religious usages, etc., of Bible lands, Lightfoot and Thomson, and in Christian archaeology Smith and Coleman, have done good work for the Priests and the nominal people of God. The fourth group of Gospel-Age Hebronites are Biblical geographers (Jeriah, grounded by Jehovah). In the field of Biblical Geography Reland, Thomson and Hurlbut have given the Priests and God's nominal people helps and maps. Cyclopaedists who have given us Biblical Dictionaries, like Smith, Hackett, Abbott, Kitto, Hastings, etc., with their colaborers, and who have given us Ecclesiastical Encyclopaedias, like McClintock, Strong, Schaff and Herzog, with their colaborers, have wrought in every branch of antitypical Hebronite activity with much profit to the Priests and the nominal people of God.

 

(14) The fourth and last group of Kohathite Levites, the Uzzielites, consisted of three subdivisions (Ex. 6: 22). Uzziel means power of God, and we believe that the antitypical Uzzielites of the Gospel Age are those justified scholars who have especially labored

 

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in the field of Systematic Theology, giving treatises on conduct, doctrine and evidence of Christianity in a systematic manner. The Uzzielites, Mishael and Elzaphan, carrying away the dead priests (Lev. 10: 4, 5), typing how error-teaching theologians would be used by the Lord Jesus to lead away from the Faithful the Second Deathers, seem to suggest that the Uzzielites type the systematic theologians. This is further indicated by the fact that Elzaphan (Num. 3: 30) was made chief of the Kohathites; and undoubtedly the systematic doctrinal theologians have, among the antitypical Levites, been the most influential of all Biblical scholars. There have been three groups of justified believers who as systematic theologians have corresponded to the three subdivisions of the Uzzielites. The first of these consist of those justified believers who have lectured on, and written systematic works on, conduct (Mishael, who is what God is [in character]?), usually called Ethics. Butler, Edwards and Martinsen are among the most fruitful writers on Christian Ethics. The second group of justified scholars who as systematic theologians have lectured on and written works on systematic theology are the Biblical and creedal dogmaticians (Elzaphan, a mighty one protects). Some of these have furnished the great systems of theology for the various denominations and have elaborated and defended their creeds; others of these have sought to set forth their understandings of Biblical dogmatics apart from the creeds. Each denomination has its own favorite dogmaticians. The following are the greatest dogmaticians of various churches: Aquinas (Catholic), Gerhard (Lutheran), Calvin (Presbyterian), Beveridge (Episcopalian), Gill (Baptist), Watson (Methodist), Barklay (Quaker). These and numerous other dogmaticians have not only set forth and sought to prove their own doctrinal views, but also have defended them from attacks, and have attacked opposing doctrinal views. The third

 

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group of justified scholars who as systematic theologians have lectured and written works on systematic theology are those apologists (Zithri, protection, defense) who have set forth systematically the external and internal evidence of the Christian religion. Some of the leading lecturers and writers of this group are Butler, Watson, Paler, Rawlinson and Blunt.

 

(15) Thus we have presented the antitypes of the Kohathite Levites in their divisions, subdivisions and sub-subdivisions. We have seen that the antitypical Amramites as preservers of the Bible and as students of the words of the Scriptures have had to do, linguistically, with the Bible and its wording; that the antitypical Izeharites, as students of the contents of the Scriptures, have had to do, interpretationally, with the books and with the thoughts of the books and verses of the Bible, individually and in their relation to one another; that the antitypical Hebronites as historical students have had to do, historically, with Biblical and Ecclesiastical persons, principles and things; and that the antitypical Uzzielites, as thinkers, have had to do, systematically, with (imperfectly understood) Biblical theology and with Creedal theology. The antitypical Kohathites of the Gospel Age are the scholarly writers sand teachers of Christianity, writing and lecturing from a more or less scientific standpoint. As we look at the typical Kohathite Levites and their work, and then at their Gospel-Age antitypes, surely we recognize the striking correspondence of the type and antitype. This correspondence will become more strikingly impressive when we come to study the articles of the Tabernacle which the typical Kohathites had as their charge in the service.

 

(16) The third group of typical Levites were the Merarites, who consisted of two subdivisions—Mahli (sick, weak) and Mushi (withdrawing) (Num. 3: 17, 20, 33). These typify a class of justified ones who do a work that supplies the gap in religious needs not

 

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filled by the work of the other two groups of Levites. The antitypical Kohathites furnish the learned works for the Priests and God's nominal people. The antitypical Gershonites furnish the discourses and printed matter influencing people to repentance, faith and consecration. The Merarites seem to type those editors who prepare these works for publication and those publishers who see to their printing and circulation. The Mahlites (weak) seem to type the justified editors who, as we use the word in this connection, are, not writers and conductors of periodicals and magazines, but preparers of others' writings for the press, e.g., by compiling, arranging, emending, annotating, indexing, etc., the writings of the antitypical Kohathites and Gershonites—editors in the same general sense of the word as those brethren are who prepared the Tower Reprints for the press; they edited them, but did not write them. Their work is to compile and arrange the articles, to insert notes for various reasons, some of which point out where a clearer presentation of the subject is to be found, to prepare indices for them, etc. But, of course, the editors of the Tower Reprints are not Gospel-Age Mahlites; they are transitional Mahlites. Usually such editors prepare a preface for the work that they are editing, and often also a biography of its author, and add such things as are intended to increase its usefulness, clearness, completeness, etc. These editors have consisted of two classes: (1) editors of Bibles; (2) editors of other religious works, respectively typed by Eleazar (son of Mahli), mighty helper, and Kish, bow (1 Chron. 23: 21). The virtual discontinuance of the separate activity of such Bible editors during the last seventy-five years, and their more or less uniting with the class of general editors of religious books are indicated in 1 Chron. 23: 22.

 

(17) The Mushite branch of the Merarites types for the Gospel Age those publishers who have devoted themselves to arranging for the copying or printing and circulating of Christian literature. Before printing

 

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was invented these secured scribes who copied such literature. Especially were certain of the monks employed in such copying work; and their orders or patrons saw to the securing of the materials for their work, and to the circulation of the copies which they made, and thus the former acted as publishers. With the invention of printing these conditions very materially changed. Individual, company and corporational publishers sprang up on all sides, and pushed forward the work of arranging for the printing and circulating of literature helpful to the Priests and God's nominal people. According to 1 Chron. 23: 23, such publishers have been of three classes: (1) book publishers (Mahli, weak, sick); (2) tract, periodical and magazine publishers (Eder, flock, referring to the great number of these); and (3) Bible publishers (Jeremoth, heights, referring to the fact that this set of publishers was the highest order of all of the publishers of religious literature).

 

(18) Having already explained the antitype of Elzaphan, the Kohathite chief, we will now give the antitype of the Gershonite and Merarite chiefs. Eliasaph (a mighty one, or God, gathers) the son of Lael (for God) seems to type the evangelists who, acting for God in gathering many converts, have been the most influential group among the antitypical Gershonites (Num. 3: 24). Zuriel (rock of God, or mighty rock) the son of Abihail (my father is strength) seems to type those publishers who, as publishers of the Bible—the power of God (Heb. 4: 12)—in the living languages, were the most influential group among the antitypical Merarites of the Gospel Age.

 

(19) If with the name of the tribe, Levi, the names of its three divisions, of their subdivisions, of their sub-subdivisions, etc., as given above are counted, it will be found that they total 40 in all. But according to 1 Chron. 23: 10, 11, 16; 24: 20; 23: 17; 24: 21; 23: 18; 24: 22; 23: 20; 24: 24, 25, 26, 27, 29,

 

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there were 20 other persons, typing 20 sections coming under some of the subdivisions above mentioned. Hence the various sections of the Gospel-Age Levites consist of 60 in all, antitypical of the 60 persons named as the Levite leaders. There is a very specific reason for these 60 sections among the antitypical Levites, as we will see later on. Briefly would we now give our understanding of these remaining 20. These 20 typical sub-heads of Levite families seem to type some emphasized subsections of some justified groups already referred to. We have already seen that the antitypical Shimites—ministers—consist of three subdivisions (1 Chron n. 23: 9): (1) clerical writers on justified living and consecration; (2) clerical speakers on justified living and consecration; and (3) laymen workers, elders, etc. We believe that the four classes typed in 1 Chron. 23: 10, 11 by the four descendants of Shimei are the lay-teachers, a subdivision of antitypical Shelomith (1 Chron. 23: 9) and not its lay-elders division. These four would therefore refer to those justified ones who are general or local teachers of Christian life and faith in practically all denominations. Roughly we may group them as follows: (1) Prayer meeting workers (Jahath, united); (2) Bible Class leaders (Zazah, plenty); (3) laymen giving discourses on right living and consecration (Jeush, assembler); and (4) laymen writers on right living and consecration (Beriah, well of Jehovah). Those under (3) and (4) are few and may well be put into one group, because of their small numbers and of their non-clerical general efforts to help people toward consecration (1 Chron. 23: 11).

 

(20) So, too, we find some specially marked Kohathites, whom we will now briefly consider, type and antitype. Several of these are among the Gershonite Amramites (1 Chron. 23: 16; 24: 20). As we have seen, the Gershonite descendants of Amram (1 Chron. 23: 16) represent the text critics who have furnished

 

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us with critical recensions of the Scriptures in the original languages and in the various ancient Versions. Shebuel (captive of God), as the chief of this branch of the Gershonite Amramites, seems to type the text critics who have given us critical Recensions of the Old Testament Scriptures in the original languages. Jehdeiah (may Jehovah make glad) seems to type those who have given us critical Recensions of the Greek New Testament. As we have seen, the Eliezerite Amramites (1 Chron. 23: 17) type those justified ones who have given us helps on the words and wording of the Scriptures apart from the helps implied in the critical Recensions. The chief helpers in this respect, typed by Rehabiah (Jehovah enlarges), are the writers on Bible words. Isshiah (Jehovah loans), being the chief of Rehabiah's sons, seems to type Concordance makers. Special mention is made of some Izeharites other than those mentioned among the 40 Levite groups above treated (1 Chron. 23: 18, 24: 22). These type certain ones of antitypical Abiasaph, a subdivision under the third group (antitypical Korah) of the antitypical Izeharites, i.e., topical compilers. Those who compiled passages topically we believe are typed by Shelomoth (peacefulness); and those of such compilers are antitypical Jahath (united), who arranged these passages topically as a summary of the Scriptures. There are some Uzzielites other than those treated above among the 40 groups of Levites (1 Chron. 23: 20; 24: 24, 25). Of these, on the one hand, Micah (who is like Jehovah?) types that subdivision of the antitypical Elzaphanites—the dogmaticians—who are creedal dogmaticians, i.e., those who set forth the doctrines of the creeds as distinct from the Biblical doctrines; and Shamir (thorn) seems to type the controversial dogmaticians whose arguments are thorns to the opposing creedal dogmaticians; on the other hand, Isshiah (Jehovah loans) seems to type those antitypical Elzaphanites—dogmaticians—who have sought to set forth the Biblical doctrines; and Zachariah

 

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(Jehovah remembers) seems to type those of them who have sought to set forth the New Testament doctrines as distinct from the Old Testament doctrines.

 

(21) So, too, do we find six Merarites (1 Chron. 24: 26-29) mentioned additional to those treated among the 40 Levitical groups first explained above. The first of these are five descendants of Merari through Mushi, therefore typical of publishers. We are of the opinion that Jaaziah (Jehovah comforts) types the publishers of the antitypical Kohathite works, the scholarly scientific works on the Bible and Christianity. Therefore we would understand Beno (his son, in allusion to the publishers of the works of the chief Kohathite group) to type the publishers of the antitypical Amramite works; Shoham (onyx) seems to type the publishers of the antitypical Izeharite works; Zaccur (mindful—historical and factual writers must especially deal with matters of memory) seems to type the publishers of antitypical Hebronite works; and Ibri (Hebrew, the chief earthly people) seems to type publishers of antitypical Uzzielite works, whose authors as God's servants have been of the greatest repute among God's nominal people. The sixth of these additional Merarites is Jerahmeel (God has mercy) who was a descendant of Mahli through Kish—the type of editors of Christian books—and who seems to type editors of books of the antitypical Libnite Gershonites, which show forth the mercy of God to the unconverted. Thus in 60 sections the Lord has given us a typical view of the main activities of the Gospel-Age Levites.

 

(22) When we attentively consider the three general functions of the Gospel-Age Levites: (1) Kohathites, as scholarly writers and lecturers, preserving the Bible and furnishing Bible Helps; (2) Gershonites, as sermonizers, teachers and writers furnishing Helps toward the justification and consecration of people; and (3) Merarites, as editors and publishers, furnishing the Priests and God's nominal people with publications