(SS) - Teachings for the New Jerusalem on Sacred Scripture

SS 101

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101. XII


From what is related in the books of Moses it is evident that worship by means of sacrifices was known, and that men prophesied from the mouth of Jehovah, before the Word was given to the Israelitish nation through Moses and the prophets. That worship by means of sacrifices was known is evident from these facts:
The sons of Israel were commanded to overturn the altars of the nations, break in pieces their images, and cut down their groves (Exod. 34:13; Deut. 7:5; 12:3).
In Shittim Israel began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab; they called the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods; and Israel joined himself especially to Baal-peor, and on that account the anger of Jehovah was kindled against Israel (Num. 25:1-3).
Balaam, who was from Syria, caused altars to be built, and sacrificed oxen and sheep (Num. 22:40; 23:1, 2, 14, 29, 30).
[2] That men prophesied from the mouth of Jehovah, is evident from the prophecies of Balaam (Num. 23:7-10, 18-24; 24:3-9, 16-24).
He also prophesied concerning the Lord that a star should arise out of Jacob, and a scepter out of Israel (Num. 24:17).
And he prophesied from the mouth of Jehovah (Num. 22:13, 18; 23:3, 5, 8, 16, 26; 24:1, 13).
From these facts it is evident that there existed among the nations a Divine worship similar to that instituted through Moses among the Israelitish nation.
[3] That it existed even before the time of Abram is in some measure apparent from the words in Moses (Deut. 32:7, 8), but more evidently from what is said of Melchizedek king of Salem:
That he brought forth bread and wine, and blessed Abram, and that Abram gave him tithes of all (Gen. 14:18-20);
and that Melchizedek represented the Lord, for he is called
Priest of God Most High (Gen. 14:18);
and it is said in David concerning the Lord:
Thou art a priest to eternity, after the manner of Melchizedek (Ps. 110:4).
Hence it was that Melchizedek brought forth bread and wine as holy things of the church, even as they are holy things in the sacrament of the supper; and that Melchizedek could bless Abram, and that Abram gave him tithes of all.


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