Sacred Texts  Judaism  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

The Talmud, by Joseph Barclay, [1878], at


1. The Captain of the Watch said, "give one blessing," and the priests blessed and read the ten commandments, "Hear," 2 etc. "And it shall come to pass if ye shall hearken," 3 etc. And "He spake," 4 etc. They then gave the three blessings to the people, "Truth and Sureness," and "the Service," and "the Blessing of the Priests." And on the Sabbath they added one blessing for the outgoing Temple-guard.

2. He said to them, "novices 5 to the incense, come and cast lots." They cast lots. He gained who gained. He said to them, "novices with old men come and cast lots, who shall bring up the members of the lamb from the ascent to the altar." R. Eliezar, the son of Jacob, said, "those priests who brought the members to the ascent must also bring them to the top of the altar."

3. He handed the priests over to the sextons. They divested them of their dresses, leaving them their breeches only, and there were windows there, and over them was written, "used for vestments." 6

4. He who gained the lot for the incense, took the spoon; and the spoon resembled a great measure of gold containing three cabs. And the pan was heaped full of incense; and it had a covering like a kind of weight upon it.

5. He who gained the lot for the censer, took the silver censer, and went up to the top of the altar, and he turned the live coals here and there, and he put them into the censer. He descended, and poured them into a censer of

p. 251

gold. There was dispersed from them about a cab of live coals, and he brushed them into the channel for refuse. On the Sabbath he put over them a cover. And the cover was a great vessel containing a letech. 1 And there were two chains to it, one by which the priest drew it down, and one by which he held it from above, that it should not be rolled about; and it was useful for three purposes, as a covering over the live coals, and as a covering over the reptile on the Sabbath, and it was also used to carry down the ashes from the altar.

6. The priests arrived between the porch and the altar. One of them took the shovel, 2 and flung it between the porch and the altar. No one could hear the voice of his neighbour in Jerusalem from the rattling of the shovel. And it was useful for three purposes: when the priest heard its rattle, he knew that his brother priests were entering to worship, and he came running; and the Levite, when he heard its rattle, knew that his brother Levites were entering to chant, and he came running; and the chief of the Delegates 3 compelled the defiled men to stand in the eastern gate of the Temple.


250:2 Deut. vi. 4-9.

250:3 Deut. xi. 13-21.

250:4 Numb. xv. 37-41.

250:5 The lot for the incense was always arranged for a new man who had never burned it before. It might come to a priest once in his lifetime, and never again afterwards. Luke i. 9.

250:6 The chambers for vestments had separate rooms for each of the 24 courses, and separate wardrobes for each of the four kinds of vestments.

251:1 About 37½ gallons.

251:2 See note 5, chapter iii. 8.

251:3 The Delegates were appointed to represent the whole congregation of Israel in the temple services.

Next: Chapter VI