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NUMBERS xyi. 47, 48.
And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into
the midst of the congregation; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people : and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living : and the plague was stayed.
The purpose for which the Almighty led his chosen people to Sinai was now accomplished. The law had been given, with all the solemnity which so righteous a dispensation demanded, and the divine glory had been displayed, with all the awe-inspiring accompaniments which could impress, without destroying, the minds and faculties of men. The Israelites, therefore, after the second passover, depart from the mount, having been encamped around it eleven months; and take their journey north-eastward, through the desert of Paran, unto Kadesh. At this time, the tabernacle was completed according to the instructions given by God, and was richly decorated by means of the free offerings of those whom, in the beautiful language of Scripture, “ their spirit made willing.”
The arrangements respecting their progress were very remarkable, and its periods were regulated throughout entirely by the divine injunctions. “At the commandment of the Lord they journeyed, and at the commandment of the Lord they pitched their tents.” We are informed that, “ when the tabernacle was erected, the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night. And when the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, then the children of Israel journeyed : and in the place where the cloud abode,