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Sunday, July 21st, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Leviticus 22

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-9


Verses 1-9:

This Le continues the regulations governing the ceremonial qualifications of the priests, the descendants of Aaron. The text specifies that there are times when the priests unavoidably become unclean. During that time, they are to separate themselves from the holy things, verse 2.

Verses 4-6 list various forms of uncleanness which disqualified the priests from officiating in the tabernacle worship. Those conditions which produced such uncleanness are defined in Le 15. In most of these cases, the ceremonial uncleanness did not continue past sunset. But in the case of the leper, the defilement continued for a longer period, see Lev chapters 13 and 14.

The penalty for violating this provision: to be "cut off from (God’s) presence," that is, to be permanently barred from the priestly office.

Verses 10-13

Verses 10-13:

This text defines those who had the right to eat of the holy things which were the priests’ portion. Specifically excluded were hired servants, foreign-born "strangers" and even household guests of the priest who were foreigners. Those included were the priest, his wife, and his unmarried children. Also included were slaves either. brought or born into his household, and childless daughters who were widows or divorced. These were considered to be members of his immediate family.

Verse 14

Verse 14

The text makes provision for one who unwittingly partook of the holy things when ceremonially unclean. These "holy things" were the priests’ portion of the various sacrifices brought to the altar, which became a part of his stipend. In such case, the guilty person must:

1. Refund the market value of the meat eaten, and

2. Add a fifth part, or twenty percent, as a fine.

This acknowledged his trespass, and the offender then followed the pattern prescribed for the appropriate sacrifice, Le 5:15, 16.

Verses 17-25

Verses 17-25:

Animals offered in sacrifice to Jehovah were to be physically perfect, without any blemish. This typifies:

1. Him of whom the offerings are typical, the Lord Jesus Christ, see Isa 53; Joh 1:29, 36; 1Co 5:7;

2. The "perfect heart" God requires of those who come before Him, Ps 24:3-5.

3. God requires the very best of all His child has.

The text includes a list of those blemishes and deformities which would make the animal unfit for the sacrificial altar (verses 22-24).

There was one exception to this exclusionary rule: a Peace Offering made as a freewill offering, see Le 7:16. In this case, the animal was not required to be a physically perfect specimen.

This provision applied to foreigners in the land, as well as to the Israelis.

Verses 26-33

Verses 26-33:

No newly-born animal might be offered as a sacrifice. The law prescribed an eight-day period in which the animal remained with its mother. At any time thereafter, it was acceptable as an offering. There is no age limit given as to when an animal might be offered.

The law included the provision that the mother of the sacrificial animal might not be herself offered in sacrifice on the same day as her offspring. This was an evidence of the kindness of the law. This is like the provision that a kid must not be boiled in its mother’s milk (Ex 23:19), and a mother bird must not be taken from the nest with her young (De 22:6).

Verse 21 refers to two kinds of Peace Offerings: freewill, and or a vow. Verses 29, 30 mention a third: the thanksgiving offering, see Le 7:15.

Verses 31-33 reiterate the holiness of God, which is the basis of the statutes regarding moral, physical, and ceremonial cleanness. These verses close this section, which requires that they obey God’s commandments, show reverence for His Name, and make themselves holy to Him.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Leviticus 22". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/leviticus-22.html. 1985.
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