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Monday, July 15th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Leviticus 6

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - UnabridgedCommentary Critical Unabridged

Verse 1

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 2

If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD, and lie unto his neighbour in that which was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived his neighbour;

If a soul ... commit a trespass against the Lord. This law, the record of which should have been joined with the previous chapter, was given concerning things stolen, fraudulently gotten, or wrongfully kept. The offender was enjoined to make restitution of the articles to the rightful owner, along with a fifth part out of his own possessions. But it was not enough thus to repair the injury done to a neighbour and to society. He was required to bring a trespass offering, as a token of sorrow and penitence for having hurt the cause of religion and of God.

That trespass offering was a ram without blemish [Septuagint, krion apo toon probatoon amoomon timees eis ho epleemmeleese-a faultless ram from the flock, as a compensation for that in which he had erred], which was to be made on the altar of burnt offerings, and the flesh belonged to the priests. This penalty was equivalent to a mitigated fine; but being associated with a sacred duty, the form in which the fine was inflicted served the important purpose of rousing attention to the claims of God, and reviving a sense of responsibility to Him.

Verses 3-8

Or have found that which was lost, and lieth concerning it, and sweareth falsely; in any of all these that a man doeth, sinning therein:

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 9

Command Aaron and his sons, saying, This is the law of the burnt offering: It is the burnt offering, because of the burning upon the altar all night unto the morning, and the fire of the altar shall be burning in it.

Command Aaron and his sons. In this passage Moses received instructions more definite and minute than the preceding regulations respecting the sacrifices, to be delivered to the priests respecting their official duties in the various kinds of sacrificial offerings that were to be presented; and, first, the burnt offering [ haa`olaah (H5930)] - the sacrifice which went up in smoke (see the note at Genesis 8:20).

The daily service which is here referred to (see the note at Exodus 29:38; Numbers 28:3) consisted of two lambs, offered, one in the morning at sunrise, the other in the evening, when the day began to decline. Both of them were consumed on the altar by means of a slow fire, before which the the sacrifice were so placed that they fed it all night. The priest, when performing his sacred functions at the altar, was to be dressed in his official costume, which consisted of white linen [ bad (H906)] - byssus (see the note at Exodus 28:39-42; Exodus 39:27-28).

Afterward he was to resume his ordinary garb, and carry forth the ashes. [ wªhowtsiy' (H3318), and shall cause to go out or to be conveyed (see the note at Leviticus 4:12).] It may be understood by the change of dress, that the ashes were removed by the personal agency of the priest. But, as Knobel observes, this would only occur on occasions; and the conjugation of the Hebrew verb, together with the analogous case of the red heifer (Numbers 19:9), leads to the conclusion that the ashes were gathered up and carried to a clean place without the camp by one of the attendant Levites.

The observance of this daily sacrifice on the altar of burnt offering was a daily expression of national repentance and faith. The fire that consumed these sacrifices had been kindled from heaven at the consecration of Aaron (Leviticus 9:24); and to keep it from being extinguished, and the sacrifices from being burned with common fire, strict injunctions are here given respecting not only the removal of the ashes, but the approaching near to the fireplace in garments that were not officially "holy." This continual burning symbolized the daily worship to which the nation of Israel, by its holy vocation, was called.

Verses 10-13

And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and his linen breeches shall he put upon his flesh, and take up the ashes which the fire hath consumed with the burnt offering on the altar, and he shall put them beside the altar.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 14

And this is the law of the meat offering: the sons of Aaron shall offer it before the LORD, before the altar.

This is the law of the meat offering, [ haminchaah (H4503)]. It did not consist of flesh, as an ordinary reader is apt to suppose from our version (the word "meat" being now used in a different sense from what it bore when the King James Version was made), but of flour, oil, and frankincense (see the note at Leviticus 23:13).

Verse 15

And he shall take of it his handful, of the flour of the meat offering, and of the oil thereof, and all the frankincense which is upon the meat offering, and shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet savour, even the memorial of it, unto the LORD.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 16

And the remainder thereof shall Aaron and his sons eat: with unleavened bread shall it be eaten in the holy place; in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation they shall eat it.

Shall it be eaten in the holy place. "The" is applied here to the whole sanctuary. Though this was a provision for the priests and their families, it was to be regarded as 'most holy;' and the way in which it was prepared was, on any meat offerings being presented, the priest carried them to the altar, and taking a handful from each of them as an oblation, salted and burnt it on the altar; the residue became the property of the priests, and was the food of those whose duty it was to attend on the service. They themselves, as well as the vessels from which they ate, were typically "holy;" and they were not at liberty to partake of the meat offering while they laboured under any ceremonial defilement. Moreover, in accordance with the idea of their official sanctity, the offering was to be eaten only by themselves, while the female members of their family were precluded.

Verses 17-19

It shall not be baken with leaven. I have given it unto them for their portion of my offerings made by fire; it is most holy, as is the sin offering, and as the trespass offering.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 20

This is the offering of Aaron and of his sons, which they shall offer unto the LORD in the day when he is anointed; the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a meat offering perpetual, half of it in the morning, and half thereof at night.

This is the offering of Aaron, and of his sons - the daily meat offering of the high priest; for though his sons are mentioned along with him, yet, from the expression, "which they shall offer unto the Lord in the day when he is anointed," it was probably only those of His descendants who succeeded Him in that high office that are meant. When prepared according to prescription (Leviticus 6:21: cf. 1 Chronicles 9:31), it was to be offered one-half of it in the morning, and the other half in the evening-being laid by the ministering priest on the altar of burnt offering, where, being dedicated to God, it was wholly consumed. This was designed to keep him and the other attendant priests in constant remembrance, that though they were typically to expiate the sins of the people, their own persons and services could meet with acceptance only through faith, which required to be daily nourished and strengthened from above, and that they were to be wholly devoted to the service of Yahweh.

Verses 21-24

In a pan it shall be made with oil; and when it is baken, thou shalt bring it in: and the baken pieces of the meat offering shalt thou offer for a sweet savour unto the LORD.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 25

Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, saying, This is the law of the sin offering: In the place where the burnt offering is killed shall the sin offering be killed before the LORD: it is most holy.

This is the law of the sin offering. It was slain, and the fat and inward, after being washed and salted, were burnt upon the altar. But the rest of the carcass belonged to the officiating priest in the case only of a sin offering for a ruler, or any of the people (see the notes at Leviticus 4:22-35). He and his family might feast upon it-only, however, within the precincts of the tabernacle; and none else were allowed to partake of it but the members of a priestly family-and not even they, if under any ceremonial defilement.

Verse 26

The priest that offereth it for sin shall eat it: in the holy place shall it be eaten, in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 27

Whatsoever shall touch the flesh thereof shall be holy: and when there is sprinkled of the blood thereof upon any garment, thou shalt wash that whereon it was sprinkled in the holy place.

Whatsoever shall touch the flesh thereof shall be holy. It was unlawful for any one to touch the flesh of the sin offering except only the consecrated priest; and if the garment of any one was accidentally stained with the spurting of the blood, the spot had to be washed out within the precincts of the holy place. The obvious meaning of the statement is, that the flesh was so holy, only the hand of a consecrated priest might touch it, and the blood was so holy that a drop of it was not allowed to be borne without the sanctuary (Bahr). The flesh on all occasions was boiled or sodden, with the exception of the paschal lamb, which was roasted; and if an earthen vessel had been used, it being porous, and likely to imbibe some of the liquid particles, it was to be broken; if a metallic pan had been used, it was to be scoured and washed with the greatest care, not because the vessels had been defiled, but the reverse-because the flesh of the sin offering having been boiled in them, those vessels were now too sacred for ordinary use.

Verse 28

But the earthen vessel wherein it is sodden shall be broken: and if it be sodden in a brasen pot, it shall be both scoured, and rinsed in water.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 29

All the males among the priests shall eat thereof: it is most holy.

All the males among the priests shall eat thereof - (see the note at Leviticus 6:18.) The whole of the carcass was not given to the priests; for the blood, the fat, and the inward being, as in the peace offerings, reserved as the Lord's portion, were burnt on the altar; But the rest of the victim, which in peace offerings was given to the offerer, was in the sin offering bestowed on the officiating priest, who was ordained by strict injunctions to eat it with Yahweh in the holy place. (See this rule fully illustrated, Magee 'On the Atonement,' note 42.)

To the question, By what association of ideas is the eating of the flesh of the sin offering connected with the official character of the priest? it is somewhat difficult to make a reply. The relation of the eating to the priestly efficacy of the atonement is undeniable, and can be explained only on the supposition that by this act was represented an intimate connection of the priest on the one hand with the offering, and therefore with the offerer for whom it was presented as a substitute; and on the other hand with Yahweh, to whom the whole offering belonged, but who was satisfied with the fat portions as the most excellent, and gave the remainder to the priest, which should otherwise be given up to the fire.

The relation of the sacrificial animal to the offerer was signified by the imposition of hands, as the same to Yahweh was signified by the burning of the best portions; and both these relations were united in the priest, when they were expressed by the eating of the remaining flesh. To the same effect, Bahr-`In the eating of the most holy offering in the holy place the priests appear in the closest connection and communion both with this offering and also with Him from whom all holiness proceeds, and whose instruments they are with Yahweh,' (Kurtz 'Mosaiches Opfer,' Ford's Translation, Mass.) It is observable that the connection which was indicated by eating between the offering and the priest held only in the sin offering and trespass offering.

Verse 30

And no sin offering, whereof any of the blood is brought into the tabernacle of the congregation to reconcile withal in the holy place, shall be eaten: it shall be burnt in the fire.

No sin offering, whereof any of the blood is brought into the tabernacle ... shall be eaten - i:e., when made for the high priest or for the whole congregation. It was to be removed outside the camp, and there wholly consumed (see the notes at Leviticus 4:1-21). The design of all these minute ceremonies was to impress the minds, both of priests and people, with a sense of the evil nature of sin, and the care they should take to prevent the least taint of its impurities clinging to them.

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Leviticus 6". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/leviticus-6.html. 1871-8.
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