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Bible Commentaries
Leviticus 9

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

Verses 1-2

And it came to pass on the eighth day, that Moses called Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel;

Moses called ... Take thee a young calf. The animals used in sacrifice were not only to be without blemish, but, excepting doves, not under eight days, nor over three years old. The directions in these sacred things were still given by Moses, the circumstances being extraordinary. But he was only the medium of communicating the divine will to the newly-made priests.

The first of their official acts was the sacrifice of another sin offering, to atone for the defects of the inauguration services; and yet that sacrifice did not consist of a bullock-the sacrifice appointed for some particular transgression; but of a calf, perhaps not without a significant reference to Aaron's sin in the golden calf.

Then followed a burnt offering, expressive of their voluntary and entire self-devotement to the divine service. The newly-consecrated priests, having done this on their own account, were called to offer a sin offering and burnt offering for the people, ending the ceremonial by a peace offering, which was a sacred feast. This injunction 'to make an atonement for himself and for the people' (Septuagint, 'for thy family') at the commencement of his sacred functions furnishes a striking evidence of the divine origin of the Jewish system of worship.

In all false or corrupt forms of religion the studied policy has been to inspire the people with an idea of the sanctity of the priesthood, as, in point of purity and favour with the Divinity, far above the level of other men. But among the Hebrews the priests were required to offer for the expiation of their sins, as well as the humblest of the people. This imperfection of Aaron's priesthood, however, does not extend to the Gospel dispensation; because our Great High Priest, who has entered for us into 'the true tabernacle,' 'knew no sin' (Hebrews 10:10-11).

Verses 3-7

And unto the children of Israel thou shalt speak, saying, Take ye a kid of the goats for a sin offering; and a calf and a lamb, both of the first year, without blemish, for a burnt offering; No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 8

Aaron therefore went unto the altar, and slew the calf of the sin offering, which was for himself.

Aaron ... went unto the altar ... Whether it had been enjoined the first time, or it was unavoidable, from the divisions of the priestly labour not being as yet completely arranged, Aaron, assisted by his sons, appears to have slain the victims with his own hands, as well as gone through all the prescribed ritual at the altar.

Verses 9-14

And the sons of Aaron brought the blood unto him: and he dipped his finger in the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar, and poured out the blood at the bottom of the altar:

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 15

And he brought the people's offering, and took the goat, which was the sin offering for the people, and slew it, and offered it for sin, as the first.

The goat - (see the note on the particular kind of goat, Leviticus 4:23).

Verse 16

And he brought the burnt offering, and offered it according to the manner. No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verses 17-21

And he brought the meat offering, and took an handful thereof, and burnt it upon the altar, beside the burnt sacrifice of the morning.

Meat offering ... wave offering. It is observable that there is no notice taken of these in the offerings the priests made for themselves. They could not bear their own sins; and therefore, instead of eating any part of their own sin offering, as they were at liberty to do in the case of the people's offering, they had to carry the whole carcasses "without the camp, and burn them with fire."

Verse 22

And Aaron lifted up his hand toward the people, and blessed them, and came down from offering of the sin offering, and the burnt offering, and peace offerings.

Aaron lifted his hands and blessed. The pronouncing of a benediction on the people assembled in the court was a necessary part of the high priest's duty, and the formula in which it was to be given is described, Numbers 6:23-27.

Came down from offering. The altar was elevated above the level of the floor, and the ascent was by a gentle slope (Exodus 20:26).

Verse 23

And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the people.

Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle. Moses, according to the divine instructions he had received, accompanied Aaron and his sons to initiate them into their sacred duties. Their previous occupations had detained them at the altar, and they now entered in company into the sacred edifice to bear the blood of the offerings within the sanctuary. The glory of the Lord appeared ... - perhaps in a resplendent effulgence above the tabernacle, as a fresh token of the divine acceptance of that newly-established seat of His worship. It is therefore an error to speak of the Aaronic priesthood as merely typical. It was an efficacious divine institution, suited to the circumstances of the Church, and actually conveying for the time present the blessings of the Messiah to the humble Israelite worshipper.

Verse 24

And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.

There came a fire out from before the Lord - a flame emanating from that resplendent light that filled the holy place, flashed upon the brasen altar, and kindled the sacrifices. This miraculous fire-for the descent of which the people had probably been prepared, and which the priests were enjoined never to let out (Leviticus 6:13) - was a sign, not only of the acceptance of the offerings and of the establishment of Aaron's authority, but of God's actual residence in that chosen dwelling-place. The moment the solemn though welcome spectacle was seen, a simultaneous shout of joy and gratitude burst from the assembled congregation, and in the attitude of profoundest reverence they worshipped 'a present Deity.'

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Leviticus 9". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/leviticus-9.html. 1871-8.
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