Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, July 18th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
StudyLight.org has pledged to help build churches in Uganda. Help us with that pledge and support pastors in the heart of Africa.
Click here to join the effort!

Bible Commentaries
Leviticus 6

Kingcomments on the Whole BibleKingcomments

Verses 1-7

Disadvantages of a neighbor

Every sin against one’s neighbor is in the first place a sin against God. It is “unfaithfulness” against Him (cf. James 4:4). God has commanded how I should be if I act against my neighbor. If I wrong my neighbor, lie to him, or steal anything from him, or commit any form of injustice against him, I sin against God. I am unfaithful to the relationship in which I confess to stand before Him.

It is presented here in such a way that I wrong God when I wrong my brother or sister. My act against my neighbor is seen as an act against God. Therefore, a guilt offering must be brought to the LORD. Again the LORD says to Moses that he must determine the value of this guilt offering (Leviticus 6:6; see Leviticus 5:15).

The new thing here is that it is not enough for me to condemn myself in God’s light when my sin is wronging someone. Judging sin in God’s light is certainly necessary. There is also the fact that I also have to make up for what I have failed.

Sin against one’s neighbor can consist of a broken trust. My neighbor can entrust me with something or give me something in custody, because he thinks it is safe with me. It may be a secret or a particular good. If I pass on that secret or resell that particular good, I sin against him.

The next sin which the LORD mentions is robbery – that a man has stolen something. Robbing is the stealthy or violent appropriation of something belonging to another. A person’s good name can also be robbed. Robbing is also using the words of another person and pretending that they are your own words and that you get the honor that is due to the other person.

Another sin is to force his fellow man to extort something by force. We can put such pressure on someone that he gives us things that belong to him, but that we want to have. It may be that we force a brother or sister to give a good testimony about us, when in reality we live for ourselves.

It is also sin if someone has found a lost object and denies it. We can know spiritually what our brother has lost and have found it in that sense. When my brother has lost his peace and I see it, but I do nothing about it, I do not help him to find his peace again and deny in that way that I have found what he has lost, I am guilty.

Swearing a false oath in any matter is also sin. It is against better judgment to confirm the lie at the expense of the truth. This puts the other one in a bad light, while there is nothing to complain about him. This is a bad thing. He is doing the other very badly.

In the case of a sin against one’s neighbor, the injustice must be made good. This is done primarily by confession to God and also to the person whose trust I have violated or whose name I have slandered or who I have in any way wronged. I must return what I resold and compensate for any harm caused. With that, what has been wrong has been corrected. That’s only putting away the wrong thing. There is still 20% to be added.

I have to give back more than the harm I caused. For example, I will not only stop slandering, but will also honor the other by talking about him well. I not only compensate the harm, but give one fifth more back. My attitude toward him will be different from before my sin. There will be more respect for the other than before and a desire to communicate good things to him instead of harming him.

Verses 8-13

The Law for the Burnt Offering

Here begins a section that again talks about the five offerings. In the previous chapters the offerings are described as the offeror bringing them to the altar to offer them to God. This description is more objective, i.e. it is mainly about the Object of God’s heart.

The following description contains laws for the priest. This description is more subjective, i.e. it is more about the way in which the priest should deal with the offering. It’s about the effect it has to have on us when we are busy with it and how our hearts can get involved. In these regulations, the main issue is which parts of these offerings should be eaten and by whom, and under which conditions they should be brought. It is remarkable that these precepts are emphatically introduced, because the LORD tells Moses that he must command Aaron and his sons with regard to offering certain things.

In the spiritual application we see that it is a privilege to offer to God (Leviticus 1-5), but that God also prescribes how those offerings should be brought (Leviticus 6:8-7:21). About these two sides the Lord Jesus speaks to the Samaritan woman. About the privilege He says to her: “An hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.” He also indicates immediately thereafter how God wishes to be worshipped: “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:23-Jeremiah :).

The order in the laws of the offerings is different from the order in the first five chapters. The laws first describe the burnt offering and grain offering, then the sin offering and guilt offering and finally the peace offering. Here too, first comes what for God is a soothing aroma. But then comes the side of man who must be clean of sins, and finally, in the peace offering, the fellowship that exists between God and His people and between the people among themselves is expressed. The peace offering directs out attention at the Lord’s Table.

The emphasis of the law of the burnt offering is that the fire must not go out (Leviticus 6:9; Leviticus 6:12Leviticus 6:13). This precept indicates that from the altar of burnt offering there is constantly a soothing aroma going up to God. It means that God wants His people to be constantly surrounded by that fragrance, that is, He wants the people to be aware that they are pleasing to God, not in themselves, but that He has made them pleasing “in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6).

When we are in God’s glory in eternity, we will be there on the same basis as on which we are now accepted. For God, the fragrance of His Son’s work remains lovingly forever and the basis of all that has been brought into connection with Him. That fragrance will remain forever as fresh to God as it was when Christ completed the work.

God does not lose sight of the value of His Son’s offering for a moment and He does not want us to lose sight of it either. He wants us, who are priests, to constantly tell Him this. In this which is a precept for Israel, a special blessing from God lies for us. God tells us herein as it were that we are constantly thinking about who we are for Him in the Lord Jesus. Surely, the result will be that we worship Him for it, isn’t it?

We perform this priestly task at night (Leviticus 6:9; cf. Psalms 134:1). In the night of this world (Romans 13:12) we may see Who the Lord Jesus is for God and speak about Him with God. We may go through a dark world with worship in our hearts. It also applies to Israel now. God preserves the pleasant fragrance of Christ’s offering with Himself, while His earthly people forget Him. One day He will fulfill all His promises to that people on the basis of the offering of His Son.

The priest is also concerned with the ashes. This suggests that the believer living in God’s presence is concerned with how completely the offering has been consumed by fire, how completely the Lord Jesus has done His work at the expense of Himself. Nothing has been spared him. God did not spare Him (Romans 8:32). God has completely disposed of and consumed the old man, that which I am naturally in my flesh, by making Christ sin. The Lord Jesus became obedient “to death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8).

We see the practical consequence of this in the linen robe. That speaks of righteous deeds (Revelation 19:8). They will be seen in the life of the believer who has been occupied with the ashes. The priest puts on other clothes when he takes the ashes out of the camp. That represents another aspect of our lives. “Outside the camp” (Hebrews 13:13) means to take a place of shame. It means that we openly admit that we have taken the side of a rejected Lord. Both in our position, that is outside the camp, and in our deeds, of which the linen robe speaks, we will be a testimony of Who the Lord Jesus is.

Verses 14-18

The Law of the Grain Offering

The grain offering is again directly connected to the burnt offering. In Leviticus 2 it is written about the grain offering how it should be offered and brought on the altar. Here the emphasis is on eating the grain offering. It is food for the priest when he thinks of the Lord Jesus as the true Man (flour), Who on earth has done everything by the Holy Spirit (oil) and thus has been a soothing aroma for God (incense).

In a metaphorical sense, ‘eating’ means taking something spiritual so that our hearts are filled with it and our spiritual lives are shaped by it. By this ‘eating instruction’ the LORD indicates that all priests will eat the same food. Thus they will all be formed in the same way and learn to judge all things in the same way. This also applies to us. If there are ‘priests’ who feed on the world, this will have a negative effect on the priestly service. However, if we as priests all feed ourselves with the Lord Jesus as a true grain offering, we will become like Him and lead our lives to the glory of God.

A son of Aaron represents a believer who is aware of the sonship of God and lives up to that (Ephesians 1:5). He has knowledge of God’s thoughts about the Son, about Who He was on earth. He, and other sons, eat of what is left of the grain offering. This happens in “the holy place”. A holy place is a place where natural thinking and action is not given room, because everything is directed toward God and His appreciation of His Son. This holy place is “in the court of the tent of meeting”. There stands the bronze altar of burnt offering, a picture of the Lord’s Table.

“All that is male among Aaron’s sons” (Leviticus 6:18) seems double. A son is by definition male, isn’t it? This shows that someone can have a position, be a ‘son’, but still cannot be spiritually mature, not ‘male’, to engage with the Lord Jesus so much that he can feed himself with it. Aaron’s sons receive a share in what God calls “My offerings by fire”. The offering is for God, the Lord Jesus lived His life on earth for God. God has enjoyed it. But we, as priests, can enjoy it.

The grain offering offered as a fire offering has a sanctifying effect: “Whoever touches them will become consecrated.” Everything that comes into connection with the Lord Jesus is separated for God. Where the Lord Jesus is present, what is in His immediate vicinity is marked by His presence. God determines everything according to His Son.

Here it is all about outward holiness (cf. 1 Corinthians 7:14). It does not mean that where He is and His presence characterizes everything, it also means eternal life for all who come into contact with Him. We can clearly notice this, for example, when we read the Gospels.

Verses 19-23

Offering for the Anointing of the High Priest

Here we have a special kind of grain offering, introduced by a new speaking of the LORD. It is only brought when a new high priest is anointed. This takes place for the first time with Aaron in Leviticus 8-9. This is not a voluntary, but a mandatory grain offering, which may not be eaten. It is a grain offering that is only mixed with oil and not covered with it.

Aaron is a picture of the Lord Jesus as High Priest. The Lord Jesus is “designated by God as a High Priest” (Hebrews 5:10), God anointed Him to that end. He is that now. But He is the same Who was born on earth as Man from the Holy Spirit (flour mixed with oil). We cannot grasp the miracle of the conception of the Holy Spirit (not eat), but we can admire it and tell God our admiration for Him.

The Lord Jesus as High Priest in heaven is inseparable from His coming to earth and His life on earth for God. God wants us to think about this in the prescriptions of this special grain offering.

Verses 24-30

The Law of the Sin Offering

After the law of the grain offering, the law of the peace offering does not come, as in the earlier description of the offerings, but first follows the law of the sin offering. The emphasis here again is on the priest eating it.

The first thing that is said by the LORD in the law of the sin offering is that the sin offering must be brought in the place of the burnt offering. This immediately indicates that whoever has to bring a sin offering may also see that the Lord Jesus is also the burnt offering. We come in the awareness that we have deserved the judgment because of the sin we have committed and that the Lord Jesus has entered that judgment in order to deliver us from it. Added to this we also come to the awareness that the Lord Jesus has glorified God in that same work and that on that basis we are made pleasant. How versatile and great is the miracle of His work! It is indeed “most holy”.

The sin offering is about sins. Someone has sinned and comes with a sin offering to the priest, who offers it and eats it. Bringing a sin offering speaks of acknowledgment in God’s presence – “in the holy place” (Leviticus 6:26) – that the Lord Jesus had to die for that sin. Eating the sin offering means making one with the sin that the other has committed.

To point out the sin that another has committed is one thing; to identify with it is another. It is the awareness that it could have happened to me too. I am in no way better (Job 33:6; Galatians 6:1). Ezra and Daniel confess this, each in chapter 9 of the book named after them. They have eaten the sin offering. They themselves are innocent of the condition of the people, but they make themselves one with it and confess the sins of the people as their own. That is eating the sin offering.

Eating is the most perfect unification between the priest and the sacrificed animal representing the sin of the offeror. Christ is always both the Priest and the Victim. The action of the priest as he eats the sin offering, shows how Christ made sin His. This eating of the offering shows us the heart of Christ Who, when we sin, makes our cause His.

The priest did not commit sin. On the contrary, he has done reconciliation for it by the blood he has sprinkled. Yet he fully identifies with it. In this way Christ has also prepared the most perfect comfort for us. He Himself, Who is blameless and Who has worked atonement, has made Himself one with all our sins.

Now He is, because His one offering has been brought once and for all, active as Advocate with the Father in the case of sin. He works in connection with fellowship, not with reconciliation. There is nothing more to do in terms of offering or bloodshed. That work has been completely done. On the basis of that work He now serves as Advocate.

The sin offering has a sanctifying effect. Everything it comes into contact with becomes holy. The work of the Lord Jesus for sin is perfect in its effect. Nothing in His whole work bears the character of decided holiness, of complete and perfect separation from God, so much as His bearing of sin. That God has judged Him, the Son of His love, when He is made sin is the clearest proof of how much God hates sin. Whoever sees this, will have a holy aversion to all things that have to do with sin and will want to live in complete holiness before God.

If blood from the sin offering comes on a garment, the garment must be washed with water (Leviticus 6:27). This shows the powerful effect of the blood on my behavior, as can be observed by others. If I suddenly realize again the meaning of the blood of Christ, which has been made sin for me, it will have influence on my life. More humility will be seen in my life. The water of the Word will cleanse my life of things that conflict with humility.

The meat of the sin offering must first be cooked in order to be able to eat it. This can be done in an earthenware or bronze vessel. An earthenware vessel represents our body (2 Corinthians 4:7). This, as an instrument used by sin, must be broken. Nothing of natural man may be linked to the work of the Lord Jesus. The bronze vessel speaks of what we have become after we have come to faith. Bronze speaks of the righteousness of God. Sin has stained it. The vessel must be cleaned. Scouring and rinsing in water speaks of cleansing through the Word of God (Ephesians 5:26).

When the anointed priest or people have sinned (Leviticus 4:6; Leviticus 4:17), the blood of a sin offering is brought into the tent of meeting (Leviticus 6:30). In that case there is no one who can eat the sin offering, for all are guilty and therefore unfit to eat it.

Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Leviticus 6". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kng/leviticus-6.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniël', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.
Ads FreeProfile