Tired of seeing ads while studying? Now you can enjoy an "Ads Free" version of the site for as little as 10¢ a day.

Bible Commentaries

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Leviticus 22



The priests in their uncleanness must abstain from the holy things, Leviticus 22:1-5.

How they shall be cleansed, Leviticus 22:6-9.

Who of the priest’s house may eat of the holy things, Leviticus 22:10-16.

The sacrifices must be without blemish, Leviticus 22:17-25.

The age of the sacrifice, Leviticus 22:26-28.

The law of eating the sacrifice of thanksgiving, Leviticus 22:29,Leviticus 22:30.

Verse 2

That they separate themselves, to wit, when any uncleanness is upon them, as it appears from Leviticus 22:3,Leviticus 22:4. From the holy things, i.e. from eating of those parts of the offerings which belong to them. Only of the tithes they might eat in that case.

Which they hallow; either the children of Israel, or the priests; for both of them did in their kinds hallow, consecrate, or offer them to God. But the former seems more probable, both because they were mentioned here and Leviticus 22:3, where they are said to hallow, &c., and because this makes the argument stronger, it ill became the priests to profane or pollute what the people did hallow.

Verse 3

Unto the holy things, to eat them or to touch them; for if the touch of one of the people having his uncleanness upon him defiled the thing he touched, much more was it so in the priest.

From my presence; either from the place of my presence and from my ordinances by excommunication: he shall be excluded both from the administration and from the participation of them. Or, from the people, among whom I am present, which commonly is expressed by

cutting off from his people. Or, from the land of the living.

Verse 4

What man soever, i.e. or woman, of Aaron’s seed; for they were under the same law.

Verse 7

i.e. His portion, the means of his subsistence. This may be added to signify why there was no greater nor longer a penalty put upon the priests than upon the people in the same case, Leviticus 11:0; Leviticus 15:0, because his necessity craved some mitigation; though otherwise the priests being more sacred persons, and obliged to greater care and exemplariness, deserved a greater punishment.

Verse 9

Mine ordinance; either this ordinance here treated of concerning abstaining from holy things when they are unclean; or more generally, that great ordinance whereby I have made them the guardians of holy places and things, to keep them from all defilement by themselves or others. Heb. my watch, i.e. the watch or guard which I have commanded them to keep.

Lest they bear sin, i.e. incur guilt and punishment. For it, i.e. for the neglect or violation of it.

If they profane it, i.e. their charge, or God’s ordinance about it.

Verse 10

No stranger, i.e. of a strange family, who is not a priest, as Leviticus 22:12; compare Matthew 12:4. But there is an exception to this rule, Leviticus 22:11.

A sojourner; one that comes to his house and abides there for a season, and eats at his table.

Of the holy things; of those parts of the offerings which fell to the priest’s share, as the breast and shoulder.

Verse 11

Because they were wholly his, and as such they were circumcised, Genesis 17:0; Exodus 12:0.

Verse 12

Unto a stranger, i.e. to one of another family, who is no priest. Yet the priest’s wife, though of another family, might eat. The reason of which difference is, because the with passeth into the name, state, and privileges of her husband, from whom the family is denominated and esteemed.

Verse 14

The fifth part, over and above the principal, and besides the ram to be offered to God, Leviticus 5:15.

Shall give it unto the priest with the holy thing; or, and shall give unto the priest the holy thing; i.e. the worth of it, which the priest was either to take to himself or offer to God, as the nature of the thing was.

Verse 15


1. The people shall not profane them, by eating them. Or,

2. The priests shall not profane them, i.e. suffer the people to profane them, without censure and punishment. Both come to the same thing; the people shall not do it, nor the priests suffer it.

Verse 16

i.e. They, i.e. the priests shall not (the negative particle being understood out of the foregoing clause, as Psalms 1:5; Psalms 9:18 suffer them, i.e. the people, to bear the iniquity of trespass, i.e. the punishment of their sin, which they might expect from God, and for the prevention whereof the priest was to see restitution made, &c. The words may be rendered thus, But (so the Hebrew vau is oft translated) they, i.e. the priests, shall make them, i.e. the people, to bear the iniquity, or punishment, of their trespass or sin, i.e. they shall require from them reparations in manner here expressed.

Verse 18

Or of the strangers; such as were proselytes.

For all his vows. See on Leviticus 7:16.

Verse 19

A male for a burnt-offering, which was always of that kind; but the females were accepted in peace-offerings, Leviticus 3:1, and sin-offerings, Leviticus 4:32; Leviticus 5:6.

Verse 21

To wit, none of the blemishes mentioned Leviticus 22:22,Leviticus 22:24; for some blemishes did not hinder the acceptance of a free will offering, but only of a vow, Leviticus 22:23.

Verse 23

That mayest thou offer; either,

1. To the priest, who might, according to the rules given by God, either convert it to his own use, or sell it, and lay out the price of it upon the temple or sacrifices. But in this sense any of the other kinds, as blind, or broken, &c., might be offered, which yet are forbidden to be offered Leviticus 22:22. Or rather,

2. To the Lord, as is expressed Leviticus 22:22,Leviticus 22:24, this being put down by way of opposition to those defects, Leviticus 22:22, and by way of exception from the general rule, Leviticus 22:21.

Verse 25

Neither from a stranger’s hand, to wit, from proselytes, from whom less might seem to be expected, and in whom God might bear with some things which he would not bear with in his own people; yet even from those such should not be accepted, much less from the Israelites.

The bread, i.e. the sacrifices. See on Leviticus 21:8. Of any of these, i.e. corrupted or defective; which clause limits the sense and kinds of offerings, and cuts off another more general interpretation received by many, to wit, that he forbids the receiving of any offering, whether blemished or perfect, from the hands of a stranger remaining in heathenism.

Their corruption is in them, i.e. they are corrupt, vicious, and unlawful sacrifices. For you, or, from you, O priests, to whom it belongs to offer. You shall bear the blame of it, for the strangers might do so through ignorance of God’s law.

Verse 27

From the eighth day. See on Exodus 23:30; Exodus 23:19.

Verse 28

Because it savoured of cruelty. See Poole Deuteronomy 22:6.

Verse 29

i.e. What and when you please, so the rules be observed: or, for your acceptance, as Leviticus 1:3, i.e. in such manner that God may accept it, i.e. regularly, cheerfully, &c.

Verse 32

Neither shall ye profane my holy name; either by despising me and my command yourselves, or by giving others occasion to profane them.

Hallowed, or sanctified: either by you in keeping my holy commands, or upon you in executing my holy and righteous judgments, Leviticus 10:3; Isaiah 26:15. I will manifest myself to be a holy God, that will not bear the transgression of my laws.

Which hallow you, by separating you from all the world unto myself and service, by giving you holy laws, and my Holy Spirit to enable and incline you to keep them; and therefore you have the more reason to hallow me and keep my commands, and are the more inexcusable if you transgress them.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Leviticus 22". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. 1685.