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LEVITICUS CHAPTER 9
Moses commands Aaron to offer a sin-offering, and burnt-offering, and peace and meat offering; the congregation drawing near, and so the glory of the Lord should appear to them; to make atonement for himself and the people, Leviticus 9:1-7. Aaron’s offering for himself, Leviticus 9:8-14; for the people, Leviticus 9:15-21, whom he blesses, first by prayer to God, and then by solemn declaration to them; the glory of God appears; fire from heaven consumes the sacrifice; the people shout and are amazed, Leviticus 9:22-24.
The eighth day, to wit, from the first day of his consecration, or when the seven days of his consecration were ended, Leviticus 8:33,Leviticus 8:35, as appears from Exodus 29:30, Ezekiel 43:27. The eighth day is famous in Scripture for the perfecting and purifying both of men and beasts. See Leviticus 12:2,Leviticus 12:3; Leviticus 14:8-10; Leviticus 15:13,Leviticus 15:14; Leviticus 22:27.
All the congregation were called to be witnesses of Aaron’s instalment into his office, to prevent their murmurings and contempt, which being done, the elders were now sufficient to be witnesses of Aaron’s first execution of his office.
A young calf, Heb. a calf, the son of a bull or cow; which may seem to be added purposely to intimate that it was not a young calf properly so called, but a young bullock, for that was the sacrifice enjoined for the high priest’s sin-offering, Leviticus 4:3. Though it be not material, if this be a young calf, and that a young bull, because the grounds and ends of the several sacrifices differ, that Leviticus 4:0; being for his particular sin, and this for his own and family’s sins in general, and therefore no wonder if the sacrifices also differ. For a sin offering, for himself and his own sins, which was an evidence of the imperfection of that priesthood, and of the necessity of another and a better.
A sin-offering for the people, as it is expressed here Leviticus 9:15, for whose sin a young bullock was required, Leviticus 4:14; but that was for some particular sin, but this was more general and indefinite for all their sins. Besides, there being an eye here had to the priest’s consecration and entrance into his office, it is no wonder if there be some difference in these sacrifices from those before prescribed.
See the fulfilling of this promise, Leviticus 9:24. Heb. hath appeared. He speaks of the thing to come as if it were past, which is frequent in Scripture, to give them the more assurance of the thing.
Before the tabernacle where God dwelt.
The glorious manifestation of God’s powerful and gracious presence, Leviticus 9:24. Compare Exodus 24:16,Exodus 24:17; Exodus 40:34,Exodus 40:35; Ezekiel 43:2.
Moses had hitherto sacrificed, but now he resigneth his work to Aaron, and actually gives him that commission which from God he had received for him.
The order is very observable, first for thyself, otherwise thou art unfit to do it for the people. Hereby God would teach us, both the deficiency of this priesthood, and the absolute necessity of a higher and better Priest, Hebrews 7:26,Hebrews 7:27, and how important and needful it is that God’s ministers should be in the grace and favour of God themselves, that their ministrations may be acceptable to God, and profitable to the people.
Upon the horns of the altar, to wit, of burnt-offerings, of which alone he speaks both in the foregoing and following words; and the blood was poured out at the bottom of this altar only, not of the altar of incense, as appears from Leviticus 4:7, where indeed there is mention of putting some of the blood upon the horns of the altar of incense, in this case of the priest’s sacrificing for his own sins. But there seems to be a double difference:
1. That sacrifice was offered for some particular sin, this for his sins indefinitely.
2. There he is supposed to be complete in his office, and here he is but entering into his office, and therefore must prepare and sanctify himself by this offering upon the brazen altar in the court, before he can be admitted into the holy place where the altar of incense was. And the like is to be said for the difference between the sin-offering for the people here, and Leviticus 4:17,Leviticus 4:18.
1. Disposed it for the burning, i.e. laid it upon the altar where it was to be burnt by the heavenly fire, Leviticus 9:24. Thus interpreters generally understand the word here, as also Leviticus 9:13,Leviticus 9:17,Leviticus 9:20, by an anticipation; or the consequent is put for the antecedent, of which there are examples in Scripture. Or,
2. Properly burnt by ordinary fire, which was used and allowed until the fire came down from heaven, Leviticus 9:24, though afterwards it was forbidden. And if it had not been allowed otherwise, yet this being done by Aaron at the command of Moses, and consequently with God’s approbation, it was unquestionably lawful. And therefore there seems to be no necessity of departing from the proper sense of the word. Add to this, that there is nothing said to be consumed by that heavenly fire, but the burnt-offering with the fat belonging to it, namely, that burnt-offering mentioned Leviticus 9:16, which therefore is not there said to be burnt, as it is said of the other burnt-offering, Leviticus 9:13, and of the rest of the sacrifices in their places.
This was to be offered for the people, as the former was for himself, Leviticus 9:7.
As the first, to wit, in like manner as he did that for the priest, Leviticus 9:8, and consequently burnt this, as he did the other, Leviticus 9:11, for which Moses reproves him, Leviticus 10:17.
Which also was offered for the people, as the last mentioned sin-offering was.
The meat-offering was always to be added to the burnt offering. See Leviticus 6:0. The burnt-sacrifice of the morning was to be first offered every morning; for God will not have his ordinary and stated service swallowed up by extraordinary.
That which covereth; the fat which covereth the inwards, or the guts; which words are here understood, as appears by comparing this place with Leviticus 3:3,Leviticus 3:9; Leviticus 4:8; Leviticus 7:3, where they are expressed.
The breasts were reserved for the priest out of the peace-offerings, which were offered for the people. See Leviticus 7:30,Leviticus 7:31,Leviticus 7:34.
Aaron lifted up his right hand, which the Jews say was lifted up highest; or his hands, according to the other reading, which was the usual rite of blessing. See Luke 24:50. By this posture he signified both whence he expected the blessing, and his hearty desire of it for them.
Blessed them, in some such manner as is related Numbers 6:24, &c., though not in the same form, as some suppose, for it is not probable that he used it before God delivered it. And this blessing was an act of his priestly office no less than sacrificing. See Genesis 14:18,Genesis 14:19; Numbers 6:23; Deuteronomy 10:8; Deuteronomy 21:5; Luke 24:50. Came down, to wit, from the altar; whence he is said to come down, either,
1. Because the altar stood upon raised ground, to which they went up by an insensible ascent. Compare Exodus 20:26. Or,
2. Because it was nearer the holy place, and the holy of holies, which was the upper end.
Moses went in with
Aaron to direct him, and to see him perform those parts of his office which were to be done in the holy place, about the lights, and the table of shewbread, and of the altar of incense, upon which part of the blood of the sacrifices now offered was to be sprinkled, according to the law, Leviticus 4:7,Leviticus 4:18.
Blessed the people, i.e. prayed to God for his blessing upon the people, as this phrase is explained, Numbers 6:23, &c., and particularly for his gracious acceptation of these and all succeeding sacrifices, and for his signification thereof by some extraordinary token, which accordingly happened,
The glory of the Lord; either a miraculous brightness shining from the cloudy pillar, as Exodus 16:10; Numbers 14:10; or a glorious and visible discovery of God’s gracious presence and acceptance of the present ministry and service, as it follows.
There came a fire, in token of God’s acceptation and approbation of the priesthood now instituted, and the sacrifices now offered, and consequently of others of the like nature. See the like instances, Judges 6:21; Judges 13:19,Judges 13:20; 1 Chronicles 21:26. And this fire now given was to be carefully kept, and not suffered to go out, Leviticus 6:13, and therefore was carried in a peculiar vessel in their journeys in the wilderness.
From before the Lord; or, from the face or presence of the Lord; i.e. from the place where God was in a special manner present: either,
1. From heaven, as 1 Kings 18:38; 2 Chronicles 7:1, which is oft called God’s dwelling-place, as Deuteronomy 26:15; Isaiah 63:15. Or,
2. From the holy of holies, where also God is said to dwell, 2 Kings 19:15; 2 Chronicles 6:2; Psalms 80:1. And what is done before the ark is said to be done before God, as 1 Chronicles 13:8,1 Chronicles 13:10; 1 Chronicles 16:1, &c. And this may seem more probable by comparing this with Leviticus 10:2.
They shouted; as wondering at, rejoicing in, and blessing God for this wonderful and gracious discovery of himself, and of his favour to them therein.
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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Leviticus 9". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 13 / Ordinary 18