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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary
Leviticus 21



Verse 1

Leviticus 21:1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto the priests the sons of Aaron, and say unto them, There shall none be defiled for the dead among his people:

Ver. 1. There shall none be defiled for the dead.] This holy abstinence of the priests in matter of mourning, marriage, &c., figured the transcendent holiness of Christ: the devils could call him that Holy One of God. [Mark 1:24] It taught also both ministers and people, who are "a kingdom of priests"; (1.) Well to govern their passions, and to be patterns of patience; (2.) Ever to keep such a Sabbath of spirit, that by no dead works, or persons dead in trespasses and sins, they be hindered in the discharge of their duties of either calling.

Verse 2

Leviticus 21:2 But for his kin, that is near unto him, [that is], for his mother, and for his father, and for his son, and for his daughter, and for his brother,

Ver. 2. And for his brother.] The high priest might not for any of these, [Leviticus 21:10-11] nor might Eleazar and Ithamar for their dead brethren Nadab and Abihu, [Leviticus 10:6] because in that case, mourning might have seemed murmuring.

Verse 3

Leviticus 21:3 And for his sister a virgin, that is nigh unto him, which hath had no husband; for her may he be defiled.

Ver. 3. And for his sister.] What! and not for his wife? Yes surely, though she be not mentioned, because she is nearer than either daughter or sister. See Ezekiel 24:16. He was a priest, but that was an exempt case, an exception from what was ordinarily done.

Verse 4

Leviticus 21:4 [But] he shall not defile himself, [being] a chief man among his people, to profane himself.

Ver. 4. Being a chief man.] A vir gregis; all whose actions were exemplary, and have not an impulsive only, but a compulsive power and property. "Why compellest thou the Gentiles?" [Galatians 2:14] His example was a compulsion.

Verse 5

Leviticus 21:5 They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.

Ver. 5. They shall not make baldness, &c.] So Leviticus 19:27. Howbeit in humiliation for sin the Lord God of hosts called them all, both priests and people, to weeping and mourning, [Joel 2:17] yea to baldness and sackcloth. [Isaiah 22:12] Here we cannot easily overdo.

Verse 6

Leviticus 21:6 They shall be holy unto their God, and not profane the name of their God: for the offerings of the LORD made by fire, [and] the bread of their God, they do offer: therefore they shall be holy.

Ver. 6. They shall be holy.] Heb., Holiness, i.e. all holy, even as holiness itself, merely spiritual.

Not profane the name of their God.] Not do anything unworthy the majesty of the ministry: but suffer the dead to bury their dead. [Matthew 8:22]

Verse 7

Leviticus 21:7 They shall not take a wife [that is] a whore, or profane; neither shall they take a woman put away from her husband: for he [is] holy unto his God.

Ver. 7. They shall not take a wife.] Lest their function be disgraced. That which Hosea was commanded to do against this prohibition [Hosea 1:2] was but visional.

Or profane.] Deflowered, ravished.

Put away from her husband.] Because of evil report.

Verse 8

Leviticus 21:8 Thou shalt sanctify him therefore; for he offereth the bread of thy God: he shall be holy unto thee: for I the LORD, which sanctify you, [am] holy.

Ver. 8. Thou shalt sanctify him.] i.e., Thou, Moses, shalt command him to be sanctified, as Exodus 19:10.

Verse 9

Leviticus 21:9 And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.

Ver. 9. She shall be burnt with fire.] A peculiar plague, to show the hatefulness of the sin.

Verse 10

Leviticus 21:10 And [he that is] the high priest among his brethren, upon whose head the anointing oil was poured, and that is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not uncover his head, nor rend his clothes;

Ver. 10. Shall not uncover his head.] So neither doth the Mufti among the Turks, nor the Pope of Rome uncover to any man: but this is their pride and stateliness.

Verse 11

Leviticus 21:11 Neither shall he go in to any dead body, nor defile himself for his father, or for his mother;

Ver. 11. Nor defile himself.] But appear impassionate, as it were, and more than a man.

Verse 12

Leviticus 21:12 Neither shall he go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his God; for the crown of the anointing oil of his God [is] upon him: I [am] the LORD.

Ver. 12. For the crown of the anointing.] Noting thereby that Christ, now risen, is crowned with glory and honour; [Hebrews 2:7 Zechariah 6:12] and so shall we with him. [Hebrews 2:9-10 1 Corinthians 15:47-49]

Verse 13

Leviticus 21:13 And he shall take a wife in her virginity.

Ver. 13. In her virginity.] Such is Christ’s wife, [2 Corinthians 11:1-33 : 2 Kings 14:4 Matthew 25:1-13] not giving her love, or his worship to any other.

Verse 14

Leviticus 21:14 A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, [or] an harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife.

Ver. 14. Of his own people.] A Jewess of any tribe. [Ezekiel 44:22 2 Chronicles 22:11]

Verse 15

Leviticus 21:15 Neither shall he profane his seed among his people: for I the LORD do sanctify him.

Ver. 15. Profane his seed.] Disable them for the priesthood by marrying such a wife as was forbidden him.

Verse 17

Leviticus 21:17 Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever [he be] of thy seed in their generations that hath [any] blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God.

Ver. 17. That hath any blemish.] Christ was without blemish: so should all the saints be, but especially ministers, of whom it should be said as of Absalom, that from top to toe there was no blemish in him. [2 Samuel 14:25]

Verse 18

Leviticus 21:18 For whatsoever man [he be] that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous,

Ver. 18. He shall not approach.] Lest his ministry be slighted for his personal defects and deformities: how much more for his ignorance, envy, indirect aims, uneven walking, injudiciousness, unheavenly mindedness, &c., purported by these bodily imperfections?

Verse 19

Leviticus 21:19 Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded,

Ver. 19. Or broken handed.] In the hands, the Hebrews say, there might be seven blemishes.

Verse 20

Leviticus 21:20 Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken;

Ver. 20. A blemish in his eye.] By a mixture of the humours there, or otherwise; when that little man (a) in the eye, as the Hebrews call the apple thereof, acteth not his part aright.

Verse 22

Leviticus 21:22 He shall eat the bread of his God, [both] of the most holy, and of the holy.

Ver. 22. He shall eat the bread.] So might not the unclean priests. [Leviticus 22:3] Our involuntary weaknesses shall not debar us from benefit by Christ.

Verse 23

Leviticus 21:23 Only he shall not go in unto the vail, nor come nigh unto the altar, because he hath a blemish; that he profane not my sanctuaries: for I the LORD do sanctify them.

Ver. 23. For I the Lord do sanctify them.] By my presence, and services there performed.

Verse 24

Leviticus 21:24 And Moses told [it] unto Aaron, and to his sons, and unto all the children of Israel.

Ver. 24. And to all the children of Israel.] Who were to see that these things were thus done.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Leviticus 21:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 27th, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
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