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Bible Commentaries

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments
Leviticus 6



Verse 2

Leviticus 6:2. If a soul sin — This sin, though directly committed against man, is emphatically said to be done against the Lord, not only in general, for so every sin against man is also against the Lord, but in a special sense, because this was a violation of human society, whereof God is the author, and president, and defender; and because it was a secret sin, of which God alone was the witness and judge; and because God’s name was abused in it by perjury. In that which was delivered to keep — By breach of trust in any goods committed to his care, and by denial of the facts when brought upon his oath before the judges. Or in fellowship — Hebrew, in putting the hand; alluding to the form of making contracts, by the parties giving the hand to each other. So it may either signify, in carrying on a common trade by joint stock, or in any matter of trust, for which he gave his hand, and plighted his faith to another. In any thing taken away by violence — By robbery or stealth, for the word signifies both. Theft not being punished among the Jews with death, they tendered an oath to those who were accused or suspected of it, to clear themselves from the imputation, Exodus 22:11. Or hath deceived (rather defrauded) his neighbour, as Malachi 3:5, where the same word signifies to defraud a hireling of his wages, and to oppress the widow and fatherless by acts of injustice.

Verse 3

Leviticus 6:3. Sweareth falsely — His oath being required, seeing there was no other way of discovery left. And is guilty — Makes his guilt manifest by his voluntary confession upon remorse; whereby he reapeth this benefit, that he only restores the principal with the addition of a fifth part; whereas, if he were convicted of his fault, he was to pay in some cases five-fold, in some four-fold, in others double.

Verse 5

Leviticus 6:5. In the day of his trespass-offering — It must not be delayed, but restitution to man must accompany repentance toward God. Wherever wrong has been done, restitution must be made, and till it is made, to the utmost of our power, we cannot look for forgiveness; for the keeping of what is unjustly gotten, avows the taking: and both together make but one continued act of unrighteousness.

Verse 8

Leviticus 6:8. The Lord spake unto Moses — Here begins a new subject, and if our Bibles were rightly divided, it ought to begin a new chapter, as in Junius and Tremellius, who join the first seven verses of this chapter to the former. Indeed, according to the Jewish division, the twenty-fifth section of the law begins here.

Verse 9

Leviticus 6:9. Command Aaron and his sons — Having instructed the people concerning the sacrifices to be brought by them, Moses now proceeds, at God’s command, to direct the priests respecting several parts of their official services. This is the law of the burnt-offering — Of the daily one, as the following words show, which may be better rendered, This burnt-offering shall be on the burning (the fire) upon the altar all night until the morning, and the fire of the altar shall be burning in it. The Vulgate, the Chaldaic, the Syriac, and Arabic versions are to this purpose. For, according to Calmet, “the priests watched all night, and put the sacrifice upon the altar piece by piece, consuming it by a slow and gentle fire, so that the sacrifice was burning on the altar from the evening, when the Jewish day began, till the morning. Then succeeded the morning sacrifice, which was in like manner consumed gradually, and kept burning till the time of the evening sacrifice; unless there were other sacrifices to come after, and then it was consumed more quickly, in order to make room for these extraordinary burnt-offerings.” It has already been observed, (Leviticus 3:5,) that when the sin-offerings or peace-offerings were offered, the fat of those parts of them that were appropriated to the altar were laid upon the daily sacrifice and consumed with it. Thus, there was not a moment, night or day, in which the sacrifice was not offered to God, to make atonement for the sins of the people; or rather, to represent the continual and extensively efficacious sacrifice of Jesus Christ the righteous, who abideth a priest continually, (Hebrews 7:3,) at the altar which is before the throne of God, (Revelation 8:3,) being himself the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, and having suffered in his own person the penalty due from divine justice to guilty sinners.

Verse 10

Leviticus 6:10. The ashes which the fire hath consumed — As the word אֶשׁרasher, rendered which here, also signifies when, and is so translated chap. Leviticus 4:22; Genesis 30:38; Numbers 5:29, and in many other places, it is evident the passage here ought to have been translated, And take up the ashes when the fire hath consumed the burnt-offering.

Verse 11

Leviticus 6:11. Other garments — Because this was no sacred, but a common work. A clean place — Where no dung or filth was laid. The priest himself was to do all this. God’s servants must think nothing below them but sin.

Verse 12-13

Leviticus 6:12-13. It shall not be put out — The fire coming down from heaven, was to be perpetually preserved, and not suffered to go out, partly that there might be no occasion or temptation to offer strange fire, and partly to teach them whence they were to expect the acceptance of all their sacrifices, even from the divine mercy, through the influence of the Holy Spirit, signified by the fire that came down from heaven, which was a usual token of God’s favourable acceptance. Every morning — Though the evening also be doubtless intended, yet the morning is only mentioned, because then the altar was cleansed, and the ashes taken away, and a new fire made. Thereon — Upon the burnt-offering, which thereby would be sooner consumed, that so a way might be made for other sacrifices.

Verse 16

Leviticus 6:16. The remainder shall Aaron and his sons eat — Unless they had some legal uncleanness upon them, Leviticus 22:6. His sons — The males only might eat these, because they were most holy things; whereas the daughters of Aaron might eat other holy things. In the court — In some special room appointed for that purpose. The reason why this was to be eaten only by holy persons, and that in a holy place, is given, (Leviticus 6:17,) because it is most holy.

Verse 17-18

Leviticus 6:17-18. It — That part which remains to the priest; for the part offered to God seems not to have been baked at all. Every one that toucheth them — That is, none should touch, or eat them, but consecrated persons, priests, or their sons. This preserved the dignity of the sacrifice, to have it eaten only by the priests, and by them only in a holy place.

Verse 20-21

Leviticus 6:20-21. When he is anointed — To be high-priest; for he only of all the priests was to be anointed in future ages. This law of his consecration was delivered before, and is here repeated because of some additions made to it. Perpetual — Whensoever any of them shall be so anointed. At night — Or, in the evening; the one to be annexed to the morning sacrifice, the other to the evening sacrifice, over and besides that offering of things inanimate, which every day was to be added to the daily morning and evening sacrifice. Thou shalt bring it in — Who art so anointed and consecrated.

Verse 23

Leviticus 6:23. It shall not be eaten — No part of it shall be eaten by the priest, as it was when the offering was for the people. The reason of the difference is, partly because when he offered it for the people, he was to have some recompense for his pains; partly to signify the imperfection of the Levitical priests, who could not bear their own iniquity; for the priest’s eating part of the people’s sacrifice did signify his typical bearing of the people’s iniquity; and partly to teach the priests and ministers of God, that it is their duty to serve God with singleness of heart, and to be content with God’s honour, though they have no present advantage by it.

Verse 26

Leviticus 6:26. The priest that offereth it for sin — For the sins of the rulers, or of the people, or any of them, but not for the sins of the priests; for then its blood was brought into the tabernacle, and therefore it might not be eaten.

Verse 27

Leviticus 6:27. Upon any garment — Upon the priest’s garments; for it was he only that sprinkled it, and in so doing he might easily sprinkle his garments. In the holy place — Partly out of reverence to the blood of sacrifices, which hereby was kept from a profane or common touch; and partly that such garments might be decent, and fit for sacred administrations.

Verse 28

Leviticus 6:28. The earthen vessel shall be broken — This relates, not to the consecrated vessels of the tabernacle, for none of these were of earth, Exodus 27:19; but to such vessels as were sometimes employed by private persons in dressing the meat of their sacrifices, whereof we have an example, 1 Samuel 2:13-14. These, after the flesh of the sacrifice had been boiled in them, were to be broken, in order that what retained the smallest tincture of the holy things might not be profaned by being afterward employed in common use. If it be sodden in a brazen pot, it shall be scoured — Vessels of brass, being more solid, and less apt to imbibe the moisture, might be thoroughly cleansed from all tincture of the sacrifice by washing and scouring, and therefore were not to be broken. Besides, being of considerable value, God would not have them destroyed unnecessarily.


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Bibliography Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Leviticus 6:4". Joseph Benson's Commentary. 1857.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, December 3rd, 2020
the First Week of Advent
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