ON THE BOOK OF
1852 by James Nisbet and Company
Digitally prepared and posted on the web by Ted Hildebrandt (2004)
Please report any errors to:
SOME years ago, while perusing the Book of Leviticus in
the course of his daily study of the Scriptures, the author
was arrested amid the shadows of a past dispensation,
and led to write short notes as he went along. Not long
after, another perusal of this inspired book--conducted
in a similar way, and with much prayer for the teaching
of the Spirit of truth--refreshed his own soul yet more,
and led him on to inquire what others had gleaned in
the same field. Some friends who, in this age of activity
and bustle, find time to delight themselves in the law of
the Lord, saw the notes, and urged their publication.
There are few critical difficulties in the book; its
chief obscurity arises from its enigmatical ceremonies.
The author fears he may not always have succeeded in
discovering the precise view of truth intended to be exhi-
bited in these symbolic rites; but he has made the
attempt, not thinking it irreverent to examine both sides
of the veil, now that it has been rent. The Holy Spirit
surely wishes us to inquire into what He has written; and
the unhealthy tone of many true Christians may be
accounted for by the too plain fact that they do not
meditate much on the whole counsel of God. Expe-
rience, as well as the Word itself (Ps. i. 2, 3), might lead
us to value very highly the habit of deeply pondering
the discoveries of the mind of God given in all parts of
Scripture, even the darkest.
Throughout this Commentary, the truth that saves,
and the truth that sanctifies, is set before the reader in a
variety of aspects, according as each typical rite seemed
to suggest. It may thus be useful to all classes of per-
And what, if even some of the house of
may have their eye attracted to the Saviour, while giving
heed to the signification of those ceremonies which to
their fathers were sign-posts (tOtOx, Ps. lxxiv. 9) in,
the way of life?
C0LLACE, May 5, 1846.
PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION
A FEW corrections have been made, and a few additional
remarks introduced, in this edition. The subjects of the
Book of Scripture briefly expounded in these pages are
all of a vital nature, though the form in which they were
presented by Moses is obsolete. A writer of the middle
ages, Hildebert, suggests much by these few lines
Quisne locus votis teneat cum navita portum?
Crux Sol, Crux portus. Haec omnia praeteriere.
Crux clausit templum, Crux solvit aenigmata legis.
Sub Cruce cessat ephod, et deficit unctio regis."
The Nature of the Book . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
The Burnt Offering (Chapter 1) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
The Meat Offering (Chapter 2) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
The Drink Offering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
The Peace Offerings (Chapter 3) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
The Sin Offering (Chapter 4) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
Sin Offering for Sins of Inadvertency (Chapter 5) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
The Trespass Offering (Chapters 5 and 6) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
Special Rules for Priests Who Minister at the
Altar of God (Chapters 6:8--7) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109
The Priesthood Entering on Their Office (Chapter 8) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144
Aaron's Entrance on His Office (Chapter 9) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177
The Fencing of the Priestly Ritual (Chapter 10) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187
Remembrances of the Broken Law - the Clean and
the Unclean (Chapter 11) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203
Original Sin - What Has Been Transmitted to Us
(Chapter 12 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 228
The Leprosy. Indwelling Sin - Its Horrid Features
(Chapter 13) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 232
The Leprosy Removed (Chapter 14) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257
The Secret Flow of Sin from the Natural Heart,
Typified in the Running Issue (Chapter 15) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 278
The Day of Atonement (Chapter 16) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 290
The Use of Animal Food Regulated (Chapter 17) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 311
Private and Domestic Obligations - Purity in Every
Relation of Life (Chapter 18) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 319
Duties in the Every-Day Relations of Life
(Chapter 19) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 334
Warnings Against the Sins of the Former
Inhabitants (Chapter 20) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 351
Personal Duties of the Priests (Chapter 21) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 362
Household Laws Regarding Holy Things (Chapter 22) . . . . . . . . . . . . 374
The Public Festivals, or Solemn Convocations
(Chapter 23) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 386
Duty of Priests When Out of Public View in the
Holy Place (Chapter 24) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 415
The Sabbatic Year, and the Year of Jubilee
Millennial Times (Chapter 25) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 431
(Chapter 26) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 458
Entire Devotion to God, Induced by the Foregoing
Views of His Character (Chapter 27) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 479
COMMENTARY ON LEVITICUS
THE NATURE OF THE BOOK.
THERE is no book, in the whole compass of that inspired
Volume which the Holy Ghost has given us, that con-
tains more of the very words of God than Leviticus. It
is God that is the direct speaker in almost every page;
his gracious words are recorded in the form wherein they
were uttered. This consideration cannot fail to send us
to the study of it with singular interest and attention.
It has been called "Leviticus," because its typical
institutions, in all their variety, were committed to the
care of the tribe of Levi, or to the priests, who were of
that tribe. The Greek translators of the Pentateuch
devised that name. The Talmud, for similar reasons,
calls it MynihEKioha traOt, “the law of the priests.” But
Jewish writers in general are content with a simpler
title; they take the first words of the book as the name,
calling it xrAq;yiva,"Vayikra,” q. d. the book that begins
with the words, “And the Lord called.”
2 THE NATURE OF THE BOOK
It carries within itself the seal of its Divine origin.
As an internal proof of its author being Divine, some
have been content to allege the prophecy contained in
chap. xxvi., the fulfilment of which is spread before the
eyes of all the earth. But if, in addition to this, we find
every chapter throughout presenting views of doctrine
and practice that exactly dovetail into the unfigurative
statements of the New Testament, surely we shall then
acknowledge that it bears the impress of the Divine mind
from beginning to end.
The Gospel of the grace of God, with all that follows in
its train, may be found in Leviticus. This is the glorious
attraction of the book to every reader who feels himself
a sinner. The New Testament has about forty references
to its various ordinances.
The rites here detailed were typical; and every type
was designed and intended by God to bear resemblance
to some spiritual truth. The likeness between type and
antitype is never accidental. The very excellency of these
rites consists in their being chosen by God for the end of
shadowing forth "good things to come" (Heb. x. 1). As
it is not a mere accidental resemblance to the Lord's
body and blood that obtains in the bread and wine used
in the Lord's supper, but on the contrary, a likeness that
made the symbols suitable to be selected for that end; so
is it in the case of every Levitical type. Much of our
satisfaction and edification in tracing the correspondence
between type and antitype will depend on the firmness
with which we hold this principle.
If it be asked why a typical mode of shewing forth
truth was adopted to such an extent in those early days,
it may be difficult to give a precise answer. It is plain,
such a method of instruction may answer many purposes.
THE NATURE OF THE BOOK 3
It may not only meet the end of simplifying the truth,
it may also open the mind to comprehend more, while
it deepens present impressions of things known. The
existence of a type does not always argue that the thing
typified is obscurely seen, or imperfectly known. On the
contrary, there was a type in the garden of Eden--the
tree of life,--while life, in all its meaning, was fully com-
prehended by Adam. In all probability, there will be
typical objects in the millennial age; for there is to be a
which shall flow from
of Shittim (Joel iii. 18), the same of which Ezekiel
(xlvii. 1) and Zechariah (xiv. 8) speak. This river is
to be for the healing of the
banks grow majestic trees, whose leaves are for the heal-
ing of the nations. No doubt a spiritual significance lies
hid in these visible signs; the visible symbol seems to be
a broad seal and sign of the peculiar truth manifested in
these days, viz. the overflowing stream of the Holy Spirit
shall be poured out at
David first), winding its course over earth to convey
saving health to all nations. Certain it is that types do
not necessarily imply that the antitype is dimly known.
The Lord may use them as he uses Gospel ordinances at
present, to convey light to us, and leave more indelible
impressions. A German writer (Hahn) has said, "Types
were institutions intended to deepen, expand, and ennoble
the circle of thoughts and desires, and thus heighten the
moral and spiritual wants, as well as the intelligence and
susceptibility of the chosen people."* And not less truly
is this point touched upon by the Reformer Tyndale, in
* Southey says of Laud: "He began his dying address in that state of calm
but deepest feeling, when the mind seeks for fancies, types, and dim similitudes,
and extracts from them consolation and strength."--(Book of the Church.)
4 THE NATURE OF THE BOOK
his Prologue into the Third Book of Moses:--"Though
sacrifices and ceremonies can be no ground or foundation.
to build upon that is, though we can prove nought with
them--yet, when we have once found out Christ and his
mysteries, then we may borrow figures, that is to say,
allegories, similitudes, and examples, to open Christ, and
the secrets of God hid in Christ, even unto the quick,
and can declare them more lively and sensibly with them
than with all the words of the world. For similitudes
have more virtue and power with them than bare words,
and lead a man's understanding further into the pith and
marrow and spiritual understanding of the thing, than all
the words that can be imagined." Again he says, "Alle-
gories prove nothing; but the very use of allegories is to
declare and open a text, that it may be better perceived
and understood . . . There is not a better, more vehement,
or mightier thing to make a man understand withal, than
an allegory. For allegories make a man quick-witted, and
print wisdom in him, and make it to abide, when bare
words go but in at the one ear and out at the other."
The Epistle to the Hebrews lays down the principles
upon which we are to interpret Leviticus. The specimens
there given of types applied furnish a model for our
guidance in other cases; and the writer's manner of
address in that Epistle leads us to suppose that it was no
new thing for an Israelite thus to understand the ritual
of Moses. No doubt old Simeon (Luke ii. 25) frequented
the temple daily in order to read in its rites the future
development of a suffering Saviour, as well as to pray
and worship. Anna the prophetess did the same; for
all these knew that they prophesied of the grace that was
to come to us, and therefore inquired and searched dili-
gently (1 Pet. i. 10). Had Aaron, or some other holy
THE NATURE OF THE BOOK 5
priest of his line, been "carried away in the spirit," and
shewn the accomplishment of all that these rites pre-
figured, how joyful ever after would have been his daily
service in the sanctuary! When shewn the great Antitype,
and that each one of these shadows pictured something
in the person or work of that Redeemer, then, ever after,
to handle the vessels of the sanctuary would be rich food
to his soul. It would be "feeding beside the still waters,
and in green pastures." For the bondage of these elements
did not consist in sprinkling the blood, washing in the
laver, waving the wave-shoulder, or the like; but in doing
all this without perceiving the truth thereby exhibited.
Probably to a true Israelite, taught of God, there would
be no more of bondage in handling these material ele-
ments, than there is at this day to a true believer in
handling the symbolic bread and wine through which he
"discerns the body and blood of the Lord." It would be
an Israelite's hope every morning, as he left the "dwell-
ings of Jacob," to see "in the gates of
Lamb of God, while gazing on the morning sacrifice. "I
will compass thine altar, 0 Lord, that I may publish with
the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous
works" (Ps. xxvi. 6, 7). And, as the sun declined, he
would seek to have his soul again anointed, after a busy
day's vexations, by beholding the evening lamb.
Tyndale says, that while there is "a star-light of Christ"
in all the ceremonies, there is in some so truly "the light
of the broad day," that he cannot but believe that God
had shewed Moses the secrets of Christ and the very
manner of his death beforehand. At all events, it was
what they did see of Christ through this medium that so
endeared to them the tabernacle and temple-courts. It
was the very home of their souls. "How amiable are
6 THE NATURE OF THE BOOK
thy tabernacles, 0 Lord of hosts! My soul longeth, yea,
even fainteth for the courts of the Lord!" (Ps. lxxxiv. 1,
2.) And it is thus we can understand how those thou-
sands (or rather, tens of thousands) who believed were
all "zealous of the law" (Acts xxi. 20). The Christian
lent their sanction to their zeal in some degree; and
Paul himself saw nothing necessarily sinful in it. For it
was all well, if they used the law only as "their school-
master to bring them to Christ" (Gal. iii. 24). It must
have been thus that Paul himself employed his thoughts
while "purifying himself" in the temple, and engaging in
the other ordinances regarding vows (Acts xxi. 26). His
thoughts would be on the Antitype; and possibly the
actual performing of these rites by a fully enlightened
soul might lead to some distinct views of truth contained
in them, which would have escaped the observation of a
mere spectator. And, if we may throw out a conjecture
on a subject where Millennarians and Anti-millennarians
are alike at sea--is it not possible that some such end as
this may be answered by the temple which Ezekiel foretells
as yet to be built? (chap. xl., &c.) Believing nations may
frequent that temple in order to get understanding in
these types and shadows. They may go up to the moun-
tain of the Lord's house, to be there taught his ways
(Isa. ii. 3). In that temple they may learn how not one
tittle of the law has failed. As they look on the sons of
Zadok ministering in that peculiar sanctuary, they may
learn portions of truth with new impressiveness and
fulness. Indeed, the very fact that the order of arrange-
ment in Ezekiel entirely differs from the order observed
in either tabernacle or temple, and that the edifice itself
is reared on a plan varying from every former sanctuary,
THE NATURE OF THE BOOK 7
is sufficient to suggest the idea that it is meant to cast
light on former types and shadows. Many Levitical rites
appear to us unmeaning; but they would not do so if
presented in a new relation. As it is said of the rigid
features of a marble statue, that they may be made to
move and vary their expression so as even to smile, when
a skilful hand knows how to move a bright light before
it; so may it be with these apparently lifeless figures, in
the light of that bright millennial day. At all events, it
is probably then that this much-neglected book of Levi-
ticus shall be fully appreciated.
tree--shall again yield its fatness to the nations round
(Rom. xi. 17). Their ancient ritual may then be more
fully understood, and blessed truth found beaming forth
from long obscurity. When Jesus, the High Priest,
comes forth from the Holiest, there may be here fountains
of living water to which he shall lead us--Himself seen
to be the glorious Antitype, the Alpha and the Omega!
But let us proceed to the contents of this book. It
will be found that it contains a full system of truth,
exhibiting sin and the sinner, grace and the Saviour,
comprehending, also, details of duty, and openings into
the ages to come--whatever, in short, bears upon a
sinner's walk with a reconciled God, and his conversation
in this present evil world. Our heavenly Father has
condescended to teach his children by most expressive
pictures; and, even in this, much of his love appears.
The one great principle of interpretation which we
keep before us, is apostolic practice. This is the key
we have used. We find the sacred writers adduce the
likeness that exists between the thing that was typified
and the type itself, and resting satisfied there. So we
lay down this as our great rule,--there must be obvious
8 THE NATURE OF THE BOOK
resemblance. And next, we search into these types, in
the belief that Christ is the centre-truth of Revelation;
and surely no principle is more obviously true? The
body or substance of the law is Christ (Col. ii. 17), and
types are a series of shadows projected from Christ "the
body." It is this Messiah that has been, from the begin-
ning, the chief object to be unveiled to the view of men;
and in the fact that New Testament light has risen, lies
our advantage in searching what these things signify.
Mr M'Cheyne, of
occasion, regarding this point, in a letter to a friend:--
"Suppose," said he, "that one to whom you were a
stranger was wrapt in a thick veil, so that you could not
discern his features; still, if the lineaments were pointed
out to you through the folds, you could form some idea
of the beauty and form of the veiled one. But suppose
that one whom you know and love--whose features you
have often studied face to face--were to be veiled up in
this way, how easily you would discern the features and
form of this beloved one! Just so, the Jews looked upon
a veiled Saviour, whom they had never seen unveiled.
We, under the New Testament, look upon an unveiled
Saviour; and, going back on the Old, we can see, far
better than the Jews could, the features and form of
Jesus the Beloved, under that veil. In Isaac offered
(Gen. xxii.), in the scape-goat (Lev. xvi.), in the shadow
of the great rock (Isa. xxxii. 2), in the apple-tree (Song
ii. 2), what exquisite pictures there are seen of Jesus!
and how much more plainly we can see the meaning than
believers of old!" To the same purpose John Bunyan
writes. He represents Mansoul, in his Holy War, as
feasting at the Prince's table, and then getting riddles set
before them. “These riddles were made upon the King
THE NATURE OF THE BOOK 9
Shaddai, and Immanuel his son, and upon his wars and
doings with Mansoul . . . And when they read in the
scheme where the riddles were writ, and looked in the
face of the Prince, things looked so like, the one to the
other, that Mansoul could not forbear but say, ‘This is
the Lamb! This is the Sacrifice! This is the Rock!
This is the Red Cow! This is the Door! and This is
The space of a month was occupied in delivering the
various ordinances of this book to Moses. This is proved
from Exod. xl. 17, compared with Numb. i. 1. It is the
revelations of that one memorable month that are now to
form the subject of our study. Witsius (De Mysterio
Tab.) has remarked, that God took only six days to
creation, but spent forty days with Moses in directing
him to make the tabernacle--because the work of grace
is more glorious than the work of creation. And so we
find the law from Sinai occupying three days at most,
while these rules that exhibited the love and grace of
God are spread over many weeks.
The Burnt Offering
"Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world"--
John i. 29
THE TABERNACLE was that tent whose two apartments,
by the veil, formed the
Most Holy. This " tabernacle" was God's dwelling-place
on earth; where he met with men,--the token of his
returning to man after the fall. It was here that "the
of the Lord God" was often heard, as in
the cool of the day.
Ver. 1. And the Lord called unto Moses, and spake unto him out
of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying,--
The cloud that guided
tabernacle; and while this pillar stood over it, the glory
of the Lord filled the Holy of holies within (Exod. xl. 34).
Rays of this glory were streaming out all around, per-
haps like the light that shone from Christ's form "on the
holy mount," through his raiment, till the whole hill
shone. Out of the midst of this "excellent glory" (2
Pet. i. 17) came the voice of the Lord. He called on
Moses as at the bush; and having fixed the undivided
* In Exod. xl. 34-38, we have the general history of this cloud; not the nar-
rative of its motions on a particular occasion.
THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I 11
attention of Moses on him that spake, Jehovah utters his
mind. What love is here! The heart of our God, in
the midst of all his own joy, yearning to pour itself out
The date of these laws is probably a few days after
the tabernacle had been set up. They are given not from
Sinai, though at its foot (see chap. xxvii. 34); but from
over the mercy-seat, from between the cherubim, where
the glory had so lately found a resting-place. Perhaps
this intimated that all these institutions about to be
given bear on the same great subject, viz. Atonement
and its effects. Sinai and its law a few weeks before,
with the dark apostasy in the matter of the golden calf,
had lately taught them the necessity of reconciliation,
and made their conscience thirst for that living water.
And it is given here. The first clause of this book
declares a reconciled God--"The Lord called to Moses,"
as a man to his friend.
Ver. 2. Speak unto the children of
any man of you bring an offering unto the Lord, ye shall bring
your offering* of the cattle, even of the herd and of the flock.
When the Lord said, "Speak to the children of
instead of himself addressing them, it taught the people
their need of a Mediator. It was as if he had said,
These things are addressed to sinners who cannot see my
face or hear my voice, except through a daysman.
The offerings first spoken of are those that are to be
wholly consumed--types of complete exhaustion of wrath.
In these cases, everything about the animal was consumed,
sinews, horns, bones, hoof, the wool on the sheep's head,
and the hair on the goat's beard--(Willet). Hence they
* The Septuagint render this "prosoisete ta dwra u[mw?n."
Hence, perhaps, Heb. viii. 3, "gifts and sacrifices."
12 THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I
were called whole burnt-offerings (o[lokautwmata). God
prescribes the symbols of atonement, even as he fixed on
the ransom itself. It is a sovereign God that sinners are
dealing with; and in so doing, he fixed on the herd and
the flock, as the only class of cattle (hmAheB;), or four-
footed beasts, that he would accept. If we are to inquire
into a reason for this beyond his mere sovereignty, there
are two that readily present themselves as every way
probable. First, oxen, sheep, and goats (the herd and
flock) are easily got by men, being at their hand. He
did not wish to make them go in pursuit of beasts for
offering, for salvation is brought to our hand by our God.
Second, the characteristics of these animals fit them to
be convenient types of various truths relating to sacrifice.
The ox taken from feeding by the river-side, or the sheep
from its quiet pastures,--perhaps from among the lilies
joy and blessedness of his Father's presence, where he
had been ever "by the streams that make glad the city
of God." Another reason has been assigned, viz. all
these were horned animals. Whether in the East such
were reckoned more valuable than other animals we
cannot say. It is, at least, worthy of notice, that the
horn, which is the symbol of power and honour, is found
in them all.
Ver. 3. If his offering be a burnt-sacrifice of the herd, let him
offer a male, without blemish: he shall offer it of his own
voluntary will, at the door of the tabernacle of the congrega-
tion, before the Lord.
“A male," representing the second Adam, "without
blemish." Christ, by his one offering, makes his Church
spotless (Eph. v. 27), and, therefore, he was to be so
* See Guild's Moses Unveiled.
THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I 13
himself. Of course, therefore, the type of him must be
so. In the peace-offerings it was different: for these
typified rather the effects of Christ's atonement on the
receiver than himself atoning; and the animal, in that
case, might have some defect or blemish, even as the
effects of his work may be imperfectly experienced by
the sinner, though the work itself is perfect. But what-
ever speaks of Christ himself must speak of perfection.
"Before the Lord" is an expression ever recurring: it is
remarkable that it should occur so often. But perhaps
it was because the Lord meant thus to insert a Divine
safeguard against the Socinian idea, that sacrifice chiefly
had reference to the offerer, not to God. Every sacrifice
is brought before "the great Inhabitant of the sanctu-
ary." So also this expression guards us against Popish
error, as if ministers of Christ are priests in the same
sense as the line of Aaron. No; ministers of Christ
approach men in behalf of God, who sends them as am-
bassadors, but these priests approached God in behalf
of guilty men. "He shall offer it of his own voluntary
will."* The Gospel warrant is, "Whosoever will, let him
come." There must be a willing soul; none but a soul
made willing in the day of his power pays any regard
to atonement. The Lord allows all that are willing, to
come to the atoning provision. "Are you thirsty for
the living God? for yonder altar's sacrifice?" might some
son of Aaron say to a fearful soul. The fearful con-
science replies, "I cannot well tell if I be really thirsty
for him." "But are you, then, willing to go to yonder
altar?" "Yes, I am." "Then you may come; for
* Some translate this, “He shall offer it in order to be accepted.” I do
not think this meaning can be proved to be the true one, although the Septuagint
renders the expression, " dekton
e@nanti Ku<riou;" and the
here has, "dekton au]t& e]cilasqai e]nanti Kuriou."
14 THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I
read Leviticus i. 3, and see that it is neither riches nor
poverty, moral attainment nor deep experience, but sim-
ply a conscience willing to be bathed in atonement, that
is spoken of by the God of Israel."
Come then with the sacrifice to "the door of the taber-
nacle." The altar was near the door of the tabernacle;
it faced it. It was the first object that met the eye of
a worshipper coming in. The priest met him there, and
led the offerer with his sacrifice on to the altar. The
presenting any sacrifice there was a type of the worship-
per's object being to get admission into the presence of
God by entrance at that door ("access," Eph. ii. 18).
Thus the offerer walked silently and with holy awe to
the door of the tabernacle, and there met his God.
As a type of Christ, it would declare Christ's willing
offering of himself “Lo, I come;" and how he was, in
the fulness of time, led silently as a lamb to the slaugh-
ter. For we are to distinguish between the presentation
of Christ before he went forth, and the presentation of
himself after all was done.
Ver. 4. And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt-
offering; and it shall be accepted for him, to make atonement
This action of the offerer gives us a view of faith.
The offerer puts his hand on the same head whereon the
Lord's hand was laid, and thereby agrees to all that is
implied in his choosing that offering. God and the
believing soul meet at the same point, and are satisfied
by the same display of the Divine attributes.--" He
shall put his hand."* It is yet more forcible in the
* We make no reference, here nor elsewhere, to Jewish traditions as
to the manner in which the thing was done, and the words used. It is strange
that Ainsworth, Patrick, Outran, and others, should waste so much time in this
THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I 15
Hebrew—“He shall lean his hand” (j`msAv;), the very
word used in Psalm lxxxviii. 7, "Thy wrath leaneth
hard upon me." We lean our soul on the same person
on whom Jehovah leant his wrath.
When the worshipper had thus simply left his sins,
conveyed by the laying on of his hand upon the sacrifice,
he stands aside. This is all his part. The treatment of
the victim is the Lord's part. The happy Israelite who
saw this truth might go home, saying, "I have put my
hand on its head; it shall be accepted as an atonement."
Faith in the Lord's testimony was the ground of an
Israelite's peace of conscience,--nothing of it rested on
his own frame of mind, character, or conduct.
Ver. 5. And he shall kill the bullock before the Lord; and
the priests, Aaron's sons, shall bring the blood, and sprinkle
the blood round about upon the altar that is by the door of
the tabernacle of the congregation.
It is interesting to notice here, that Outram, Witsius,
and, others, seem to have proved that, in patriarchal
ages, every man might offer his own sacrifice. Heads of
families, and heads of a tribe or nation, often acted for
those under them; but the idea that the first-born were
the only priests is without foundation. The patriarchal
age was taught that every man must take Christ for
himself personally. In the Mosaic economy, however,
this is altered. There is another truth to be shewn
forth. Any one (2 Chrou. xxx. 17) might kill the ani-
mal--any common Levite, or even the offerer himself
--for there may be many executioners of God's wrath.
Earth and hell were used in executing the Father's pur-
department. Are these traditions anything more than human fancy--often, too,
of a somewhat modern date? Augustine judged well when he said, “Quid scrip-
tura voluerit, non quod illi opinati fuerint, inquirendum."
16 THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I
pose toward the Prince of Life. But there is only one
appointed way for dispensing mercy; and therefore only
priests must engage in the act that signified the bestowal
The animal is "killed" in the presence of the Lord.
And now, what an awfully solemn sight! The priest
“brings forward the blood." As he bears it onward, in
one of the bowls of the altar, all gaze upon the warm
crimson blood! It is the life! So that when the blood
is thus brought forward, the life of the sacrifice is brought
before God! It is as if the living soul of the sinner
were carried, in its utter helplessness and in all its filthi-
ness, and laid down before the Holy One!
The blood was then "sprinkled round about upon the
altar." The life being taken away, the sinner's naked
soul is exhibited! He deserves this stroke of death-
death death in the Lord's presence, as a satisfaction to his holi-
ness! As the blood that covered the door on the night
of the Passover represented the inmates' life as already
taken, so the blood on the altar and its sides signified
that the offerer's life was forfeited and taken. It was
thus that Jesus "poured out his soul unto death" for us.
It was, further, "round about," as well as "upon," the
altar. This held it up on all sides to view; and the
voice from the altar now is, "Look unto me, and be ye
saved, all the ends of the earth." All within the camp
might look and live; for this sacrifice represents Christ's
dying as the only way for any, and the sufficient way for all.
The altar mentioned here was the "altar of brass;"
the "golden altar," which stood in the
Ver. 6. And he shall flay the burnt-offering, and cut it into his
* See some remarks on the brass of this altar in a note, chap. xiv. 5.
THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I 17
Here, again, any one might act, as well as the priest;
for any of God's creatures may be the executioners of his
wrath. “He shall flay."--The skin torn from off the
slain animal may intimate the complete exposure of the
victim, uncovered, and laid open to the piercing eye of
the beholder. But specially, it seems to skew that there
is no covering of inherent righteousness on the person of
the sinner. While the skin was unwounded, the inward
parts were safe from the knife; thus, so long as man had
personal righteousness interposing, no knife could pierce
his soul. But the taking away of the victim's skin
skewed that the sinner had no such protection in God's
view; even as the bringing of such skins to Adam and
Eve, after the fall, skewed that God saw them destitute
of every covering, and had, in his mercy, provided cloth-
ing for them by means of sacrifice.
The "cutting it into pieces" would at last leave the
sacrifice a mangled mass of flesh and bones. Entire dis-
location of every joint, and separation of every limb and
member, was the process. By this the excruciating tor-
ment due to the sinner seems signified. God's sword--
his Abraham's knife--spares not the sacrifice; but uses
its sharpness and strength to pierce and destroy to the
uttermost. The slashing sword of wrath leaves nothing
to the guilty; but, as "one woe is past, behold, another
woe cometh quickly." Yet it is "into his pieces."
There was an order observed--a regularity and deliber-
ate systematic procedure. So will it be in the damna-
tion of hell; every pang will be weighed by perfect holi-
ness, every stroke deliberated upon ere it is inflicted.
And, in truth, this deliberate infliction is the most awful
feature of justice. It leaves the sufferer hopeless. The
stroke is awfully relentless, determined, righteous! Such,
18 THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I
too, were the Saviour's sufferings. Every part and pore
of his frame was thus mangled; every member of his
body, every feeling of his soul. There was not an action
of his life, or desire in his heart, but was combined with
woe; and all so just, that from the cross he lifts his
eyes to his Father, and looking on him--as he had ever
done, cries, "But thou art holy!" (Ps. xxii. 3.)
Ver. 7. And the sons* of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon
the altar, and lay the wood in order upon the fire.
This verse is well illustrated by Heb. ix. 14, "Who,
through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot
to God." Christ was prepared, in his human nature, by
the Holy Spirit. The Father prepared the fire of wrath,
filled the vial with that wrath, and, then poured it out.
The Holy Spirit, as Heb. ix. 14 declares, set all things in
order, in Christ's human nature, ready for the vial being
poured out. At the moment when the fire came down
and consumed him, love to God and man was at its
highest pitch in his soul--obedience, holy regard for the
Divine law, hatred of sin, love to man.
The wood, taken by itself, is not a type of anything;
but it must be taken thus:--the laying the wood in
order preparatory to the fire coming. In this view it
represents what we have just said.
The fire was from that fire which descended from the
cloudy pillar. It was, therefore, divinely intended to
shew "the wrath of God revealed from heaven" against
all ungodliness of men. Indeed, the fire from the bosom
of that cloud was no less than a type of wrath from the
* We sometimes see mistakes committed in representations of tabernacle
scenes. Levites are made to act as priests, and Levites are exhibited blowing
the silver trumpets. But all this was the duty of Aaron's sons alone. True;
they were Levites, but they were the priestly family among the Levites. Priests
are Levites, but all Levites are not priests.
THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP, I 19
bosom of God against him who lay in his bosom (see
chap. vi. 9, and ix. 24).
Ver. 8. And the priests, Aaron's sons, shall lay the parts, the
head, and the fat, in order upon the wood that is on the fire
which is upon the altar.
The fat did, of course, help the flame to consume the
head, notwithstanding the gushing stream of blood. But
what is the type? The head was that whereon the
offerer leant his hand, conveying to it his load of guilt.
The fat (rd,PA) is a word that occurs only, thrice, viz.
here, and ver. 12, and chap. viii. 20. Some understand
it to be the midriff; others, the fat separated from the
rest of the flesh; but there is no way of arriving at the
certain import. The type, however, is obvious. The
head and this fat are two pieces--one outward, the other
inward; thus representing the whole inner and outer
man. Christ's whole manhood, body and soul, was
placed on the altar, in the fire, and endured the wrath of
God. There could be no type of his soul otherwise than
by selecting some inward part to signify it; and that is
done here by the "fat." It is on the fat, too, that the
fire specially kindles. It is at the man's heart, feelings,
and desires that God expresses his indignation most fully.
It is the heart that is desperately wicked. It is the
carnal mind that is enmity against God.
Ver. 9. But his inwards and his legs shall he wash in water:
and the priest shall burn all on the altar, to be a burnt-
sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the
Answerable to the "head and fat" of the former
* The North American Indians long practised sacrifice; and D. Brainerd, in
his Journal, tells us of a great sacrifice where “they burnt the fat of the inwards
in the fire, and sometimes raised the flame to a prodigious height.”
20 THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I
verse, as parts representing the inward and outward, we
have here the legs and the intestines. The legs and in-
testines may be supposed to be selected to mark outward
and inward defilement--man's polluted nature needing
to be washed in water. But why wash these in water, if
they are to be burnt? Because here is a sacrifice for
others--"the just for the unjust"--Christ taking our
place. Now, lest anything should seem to indicate per-
sonal defilement in him, these portions are washed in
water, and then presented. Christ's body and soul, all
his person, and all his acts, were holy. His walk was
holy, and his inmost affections holy.
Such was the sacrifice on which the fire came! See
Isaac on the wood! but the knife has pierced this Isaac!
--in symbol, the original and immutable sentence, "Thou
shalt die." Here is death; and it has come in such a
manner as not to leave a vestige of the victim's former
aspect. The victim is all disfigured, and has become a
mass of disjointed bones and mangled flesh, because thus
shall it be in the case of the lost in hell. The lost sinner's
former joy, and even all his relics of comfort, are gone
for ever--no lover or friend would ever be able to re-
cognise that lost one. Even as it was with Jesus when
he took the position of the lost; his visage seemed to
every eye more marred than any man, and his form more
than the sons of men. But lo! as if even all this were
not expressive enough, that mangled mass is committed
to the flames, and in the consuming flame, every remain-
ing mark of its former state disappears. All is ashes.
So complete is the doom of the lost--as testified on this
altar, and fulfilled by Jesus when he took the sinner's
place. That smoke attests that God's righteousness is
fully satisfied in the suffering victim. His blood--his
THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I 21
soul--is poured out! and the flame of Divine wrath burns
up the suffering one! The smoke ascends--"a sweet
savour to the Lord." He points to it, and shews therein
his holy name honoured, and his law magnified. It is
sweet to Jehovah to behold this sight in a fallen world.
It reminds him, so to speak, of that Sabbath-rest over
the first creation (Gen. ii. 2); only this is deeper rest, as
being rest after trouble. This "sweet savour" is literally
"savour of rest" (HaOHyni Hayri); as if the savour stayed his
wrath and calmed his soul. So Eph. v. 2. And at the
view of that ascending smoke, more joyful hallelujahs are
sung than will be heard over the smoke of the pit (Rev.
xix. 3). For here love has free scope as well as righteous-
ness. What a rest will the millennial and heavenly rest
be, when, in addition to other elements, it has in it this
element of perfect satisfaction--" He shall, rest in his
love!" (Zeph. iii. 17.)
Such, then, is the "ox and bullock that has horns and
hoofs" (Ps. lxix. 31) ; and such, too, the meaning of the
offering. The Antitype set forth in Psalm lxix. has mag-
nified the name of the Lord, and set aside the type.
Ver. 10. And if his offering be of the flocks, namely, of the sheep,
or of the goats, for a burnt-sacrifice; he shall bring it a male
It appears that wealthier men generally selected oxen
as their offering;* and men less able took sheep or goats;
while ver. 14 shews that those yet poorer brought doves.
God thus left the sacrifice open alike to the rich, the
middle classes, and the labouring poor. For in Jesus
Christ there is neither Greek nor Jew, barbarian nor
Scythian, bond nor free; he is within reach of all alike.
* That is, oxen were always part of their sacrifice. Thus Numb.
vii. and I Chron. xxix. 21.
22 THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I
Our High Priest welcomes sinners under the wide name,
“Him that cometh " (John vi. 3 7); the advancing foot-
steps of a sinner to his altar, whether he be great or small,
is a sweet sound in our Aaron's ear.
Here is specially included the offering of the lamb.
Morning and evening this was done by the priest for all
liii. 7). Every day that picture was exhibited to
Ver. 11. And he shall kill it on the side of the altar northward
before the Lord: and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall sprinkle
his blood round about upon the altar.
There is a peculiarity here which does not occur in the
sacrifices of the herd, namely, it is to be killed on the
north side of the altar. One obvious reason seems to be
this: there was a necessity, for the sake of order, that
there should be a separate place for killing the oxen and
the sheep. No quarter of the heavens was sacred; and
since, at other times, the sacrifice was presented on the
east side, a variety like this answered the purpose of
proclaiming that Jesus is offered to any soul in any na-
tion, east or north, i.e. from east to west, north to south,
his death is presented to the view of all, to be believed
by men as soon as they see it. "Look unto me, and be
ye saved, all the ends of the earth."†
Ver. 12, 13. And he shall cut it into his pieces, with his head and
his fat; and the priest shall lay them in order on the wood
* An old writer asks, why Christ is called so often "the Lamb of God,"
and not "the ox, or the ram, of God." The reply is, because these were not
offered “every day," whereas the lamb was a daily offering, and therefore fitted
to proclaim Christ's blood as always ready for use.
† Some have tried without success to discover a deeper meaning in the
“north," And have suggested that the omission of it in Ps. lxxv. 6 strengthens this
idea. But in that passage "south" also is omitted, the Hebrew being rbad;mi.mi,,
"from the desert," referring to the caravans, which, amid all their rare
commodities, never brought the gift spoken of.
THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I 23
that is on the fire which is upon the altar. But he shall wash
the inwards and the legs with water; and the priest shall bring
it all, and burn it upon the altar: it is a burnt-sacrifice, an
offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord.
The sheep or goat is not commanded to be "flayed,"
as ver. 6 commands as to the ox or bullock; perhaps
because flaying signified the defencelessness of the victim
left without a covering. Now, the sheep or goat is, by its
very nature, defenceless enough. Our attention, therefore,
in this type, is rather fixed on the complete stroke of the
knife, that separates all into its pieces ready for the fire.
When the Lord said, "Awake, 0 sword, against my
Shepherd" (Zech. xiii. 7), the Saviour was smitten to
the very soul, and wrath came down on him like fire.
In ver. 13, the words, "and shall bring it all near,"
intimate the solemn care with which the priest advanced
to the spot and lighted the wood, attending to every
point, although his offering was one of the flock, and not
of the herd. This clause seems intended to put equal
honour on the offering of the flock as on that of the
herd, for the Antitype is all that gives either of them
The other particulars are the same as those mentioned
in verses 7- 9.
How simple the rules laid down for ordering his
favourite type--the lamb! But let us not fail to notice
that the use made of the lamb is what we are chiefly
called to observe--not the lamb itself in particular; as if
to shew that it is not Christ's meek nature, but Christ,
the meek and lowly one, in his connexion with the altar,
that we ought to be reminded of by the name "Lamb."
If it had been his character only, or chiefly, that was
referred to in that name--"Lamb of God," there would
24 THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I
have been no propriety in typifying him by the "ox"
and the "goat." But if the manner of his death and
the intention of his sufferings were mainly referred to,
then all is appropriate.
BURNT-OFFERING OF FOWLS.
Ver. 14. And if the burnt-sacrifice for his offering to the Lord
be of fowls, then shall he bring his offering of turtle-doves, or
of young pigeons.
In John ii. 14, we find this third class of offerings
referred to, along with the other two,--oxen, sheep, and
From chap. v. 7, we learn that the poorer class were
to bring this sort of sacrifice. "To the poor the Gospel
is preached;" and ministers must be as solicitous for the
salvation of the poor as of the rich.
The dove or pigeon was to be a male; for the Hebrew
word for "young pigeons" is hnAOy yneB;, "sons of the
dove." Thus it was fitter to represent Christ. And of
the winged tribes, none were ever taken for sacrifice,
except the dove and the turtle-dove. These abounded,
easily.* They were fitted, also, to be emblems of Jesus,
just as was the lamb. He is undefiled and holy, full of
love and tenderness; therefore the dove is his type. And
as the dove at the Deluge brought the message of peace,
and as the turtle-dove is the known emblem of peace,
because its voice is heard from the olive-tree (itself the
* In the course of my ordinary visits in the country; I one day sat down to
converse with a poor illiterate believer, at whose board a beautiful tame pigeon
used to feed. I opened the Bible at this passage, and chewed this type of a suf-
fering Saviour. It seemed to be specially blessed--she long remembered this
type of Jesus: and in this simple incident, there seemed to me discernible some-
of the wisdom and goodness that so provided for the poor of
THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I 25
type of peace), in quiet, calm security, so, on this ground
more specially, they are the better types of Jesus. The
previous suffering of the offered dove, or turtle, repre-
sents Christ suffering ere he enters into peace, and
becomes the peace-maker. Taken from his Father's
bosom, he comes to suffer. The dove, "by the rivers of
water" (Song v. 12), in peace and joy, is caught, and
wrung to death on the altar. The olive-groves must be
searched, and the turtle-dove taken from its own happy,
peaceful olive-tree. It is then violently brought to the
altar, and left lifeless there! Thus it was with Jesus.
But from this suffering and death of the Peaceful One
results "peace on earth." "He is our peace" (Eph. ii.
14). He breathes out on us nothing less than his own
peace--"My peace I give unto you" (John xiv. 27).
And soon, too, as the grand and wide result of all, "the
voice of the turtle (the herald of spring and of storms
past) shall be heard in our land" (Song ii. 12); and the
deluge of fire being passed, this dove shall bring its
olive-branch to announce to the new earth that wrath is
for ever turned away. Christ, who died to make peace,
shall reign in peace, over a peaceful earth, which his
own blood has made the dwelling of righteousness.
He of whom these things are spoken, when on earth,
shewed, from such Scriptures as these, that he needed
to suffer unto death. "Thus it is written, and thus it
behoved Christ to suffer" (Luke xxiv. 46), said Jesus,
while shewing the things written in the law of Moses
Ver. 15. And the priest shall bring it unto the altar, and wring
of his head, and burn it on the altar; and the blood thereof
shall be wrung out at the side of the altar.
The method of putting the dove to death must be
26 THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I
regulated by the nature of the victim; hence, here it is
by "wringing off his head." But this arrangement is
the better fitted to exhibit another. Feature in the death
of Jesus, viz. the awful violence done to one so pure, so
tender, and so lovely. We shrink back from the terrible
harshness of the act, whether it be plunging the knife
into the neck of the innocent lamb, or wringing off the
head of the tender dove. But, on this very account, the
circumstances are the better figure of the death of Jesus.
“He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his
mouth; yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him."
After this, "the blood was to be wrung out"
squeezed or pressed out) over the side of the altar, till it
ran in a crimson stream down the altar's side, in view of
all. Then it collects at the foot of the altar; and there
is a cry, like that from the souls under the altar in Rev.
vi. 9, against the cause of this blood-shedding, viz. sin.
A testimony against sin ascends up into the ears of the
Lord of Sabaoth. But his blood speaketh better things
than the blood of Abel, or the cry of the martyred ones;
for the response to this cry of blood is not vengeance,
but pardon to man.
It was the priest who performed this apparently harsh
and cruel act, for the Father bruised Jesus, and the
priest acts in his name.
Ver. 16. And he shall pluck away his crop with his feathers,
and cast it beside the altar, on the east part, by the place of
The crop, containing the food, seems to be considered
unclean, because an emblem of man's appetites. Now, as
there was nothing of man's sinful appetites in the Holy
One, there must be nothing even in the type, that might
lead us to suppose that he was otherwise than perfectly
THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I 27
holy. Hence "the crop" is removed. "The feathers,"
also, are removed, because they are a covering to the
dove; and it must be left quite unsheltered when the
drops of the storm fall thick and heavy upon it. These
are to be cast to "the place of ashes," out of sight of
God; and thus the dove is offered, in a state of purity
and of unprotectedness, on the altar.
Ver. 17. And he shall cleave it with the wings thereof, but shall
not divide it asunder: and the priest shall burn it upon the
altar, upon the wood that is upon the fire: it is a burnt-
sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the
“The cleaving” (fS.awi) implies such a separation as is
not complete. It is only dislocation, but not disruption
of the parts, as is also explained in the clause, "but shall
not divide it asunder." In this we see another typical
circumstance. It is like that in the case of the paschal
lamb--"A bone of him shall not be broken." At the
same time, this type gives us, in addition, a reference to
the Saviour's racked frame on the cross, when he said,
"All my bones are out of joint" (Ps. xxii. 14). All this
seems intended to declare that Jesus in his death, was
whole, though broken,--"sin for us," but "no sin in him."
"With the wings thereof," to shew nothing left what-
soever that could be means of escape--total weakness.
Jesus said, as he suffered, "I am poured out like water"
(Ps. xxii. 14).
And this sacrifice is "of a sweet savour to the Lord."
It satisfies the Father well--so much so, that we find his
redeemed ones called by the name that refers us back to
the sacrifice. For example--the Church is called "the
dove" (Song ii. 14). So--"Deliver not the soul of thy
turtle-dove into the hands of the enemy" (Ps. lxxiv. 19).
28 THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I
Just as both Christ and his Church are called "the lily,"
in Song ii. 1, 2 ; and both his voice and theirs is " like
the voice of many waters" in the book of Revelation
(comp. Rev. i. 15; xiv. 2 ; xix. 6). If the Church says,
Behold, thou art fair, my beloved (ydiOd), yea, pleasant
(Song i. 16), it is in response to Christ, who had said,
Behold, thou art fair, my love (ytiyAf;ra); behold, thou art
fair." So truly one is Christ and Ms people, they are in
a manner identified! "Lord, thou art my righteousness,
and I am thy sin; thou hast taken from me what was
mine, and given me what was thine." “ ]W th?j glukei<aj
a]ntallagh?j! w@ th?j a]necixniastou dhmiourgiaj! w@ tw?n a]pros-
dokh<twn eu]ergesiw?n!”—(Epist. ad Diognet. 9.) "Oh, sweet
exchange ! Oh, unsearchable device! Oh, benefits be-
yond all expectation!"
And now, looking back on this chapter, let us briefly
notice that the rudimental sketch of these offerings, and
the mode of their presentation, will be found at the gate
ceremonies, at one time imitated, at another purposely
opposed. But this is altogether erroneous.
Davison refuses to admit that sacrifice in the patriarchal
time was identical in meaning with sacrifice in the Mosaic
dispensation--admitting that, if that identity could be
made out, the Divine origin of sacrifice would be proved.†
Now, is there one text in all the Bible to shew that
sacrifice (which Davison gladly admits had in it the
atoning principle in the institutions of Moses) ever has
more than one meaning? As well might we ask evidence
to prove that "to call on the name of the Lord" in the
* Vide Spencer, &c.
† On The Origin and Intention of Primitive Sacrifice.
THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I 29
days of Enos was quite a different act from "calling on
the name of the Lord" in the days of the Psalmist; or
that "righteousness" in Abraham's day (Gen. xv. 6) was
from "righteousness" in Paul's days (
3). Just as we believe the Hiddekel and
ii. are the same as the Hiddekel and
later history; and the cherubim of Genesis iii. the same
as those in the tabernacle; and the "sweet savour" of
Genesis viii. 21 the same as that in Leviticus i. 9 and
Ephesians v. 2; so do we regard the intention of sacrifice
as always the same throughout Scripture. There would
therefore be need, not of proof to establish this principle,
but of argument to refute it. Ours is the obvious and
common-sense principle. All these ordinances were parts
of the one telescope, through which men saw the Star of
out farther than at
the grand object could be, best seen was more nearly
But the gate of
truths in a more rudimental form.
Some have traced the outlines of the Mosaic ritual at
gate stood the cherubim, occupying the hallowed spot
where the Tree of Life waved its branches. This resem-
bled the Holy of holies; and the veil that prevented the
approach of any from without was the flaming sword,
flashing its sheets of fire on every side. But opposite to
this sword, at some distance, we see an altar, where our
first parents shed the blood of sacrifice--shewing in type
how the barred-up way of access to the Tree of Life was
to be opened by the blood of the woman's bruised seed.
On this altar bloody and unbloody offerings were ap-
pointed to be presented in their season. And when we
30 THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I
find clean and unclean noticed (Gen. viii. 20), and in
Abraham's case (Gen. xv. 9, 10), the heifer and goat,
the turtle and the pigeon, and also "commandments,
statutes, and laws" (parallel to Lev. xxvi. 46), we cannot
but believe that these fuller institutions in Leviticus are
just the expansion of what Adam first received. The
Levitical dispensation is the acorn of
full oak. If so, then may we say, that the child Jesus,
wrapped in his swaddling-clothes, was, in these ceremonies,
down at the gate of
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye
present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God."--
Rom. xii. 1
"The things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a
sacrifce acceptable, well pleasing to God."--Phil. iv. 18
Ver. 1. And when any will offer a meat-offering unto the Lord,
his offering shall be of fine flour; and he shall pour oil upon
it, and put frankincense thereon.
IN Daniel ix. 27, "He shall cause the sacrifice and
oblation to cease," there seems to be reference made to
the two great divisions, sacrifices with, and sacrifices
without, blood. For the words are more exactly, “He
shall cause sacrifice and meat-offering (hHAn;mi) to cease."
So also in I Sam. iii. 14, and Ps. xl. 6. We have now
come to this second class of offerings.
The meat-offering (so called by our translators because
the greater part of it was used for food) represents the
offerer's person and property, his body and his posses-
sions.* When he had by the burnt-offering; obtained full
* Ainsworth gives in substance the same meaning of the type, when he says
that it signified "the sanctification of persons and actions, and the acceptation
of them." Patrick is evidently far wrong when he speaks of these meat-offerings
as a merciful provision for those who could not afford to offer animal sacrifices.
32 THE MEAT-OFFERING CHAP. II
acceptance for his soul, he comes next to give up his
whole substance to the Lord who has redeemed him.
The mercies of God constrain him to give up all he has
to the Lord. The meat-offering was generally, or rather
always, presented along with some animal sacrifice, in
order to shew the connexion between pardon of sin and
devotion to the Lord. The moment we are pardoned, all
we are, and all we have, becomes the property of Christ.
“Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price"
(1 Cor. vi. 19). Our Redeemer and kinsman buys first
Ruth, the Moabitess herself, and nest, he claims also the
field and inheritance. Joseph, who saves our life, buys
up our bodies and our substance.
A type that was to represent this dedication of body
and property behoved to be one that had no blood
therein; for blood is the life or soul, which has been
This distinction may have existed as early as the days
of Adam. When God instituted animal sacrifice to
represent the atonement by death, he probably also in-
stituted this other sort; the fact of this latter existing,
and its meaning and use being definitely understood,
would tend to confirm the exclusive use of animal sacrifice
when atonement was to be shewn forth. Cain's offering
of first fruits might have been acceptable as a meat-
offering, if it had been founded upon the slain lamb, and
had followed as a consequence from that sacrifice.* But
the statement in Heb. xi. 4 lets us know that Cain had
not faith in the seed of the woman; therefore his offering
* In this view Ambrose (De Incarnat. Dom. Sacram., cap. i.) is not wrong:--
“Nihil invenio quod in specie munerum reprehendam, nisi quod et Cain munera
sua displicuisse cognovit, et Dominus dixit, Si recte offeras, recte autem non
dividas, peccasti. Ubi igitur est crimen? Ubi culpa? Non in oblatione muneris,
sed in oblationis affectu."
THE MEAT-OFFERING CHAP. II 33
was hateful to God. Cain's attempt was virtually this,--
to present himself and his property to God, as if they had
been under no curse that needed blood first of all to wash
them. He sought to be accepted by his holiness, and so
overthrew salvation by Christ. Acts of clarity, substi-
tuted for Christ's work, as a means of pacifying the con-
science, make up precisely this sin of Cain. Nor are
they less mistaken who think, by self-denial, and by doing
good to others in their life and conduct, to obtain favour,
and be accepted with God. This is offering the meat-
offering ere the man has been cleansed by the burnt-
offering. It is putting sanctification before justification.*
And there is a tendency to this error in those books
which recommend anxious souls, that are not yet come to
Christ, to draw up a form of self-dedication, and solemnly
give themselves to the Lord. These counsellors are in
danger of leading souls past the blood of the Lamb,
and of putting the meat-offering too hastily into their
This meat-offering was presented daily, along with the
morning and evening sacrifice, teaching us to give all we
have to the Lord's use, not by irregular impulse on parti-
cular exigencies, but daily.
In Isaiah lxvi. 20, the words, "They shall bring all
your brethren an offering (hHAn;mi) to the Lord," are very
appropriate when we keep in mind that this is the
* An instance of such-like self-righteousness we find among the early
Fathers. Ephraim Syrus seems never to have found the blood-sprinkled way,
but to have travelled onward to eternity over a road strewn with the palm-branches
of good feelings and deeds of self-denial, and watered with tears at every step. His
wretched scheme of peace may be gathered from such congratulations as these
--Makari<zw u[ma?j, w@ gnh<sioi, o!ti o[rq^? politei<a fi<louj e[autou>j e]poi<hsate
t& qe&?—(Logoj A.) He counts those friends of his happy because
he thinks they have made themselves acceptable to God by their manner of life."
The same remark replies to the writings of Thomas-a-Kempis.
34 THE MEAT-OFFERING CHAP. II
typical meaning of the meat-offering--these persons are
the meat-offering. Perhaps, also, in 1 Samuel xxvi. 19,
"If the Lord have stirred thee up against me, let him
accept a meat-ofering" (HHAn;mi), there may be reference
to this species of offering, representing the person and all
he possessed. At the same time, the word when
not contrasted or conjoined with the sacrifice, is often
used as a generic term for any offering.*
But we have still to call attention to the chief applica-
tion of this type. It shews forth Christ himself. And
indeed, this should have been noticed first of all, had it
not been for the sake of first establishing the precise
point of view in which this type sets forth its object.
We are to consider it as representing Christ himself, in
all his work of obedience--soul and body. He is the
"fine wheat," pure, unspotted; yet also "baked," &c.,
because subjected to every various suffering. The burnt-
offering being presented and consumed, Christ's glorious
obedience in his human nature, and all that belonged to
him, was accepted, as well as his sacrifice; for he and
all that is his was ever set apart for, and accepted by
the Father. "Lord, truly I am thy servant" (Ps. cxvi.
16). And if it represent Christ, it includes his Church.
Christ, and his body the Church, are presented to the
Father, and accepted. Christ, and all his possessions in
heaven and earth, whether possessions of dominion or
possessions in the souls of men and angels, were all pre-
sented to, and accepted by the Father. And Christ
delights thus to honour the Father. He will delight to
* And so the Septuagint sometimes render it by qusi<a, and sometimes by
prosfora<. In Ezek. xlv. 15, where it occurs, the meaning would have been
brought out more exactly by rendering the clause thus:--"One lamb out of the
from the pastures of
even for burnt-offerings and for peace-offerings."
THE MEAT-OFFERING CHAP. II 35
deliver up even the kingdom to the Father (1 Cor. xv.
24). What an example for each of his people! Let us
behold our pattern, and give up ourselves, body and soul
and substance, to the glory of our God.
Let us now examine the chapter in detail.
The meat-offering must be of fine flour,--the fine
fine tl,so, bolted and sifted well. It must in all cases be
not less than the tenth of an ephah (chap. v. 11); in
most cases far more (see Numb. vii. 13). It was taken
from the best of their fields, and cleansed from the bran
by passing through the sieve. The rich seem to have
offered it in the shape of pure fine flour, white as snow,
heaping it up, probably, as in Numb. vii. 13, on a silver
charger, or in a silver bowl, in princely manner. It thus
formed a type, beautiful and pleasant to the eye, of the
man's self and substance dedicated to God, when now
made pure by the blood of sacrifice that had removed his
sin. For if forgiven, then a blessing rested upon his
basket and his store, on the fruit of his body, and the
fruit of his ground, the fruit of his cattle, and the in-
crease of his kine (see Deut. xxviii. 3-6). Even as
Jesus, when raised from the tomb, was henceforth no
more under the curse of sin, but was blessed in body,
for his body was no longer weary or feeble; and blessed
in company, for no longer was he numbered among trans-
gressors; and blessed in all his inheritance, for "all
power was given him in heaven and in earth."
The oil poured on the fine flour denoted setting apart.
was oil that was used by Jacob at
apart his stone pillow to commemorate his vision; and
every priest and king was thus set apart for his office.
Oil, used on these occasions, is elsewhere appropriated to
36 THE MEAT-OFFERING CHAP. II
mean the Spirit's operation--the Spirit setting apart
whom he pleases for any office.
The frankincense, fragrant in its smell, denoted the
acceptableness of the offering. As a flower or plant--
the rose of Sharon or the balm of Gilead--would induce
any passing traveller to stoop down over them, and regale
himself with their fragrance, so the testimony borne by
Christ's work to the character of Godhead brings the
Father to bend over any to whom it is imparted, and to
rest over him in his love. The Lord Jesus says to his
Church, in Song iv. 6, "Until the day break, and the
shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of
myrrh, and the hill of frankincense." This spot must be
the Father's right hand. In like manner, then, it ought
to be the holy purpose of believing souls who are look-
ing for Christ, to dwell so entirely amid the Redeemer's
merits, that, like the maidens of king Ahasuerus (Esther
ii. 12), they shall be fragrant with the sweet odours,
and with these alone, when the Bridegroom comes.
When Christ presented his human person and all he
had, he was indeed fragrant to the Father, and the oil
of the Spirit was on him above his fellows (see Isa. lxi. 1;
Ps. xlv. 7 ; Heb. ix. 14).
And equally complete in him is every believer also.
Like Jesus, each believer is God's wheat--his fine flour.
He is clothed in the fine linen, white and clean, and
stands by Christ's side, in the likeness of Christ. Even
now is he able to say, "As he is (at the Father's right
hand), so are we in this world"--as completely righteous,
as really accepted (1 John iv. 17).
Ver. 2. And he shall bring it to Aaron's sons the priests: and
he shall take thereout his handful of the flour thereof, and of
the oil thereof; with all the frankincense thereof; and the priest
THE MEAT-OFFERING CHAP. II 37
shall burn the memorial of it upon the altar, to be an offering
made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord.
One of Aaron's sons was to take a handful out of what
was brought, a handful of flour, and a proportional quan-
tity of the oil. Along with this he was to take “all
the frankincense," because all was needed to express the
complete acceptance. This is "the memorial of the
meat-offering"*--a part for the whole. In dedication
of our body and property, we need not go through every
article in detail, but we take some part as a specimen
and an earnest of all the rest.
In Acts x. 4, Cornelius's "prayers and alms" are called
a memorial." These alms and prayers were a specimen
of the whole man's dedication. He was a believer, like
old Simeon, already accepted, and this meat-offering of
his, the dedication of self and substance, expressed by
prayers and alms, was acknowledged on the part of God
by the gift of more light and liberty.
Ver. 3. And the remnant of the meat-offering shall be Aaron's
and his sons'; it is a thing most holy of the offerings of the
Lord made by fire.
The offering is declared "most holy." And to shew
that the mass was so, as well as the handful, the remnant
is given to Aaron's sons to feast upon. Even Aaron, who
bore on his mitre " Holiness to the Lord," could safely
eat of it.
* Isaiah (1xvi. 3) refers first to the burnt-offering, speaking of slaying the
lamb and the ox; and then in the next clause, to the meat-offering, speaking of
him that "offers a hHAn;mi and maketh a frankincense-memorial" hnAbol; ryKiz;ma.
Abel's offering, Paradise Lost, xi.
“* * * * * A shepherd next,
More meek, came with the firstlings of his flock
Choicest and best; then, sacrificing laid
The inwards and the fat, with incense strew'd,
on the cleft wood."
38 THE MEAT-OFFERING CHAP. II
In this manner we are assured of the true and thorough
acceptance of our dedicated things, when once we are
forgiven. How complete is the assurance we have of the
acceptance of Christ and all that are his! Nay, even of
their substance. There is a blessing "on their basket
and on their store." So completely is its curse removed,
that under the tree in the plains of Mamre, angels,
and the Lord of angels, eat of Abraham's bread and his
But the declaration, "It is a thing most holy," teaches
us how we should regard every member of our body as
belonging to God; and everything we possess." Ye are
not your own." "It is most holy." How little do we feel
it to be so!
Ver. 4. And if thou bring an oblation of a meat-offering baken in
the oven, it shall be unleavened cakes of fine flour mingled with
oil, or unleavened wafers anointed with oil.
A part of the type of the fine flour, already noticed,
may be that Christ was ground by sore agony, and
endured unutterable anguish when bruised for us. And
so the wine of the drink-offering, afterwards noticed,
would imply a reference to the wine-press, out of which
he came. And in like manner, the oven here mentioned,
and the other articles exposed to the fire, would contain
a reference to his enduring the fierce flame of wrath.*
But admitting this use of the emblems to be doubtful,
we find a certain and obvious meaning in the diversities of
form in which the meat-of Bring appears. As in chap. i.
we saw that God, for the sake of the less wealthy, took
a lamb or a dove, when a more costly sacrifice would have
* Willet quotes Pellicanus, who applies these varieties in the preparation of
the meat-offering to the manifold nature of afflictions " Nunc Clibanus, nunc
Patilla, nunc Craticula dici possunt:" a true remark, whether contained here or
THE MEAT-OFFERING CHAP. II 39
been beyond the reach of the offerer; so it is here: for
the sake of different ranks in society, the meat-offering
has a form in which any one may be able to present it.
If he is rich, let him bring his fine flour from the finest of
the wheat. If he is not able to do this, let him bring "a
meat-offering baleen in the oven." If he cannot afford
this, having no oven, then let him bring somewhat "baken
in the fire plate," or pan. If even this is not in his power,
he will at least possess a frying pan, and. let him bring
what it prepares. God excuses none, of whatever rank,
from dedicating themselves and their substance to him.
The widow has two mites to cast into the Lord's treasury.
In 1 Chron. xxiii. 29, this gradation seems referred to
when it is said, "For that which is baked in the pan,
and for that which is fried, and for all manner of measure
The oven was a utensil which was generally possessed
by all in the middle ranks of life. If they have this, let
them prepare in it "cakes" (tOL.Ha), of a larger size, and
wafers" (Myqyqir; cakes of a smaller size, and bring
these as their meat-offering. The larger cakes must have
"oil mingled through them;" the smaller and thinner must
have oil on them. In both cases, the oil that sets apart
must not be wanting. Nay, where it is possible, it must
form part, as it were, of the substance, by being mingled
And there must be no leaven; for leaven indicates
corruption at work. If we give grudgingly, with restless,
impatient, tumultuous, anxious feelings, we are offering
with leaven. We must dedicate self and substance in
Christ's spirit--"Not my will, but thine be done."
Ver. 5. And if thy oblation be a meat-offering, baken in a pan, it
shall be of fine flour unleavened, mingled with oil.
40 THE MEAT-OFFERING CHAP. II
This is another form in which it may be presented, if
the man be yet poorer than the last mentioned; if he use
the "fire plate" in his house, and not "the oven." The
only article of furniture absolutely necessary for prepar-
ing food seems to have been the "frying-pan" of verse 7.
Anything more than that indicated comfort and ease.
The "cakes" and "wafers" of last verse evidently inti-
mated a moderate degree of luxury. And this man also
possessed some degree of independence in his circum-
stances. Perhaps he occupied the station of a tradesman,
if not somewhat above that. He, too, must dedicate all
to the Lord.
Ver. 6. Thou shalt part it in pieces, and pour oil thereon: it is
This division into pieces may shew that every part of
our substance is to be given up. We must allow God to
divide and choose and appropriate as he pleases. And
then, each part must be "anointed with oil;" set apart by
the priest's hand. Both the whole, as a whole, and every
part of it, must be given up to the Lord.
Ver. 7. And if thy oblation be a meat-offering baken in the frying-
pan, it shall be made of fine flour with oil.
The shallow frying-pan (a shallow vessel, of earth, used
to this day by the Arabs, and called Tagen) indicated
poverty, if the man had this and no other culinary utensil.
It was used in boiling, and therefore was indispensable.
He, too, must offer what he has. God is willing to have
him and his; he does not despise the poor. Nay, by
attending to different classes of men; he finds out op-
portunities of some new exhibition of his wisdom and
Here the opportunity is afforded of enforcing the lesson,
THE MEAT-OFFERING CHAP. II 41
that whatever is wanting, oil must not be wanting: the
Spirit must set apart whatever is really dedicated.
Ver. 8. And thou shalt bring the meat-offering that is made of
these things unto the Lord: and when it is presented unto the
priest, he shall bring it unto the altar.
A poor worshipper might be apt to be discouraged
when he witnessed the more costly gifts of others: there-
fore the Lord kindly condescends to assure; his heart by
specially inserting here these directions to the priest, viz.
that he must take the humblest meat-offering, and present
it on the altar. The priest might be ready to neglect so
poor an offering; but here he is warned., "When the
offerer presents it, the priest shall bring it." Our Master
was ever more tender-hearted than his disciples. The
disciples rebuked those who brought little children to
him; but Jesus said, "Suffer them to come." Jehovah,
God of Israel, is Jesus, the Son of man!
Ver. 9. And the priest shall take from the meat-offering a memorial
thereof, and shall burn it upon the altar: it is an offering
made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord.
The memorial is what was directed to be taken, ver. 2.
And this is to be done as much in this poorer offering as
when it was fine flour. There is no virtue in the size or
in the quality of the thing.
The "sweet savour" reminds us of Paul's words to the
Philippians, when they had, though poor, given him what
they could spare of their substance: "I have received of
Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an
odour of a sweet smell" (Phil. iv. 18). Jesus in heaven
smells this sweet savour, and will reward it at the day of
Ver, 10. And that which is left of the meat-offering shall be
42 THE MEAT-OFFERING CHAP. II
Aaron's and his sons'; it is a thing most holy of the offerings
of the Lord made by fire.
It is most holy (see ver. 3 again), and it is taken from
the fire-offerings of the Lord, expressing complete appro-
priation by the Lord, of the things offered to him. He
takes what we offer; it is not a mere compliment. We
may not say, "I give myself to the Lord," and then do as
we please. The Lord takes us at our word. We are no
more our own, nor is our body ours, nor our members,
nor our money, nor our health, nor our talents, nor our
reputation, nor our affections, nor our relations, nor our
very life itself. All is the Lord's--in his treasury--
"among the offerings made by fire," that ascend up to
heaven in the smoke of the altar.
Then follow some general rules in regard to the general
subject of meat-offerings.
Ver. 11. No meat-offering, which ye shall bring unto the Lord,
shall be made with leaven: for ye shall burn no leaven, nor
any honey, in any offering of the Lord made by fire.
Leaven indicates corruption, and is the very opposite
of salt, which preserves (ver. 13), and which must never
be wanting. Honey includes all that is sweet, like the
honey* of grapes, figs, and the reed or calanus (which grew
on the banks of the waters of Merom), and it is forbidden
both because it turns to sourness, and leads to fermen-
tation, and perhaps also because it is a luxury; and the
Lord desires nothing of earthly sweetness. His offerings
must have neither corruption nor carnal sweetness. We
must, like Christ, be the Lord's; holy and separate from the
world, not pleasing ourselves. In chap. xxiii. 17, there is
* Jarchi says, yrp qytm lk–“all sweetness of fruit,"--sweet things
obtained from any fruit. Honey was reckoned corrupting, because it ferments. The
Chaldee uses in the sense of fermenting, a word derived from wbAd;,
THE MEAT-OFFERING CHAP. II 43
a special lesson taught by the presence of leaven in the two
loaves of the first-fruits; it is altogether unlike this case.
Ver. 12. As for the oblation of the first fruits, ye shall offer them
unto the Lord; but they shall not be burnt on the altar for a
The first ripe fruits of any sort are meant. These,
when offered, were typical of presenting the person's self
and substance, and hence are included in the subject of
meat-offering. But they are not to be brought to the
altar, because they shew us Christ in a peculiar aspect;
and that aspect seems to be Christ glorified, or raised up,
after suffering. Hence there is no burning of any part
of them, for the suffering is done. The Holy Spirit takes
truth in portions, and seems sometimes to turn our eye
away from one portion of truth on purpose to let us see
better some other portion, by keeping our attention for a
time fixed on that alone.
Ver. 13. And every oblation of thy meat-offering shalt thou season
with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of
thy God to be lacking from thy meat-offering: with all thine
offerings thou shalt offer salt.
This salt indicates corruption removed and prevented;
and in the case of the meat-offering, it is as if to say, Thy
body and thy substance are become healthy now; they
shall not rot. They are not like those of the ungodly in
James v. 2, "Your riches are corrupted." There is a
blessing on thy body and thy estate. And next it in-
timates the friendship (of which salt was a well-known
emblem) now existing between God and the man. God
can sup with man, and man with God (Rev. iii. 18).
There is a covenant between him and God, even in re-
gard to the beasts of the field (Job v. 23), and fowls of
heaven (Hos. ii, 18). The friendship of God extends to
44 THE MEAT-OFFERING CHAP. II
his people's property; and to assure us of this he appoints
the salt in the meat-offering--the offering that especially
typified their substance. How comforting to labouring
men! how cheering to care-worn merchants--if they dedi-
cate themselves to God, he is interested in their property
as much as they themselves are! "Who is a God like
unto thee!" But more; "with all thine offerings thou shalt
offer salt," declared that the sweet savour of these sacri-
fices was not momentary and passing, but enduring and
eternal. By this declaration he sprinkles every sacrifice
with the salt of his unchanging satisfaction. And "the
covenant by sacrifice" (Ps. 1. 5) is thus confirmed on the
part of God: he declares that he on his part will be
Ver. 14. And if thou offer a meat-offering of thy first fruits unto
the Lord, thou shalt offer, for the meat-offering of thy first-
fruits, green ears of corn dried by the fire, even corn beaten
out of full ears.
These are voluntary meat-offerings, and they differ
from those of verse 12. The sense is, "If thou wishest
to make a common meat-offering out of these first-fruits,
it shall be done in the following manner." A peculiar
typical circumstance attends these. These are "ears of
corn," a figure of Christ (John xii. 24); and "ears of the
best kind," for so the Hebrew intimates. They
are "dried by the fire," to represent Jesus feeling the
wrath of his Father, as when he said, "My strength is
dried up," i.e. the whole force of my being is dried up
(Ps. xxii. 15); "I am withered like grass" (Ps. cii. 4).
0 how affecting a picture of the Man of sorrows! How
like the very life! The best ears of the finest corn in
instead of being left to ripen in the cool breeze, and
THE MEAT-OFFERING CHAP. II 45
under a genial sun, are withered up by the scorching fire.
It was thus that the only pure humanity that ever walked
on the plains of earth was wasted away in three-and-
thirty years by the heat of wrath he had never deserved.
While obeying night and day, with all his soul and
strength, the burning wrath of God was drying up his
frame. "Beaten out of full ears," represents the bruises
and strokes whereby he was prepared for the altar.
“Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the
things which he suffered" (Heb. ii. 10). It is after this
preparation that he is a perfect meat-offering, fully de-
voted, body and substance, to the Lord.
In all this he is "First fruits," intimating that many
more shall follow. He the first-fruits, then all that are
his in like manner. We must be conformed to Jesus in
all things; and here it is taught us that we must be con-
formed to him in self-dedication--self-renunciation. We
must please the Father; as he left us an example, saying,
"I do always those things that please him" (John viii.
29), even under the blackest sky.
Ver. 15. And thou shalt put oil upon it, and lay frankincense
thereon: it is a meat-offering.
Ver. 16. And the priest shall burn the memorial of it, part of the
beaten corn thereof, and part of the oil thereof,* with all the
frankincense thereof: it is an offering made, by fire unto the
The smoke and the fragrance ascend to heaven. All is
accepted--Christ first, then each of his people. He
passed through suffering, fire, and flame--then was
accepted. They, being reckoned one with him, are
treated as if they had done so too. Whatever sufferings
are left to them are not atoning, but only sanctifying.
* lfa, “una cum," says Rosenmuller.
46 THE DRINK-OFFERING CHAP. II
Some one might here ask, Why is there no mention of
the wine-offering or drink-offering? It is rather remark-
able that the drink-offering should be omitted in the
midst of so full a setting forth of tabernacle rites. It is,
often joined with burnt-offerings and meat-offerings, as in
Ezek. xlv. 17. But properly speaking, the drink-offering
was not a part of any sacrifice; though it was never
offered by itself alone. It was a rite superadded, to ex-
press the worshipper's hearty concurrence in all that he
saw done at the altar. Hence, it could be deferred till
a convenient time arrived. It appears from Numbers
xv. 2, 4, that it was not to be observed till they came to
But we may notice, in passing, the object and meaning
of this ordinance. It was "strong wine poured unto the
Lord" (Numb. xxviii. 7). Wine is the representation of
joy, and hence it was an expression, on the offerer's part,
of his cheerful and hearty acquiescence in all that was
done at the altar. He saw the lamb slain--a type of
atoning blood for his guilty soul; he saw the meat-offer-
ing presented--a type of entire dedication to the Lord;
and, therefore, when he lifted up the cup of wine, and
poured it forth before the Lord at the altar, over the
ashes of the sacrifice, and the memorial of the meat-
offering, offering, his so doing was equivalent to his saying, "In
all this I do heartily acquiesce. I welcome atoning blood
to my guilty soul, and I give up my redeemed soul to him
that has atoned for me. Amen, Amen!"
It is to this drink-offering that reference is made in
Judges ix. 13, where wine is said to "cheer God and
THE DRINK-OFFERING CHAP. II 47
man." It is not to wine used at table for convivial pur-
poses that allusion is there made, but to wine used at the
altar. There it did truly gladden God and man. Like
water of the well of
it expressed the heart poured out. The Lord rejoiceth to
see a sinner accept the offered atonement. Is not the
shepherd's heart glad when he finds the lost Sheep? Does
not the father weep for very joy as he sees his prodigal
return, and fall upon his neck? And likewise the Lord
rejoiced to see a ransomed sinner giving himself up to his
God, as he rejoiced over Abraham when he did not with-
hold even Isaac. "He taketh pleasure in them that fear
him." On the other hand, the sinner himself was glad
as he poured out the wine; for there is "joy and peace
in believing," in accepting the offered Saviour. Nor less
so in giving up all to the Lord; for he that giveth up
“houses and lands" for Christ's sake, receives a hundred-
fold more in this present life. Is it not, then, true, that
“wine made glad the heart of God and man?" Might
the vine that grew in
leave my wine, that cheereth God and man?” The olive,
in, the same manner, could say, "Should I leave my
fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and man?"
(Judges ix. 9;) because olive-oil supplied the tabernacle
lamps, as well as lighted up the halls of princes; and
some part of a hin of oil--the special symbol of conse-
cration--must accompany every meat-offering (Numb.
xv. 5, 6).
If it be here asked, Did our Lord fulfil the type of
the drink-offering? We say, Yes; by the entire willing-
ness he ever felt, to suffer, and to obey for us. Even on
the night wherein he was betrayed, he sang, and gave
God praise that he must die. And perhaps there is
48 THE DRINK-OFFERING CHAP. II
more meaning in the words of Luke xxii. 20 than is
generally noticed. “This cup is the New Testament in
my blood." This wine-cup not only exhibits the blood
that seals the New Covenant, but exhibits it as the wine
that may cheer our souls. The blood of the grape of the
True Vine gladdens God and man.
But returning to the immediate subject of the chapter
before us, let us sum it up by briefly quoting Hannah's
offering (1 Sam. i. 24) when Samuel was weaned. We
find there three bullocks. This is the burnt-offering-a
bullock for herself, and for her husband, and for her
child; and as if to express her belief that her child
needed atoning blood, she offers a bullock for him as
well as for herself, nay (ver. 25), expressly offers it at
the moment of presenting him. Next, we find the ephah
of flour. This is the meat-offering. It expressed the
dedication of themselves, and all they had, to God. An
ephah contained ten omers or ten deals, and three of
these was the usual quantity that went to each meat-
offering (Numb. xv. 9, 12) on such an occasion as this.
But here, no doubt, their meat-offering had more than
three omers, just in order to skew overflowing love.
The bottle of wine, last of all, was intended for the
drink-offering; and as an ephah of flour was far more
than was required by law, even for so many persons
(Numb. xv. 9), so no doubt this bottle of wine was more
than full measure, and was poured out before the Lord
to express the entire cheerfulness wherewith all this was
done by the parties concerned. It was after all this
(1 Sam. i. 28, and ii. 1) that they filled the tabernacle
with the voice of adoration and praise, and then returned
rejoicing to Ramah.
That this mode of worshipping the Lord was not
THE DRINK-OFFERING CHAP. II 49
The three worshippers whom Saul met "going up to God
one for each, to be a burnt-offering; 2. A loaf of bread,
or large cake; one for each, to be a meat-offering; 3. As
bottle of wine; one for all, as in Samuel's case.
"Happy are the people that are in such a case; yea,
happy the people whose God is the Lord!" Happy the
people where again and again some thankful worshipper
is saying, "What shall I render to the Lord for all his
benefits towards me? I will take the cup of salvation,
and call upon the name of the Lord" (Ps. cxvi. 13).
The drink-offering of wine, poured out before the Lord
over the peace-offering that some Israelite had brought
in the way of thanks for benefits received (as Numb.
xv. 3 directs), this is "the cup of salvation." And from
time to time the courts of the Lord's house are enlivened
by the happy countenance of some grateful worshipper,
who smiles with delight as the priest pours out for him
sparkling wine of
less true that the Lord himself rejoices--his heart is
"cheered;" he rests in his love, making his love the very
canopy over all.
"Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through
our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom also we have access by faith into this
grace wherein we stand."--
Ver. 1. And if his oblation be a sacrifice of peace-offering; if he
offer it of the herd, whether it be a male or female, he shall
offer it without blemish before the Lord
THE PEACE-OFFERING* is introduced to our notice with-
out any formal statement of the connexion between it
and the preceding offerings. That there is a connexion is
taken for granted, and the prophet Amos (v. 22) refers
to this understood order when he says, "Though ye offer
me burnt-offerings, and your meat-offerings, I will not
accept them; neither will I regard the peace-offerings of
your fat beasts." The connexion is simply this: a justi-
fied soul, devoted to the Lord in all things, spontaneously
engages in acts of praise and exercises of fellowship. The
Lord takes for granted that such a soul, having free ac-
cess to him now, will make abundant use of that access.
Often will this now redeemed sinner look up and sing,
* In Hebrew the word is always plural, except in Amos v. 22. It is in every
other place MymilAw;, perhaps equivalent to "things pertaining to peace"--things
that spoke of peace, viz. the divided pieces of the sacrifice, some parts burnt on
the altar, some feasted upon by the priest, some by the offerer. Various sorts
of blessing, included in the word peace, were thus set forth.
THE PEACE-OFFERINGS CHAP. III 51
"0 Lord, truly I am thy servant; I and thy servant,
and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my
bonds. I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and will call upon the name of the Lord" (Ps. cxvi. 16).
The animal might be a female. In this offering the
effects of atonement are represented more than the manner
of it; and therefore there is no particular restriction to
males.* Just as we afterwards find that part of the
animal was to be feasted upon, and not all to be burned,
as in the whole burnt-offering; because here the object
principally intended is to shew Christ's offering conveying
blessing to the offerer. It is true, that in the, peace-offering
presented by the priest himself, and in that presented at
the season of first-fruits, there is an injunction that it be
a male that is offered; but the reason in these cases may
be, that on occasions which were more than ordinarily
solemn, there was a special intention to exhibit something
of the manner, as well as the effects, of Christ's sacrifice
--himself, as well as what he accomplished, was to be
It must be "without blemish;" for it represents "the
holy child Jesus;" "altogether lovely;" "who knew no
sin"--the Head of a Church that is to be "without spot,
or wrinkle, or any such thing."
Ver. 2. And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering,
and kill it at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation:
and Aaron's sons, the priests, shall sprinkle the blood upon the
altar round about.
The offerer's hand, resting on the head of the animal,
was equivalent to his pointing to Christ as the source of
his blessings; q. d. "The chastisement of my peace is
* So, a kid might be taken as well as a lamb for the Passover (Exod. xiii. 5)
Attention was directed to the use made of the blood; not to the kind of animal
52 THE PEACE-OFFERINGS CHAP. III
laid upon him; therefore I am come this day, laden with
benefits, to give thanks while I enjoy the blessing" (see
above, chap. i. 5). And let us again notice the words,
“kill it at the door of the tabernacle." We cannot cross
the threshold of his Father's house, and enter his many
mansions, except by his peace-speaking blood. "Being
justified by faith, we have peace--we have access into his
Ver. 3, 4. And he shall offer of the sacrifice of the peace-offering
an offering made by fire unto the Lord; the fat that covereth
the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, and the
two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the flanks,
and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take
From a comparison of Exod. xxix. 13, it becomes plain
that all the pieces here mentioned were to be removed
from the animal, and burnt by themselves. "It shall he
take" is equivalent to "this--all this shall he take."
They were not to burn the whole animal, but only
these portions. These portions were like "the memorial"
(chap. ii. 2) in the case of the meat-offering. And the
parts chosen for this end are the richest parts, the fat--
the fat within, and the fat that might be said to be without
(ver. 9), in the case of the lamb.
Peculiar care is to be given to take out all the fat that
was within, "the fat that covers the inwards," or intestines;
next, "the kidneys," which are composed of the richest
substance, richer than even fat;* then "the fat in which
the kidneys" are imbedded, and which is "on the loins"
(flanks), i.e. the inner fat muscles of the loins which had
* Hence Deut. xxii. 14, “the fat of the kidneys of wheat," is used to ex-
press the highest degree of richness in the wheat. Patrick quotes Aristotle de
Animal., iii. 9, "e@xousi de nefroi malista tw?n splagxnw?n pimelhn."
THE PEACE-OFFERINGS CHAP. III 53
the collops of fat (Job xv. 27); and "the caul (tr,t,yi)
above the liver and above the kidneys" (see the margin
and the original Hebrew). It is not easy to ascertain the
meaning of "the caul," some making it one of the lobes
of the liver (Gesenius, from the Septuagint); others the
midriff; and others the gall-bladder. It is every way
likely that it was some fat part near the liver and
Now, observe that all these portions of the animal are
the richest; and also deeply seated, near the heart. In
an offering of thanks and fellowship, nothing was more
appropriate than to enjoin that the pieces presented
should be those seated deep within. We approach a
reconciled God, to hold fellowship with him as Adam did
the throne do in their holy worship. We come to praise,
to glorify, to enjoy our God. What, then, can we bring
but the most inward feelings, all of the richest kind, and-
all, from the depth of the soul. Our reins (Heb. tOylAK;,
same as " kidneys") must yield their desires, in all abund-
ance, to the God that trieth the "heart and reins" (Ps,
vii. 9). Our loins were before "filled with pain" (Isa.
xxi. 3), because sin's "loathsome disease" spread through
them (Ps. xxxviii. 7); therefore now we consecrate their
strength, using it all for him, "the effectual working of
whose power" has set us free. Yea, whatever can be
found anywhere in or about our heart and reins, we yield
it all to him who "poured out his soul unto death." This
is communion with God.
Such was the rich offering of his soul which Jesus made
as our peace-offering, when "by the eternal Spirit he
offered himself to God." Every deep affection, every
emotion, all that love could feel, all that desire could
54 THE PEACE-OFFERINGS CHAP. III
yearn over, was presented by him to the Father in that
hour when he became "our peace" (Eph. ii. 14).
And all these feelings were at the moment tried and
tested by the fire which blazed around them. The just
wrath of God seemed to spurn and thrust down each
heartfelt emotion; yet all remained unchanged and
undiminished, and were poured into the mould of the
Father's heart by that very heat of wrath.
We, as reconciled, are to pour out these same feelings
in all their fulness, but under the kindly influence of love.
The heat of love, not the fire of wrath, is to melt our
souls and pour forth our feelings.
Ver. 5. And Aaron's sons shall burn it on the altar upon the
burnt-sacrifice, which is upon the wood that is on the fire: it
is an offering made by fire of a sweet savour unto the Lord.
Here the Septuagint have "o]smh eu]wdiaj Kuri&," the
terms employed by Paul in Eph. v. 2--"qusia ei]j o]smhn
The parts thus prepared, the fat parts, are to be put
on the altar; but not at random, anywhere on the altar.
A particular mode is fixed upon. They are to be put
"on the sacrifice that is upon the wood which feeds the
flame" of the altar. The daily sacrifice is referred to,
which typified the atonement in all its fulness. Upon
this, therefore, must the pieces of the peace-offerings be
laid. Our daily acts of communion with God, our daily
praise, our daily thanksgiving, must be founded afresh on
the work of Jesus. "By him therefore let us offer the
sacrifice of praise to God continually" (Heb. xiii. 15).
Ver. 6. And if his offering, for a sacrifice of peace-offering unto the
Lord, be of the flock, male or female, he shall offer it without
The Father's delight in his Son seems plainly exhibited
THE PEACE-OFFERINGS CHAP. III 55
in the ever-recurring direction--"without blemish." The
eye of God rested with infinite complacency on the spot-
lessness of Jesus. "Behold my servant whom I have
chosen, mine elect (q.d. my chosen Lamb), in whom my
soul delighteth." It is an expression that teaches us by
its frequent repetition, both the holy delight which the
Father had in "the holy child Jesus," and the delight he
will have in his unblemished Church. It is a holy God
that speaks; it is the author of the holy law. The law-
giver is he who prescribes the type of a fulfilled and
satisfied law. We recognise the God and Father of our
Lord and Saviour “just, while he justifies.” It is truly
pleasant, unspeakably precious, to see God's thorough
demand for spotlessness; for thus we are assured, that
beyond all doubt, our reconciliation is solid. It is full
reconciliation to a God who is fully satisfied.
Ver. 7, 8. If he offer a lamb for his offering, then shall he offer
if, before the Lord. And he shall lay his hand upon the head
of his offering, and kill it before the tabernacle of the congre-
gation: and Aaron's sons shall sprinkle the blood thereof
round about upon the altar.
The lamb is as fully acknowledged as the offering from
the herd--the bullock or heifer; for it is not the thing
itself, but what it represented, that has value in it. One
of the ends answered by permitting a gradation in the
value of the things sacrificed, was this; it turned atten-
tion to the Antitype, instead of the type itself--to the
Lamb of God, instead of the value of the mere animal.
Ver. 9, 10. And he shall offer, of the sacrifice of the peace-
offering, an offering made by fire unto the Lord; the fat
thereof, and the whole rump, it shall he take off hard by the
back-bone; and the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the
fat that is upon the inwards, and the two kidneys, and the fat
56 THE PEACE-OFFERINGS CHAP. III
that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above
the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away.
The only difference here, from ver. 3; 4, is, that here
we have, in addition to the other pieces already noticed,
"the rump," or tail (hyAl;xA). In Syrian sheep, this was
a part of the animal which the shepherd reckoned very
valuable; it is large,* and, being composed of a substance
between fat and marrow, is not inferior in taste and
quality to marrow. Still the richest portions are claimed
for the altar. Every rich thought, every rich emotion,
every intense feeling, was devoted by Christ for us, and
is to be now sent back by us to him. And it is said,
"the tail he shall remove close by the back-bone," q.d.
take it entire and complete--leaving nothing behind.
Perhaps we are entitled to consider the Psalmist as
referring to this offering in Ps. lxiii. 5, "My soul shall
be satisfied as with marrow and fatness"--here is the
reference to the pieces presented--q.d. My soul shall
be satisfied, as if I had received all that is intimated by
the rich pieces of the peace-offering. And so also, when
Isaiah says (lv. 2), "Eat ye that which is good, and let
your soul delight itself in fatness," q.d. Come to the great
peace-offering, and take the richest portions, even those
selected for God! Enjoy the very love wherewith the
Father loveth the Son!
Ver. 11. And the priest shall burn it upon the altar: it is the food
of the offering made by fire unto the Lord.
Instead of saying, "It is a sweet savour," we have
here another expression, equally significant. "It is the
food, the sacrifice made by fire." It is called "food," or
"bread," because God is now regarded as a Father feast-
* This is so well known that writers usually refer us to Aristotle de Animal.,
viii. 28, where he says, "Ou[raj e]xei to platoj phxewj."
THE PEACE-OFFERINGS CHAP. III 57
ing his prodigal children who have returned home, or as
a friend entertaining guests. Hence Ezekiel xliv. 7, "Ye
offer my bread, the fat and the blood;" and hence the
altar is called "the table of the Lord" (Mal. i. 7; also
Lev. xxi. 22). This represents God as one at table
with his people; they feast together. He is no more
their foe. If it was the chief aggravation of Judas's sin,
He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel
against me;" then it is impossible for God to be other-
wise than an eternal friend, "an everlasting Father," to
those whom he invites home. In this view we see the
keenness of the reproach in Mal. i. 7, 12, and in Ezek.
xliv. 7. They treated the privilege of children and
friends with contempt; God, in his most kindly aspect,
was despised and scorned.
Ver. 12, 13. And if his offering be a goat, then he shall offer it
before the Lord. And he shall lay his hand upon the head of
it, and kill it before the tabernacle of the congregation: and
the sons of Aaron shall sprinkle the blood thereof upon the
altar round about. And he shall offer thereof his offering,
even an offering made by fire unto the Lord.
The goat stands here in the same relation to the
peace-offering from the herd, as did the turtle-dove and
pigeon to the bullock of the whole burnt-sacrifice. The
poorer sort might bring the goat; when he could not
bring the blood of bulls, he brought the blood of goats.
And thus, still, they were prevented from attaching im-
portance to the mere type.
The goat represents Jesus as one taken out of the
flock for the salvation of the rest. Let us suppose we
"a flock of goats appearing from
vi. 5). The lion from
flock ; one is seized, and is soon within the jaws of the
58 THE PEACE-OFFERINGS CHAP. III
lion! This prey is enough; the lion is satisfied, and
retires; the flock is saved by the death of one. This inci-
dental substitution does not, indeed, shew forth the man-
ner of our Substitute's suffering; but it is an illustration
of the fact, that one dying saved the whole flock. The
is one of a class that goes in flocks in
so are fitted to represent Christ and his people. And,
perhaps, the fact of an animal like the goat being selected
to be among the types of Christ, was intended to prevent
the error of those who would place the value of Christ's
undertaking in his character alone. They say, "Behold
his meekness--he is the Lamb of God!" Well, all that
is true; it is implied in his being "without blemish."
But that cannot be the true point to which our eye is
intended to be directed by the types; for what, then,
becomes of the goat? They may tell us of the meekness
of the lamb, and patience of the bullock, and tenderness
of the turtle-dove; but the goat, what is to be said of it?
Surely it is not without a special providence that the goat
is inserted, where, if the order of chap. i. had been fol-
lowed, we would have had a turtle-dove? The reason is,
to let us see that the main thing to be noticed in these
types is the atonement which they represented. Observe
the stroke that falls on the victim, the fire that consumes
the victim, the blood that must flow from the victim,
whether it be a bullock, a lamb, a turtle-dove, or a
The Socinian view of Christ's death is thus contra-
dicted by these various types; and our eye is intently
fixed on the atoning character of the animal, more than
on anything in its nature.
While other types do exhibit the character and nature
of the Saviour, it was fitting that one type, such as this
THE PEACE-OFFERINGS CHAP. III 59
of the goat, should thus guard us against the idea that
that in itself was atonement.
Ver, 14-16. The fat that covereth the inwards, and all the
fat that is upon the inwards, and the two kidneys, and the
fat that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and the caul
above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away. And
the priest shall burn them upon the altar: it is the food of the
offering made by fire, for a sweet savour.
This offered goat is as fully accepted, as a peace-
offering, as was the lamb or bullock; for the atoning
aspect of the type is just as complete in this case as in
any other. "It is food--an offering made by fire "--as
Ver. 17. All the fat is the Lord's. It shall be a perpetual
statute for your generations, throughout all your dwellings,
that ye eat neither fat nor blood.
Some think "the fat " is the fat of beasts used in sacri-
fice (chap. vii. 25). But, perhaps, it was the fat of all
beasts used "in their dwellings." Those parts mentioned
as sacrificial must always be set aside. But the fat of
other parts of the animal (the fat that was part of the
flesh) was used, and reckoned a luxury; see Neh. viii. 10
--"Eat the fat." This is the most probable explanation.
There may be a reproof intended in Ezek. xxxiv. 3, "Ye
eat the fat," as if they even took the forbidden portions.
"Blood," because the life--the sign of atonement--must
not be eaten. It is the solemn type of the poured-out
Thus in the dwellings of
keep them in daily remembrance of the Great Sacrifice.
Their deep and awful reverence must be felt at home as
well as in the sanctuary. Their homes are made a sanc-
tuary thereby, as they set apart the fat and the blood at
60 THE PEACE-OFFERINGS CHAP. III
their tables! And thus they live as redeemed men,
realising their dependence on the blood of Jesus, and
delighting to cast the crown at his feet in every new
remembrance of his work.
Few ordinances were more blessed than these Peace-
offerings. Yet, like the Lord's Supper with us, often
were they turned to sin. The lascivious woman in Prov.
vii. 14, comes forth saying, "I have peace-offerings with
me; this day have I paid my vows." She had actually
gone up among the devoutest class of worshippers to pre-
sent a thank-offering, and had stood at the altar as one
at peace with God. Having now received from the priest
those pieces of the sacrifice that were to be feasted upon,
lo! she hurries to her dwelling, and prepares a banquet
of lewdness. She quiets her conscience by constraining
herself to spend some of her time and some of her sub-
stance in his sanctuary. She deceives her fellow-creatures,
too, and maintains a character for religion; and then she
rushes back to sin without remorse. Is there nothing
of this in our land? What means Christmas-mirth, after
pretended observance of Christ's being born? What
means the sudden worldliness of so many on the day fol-
lowing their approach to the Lord's Table? What means
the worldly talk and levity of a Sabbath afternoon, or
evening, after worship is done?
Contrast with this the true worshipper, as he appears
in Psalm lxvi. He has received mercies, and is truly
thankful. He comes up to the sanctuary with his offer-
"I will go into thy house with burnt-offerings; I will
pay thee my vows, which my lips have uttered, and my
mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble " (ver. 13, 14).
THE PEACE-OFFERINGS. CHAP. III. 61
In the "burnt-offerings," we see his approach to the
altar with the common and general sacrifice; and next,
in his "paying vows," we see he has brought his peace-
offerings with him. Again, therefore, he says at the
"I will offer unto thee burnt-sacrifices of fatlings "
This is the general offering, brought from the best of
his flock and herd. Then follow the peace-offerings-
"With the incense (treFoq;, fuming smoke) of rams;
I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah."
Having brought his offerings, he is in no haste to de-
part, notwithstanding; for his heart is full. Ere, there-
fore, he leaves the sanctuary, he utters the language of a
soul at peace with God--
“Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will de-
clare what he hath done for my soul. I cried unto him
with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue.
If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear
me: but verily God hath heard me; he hath attended
to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, which path
not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me!"
This, truly, is one whom "the very God of peace" has
sanctified, and whose whole spirit, and body, and soul,
he will preserve blameless unto the coming of the Lord
Jesus Christ (1 Thess. v. 23).
“Little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And
if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Faker, Jesus Christ the
righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only,
but also for the sins of the whole world."--1 John ii. 1, 2
WERE a scorpion on our brow, prepared to thrust in its
deadly sting, while we were unconscious of any danger,
surely the friend would deserve our thanks who saw the
black scorpion there, and cried aloud to us to sweep it
off. Such is a sin of ignorance; and God, who is "a
God of knowledge," is the gracious friend. In this char-
acter he appears here.
Ver. 1, 2. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto
the children of
ignorance against any of the commandments of the Lord, con-
cerning things which ought not to be done, and shall do
against any of them:--
The former chapters of this book have been in sub-
stance like the first chapter of John's first Epistle. We
have been shewn in type that life eternal which was
manifested to us in Christ the great Atonement. Next,
we were shewn that the Lord had a claim on all that is
ours, and therefore must we give up ourselves and all
THE SIN-OFFERING CHAP. IV 63
that is ours to him. This done, we walk in fellowship
These things having been written to us, in the first
three chapters, to the end "that we sin not"--that we
may not live like the dark world around us, but may be
drawn to him who draws us with his cords of love--the
Lord now speaks again to "the children of Israel"--his
"little children." He points out what is to be done
when they come to the knowledge of sin of which they
were not aware before. The cases are understood to be
things committed, not mere omissions of duty; and how
saddening to find that we grieve the Lord in so many
hidden ways! We have a heart as prone to sin, as the
body is to weariness.
The sin through ignorance (hgAgAw;) is the same that
David prays against in Ps. xix. 12, "Who can under-
stand his errors (tOxygiw;)? cleanse thou me from secret
things!" These are not sins of omission, but acts com-
mitted by a person when, at the time, he did not suppose
that what he did was sin.* Although he did the thing
deliberately, yet he did not perceive the sin of it. So
deceitful is sin, we may be committing that abominable
thing which cast angels into an immediate and an eternal
hell, and yet at the moment be totally unaware! Want
of knowledge of the truth, and too little tenderness of
conscience, hide it from us. Hardness of heart and a
corrupt nature cause us to sin unperceived. But here
again the form of the Son of man appears! Jehovah,
God of Israel, institutes sacrifice for sins of ignorance,
and thereby discovers the same compassionate and con-
* Josh. xx. 3, "Who killeth any person in ignorance (hgAgAw;bi ) and did not
know," i. e. did not know that his action would have had that effect (comp.
Deut. xix. 4).
64 THE SIN-OFFERING CHAP. IV
siderate heart that appears in our High Priest, "who can
have compassion on THE IGNORANT!" (Heb. v. 2.) Amidst
the types of this Tabernacle we recognise the presence of
Jesus--it is his voice that shakes the curtains and speaks
in the ear of Moses--"If a soul shall sin through igno-
rance!" The same yesterday, to-day, and for ever!
THE PRIEST'S SIN
Ver. 3, 4. If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the
sin of the people; then let him bring, for his sin which he hath
sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the Lord for a
sin-offering. And he shall bring the bullock unto the door of
the tabernacle of the congregation before the Lord; and shall
lay his hand upon the bullock's head, and kill the bullock
before the Lord.
The anointed priest must mean the High Priest, for he
only was anointed. In ver. 5, the Septuagint have so
understood it, for they give "o[ i[ereuj o[ Xristoj o[ teteleiw-
menoj." Now, the first case, is that of the anointed priest
sinning. " The law maketh men high priests that have
infirmity" (Heb. vii. 28). This sin the priest may have
committed in his public services, in the execution of his
office. Being invested with office, his sins are peculiarly
aggravated, and peculiarly dangerous--their effect upon
others may be incalculable. The words, "according to
the sin of the people" (MfAhA tmaw;xAl;) are more properly
rendered, "so as to cause the people to sin,"--he sins to
the sinning of the people. (Tou? ton laon a[martei?n.--Sep-
tuagint. "Delinquere faciens populum."--Vulg.) The Old
Testament ministry involved awful responsibilities, as well
as the New. The personal holiness of the priest is pro-
vided for by this consideration, that if he, because of de-
ficient wisdom, or because he had not faithfully sought
THE SIN-OFFERING CHAP. IV 65
help from the sanctuary, were guilty of some mistake in
the service, or polluted some of the holy vessels, his sin
would injure thousands of souls. It might destroy the
comfort of thousands; it might misrepresent the way of
acceptance to thousands, and thereby ruin their souls.
It left the sanctuary-door open to Satan. And, on the
other hand, in such circumstances, surely the people would
learn to pray for the ministering priest, and to feel, that
after all, he was no more than an instrument used by
God for their sakes. There seems thus to have been, in
all ages, the flow of the same sympathies through Christ's
body, the Church. The Church has been ever "com-
pacted by that which every joint supplieth." But let us
Hitherto we have seen atonement made by sacrifice,
but now we are to see imputation of sin. Atonement is
effected by imputation of sin to another. The priest's
sin is to be brought to the altar. He is to bring "a bul-
lock." This is the very same kind of offering as when the
whole congregation sin. As the most bulky and most
expensive form of sacrifice was the bullock, the priest
must take this form of sacrifice, in order to make more
obvious to the eye his concern for his sin. He spares no
cost in bringing his sin to the altar; and the people
learn from him to spare no cost in bringing their sins to
the atoning blood.
The type, applied to our Surety, may be this—that
when Christ, our Anointed Priest, took upon him our sin
as his own, he had to offer exactly what we would have
had to do ourselves, had we been reckoned with in our
own persons. If there be sin found upon the priest,
then his offering must be no less than the whole congre-
66 THE SIN-OFFERING CHAP. IV
Ver. 5, 6. And the priest that is anointed shall take of the bul-
lock's blood, and bring it to the tabernacle of the congrega-
tion. And the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and
sprinkle of the blood seven times before the Lord, before the
veil of the sanctuary.
The " seven times," throughout all Scripture, intimates
a perfect and complete action.* The blood is to be
thoroughly exhibited before the Lord--life openly exhi-
bited as taken to honour the law that had been violated.
It is not, at this time, taken within the veil, for that
would require the priest to enter the Holy of holies--a
thing permitted only once a year. But it is taken very
near the mercy-seat--it is taken "before the veil," while
the Lord, that dwelt between the cherubim, bent down
to listen to the cry that came up from the sin-atoning
Was the blood sprinkled on the veil? Some say not,
but only on the floor, close to the veil. The floor of the
Holy Place was dyed in blood; a threshold of blood
was formed, over which the high priest must pass on the
day of atonement, when he entered into the Most Holy,
drawing aside the veil. It is blood that opens our way
into the presence of God; it is the voice of atoning blood
that prevails with him who dwells within. Others, how-
ever, with more probability, think the blood was sprink-
led on the veil.† It might intimate that atonement was
* The "seven times" of some passages, and the "once" of others (Heb. x.
10; 1 Pet. iii. 18), intimate the same thing, viz. so completely done that no
more is needed. It is the one action in seven parts, for the satisfaction of all
who see it done. And so the "One Spirit," and the "Seven Spirits." The
Pythagoreans learned from the Hebrews to account this number very important
in religious acts.
† The Hebrew is doubtful tkerPA ynep; tx, is put at the close of the sentence.
Most probably it is so put, in order to define what "before the Lord" meant.
The Septuagint is "kata> to> katape<tasma." But Aben Ezra has tkrp lf hzy,
"he shall sprinkle on the veil."
THE SIN-OFFERING CHAP. IV 67
yet to rend that veil; and, as that beautiful veil repre-
sented the Saviour's holy humanity (Heb. x. 20), O
how expressive was the continual repetition of this
blood-sprinkling seven times! As often as the priest
offered a sin-offering, the veil was wet again with blood
which dropt on the floor. Is this Christ bathed in the
blood of atonement? Yes; "through that veil" the way
was opened to us--through the flesh of Jesus--through
the body that for us was drenched in the sweat of blood.
Ver. 7. And the priest shall put some of the blood upon the horns
of the altar of sweet incense before the Lord, which is in the
tabernacle of the congregation; and shall pour all the blood
of the bullock at the bottom of the altar of the burnt-offering,
which is at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
The priest retires a few steps from before the veil.
Having gazed solemnly on the seven times sprinkled
blood, in the light of the golden candlestick, he is
directed to another act. He is to approach the golden
altar-that altar whereon sweet incense was presented.
Incense, being fragrant, represented that which is pleasing,
and which has in it acceptability; and when offered
along with prayer, praise, or any feeling, of the soul,
exhibited a type of the merits of the Surety enveloping
his people's services. The horns of this altar (said to have
been of a pyramidical shape) represented the power and
strength that lay in this mode of approaching Jehovah.
The horn is the recognised symbol of power. Incense
ascending between the four horns was symbolical of
praise, prayer, or any service presented to God, ascend-
ing with all prevailing merit. And blood, placed on
these horns,* exhibited the strong appeal to God made
* There is no incense burnt on this altar on this occasion, "in order to teach
us," says an old writer, “not to confide in our prayers for pardon.”
68 THE SIN-OFFERING CHAP. IV
by atonement. A strong appeal to God is made by the
blood thus placed on the horns of the golden altar. It
is like the voice in Rev. ix. 13.
We have seen that the priest first of all sprinkled the
blood on the floor, close to the veil, or on the veil, whence
it fell in drops to the ground, so that a cry was heard
sprinkled it on the four horns of the altar of intercession,
that an appeal of unbroken strength might go up into the
ears of the Lord from the very place of strong crying.
He knew that it spoke better things than the blood of
Abel. When the anointed priest was thus engaged, was
he not a type of Jesus in the act of expiating his people's
guilt? Probably the priest knelt, and then prostrated
himself on the ground, as he sprinkled the blood before
the veil; and it would be with many tears, and strong
crying from the depths of his soul, that he touched the
altar's horns--a type of Jesus in the garden, when he
fell on his face, and, being in an agony, prayed more
earnestly, and "offered up supplications, with strong
crying and tears, to him that was able to save him from
death" (Heb. v. 7). Although in this case, the priest's
sense of guilt was personal, and therefore was deep and
piercing, yet when Jesus took on him our sins, he, too,
felt them, and felt them as if they had been his own. He
cried, "Mine iniquities have taken hold upon me!" (Ps.
xl. 12.) Identifying himself with us, his soul grieved
immeasurably for the sin he bore, and his tears dropt on
the awful burden which he took up, as sincerely as if it
had been altogether his own.
At length the priest comes from the
it, however, filled with the cry of blood--a cry for pardon!
--and proceeds to the altar of burnt-offering, directly
THE SIN-OFFERING CHAP. IV 69
opposite the door. There he pours out the rest of the
blood, at the foot of the altar,* his eye locking straight
Place, the voice of atonement was now heard ascending
from the blood. What a sermon was thus preached to
the people! Atonement is the essence of it--atonement
needed for even one sin, and applied as soon as the sin
was known. There is no trifling with God. What a
ransom for the soul is given!--life--the life of the Seed
of the Woman! What care to present it--what earnest-
without also; and the priest's soul is intently engaged in
this one awful matter! The people, perceiving the whole
transaction, must have felt it singularly powerful, first, for
conviction--Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and
yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all" (James ii. 10);
and, secondly, for invitation—“To-day, if ye will hear
his voice, harden not your hearts."
Ver. 8-10. And he shall take of from it all the fat of the
bullock for the sin-offering; the fat that covereth the inwards,
and all the fat that is upon the inwards, and the two kidneys,
and the fat that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and the
caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away,
as it was taken of from the bullock of the sacrifice of peace-
offerings; and the priest shall burn them upon the altar of the
The same ceremonies as were used in the peace-offer-
ings are intentionally introduced here (see iii. 10). The
object seems to be, to shew the offerer that he is now
accepted. It is not in vain that he has sprinkled the
on the floor of the
and poured out what of the blood remained, in sight of
* It is said, that in
in the temple, by which the blood was carried off to the brook Cedron.--Patrick.
70 THE SIN-OFFERING CHAP. IV
all the people. God gives this sign of reconciliation, viz.
at this stage of his offering, the sacrifice is treated as a
peace-offering. The voice of peace now breathes over the
sacrifice, and through the courts, as much as if a voice had
said, "It is a savour of rest."
Ver. 11, 12. And the skin of the bullock, and all his flesh, with
his head, and with his legs, and his inwards, and his dung,
even the whole bullock shall he carry forth without the camp
unto a clean place, where the ashes are poured out, and burn
him on the wood with fire: where the ashes are poured out
shall he be burnt.
But that the priest, and all present, might go home
with an awful conviction of the heinousness even of for-
given sin, other things remained to be done. We are not
to forget sin, because it has been atoned for; and we are
not to think lightly of sin, because it is washed away.
Our God wishes his people to retain a deep and lively
sense of their guilt, even when forgiven. Hence the con-
cluding ceremonies in the case of the priest's sin.
The very skin of the bullock is to be burnt--thus
expressing more complete destruction than even in the
case of the whole burnt-offering. Here is the holy law
exacting the last mite; for the skin is taken, and the
whole flesh, the head and legs (i. 8), the intestines, and the
very dung--"even the whole bullock!" Unsparing justice,
that is, unspotted justice! And yet more. As if the
altar were too near God's presence to express fully that
part of the sinner's desert which consists in suffering
torment far off from God, all this is to be done "without
the camp"--a distance, it is calculated, of four miles from
from God is represented in some degree by the ashes
being carried away out of the camp; but, to call attention
THE SIN-OFFERING CHAP. IV 71
still more to this special truth, we are here shewn the
bullock burnt on the wood, "without the camp, where the
ashes were wont to be poured out." It was over the very
ashes that lay poured out there; for, in the last clause of
the verse, the preposition lfa is used. "The clean place"
is defined to be this place of ashes. It was clean, because,
when reduced to ashes by consuming fire, all guilt was
away from the victim, as intimated in Ps. xx. 3, "Let him
turn thy burnt-sacrifice to ashes" (hn,w.;day;), the word used
At this part of the ceremonies, there was meant to be
exhibited a type of hell. This burning afar off, away
was a terrible glance at that truth--"They shall be tor-
mented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the
holy angels, and in presence of the Lamb; and the smoke
of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever" (Rev.
It is plain, also, that God took the opportunity which
this offering afforded, or rather shaped this part of the
rites belonging to the offering, in order to shew somewhat
more of Christ's death.
In every sacrifice which was of a public nature, or for
a public person, the animal was carried without the camp,
as we may see in chap. xvi. 27, on the day of atonement.
The reason of this was that, in these cases, Christ's public
sacrifice, as offered to the whole world, and every creature,
and as fulfilling the law's demands to the last mite, was
to be especially prefigured. It is carried "without the
camp," as Jesus was crucified outside of the gates of
the camp, as Christ's one offering is held up to all the
world, to be used by whosoever will. Next, suffering far
72 THE SIN-OFFERING CHAP. IV
and all the fire of wrath in his soul and on his body, Jesus
farther fulfilled this type in regard to the entire satisfaction
demanded by the law. And, inasmuch as he suffered at
out, he may be said to have fulfilled the type of the "clean
place." For we see him, over these remnants of typical
sacrfrice, offering up the one true and perfect offering.
inasmuch as there the demands of justice were wont to
be satisfied, and the bones of victims to human law cast
out. Joseph's new tomb, hewn out of the very rock of
at the very spot where the ashes of so many dead men
were to be found all around.
What a view of hell does the suffering Saviour
give! The face-covering between him and his Father-
the criminal's veil hung over him for three hours, the
three hours of darkness--away from the Holy Place--
driven from the mercy-seat, and beyond the bounds of
the holy city--an outcast, a forsaken soul, a spectacle to
all that passed by--wrath to the uttermost within, and
his person, even to the eye, more marred than any man,
while his cry, "My God! my God! why hast thou for--
saken me?" ascended up as the smoke of the sacrifice, to
heaven, shewing the heat of the unutterable agony, and
testifying the unswerving exactness of the holy law.
What a contrast to his Coming again without sin, and
in all his glory, bringing with him those whom he
by that death on
In one respect his people are to imitate the view of
him shewn in this type. As he went forth to witness for
THE SIN-OFFERING CHAP. IV 73
God's holy law--went forth without the gate, a spectacle
to all the earth; so they, redeemed by him, are to go
forth to witness of that death and redemption which he
has accomplished (Heb. xiii. 12). We are to "go forth
unto him;" we are to be constantly, as it were, viewing
that spectacle of united love and justice, looking to his
cross; though in so doing we make ourselves objects of
amazement and contempt to the world, who contemn those
whom they see going forth to stand by the side of the
THE CONGREGATION'S SIN
Ver. 13. And if the whole congregation of
ignorance, and the thing be hid from the eyes of the assembly,
and they have done somewhat against any of the command-
ments of the Lord, concerning things which should not be done,
and are guilty;--
The moral law was sometimes broken by the nation at
large; as in the matter of the golden calf, and the mur-
muring at the report of the spies. It is thought by Rashi
that a sin like this occurred when "the Sanhedrim did
not instruct, the people in regard to some ceremonial
observance." Admitting that such cases occurred, yet it
is important to notice, that even if the people were led
into sin by their priest, they are not excused: they are
guilty, and suffer the consequences." The prophet Hosea
(iv. 6-9) shews that people are not freed from sin or
punishment in such cases.
This, however, is but one way whereby the congrega-
tion are led into sin. Often it happened that a man made
little use of his knowledge, and so ate holy things, as we
* The proper rendering of "are guilty," UmwexA, is, in this place, "are suffer-
ing the penalty." As in Ps. xxxiv. 21, 22, "shall be desolate;" and Isa.
74 THE SIN-OFFERING CHAP. IV
find, chap. xxii. 14; and the whole people, in 1 Sam. xiv.
33, ate of the blood. Though they had not despised the
priest, nor refused the law at his lips, yet they might let
the word slip from their mind; as in Heb. ii. 1, we are
told may still occur.
We all know that it is possible for a child of God to be
cherishing unawares some idol, or indulging, like Eli, a
too easy temper. Or he may be rash in his words, and
frowning in his looks, where Jesus would only have looked
on in grief. He may be cherishing pride like Hezekiah
(Isa. xxxix.), or exhibiting blind zeal as the sons of Zebe-
dee. He may be unawares substituting labour for fellow-
ship with God, working without love, and suffering without
faith in exercise. Prejudice against particular doctrines
may be his secret sin; or wrong motives may be in-
fluencing him to do right actions. He may contrive to
retain the look of greenness when the sap is gone. Even
a whole community of believers may be pervaded by some
But more specially, a whole church may be in the state
of the congregation referred to here. It may be deny-
ing some great truth in theory or in practice. Thus, it
may make light of the duty which kings and magistrates
owe to Christ; as is done by some churches. It may be
suffering "that woman Jezebel to teach and to seduce"
(Rev. ii. 20). It may be admitting some civil element
into the management of its spiritual affairs, as is done in
many Protestant Churches. It may be shutting its eyes
to some great truth, or winking at some heresy. It may
teach error in doctrine; or it may have left its first love.
It may have allowed discipline to have become lax and
corrupt, as, alas! is too generally true of all the Churches
of the Reformation.
THE SIN-OFFERING CHAP. IV 75
These secret sins may be keeping God from blessing
the whole people, though he blesses individuals. Some-
where amid these sources is to be found the origin of much
of our inefficiency and unprofitableness. Ai cannot be
taken because of the accursed thing in the camp. The
mariners cannot make out the voyage to Tarshish with
Jonah on board.
close attention to the revealed will of God.
Ver. 14. When the sin, which they have sinned against it, is known,
then the congregation shall offer a young bullock for the sin,
and bring hint before the tabernacle of the congregation.
Their offering is the same as the priest's, because of
their mutual relation. The people's sin is not overlooked,
but is judged with as much severity as the priest's. Every
man must bear his own burden; and God is jealously
Ver. 15. And the elders of the congregation shall lay their hands
upon the head of the bullock before the Lord; and the bullock
shall be killed before the Lord.
The elders, in the name of the people, convey the guilt
of the people to the head of the victim. It was this class
of men--the elders--that put Jesus to death, with the
priests. Now here we see that their act was a national
act--strictly national--since they were representatives of
with the multitude, was a national rejection of Jesus.
Ah, had they then joined to put their hands on him as
the acknowledged sacrifice, they might have remained to
The guilt of the whole people was thus made to meet
in one point, viz. on the bullock. It is to a scene like
76 THE SIN-OFFERING CHAP. IV
this that Isaiah (liii. 6) refers--" The Lord made the
of us all to meet on him" (
Ver. 16-20. And the priest that is anointed shall bring of the
bullock's blood to the tabernacle of the congregation; and the
priest shall dip his finger in some of the blood, and sprinkle
it seven times before the Lord, even before the veil. And
he shall put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar
which is before the Lord, that is in the tabernacle of the con-
gregation, and shall pour out all the blood at the bottom of
the altar of the burnt-offering, which is at the door of the
tabernacle of the congregation. And he shall take all his
fat from him, and burn it upon the altar. And he shall do
with the bullock as he did with the bullock for a sin-offering,
so shall he do with this: and the priest shall make an atone-
ment for them, and it shall be forgiven them.
The expression, ver. 20, is to be understood, "He shall
do in this case as he has done already," in the case of a
bullock for sin-offering, viz. ver. 3. The declaration, "It
shall be forgiven," seems inserted here because otherwise
there is not here, as in the last case, any particular exhi-
bition of peace, as in ver. 8-10. This declaration, there-
fore, is made, that pardon may be assuredly known.
Ver. 21. And he shall carry forth the bullock without the camp,
and burn him as he burned the first bullock: it is a sin-offering
for the congregation.
It is remarkable, that after the declaration of forgive-
ness, these other ceremonies take place. They are in-
tended, no doubt, to impress a horror of sin on the soul,
even after it is forgiven. The forgiven man is most capa-
ble of seeing the horror of sin ; and therefore the people
are first pardoned, and then led out to see the last mite
exacted without the camp. See the same order observed,
and for the same reason, we suppose, at ver. 11, 12.
None but a pardoned man could have uttered Paul's cry,
THE SIN-OFFERING CHAP. IV 77
“0 wretched man that I am; who shall deliver me from
the body of this death?" (Rom. vii. 24.)
The identity of Christ and his people, also, is taught
by their offering being burnt exactly in all respects as the
priest's, whose offering more especially typified Jesus.
THE RULER'S SIN
Ver. 22, 23. When a ruler hath sinned, and done somewhat
through ignorance against any of the commandments of the
Lord his God, concerning things which should not be done,
and is guilty; or if his sin, wherein he bath sinned, come to
his knowledge; he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats,
a male without blemish.
If a ruler has sinned. . . . and is suffering the penalty,"
as in ver. 13. The ruler may sin ignorantly, and be led
to know his sin by some suffring, like Abimelech, in Gen.
xx. 3-17; or it might be by some friend's reproof, or by
new circumstances occurring. So ver. 27.
The ruler is such a one as those princes (MyxiWin;) of the
tribes in Numb. vii. It includes all civil magistrates. His
high responsibility is here shewn just as in Prov. xxix.
12, "If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants will be
It is said, "The Lord his God;" as if to call attention
to the duty of publicly recognising the Lord, and of rulers
having the Lord as their own God. A ruler is specially
bound to be a man of God. This is taken for granted
here, "The Lord his God." No casting off of Messiah's
cords here. He that ruleth over men must be as the Just
One, "ruling in the fear of God."
A kid of the goats" is his sin-offering. It is a differ-
ent victim from that offered by the priest or congregation,
in order to shew that God definitely marks sin. And yet
still the essence of atonement is the same, the blood of a
78 THE SIN-OFFERING CHAP. IV
victim that dies. Priest or prince must alike be atoned
for by blood. The "male without blemish" is the spot-
less Saviour, the Son of man.
Ver. 24, 25. And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the
goat, and kill it in the place where they kill the burnt-offering
before the Lord: it is a sin-offering. And the priest shall
take of the blood of the sin-offering with his finger, and put it
upon the horns of the altar of burnt-offering, and shall pour
out his blood at the bottom of the altar of burnt-offering.
It seems intentionally twice stated here, that the altar
of burnt-offering was to be the place where his sin-
offering was to be presented;--it is to be killed where
the usual sacrifices for that altar are killed, and its blood
is to be sprinkled there. The reason may be this:--
altar of incense in the
scene of the priest's intercession, and of the people's
prayers as a congregation. The sins in holy things
inward, toward the
hand, a ruler's sins pointed toward the camp. Hence,
the blood that atones for his sin is sprinkled on the horns
of that altar where it would be publicly observed. The
cry of the blood on the four horns,--the strong cry,
based on all prevailing atonement,--was to ascend within
hearing, as it were, of all his subjects, inasmuch as his
sins affected the welfare of the nation.
Ver. 26. And he shall burn all his fat upon the altar, as the
fat of the sacrifice of peace-offerings: and the priest shall
make an atonement for him as concerning his sin, and it shall
be forgiven him.
The last clause may be intended to draw attention to
the fact, that in this instance the atonement is because of
this particular sin, and not simply because he is a sinner
THE SIN-OFFERING CHAP. IV 79
in nature and by common actual transgressions. The
opportunity is here embraced of impressing on us the
need of atonement for particular sins,--for every sin by
itself; and for those little-regarded sins which we apolo-
gise for by saying, "I did not know of it." Jonathan's
sin in taking a little honey (1 Sam. xiv. 39, 43), and
Abimelech's sin (Gen. xx. 6), shew how jealous God is
of even what appears sin, especially in public persons.
SINS OF INDIVIDUALS
Ver. 27, 28. And if any one of the common people sin through
ignorance, while he doeth somewhat against any of the com-
mandments of the Lord, concerning things which ought not to
be done, and be guilty, (see ver. 13); or if his sin, which he
hath sinned, come to his knowledge: then he shall bring his
offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his
sin which he hath sinned.
“A female" is here offered. Each kind of sin is thus
definitely noticed, and each sinner's case treated by itself.
But why is it a female, since Christ is typified by these
offerings?--It is not easy to say. Perhaps it was intended
by God, that by occasionally taking female sacrifices;
ment was not intended equally for the daughters of
The circumstance that a female kid is here fixed upon
served to take off the impression that the male intimated
the atonement of the men of
ever, its being male or female is of use for other lessons,
it is not the chief point to be noticed; the point to be
observed is, that the blood is an atonement. The sub-
sidiary ideas are not to be dwelt upon always; but every-
where the principle of atonement by blood is to be kept in
the sinner's view.
"For his sin which he hath sinned." Lest the man
80 THE SIN-OFFERING CHAP. IV
should think that the sin was trifling, because he was a
common man, and not a ruler, this emphatic notice is
taken of his sin:--
Ver. 29-31. And he shall lay his hand upon the head of
the sin-offering, and slay the sin-offering in the place of the
burnt-offering. And the priest shall take of the blood thereof,
with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of
burnt-offering, and shall pour out all the blood thereof at the
bottom of the altar. And he shall take away all the fat
thereof, as the fat is taken away from off the sacrifice of peace-
oferings; and the priest shall burn it upon the altar for a
sweet savour unto the Lord; and the priest shall make an
atonement for him, and it shall be, forgiven him.
The clause, "for a sweet savour unto the Lord," occurs
here, though omitted in the three preceding cases. The
reason may be to shew the worshipper, that though he
was a common man, and not a ruler, yet still as much
attention is paid to him as to the others. The offering
which he presents is a sweet savour, as much as Noah's.
The full acceptance and full favour shewn to every
believer alike is immeasurably sweet. One family! all
alike accepted! and all alike kept as the apple of his eye!
And thus this sin, that unawares was troubling him, is
away. And when even one sin, and that a sin of igno-
rance, is completely removed, who can tell how much
light may flow into our now cleansed souls? A new
window is opened,--a new eye--when the scale has fallen
Ver. 32-34. And if he bring a lamb for a sin-offering, he
shall bring it a female without blemish. And he shall lay
his hand upon the head of the sin-offering, and slay it for a
sin-offering in the place where they kill the burnt-offering.
And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin-offering with
his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt-
THE SIN-OFFERING CHAP. IV 81
offering, and shall pour out all the blood thereof at the bottom
of the altar.
It might sometimes not be easy to bring a kid. If so,
let a lamb be taken. Only, blood must be shed. The
poor man's lamb is specially noticed and fully received as
the richer man's offering. "Like precious faith" is the
common property of all God's family--"One Lord, one
Ver. 35. And he shall take away all the fat thereof, as the fat
of the lamb is taken away from the sacrifice of the peace-offer-
ings; and the priest shall burn them upon the altar, according
to the offerings made by fire unto the Lord: and the priest
shall make an atonement for his sin that he hath committed,
and it shall be forgiven him.
The expression, "according to the offerings made by
fire," should be "in addition to (lfa) the offerings,"--the
daily sacrifice, morning and evening,--or, "upon the
offerings," i.e. over the very, remnants of the daily
sacrifice. It is exactly like chap. iii. 5. We are there
taught that particular sins must be cast upon the one
great Atonement; and the cases that occur in this chapter
of special guilt are just specific applications of the great
truth taught in the daily sacrifice.
all of one nature in the main with the general burnt-
offering;--one Saviour only was prefigured, and one
atonement. These sin-offerings, presented "upon the
daily sacrifice," resemble tributary streams pouring in
their waters into one great ocean. "Christ once suffered
for sins, the Just for the unjust, to bring us unto God"
(1 Pet. iii. 18).* 0 how anxious is our God to purge
* In Numb. xxii. 26, another direction is given, viz. in a case where the
nation had for a time forsaken the law of Moses. This happened under several
82 THE SIN-OFFERING CHAP. IV
us from every stain! The priest's hyssop is introduced
into every corner of the building, that we may be alto-
gether pure. Well may we join the seraphim in their
song, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts."
Some have regarded the offences for which satisfaction
is made in this chapter as offences of a national kind-
offences against the Theocracy, by which an Israelite for-
feited the favour of Jehovah as his Theocratic Ruler, and
was for a time cut off from his protection. Even when
taken in this limited view, how significant are the sacri-
feces! The offender comes confessing his sin, and bringing
a victim to suffer in his stead. The animal is slain in his
room; the man is forgiven, and retains his standing as a
protected Israelite--remaining under the shadow of the
Guardian Cloud. The sacrifice never failed to produce
this effect; but nothing else than the sacrifice ever did--
"Without shedding of blood there is no remission." This
principle of the Divine government was engraven on the
must be pardoned by means of another's death. "The
great multitude" of the saved are all pardoned by one
of infinite worth having died for them all (see 2 Cor.
idolatrous kings, such as Manasseh. Ignorance became the sin of the next
generation. Perhaps, Josiah's alarm at the hearing of the law found in the
temple is the kind of case there intended. In ver. 27-29, individuals are taught
to seek personal pardon besides.
SIN-OFFERING FOR SINS OF INADERTENCY
"Brethren, if a man be overtaken* in a fault, ye which are spiritual,
restore such an one in the spirit of meekness."--Gal. vi. 3
Ver. 1. And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and
is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it; if he do
not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity.
THE meaning is, "If a person sin in this respect," viz.
that he hear the oath of adjuration administered by the
judge, and is able to tell, having either seen or otherwise
known the matter about which he is to testify: if such a
man do not tell all he knows, he shall be reckoned guilty
of a sin.
"The voice of swearing" undoubtedly means here the
adjuration of a judge to a prisoner. The term (hlAxA)
employed here is the same as that used in 1 Sam. xiv. 24,
"Saul had adjured the people;" and in 1 Kings viii.
31, "If an adjuration be laid upon him," adjuring him to
speak out the truth; and Judges xvii. 2, "The eleven
hundred shekels of silver that were taken from thee,
about which thou didst adjure;" and Prov. xxix. 24, "He
heareth an adjuration, and yet telleth not," The judge,
in a court of justice, was permitted to elicit information
*"Overtaken," is prolhfq^, hurried into sin ere he is well aware
(Bretsehneider). "Fault," is paraptwma, transgression, sin.
84 SINS OF INADVERTENCY CHAP. V
from the witness by solemnly charging him to answer and
tell all he knew, under penalty of a curse from God, if he
did not reveal the whole truth. It was in those circum-
stances that our Lord was placed before the High Priest
(Matt. xxvi. 63). He was then, surely, in the depths of
humiliation! For now he is called upon, under threaten-
ing of the curse of his own Father, to break that strange
silence, and tell all he knows--"I adjure thee by the living
God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son
of God.” And then it was that the Lamb of God no
longer kept himself dumb; but, bowing to the solemn
force of this adjuration, shewed the same meekness in
replying as before he had done in keeping silence. From
the depth of his humiliation he pointed upward to the
throne, and declared himself Son of God, and Judge of
quick and dead.
The sins mentioned in this chapter are chiefly sins
arising from negligence--sins which might have been
avoided, had the person been more careful.
The case of the witness, in ver. 1, is one where the
person omitted to tell particulars which he could have
told, or else, through carelessness, mis-stated some things.
Let us learn the breadth of God's holy law! Not a tittle.
fails. Let us learn the Holy Spirit's keen observation of
sin in us. Let us learn to be jealous over ourselves, and
seek to be of "quick discernment in the fear of the
Lord." Much sin is committed by omissions. Duties
partially done have in them the guilt of Ananias and
Ver. 2. Or if a soul touch any unclean thing, whether it be a
carcase of art unclean beast, or a carcase of unclean cattle, or
the carcase of unclean creeping things, and if it be hidden
from him; he also shall be unclean, and guilty.
SINS OF INADVERTENCY CHAP. V 85
These, as well as ver. 3, are cases where others could
see the pollution, though the man himself might be
unaware of it at the time. They were, therefore, cases of
a public injury in some degree. Through inadvertency a
man might touch a carcase* of an unclean "beast" (hY.AHa),
the term used for the sort of animals most commonly met
with in every-day work. These are noticed first, as it
was most likely they would oftenest meet with them.
Then "cattle" in the fields or forests. Lastly, "creeping
things," such as the weasel, the mouse, or the lizard (xi.
30). Thus there is a gradation, greater, middle, and
smallest; as if to say to us, that any degree of pollution
is offensive to a pure and holy God. A true Israelite
ought to keep completely free from all that defiles, how-
ever trifling, in the eye of the world. Whatever sin God's
eye resteth on, that is the sin which the man of God
abhors. The man after God's own heart prays, "Cleanse
thou me from secret faults" (Ps. xix. 12). And, in refer-
ence to its being "hidden," yet still chargeable upon the
sinner, he exclaims, "Thou hast set our iniquities before
thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance" (Ps.
Here, too, we learn that "sin is the transgression of
the law" (1 John iii. 4). It is not merely when we act
contrary to the dictates of conscience that we sin; we may
often be sinning when conscience never upbraids us. The
most part of a sinner's life is spent without any check on
the part of conscience--that being dead and corrupt, fallen
and depraved, responding to the man's lusts, rather than
to the will of God. Hence it is said here, that though
* Were dead bodies reckoned unclean on the ground that they are the fruit
of sin? The sting of death is, as it were, sunk into them; and so sin is proved to
86 SINS OF INADVERTENCY CHAP. V
“it be hidden from him,” he shall be unclean. He is
guilty, though his conscience did not warn him of the
Awful truth! We know not what we do! When the
Book is opened and read, what a record of unfelt guilt!
"Had they known, they would not have crucified the
Lord of glory;" but yet their act was the blackest of
sins. Who can tell what pages there may be in the Book
Ver. 3. Or if he touch the uncleanness of man, whatsoever unclean-
ness it be that a man shall be defiled withal, and it be hid
from him; when he knoweth of it, then he shall be guilty.
This last clause is equivalent to "If it be hid from him,
though he afterward come to know it." "The unclean-
ness of a man" is such as the leprosy or a running issue
Again the lesson is enforced, that unconscious as our
depraved souls may be of the presence of sin, sin may
have polluted us, and separated between us and God. We
are guarded against the deceitfulness of sin. We need to
be told of sin by others. Our coming afterwards to know
our sin, may often be by means of our brethren's reproofs,
and their quicker discernment of evil. Hence it is written,
“Exhort one another daily, while it is called To-day, lest
any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin”
(Heb. iii. 13).
Ver. 4. Or if a soul swear, pronouncing with his lips to do evil,
or to do good, whatsoever it be that a man shall pronounce
with an oath, and it be hid from him; when he knoweth of it,
then he shall be guilty in one of these.
* Francis Quarles truly, though quaintly, says of a sin of ignorance,--
"It is a hideous mist that wets amain,
Though it appear not in the form of rain."
SINS OF INADVERTENCY CHAP. V 87
More literally, "If a person swear; blabbing with his
lips"--rashly uttering his vow. The careless way of
doing even what is right is here condemned. Incon-
siderateness is a heinous crime, for the man is appealing
to God; and especially so when the thing vowed is evil.
The case of man inadvertently swearing to do evil, is a
case like Jephthah's. Jephthah meant good, but it turned
out to be evil of a flagrant nature. The clause, "And it
be hid from him," is equivalent to "And did not rightly
understand the thing about which he swore." There is a
solemn lesson taught us in regard to the mode of doing
even right things. Approach the Holy One with fear
and reverence. But alas! how plentiful is the flow of
hidden sin committed in our dedications to God, or in
resolutions to be his, expressed to him in prayer and
praise. Even in saying or writing "God willing" (D.V.),
this secret sin may be oftentimes chargeable upon our
"In one of these," i.e. any of the cases mentioned--the
adjuration; touching the dead body, or other uncleanness;
and rash vows.
Ver. 5, 6. And it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of
these things, that he shall confess that he bath sinned in that
thing. And he shall bring his trespass-offering unto the Lord,
for his sin which he hath sinned, a female from the flock, a
lamb, or a kid of the goats, for a sin-offering; and the priest
shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin.
The first thing that strikes us here as very noticeable
is the injunction, "He shall confess that he hath sinned."
Abarbinel, on the sixteenth chapter, says, that confession
necessarily accompanied every sacrifice for sin. But we
have not met this duty before, in the express form of a
command, because hitherto the sins brought to the altar
88 SINS OF INADVERTENCY CHAP. V
were open and admitted sins.* But here the sins are
"hidden;" and therefore the offerer must openly confess
them, that so God may be honoured--"That thou mightest
be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou
judgest" (Psalm li. 4). This is the end of confession;
it vindicates God, proclaiming him just in the penalty he
inflicts. We see this in Achan's case, when Joshua said,
"My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord God of
what thou hast done; hide it not from me" (Josh. vii.
19). It is thus that, when we truly confess, we become
witnesses for God--we testify that we have come to see
the sin and its evil, which he declared that his pure eye
saw. The original uses a word for confess, which in
another form means to praise (hDAvat;hi and hdAOh); and
in the New Testament as well as the Old, the two acts
are often reckoned the same.† The tribute to the holiness
of the Lord, paid in confession, is praise to his name.
We decrease; he increases.
"He shall bring his trespass-offering." Some suppose
that there were on this occasion, first the trespass-offer-
ing, and then a sin-offering. But not so: it ought to be
rendered, "He shall bring his offering;" the word MwAxA
being used not as a specific term, but as a general term
for any offering on account of sin. And it is thus that it
is used by Isaiah (liii. 10), "When. thou shalt make his
soul an offering for sin" (Owp;na MwAxA MywitA).
The offering is to be "a female from the flock." It
* There is no doubt but that the laying on of the hand on the animal's head
involved confession of sin. So common was confession, that John the Baptist's
practice of insisting on confession of sin from all that came to his baptism excited
no opposition. They were thus naturally led to understand what he meant by
telling them to lay their sins on the "Coming one."
† See the same use of e]comologou?mai.
SINS OF INADVERTENCY CHAP. V 89
is a less glaring sin than some others, such as chap. iv.
1-27, and therefore a female, and a young one, is taken.
And either a female kid, or a female lamb, may be chosen;
the object being to fix the offerer's attention upon the
blood shed for his sin, and not upon any quality in the
victim, as might have been the result, had only, the lamb
been allowed. His sin and its atonement is all that must
engage the offerer.
Ver. 7. And if he be not able to bring a lamb, then he shall bring,
for his trespass which he hath committed, two turtle-doves, or
two young pigeons, unto the Lord; one for a sin-offering, and
the other for a burnt-offering.
Here, again, we see the God of Israel manifesting
himself to be that very Saviour who "preached glad
tidings to the poor." The two doves are allowed for
But why two? Is this not equivalent to an intima-
tion that one turtle-dove or pigeon would not represent
the Saviour? Is this not attaching importance to the
mere material of the sacrifice? The answer to these
questions leads us to a very interesting view of the
Lord's tender regard to the feelings of the poor of his
There is no importance attached to the mere number,
considered in itself; for in chap. i. 15, there was only
one turtle-dove sacrificed; and it was sufficient as a
type, and equivalent to the one bullock or lamb. But
here and elsewhere, where two doves are offered, there is
a special reason why two are chosen. The one is always
for a sin-offering, and the other for a burnt-offering.
Now, in the sin-offering, when it was a lamb or the like,
there were portions left for the use of the priest, after
the sacrifice was offered; and these portions, received
90 SINS OF INADVERTENCY CHAP. V
and feasted on by the priest, were equivalent to a declar-
ation of the complete removal of the sin, since the priest
himself could thus fearlessly use them. But there was
no room for this being done when a turtle-dove was
offered. There were no portions for the priest to feast
upon. Hence, in order that the poor worshipper might
not lose this consoling part of the type, he is told to offer
a second turtle-dove as a burnt-offering. And in this
latter offering, the Lord himself directly receives all, and
pronounces all to be a "sweet savour" (chap. i. 17); so
that the poor saint gets even a more hearty assurance of
his offering being accepted, than does another who only
gets this assurance by means of the priest's receiving his
portion to feast upon, and seeing the priest's household
Ver. 8, 9. And he shall bring them unto the priest, who shall offer that
which is for the sin-offering first, and wring off his head front
his neck, but shall not divide it asunder. And he shall sprinkle
of the blood of the sin-offering upon the side of the altar; and
the rest of the blood shall be wrung out at the bottom of the
There is some difference in the ceremony, observed
here in slaying the turtle-dove from that of chap. i. 14.
The head is to be wrung off, yet so as not to separate it
from the body. It would hang down upon the lifeless
body, the blood also dropping upon its white clean
plumage. Was it meant to be a type of Jesus bowing
his head as he gave up the ghost? His head, bleeding
with the thorns that had crowned him, dropped upon his
bosom as the sting of death entered his holy frame.
There may be a farther type. The Passover lamb, of
which not a bone was broken, prefigured Jesus as one
not a bone of whose body should be broken;" and yet,
SINS OF INADVERTENCY CHAP. V 91
at the same time, it prefigured the complete keeping and
safety of Christ's body the Church; as it is written, in
Psalm xxxiv. 20, "He keepeth all his bones; not one of
them is broken." So also here; the bowing of the
Saviour's head seems prefigured--not too small a circum-
stance for an Evangelist to record, and for the Father to
remember, regarding the well-beloved Son; but there
may also be herein a type of the glorious truth, that
Christ and his body the Church cannot be separated.
The head and the body must be left undivided.
In chapter i. 15, there is no mention of the sprinkling
of any of the blood upon the altar. But here some of
it is first sprinkled on the side of the altar, then the rest
wrung out at the bottom. The sprinkling on the altar's
side was quite sufficient to declare life taken; and as the
second dove would have its blood wrung out over the side
of the altar, there was a fitness in making this difference.
At the same time, it chews us how sprinkling a part or
pouring out the whole, express equally the same truth;
just as in baptism, the symbol is equally significant,
whether the water be sprinkled on the person or the
person plunged into the water.
Ver. 10. And he shall offer the second for a burnt-ofering, accord-
ing to the manner; and the priest shall make an atonement
for him, for his sin which he hath sinned, and it shall be for-
"Thus shall the priest make an atonement for him
[cleansing him] from the sin which he hath sinned."*
The poor saint has full and ample testimony given to the
completeness of his offering. The one great ocean
Christ ONCE suffered"--"one sacrifice " (Heb. x. 12)
* This seems to be the force of OtxF.AHame here and ver. 6. It is a constructio
praegnans, as in ver. 16, Nmi xFHA.
92 SINS OF INADVERTENCY CHAP. V
makes the bullock appear as insignificant as the turtle-
dove. The waves of the sea cover every shallow pool.
Ver. 11. But if he be not able to bring two turtle-doves, or two
young pigeons; then he that sinned shall bring for his offering
the tenth part of an ephah of fine four for a sin-offering: he
shall put no oil upon it, neither shall he put any frankincense
thereon; for it is a sin-offering.
The Lord descends even to the poorest of all, those
who had no lamb to spare. He provides for the Lazaruses
ing, in the very spirit of love wherein Jesus spoke of them.
It is Jesus who, as Jehovah, arranges these types for the
comfort of his afflicted people.
The burnt-offering was never allowed to be of any
inanimate thing. For in that great type of the Saviour,
blood must flow. It must exhibit life taken, and the
sentence, "Thou shall surely die," executed. The sacri-
fice which was the groundwork of all the rest must exhibit
death. But this point being settled and established, any
danger of misapprehension is removed. Whatever may
afterwards be the varieties permitted in the forms of
offering, yet at the threshold the necessity for the shedding,
of blood in order to remission must be declared and tes-
tified (Heb. ix. 22). But now there is here a permission
granted--a permission which cannot be misunderstood,
since its application is limited to this one particular class
of persons, and for special reasons--a permission to bring
an offering of fine four, when the man is too poor to
bring two turtle-doves or young pigeons. This meat-
offering is expressly spoken of as not the strict and proper
offering, but merely a substitute for that better kind.
* Socinians in vain try to make a handle of this case; for if ever there
was an instance where it could be said, "Exceptio probat regulam," it is here.
SINS OF INADVERTENCY CHAP. V 93
And, as remarked by Magee, the poor man would look
forward to the day of atonement to complete what this
was a substitute for, He is then to take a handful of the
wheat of the land of his
of that land would furnish enough; and every
ite had some family inheritance. An omer, or the tenth
part of an ephah, is the quantity; just the very quantity
of manna that sufficed for each day's support. Probably
the poor man, who needed to bring his offering for a sin
committed, was thus taught to give up just his food for
that day--fasting before the Lord.
As in the Jealousy-offering (Numb. v.), no oil or frank-
incense must be put upon it; for the very intention of it
is to present to the Lord the person and substance of the-
offerer (see chap. ii. 1) as altogether defiled--a mass of
No doubt this new kind of sin-offering is intentionally
permitted, in order to shew some things that the animal
sacrifice could not have shewn forth. It exhibits not the
soul only (that is taken for granted when the body and
substance are devoted), but all that belongs to the person
--his body and his property--as needing to be redeemed
by sacrifice, since it has become polluted. All is forfeited
--no frankincense of sweet savour on it, no oil of conse-
Ver. 12, 13. Then shall he bring it to the priest, and the priest
shall take his handful of it, even a memorial thereof, and burn
it on the altar, according to the offerings made by fire unto the
Lord: it is a sin-offering. And the priest shall make an
atonement for him, as touching his sin that he hath sinned in
one of these, and it shall be forgiven him: and the remnant
shall be the priest's, as a meat-offering.
The memorial of this mass of sin is consumed in the
94 SINS OF INADVERTENCY CHAP. V
fire of wrath; but the priest takes his portion, in order
to shew that the sin is cleansed out from the mass.
Shall it not be thus at the resurrection morning? The
body now cleansed, and earth itself purged by fire? Then
is man fully redeemed; his soul, his body, his inheritance
or possessions. No sin left to bring in a secret curse! no
Gibeonite-blood lying hid in its bosom to bring on sudden
and unthought-of woes. No Achan-treasure in the tent-
floor, provoking the eyes of the Lord's glory.
In looking back on this chapter concerning sins of
inadvertency, how awful is the view it presents of the
Lord's jealousy! "His eyes are as a flame of fire;" and
he "judges not according to the hearing of the ear," but
according to the truth that remains untold. How great
the provocation that his own saints give to him daily, by
touching the unclean, and by other almost imperceptible
movements of the heart towards evil. "Woe is me! I
am undone; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I
dwell among a people of unclean lips!" In such cases
we need to take for ourselves the counsel that Cain re-
jected when the Lord said, "If thou doest well (sinnest
not) shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not
well (sinnest), a sin-offering lieth at thy door" (txF.AHa
fbero) (Gen. iv. 7). How ancient is the grace of God!
How old is that gracious saying, "These things write I
unto you, that ye sin not; and if any man sin, we have
an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;
and he is the propitiation for our sins."
In these ancient days, there was the same grace ex-
hibited to the sinner as there is under the New Testa-
ment. God held out forgiveness, full and immediate, in
order to allure the sinner, without delay, back to fellow-
SINS OF INADVERTENCY CHAP. V 95
ship with himself. And as now, so then, many abused
this grace. They used it not to cleanse their conscience,
but to lull it asleep. Of these Solomon is supposed to
complain,* in Prov. xiii. 6, "Wickedness perverteth the
sin-ofering" (txFA.Ha Jl.esaT;). Nevertheless, the truth of
God stood sure; "righteousness preserved the perfect."
* See Faber on Sacrifice.
CHAPTER V--CHAPTER VI
"Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever
things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report .... think on these things. ... and
the God of peace shall be with you."--Phil. iv. 8, 9
Ver. 14. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, If a soul
commit a trespass,--
MANY of the best writers, such as Outram, come to no
definite conclusion as to the difference between the sin-
offering and the trespass-offering. But we are satisfied,
on the whole, that the trespass-offering (MwAxA) was offered
in cases where the sin was more private, and confined to
the individual's knowledge. The sin was known only to
the man himself; and hence it was less hurtful in its
effects. We have seen that chapter v. 6 is no contradic-
tion tion to this especial use of the word, as MwAxA was origi-
nally as general in its sense as xFAHA; and in Isaiah liii.
10, either it is used in that same general way, or, if
meant to be more special, the sense will be, "When thou
shah make his soul an offering for sins which no one
ever saw him commit; for he had done no violence, nor
was deceit in his mouth."
THE TRESPASS-OFFERING CHAPT. V 97
The sin-offering, being of a more public nature, was on
that account more fitted to be the usual type of Christ's
offering. It was both public and definite.
The trespass-offering was always a ram. It was thus
fitted to remind Israel of Abraham's offering Isaac, when
the ram was substituted. The blood of it was always
put "on the sides" of the altar; not on the horns, as in
the case of the sin-offering, where the offering was more
of a public nature, and needed to be held up to all.
The cases here are--
1. Fraud toward God in respect to things in his worship.
2. Fraud towards man. The instances given are speci-
mens of wrong done by the trespasser to the first and
second tables of the law.
Perhaps it was too much for a frail mortal to hear the
Lord speak long. There was a short interval between
the last revelation of the will of the Lord, and this that
it. Silence reigned through the
under the beams of the bright cloud of glory, Moses
would sit down, and trace on his tablets the directions
just received. And now the voice of the Lord spoke
again--the same voice that afterwards said to John in
things which are, and the things which shall be here-
after."It then declared of each
know thy works." It is the voice of the same holy and
jealous, yet gracious and tender Priest, the same true and
faithful Witness. The voice said--
Ver. 15. If a soul commit a trespass, and Sin through ignorance,
in the holy things of the Lord; then he shall bring for his
trespass unto the Lord a ram without blemish out of the flocks,
with thy estimation by shekels of silver, after the shekel of the
sanctuary, for a trespass-offering.
98 THE TRESPASS-OFFERING CHAP. V
That we may see the sort of sins meant here, let us
refer to a special case. The class of sins here is transgres-
sions in regard to the holy things of the Lord. Now, in
Ecclesiastes v. 6, we have such a case. "Suffer not thy
mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before
the angel, that it was an error (hgAgAw;,, as here): wherefore
should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of
thine hands?" The wish to be spoken well of, and to be-
come eminent for piety in the eyes of the people and priest,
led this man, while attending public worship in the temple,
to vow with his lips more than he could, or more than he
really wished to give. By this rash vow, he came under
the sin mentioned in this chapter, ver. 4. But this is not
all. When the priest* came (see 1 Sam. ii. 13) to take
his share of the offering according to the law, the man
was tempted to deny that he had vowed so much; and
thus he fell into the sin of trespass; mentioned in ver. 15
of this chapter, inasmuch as he withholds what he promised
to the house of God. God will destroy his prosperity,
unless such a man forthwith bring the trespass-offering.
Similar cases might be given; thus, if a man eat the
first-fruits (Exod. xxxiv. 26), or shear the first-born
sheep (Deut. xv. 19)--(Ainsworth), he is to bring "a
ram without blemish out of the flock." He is to choose
one of the most valuable of his flock, a type of him who
was "chosen out of the people," "one that was mighty"
(Ps. lxxxix. 19). It was to be costly; it must not be
of an inferior sort, but (Deut. xxxii. 14) of that sort which
"rams of the breed of
estimate the value according to the standard of the sanc-
* The angel or messenger seems to be the priest himself. So he is called in
Malachi ii. 7. And if so, is it not with a reference to the jealous angel in Exod.
xxxii. 34? The priest is his representative, presiding over the temple.
THE TRESPASS-OFFERING CHAPT. V 99
tuary. Probably we are hereby taught the costliness of
the Redeemer's offering.
Consider the "estimation." It was not every offering
that would answer the great end; it must be a costly,
precious offering--the precious blood of the Son of God
(2 Pet. i. 19). Who can tell how high it was estimated
in the sanctuary above, where not one spot of sin ever
found a rest in the most secret heart of one ministering
spirit? The question is asked, Is this one offering suffi-
cient for the sinner? The Holy One applies the test of
his law, and measures it by his own holy nature, and finds
it such that he declares, "I am well pleased;" "I lay in
made it honourable."
But, 2. Was it such as reached the case of others?
Yes; it was meant for others. He who wrought it out
was a surety. His body was "prepared" for the sake of
others. His eye ran down with tears for others. The
words such as never man spake, were for others, "He
suffered, the Just for the unjust."
3. But may I use it? Yes, not only you may, but you
must use it, or perish.
Ver. 16. And he shall make amends for the harm that he bath
done in the holy thing, and shall add the fifth part thereto,
and give it unto the priest: and the priest shall make an
atonement for him with the ram of the trespass-offering, and it
shall be forgiven him.
The trespasser is to be no gainer by defrauding God's
house. He is to suffer, even in temporal things, as a
punishment for his sin. He is to bring, in addition to
the thing of which he defrauded God, money to the
extent of one-fifth of the value of the thing. This was
given to the priest as the head of the people in things of
100 THE TRESPASS-OFFERING CHAP. V
God, and representative of God in holy duties. It was
to be a double tithe because of the attempt to defraud
God.* We shall never be gainers by stinting our time
and service in the worship of God. What we withdraw
from him, he will withdraw from us in another way.
Besides, the very fact of cherishing such an idea in our
minds will cause the Lord to veil his grace and glory
from our view until we have anew sought him by the
blood of Jesus. And in the meantime, the sorrow and
darkness of our heart will teach us that it is a bitter
thing to depart from the Lord.
But there is something in this part of the ordinance
far more significant still. It seems to exhibit the require-
ments ments of God in order to a true atonement. Atonement
1. Of restitution of the principal--restoring all that
was lost. The injury done is to be made up by the per-
son submitting to give back every item he took away.
2. Of the addition of more. There must be also a
making up of the wrong done, by the person suffering
loss, as a recompence for the evil. In these two pro-
visions, do we not see set forth in symbol the great fact
that God in atonement must get back all the honour that
his law lost for a time by man's fraud; and also must
have the honour of his law vindicated by the pay-
ment of an amount of suffering? The active obedience
of Christ gave the one ; his passive obedience provided
These principles being thus set forth and agreed to, the
ram was brought forward, wherein was exhibited the per-
* The tithe regularly paid was an acknowledgment that God had a right to
the things tithed; and this double tithe was an acknowledgment, that in conse-
quence of this attempt to defraud him, his right must be doubly acknowledged.
THE TRESPASS-OFFERING CHAP. V 101
son that was to be the giver of atonement. A ram "out
of the flock," even as Christ was "one chosen out of the
people" (Ps. lxxxix. 19).
Ver. 17. And if a soul sin, and commit any of these things which
are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the Lord;
though he wist it not, yet is he guilty, and shall bear his;
This is a remarkable passage in proof of the awful
sin that may be committed through ignorance--"Though
he wist it not, yet is he guilty." Knowledge was within
his reach in this case; for the things spoken of are mat-
ters connected with sanctuary worship. It is even such a
case as Paul's, whose ignorance was no excuse for his sin,
since he might have inquired and known.*
The cases referred to here are evidently those wherein
holy things, or things connected with worship, were neg-
lected or defectively performed. It is that class of cases
wherein--it may be through ignorance--the Lord was
defrauded of what was due in his worship.
Ver. 18, 19. And he shall bring a ram without blemish out of
the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass-offering, unto the
priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him con-
cerning his ignorance wherein he erred, and wilt it not; and it
shall be forgiven him. It is a trespass-offering: he hath cer-
tainly trespassed against the Lord.
How emphatic is the rehearsal of his sin--"Atonement
for him concerning his ignorance wherein he erred, and
wist it not;" and again, "He hath certainly trespassed
against the Lord;" though men would have been ready to
treat it as a light matter!
* Evidently, in 1 Tim. i. 13, we are to read thus: “Putting me into the
ministry, who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious, though
I obtained mercy. For I did all this ignorantly in unbelief," q.d. for my igno-
rance and unbelief (both equally inexcusable) led me to these excesses.
102 THE TRESPASS-OFFERING CHAP, VI
into the Lord's revealed will. By treating ignorance as a
sin of such magnitude, the Lord made provision among
his people for securing a thorough and continual search
into his mind and will; and thus, no doubt, family
instruction was universal in every tent in the wilderness,
and the nation were an intelligent as well as a peculiar
(CHAP. VI. 1-7 )
Ver. 1. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,--
There was silence again in the
had recorded the above precepts bearing on Jehovah's
own special worship. And when these trespasses against
the first table of the law had been declared and marked,
the voice of the Lord was again heard. We may recog-
nise the same voice that spoke on that
for here is the same principle of broad, holy exactness in
applying the law as in Matt. v. The mind of the Father
and of his Son is one and the same as to the extent of
the law, even as it is alike in love to the transgressor.
Ver. 2, 3. If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the Lord,
and lie unto his neighbour in that which was delivered him to
keep, or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or
hath deceived his neighbour; or hath found that which was lost,
and lieth concerning it, and sweareth falsely; in any of all
these that a man doeth, sinning therein:--
Here is a specimen selected of the common forms in
which defrauding others may occur. There is first a
temptation mentioned, to which friends are exposed with
one another in private intercourse. A man asks his
friend to keep something for him; or, in the wider accep-
THE TRESPASS-OFFERING CHAPT. VI 103
tation of the original term (NOdqAp;), gives a neighbour a
trust to manage for him of any kind, or commits to his
care for the time, any article. The LXX have used the
word "paraqhkh," which, in 2 Tim. i. 12, is rendered,
“What I have committed to him." Anything lent to
another is included; a tool, like the prophet's borrowed
axe (2 Kings vi. 5), or a sum of money left in a neigh-
bour's keeping (Exod. xxii. 7); in short, any "stuff"
(Exod. xxii. 7), or articles (MyliKe). A lent book, or bor-
rowed umbrella, would come under this law; and how
few have the sincere honesty of that son of the prophets,
in 2 Kings vi. 5, vexed because the thing injured in their
hands was a borrowed thing!--"Alas! my master, for it
was borrowed!" The Lord expects, in such case, com-
plete disinterestedness; the man is to do to others as he
would have others do to him. Any denial of having
received the thing, any appropriation of it to himself, any
carelessness in the keeping of it, is a trespass in the eye
of God. You have wronged God in wronging your
The case of "fellowship," or partnership, refers to the
transactions of public life; not, however, to openly un-
lawful acts, but to acts lawful in appearance, while selfish
in reality. This points specially to business transactions,
where there ought to be the utmost disinterestedness, one
partner giving more scrupulous attention to the interests
of the other than to his own, mortifying his jealous self-
love by his regard to his partner's concerns. This is the
generous morality of the God of Israel. The same head
would include the conscientious observances of government
regulations or commercial laws, as to taxes on goods.
These regulations being understood principles on which
trade is carried on, are really of the nature of "fellow-
104 THE TRESPASS--OFFERING CHAP. VI
ship." So also bargains in trade; though not many are
so jealous as Abraham in Gen. xxiii., to avoid even the
appearance of wronging others. Most are as Prov. xx. 14.
“A thing taken by violence,” includes cases of oppres-
sion or hardship, where mere power deals with weakness.
Such was Naboth's case (1 Kings xxi. 2); such was Isaac's
(Gen. xxvi. 4).
"Or hath deceived his neighbour.” The word qwafA is
rightly rendered, in the Septuagint, h]dikhse. It speaks of
another form of oppression--"hath deceitfully oppressed."
There are cases of strong, but secret terror, as when a
landlord uses his pecuniary superiority to constrain a
tenant's vote, or force a dependant to attend a particular
place of worship. It exists, too, where a mistress thought-
lessly gives too much work to her servants, or where a
farmer exacts unceasing labour, from morning to night,
at the hands of his ploughmen, or where a shopkeeper's
business is carried on at such a rate that his apprentices
have no calm rest of body or soul. In another shape, a
Jew was guilty of this trespass if, in using the permission
(Deut. xxiii. 24, 25) to pluck grapes, or ears of corn, as
he passed his neighbour's grounds, he took more than he
would have done had he been in his own vineyard or
“Or hath found that which was lost, and lieth concern-
ing it.” Unconcerned at the anxiety it may have given
to the loser, the man refuses to part with what he has
found. This is surely selfishness in the extreme. But it
is so, also, if the finder is not willing to hear of an owner,
glad only at his own advantage, and saying, "The owner
may never miss it--God has thrown it into my hands."
The Lord teaches us not to build up our joy on the loss
or sorrow of others.
THE TRESPASS-OFFERING CHAP, VI 105
Such is the kind care of the God of Israel. Is he not
still "The Eagle" over them, stirring up her nest, and flut-
tering over her young? He teaches his family to be full
of love-superiors, inferiors, equals. He would infuse the
holy feelings of heaven into the camp of
society regulated by the Lord is blessed society, for his
own love flows through it all, and is the very joints and
bands. Hence it is that a sin against a neighbour, in one
of these points, is a "trespass against the Lord" (ver. 1).
The selfish man is an unholy man, altogether unlike God.
Yet earth is full of such. When men are happy them-
selves, they take no thought of others' misery. When at
ease, they disregard the pain of others. Some even relieve
distress out of subtle selfishness, seeking thereby to be
free to indulge themselves with less compunction. Not so
the Lord. The eternal Son comes forth from the bosom
of the Blessed, and, for the sake of the vilest, dives
into the depths of misery. "He restored what he took
not away," and "delivered him that without cause was
his enemy." And in proportion as we feel much of this
love of God to us, we shall feel much love to him, and to
our brother also (1 John iv. 20).
Ver. 4, 5. Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty,
that he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the
thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was deli-
vered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found, or all that
about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in
the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereto, and
give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his
Patrick renders ver. 4, "If he sin and acknowledge his
guilt;" for if his case were one where witnesses convicted
him, then Exod. xxii. 7-9 held good. The case of
106 THE TRESPASS-OFFERING CHAP. VI
Zaccheus, on the day of his, coming to Jesus ("the day
of his trespass-offering" surely), illustrates this restitution
as an attendant upon forgiveness. When the Lord forgave
him, the same Lord also inclined him to restore what he
had unjustly taken, and to give back far more than he
The fifth part is given, in addition to the principal,
just as in the case of holy things being; fraudulently with-
held. It is a double tithe (two-tenths), and so is equiva-
lent to a double acknowledgment of the person's right to
the thing, of which he had been, for a time, unjustly de-
prived. See chap. v. 15, 16.
No doubt this exceeding jealousy on the part of God
in maintaining the rights of men, and exhibiting such
strict equity, was intended to display to the world what
his own holy character is. The most impartial and ex-
tensive justice is here exhibited. And his demand for
restitution shews that the Lord will maintain his violated
rights to the uttermost. It further proves, that while he
requires (as John proclaimed, Luke iii. 8, 10-14) repent-
ance and amendment, still it is not these that in any degree
satisfy the Lord; for there is, in addition to the restoring of
the principal, a new demand by the law, for the very act of
attempting to defraud it--one-fifth part beyond the former
demand! Thus was
ment of Divine claims in the person of Immanuel; and
thus were they shewn what must be the infinite merit of
him who should be able to restore all that had been taken
away from his God!
Ver. 6, 7. And he shall bring his trespass-offering unto the Lord,
a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for
a trespass-offering unto the priest: and the priest shall make
an atonement for him before the Lord; and it shall be for-
THE TRESPASS-OFFERING CHAPT. VI 107
given him, for any thing of all that he hath done, in trespassing
"For any of all the things"--thus proclaiming that
"the blood of Jesus cleanseth from all sin." The case of
presumptuous sins is not referred to here, for these in-
volved a disregard, in the offender, to the very offerings
that could exhibit pardon to his conscience. But this
section ends with the proclamation of free forgiveness
from all manner of sin. The Lord would thus at once
allure the sinner from his transgression, and lead him to
the immediate joy of reconciliation. It is the surest and
speediest way to lead him out of his former path of guilt.
“There is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be
meaning or reason in God's appointments. Want of true
conviction of sin made them despise these types, while the
godly, who felt their loins filled with a grievous disease,
found therein their daily refreshment. This is the true.
sense of Prov. xiv. 9, when properly rendered--"Fools
make a mock of the trespass-offering, but with the righ-
teous it is in esteem." The Septuagint seem to have had a
glimpse of this meaning, for they use "kaqarismo>j" for
MwAxA, and they render NOcrA, "dekto>j." The godly cherished
these typical delineations of atonement, while the careless,
earthly-minded Israelite saw nothing in them to desire.
None go to the hiding-place who fear no storm. The
stream flows by unheeded when the traveller on its banks
is not thirsty. The whole will not use the physician.
Sense of sin renders Jesus precious to the soul. How
Peter loved the risen Saviour, who relieved him of the
load of his denial! A sight of wrath to come gives a new
aspect to every spiritual thing. In
108 THE TRESPASS-OFFERING CHAP. VI
destroying angel's sword would make
blood. Ishmael might have mocked at the ram caught in
the thicket; but not so Isaac, who had been bound with
the cords of death. It is only "fools" that will "mock
at the trespass-offering;" with the righteous it is held in
unspeakable esteem. Their song is, "Thanks be unto
God for his unspeakable gift!"
CHAPTER VI 8 -CHAPTER VII
Special Rules for the Priests who minister at
the Altar of God.
"God .. hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to
us the ministry of reconciliation. For he hath made him to be sin for us,
who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in
him."--2 Cor. v. 18, 21
REGARDING THE WHOLE BURNT-OFFERING
Ver. 8, 9. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Command
Aaron and his sons, saying, This is the law of the burnt-offer-
ing: It is the burnt-offering, because of the burning upon the
altar all night unto the morning, and the fire of the altar shall
be burning in it.
THE ground traversed over in chapters i., ii., iii., iv., v.,
is now re-traversed, but for a quite different object. Sup-
plemental directions to the priests, in regard to their part
in the offering of the sacrifices, is the object in view.
But this gives opportunity for the typifying of some most
"The law of the burnt-offering," or of things to be
observed in offering it, is first stated. Perhaps, in ver. 9,
we should read the parenthesis thus--"As for the burnt
110 SPECIAL RULES
offering, it is to be burning* on the altar all night until
the morning; and the fire of the altar must be kept
burning on it." However, retaining our rendering, we
have the fact, that the fire must be kept burning the whole
The Holy One speaks again from the
now tells some of the more awful thoughts of his soul.
His words reveal views of sin and righteousness that ap-
pear overwhelmingly awful to men. His eternal justice,
flaming forth against all iniquity, is declared to
the fire of the altar. This fire is never to be extinguished;
"for every one of his righteous judgments endureth for
ever" (Ps. cxix. 160). It burns all night long--an em-
blem of the sleeplessness of hell, where "they have no
rest, day nor night"--and of the ever-watchful eye of
righteousness that looks down on this earth.
Perhaps it was intended to exhibit two things:--
1. "The smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever
and ever . . . . tormented with fire and brimstone in
presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the
Lamb" (Rev. xiv. 10, compared with ver. 18). The whole
camp saw this fire, burning in the open court all night
long. "So shall you perish," might an Israelitish father
say to his children, taking them to his tent door, and
pointing them, in the gloom and silence of night, to the
altar, "So shall you perish, and be for ever in the flames,
unless you repent!"
2. It exhibited, also, the way of escape. See, there is
a victim on the altar, on which these flames feed! Here
is Christ in our room. His suffering, seen and accepted
* Horsley renders hdAq;
same effect. See Ainsworth. Hengstenberg, on Ps. cii. 3, understands the word,
"the whole heap of fuel."
FOR THE PRIESTS CHAP. VI 111
by the Father, was held forth continually to the faith of
and token of the real sacrifice, did the eye of the Father
delight to rest night and day. It pleased him well to see
his justice and his love thus met together there. And
the man of
sustained by this truth, which the straggling rays from the
altar gleamed into his tent.
Ver. 10. And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and his
linen breeches shall he put upon his flesh, and take up the ashes
which the fire hath consumed with the burnt-offering on the
altar, and he shall put them beside the altar.
The linen* garment is a type of purity, as we see in
the book of Revelation (xix. 8). The priest is the emblem
of the Redeemer in his perfect purity coming to the work
of atonement. The word for garment† means a suit of
clothes. It takes in the linen breeches, as well as all the
other parts of the priest's dress. His whole suit is to be the
garb of purity. It is not glory that is set forth; these are
not the "golden garments." It is holy humanity; it is
Jesus in humiliation, but without one stain of sin. There
is a special reason for the direction as to the linen breeches.
It is meant to denote the completeness of the purity that
clothes him; it clothes him to his very skin, and "covers
the flesh of his nakedness" (Exod. xxvi:ii. 42). It was
not only our unrighteousness, and our corrupt nature, that
Jesus was free from; but also from that other part of our
original sin, which consists in the imputed guilt of Adam.
The linen breeches that "covered the nakedness" of the
priest, lead us back at once to our first parents' sin, when
* The word is dbA not ww,.. The latter is a finer sort, supposed to be silk.
† dma, the O in which, in the opinion of Ewald, is merely the sign of the
Status Constr., as in OtyHi.
112 SPECIAL RULES
they were naked and ashamed in the garden, after the
Fall. Here we see this sin also covered. He who comes
to atone for all our sins has himself freedom from all--
"He shall take up the ashes which the fire has con-
sumed," i.e. the ashes of that which the fire has consumed,
viz. the wood. By the figure which grammarians call
ellipsis, or breviloquence, "ashes" is used for the mate-
rial out of which ashes came; as Isaiah (xlvii. 2) speaks of
grinding "meal."--(Ainsworth.) The wood was under-
neath the burnt-offering.* This being done, the ashes
were to be placed by themselves, for a little time, "beside
the altar." All eyes would thus see them and take notice
of them, before they were carried out into a clean place.
Probably there were two reasons for this action.
1. The fire was thus kept clear and bright, the ashes
being removed. God thereby taught them that he was
not careless as to this matter, but required that the type.
of his justice should be kept full and unobscured.
2. The ashes were shewn for the purpose of making it
manifest that the flame had not spared the victim, but
had turned it into ashes. It was not a mere threatening
when the angels foretold that
to be destroyed for their sin; their doom (2 Pet. ii. 6) is
declared to have come on them, "turning them to ashes."
So here, all that was threatened is fulfilled. There the
ashes lie; any eye may see them. The vengeance has
been accomplished! The sacrifice is turned into ashes.”
Justice has found its object! The lightning has struck
* Another rendering is, “The ashes of the fire that has consumed the burnt-
offering on the altar."--(Horsley.) But this requires a transposition of the words.
May it not be, "He shall take up the ashes when the fire consumes the burnt-
offering on the altar?"
FOR THE PRIESTS CHAP. VI 113
the lightning-rod, and is now passed! View Ps. xx. 4 in -
this light--" Remember all thy offerings, and accept".
turn to ashes--"thy burnt-sacrifice." The Lord's arrows
are not pointless; he performs all his threatenings, for he
is holy. "0 Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like
unto thee ? or to thy faithfulness round about thee" (Ps. lxxxix. 8).
Ver, 11. And he shall put of his garments, and put on other gar-
ments, and carry forth the ashes without the camp unto a clean
The priest, coming out of the sanctuary, lays aside
these linen garments, and goes forth out of the camp in
another dress. These linen garments are now reckoned
polluted; the sin he carried in with him cleaves to them.
In another linen dress, therefore-another priestly suit*
--he goes on to the spot where the ashes were to be left,
as memorials of the curse having come on the victim.
May this be intended to shew that Christ, specially at his
death, was to be "numbered with the transgressors?" He
seemed to die as one who had no holiness, no righteous-
ness, no innocence--"He made his grave with the wicked".
But, casting off this appearance of being a transgressor, as
he cries, "It is finished," he is carried to a clean spot.
His surety-character appeared--he is buried in Joseph's
* Some think this must have been a dress of meaner materials than the
linen, to represent sin cleaving to him. But where do we ever read of such?
† Some propose to change the rendering of Isa. liii. 9, in order to bring out
explicitly the fact that Christ died among transgressors, but was buried with
the rich. But is there any ground for this proposed change? Whether the ori-
ginal admits of it, is doubtful; for few Jews will be satisfied with the rendering
of his tomb." It is obviously far better to keep the present render-
"He made his grave with the wicked (plural),
And with the rich (singular) in his death," i. e. when he died.
114 SPECIAL RULES
“Unto a clean place," as in chap. iv. 12. In after days
this clean place may have been some spot beyond the
ashes" is mentioned-a place which was used for this
purpose, and may have been at the very
the Great Sacrifice was offered, and its ashes laid.
Ver. 12. And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it [i. e.
on the bosom of the altar]; it shall not be put out: and the
priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt-
offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat
of the peace-offerings.
Formerly, the fact was mentioned of the fire never
being allowed to go out. Here there is mention made of
the manner in which it was kept, burning. The wood
At the hour of his death, behold the providence of God! A rich man, one of the
most honourable and esteemed in
ciple, unexpectedly appears at
exception the most singularly noble character introduced to us in the Gospels.
This rich man had been driven into concealment by the plots formed against him
by the Jews, on account of his defending Jesus in the Sanhedrim openly (Luke,
xxiii. 51). This is what John says (chap. six. 38)--"Being a disciple,"
“kekrumme<noj de> dia> to>n fo<bon tw?n ]Ioudai<wn"--not "SECRETLY," for it
is, not "kekrumme<nwj" (though even the adverb might mean, as in the Septuagint
of Jer. xiii. 17, "in secret places"), but "secreted," or forced to hide by reason
of their plots. He was the very contrast to timid Nicodemus, bold and unre-
served. Behold! then, this man suddenly returns to the city; and finding that
all is over, he boldly seeks the body of Jesus, his beloved Master. And next, he
and Nicodemus--two rich men, but the one all boldness, the other nervously
timid--lay the body in its silent tomb. And where is the tomb? " In the place
where he was crucifed" (John xix. 41); that is, at the very spot where crimi-
nals were put to death, and where they used to be buried. Extraordinary as it
may appear, this very spot was the spot where Joseph's new tomb was hewn out
of a rock! The stony sides of the tomb-the new tomb--"the clean place,"
where Jesus was laid--were part of the malefactor's hill. His dead body is
“with the rich man and with the wicked " in the hour of his death! His grave
is the property of a rich man; and yet the rocks which form the partition be-
tween his tomb and that of the other Calvary Malefactors, are themselves part
that in a way so unlikely, that no eye could have foreseen it but His, who fore-
ordained the whole?
FOR THE PRIESTS CHAP. VI 115
was to be supplied constantly in sufficient measure,
and the sacrifice laid thereon. There is an object for the
Divine justice to seize upon; and this victim must be
shewn every morning, exposed to that intolerable flame.
Christ bears the vehement heat of Jehovah's altar--the
reality of wrath.
There is no "putting out" of this fire.* "The fire is
not quenched," is Christ's own expression; perhaps in
reference to this type (Mark ix. 44). There will be no
putting out of these flames in eternity--no waters to
quench them--no interference of God's mercy to end
them. The company of their ungodly friends will not
“put out” any of the torments of the damned; nor shall
any intellectual efforts "put them out," by diverting
men's thoughts from their deserved doom. Christ's
agony is the proof of this. If ever God would have
“put out” one flame, it would have been in his case.
Yet he withheld no suffering--"all his waves" were
against him; he laid him in "the lowest pit."
Perhaps "burn the fat of the peace-offerings" is intro-
duced here to shew how the flame was to be fed. The
fat must feed it till it blazes bright and strong, casting its
light through the darkness, in view of all the camp. It
was an awful view of Divine justice; it figured out the
tremendous fierceness of almighty wrath. Yet inasmuch
as it is "the fat of peace-offerings," a discerning, believing
worshipper may find the elements of peace even here.
* In Song viii. 6, "vehement flame" is most generally understood to be
“the flame of Jehovah.” The love of Jesus is seen in proportion as we see
the heat of the wrath which he bore for us. "Love is strong as death--like the
flame of Jehovah," i. e. on the altar. How great was the sin of Ahaz (2 Chron.
Xxviii. 24) when lie shut up the temple! There was this ingredient in his guilt
he was attempting to extinguish the perpetual fire on the altar, as if thereby to hide
from his view the type of God's justice and a coming hell--a sin-avenging God.
116 SPECIAL RULES
The peace-offering on which that flame has fed declared
his reconciliation; so that he can read the assurance of
his acceptance even in these flames! Justice fully satis-
fied, and yet the worshipper standing in peace, is the
truth taught us by the blazing flame of this altar. "Our
God is a consuming fire."
Ver. 13. The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall
never go out.
Throughout, we are emphatically shewn that this fire
has no end. We are reminded of John's words, "The
wrath of God abideth on him" (John iii. 36), and Christ's
thrice-repeated declaration, "Where their worm dieth
not, and their fire is not quenched" (Mark ix.) The
word for "go out" is the same that elsewhere is rendered
"quenched" (hB,k;ti). The eternal justice of Jehovah
shall never cease to find fuel in hell; and never shall it
cease to find satisfaction in the Altar of the Great High
Priest. Hence we see that an everlasting righteousness
was what we needed (Dan. ix. 24). "Eternal redemp-
tion" is what has been obtained for us (Heb. ix. 12).
REGARDING THE MEAT-OFFERING
Ver. 14. And this is the law of the meat-offering: The sons of Aaron
shall offer it before the Lord, before the altar.
The duties of the priest are dwelt upon here. The
officiating priest shall take the meat-offering from the
worshipper, and shall present it. He shall do this
solemnly, coming up "before the altar," i. e. in front of
it, in sight of all the people who stand by. For thus the
dedication of all that the man has--body and property,
as well as soul--is publicly declared. All are witnesses
that now he is not his own.
FOR THE PRIESTS CHAP. VI 117
Ver. 15. And he shall take of it his handful, of the four of the meat-
offering, and of the oil thereof, and all the frankincense which
is upon the meat-offering, and shall burn it upon the altar for
a sweet savour, even the memorial of it, unto the Lord.
When the memorial (see chap. ii. 2) was taken and
burnt, the offerer saw a sight that refreshed his soul. He
saw the altar smoking, and felt the air breathing with his
accepted gift--"a savour of rest." It was on such occa-
sions as these that the priests exhibited salvation and its
results so fully to the comfort of the worshippers, that
“the saints shouted for joy” (Ps. cxxxii, 16).
Ver. 16. And the remainder thereof shall Aaron and his sons
eat: with unleavened bread shall it be eaten in the holy place;
in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation they shall eat
It ought to be rendered, "Unleavened shall it be
eaten;"* that is, the remainder which Aaron and his
sons received as their part, shall be eaten in the form of
unleavened bread. There must not be anything in it that
would intimate sin or corruption; for since the memorial
has been offered, the remainder is reckoned pure, so pure
that it may be put into the hands of the priests as food,
and eaten on holy ground. It may present to us the fact,
that when Jesus was once offered as a "sweet savour of
rest," then what remained, viz. his body the Church, was
pure, and might be freely admitted to holy ground--to
heaven, and to all heavenly employments.
The "holy place" here, is the court of the tabernacle
(ver. 26), where the altar and laver stood. It is "holy" on
the same principle that Peter calls the hill of transfigu-
ration "the holy mount" (2 Pet. i. 18); and because the
same God was present there who made the place "holy
* a]zuma brwqhsetai (Sept.)--Eaten as unleavened. " Comedet absque
118 SPECIAL RULES
ground" to Moses at the bush (Exod. iii. 5). There is a
passage in Numbers (xviii. 10) where the court seems to
be called "most holy"—“In the most holy place shalt
thou eat it"--unless we render the words (as Horsley
proposes), "Among the most holy things thou shalt eat
it." Patrick's explanation of it, by a reference to the
holy chambers in Ezekiel xlii., is altogether out of the
question. It seems to be simply the holiness arising
from the Lord's presence, hallowing the courts where
such offerings were made, that is meant.
In Leviticus xxiv. 9, and elsewhere, it is again called
“the holy place." And no wonder; for it was "at the
door of the tabernacle" (vii. 31)--in other words, oppo-
site the altar, which was the prominent object in the view
of all in the courts, but specially of any at the entrance.
To this, allusion is made in Isa, lxii. 9, when thank-offer-
ings of corn and wine are spoken of as feasted on "in
the courts of my holiness."
Ver. 17. It shall not be baken with leaven. I have given it unto
them for their portion of my offerings made by fire: it is most
holy, as is the sin-offering, and as the trespass-offering.
They are directed not to use it as they might do bread
at their own dwellings: "There must be no leaven in it,
for it is a gift to them from me. Let it, then, derive its
sweetness and relish to their taste from the consideration
that it is my gift to them." This is truly like Hannah,
Samuel's mother: when, rejoicing after her son's birth, she
sings, not of her joy in her first-born, but of her joy in
him who gave her the rich gift--"My heart rejoiceth in
the Lord; mine horn is exalted in the Lord" (1 Sam, ii. 1),
There is here, also, a cheering notice of the full commu-
nion that subsists between God and his people--"I have
given it for THEIR portion, out of my offerings." As if
FOR THE PRIESTS CHAP. VI 119
there was an intercommunity of goods--of blessings--
between God and his people. He and they alike feast
upon the same holiness and purity, found in the Right-
Ministers, and indeed all God's people, are here taught
not to consider the smallest service or offering as unim-
portant. Lest these "cakes," and "flour," and "baken
things” should be treated slightly, the Lord as solemnly
declared, “It is most holy, as is the sin--offering, and as
Ver. 18. All the males among the children of Aaron shall eat of it.
It shall be a statute for ever in your generations concerning the
offerings of the Lord made by fire every one that toucheth them
shall be holy.
While all the males of Aaron's line might eat thereof,
every one must remember in all generations to do so
with deep reverence; for "every one (or everything) that
toucheth them shall be holy." Any person or thing
touching them was to be reckoned as set apart to holy
purposes, to be treated accordingly. Garments, vessels,
or the like, must be then considered as on holy ground;
and, accordingly, must be washed in clean water, as an
emblem of setting apart from common use. Persons, too,
that came in contact, must wash themselves, being, like
Moses at the bush, suddenly drawn into God's presence,
where they must put off the shoe.
What a circle of deep awe was thus drawn round the
altar and its offerings! "God is greatly to be feared in
the assembly of his saints, and to be had in reverence
of all that are about him" (Ps. lxxxix. 7). Nothing is
more blissful than God's presence, yet nothing more solem-
dreadful!" This is holy bliss; it is not as the world's joy.
120 SPECIAL RULES
Ver. 19, 20. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, This is the
offering of Aaron, and of his sons, which they shall offer unto
the Lord in the day when he is anointed; the tenth part of an
ephah of fine four, for a meat-offering perpetual, half of it in the
morning, and half thereof at night.
“A meat-offering perpetual” means, that this shall be
in all ages the manner of the priest's meat-offering. The
common priests and Aaron offered it at their first enter-
ing an office, that is, "the day when he is anointed."
They had been already told what to bring, in Exod.
xxix. 2, but they are told how to bring it--what cere-
monies to use in the bringing of it.
The priest's meat-offering was of “fine flour,” in "cakes
and wafers" (Exod. xxix. 2), and "baken in the pan"
(ver. 21). It thus contained a reference to the two most
common sorts of meat-offering mentioned in chap. ii. 1-6.
It was neither the richest nor the poorest,
The omer, or tenth part of the ephah, is fixed on as the
measure. It might remind them of the omer of manna
which they used daily to gather; and the omer of it kept
in the golden pot. When they remembered that manna,
would not their hearts naturally feel their obligations to
devote all their substance to him who gave them bread
from heaven, and was still commanding the blessing on
their fields and dwellings?
Ver. 21. In a pan it shall be made with oil; and when it is baken,
thou shalt bring it in: and the baken pieces of the meat-offer-
ing shalt thou offer for a sweet savour unto the Lord.
They were to bring it ready-baken, that is, prepared
in the form of cakes and wafers, as Exod. xxix. 2 directed,
and as chap. ii. 5 appoints in regard to things baken in
The oil, and other particulars, have been noticed above.
The bringing it to the altar, all ready, may have been
FOR THE PRIESTS CHAP. VI 121
meant to teach the need of a fully-prepared offering--
nothing imperfect--if presented to the Lord for acceptance.
Ver. 22, 23. And the priest of his sons, that is anointed in his
stead, shall offer it: it is a statute for ever unto the Lord: it
shall be wholly burnt. For every meat-offering for the priest
shall be wholly burnt: it shall not be eaten.
The ministering high priest already in office presented
this offering of the sons of Aaron on the day of their
It is particularly declared that it must be "wholly
burnt"--"not eaten"--because it was a priest's offering
(see ver. 30 also). This prefigured, no doubt, the truth
that Christ gave Himself, entirely and completely, as the
offering. This type refers to the Saviour alone, not to
his people. It is speaking only of the Head, not of the
members. He who was his people's priest, in giving
himself, gave himself wholly, soul and body, to the con-
suming flame. "Our God is a consuming fire:" and that
fire withered his spirit as he bore the curse. This meat-
offering was wholly burnt, because it is the meat-offering
of the priest, who is the type of Jesus.
REGARDING THE SIN-OFFERING
Vex. 24, 25. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak un-
to Aaron and to his sons, saying, This is the law of the sin-
offering: In the place where the burnt-offering is killed shall
the sin-offering be killed before the Lord: it is most holy.
It must be brought solemnly before the Lord, like the
great burnt-offering, and killed on the same spot, on the
north side of the altar (i. 11). It is to one and the same
atonement that all these sacrifices refer.
“It is most holy." All sacrifices were to be regarded
with awful reverence. For it was as if the worshippers
122 SPECIAL RULES
were standing at the cross, where the Marys stood, and
saw the Saviour die. Or like the heavenly host, when
they saw the disembodied soul ("the blood was the life")
of the Redeemer come in before the Father, at the moment
the last mite was paid, and he had cried, "It is finished."
Was there ever such an hour in heaven? or shall there
ever be such an hour in earth or heaven? Even in the
act of accepting the atonement made, how solemnly does
the soul feel that receives it! See Isaiah, when the live
coal touched his lips. What, then, must have been the
hour when atonement itself was spread out complete?
The hour when a lost sheep returns is solemn; but what
is this to the hour when the Shepherd himself returned?
Ver. 26. The priest that offereth* it for sin shall eat it; in the holy
place shall it be eaten, in the court of the tabernacle of the
The Lord, who "by himself purged away sin," holds
communion with the once sinful man. He accepts the
offerer who presents this sacrifice. In Hosea iv. 8, this
rite is referred to--"They eat up the sin-offering of my
people" (txF.AHa); and then "lift up their hearts to their
iniquity." The degenerate priests one moment engaged
in duty, and the next ran back to sin.
Ver. 27, 28. Whatsoever shall touch the flesh thereof shall be holy:
and when there is sprinkled of the blood thereof upon any
garment, thou shalt wash that whereon it was sprinkled in the
holy place. But the earthen vessel wherein it is sodden shall
be broken: and if it be sodden in a brasen pot, it shall be both
scoured and rinsed in water.
How awful is atoning blood! Even things without
life, such as garments, are held in dreadful sacredness if
* htAxo xFe.Ham;ha NheKoha. May it be, "Who maketh it sin;" i. e. by thus offer-
ing it, he makes it a mass of sin? See this use of the word in chap. ix. 15.
FOR THE PRIESTS CHAP. VI 123
this blood touch them. No wonder, then, that this earth,
on which fell the blood of the Son of God, has a sacred-
ness in the eye of God. It must be set apart for holy
ends, since the blood of Jesus has wet its soil. And as
the earthen vessel, within which the sacrifice was offered,
must be broken, and not used for any meaner end again;
so must our Earth be decomposed and new-moulded, for
it must be kept for the use of him whose sacrifice was
offered there. And as the brazen vessel must be rinsed
and scoured, so must this earth be freed from all that
dims its beauty, and be set apart for holy ends. It must
be purified and reserved for holy purposes; for the blood
of Jesus has dropt upon it and made it more sacred than
any spot, except where he himself dwells. "My holy
mountain" (Isa. xi. 9), is the name it gets from himself,
when he is telling how he means to cleanse it for his
Ver. 29, 30. All the males among the priests shall eat thereof
it is most holy. And no sin-offering, whereof any of the blood
is brought into the tabernacle of the congregation, to reconcile
withal in the holy place, shall be eaten; it shall be burnt in
Again the sacredness of it is declared. It seems
as if nothing was so fitted to teach us holiness as com-
plete atonement. "He sitteth between the cherubim,"
says Ps. xcix. 1, looking down on the sprinkled blood;
therefore, "Let the earth be moved."
The sin-offerings are the class of sacrifices mentioned
as "those whereof any of the blood is brought into the
tabernacle, to reconcile withal in the holy place." Now,
these will be found to be the same sin-offerings that were
"burnt without the camp" (Heb. xiii. 11). All of which
specially and peculiarly prefigured the entireness of the
124 SPECIAL RULES
Saviour's work (see chap. iv. 12). On this account they
are never to be eaten, but all consumed; as observed in
a similar case (ver. 23). On some occasions the Lord is
pleased to exhibit parts of the truth separately, withdraw-
ing our view, for the sake of deeper impressiveness, from
all but one point at a time. This seems to be done here.
We are here led to notice the entireness and complete-
ness of the offering, apart from the results of restoring
fellowship between the sinner and his God, which "eating"
would have intimated. The transfer of the offerer's guilt
to the victim was so complete that the victim is altogether
polluted--all "made sin." Hence nothing of it what-
soever must be used; the fire must thoroughly consume
it all. Thus we behold the debt and the gold that pays
it, all told down on the floor of the holy place! What a
debt! What a payment! The last mite is there! Behold
the demands of a holy God! And these all met and
satisfied! Behold the sacrifice and the fire!--and then
the sacrifice "wholly consumed!" How fierce the heat of
the flame! How complete the consumption! Thus ter-
-ribly pure is the justice of the Lord in vindicating his
holy law--that jealous God, who is " Holy, holy, holy!"
(CHAP. VII )
REGARDING THE TRESPASS-OFFERING
Ver. 1, 2. Likewise this is the law of the trespass-offering: it is
most holy. In the place where they kill the burnt-offering shall
they kill the trespass-offering: and the blood thereof shall he
sprinkle round about upon the altar.
So much had been said of the blood of the sin-offering,
in chap. iv., that there was no need to call attention to
that matter in giving directions to the priests regarding
it. But there had been little said about the blood of the
FOR THE PRIESTS CHAP. VII 125
trespass-offering; and therefore it is specially noticed
here. The blood must be "sprinkled round about upon
the altar." Surely
were reckoned very guilty by their God, since he spoke
to them so continually in the language of blood. None
but a heavy-laden sinner could relish this never-varying
exhibition of blood to the eye of the worshipper. The
neyed through the vale of Baca, have wondered what was
to be seen and heard in the courts of the Lord's house,
of which the worshippers sang, "How amiable are thy
tabernacles, 0 Lord of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even
fainteth, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my
flesh crieth out for the living God. . . . Blessed are they
that dwell in thy house!" (Ps. lxxxiv. 1, 2, 4.) And
when they arrived, and saw in these courts blood on the
altar, blood in the bowls of the altar, blood on its four
horns, blood on its sides, blood meeting the eye at every
turn, none but a deeply-convicted soul, none but a soul
really alive to the guilt of a broken law, could enter into
the song, and cry with the worshippers, "How amiable!"
Even so with a preached Saviour at this day, and a sin-
Ver. 3-6. And he shall offer of it all the fat thereof; the rump,
and the fat that covereth the inwards, and the two kidneys, and
the fat that is on them,* which is by the flanks, and the caul
that is above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away.
And the priest shall burn them upon the altar for an offering
made by fire unto the Lord: it is a trespass-offering. Every
male among the priests shall eat thereof: it shall be eaten in
the holy place: it is most holy.
* "The fat that is on them," and that, too, which is "on the flanks"--a
construction similar to Ps. cxxxiii. 3, "The dew of Hermon, and also the dew
that descendeth on the mountains of
126 SPECIAL RULES
These rites had been prescribed, in chaps. iii. and iv.,
in regard to other offerings, but had not been prescribed
as belonging to the trespass-offering; and as the priests
are specially instructed here, the specific directions come
in appropriately here.
The Lord is not weary of repeating these types,
both because of his wondrous love to the sinner, and his
still more unfathomable love to him whom he holds out
to fallen man in each of these figures--his Well-beloved.
Ver. 7. As the sin-offering is, so is the trespass-offering: there is
one law for them: the priest that maketh atonement therewith
shall have it.
"One law," not in regard to all the ceremonies used
therein, but in regard to this special circumstance of the
priest having the pieces left as his portion (see in chap.
vi. 26). The design of this may have been to fix atten-
tion on one special result of atonement, viz. that he who
is the means of making atonement has a claim on all that
the offerer brings; thus shewing forth Christ's claim on
his people for whom he atones--"Ye are not your own;
for ye are bought with a price" (1 Cor. vi. 20).
GENERAL RULE REGARDING PORTIONS BELONGING TO THE
Ver. 8. And the priest that offereth any man's burnt-offering, even
the priest shall have to himself the skin of the burnt-offering
which he hath offered.
This general rule seems naturally to follow the special
case just noticed in ver. 7. There we see "the skin"
given to the priest, irresistibly reminding us of the skins
that clothed Adam and Eve. If Jesus, at the gate of
offered there, then he had a right to the skins, as priest;
FOR THE PRIESTS CHAP. VII 127
and the use to which he appropriated them was clothing
Adam and Eve. He has clothing for the naked soul--
"fine raiment" (Rev. iii. 18)--obtained from his own
sacrifice. Even at the gate of
us to buy of him fine raiment, that we might be clothed."
And this is his office still (Rev. iii. I8).
Ver. 9, 10. And all the meat-offering that is oaken in the oven,
and all that is dressed in the frying pan and in the pan, shall
be the priest's that offereth it. And every meat-offering
mingled with oil, and dry, shall all the sons of Aaron have,
one as much as another.
"All the meat-offering"--after the memorial was taken,
of course (see chap. ii. 2, 9). All the kinds of meat-
offering are mentioned here--those prepared in the oven,
frying pan, and pan. Then, in ver. 10, the heap of fine
flour is meant by "every meat-offering mingled with oil,
and dry." It is not baked, but dry; the oil being on it
merely to consecrate it.
The meaning of this part of the type has already been
noticed in chap. ii.
Ver. 11. And this is the law of the sacrifice of peace-offerings,
which he shall offer unto the Lord.
The Jews say that the peace-offerings for thanksgiving
were brought on such occasions as Psalm cvii. mentions
--on occasions of deliverance from danger in travelling
the desert, or voyaging the sea, or captivity, or sickness.
The words used in that psalm countenance the idea (ver.
22), "And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving,
and declare his works with rejoicing." Peace-offerings
brought on occasion of a vow were probably very similar,
but with this difference, that in the time of danger--e. g.
128 SPECIAL RULES
a storm at sea, or simoom in the desert--they were pro-
mised or vowed to the Lord. Such vowed peace-offerings
go under the name of "sacrifices of thanksgiving," in
Ps. cxvi. 17, compared with verses 1, 14, 18,
Those called "voluntary " (hbAdAn;) were probably
brought just because the soul of the worshipper was, at
the time, overflowing with gratitude; there was not, in
this case, any peculiar event to call for them. They were
nearly allied to praise, in so far as both these offerings
("free-will offerings") and praise were dictated simply by
the fulness of the worshipper's heart. Hence the phrase-
ology of Ps. cxix. 108, "Accept, I beseech thee, the free-
will offerings of my mouth." And Heb. xiii. 15, "By
him, therefore, let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God
continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to
Ver. 12. If he offer it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with
the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mingled with oil,
and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes mingled
with oil, of fine flour, fried.
The last clause means, "the cakes mingled with oil
shall be made of fine flour prepared." The second sort
of meat-offering is fixed upon as the kind to be brought
along with peace-offerings; because, perhaps, it was under-
stood that the offerer was a man able to bring this, if he
could afford to bring a thanksgiving sacrifice. And the
meat-offering naturally accompanies an expression of
gratitude; for it is a binding of the offerer to the Lord,
himself and all he has, body and substance, as well as
soul. So, in Psalm cxvi., where the vows are paid by a
sacrifice of thanksgiving, we hear the offerer saying also,
in ver. 16, "0 Lord, truly I am thy servant." What is
the meaning of the redeemed casting even their crowns
FOR THE PRIESTS CHAP. VII 129
at Christ's feet? Is not this their expression of abounding
gratitude? They would fain have nothing of their own.
Let all be his.
Ver. 13, 14. Besides the cakes, he shall offer for his offering
leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his peace-
offerings. And of it he shall offer one out of the whole obla-
tion for an heave-offering unto the Lord, and it shall be the
priest's that sprinkleth the blood of the peace-offerings.
Here is a remarkable appointment. "Leavened bread"
is to be offered. To understand this, we are to keep in
mind that this is a peace-offering, and therefore the offerer
is in a reconciled state toward God. His sins are all for-
given; there is peace between him and his God; But
this reconciliation does not declare that there is no cor-
ruption left remaining in the worshipper. Perfect pardon
does not imply perfect holiness. There is a remnant of
evil left. But here we see that remnant of evil brought
out before the Lord. The "leavened cakes" intimate the
corruption of the offerer; and God having graciously
accepted him, and delivered him from evils in the world
(for this is an offering of thanksgiving for special mercies),
he testifies his gratitude by bringing out what of corrup-
tion is found in his soul, that it may be removed. "Being
made free from sin, ye have your fruit unto holiness"
(Rom. vi. 22).
And to express yet more fully the intention of bringing
out this "leavened bread," the 14th verse tells that it is to
be "heaved to the Lord."* One cake of this bread that
is leavened is heaved up to the Lord; the priest lifts it up
* The word is hmAUrt;, and the " wave-offering" is hpAUnt;. Both words imply
the same action; but the former is the more comprehensive. The "wave-offer-
ing" is confined to lesser things, that could easily be lifted up. Neither term
implies anything as to a new kind of sacrifice, but only a new mode of present-
ing the sacrifice.
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before the Lord, and, in the sight of all the congregation,
waves it to the four quarters of the heavens, as a sign that
he is giving it over to the Lord. Thus the grateful offerer
presents to the Lord all he has, and spreads out his very
corruptions to be dealt with as the Lord sees good. Was
he not saying, while the priest thus waved the leavened
cake to the four winds, "Search me, 0 God, and know
my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if
there be any wicked way in me, and. lead me in the way
everlasting" (Ps. cxxxix. 23, 24). Patrick remarks that
the leavened bread was not put upon the altar. It is held
up in order to be removed.
Ver. 15. And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace-offerings for
thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day that it is offered; he
shall not leave any of it until the morning.
The priest that sprinkled the blood was to eat the
pieces of this peace-offering the same day that it was
offered. Some say that this rule prevented covetousness
arising in the priests; no one had it in his power to hoard
up. Others say that this rule was fitted to promote brotherly
love; for he must call together his friends, in order to
have it all finished. But these uses are only incidental.
The true uses lie much nearer the surface.
hereby be taught to offer thanksgiving while the benefit
was still fresh and recent. Besides this, and most
specially, the offerer who saw the priest cut it in pieces,
and feast thereon, knew thereby that God had accepted
his gift, and returned rejoicing to his dwelling, like David
and his people, when their peace-offerings were ended, at
the bringing up of the ark (2 San. vi. 17-19). The
Lord took speciat notice of this free spontaneous thank-
offering, inasmuch as he commanded it to be immediately
eaten, thus speedily assuring the worshipper of peace and
FOR THE PRIESTS CHAP. VII 131
acceptance. The love of our God is too full to be re-
strained from us one moment longer than is needful for
the manifestation of his holiness.
Ver 16, 17. But if the sacrifice of his offering be a vow, or a
voluntary offering, it shall be eaten the same day that he
offereth his sacrifice; and on the morrow also the remainder
of it shall be eaten. But the remainder of the flesh of the
sacrifice on the third day shall be burnt with, fire.
This is the case of a peace-offering offered on occasions
when the man had bound himself by a vow to present it;
and those other occasions when he brought it voluntarily,
that is, of his own thought, although nothing special had
occurred to him to draw it forth. There is one particular
in which this offering is to be dealt with differently from
the first kind. The time within which it must be eaten
is never extended beyond the third day; and if any
portion remained so long as the third day, that part is to
be forthwith brought out and burnt. Every precaution
is taken that none of the portions should suffer the taint
of corruption. The type refers to the incorruption of the
Surety, after he had been offered as a sacrifice. When
the third day came round, God completed his testimony
to the acceptance of his Son's work, by forthwith raising
him from the dead, ere corruption could begin. It seems
to be implied here, that "what remained" was to be
speedily consumed on the third day--perhaps as soon as
morning dawned, in order to be the more exact type of
the resurrection--" early on the first day of the week."
Ver. 18. And if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace-offer-
ings be eaten at all on the third day, it shall not be accepted,
neither shall it be imputed unto him that offereth it: it shall be
an abomination, and the soul that eateth of it shall bear his
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How strictly is the type guarded, that so there may be
no misrepresentation of the Antitype! Lest possibly it
should corrupt by the third day, it is never to be eaten
then; for holy fellowship with God must be set forth by
eating it pure.